Another Transgender First

 I remember :back in the day” going to Pride carried with it a sense of frustration. Normally the first thing you saw was a group of garish drag queens waving from the back of a decorated truck or convertible. It was all well and good for them but had very little to do with me as a transgender woman. The “T” in LGBT Pride was definitely silent. I didn’t let any of that stop me though. I figured at the least I could represent a portion of the transgender community who were just trying to lead an authentic life while at the same time having fun.  

As time went on, more and more trans women and trans men began to attend Pride (at least here locally) and recently, a trans woman was selected to lead the Cincinnati Pride Parade. In a few other major locations, such as Los Angeles now the celebration has gone full circle as transgender woman Sharon-Franklin Brown (below) has been named president of the sizable operation.

We have come along way…with such a long way yet to go.

Trans in Trumpland

Sounds like a sick fairy tale doesn’t it? 

Actually it’s a new documentary produced by Trace Lysette  (below)The four-part series, created by New York City-based TransWave Films and directed by trans filmmaker Tony Zosherafatain and produced by Jamie DiNicola, follows four people as they engage in the fight for transgender equality in the United States during the Trump presidency.

Coming Out as a Rebbetzin

Over the recent years, I have had the opportunity to be accepted into one branch of the Jewish religion. I have not converted but my daughter has. I believe the temple she and her family belongs too is part of the Reform Jewish movement. I have always appreciated the complete acceptance I received. From Southern Florida comes another example of transgender acceptance from one branch of the Jewish religion:

Samantha Zerin (above) headed home from a Yiddish class she had taught as part of her synagogue’s adult education program on the evening of Dec. 19 and knew her life was about to change. That evening, the 775 families at Temple Emanu-El would be getting a message that she knew would surprise some of the people she had gotten to know since joining the community 3 1/2 years earlier.

“Over the past several years, Sam has been exploring Sam’s gender identity,” read a message sent to the congregation from Samantha and her wife, Rachel. “This has been a journey for both of us, full of introspection, learning, and growth. Through this journey, we have come to realize that, although Sam was raised as a boy, she is in fact a woman, and she is ready to begin living her life publicly as such.”

There is much more to Samantha’s story you can read here.  The article is called “Coming out as transgender when you are married to a rabbi. Becoming a Rebbetzin.

While we are on the subject of being Jewish, my grandson’s Bar Mitzvah turned out to be a virtual affair for Liz and I. She (Liz) wasn’t feeling well and since we are living in a virus hot spot in Ohio,  we decided not to go. Fortunately, Liz later felt better. 

So we are home being safe and always wear masks when we go out.

A Decade Ago

I am not one to remember dates well. For some reason, I remembered this one. 

In 2010, on the Fourth of July weekend, I officially closed what was left of my restaurant and prepared for an uncertain future. Former President Bush’s recession had gutted and ravaged the small to medium sized Rust Belt town I lived in. 
Through the haze and uncertainty of losing my wife and three close friends to death a couple years before, I was lost.

Ironically (or not so ironically) the only part of my life which was not a mess was the feminine portion. It wasn’t so far before all of this I had made a decision to pursue hormone replacement therapy through the Veterans Administration. I was already under their healthcare and for the VA to provide me HRT would be a relatively simple process. 

The only part of my future I knew for sure was I wanted to be a transgender woman. I knew too, I only had a fairly short couple of years to work before I could take my early Social Security and retire without coming out on a job. 

So, the 4th of July ten years ago was truly the beginning of a new Independence Day for me! 

More Mr. Hart

I received a couple great comments on the “Mr. Hart” post. I you remember, the post basically was about the auto repair man who called me Mr. Hart on the phone and “sir” in person. The first came from Tiffawmy:  “ Hello Cyrsti
I’m sorry you had such a bad experience.
Do you think the guy was being vindictive or maybe he just didn’t know what to do.
Regardless, you persevered.
Next time give me a call. I still carry a set of jumper cables.”

Looking back, I don’t think he was being as vindictive as much as he was being tunnel visioned if that makes any sense. What I mean is, he had male in his mind from the beginning and nothing I could do changed it. Then again too, maybe he just didn’t want to deal with a woman anyhow. Thanks for the offer for the jumper cables. I too have a set around here, I my age you never know when you are going to need a jump! 🙂

And then, we heard from Connie: “Being called “sir” to your face definitely stings, and it’s difficult to not react in a negative fashion. Usually, though, the hurt makes one too upset to be able to react at all. The clever comeback may come to mind, but it’s most likely too late when it does. I’m fortunate in that it has happened to me so rarely, but the last time it did I think I came up with the right response. I said, “Why stand on formality? Call me Connie.” It got the point across, and it made me feel less of the sting because I had gained control of the situation. In your case, I’m pretty sure that would have worked better than calling him “Grease Monkey” in return (even if doing so might have brought some temporary satisfaction).”

I like the “name” reply and will have to try to remember it if something similar to this happens again. The truth is, it happens so very rarely, i am not prepared. As far as the car goes, in the future I will have to call the auto club again tn the future. In all fairness to them, I have never had a problem in the past. I have always been treated with respect. 

I have thought this through in depth of course and have come up with an idea my whole reaction to the whole situation may be part of my transgender PTSD which i will go into in a future post. 

A Day Out?

Anymore, Sunday has replaced Saturday as our “market” day. This morning though, Liz was feeling bad with a headache, so this Sunday morning changed around for me significantly. 
First of all, I went through my wardrobe and found a pair of distressed jeans I haven’t worn for awhile. I tossed them in the laundry yesterday and surprisingly they fit me well. From there I found a matching lightweight soft sweater and decided it was time to put on some makeup and get ready.

Getting ready for me still involves some shaving. Since I am blessed to have a light beard anyhow which is predominantly gray these days I don’t have to seek out expensive painful electrologist sessions to look my best. From beginning to end on a normal day, getting ready to go takes approximately fifteen minutes to apply my makeup. This morning though, I took the extra step of wearing ear-rings. I felt I needed to, to insure the piercing holes in my ears are still open. Which they were.

After all this effort though, it was still unclear if Liz felt good enough to go at all. After a couple cups of coffee she felt good enough for a partial trip to our pharmacy. From there she decided she still had to go to the market for a few essentials. By this time, I was regretting not bringing my mask so I had to stay in the car  to be safe. 

For once, the wait wasn’t very long, plus I was still enjoying being out, no pun intended! Finally, on the way home I offered to buy us lunch to go at our favorite local BBQ venue. I happened to see the owner this morning on the local news speaking on the difficulties the virus has caused local, home owned small businesses.

I am especially sensitive to restaurants since I spent most of my career in them. So we headed to their store front and ordered lunch out of our meager funds and felt good about supporting them. Please make sure you are supporting your local small businesses too!

So much for my exciting day out.

Historical Trans Moment (Spoiler Alert)

I have been binging on the cable television show “Dispatches from Elsewhere” for quite some time now as many of you Cyrsti’s Condo regulars know. It stars a real live transgender woman playing a very understated trans character. Meaning, the show itself never makes any sort of a big deal at all over her past. She is merely there playing a very real character. The actress playing the role is Eve Lindley. 

I don’t normally write a post upon nearly the same subject and/or give up a spoiler alert here in the blog but this time I can’t help it. 
On this weeks’ show, the simmering sexuality between “Simone” (Lindley) and “Peter” (Jason Segal) finally boils over into a passionate long series of kisses. It’s the first time I can remember a cis man has kissed a transgender woman so completely on national television. Even though it wasn’t on one of the so-called major networks. 
Liz and I watch the show on Monday nights at 10:00PM on the AMC Network. We are on the Spectrum cable system. I heard from one reader she couldn’t get it on her television provider but did on a Firestick. Or you could possibly try to stream it on the link to AMC provided above.

Finally, one last spoiler alert. Be prepared, it is a truly strange show! 

Gender Euphoria

During the cross dresser – transgender support group meeting this week, we welcomed two new attendees. One was very young and confused. The other was in their 60’s dressed in male attire with finger nail polish earrings and light make up. Both were able to contribute nicely in their own way.

Perhaps the most interesting question of the evening came in opening remarks from our new moderator who happens to be a life coach of sorts in her real profession. She helps corporations with dealing through gender issues. So she brings a definite professionalism to the meeting.

This week, her initial question to everyone was instead of gender dysphoria, what was everybody’s moment of gender “euphoria.”

As my noggin quickly rewound through the decades of my life, one defining moment of gender euphoria became very clear. It happened years ago on one of the nights I cross dressed and went out to one of my favorite venues to ostensibly be by myself. It was a dark period of my life, during which I knew deep down I was sliding down a slippery slope towards changing the way I lived by adopting a feminine lifestyle full time. Overall, my feelings were doing nothing more than causing extreme gender dysphoria.

Finally that evening, I considered the lonely life I was living since my wife of 25 years had passed on along with three of my closest friends. So, I really didn’t have many close friends left and very few family members either. Also, it was around that time when the Veterans Administration was publicizing they were beginning to prescribe hormone replacement therapy hormones to veterans. I was already receiving health care from the VA, so it was a no brainer…even for me.

All of a sudden, the whole weight of the world lifted from my shoulders and I realized the impossible dream of living full time as a woman went past being possible all the way to being probable.

Adding to the whole idea was the fact I was nearing retirement age too, so I wouldn’t have to worry about transitioning on the job.

So my gender euphoria evening was complete and I could then concentrate on building a new life as my true self. 

Ex Wives

One of the very few times of the year when I have to deal with people who knew the old me, is when my daughter has get togethers for the family. 

Over the years, I have two ex wives (one is deceased) one ex fiance, long gone since before I joined the Army and a partner (Liz) who I have been around for over eight years now. One thing I need to say is all of the women I mentioned knew in some way of my gender struggles. However, only one…Liz has been able to nurture my transgender nature.

My surviving wife remains a solid acquaintance and she is the mother of my only daughter. So, I normally see her a couple times a year during one of my daughter’s meet ups. 

I did see her a couple days ago on Thanksgiving. As we were getting ready to leave, she turned to me and said how good I looked. I was stunned and (even I) was temporarily without words. Finally I recovered and deflected the compliment to my VA health care for some unknown reason. 

I can only imagine what she really thought since she has been around me since the mid 1970’s and quite a few years of my earliest cross dressing adventures. After all, she witnessed more than her share of my earliest mistakes as a feminine person. 

Hopefully, one of these days I can figure out how to properly thank her for the compliment.

TDOR Revisited

As predicted, last night’s Transgender Day of Remembrance here in Cincinnati was a somber quality event. The speakers did a very good job of relating their personal trans experiences growing up. All five speakers were of color which represented the great majority of slain transgender people so far in 2019.

Over 200 people attended. 

The goal for next year of course is not to have to have a TDOR at all. Maybe all these senseless crimes against our community will end.