Fall has Fallen

Old Denim Skirt Photo: Credit Cyrsti Hart

Finally it looks like what is called Indian Summer around here has come and gone. Indian summer describes the last gasp of summer like weather. It’s always been a pleasant time for me, as it’s the time I take to re-assess my fall wardrobe of light weight sweaters, leggings and even boots.

Early looks into my wardrobe tell me it’s time to do some shopping. Not only do I need some new key pieces, I need some new jeans in a smaller size. The diet is working plus my hips are continuing to change due to hormone replacement therapy. Since my very early days of transgender transition, I have never liked the idea of extensive shapewear, Relying totally on the what you see is what you get theory. For the most part I think it worked. Plus my favorite outfit was a long patterned top paired with a jean skirt. Since everyone told me I had good legs it made sense to show them off.

Even back then, I was doing dieting and managed to shed nearly fifty pounds from the 275 I weighed when I started to seriously transition,

All of this takes me back to my current dilemma of having a fall wardrobe deficit. Thanks to my cats claws, she has effectively ruined several pairs of leggings which I wear. Leggings fortunately, are a relatively inexpensive replacement item. After deeper inspection, I found I could use a couple more sweaters to wear. Since I am a big thrift store shopper, it may be time for another trip.

Seasonal wardrobe changes have always been fun for me. One of my favorite times to be a transgender woman. Being full time as long as I have been now just adds to the challenges.

Transgender Talent

 Transgender Talent, the transgender owned and operated management and production company, is looking to help Hollywood get better at portraying transgender and nonbinary characters on screen with the launch of a new consulting arm.

The company, which represents talent including David Makes Man’s Jamie K. Brown and The Craft: Legacy’s Zoey Luna, has opened the consulting business to assist the entertainment industry’s drive to increase diversity and inclusion both in front of and behind the camera.

Run by Ann Thomas, (above) an activist, and second-generation transgender person who has worked on HLN series’ Transgender in America, the division is an expansion of its medical education division which educates and advises UCLA medical students on transgender patient care.

Baggage

Photo courtesy Cyrsti Hart

In a recent post I mentioned sports as one of the items of baggage I took with me when I crossed the transgender gender frontier. Obviously, undertaking such a difficult journey requires planning and experience to attempt a smooth trip.

The first lesson I learned was relying on an obsession with appearance was not going to work. Certainly projecting a feminine appearance helped open gender doors but didn’t accomplish much when I was faced with one on one interactions with the public. In order to survive, I had to pack gender communication skills as well as trying my best to achieve a feminine voice. To this day, I am not sure I ever made any real strides with my voice. Even after attempting vocal lessons. 

I guess you could say I was traveling light and learning as I went during the early part o
f my journey. I discovered the hard way how women lead a multi layered experience. 

One of the biggest lessons I learned was losing my male privilege. I lightened my baggage extensively and quickly. All of a sudden I was excluded from male conversations. Even to the point of supposedly not knowing the quickest route to where I lived. All of that was easy compared to the danger I encountered when I made in roads to areas where cis women knew not to go. I was fortunate to have not been subject to violence. I learned quickly to park in lighted areas and not be cornered by over aggressive admirers in narrow hallways. 

All in all, it was a terrifying yet exciting time in my life.

So, what do you pack? What about your sexuality? In my case, I ended up with women anyhow so it didn’t matter. On the other hand, these days, I know several transgender sisters who have made the journey and found men to live with. Plus with all the information available today I know several transgender individuals who were able to make the transition journey with their spouses. Finally, with all the surgeries and insurance becoming available, I know too several trans women who have found and established relationships with other transgender women through the increasing influence of social media.

Even though the gender crossing won’t be easy with many hills and valleys along the way, the most important item to pack is your desire to make the journey. Otherwise, if you aren’t willing to add or discard items along the way, the trip will be so much more difficult.   

Weekend Review

Liz and I. Photo Credit Cyrsti Hart

My weekend was built around sports with a pleasant surprise added in. 

As I have already written about here in Cyrsti’s Condo, I was deeply shocked by The Ohio State Buckeyes losing in college football. Almost as shocked as I was when the NFL Cincinnati Bengals won their first game yesterday. To make a long story short, both happenings are rare. 

I’m sure there are many of you who could care less or perhaps didn’t carry sports with you as part of your baggage when you crossed the gender frontier. Sports was always such a big part of my life and I was delighted when I found other accepting cis-women who shared my passion. 

Now, onto the pleasant surprise. Liz and I’s tenth anniversary was actually August 5th. We have been putting off (for various reasons) going out and celebrating since then. Yesterday we finally made it. We went to an upscale steak house for huge rib eyes. For the occasion I wore a simple lace top and leggings. 

The steak was good and I was able to splurge a little on the sides because the diet has been progressing so well. I am now down 22 pounds to a weight I have not been since basic training. 

So excluding the Ohio State loss, it was a great weekend, and the weather was good too. 

Gender Fluid?

On occasion I feel as if the term “gender fluid” is a relatively new term. In fact those of us in the more mature age range remember when transvestite was one of the only words we could use to describe ourselves except maybe cross dresser. Then, along the way, the transvestite term was shortened to “tr_nny” which became a gender slur in some parts of the world. 

The reason I bring up the gender fluid term in today’s post is I heard it recently from an eleven year old person on national television. They said they didn’t know what gender they were. I quickly flashed back to my youth and knew I felt the same way. In fact, I have written extensively in the past the number of mornings I woke up not wanting to be a boy anymore. On the other hand when I was successful doing “boy” things I enjoyed it. Definitely gender dysphoria at it’s most severe. From a time before gender dysphoria was even a term. Plus, I can’t even imagine having such an understanding and supportive set of parents.

As I grew, served my time in college and the Army I prefer to think I “grew” into the transgender term too and out of being gender fluid. Once I experienced being around other so called heterosexual cross dressers, I learned there was a whole other level of individuals who loosely identified as transvestites. These persons were the impossibly feminine visitors to the mixers I went to. They just didn’t fit. Somehow they were out of place.

Soon I discovered I felt out of place too. I certainly didn’t fit in with the ultra masculine men in a dress crowd and barely tried to hang out with the “A” listers as I called them. I tagged along on the adventures they embarked on after the regular meet ups. I discovered a wonderful world of gay clubs along with the chance to live my life as a feminine being.

All of this decidedly terminated any chance of my gender fluid tendencies but not quite. Even though being feminine felt so natural, going out with friends cross dressed as a man felt good on occasion also. I guess you could say any traces of gender fluidity for me was becoming toxic.    

Finally, I couldn’t take it any longer and took advantage of several drastic changes in my life. I put my suicide attempts behind me and started hormone replacement therapy. Which once and for all forced my male self into his closet.

It also ended any lingering ideas of being gender fluid. 

The Naked Truth

One thing I have always wondered is, how far do you go with a potential partner before you disclose the truth about being transgender. These days there are so many variables to consider. For one, surgeries have come so far, a trans woman very well could be as “realistic” as a cis woman when it comes to genitals.  

I can’t imagine being a young transgender person with a full life to lead ahead of you. The younger you are though, I would imagine it would be easier to “back fill” a portion of your life when you were not living as your authentic self. For someone my age, it’s harder to try to hide a half century cross dressing as a guy.  

It’s easy for me to say but I would have to out myself and wait for the person to come along who didn’t care and loved me for me. 

As you may recall, I wrote a post concerning me outing myself to a bone density scan technician when he asked if I had been through menopause yet. I simply told him I was transgender and we moved on. 

When all of this happened, I had my clothes on. The mammogram was the only visit where I had to strip to the waist. I can’t imagine what would happen if I would have to take all my clothes off, as Connie did:

Photo Credit Connie Malone

“Years ago, when I first went to see a doctor as “myself,” the nurse had set up the exam room for a gynecological exam – complete with a speculum. Both the doctor and I got a good laugh when she removed the towel that covered the tray that had all of those instruments! 

I guess I was passing to the nurse, but I had already outed myself to the doctor, as I was sitting naked on the exam table at the time. :-)”

I guess you did out yourself! Thanks for the “naked truth.”