Transgender Information

Nina Humphrey from the “Credit Card. Com” website managed to navigate the confusing process of choosing between my two names and emails to reach me.

The problem is years ago when I completed my legal name change, I added another email with that name. With the time and effort I had spent over the years to build the Cyrsti’s Condo transgender blog, I didn’t want to start all over again. So on occasion, I encounter confusion when people try to reach me on the other email. An example was when I was accepted into the Trans Journalist Association. Emma needed to reach out on both emails to confirm my identity.  FYI, I am really excited to be part of the Association! 

Now, back to Nina. Here is part of what she wrote and a link to go to for more information:

We understand transgender individuals can transition without surgery or medical procedures by changing their clothing, pronouns, name and gender presentation. But money can often be a barrier for transgender folks, and getting accurate information about the costs of transitioning can be a hurdle in and of itself. 

For those who do wish to get surgery, the costs vary significantly depending on details like insurance coverage and location. We created a guide to help transgender Americans by providing expert advice on:

  • Gender reassignment procedures and average costs
  • How to budget for the costs of transitioning
  • Allyship to the transgender community

Here’s the link to our guide: 

https://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/gender-reassigment-surgery-costs/

She also added:

“It’s important to us that the LGBTQ+ community has the protection and support it deserves. Which is why we want to do our part and share valuable information that benefits both the LGBTQ+ community and its allies. I recently came across your page and I wanted to share our resource which I thought would be a valuable addition to your page”

Most certainly, finances are always a major factor when considering major gender surgeries. Thanks Nina, for your information.

Un Masked

My Partner Liz, me, and trans friend Kathy

The transgender – cross dresser local group Liz and I are members of have decided to open the doors again to a rather aggressive social schedule. 

I think it is time to venture out if people have been vaccinated so I have no problem with doing it. 

Saturday is the first social get together in public, followed by an on line support group meeting on Monday and yet another public social next Thursday. 

With everyone being so tired of staying home for so long, more than likely all events will be well attended. 

The socials are a very good idea for experienced and novice transgender women of all kinds. Most importantly, the venues know we are coming and provide a safe space.  Very simply, it is a chance to get out in the public’s eye and try out fitting in in the feminine world. 

The best part is so far, everyone has not embarrassed the group by doing something decidedly ignorant. 

Even though we will not be attending Saturday nights social,  it’s a very good chance I will be at the other two. If you happen to be in the metro Cincinnati, Ohio area and need information, let me know. 

Pride

Drag queens wearing red, orange, yellow and green are walking in the street at Montreal Pride.

 June is LGBTQ Pride Month. Of course (per norm) I watched the local morning news  and almost the first story I saw was promoting two of the local Pride activities coming up this weekend. This year, the biggest local event (Cincinnati) was again canceled due due pandemic considerations. Even still, the television station used old footage of drag queens’ in convertibles for the story. Which leads me to this:

One of my biggest problems with the various events is the number of drag queens which are featured. 

My dislike for all the attention drag queens garner goes all the way back to my earliest days of  coming out into a feminine world. A world I desperately wanted to succeed in. The mistake I made was going to male gay venues…places which were nearly impossible to exist in as a novice transgender woman. I ultimately learned  I could be accepted much more easily in straight venues.  At the same time, I began to grow bored of the same drag queens performing the same songs. 

All of this brings me back to Pride. My earliest trips to Prides were immersed in the usual garishly dressed queens followed close by by cross dressers teetering by in their high heels and tight dresses. Very little appealed to me. I will say though, as the years have gone by, I have noticed more and more transgender women and men enjoying the day. 

Interestingly, the Trans Ohio organizers who are hell bent to put on a virtual event of their own, have a whole other take on why Pride does not represent trans people as a whole. Their take is the money these big Pride events bring in.  The big corporations who are lining up as sponsors are spending money in the wrong areas to truly help the immensely needy segments of the LGBT community. Too much of the money goes to support the event itself or back to the cis male gay groups whole are already doing well in the financial areas.

At any rate, Liz and I can’t attend any of the regional Prides this year for several reasons and even though I don’t like the attention the queens get, I still like to “people watch” the rest of the crowd. 

Transgender MMA Fighter

Retried MMA fighter is a veteran of the Navy and is from Toledo, Ohio.  

Now, Fallon Fox cannot wait to share her story with the world.

Fox, the first openly transgender mixed martial arts fighter, is working with Mark Gordon Pictures on a new biopic based on her career and life. Eight years after coming out publicly, Fox will now get a dramatized retelling of a story that dominated the sports world.

“It feels amazing. I feel like my story is finally going to get out there in a big way,” Fox told ET Canada. “I’m not sure how it’s going to run. Maybe it’s going to be informative, but it’s going to be entertaining and people are going to get a lot out of it.

With all the discord going on in the country concerning transgender athletes, her story is definitely timely.  

Don’t Worry be Happy

Yesterday I attended the first of two webinars I scheduled for myself between now and the end of the month.

The one yesterday was on the subject of humor and elderly care givers. The facilitator did a good job keeping the subject on point until it came time to end it promptly. I had other things to do so I didn’t stick around to make my point. 

I was going to mention the difficulty yet priority of using humor as a positive tool when you are a transgender woman or trans man. I find when I am meeting a new person for the first time if I am able to break the ice with a nice smile it makes the whole experience go smoother. Whatever people think of my feminine presentation, there still is the fact I am a big thick person. Also I try to be aware most people have never met a transgender person before and don’t know how to act. Then, there was the woman at the post office the other day who was killing me with kindness. 

Personally, I prefer using a smile rather than try my sometimes sarcastic and wicked sense of humor on a person I don’t know. The best part about it now is at least I have nice teeth to do it and can start to not wear a mask anymore to show them off.

Finally, what I took away from the whole webinar was, if you can condition yourself everyday to start your day on a positive note, the happier overall you will be.

Getting Busy

 I have written briefly here in Cyrsti’s Condo concerning how I seemingly have the tendency to “bundle” up my events together. When you are retired such as I am, almost anything can be called an “event.”

Old Summer Photo

For example, this week,  on Tuesday I have the first of my two webinars on aging I have signed up for followed by another therapist’s appointment on Wednesday. More than likely too, I have a meeting coming up with the Trans Ohio group on Thursday or Friday. It is about attempting to put together yet another on line event for Pride this year. Personally I think it’s all a case of overkill because of the number of separate Pride events which are happening in  the  metro Cincinnati area but I was out voted. As it stands right now, I think I am going to try to involve a couple of the fabulous cis women transgender allies I know to speak on the subject. 

Then, this weekend is basically a chance to really celebrate being slightly free of the pandemic hold we have been under for well over a year. Of course, both Liz and I have been fully vaccinated. Saturday is a concert in a sculpture park we have been invited to by a musician we know who moved away not long ago to New Mexico. If we go, it could turn out into a dinner out afterwards.

Finally, Sunday is my oldest Grandson’s high school graduation get together.  At the least I will get to see if anyone notices my new teeth. If they do, it will just reinforce in my mind, how far gone my old ones were. After all, I didn’t want to be mistaken for some burn out old crack head.  I just had always figured my teeth would still outlast how long I would live. An idea reminiscent of the dark days of my life. FYI, the only drug abuse I was into was alcohol. 

All the activity will make the week go by in a hurry.

It Was Brutal

Smile of a beautiful young woman . Over white background.

 Well, my long delayed trip to the dentist proved to be up to it’s hype. 

To start with, I couldn’t afford a dental surgeon (my insurance wouldn’t cover it.)  So, my only choice was to have a regular dentist do the fun job. The difference in out of pocket expense was approximately four thousand dollars. 

Unfortunately, I knew a little of what to expect because “back in the day” I had an Army Dentist who “tried” to remove my wisdom teeth. Overall it proved also to be a brutal experience. It turns out my teeth have some sort of a cruel twisted root which makes them less than easy to remove. 

I knew I was going to be in for a similar experience when I heard the dentist mutter to his assistant something about curved roots as he went into attack mode. 

The next think I knew I was getting seven shots of Novocain, which turned out to be only the start because the teeth they had to remove happened to be all around my mouth. 

It’s never good too when the dentist tells you he may have to use more painkiller and I may hear teeth breaking as I felt a lot of pressure. But rest assured, he would get them out.

The good news is I love my new teeth and I got my smile back. Along with a bloody lip where he bared down with several of his tools. 

I did my best to take my mind off the whole procedure by imagining what it must have been like not so long ago in the pre-pain killer dental days.

Now the next milestone is to have the sutures out which go from one side of my mouth to the other. And, beginning to eat solid hot food again. 

So I may come out of this with a new smile and a weight loss! 

Would You Give Birth?

This was a question which was posed by one of the many bloggers I follow.  The only difference was, it was supposed to be answered only by cis guys. I couldn’t let it go and jumped in with my answer as a transgender woman. 

Over the years, I have known or encountered many trans women who would consider giving birth as the ultimate feminine experience.  Others even crave the idea. 

Over the years my idea of pregnancy has changed. I suppose it goes all the way back to my days with my deceased wife when she was fond of calling me the “pretty, pretty princess.” Adding I didn’t have any real  idea of what life was like for a cis woman. Sadly, she was right.  The last thing I wanted to think of was what cis women had to think of (and do) when they bear children. I was too busy thinking how I looked as a woman was the most important part of my life. 

Politically also,  pregnancy is the point many cis women transphobes make that only real women can bear children The argument of course doesn’t hold water because many cis women are born sterile without the proper “equipment” to go through a pregnancy. Not to mention the countless cis women who don’t desire parenthood at all.

These days, possibly due to the effects of hormone replacement therapy my ideas on pregnancy have changed. Of course it is easy to say at my seventy years of age (plus) deep down I can sense I wouldn’t mind being pregnant. However, I don’t view the whole process as the ultimate pinnacle of my femininity. For some reason now, my body tells me now it wouldn’t be out of the question if it was medically possible. 

Possible or not, the whole pregnancy idea has become yet another question to ponder. These days I think I would/could give birth if it was possible.  

The Time of Discovery

This week by chance, I have encountered not one but two individuals close to my age strongly considering following  seriously their feminine gender urges. Perhaps you noticed  I didn’t use the transgender word to describe either because they didn’t.  Both were so new in their explorations, I think they were involved in the brave new world of gender exploration, they didn’t know where they were on the journey. 

One discussion was involved with how my initial results went when I first started hormone replacement therapy. It seemed, the person had started some sort of hormones without a doctors guidance by obtaining non prescription meds. Of course I  passed along my usual warning concerning starting the HRT without medical guidance could be hazardous to one’s overall health. Secondly, she wanted to know how fast the effects of the hormones showed to the point of not being able to hide my gender changes any longer.

In my case, although everyone’s case is different, minimum dosages of estradiol and a testosterone blocker within six months produced effects which were hard to hide. My skin and face softened, my hair grew long enough for a pony tail and of course my budding breast growth was getting harder and harder to hide. There was a definite difference for me of having “man boobs” and the feminine set of breasts I was magically growing. To make a long story short, I was forced out of my male closet and into my authentic self faster than I ever imagined. At this time, after my wife passed away, I was living by myself and my two dogs didn’t care what I looked like. So, I didn’t have an  un-supporting  spouse to worry about. 

The second person, is local and seemed to be very impressed she had found a supporting group of individuals who are transgender, questioning or cross dressing folk. Ironically, she was drafted into the Army nearly the same time I was in 1971.  At the time, the problem of going into the Army seemed as if it would be the worst possible move as I tried to deal with my mis-understood gender dysphoria. Years later though, I still reap the benefits of my service by taking advantage of Veteran’s Administration health.

Overall, I was able to provide a positive look into what a transgender life can look like if certain factors come into line.  At least, that is my goal.

I’m very comfortable pointing out to people too, the whole gender transition process I went through was no walk in the park and I went through my share of doubts and dark days. 

The whole process of discovering my true self proved to be very  satisfying for me. The alternative of cross dressing and acting like a man would have led me to an early grave.