Another Group?

Perhaps you remember the transgender woman I have called “The Moderator” here in Cyrsti’s Condo. She is the one who ran all of the transgender – cross dresser support group meetings I normally attend, as well as most of the trans socials. 

For some reason I don’t know, she abruptly left the Crossport group this week. I would imagine sooner or later I will hear gossip why but I haven’t so far.

In the meantime (and very rapidly) the expelled member has started her own group. So far she is trying to mimic the well established first group by hosting two support group meetings a month, plus at least three socials. 

So far, Liz and I have been invited to join the new group on Facebook, plus the first social this Saturday night. I am not sure what we are going to do yet. 

On one hand, I wouldn’t mind going. On the other, I would like to have a few more details on what caused the split.

This Saturday is one of the rare days during the college football season which The Ohio State University Buckeyes aren’t playing. So, Liz and I have a open possible date night. 

I still have a couple of days to figure it out and see what the original group does to schedule any of their regular socials. 

No need to hurry! 

Truthfully, I don’t think this city has a large enough base to support two groups which at least outwardly are so similar.

We will see what happens.

Surprise!

Yesterday was actually my 70th birthday. I thought I managed to keep it relatively undercover with just my partner Liz, daughter Andrea, and a few other friends knowing at all. 

After choosing where I wanted to go for my birthday dinner out, we headed out. It was chilly enough for one of my lightweight sweaters and leggings. 

As we went towards the restaurant I picked, even I figured out we were going the wrong way. I am still fairly new to driving around here and Liz knows all the short cuts, so I trusted her to get us there and I would soon be eating creole cooking soon,

No such luck. We seemingly drove forever before I figured out my birthday venue was going to be denied. I was more than a little upset as we entered this little off the beaten track brew pub. Then I realized I had been scammed. Sitting around a big table was my daughter, grand kids and son in law. I couldn’t believe they were able to trick me so completely. At least it was for a good cause.

The beer and food was good. Then came the gifts.

I was given a necklace with my daughter and I’s birthstone and the best present of them all…an T-shirt which said “Ohio State University Grandmother.” OK, I couldn’t help but cry. That simple shirt meant so much to me on so many levels. 

Of course, my Granddaughter is a freshman at The Ohio State University (which I am a HUGE fan) and to have the word Grandmother attached was just too much to bear. 

So all in all, I had a wonderful birthday. Even though it was a complete surprise! 

Fall has Fallen

FINALLY! A break from the record hot streak we have seen around here (SW Ohio) in late September and early October. Today is supposed to be over twenty two degrees cooler than yesterday. Fashion wise, it will help me decide what I am wearing to our latest paranormal ghost hunt tonight,  With the new chillier temperatures and with spending all night in a very old mansion, I have decided to wear a long sleeved t-shirt Liz bought me out in Colorado while we were on vacation. I will pair the t-shirt with my distressed black jeans. My goal is not to scare the spirits and blend in with what the other cis women in the group will be wearing.

As far as footwear is concerned, I am declaring this to be the last day for my walking boot. So, just in case I end up walking a long way tonight, I will have the boot to help me. I have not experienced any discomfort in a while and can’t get anyone at the VA to give me an answer. So it’s gone tomorrow unless I get a call today.

The ghost hunt tonight will preclude Liz and I going to the monthly cross dresser-transgender social tonight.

But I have been attending the planning meetings for this years’ Transgender Day of Remembrance. It’s tough on me because I am still so new to the Cincinnati metro area and have very little knowledge of the resources available. What I am trying to do is line-up several transgender speakers of color. So far I have been able to come up with a maybe from two. Overall it’s going to be a quality somber event and we want to feature the fact the greatest percentage of tragic transgender murders take place against persons of color.

The event will take place this year on November 20th. To make a long story short, I am proud to provide whatever assistance I can.

In Response

In response to the Cyrsti’s Condo post concerning class reunions and similar events  (I suppose anything requiring you to see people who knew you before your transition.) I received this comment from Connie:

“My high school 50th reunion is taking place as I write this…at home. I only attended the school my senior year, and I didn’t really get to know many of my classmates. If I had attended a reunion, it would have been for the school I had gone to before – in another town that I grew up in. Compared to the school I graduated from, with a class of over 600, the other had only 220. I knew almost everybody there, and a coming out, I thought, surely would have had more impact. Their reunion was last week, and, as it turned out, I would have been only one of seven who were in attendance.

Since I didn’t waste time and money traveling back to my old school last week, it doesn’t make me feel that I’m missing anything tonight, either. In fact, the best reason for not going is that the one high school friend with whom I had kept in touch (and who knows of my transition) sent a text to me a couple of weeks ago that read: “Hey (dead name), lookin’ forward to seeing you at the reunion.” I can’t imagine subjecting myself to the possibility of something like that 600 times over.

But you wanted an enjoyable story. Well, instead of going out tonight, I stayed home to baby sit my 21-month-old granddaughter. She’ll always love me for who I am, because she’ll only ever know me as that. This is so much more enjoyable!”

What a great way to get a new generation started right!

Reunited?

Going back to the Cyrsti’s Condo post concerning levels of acceptance about how much you tell to who concerning your transgender transition, Marcia had this comment:

“My fraternity brothers, all of whom made the trip with me through transition, are now my “college friends.” :)”

Wow! Congratulations ! I would be interested to know how it happened Marcia. I can only guess you may have gone to some sort of reunion? As Connie pointed out, it certainly was not a Greek tragedy :).

Reunions are quite the topic. 

To go or not to go usually results in extensive angst. 

I’m old and I just passed my 50th high school reunion two years ago. Actually I didn’t pass the reunion, because I  didn’t go. I just didn’t feel comfortable going because in high school I wasn’t close to many people anyhow. I felt I would just be a distraction and had nothing to prove anyway. Just one of the reasons I admire those who do step out and go to reunions. 

If you have an enjoyable reunion story, I am sure all of us would love to hear it.

Baby Steps?

Finally, Ohio has taken another step to join the rest of the country and allow genders on birth certificates to be changed. By the way, I live in Ohio and my birth certificate is my only remaining form of identification which doesn’t state I am female. 

Here is the story from the “Associated Press”: 

 “Four transgender people challenging an Ohio rule preventing people from changing the gender listings on their birth certificates have won their day in court.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael Watson denied the state’s request that the lawsuit filed by the ACLU, Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Ohio be dismissed.

The lawsuit contends the birth certificate rule imposed by the state Department of Health and the Office of Vital Statistics is unconstitutional.”

Ohio and Tennessee are the two remaining states not allowing any sort of birth certificate changes.

However to my knowledge many different versions of these changes exist.  For example, I don’t know that when and if Ohio’s changes take place, will a person have to go through genital realignment surgery to  be able to change their birth certificate or offer proof they are living as their chosen gender.   

That point is of importance to me because I have not had, nor do I plan on having any surgery. 

A federal lawsuit challenging Tennessee’s rule was filed in April. Kansas ended a federal lawsuit there in June, when Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly struck a deal by agreeing to allow gender identity changes on Kansas birth certificates.

Right to Know

I received a couple of thought provoking comments concerning my Cyrsti’s Condo post about outing myself when I talk about my military past. 

The first came from Paula:

“Yes, it’s very easy to out ourselves by accident, I have had to be careful how I refer to much of my past, I now make sure that I was a “child” and a “Chorister” I played “Sport” and yes my wife often become my “partner” or my “ex”, I have to make sure that I am a “tradesperson” and a “parent”; sometimes it can get quite tiring.”

Connie also added:

“Even mentioning to someone, ” After all, I met my wife in Germany and she became the Mother of my only daughter” pretty much outs you.

Although I have no actual war stories to tell, there is so much from my past life that I have to think twice about before discussing any of it with others. My wife has been changed to “my partner,” and then I must be careful when I mention that we’re still together, married now for 47 years. That’s something for which I take great pride (though most of the credit goes to her), but I have often had to bite my tongue to keep from sharing that information. Still, I am surprised by the number of people who just assume that I am married to a man, and that I am a mother to my daughters and a grandmother to my grandchildren. I never correct anyone for those assumptions right away, but the further I might go into our past, the more apt I am to have to explain things.

Can I tell you the story of how I won the football game on the last play by ripping the ball from the quarterback’s hands and running it back for a touchdown? No, I guess not; that story has not been in my repertoire for years. Oh, welll”

Thanks to both of you for the comments! 

As I wrote I judge how much I tell a person on how they are reacting to me. Plus I rarely have the chance to interact with total strangers. At that time, I only mention now I have a partner of eight years and a daughter with three kids.

I don’t think it is any of their business that I did meet my first wife in Germany when she was in the Army too and she was the mother of my child. 

Then, if I leave out the twenty five year relationship with my second wife, I am caught up with my life. If I am chronically doing it relationship wise. 

Again, it goes back to who I am talking to and placing them on a tiered “need to know” basis. 

Ironically, if I mention which war I was part of (Vietnam), it does more to out my age than anything else.

Emmy News

For once, thanks to Laverne Cox and Indya Moore, transgender women received quite a bit of positive  publicity at this years Emmy awards.

Check out Laverne’s clutch she carried on the purple carpet! 

Cox was nominated for the Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series category for the final season of Orange is the New Black. After receiving three nominations for her performance on the Netflix series, Cox has said she is more than ready to become the first transgender actress to take home an Emmy. But on the purple carpet she decided to say something else.

Cox wore a tiered Monsoori gown, complete with a shoulder ruffle, as well as a full, lilac skirt. But what was more powerful was what she brought with her: an acrylic clutch as well as her guest, lawyer and activist Chase Strangio.

Transgender actress Indya Moore also sizzled on the runway.

Moore (below) stars as Angel on FX’s Pose, which boasts television’s largest cast of trans actors in series regular roles and the largest LGBTQ+ cast for such scripted shows. The series was a contender for six awards , including Outstanding Drama Series, in addition to Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for Billy Porter. 

Back in the Day

I have always had problems with veterans who seemingly hit the peak of their lives during their time in the service. 

Even though I have been fortunate enough to live a very full life, last night I found myself in the same spot. 

Liz and I joined a mixture of cross dressers and a few transgender friends at a local steakhouse for dinner. Towards the end of the evening, the topic of traveling came up. Along the way, I mentioned to one of the cis-women I lived in Thailand for a year and was able to travel through three continents in three years when I was in the Army…Southeast Asia, Europe and North America (of course.) She was fascinated and didn’t really question the why’s and when’s of why I was there.

At that point I began to feel guilty of acting like that period of my life was the highlight. 

As I began to think about it though, it may have been. After all, I met my wife in Germany and she became the Mother of my only daughter. And, since I utilize the Veteran’s Administration for my health care, including my gender transition meds, I have to include it too.

Either you could say my time in the service turned out to be one of the unexpected highlights of my life, or I made the best of a potentially very bad situation…serving directly in the Vietnam War.

However, unless I automatically want to out myself, I have to be careful about how I talk about my Army service. I have a tendency to tell the truth and say I was drafted. Of course then and now, women have not been drafted into the military. So I have concocted a story which is semi true, I worked as a contractor for the Army, since I worked for the Air Force for part of my enlistment. 

It seems to work.