Summer Time

The area in and around Cincinnati, Ohio is well known for it’s historical connections in aiding runaway slaves during the Underground Railroad days preceding the Civil War.

In 2015, Liz and I toured the “Rankin House” near Ripley, Ohio east of Cincinnati when I was more mobile. The picture above was taken facing the Ohio River which flows downhill from the historic house. Known for it’s success in helping runaway slaves escape. 

Afterwards we crossed the Ohio on a small ferry boat and ate lunch in historic Augusta, Kentucky, the home of George Clooney. 

It was a relaxing day and one to remember because my transgender transition was still so new and scary as well as being exciting. The day went well, and no, we didn’t see George.  

Wow! She Transitioned Well!

Yesterday I wrote a Cyrsti’s Condo post on Nicole Maines transgender character being part of the features in the new DC Comics Pride Anthology issue. At the same time I noticed a post in Femulate from Stana. Without a doubt we all have different distances to travel in our public presentations as we transition genders. 

Take Nicole Maines for example.  She gained “passing privilege early in life from her parents when she was accepted for who she really was. She was “allowed” to not go through testosterone poisoning before and during puberty.  Even to the point of becoming a transgender activist at an early age. I am sure most of us would feel so fortunate to have been in the same situation. 

Now, let’s take Stana fromFemulate for example. In her recent post, she described how she was mistakenly confused by an intake person as being a feminine person. She has always written concerning being a “feminine” male. Again, you can see from her wonderful pictures how well she has transitioned. Or maybe she would argue she didn’t transition at all. She is just living as her authentic self.  

Then, there are the rest of us. All have faced differing levels of being able to try our best to present a feminine image. If you see many true photos on line (which are getting harder and harder to find) you will see many who have struggled with the basics of transitioning.

The sad part, or even tragic part is all of us are only trying to do what comes naturally. Forget the transition word, we were always girls and women. The only beneficial part of not being particular feminine was I was able to fool the bullies and they left me alone. 

My most recent example came yesterday when I went to the Cincinnati VA Hospital for my second vaccine.  When I went in for my first shot, I was mis-gendered at least three times which nearly broke my heart. This time, I gathered my resolve to not get mis-gendered so many times. I spent extra time on my eye makeup, since my eyes would be the only part of my face which would be seen. I also spent extra time trying to style my hair different. Again, looking ahead to wearing a mask.

The good news was this trip I wasn’t mis-gendered at all.  More than likely, the year off from interacting with the public I have gone through has made me lazy when it comes to my feminine presentation. 

At the least, maybe someone will think I transitioned well.


Every once in a while, I see a post concerning someone deciding to stop their gender transition and reverse it.  

While I would never consider it, I see the entire topic as an issue which can be seized upon by transphobes everywhere. After all the, the transphobes now have the chance to say they were right about suggesting attempting the daunting task of a human gender change was wrong to start with. 

Even though I would never consider going back on the life path I have chosen, I can definitely understand why someone else would. As I was learning how to negotiate the feminine world, I found I had no real idea of how complex the process would be. I found out the hard way I would have to learn so much more. I thought once I achieved a certain level of feminine appearance, I had completed my Mtf Gender Transition. Little did I know I was just beginning. 

Heading down my new feminized path showed me how communication provided me the beginnings of a new relationship I would have to learn in the world. As I have written about many times, the first couple of times I was reduced to a second class citizen by men was very enlightening in a negative way. Had I not been so certain of where I wanted my path to take me, losing my male privileges would have been a great place to return to being a part time cross dresser. 

I was fortunate too in that I didn’t have to deal with very many friends or family during a time when being transgender was very mis-understood. I was even able to retire so I didn’t have to face a hostile work environment. My point is, I can understand how all that pressure could convince someone to de- transition.

Ironically, as I enter the final years of my life, I now face the possibility of being forced to back track down my gender path in an assisted living facility. That though is a topic for another blog post which includes a topic about life insurance. 

In the meantime, all the transphobes can go to hell.

Welcome to the Sisterhood?

 Very early in my Mtf gender transition, I was “ushered” into the sisterhood of cis women by several very well meaning women. Having said all of that, I learned too all women were not real happy with my showing up to play in their gender “sandbox.” I also learned quickly the feminine power of passive aggression. Or, I discovered to quickly learn a smiling face could hide a sharp knife heading for my back. 

Take the restroom acceptance for example. One night I remember vividly was years ago when a woman I met briefly at a sports bar was going to the ladies room and invited me to go along. The whole process caught me by surprise and I declined…that time. The next time she asked, I took her up on the invitation and conducted myself well. I took care of business, made sure to wash my hands, checked my makeup and hair and took off. Everything went well with the person who invited me but not so well with a couple other women in the venue. One of which ended up complaining to the manager. He ended up letting a couple play “Dude Looked Like a Lady” three times in a row on the juke box and finally asked me to leave.

Several weeks later though I got my revenge on the jerk after he got fired and two staff members met me in a neighboring venue and invited me back. A friendly attitude and good tipping got me by almost every time. Interesting enough, it was during this time I met another transgender woman who ended up moving away years later after we did some quality partying together at several different venues. One of which had a enormous bar area and a famous two dollar draft beer night on Tuesdays. Most nights, finding a seat was difficult but somehow we managed being the only trans girls in the crowd having a great time. It was in this venue I did meet the two lesbian women I was to become best friends with. And from there too we were able to branch out to a couple other spots in a restored restoration district and have a very good time there too.

I guess you could say I networked my way into the “sisterhood.” When I was going out to entertain myself and be alone, I was attracting too much attention to myself. When I was with my friends, I had strength in numbers and in fact had the chance to blend in with their lesbian mixers which I totally enjoyed.

I was welcomed into the sisterhood more than I was ever expecting to do.  

Is Your Transition a Verb or a Noun?

As with so many of my thoughts, I encountered this idea from Riley Black another blogger/writer from the “Medium” on line magazine. Riley brought up the idea of a gender transition ceasing to be a verb and then becoming a noun. If you are similar to me, I had to think back to my high school English classes to figure out what Riley meant. 

Finally my noggin started to understand the gender process we all go through as we gender transition. Is it always a verb as we progress. Or do we obtain a level when transition levels off and becomes a noun?

I have been in my transition for a long time.  In fact, if you consider all the years I cross dressed, I have been on a transition path for over sixty years. You can put it nicely and say I just took a little longer to discover my true self or…I was just a slow learner. 

These days, I have a tendency to think my transition has plateaued out and I know now what is around the next corner. On the other hand, life has taught me to never take anything for granted. Plus now, at the age of 71, I would be remiss if I didn’t look ahead at the possible specter of spending time in an assisted living facility. 

It’s looking more and more my transition will always be a verb.  

Gender Bake

Most of us if we like it or not, are born into strict gender rules. Those of us who are transgender just happen to not fit into those gender norms. Of course, that is where our problems begin. If we are very lucky, we have accepting parents and we are able to communicate what the situation is.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of us transgender women and trans men never had a chance for acceptance until we finally decided to seize the moment later in life. The internet and social media has helped to educate the population but of course serious transgender problems still exist on so many levels of society.  Specifically within the trans women of color community with their extremely high and tragic murder rate. Plus I won’t even get into employment issues.

In our own lives, we all decide to choose the path best suited to our needs. Two prime examples would be not being allowed to pursue hormone replacement therapy due to health concerns or deciding not to live a fulltime feminine existence because of a spouse or family. 

Per norm, Connie came up with an expanded comment on the Cyrsti’s Condo “Shake and Bake” post:

 “Shake and Bake can mean so many different things. I like to play with words, and I like to play with you, too (word-wise, that is).
Actually, what I meant by “shake” was the acquired male persona that I needed to shake off to reveal my feminine-self. If you’re familiar with baking – say, a cake – you know that using the right ingredients in their proper proportions is critical. Then, there is the temperature of the oven and the baking time.

Shaking the male facade was the difficult part for me. I had worked so hard to construct it: athlete, rock drummer, husband, father, grandfather. Over time, the athletic and rock drummer parts became less masculine-identified (although, both require a lot of sweating, which I’m not so fond of anymore). Changing from husband to spouse, and father and grandfather to parent and grandparent was still not without its own sweat.

I always possessed ingredients for a transition to womanhood. I can’t say they were all “sugar and spice, and everything nice,” but they have always been there. There was some experimentation necessary, in order to come up with the right recipe for me, but trial and error is how any of us must find ourselves. With the climate (temperature) just right, I was able to rise and “bake” into the woman I am today.”

Although there are still some physical changes I’d like to see for myself, they would be but icing on the cake at this point. 

Thanks for the comment! In our house though, “Shake and Bake” normally meant chicken. Not a cake. To add insult to injury, my Mom was a high school home economics teacher and she rarely baked!


Over the years I have experienced several levels of gender transgender transition. The first of which I remember was very early in my life when I experienced moving on from the buzz I received from wearing girls clothes. The thrill quickly faded but the desire to be a girl remained. I didn’t realize it for years. It was a significant piece of the gender puzzle of who I was. If I had stayed with clothes being my main goal, I felt I would have stayed more on the cross dressing side of priorities.   

As my life went by, my cross dressing versus transgender existence caused me extreme gender dysphoria. Looking like a woman just wasn’t enough and I moved ahead to see if I could live and exist full time successfully as a transgender woman. Much of my process centered around how natural I felt. Of course the answer was I felt very at home in a feminine world. I just had to learn more about it before I could complete my next transition. 

The next transition involved much interaction from other cis women friends who thankfully “adopted” me. I always have told them they showed me more than I could ever say. They pushed me out of my shell further and further as we went everywhere from lesbian mixers to pro football games to women’s roller ball derby’s. Finally I began to relax and have fun. Still my Mtf gender transition wasn’t complete. Then I jumped off the cliff and threw out all my male clothes or sent them to the thrift store.

With my partner Liz’s help and with the benefit of HRT on my body, in my own mind I became more of a trans woman than I would have ever thought was possible. In addition to softer skin, longer hair, breasts and now the development of hips, I wonder where I would be without my meds and I am thankful for the health opportunity to accomplish the changes. 

So, even though I have a tendency to think I have reached a transgender plateau as far as my transition goes, I never know what the future may hold as I look ahead to how the remainder of my life may work out. 

A Choice?

Yesterday here in Cyrsti’s Condo we explored the issue of trust when it comes to novice transgender and/or cross dressing women. During this post, I would like to preach to the choir concerning choice. 

The problem we have is as we come out is a severe problem with being selfish in our drive to discover our true selves. Often, we are so frenetic in our approach, we have a tendency to forget those around us. All of a sudden, we are stuck between a rock and a hard place. The rock is family, finances and friends the hard place is the fact we really don’t have a choice.  The pressure increases if you are considering hormone replacement therapy. Unless you are on a radically different regiment than I am, you can say goodbye to most sex lives as you knew it. The prospect didn’t bother me as much as some because in my own way, I had approached sex to me as being between two women anyway. Which did not meet with success in the bedroom with my wife. 

As selfish as all that was, it was the only way I could save my own life. I can’t tell you how many times I wished I could just cross dress every now and then to decrease my desires. It just didn’t work that way with me.

All of this led me to massive fights with my wife, especially on the occasions when she caught me breaking our pre approved cross dressing curfews. I remember vividly the day she told me to be man enough to be a woman and leave our relationship behind. As you can tell, she was wiser and I was stubborn. I had yet to realize being a woman was not a choice with me. Once I did, she had passed away before I made a total Mtf gender transition.

If you are a better person than I, try to look into your soul and take the gender path which is the most natural to you.