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.  

Finally

Seemingly, like a bunch of screaming spoiled children, the state of Ohio has given up and will not fight the court case which allows transgender women and men to change their birth certificates. 

This comes from Cincinnati.Com :

“The Ohio Department of Health will not appeal a December court decision requiring the agency to accept requests from transgender people to reflect a gender different from the one assigned at birth, according to a Thursday court filing. The department is working on a process for people to request the change and expects to have it in place by June 1.”

Not surprisingly plaintiffs in the case said they ran into legal and professional problems because the gender on their birth certificate didn’t match their driver’s license and other government documents. One was physically threatened after her mismatched birth certificate outed her as transgender at work.

Ohio and Tennessee were the last two states to deny transgender citizens the right to change their birth certificates to reflect their authentic gender.  

Taking this one step further, since Ohio automatically uses the gender on your birth certificate on your death certificate, this is a big deal.

Finally!

FINALLY the court case designed to allow transgender Ohioans (like me) to change the gender on their birth certificates has been approved in court. This is from “Equality Ohio”

“Until today, Ohio was one of only two states that had a blanket ban against transgender people changing the gender listed on their birth certificate. Today, a Federal District Court struck down that policy—transgender Ohioans will now be able to correct the gender marker on their birth certificate!

Accurate identity documents, including birth certificates, are crucial for trans people to fully participate in society. The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey found that almost one-third of trans people who showed an identity document with a name or gender marker that conflicted with their perceived gender were harassed, denied benefits or services, discriminated against, or assaulted.

This is wonderful news for trans people who were born in Ohio and, until today, have not had the ability to update the gender marker on their birth certificate—even if all of their other documents were updated. 

The next step is for the Ohio Department of Health to update its procedures for correcting birth certificate gender markers. We’ll be in touch as soon as we have more news about this! In the meantime, please contact the Equality Ohio Legal Clinic through our virtual legal intake if you have other legal needs.”

Of course Ohio does have sixty days to appeal this case but is not expected to do so.

Personally I am excited by the fact, I am one of those transgender persons who has gone as far as I could changing my legal gender markers. Even though I have never been asked to produce my birth certificate to establish my gender, it would be nice to have. 

Supposedly, it will take at least sixty days for the Department of Health to catch up to this much needed change. 

Now, if Ohio can pass the anti LGBT discrimination bill currently in the legislature, we may be able to move into the 2020’s as a better place to live for transgender people. 

Shopping

No! Not that type of shop till you drop! No combing the thrift stores for every little and/or major bargain. The only shopping I am writing about is getting up at the butt crack of dawn to make it early to our favorite grocery store before the stock was all gone thanks to a bunch of crazy people still hoarding. As it was, we arrived a hour after the place opened and all the toilet paper and pasta was already gone. 
Of course we were all practicing social distancing even to the point of one third of the people in the store wearing masks of some sort. It seemed people were so intent on maintaining the correct social distancing, no one even took the effort to even side glance at me. So much for the painstaking time I took to apply a light makeup designed to look as if I wasn’t trying at all.
Actually though, all the distancing was just fine by me. At my age and with my previous breathing issues, I definitely qualify as an “at risk” person. Also this morning was the first time in nearly two weeks I have ventured out at all.
On another level the pandemic has affected us as a family. Yesterday my partner Liz learned she was being furloughed from her job indefinitely. Now she has to try to navigate the bureaucratic mess which is the Unemployment System here in Ohio which of course is being terrifically strained from all the people suffering job losses. 
The moral to the story (or this post) is stay in, stay safe and do the best you can during these difficult times.  

Transgender Activism Versus Relevance

Connie wrote in this comment in regards to the Cyrsti’s Condo post on activism within the trans community. Or, at least on how it pertains to me:

“The subject of relevance was discussed a couple of posts ago. This post seems to fit right in with that subject. If the TOS was cancelled, do you think that it was done so because of its becoming less relevant in today’s culture? Also, I can certainly understand how trans/cross dresser meetups might be less relevant to you these days.

I live in a state that has legislation protecting trans people’s rights, for the most part. Still, there are bills introduced every session that are designed to strip some of those rights. It’s more difficult to overturn current legislation, so I would hope that Ohio would also put more protections for trans people into law. Rather than just working to defeat the negative bills, maybe you could get involved in trying to get more protections in place. I think that it would have more direct relevance, anyway. Through your work on trans elder care, the opportunity to do that may well be the most relevant thing you could do.

The fact that I can live a fairly normal life, as a transgender woman, is largely the result of the laws that protect me. Still, it is my own ability to have control over my life that gives me the flexibility to choose, as well as avoid, those situations in which I place myself. Losing that control, and surrendering it to the institution that would be designated for my care, is my worst nightmare. I hear horror stories of how infirm individuals are mistreated, and I can only imagine how much worse they could be for trans people. I can picture myself lying in bed with a two-day beard growth, having my genitals wiped down by a caretaker, and then feeling helpless in my ability to convey my trans-woman status when even mis-gendered. My imagination only shows it getting worse from there.

There are so many more of us trans people who have been able to embark on a transition in gender at an older age now. Many of us have decided that the transition not necessarily include GRS, hair removal, voice therapy or surgery, or even HRT. I know that a successful social transition can be made without any of those things, because I have done it. It has not been without effort, on my part, however. Without the energy or physical ability to put in the effort, though, what success would I really have? We should all have a living will, directing how we would like to be treated, should we be unable to convey our wishes – most typically in the form of a “Do Not Resuscitate” order. Perhaps we should also have a stipulation that “I Am a Woman” be tattooed in a prominent place on the body (OK, that is rather drastic, I admit). Still, though, we would be at the mercy of our caretakers as to how we would be treated, in that regard, unless there is an actual law that could be as enforceable as a “Do Not Resuscitate” order.

I rather prefer the thought of being proactive than being reactive, if one is inclined toward activism, at all.”


I don’t know if I mentioned it but Ohio’s bill regarding transgender rights is being debated currently. Supposedly this time it has a better chance of being passed because of backing from quite a few forward thinking major corporations in the state. Plus all of the major cities in the state have passed protection bills too. So, I am keeping my fingers crossed!


Thanks for the comment.

A Different Transition

Well, as expected, the weather around here in Southwestern Ohio is making a dramatic turn from fall to winter. 

Fall has always been my favorite season of the year and I am always sad to see it go. Why? Primarily I have always liked the fashions and maybe on a separate level, football has always been my favorite sport. Long ago I decided just becoming a woman should not stop me from enjoying part of my male life I so loved.  Also, fall has always meant a time of deep change to me. Somehow I always have equated fall with my gender transformation.  

Perhaps it had to do with Halloween’s effects on the season too.  Long suppressed gender feelings of being a girl were reawakened.  Plus, the successes of going out on Halloween in a feminine costume just urged me on to go farther. 

One thing led to another and all of a sudden I was at the tipping point of living full time as a transgender woman. 

It seemed too, fall was a great fashion time to present as a woman. As I did, I learned the basics of shopping for myself, experimenting with makeup and adding the proper accessories. In doing so, I found I needed to communicate with the public, which in turn taught me the very different basics of gender communication. 

I know I am giving too much credit to the season because the gender learning curve for me lasted for years, not months. But I vividly remember the joy when the weather cooled off and my makeup didn’t melt off. 

In the meantime, as Mother Nature transitions into winter around here, there is plenty of time to enjoy boots, warm fuzzy sweaters and soft leggings!

Friday Night Puns

As the national holiday for cross dressers everywhere rapidly approaches (Halloween), I hope you have your costume ideas all together. I remember the extreme stress I went through. First and foremost, I wanted to try to come up with a costume idea similar to what a cis woman would wear. Then, I had to try to come up with a date I could be free so I could attend some sort of a party.

I worked in the restaurant business, so most of the time it meant working all weekends. Plus, getting all dolled up cross dressed for work was out of the question. After all I had my macho image to protect, primarily because of the white redneck kitchen crews I had to manage. One of the prime reasons I don’t have more Halloween stories to share. 

Also, not all of the experiences were positive. I remember the times when the high heels I wore killed my feet. Or for some reason the few parties I wasn’t accepted well at. The times I was touched inappropriately come to mind too. I guess I learned the hard way what cis women go through when they dress a certain way. 

But all in all, the good times out numbered the bad. Including the experience I shared about the politician and his wife.  Here is where the “puns” come in. Compliments of Connie (of course):

“Maybe it was the politician’s wife who was more interested? Or, a ménage à trois that could lead to a raucous in the caucus? Or, something profunda in the rotunda? A congressional confessional? :-)”   Probably all of the above!

Before Liz and I go out tonight to a Halloween party at a local venue we are close to, I thought I would share a picture of both of us. Taken last winter. Maybe I will have a picture taken tonight if I think about it. 

Also thanks to Connie for the political puns! 

Liz and Jessie selfie taken last winter in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio

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.

All Nighter

As expected, Saturday was a long day. Liz sold her canning items successfully during the small festival we went to.  Best of all, it was a picture perfect almost early fall like day. Since I am still in my “fashion” medical boot, mobility was at a minimum. Acceptance of me as a transgender woman was not as a minimum though. Many of the people there I already knew, so in ways they probably didn’t understand, they paved the way for others to accept me too. 

The day passed fairly quickly and it was time to go a ghost hunt. We (Liz and I) are now members in good standing of the local “Cincinnati Ghost Hunters” group. Since we completed our second paranormal adventure. This one was quite a bit more tame intensity wise than the first one was but still interesting. I did have a fairly intense encounter with a spirit on a old church pew upstairs in the opera house. I was watching the reactions on a meter as I asked questions and was told later I should have taped the whole encounter. It  was a spur of the moment thing though, so I didn’t have a recorder as my cell phone was almost out of charge.

The whole evening was finished off with an impromptu classic rock music presentation by one of the event organizers. At that point I was able to try to shake off the effects of the mocha espresso drink I had been sipping and try to lay down in the car and sleep for a couple hours.  I do believe I did manage to get an hour and a half of sleep. 

I do know at this point of my life, it is tough to shake off the affects of having very little sleep and I spent most of Sunday dozing off. 

Regardless of how it happens, I can’t empathize the possible positive impact of joining various groups who are not particularly LGBTQ influenced. Along the way, I have been able to be accepted for the transgender person I am and at the same time show another group of people how easy it is to know a trans person.

It’s great to show people we are not really so much different than they are after all. Tonight I return to reality though and attend another transgender – crossdresser support group meeting.   

Another Night Out

Last night we went again to the usual upscale Italian restaurant we normally go to…perhaps for the last time. No, nothing out of the ordinary happened. The obnoxious cross dresser was there along with Liz, myself and a recovering older person who needed assistance So we  were able to stop and give her a ride. She is recovering from a fairly serious foot operation. 

It was interesting in that we had a chance to really talk to her by herself. She was talking about how long it took to establish a feminine life and how she didn’t really want to be seen with anyone closer to home who could tie her back in with her old masculine life. She has established herself as a new member greeter in her church. Plus, she is a board member of the “Rosie Reds” a women’s auxiliary of the professional baseball Cincinnati Reds. At the age of eighty, she has established herself as everyone’s grandma. 

As we talked, I had a chance to insert how bored I was with going to the same place all the time, not to mention how tired I am with the same old bullshit from the obnoxious cross dresser. 

Due to our upcoming vacation, plus a ghost tour we are going on, I won’t have to worry about seeing him for at least a month. 

Unfortunately, that isn’t quite true because this Thursday we are going to another social the night before we leave for Colorado (from Ohio).  The cross dresser nearly always comes but there are plenty of other transgender peeps to interact with.  It should be interesting this week because the venue is being moved from a local small independent restaurant who didn’t want to stay open past nine for us, to a large corporate restaurant/bar.  As a former restaurant manager myself, I am sorry to see us move. On the other hand I understand. 

I am sure I will have plenty of other chances to write about it later.