Do you know what a “Terf” is, or what it means?

To put it simply, a Terf is a cis woman who dislikes transgender women  First of all, here’s how the name came to be. It is the abbreviation for Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminism. Essentially the idea it is impossible for a person assigned a specific gender at birth to transition and occupy the space of another gender. They take it as far as seeing it  as an invasion all over again from the patriarchy and essentially raping women again. 

In their neat conceptual world, men are the predators and women are the prey. To introduce any form of a transgender woman is an attack on feminism everywhere in addition to trans males being a threat to butch lesbians.

I would have to ask Paula for sure but I think Terf’s are more publicized in Great Britain where Paula is from. However, a few years ago I was confronted by gender rejection at a lesbian Valentine’s Dance Liz and I went to here in Cincinnati. You could definitely refer to the person who literally sought me out to harass me as a Terf. 

I was minding my own business waiting for Liz to rejoin me with a few appetizers when this lesbian approached and started to ask me about what my “real” name was. Unfortunately, I hadn’t had my name legally changed yet to produce my driver’s license.  By the time Liz returned, the bitch had disappeared again into the crowd. 

Being the glutton for punishment I was back in those days, I even tried to join Liz’s lesbian meet up group which put on the dance. Naturally I was rejected for being transgender and not a “real” woman. Shortly after that, Liz left the group, 

Since essentially, my feminine upbringing was helped along by cis women lesbians, I know all lesbians aren’t Terf’s. Plus, naively I have always felt the more the better when it comes to any form of human movements. In other words, I don’t understand why cis women Terf’s wouldn’t want transgender women involved in their search for equality in gender rights. After all, we have seen the gender world  from both sides and made our choice to leave our male privileges behind. 

In the meantime, I will forever remember the time I was gender slurred and attacked by a Terf. 

Pronouns and the Trans Girl

 It does my soul good when I get addressed as “she” or “ladies” when I am with my partner Liz. 

In fact, one of the most difficult challenges I have faced during the pandemic has been the lack of positive feedback from the public. Since last March, we have only been out to eat three times. We have been out a few other times but only for necessities, mainly as we were masked at places like the pharmacy. We even have our groceries brought to us. As I said, it’s been tough to experience anyone using pronouns with me at all. 

I finally caved it to pressure and changed my name on “Zoom” to include my preferred pronouns. By “pressure” I mean, I began to see more and more transgender individuals including their pronouns. In one way I don’t mind it but in another way, I feel it is just another way to out myself. 

Of course as I always mention, I am fortunate to have had a strong trans affirming circle of friends around me for years. Going back to people like Kim, Nikki and Zena who helped me to learn up close and personal what a femininizing experience meant. It seemed they added the stage and all I had to add was the courage.

Back in those days of reckoning, the last thing I wanted to do was to give my name and add in my preferred pronouns. These days though, it seems the younger generation is cool with sharing their pronouns as a source of pride.’

Which is good with me.

I Escaped

My partner Liz was repairing a transgender woman friend of mines necklace and needed to return it to her. Finally, Saturday night she gave in and we met at our favorite restaurant to return the necklace. Even though we were socially distanced on the restaurant’s patio and were wearing masks as were all the employees, Liz still wasn’t totally sold on going. Ironically what tipped the scales in my direction were Tarot cards. Liz had one of her spirit classes. She consulted the cards about going and received a positive response. 
Spirit was correct and all of us stayed socially distanced and had a great time. For the first time in months I was out and about  as safe as I could possibly be under the circumstances.

I even dressed up. I wore my soft green patterned maxi dress with flats. for makeup, I went with a light covering of charcoal eye color, no foundation (since it was too hot for it anyhow) and my Merlot tinted Lip Gloss. I was able to style my hair enough to get by and we were off for our exceedingly rare night out.

To make a long story short, outside of one old lady who was doing her best not to show she was staring at me through her sun glasses, I made a close friend with a pitcher of Margaritas and had a great time. 

Better yet, my trans friend paid the dinner tab. 

Unless something drastic happens here in Ohio with the virus, I am thinking the nights out will be few and far between. 

Nip Tuck Returns

The “FX” television network is teaming up with the “Hulu” viewing platform to stream some of their old shows. Included is the “Nip Tuck” show.

If you remember, the show was among the first to feature a transgender woman in a trans role. The transgender woman was/is the beautiful Candis Cayne. (below)The show aired in 2009. For more, go here.

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

In these days of quarantine, I am always on the outlook for interesting transgender ideas and/or posts. Recently, I came across a post from a woman concerning a transgender woman she encountered when her trans daughter came out. At first I thought her “Wolf’s” term was about her but it turned out it was more about her daughter’s mentor being a totally “out, loud and proud” person. 

Then I thought of the deodorant commercial with the woman in the long sexy blue dress who was portrayed as being fierce and feminine. After seeing the commercial several times, I began to think of what ways the woman on the television related to me and other transgender women in the community. As it turned out, the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing comment fit perfectly. 

In order to survive in many settings, we trans women have to be as much of the wolf as the sexy woman on the commercial and the attractive mother of the trans child. A perfect example was my former hair dresser who was flat out gorgeous, was a fierce ally of the trans community and also was the mother of a trans child. Along the way, she inspired me to be more fierce in my own way. 

Since I am increasingly a stealth trans woman, it is increasingly difficult for me to be fierce. After all, I am not going to the market these days (the only place I am allowed to go) and stand up and shout “Hey! I’m trans…anybody have a problem with it???” These days to me, I feel much more of a need to be fierce when I encounter my regulars on social media or even here on the blog. Examples include, two friends I have, plus another acquaintance or two who operate on a self hurt spectrum. In other words, they border on suicide. Anytime I can, I try in my own limited way to offer any soothing words or thoughts I can.

Plus, when the world begins to open up again, I have committed myself to providing whatever knowledge I can to nursing home and/or assisted living senior centers in the area. I feel at my age, I can be very fierce when it comes to something which could influence me in the future. 

Being fierce, resides in your mind and can manifest every morning when you get up. Sometimes it can be very private and sometimes when you need it, a force to be encountered with.  

The New Reality

Recently, I wrote a post entitled “Selfish” here in Cyrsti’s Condo. Under the new shelter in place rules here in Ohio, I have been stuck at home seemingly forever. In fact, the only big exciting trip out I have recently is a trip last night to the grocery store. Fortunately, most all of the had stock on them (except for the toilet paper)  So we couldn’t be selfish and buy our two package minimum. 

As you may or may not remember, the “Selfish” post wasn’t about toilet paper and hopefully wasn’t that bad of a post :).  Selfish was a post concerning gender transitioning and it’s effects on those around you. In a short amount of words, is it a selfish pursuit to change your gender back to it’s true self. Regardless of what many people think, we transgender women and men aren’t really “changing” anything. We are simply beginning to live our reality.

Connie had this look at the post:

“It was more selfish of me when I was trying to compartmentalize my life – living a double life, really. Because I could not be “myself” with family and friends, I had gotten to the point where I was just carving out some time for them, rather than being there for them always. A therapist that my wife and I were seeing together made the suggestion that I ramp up the compartmentalization by scheduling my feminine-self. He used the analogy of an avid golfer, who compromises by agreeing to only play on Sundays, so that everyone agrees that nothing else should be expected on one day of the week. The trouble, though, was that I awoke every morning feeling every bit the woman I am, and, while golf is an activity, this was the very essence of who I was – every day. The suggestion was made from the therapist’s ignorance of gender identity and dysphoria, and it would never have worked. However, it did provide the opportunity for me to explain why it would never work, and that’s really when my transition began.

As I’ve often said, a gender transition starts with one being honest with self. As hard as that may be to do, the follow-up is to then to be honest with everyone else. In my case, my wife did not accept my cross dressing, but she has been so wonderful in how she has transitioned along with me. It’s a different relationship, of course, but it is completely open and honest. Even if she had not wanted to deal with all of the drama of it, I know she would have still supported me. I postponed HRT for her sake, as she wasn’t ready to accept breasts on me, but, when she had transitioned to the point of acceptance a couple of years later, I was hit with my first blood clot. After the second clot, I had to resign myself to the fact that HRT would never be part of my transition.

With the recent passing of Kenny Rogers, I can’t help but to hear “The Gambler” in my head. Ha! “You gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.” It’s interesting to think of that song from a trans view; transitioning is somewhat of a gamble, really. Fortunately, there is “time enough for countin’ when the dealing’s done.”

Thanks for the comment!

Valentines Day

Valentines Day as a whole presents unique problems to those in the transgender or the cis community. To begin with, this holiday is one of those “manufactured” special days which benefit the greeting card industry as well as jewelers and candy makers. Plus, of course, let’s not forget the restaurant industry. 

As far as the transgender community is concerned, Valentines Day represents yet another lonely time. It’s also a remembrance of relationships lost due to trans issues. Sometimes though, if you are fortunate enough to live close to quite a few LGBTQ centers, they offer some sort of Valentines mixers. If you are brave enough to go.

For the most part, Liz and I are going to miss the rush and go out tomorrow night to our favorite Creole restaurant for dinner. There is nothing more romantic than sharing a big bowl of shrimp and grits…right? 🙂 As I think about it, due to my ongoing struggle with my weight, I will order my own bowl and bring part of it home.  I could portion it’s goodness into two meals.

At any rate, I hope you have a Valentine’s Day which is memorable. If you even care. 

If you do celebrate at all, good for you. You are doing your own small part to keep the economy moving!