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.

Das Boot

Yes, I am still wearing this damn walking boot. At certain points in time it seems as natural as being transgender. At other times, as unnatural as being trans is.

While I know (after so many years) I have always been gender dysphoric, it is sad I have taken this long to come to terms with it. So, how did I?

Unfortunately, I don’t have any magical formula. Everyone is on their own discovering their gender boundaries…or should I say, their personal gender compass. 

As so called science is coming to terms with the differences in the human binary concerning sexuality and gender, I am a believer in yet another binary. The one which involves the so called transgender umbrella. Some of us opt to be part time cross dressers, others decide to go all the way through sexual realignment surgery. Ultimately, we are all related in a very complex, difficult process. 

The problem is dealing with feuding under the umbrella. Who gets wet and who stays dry. Seemingly, too much of the male ego bleeds through, leading to pushing and shoving for room. 

Again, I wish I had an magical answer for all of this too. An example was the other night when I met another two people going to the ill-fated Transgender Day of Remembrance meeting which never happened. I innocently introduced myself, received a nice return from one of the people. But of course the obviously transgender person, had a tough time revealing her name. I have no idea why she was being that way. Unless we had met before and I did something she didn’t particularly like. Oh well!

These days I am concentrating on not aggravating people. So that means being secure in my little space under the transgender umbrella. 

Hopefully, the boot is on it’s way out so I won’t take up so much room!   

Busy Week

Another fairly busy week is shaping up. 

Tonight I have to find a downtown coffee shop for a Transgender Day of Remembrance event coming up in November. I have agreed to sit on the planning committee.  If I can find the place and secure a close by parking place I will feel I am lucky, as I am still wearing this damn walking boot. 

Thursday, is another social event for the Crossport transgender – crossdresser support group I am part of. We are trying out a new place, which is always exciting. With the weather the way it is (warm) I may decide to wear one of my long summer sleeveless maxi dresses. It will be very stylish with my boot! 🙂

Saturday is another The Ohio State University game to watch, it’s the last “tune-up” game before tangling with Nebraska next week. After the football game, Liz and I are supposed to meet a few other friends for dinner. 

Of course, none of this includes the regular weekend errands we have to do.  So I am sure something else will come up to do.  

No Quitters

We received plenty of feedback here in Cyrsti’s Condo concerning our post called “Could You Quit?”

It’s always fun to let the readers do the writing:

  • joanna SantosSeptember 16, 2019 at 12:46 PMyou cannot quit being yourself which is why its unlikely you could only be yourself a few times a month. I know I couldn’t..
  • ConnieSeptember 16, 2019 at 2:57 PMThe transgender umbrella is large, and seems to be growing. Yes, the truth is that some of us just cannot live a compartmentalized life – being at different places on the gender spectrum as the situation or desire may dictate. The one thing we all have in common, I suppose, is that we all have a gender identity different from the binary norm that has one’s gender identity and assigned-at-birth gender in congruence. There’s something more to it than the intensity of dysphoria, but I believe that may well be a large factor. I know that my dysphoria could not be tempered through cross dressing alone. Cross dressing, for me, was a means toward an end, giving me the confidence and self awareness of who I really am – and needed to be every minute of every day. That doesn’t make me better than one who is satisfied to express their gender identity with more plasticity, whether that be through cross dressing, non-binary identification, or a drag act. It does, however, make me different.

    As someone once said, when you meet a trans person, you can only say that you’ve met just one trans person. Of course, the emphasis should be on person, and not trans. I think that most of us would prefer we be taken for who we are, and not what we are. I may have a personal moral objection to someone who is fetish-oriented and predatory, but I shouldn’t care whether they are also trans….except that my insecurities may cause me to be somewhat ashamed that I am under the same umbrella. What I think of such a person is really none of my business, though, and I can only do my best to show others who I am (a good person, I think, who happens to be trans). I can’t be worrying about others, especially having had lived most of my life worrying about how others would see me (as a trans woman). As my mom used to tell me, pick your friends, but leave your nose alone – unless you happen to have a long nose hair protruding from it – in which case you may make more friends if you removed it. 🙂
  • Shannyn ElysseSeptember 16, 2019 at 7:43 PMIt’s truly a fine line that we walk when we post our thoughts and feelings online. I don’t get much feedback on my little blog, https://shannyncomesalive.blogspot.com , so I often wonder why that is the case. Many people that run across it may not agree with me at all, or think I’m just boring, or whatever.

    I know what you mean about being thought of as looking down on someone who “just crossdresses”. I am still mostly in the closet, as are most of my online friends, who help keep me sane. And it’s so hard to know what the correct label is for ourselves, but the point is that labels only help to an extent. They can easily divide more than unite. I truly believe I’m a trans woman, but to others, maybe I’m not. Regardless, I’m just me. Intent in writing is so difficult to discern online. I’d always request someone ask me to clarify if they think I’m putting someone or something down, before reacting negatively. It’s a fine line.
  • FranGurlSeptember 16, 2019 at 11:08 PMQuit what? Presenting as a woman?…No way! Such a pretty lady!
  • Thanks to all for your comments!
Joanna Santos

Could You Quit?

After getting flat out smoked by several cross dressers about my comments about a fetish orientated predatory CD a couple weeks ago, I have e a tendency to be a little more careful on what I say, or write. 

What I said was misconstrued to mean I was better than them because I am transgender, which is so far from the truth. The truth is, I can’t do what cross dressers do and just dress up a couple days a week. It nearly killed me. 

All of this brings up a question from a comment I received from Connie, could you give up your cross dressing?


” A few months after I had ventured out of the closet, I attended a fancy cross dresser event. The “Grand Dame” of the group had taken a prominent seat, and her attendants were bringing food and drink to her. I noticed her obvious limp when she got up and headed for the ladies room (in her heels). I asked her, later, what was wrong. She told me that she had developed a foot problem, and that the doctor had told her she’d have to give up wearing heels altogether. So, she told me, this was going to be her final outing – because it would be no fun if she couldn’t wear high heels. Although I was pretty sure, even at that time, that I was not a cross dresser, I knew enough that she would not be able to quit cross dressing*. I told her that, but she was adamant that decades of cross dressing was now coming to an end – just because she couldn’t wear her heels. I think she may also have had a shoe fetish, but it was unbelievable to me that one could give up such a large part of their life for something as small as a pair of shoes. All the time I was talking with her, by the way, I was distracted by her nose hair that was curling up from her nostril at least an inch. Now, that may well be reason enough to give up trying to present oneself as a lady – not to mention a Grand Dame!

Connie

This was just one of the “I know I’m not a cross dresser if…” I added to my list, in preparation for my impending transition. No, I would not be happy if I had to wear a boot, or even have to give up wearing heels, but it would not change who I am. Whether it be from an old football injury or from wearing very high heels too often, there’s no need to put oneself on injured reserve when you know this trans life is not merely a game.

*I heard later, after I had left the group, that the Grand Dame had made a reappearance – hobbling in her heels.”

Thanks for the comment! I know it would be impossible for me to give up my feminine lifestyle.  
I assume it would be just as difficult for a cross dresser to quit doing it too.  Sort of like the “Grand Dame” and her heels.