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“Mom” Returns

Not my Mom, if she returned from the great beyond, it would be bigger news. This post is about meeting up with the woman who you might recall, harassed me a couple times about my hair. I made the comment at the time, she reminded me of how my Mom would have approached me.

Fortunately this time, I just had my trip to my hair dresser Friday, so visually I was ready for her.

When Liz and I arrived at the outside shelter house near a nearby lake, it didn’t take her long to approach me. To her credit, she was very positive about my hair which indeed made me feel better about our relationship.

Then, she asked could she tell me something and I thought now what?  She paused and said how proud she was of me for living the life I wanted to. I was taken totally off guard. Finally I managed to blurt out the truth…I appreciated her acceptance but my choice didn’t come out of bravery or anything like it. I literally didn’t have the chance to be brave, it was either change my life or lose it.

A day later as I look back on her comment though, I feel now as if I finally found a sense of peace with my long deceased Mom. Whose approval is what I really wanted.

Thanks to my new Mom, Monika.

Meetings

 Over the past several days, I have been somewhat busy with going to the vampires for a phlebotomy (when they take a pint of blood out) and virtually attending our monthly Dayton Rainbow Alliance Board meeting.   

The trip to see the infusion vampires was fairly uneventful and didn’t even hurt much this time. What hurt me worse was being called “sir” by one of the new women at the clinic. She quickly reversed her gendering to miss after noticing whom she was talking to. Other than that, not much happened as my veins were working well and the whole experience was done before I knew it. It’s too bad the blood can’t be put to a good use. They take it out when my iron level exceeds a certain point.

The meeting also went well. First of all, the person running it kept everything moving and the information coming. I have a very short attention span and get bored easily.

I did get a chance to bring up my upcoming Trans Ohio presentation on transgender aging issues. I wasn’t surprised when the whole idea  was well received and then again, no one really knew anyone who is transgender and living in assisted care. Or a nursing home. 

Now all I really have to do is lock down which format I will use to present it. The organizers at Trans Ohio would like me use the transgender/crossdresser support group Facebook Live platform, which now means I have to find out who to contact to do it.

No big deal.

Before I go, here is one of my fave photos taken a couple years ago at a Trans Ohio seminar with a statue of the Ohio State University mascot, Brutus Buckeye:

What a Wonderful World it Could Be

Just think if all the conservative Republicans’ energy and ideas went into solving our nations’ basic problems such as hunger, housing and education to name a few. Instead of pressuring transgender athletes.

 I think “Kira Moore” (below)  said it best:

“I’ve been looking through various Transgender news feeds and all I’m seeing are stories about all of the Republican bills being introduces across the country as if there weren’t any other pressing issues which need attention and honestly, I am sick and tired of it. If this pack of rabbid fundamintalist evangalical busy bodies spent half the energy on real problems such as homelessness, poverty, or education, everyone’s lives could be improved a thousand fold. Yet what are they all fired up about? Trans women and girls playing sports or worse yet, proper medical care for trans youth. WTAF?”

Great point!

Looking Ahead

Since March has arrived and I am less than two weeks away from receiving my second Covid vaccine, I am finally beginning to look at the light at the end of the tunnel being freedom. During the year which has just passed when the pandemic started Liz and I have only been out to eat three times. 

During that time, I learned how much I have missed the public interaction I was enjoying.  To the point (as I’ve mentioned before) I am even looking forward to my upcoming phlebotomy when the vampires take a pint of blood from me.

To further “re-live” the good old days, I found this picture to share from a couple years ago in the summer time. When I was out on a dog walk in the nearby park.

Do I Know You?

 On occasion, my interaction with Facebook continues to dismay and amaze. 

Last night it seemed all the “crazies” were out on FB…including me. Sometimes when I am bored I will sarcastically interact with someone just to see (or experience) the reaction I get. I was rewarded when I got someone’s panties in a bunch simply by writing my disapproval of heavily filtered pictures. I was rewarded with a tirade which referred to me as being transphobic as well as other things. Not looking for a fight, I just let the whole matter slip away. 

This morning though, I was greeted with a totally different friend request.  It’s very rare, I encounter any requests from my hometown. Not only did I receive one but the woman I received it from actually used to work for me in one of my restaurants I managed.

At my peak, I managed (or tried to) a staff of over seventy five front of the house servers, hostesses and bartenders in my busiest unit. As I looked at the picture and name, my rusty noggin slowly came to the realization the person sending me a friend request indeed was one of my former servers.  I knew this because of one of our mutual friends and the fact she was wearing a Pittsburgh Steelers jersey in one of her pictures.

Overall, the memories of this time of my life were very sad. It was during the period when I lost several dear friends and my wife to various diseases. Plus my gender dysphoria was running at an all time high as I explored if I wanted to, or could, live in a feminine world as a transgender woman. 

As I returned to reality, I was so happy to have lived through the “dark ages” of my life to get to the existence I have now.

To make a long story short, I accepted her friend request. It will be interesting now if or when I will hear back from her.  

The “Big D”

 No, I am not writing about Dallas and all of it’s problems with winter time.

My “Big D” concerns my gender dysphoria. 

Yesterday I virtually attended a meeting for the upcoming Transgender Month of Visibility which is being produced as a month long celebration of everything transgender by the Trans Ohio organization. As I have previously written about, my small part of the presentation will be on March 26th. As it gets closer, I will have information for you on how to access it. As it stands now, it should be on Facebook Live. The topic will be my pet passion…care for elderly transgender persons. 

At any rate, yesterday, the Zoom meeting meant I had to put together some sort of a basic “look” for the hour. The whole process didn’t take long. A close shave, eye makeup, and lip gloss left me extra time to experiment with all the hair I am blessed to have.

When I was done, I was able to look in the mirror and see the me I was always destined to become. In other words, I was able to defeat the “Big D” temporarily at the best. 

I know deep down my gender dysphoria is a nasty beast which I know is difficult to defeat. Even more so since going out in public is so rare. In fact, so rare is I am basically looking forward to my appointment Tuesday with the vampires when they are going to take out a pint of my blood to control my iron.  

Fortunately I am looking forward to riding my temporary victory over the “Big D” and making my upcoming two public visits more comfortable.  Looking slightly ahead, I have my second Covid vaccine coming up on March 13th. 

My goal is to blend as an “more mature” old hippie woman! Now I need to find a pair of wire rimmed glasses. 🙂 

In the meantime, I will do what I always have done to defeat the “Big D.” I will have to keep exploring my options and working hard to be the best transgender woman I can be. 

Trans in Trumpland

This new documentary “Trans in Trumpland” has been recommended to me by a close friend but I have not had a chance to see it yet. Here is a quick excerpt on what it is all about:

” Trans In Trumpland is a powerful docuseries with a total runtime of under two hours. Filmmaker Tony Zosherafatain takes a road trip across four states in the U.S. that have transphobic laws—North Carolina, Texas, Mississippi, and Idaho—to converse with four transgender people of different ages and races as they cope with or fight against the anti-trans policies implemented by the Trump’s administration. Zosherafatain, who is a trans man himself, gets to tell his own story over the course of four episodes as he meets members of the community to unpack the intersectional issues they face, whether it’s related to race, immigration, poverty.

 Trans In Trumpland doesn’t just focus on these issues; it also demonstrates how these four people try to overcome them on a daily basis. While certain direction and music choices skew on the dramatic side, the docuseries works because of the compelling subject matter, especially the story of trans Latinx immigrant Rebecca, who moved to the U.S. at the age of 10 with her mother and has been detained by ICE three times. It’s a step beyond negative headlines, offering a glimpse into the lived experience of those directly affected by laws such as the discriminatory HB2 bill, which prohibits trans people from using bathrooms and lockers that align with their gender identity, or the trans military ban. 

Created by TransWave Films with Transparent’s Trace Lysette as an executive producer, this docuseries is a heartfelt must-watch. [Saloni Gajjar]”

For more, go here.

From India with Love

 Gaurav Arora (below) who is now known as Gauri Arora is a known TV personality and has been a part of many Bollywood and television projects.  Before her sex change, she had participated in the reality show Splitsvilla and then took part in India’s Next Top Model as Gauri Arora after having undergone  sex-realignment surgery. Back then, she had said that it takes a lot of courage to accept the reality and come out in public

. “I hope my stint on the show gives courage to a lot of people.”

Saints

 Parents who love and support their transgender children are saints! I can’t imagine having such supportive parents when I was growing up. In another era before the internet and any social media. Perhaps we can refer to the time as the transgender “dark ages”

Change is slow though and it wasn’t so long ago I was writing about the local transgender teenager Leelah Alcorn  (below) who committed suicide when her parents tried to force her to continue intense religious conversion therapy. 

I am writing this post today because of a comment I received from Janine :

” My son is trans and it is great to read insight from others so that I can support him better. Thank you”

Janine now joins my former hair dresser Theresa as transgender advocates of trans children who have commented on the blog, or in Theresa’s case, in person. (Theresa is the proud mother too of a trans son.)

It’s a far cry from the experience I had with my Mom when she offered to send me to electro shock therapy. Fortunately, I was old enough (22) and secure enough in myself to reject her and it was never brought up again  by either of us. 

Finally, thanks Janice and Theresa for restoring my faith in human nature. You are saints!

Impostor Syndrome

If you feel “Impostor Syndrome” in addition to, or part of gender dysphoria this post from “Kira Moore’s Closet may help.

To me in my past, Imposter Syndrome has crossed gender lines many times in my life. For example, as I climbed the professional ladder in my business profession as a guy, even though I had nearly reached the top, feeling as if I did was still difficult.

Actually,  the term dates back to the early 1970’s when it was mentioned by two women :

One of its early introductions was in a 1978 article titled, “The Impostor Phenomenon in High Achieving Women: Dynamics and Therapeutic Intervention,” by psychologists Dr. Pauline R. Clance and Dr. Suzanne A. Imes. “Impostor syndrome is a set of beliefs that leave you feeling doubtful of your skills, ability, and whether you deserve to be at the table, and that you will inevitably be exposed as a fraud,” says Dr. Ayanna Abrams, Psy.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist and owner of Ascension Behavioral Health in Atlanta, GA.

 Outside of the clinical look at the process, the whole idea to me brings back memories of my “girls’ nights outs.” Outside of being scared to death, I kept having the deep seated fear of not belonging. Even though the conversations still involved me and didn’t really have any of the mystical gender fantasies I had manufactured in my mind and held onto over the years. In other words, if I could finally make it  into the “woman’s” gender sandbox, I could gain so much knowledge. Indirectly I did.

The article goes on to explain how the syndrome is extra difficult for marginalized communities such as the LGBTQ groups to overcome. And, how becoming part of a community can help. 

Agsain, using myself as an example, I think I was able to overcome my idea I was somehow an impostor in the cis woman sandbox because I started to understand many of the cis women respected me for making the transition into being a full time transgender woman.  Even though I still had my detractors in the group, I was overwhelmingly made to feel welcome. 

Once I finally came to the conclusion I could never fully play in the girls sandbox as a native, I had earned my way in as a woman of transgender experience. Once I arrived, I lost the impostor syndrome for good.