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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.

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A New Season

One of my favorite seasons of the year is the fall. Finally, our hot and humid temperatures start to subside and it’s almost time to pull the sweaters, leggings and boots out of the closet. 

As far as fashion goes, the changing of the seasons is always a great time to splurge a bit and update a wardrobe .As always, the fashionistas of the world are standing by to help us with color choices,

Since I receive the Fabulous After 40 fashion emails (free), I can always be assured of knowing a little about what’s going on in the fashion world.

Here’s an example: “Fall.s neutral colors include…”

Or, if you are like me, you are style challenged and need help putting it all together:

For more, go here and move on with new ideas concerning your fall wardrobe.

Another Busy Day

Saturday is going to be a test of my foot boot as it is going to be a busy day. I am just going to try to keep my walking to a minimum. 

Liz starts her day with a martial arts class. Including one on board breaking, which takes her to one o’clock, at which time we are supposed to set up at a Mother Earth vending event in which we raise money for the only homeless shelter in a nearby county. It is scheduled to run until eight at which time we tear down and get ready to drive forty five minutes south into Kentucky.

Roh’s Opera House

At ten, we are signed up to tour Rohs Opera House in Cynthiana. We will find out if the rumors of it being haunted are true. After our last haunted adventure turned out to be so intense, I highly doubt if this one will come up to those standards!

One way or another, Saturday is going to be another one of those busy days. I hope my “boot” doesn’t give me the boot! 

Up Close and Personal

All of a sudden, all my future appointments with the Veteran’s Administration are coming due. For those of you who possibly don’t know, I am a transgender vet and I get my health care through the VA. Plus, I am nearly 70 years old.

Let me see now if I can remember everything they (VA) want to do. Sometime next week I need to have my ankle X-rayed and go through a colonoscopy pre screening on the telephone. The people setting up the appointment had no sense of humor when I asked if I could go through the whole thing on the phone. 

Following all of that, the week of Labor Day, I have approximately four appointments. The first of which is a heart sonar test. Then I have three appointments up in Dayton, Ohio. One of which is in hematology blood work checkup and two mental health appointments. 

To add insult to possible injury, I am still waiting to hear from the pulmonary lab who want to schedule another test on my lungs.

Hopefully, after all of this, nothing will be wrong.

But at the least, I am having it checked.

Aura Revisited

Recently, I wrote a post here in Cyrsti’s Condo concerning being mis-gendered and possible being because of the “aura” I was presenting at the time.

Connie replied with this very interesting comment:

“I think that projecting one’s feminine aura is largely dependent on ignoring one’s dysphoria (Aura, Dysphoria, Ignore ya – there’s a song in there, somewhere, I believe). It’s not an easy thing to ignore, even after years of trying, and one little two-letter word is all it takes for it to raise its ugly head. When it does, though, we can learn to ignore the awful feeling it causes. 

I must say that, when dealing with medical professionals, I am more forgiving. I always tell them that I’m a woman, but I want them to treat my body as it is. I had a doctor, once, who was hesitant to do the always-enjoyable prostate exam because he was afraid that he might offend me (he was trying so hard to be politically correct). I finally asked him to do the procedure, and I told him that I didn’t want to end up a woman who had died from prostate cancer. Then, there are doctors who just have a terrible bedside manner in the first place, and they only look at your body – in which case, “he” is used as it applies to the XY body being considered.

Last weekend, my wife and I attended a garden party, at which we were entertained by a string quartet playing classical music. As a musician who was brought up more on Steppenwolf than Wolfgang (Mozart), I still like to show my appreciation for a performance, and I took the opportunity to do so by talking to the second violinist at intermission (which we old rockers call a break). At the same time, my wife was talking to the violinist’s husband, and the small-world-moment turned out to be that he was a high school classmate of my wife. I had known who he was in high school, but I don’t know that I had ever really talked with him. Later, the four of us got together and talked for a bit. I couldn’t believe that he used my dead name repeatedly, even though he did attempt to correct himself in a rather-confused manner. I finally told him that I had just been called that name more times in the last five minutes than I had been in the past five years. I think he finally got it, but he had already done the damage by stirring up some of my dysphoria. What I noticed about myself, though, was that the dysphoria had subsided almost as fast as it had come up. Even his wife’s slightly invasive questions about “when I knew” and “how my children and grandchildren are taking it” didn’t really faze me, either. Actually, I had been more intimidated by her being a trained professional classical musician, in comparison to my self-taught rocker status, during our earlier discussion (OMG, does this mean I have music dysphoria, too?)

Anyway, as much as I just want to be a woman, and to be seen as one, I can’t forget that most people will still describe me as a transgender woman. That’s the best I can expect. Even if I’m referred to with the correct pronouns and name in their presence, I have to assume that some people will refer to me as “he” when I’m not around. Especially when I may never encounter that person again, it’s not worth my energy to educate them, but it’s still worth my energy to ignore the dysphoria. Thank goodness, it takes less energy to do so these days.”


I know the last time being mis-gendered happened to me, it was from my female Doctor.  I went back in my mind and referenced what was going on  when it happened and came up with this…First of all I was surprised when I saw her and didn’t have a chance to put up any of my usual defenses. Perhaps I became a little too relaxed and was shocked when it happened. 

I do agree with Connie, a misplaced pronoun or dead name can wreak havoc with one’s gender dysphoria. 

Important Survey

“Hi! 

My name is Beatrice Rothbaum and I am a clinical psychology doctoral student at Adelphi University. I currently contribute to the Intersectional Development Lab at Adelphi University, directed by Chana Etengoff, Ph.D. Members of our research group identify as trans, queer, and cisgender. 

I am reaching out to you about participating in my research project titled “Trans Self-Efficacy and Well-Being.” The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between trans well-being and self-efficacy (an individual’s belief in their ability to achieve goals). This project additionally explores political activism and psychotherapy experiences.

This project is informed by my trans-positive clinical and advocacy work. In my work, I have learned that every trans story is important and I look forward to learning more about yours.

If you identify as trans, are at least 18 years old, and reside in the U.S.you are eligible to participate in this online survey! The survey may take an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes to complete.

Your participation and responses will remain confidential. Thank you for your trust.

If you are interested in participating or learning more about the study, please click here.

Adelphi University’s IRB has approved this research study and all responses will remain confidential. If you have any questions or concerns, you may contact me at beatricerothbaum@mail.adelphi.edu or my Co-PI/faculty adviser, Chana Etengoff, Ph.D., at cetengoff@adelphi.edu.  

I look forward to learning more about your views and experiences, “

Beatrice Rothbaum (she/her/hers) 

Clinical Psychology Doctoral Student 

Intersectional Development Lab

Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology

Adelphi University

Whatever!

Perhaps by now you have heard the Log Cabin repugs have come out (no pun intended) and voiced their support of resident rump. What upsets me is the stories I see which call the Cabiners a LGBT group.  Sure, and I don’t know this for sure, there may be privileged gay cis men in the group who don’t care about any LGBT rights other that they already have. But are they a majority?

What I don’t understand though, is why they would support an administration which is so actively trying to trying to take our rights away. How are they going to react when their legal same sex marriages come under attack. 

Perhaps too, maybe you have noticed I haven’t even mentioned the continued attacks on transgender rights. I guess we have no rights either with the Log Cabin Republicans.

Laverne Cox…standing.

On a brighter side, Laverne Cox maybe the first transgender actor to win an Emmy! From Out:

 “In 2014, Laverne Cox became the first transgender person to be nominated for a primetime acting Emmy for her work on Orange Is the New Black. Cox was not only the face of the transgender tipping point, she helped humanize trans folks through her dynamic performance as Sophia Burset. 

In the final season of Orange, which premiered this summer, Sophia was largely absent — something Cox said was mostly due to a scheduling issue — but did make a final, triumphant appearance as the new owner of her own salon (thanks to a prison settlement). While many of Orange Is the New Black’s characters had tragic endings, something the creators felt was necessary to illustrate the many ways the correctional system ruins lives rather than rehabilitating them, Sophia was one of the few who was gifted with a happy ending, something all too rare for trans women of color in the real world.”

For more, go here.

Gender Quiz

Yesterday, I went in for my pulmonary breathing test. 

I arrived early, checked in at the kiosk and pulled out my phone to pass the time. Nobody gave me a second look. 

As I sat there though, my regular Doctor appeared briefly and saw me. Since I wasn’t supposed to see her, I was surprised when she came over to talk. She is very nice and I enjoyed talking to her quite a bit until…she stuck the dreaded “he word” into the conversation. For the life of me, I don’t know why all of the sudden I am having such a miserable time being mis-gendered. 

I have examined how I go about my prep work before I go out and don’t think there is much of a difference. But why would someone call a person obviously wearing feminine clothes with breasts and wearing makeup a he?

I have always believed in the power of how a person projects their personal aura. Perhaps, with time, I have become more lackadaisical in public. I just assume most of the public accepts me as a feminine being.

Maybe I should spend more time channeling my inner female.

Then again, the great majority of people don’t understand what it does to a transgender person to be mis-gendered. I know it can really destroy or make my day when I have achieved the lofty “she” status in a conversation. 

One thing is for sure, the redneck woman glaring and staring at me on the way out didn’t care about pronouns. She was just all ugliness. 

Then again, you can’t educate everyone. 

More Ideas

Connie had a comment concerning my Cyrsti’s Condo post about trying to establish yourself in a feminine sense before anyone else has a chance to do otherwise:


“Another way to firmly establish that you are “she” is to refer to yourself using feminine terms. You could say things like: I’m not your average housewife; I’ve been so busy, even Wonder Woman would be challenged; or I like to be helpful – but it’s not like I consider myself to be a heroine or anything. I like to work into the conversation “femme fatale” when referring to myself (well, I could be one if I wanted to). 😉 “

Femme fatale would work beautifully as you water your flowers!

Or look at it this way, you could be like Geena Rocero ( Transgender Playmate) who makes her swimsuits out of natural materials.  Just an idea! 

Self Promotion

Yesterday, my day was filled with going to see the vampires. What I call my team of lab techs and Doc’s who monitor my blood work…or hematology.

It’s mostly a hurry up and wait experience. First, I had a lengthy walk to negotiate in my walking boot to even make it to where the blood labs are taken. It was relatively pleasant though as I took my time and three other women spoke to me along the way. I thought I looked OK with my summertime outfit and reasonable makeup. In fact, just wearing reasonable makeup and nice clothes probably set me up to be mistaken for a staff member. At any rate, I waited for my turn and my blood work was taken without any problems. Then it was off to eat some lunch and wait for the results. 

I took the easy way out and just picked up a tuna salad sandwich, chips and drink. I can always judge how my day is going when I am in the check out line. No problems as the clerk called me mam three times. 

My Fancy Footwear

After lunch, it was time to head upstairs to hematology and wait. The first thing they do is take all vitals including weight, blood pressure and body temperature. My day took an immediate turn to the gutter when the nurse screamed my name as “Mr. Hart.” I just sat there until she changed it. She should know better.

When I finally made it to my Doctor, I began my visit with a brand new resident student. She was very pleasant and asked how I hurt my ankle. I told her most likely on a ghost hunt. Of course she was very interested and I gave her a few of the details. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this years ago but when I was able to refer to myself as “she” a couple times, the Doc did too. 

Since my iron level came back high yesterday, I was taken back for a possible phlebotomy (or when I have to have a pint of blood removed to keep it low). All of a sudden I was the topic of a conversation between two nurses and two doctors who used my proper pronouns flawlessly. I believe it all got started when I was able to call myself she and I will definitely try to remember to do it in the future.

The best news of all though was when the lead Doc said I could skip the blood letting because the higher level of iron could be caused by my injury. So I was able to get out of there as fast as my one and half legs would take me!