Monday, January 16, 2017

Life Turns on a Dime Part Five

 Image result for virginia princeFor me these were the days shortly after Virginia Prince and her Transvestia publication burst upon the scene. I was still amazed others in the world felt the same way I did. So, I ordered several issues of Transvestia and discovered a group of hetero sexual transvestites who held mixers through out the country. The closest to me was a very drive able Cleveland, Ohio so I paid my dues and headed to my first of several mixers.  

From those mixers I learned several important lessons including a much closer chapter forming in much closer Columbus, Ohio. 
Other lessons learned were some there were hetero questioning or as I called them "admirers in drag" cross dressers, and even a few who were on their way to perhaps a stealth (SRS) transsexual full time existence as a woman.
What Virginia never wrote about though was the difference internally was between a male who could pass as a female and one who had a feminine soul. So I know Virginia and others considered her a transgender pioneer but I am one of those who is not so sure.
I also discovered a very distinct social system as distinct as the one high school girls had. Very quickly I called them the "A" listers  because of their "mean girl" style social clique. You definitely had to look a certain way to be invited into the group. Which of course I didn't. However, these also were the ones who left the motel/hotel to go party elsewhere later in the evening. Later on I would attach the "trans-nazi" label to them but still tagged along-invited or not.
Other notable exceptions to the norm were the guys in their fancy dresses and smoking cigars as if to not let too much of their male self go.
Two dimes were dropped on me during these mixers in Cleveland. One, was an invite to join the group in Columbus and the other thanks to a free makeover at a mixer.
I pulled up my big girl panties and let a makeup artist take all my war paint off and start over. The results were startling. I was even invited to go along with the "A" listers without having to invite myself. Most importantly though as the night was beginning to wind down (right in front of all of them, a guy who seemed real nice invited me to stay over for a drink. I often wondered what would have happened had I said yes?
As promised though, I discovered an even smaller incredibly diverse group to learn from in Columbus as time marched ever forward.
Coming up next, German Village.

A Taste of Ivory

Ivory Aquino never thought there would be roles for a transgender girl from the Philippines, so she was prepared to give up on her childhood dream of being an actor.
“I didn’t feel at that time that there were any roles I could do,” Aquino tells PEOPLE exclusively about her despair.
So, with acting seemingly out of the question, Aquino decided to try her hand at becoming a singer.
“With androgynous figures like David Bowie, I thought I could do music without thinking about gender,” she says in the upcoming issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
But after moving to the U.S. in her teens, and undergoing her gender confirmation surgery out of the country at age 26, Aquino had a revelation.
“My outsides finally felt like my insides,” she says. “The first thought that came to mind was, ‘I can act again!’ ”
Aquino, who stars as the trans activist Cecilia Chung in the ABC mini series, is still in the beginning of her acting career.
For more, go here.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Life Turns on a Dime, Part Four

I call this time in the mid 1980's my validation time.

I was still struggling with the fact that dressing trashy versus classy was not the way to  go and teasing truckers on the interstate with a hiked up skirt was not going to work.  Plus I still couldn't get it through my thick noggin why it wouldn't.

Very basically a cross dresser dresses for what a man wants to see and a transgender woman (in order to survive in the world) must take into consideration what women want to see too.

After yet another viscous fight between my wife and I, she said "You make a terrible woman." Of course I was devastated!  All  the work shaving my legs and mirror worship just couldn't be wrong. Then she said, "I'm not referring to the way you look. I am referring to the way you act and think."

You would have thought even I would begin to get through my thick noggin what she was talking about and for once I was getting a glimmer of hope. On my trips out cross dressed, I was beginning to notice more of the world around me. About this time too, my wife would even go out with me to dinner in Columbus. So if I didn't "dress like a slut" (as she put it) I would have even more chances to live as a woman. The more I lived it-the more I loved it.

About this time was when transgender began to creep into the public's vocabulary replacing the all encompassing transvestites or transsexuals on either end of the spectrum. I began to think-could transgender be me?

Shortly we moved back up towards Columbus, Ohio and I became involved with one of the most diverse groups within a group I had ever seen or been involved with.

I was about to find another dime and have a real idea what validation really meant.

A Life in Gender Flux