Tuesday, July 29, 2014
When I was a little boy, I had a lot of girlfriends. Not the romantic kind. I was too young for that. I’m talking about kindergarten. Elementary school. In the classroom and on the playground, I tended to hang out with the girls.
I was a talkative kid. Still am. Every year, my report card indicated that I needed “to spend a little less time talking to my neighbors.” Some people thought I was a flirt. And I probably was. A boy constantly talking with the girls. But now, looking back, I’m not so sure that I was flirting. I think I was engaging in girl talk. No one likes to stereotype genders, but back then the boys typically roughhoused and the girls typically chatted. While I engaged in more than my share of roughhousing, I apparently preferred chatting. And I definitely preferred the company of girls.
That all changed around the time I discovered sports -- around 4th grade of so. My competitive streak came out and I started spending my recesses with the boys playing kickball, dodgeball, and kill-the-guy-with-the-ball (a sport that I’m sure is destined to become an official Olympic competition some day). I also got the sense, somehow, that I should spend more time with the boys. Yet, I can’t recall anyone specifically telling me that. It was just a feeling. A feeling that eventually ate away at my young mind, and I succumbed to social convention.
Posted by CiCi Kytten at 2:39 AM
Sunday, June 29, 2014
I’m a pretty nice person. I work hard. I raised a family. Paid my way (or should I say, “borrowed my way”) through higher education. I vote. I recycle. And I often give to charity when I’ve got a little extra in my pocket. I’ve rescued strays. I have no criminal convictions more serious than a traffic ticket. And I often let people with one or two items go ahead of me in the grocery store line.
When I was a kid, I always went to the local fireworks on the 4th of July, always marched with my Cub Scout Troop in the Memorial Day parade, and I’ve stood in the hushed silence of the Viet Nam War Memorial and rubbed off a copy of the name of a very dear family friend.
I’m far from perfect. I’ve battled my share of demons. Broken a few hearts. Made some bad decisions. And generally acted in ways that were wholly selfish and thoughtless. But all in all, I’ve lived the majority of my life as a very conventional, traditional American citizen. And here’s the real key. I still do.
I’m not a rebel by nature. I’m generally pretty shy and quiet. I don’t go out of my way to challenge authority or upset the status quo. That’s just not my personality. It’s not something I enjoy.
But one thing I do enjoy is dressing like a woman. I don’t know why. I’ve actually stopped questioning why. I just know that I enjoy doing it. And I really enjoy hanging out with other people who enjoy doing it. And while I can’t vouch for everyone that self-identifies under the trans umbrella, most of the trans people I’ve met seem like pretty decent folks. Sure there are few assholes here and there... maybe even a few felons... but that’s true of any group in America.
For most of America’s 238 years, trans people and cross dressers like myself haven’t had much of an impact. We’ve hidden in closets, lurked in alternative clubs, and hooked up in dark alleys. But those days are over. We’re getting stronger and braver and more self-confident -- as a community and as individuals. And the numbers of openly proud and unashamed trans people are only going to grow in the coming years.
Posted by CiCi Kytten at 5:40 PM
Saturday, June 7, 2014
It was inevitable. After all of the great strides the trans community has made over the past few years, you knew there had to be backlash. You knew we were going piss someone off. And actually, the louder we get, the louder the haters will get.
I try to ignore them. And usually I can. But it hurts. So much of it is so ignorant and uninformed. And some of it is just pure hate. But the part that gets me is that so much of it is so stridently and aggressively non-curious. I’ve found transpeople to be some of the most fascinating people I know. I can’t understand why the rest of the world doesn’t want to get to know us. They’d rather dismiss us or deny our rights or deny our very right to exist.
|You can talk all the shit about me you want.|
But if you come after my friends, I’m sorry. I just can’t let that go.
A lot of this is our fault. We’ve been hiding in shame for so long. But that shame is fading. We’re getting stronger... as individuals and as a community. So this is not the time to let a few mean-spirited misinformed loudmouths set us back.
Besides, you can talk all the shit about me you want, but if you start to come after my friends, I’m sorry. I just can’t let that go.
I’m no sociologist, or gender therapist, or medical practitioner, or scientist. But then neither are the bloggers and columnists spreading the hate. They’re just writers like me. So I figure my opinion is as valid as theirs.
Here’s what they’re saying:
“You’re not women. Stop saying you are.”
Posted by CiCi Kytten at 5:18 PM
Sunday, April 27, 2014
With a title like that you’re probably wondering what the heck this blog has to do with crossdressing and the transgender life. But as I’m gradually coming to learn, nearly everything we encounter these days impacts tgirls and our struggle for acceptance.
Let’s start, sadly, with the Los Angeles Clippers. I’m not a big NBA basketball fan, but I know of Donald Sterling and of his troubled 33-year ownership of LA’s “other” basketball team. This weekend, he was allegedly caught on tape making some extremely derogatory remarks about African-Americans. Understandably, his remarks have caused a firestorm in the press and around the sports world.
But the saddest reaction is that of so many who have said -- they’re not surprised. Because what we all know -- in our heart of hearts -- is that while civil rights legislation and equal rights marches have helped to change the law of the land here in the U.S., we cannot control someone’s mind or deep-seated beliefs. We cannot legislate hate.
Posted by CiCi Kytten at 8:44 PM
Monday, April 14, 2014
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Here’s something for my friends back east and up north -- enduring all those cold nights, long blizzards, and that fearsome whirlwind known as the polar vortex. Quite honestly, this won’t help at all. I moved away from New England and all that cold long ago. But maybe this will give you something to think about as you look out at all those snowflakes coming down.
Like most people I was raised to believe that there were two genders. Male and female. Simple. Two boxes to check off on every school form and every job application I ever filled out. Boys were blue. Girls were pink. And therefore I was blue.
Snakes and snails and puppy dog tails.
But a funny thing happened on the way to adulthood. Or even adolescence. I started to feel like maybe I wasn’t quite the same as the other boys. I felt different. Odd. And quite often, I felt a little bit girlie.
Like many others, I repressed those feelings. Hid them. Denied them. Buried them in the backyard with all of our beloved pets who’d been hit by cars.
Later in life, when I started exploring my feminine side, I started to see variations in the world. Maybe gender wasn’t binary. Maybe it wasn’t so black and white. Or pink and blue. I remember seeing continuums online. Self-tests that one could take in the privacy of one’s home.
Posted by CiCi Kytten at 7:47 PM
Thursday, February 6, 2014
In response to some of the questions and comments I’ve received over the years, I thought I’d take a moment to clear up some things. About my hair, my diet, my smile, and that “bullet hole” in my chest. I’m sorry that so much of trans life is reduced to the physical and the superficial. But that seems to be the way of the world these days. And I’d be dishonest to say that my look doesn’t mean a lot to me or that I haven’t taken a lot of time and trouble to refine it.
The interesting thing is that so many supposed weaknesses that I felt self-conscious about as a child or as a male have now become strengths. Funny how that works out.
|Photo by Altomic Visuals. November 2013|
- No. This is not my real hair. It’s an 80‘s-style blonde punk “gimmick wig” that I have to beat into submission to achieve the look I like. I wear the wig tilted to the side because I prefer the part in my hair to be on the side rather than the middle of my head. (And no, that is not comfortable.) Props to Stephanie Danderson - a makeover artist and icon in the Vegas trans/drag scene. Stephanie taught me how to add dark coloring to the roots to make the wig look more realistic and less monotone. (Without the roots, my look had a rather washed-out appearance.) NOTE: this treatment is not good for wigs. The wigs I buy are not high quality, and I go through several of them in a year.
Posted by CiCi Kytten at 3:45 AM
Friday, January 10, 2014
From time to time, when someone on a social media site mentions an upcoming event or a new venue, an inevitable question is raised, “Is it trans friendly?”
And while I understand the place where that question comes from, I have to admit I’m not sure how it should be answered. If the event has been shared by someone in the tg/cd community, then I think it’s pretty safe to assume that the person who presented it considered it trans friendly.
But what actually constitutes “trans friendly”?
I actually have a little bit of experience in this area. Although that experience has nothing to do with the transgender community. I grew up in Western New England in a small town that was predominately white. Actually, that’s an understatement. My town was entirely white... with the exception of a few families.
I don’t consider the people who live there to be racist. Although every community has its share of the ignorant and the prejudiced. The problem with our little town was that there was no diversity... no exposure to other races or cultures. No opportunity to form close bonds or personal ties with anyone outside our own culture.
In that vacuum, unfortunately, stereotypes and preconceived notions prevail. And if those stereotypes are negative -- as they often are -- then negative stereotypes prevail.
And that, to me, is the problem that America is having right now with the transgender community. People don’t know us. They’ve heard about us. Perhaps they’ve seen depictions of us on television or in the movies. But those depictions are rarely realistic. And they’re often unflattering.
Posted by CiCi Kytten at 1:41 AM
Sunday, December 15, 2013
A friend of mine passed away not too long ago. He had been a successful costume designer in Hollywood with many notable screen credits and several notable gowns on his resume.
But he was more than a designer. He was a dreamer. And he wasn’t afraid to dream big. At one point he and his partner wrote a Broadway-style musical. They even mounted a short-run production of it.
It wasn’t very good. But then, most first-timers aren’t that successful when it comes to films, plays, novels, and such. At the time, a lot of people rolled their eyes. Who did this guy think he was? He was a costume designer, not a playwright. Not a composer. Not a Broadway impresario.
Who did he think he was?
|Long Train Running. "Without love, where would you be now?"|
People called him a dreamer. Delusional. Unreasonable. But... OMG... what a fun life he had. Do you have a dream? This guy had several. And he kept them spinning on the tops of tall sticks like those jugglers on the old Ed Sullivan Show. Darting back and forth from stick to stick. Keeping all those dishes spinning. Keeping all those dreams alive.
The relationship was mutual. Those dreams kept him alive.
Posted by CiCi Kytten at 3:43 PM
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
CHECK US OUT!
SuddenlyFem blog writer CiCi Kitten has released a collection of her blogs on ebook, “Baby Steps in Sky High Heels.” You can get your copy on either Apple iBooks or Amazon Kindle!
And please check out SuddenlyFem cover girl Mercedes Demarko and the new SuddenlyFem fashion line in a pictorial feature in the latest Transformation Magazine! Order your copy now!
Posted by CiCi Kytten at 9:55 AM