Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Reluctant Rebels - A blog by CiCi Kytten for Suddenly Fem

Not long ago, I was having dinner with a friend of mine from Down Under, internet latex darling Nicci Tristan. We were reminiscing about our lives in tg/cd world.  We chatted about our childhood, and coming out, and all of the anxiety involved.

“Reluctant rebels,” she said. “That’s what we are. Reluctant rebels.”

I think there are a lot of us in the gender non-conforming community that can identify with that phrase.  Most of us didn’t set out to be social revolutionaries or gender outlaws.  For most of us, that’s the last thing we wanted.  We don’t have a history of political or social activism.  Most of us have led fairly quiet, mainstream, hetero-normative lives.

But something wasn’t working for us.  Something was off.  Sometimes it took us a long time to figure out what was going on. Some of us are still trying to make sense of it all. Still trying to determine where we belong on the gender spectrum

We never set out to cause a stir or upset the conventional “normalness” of our lives.  Some say that gender-noncomformists are driven by a need for attention. (And some of us do adore attention.) But many of us do not. Many of us don’t particularly enjoy making a fuss, upsetting our friends, or causing uncomfortable conversations around the dinner table.

And yet here we are.  A group of fairly conventional people from fairly conventional backgrounds behaving in some pretty unconventional ways. Calling into question all manner of social traditions and beliefs, and sometimes challenging the very mainstream values that we grew up with -- and have always believed in.

I don’t know about you. But for me, this has caused quite an emotional quandary. For me, this trans phenomenon… for lack of a better word… seemed very odd and alien when it first presented itself.  And yet something about it seemed entirely natural.  It seemed like second nature.  But it wasn’t second nature.  It was my “first nature.” It just took me a long time to figure that out.

My “first nature” was hidden from me at a very early age. Not by some insidious plot.  Not by homophobic or transphobic feelings on the part of my parents. No, my first nature was hidden from me by centuries of rigid gender roles assigned long ago in countries all over the world – adopted and embraced by millions, and poured into the societal soup that became small-town America in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

What really blows me away, however, was the realization of just how young I was when my mind was shaped and my thought processes began to form. It took me until the age of 40 to realize that what I considered to be my basic gender instincts (to act and behave in a masculine way) were not actually instinctual at all. They were learned behaviors -- learned behaviors that were taught to me by my family and friends and society as a whole when I was a toddler.  Perhaps even an infant.

I’m sure some gender-specific urges are hard-wired into us biologically.  (I’m way out of my element when I try to talk of science.)  But it seems to me that the large majority of my behaviors were taught to me. Programmed, perhaps.

No one ever presented me with a list of do’s and don’ts for my behavior.  Or a list of male traits and female traits.  They didn’t need to.  The minds of young children are like sponges. We soak up everything.  We’re learning sharks – hunting and digesting everything in sight.  And everything in sight told me that I was male.  I was a boy – no different than my three brothers. I had a penis. I had short hair. I played sports. I was a boy. And I would grow up to become a man.

Those lessons were not to be questioned. They were as clear and as concrete as adding 2 + 2.  Factual. Scientific. Indisputable.

Or so it seemed.  

Today, as we emerge into mainstream society, the world is starting to take a second look at gender and gender roles. People are calling this trans tipping point of the current trans empowerment movement.  (NOTE: There were other key moments and brave individuals long before any of us. Look them up!  Know your history!)  But in today’s movement, the media points to celebrities such as Chaz Bono, Laverne Cox, and Caitlyn Jenner... or to the increase in trans-related news stories, films and television series... or to major strides in new legislation for the LGBT community as a whole.

But if you ask me, it all started with you.  The non-famous, non-political, non-rebels of the trans community.  The cd/tv/tg girls who one day decided to get off their computers and get out into the world. Or to the clubs. Or to trans events. Or Pride events. Or to the local convenience store or gas station. 

I’ve heard countless stories from girls whose first nights out were nothing more than a quick trip to the late-night drive-through.  Can you relate? You got in your car under cover of darkness – totally terrified – and drove around the block to some 24-hour fast food joint. You never got out of your car.  You barely looked the geeky teen-aged clerk in the eye. And then you zoomed right straight back home.

And you weren’t even hungry! As you drove, you were hoping that nobody saw you -- while simultaneously hoping that everyone saw you. How good you looked!  How femme you looked!  How daring! It wasn’t much of an outing. Not much of an adventure. Just a quick drive around the block. But you did it. And as you did it, you changed the world.

I sincerely believe that.

Nicci Tristan
Gina Bigham

Another really good friend of mine, Gina Bigham, coordinator for cultural arts at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, once told me that her activism was the simple act of stepping outside her front door. And being visible. And in a community of reluctant rebels -- a community that needed (and still needs) visibility -- that act of stepping out, showing our faces, and making our presence known – even if it was only to an unsuspecting, pimply-faced, teen-aged geek in the drive-though window at Micky D.’s - may have been the most important and most courageous act of all.

That was your tipping point. And the world hasn't been the same since.

Take care out there.

Stay safe. Stay smart. Stay sexy.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Ghosts of Stonewall - A Blog for Suddenly Fem by CiCi Kytten

(October is LGBT History Month. Please do not mistake me for a historian. I’m a blogger. Like many others, I’m trying to make sense of where we’re going by looking back at where we’ve been. This blog was written with more than a little help from online historical accounts and Wikipedia.)

On a recent trip to New York City, my friend told me a story about the old theaters of Broadway.  Sitting in those old halls during the intermissions between acts, I could imagine the many actors, musicians and stagehands who have worked those stages -- some of them dating back to the 1800‘s. And, apparently, some of those performers might never have left. The theaters are said to be haunted. Therefore, every night, a light is traditionally left on to illuminate the stage -- in order to ward off the ghosts of Broadway.

I had a wonderful weekend in New York. I spent most of my time near Broadway or Time Square. I saw some shows. Saw some sights. But I wanted to take some time to visit the Stonewall Inn.  

And I didn’t just want to visit. I didn’t just want to pose for a few selfies outside on Christopher Street. I wanted to spend some time inside the inn. To have a drink. To shoot some pool. To sit quietly in the back room and soak up the history. I wanted to  spend a little time with the ghosts of Stonewall.

Spending some time with the ghosts of Stonewall.
Sylvia Rivera and Masha P. Johnson
Of course, you can’t really visit Stonewall. You would need a time machine to truly visit.  The Village has changed. The gay and trans communities have changed.  Anti-LGBT legislation and police enforcement have changed (somewhat). And to a certain extent, the very nature of being gay or lesbian or trans has changed. With changes in social acceptance and legislation comes confidence.  And with confidence comes a whole new way of behaving.  Of interacting with the rest of the world. Of thinking.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Hater in Your Head - a blog by CiCi Kytten for Suddenly Fem

So many haters out there. And their numbers are growing. We could have predicted this. As we become more visible. More loud. More a part of everyday life. The haters are going to rise up to match us.
And those haters aren’t just random loudmouths off in some distant city or rural outpost.  They’re not all ignorant jerks hiding among the anonymous riffraff of the internet.  The haters are right there in your community.  In your place of work. In your place of worship. In your very own home.

As members of the trans/cd community, we’re often hesitant to come out to those who are close to us. We know that those around us can be conservative. Closed-minded. Firmly entrenched in traditional thought and convention.

But here’s the thing.  You’re one of them!
Silencing the Hater in Your Head

Monday, August 17, 2015

Watch the Ted Talk Video for Cici Kytten

She's Fabulous, Fashionable, Provocative, funny, serious, insightful, Bold, devious, daring, educated, well written - BUT , have you ever seen her in person? Heard her voice? 

Now is your chance.

Experience Cici's Ted Talk Video!

Friday, August 14, 2015

The First 10 Yards - Starting your Transgender - Crossdressng Journey

(by Kathy Hamilton)

In the past, deciding to do the “first ten yards” could take me up to an hour.
And sometimes, I’d simply have to accept that I just could not do it. Sadly, I’d have to give up and either close my front door or simply start my car engine and head back from whence I came. Can you guess what I am talking about?
Well, if you reflect on your own crossdressing experiences, your own concerns, and your own innermost doubts, then I'm pretty sure you know what I mean!

Decisions, Decisions

In fact, almost every T girl has been through the same sort of dilemma of indecision sometime during her journey towards womanhood: Do I or don’t I? Shall I or shan’t I?
"Phew,” you think, gently dabbing your forehead with a paper tissue, as sweat trickles down your neck, your hands all clammy and stomach churning, “What shall I do?”
“Now or in a few minutes? In a few more minutes or maybe I’ll wait ten… or fifteen more. Is there anyone around? Can anyone see me? Oh, is that someone coming? Hm, I’d better not.” “Is my make up okay? Is my wig looking good? My dress nice and my outfit smart enough?”

Time to Own Up

Hands up if you have had similar thoughts while crossdressed in one of your smartest Suddenly Fem outfits. You surreptitiously peek out from behind the curtains of your living room, looking up and down your driveway, checking out both ways along your road.
 ... Read the Full article  at the Suddenly Fem - Crossdresser.com Learning Annex Click link

Saturday, July 18, 2015

No Small Amount of Courage - A Blog for SuddenlyFem by CiCi Kytten

This week, Caitlyn Jenner received the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage from sports television network, ESPN. Their decision to honor Caitlyn was, to say the least, controversial.  The public and the pundits were quick to weigh in on the matter with most of them responding quite negatively.

Many pointed to other worthy candidates - cancer patients, war heroes - but as an ESPN spokesperson said, there are a great number of worthy candidates every year. So why such a firestorm of protest?  Why this year?

It all comes back to Caitlyn. It all comes back to us. It all comes back to the general public’s lack of understanding of, and lack of respect for, the transgender community in general.  

In the eyes of many, she just didn’t deserve it.  

Internet commenters were blunt. Calling the honor everything from “a travesty” to “disgusting.” Two sportscasters that I respect were adamant in their opposition. Frank Deford remarked that, “Courage is usually involved with overcoming something.” -- insinuating the Caitlyn has not overcome enough. Bob Costas also didn’t believe she deserved the recognition, belittling her coming out by saying that it took took “no small amount of courage.”

I can’t speak for Ms. Jenner.  I don’t know her. And like most people, until recently, I knew very little about her.  But I do know the trans community.  I’ve been an active member of this community for fifteen years. I’ve met people from all over the world, and all across the trans spectrum. Some I respect. Some I do not. Some I like. Some not so much. But, if there is one word that sums up, to me, the entire trans community... the entire trans experience... it is this one.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Tools to help you Choose the right wig for YOUR face as a Crossdresser or Transgender Woman

T-girls, wigs and hairstyles… what can I say? It’s almost impossible to find a novice T-girl whose first desire is not to buy that long haired, sexily styled wig from Suddenly Fem’s collection. Perhaps it’s been a long held dream or fantasy to parade around with long hair, flicking it behind your shoulders, seductively easing it away from your eyes, and generally just enjoying the sensation of feeling and looking like a young woman.
But this look is not for everyone, and sometimes our choice of wigs gives us away as male or at the very least doesn’t flatter us at all. If your goal is to “pass” or blend in whilst out and about, a considerable amount of thought needs to be given to the type of wig or hairpiece you choose.
Your skin tone, your natural coloring, plus, importantly, the shape of your face all are factors to be considered. You don’t need me to tell you that men’s faces are quite different than women’s, and whilst there are 6/7 recognized different types of faces, many men tend to have only 2/3 of these, mainly square or oblong faces (see more below).

But, as a starter, well before choosing a wig style, do the following to work out what type of face you have; measure:

  • Your face across the top of your cheekbones
  • Across your jawline from the widest point to the widest point
  • Across your forehead at the widest point (usually somewhere about halfway between your hairline and eyebrows)
  • From the tip of your hairline to the bottom of your chin
Now have a read of the following and see which face is the most similar to yours, and which wig you should consider to purchase from the Suddenly Fem collection - plus, importantly, which wig style you should avoid:

Click here to  read the Full article at the Suddenly Fem Learning Annex

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Riding the Emotional Roller Coaster - A Blog for SuddenlyFem by CiCi Kytten

The most daring, dangerous and exhilarating ride of the summer is coming soon to the amusement park in your mind. Welcome to the Trans Emotional Roller Coaster! Thrill to the exciting new experiences waiting behind every turn! Brave the emotional ups and downs! Beware the unexpected dips and twists that threaten to wreck your mood and ruin your day.

I know of no one who enters tg/cd world who doesn’t experience fast-changing emotional extremes. And you don’t have to be on hormones to feel a wide range. The agony and the ecstasy. The joy and the pain. Surges of confidence. Moments of doubt. 

Of course, the same can be said for mainstream American life. We all go through our share of ups and downs. But for me, in trans world, the highs seem higher, the lows seem lower, and the distance between the upbeat Funhouse and the scary-as-hell House of Horrors seems particularly short.

I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. And it can happen at any stage of your trans progression.

Here's to a summer of fun!
You post a few pix on a social media site and you get no response.  You feel unloved. You post a few more and you get all kinds of likes and comments - and you suddenly feel like the most popular girl on the net. And you haven’t a clue as to why which pics were favorited and which ones were not.

You go out dressed for the very first time -- and have one of the best nights out in your entire life.  You vow that this will now become a regular thing. But other factors in your life invade and your job or your girlfriend or your family drive you back into the closet. Literally pushing you back into the dark.

You come out to a few friends and receive wonderfully supportive responses from seemingly everyone.  Your self-esteem soars!  But then someone very close to you -- a sibling, a dear friend, a parent -- rejects you. And all of those other wonderful responses don’t seem to matter.

You want to get off.  But ride isn’t finished yet.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Breast forms and Hormones On Sale. Annual Figure Enhancing Sale starts!

Looking to stock up at a discount on Suddenly Fem All natural hormone enhancers for transgender transformation? 

or maybe you need a new pair of  Breast forms to freshen up your look.

Use code SpringSale3 and take 20% off:

Check out the Savings & Coupons by clicking here

Sunday, May 10, 2015

My Favorite Planet is Pluto - A Blog For SuddenlyFem by CiCi Kytten

My favorite planet is Pluto. It always has been and probably always will be. It probably started with everyone’s favorite Disney dog.  I always liked Pluto.  A friendly loyal lovable dog.  Who wouldn’t want a Pluto in their life?

So when I learned about the solar system in grade school, I had no choice but to choose Pluto as my favorite planet.  Who else was I going to choose?  The God of War (Mars)?  The King of the Gods (Jupiter)?  I’m a pacifist. I’m a commoner. So I went with the friendly, loyal, lovable planet... Pluto.

I also liked the fact that Pluto -- the planet -- was a bit of an underdog.  Pluto was the smallest planet. And the furthest from the Sun.  And when we’re children, don’t we all feel like we’re the smallest sometimes? And the furthest from the action?

 My favorite planet is (still) Pluto!

It even goes further.  Later in life when I learned about astrology -- now there’s an exact science -- I learned that Pluto was my lucky planet.  And with all that we’ve learned about Pluto in recent years, perhaps that’s why I’ve never been particularly lucky.

Because, as you might have heard, Pluto is no longer a planet. It was once considered a planet, but now it’s considered a dwarf planet -- primarily made of rock and ice -- and a part of the Kuiper Belt.

And yet Pluto is still my favorite planet. Not because I don’t believe in science. Not because I don’t trust modern day astronomers. I do. But Pluto is still my favorite planet because of what it stands for.  And, as with most things in my life these days, it has everything to do with being trans.

You see, every time I read a trans-related article on the internet, there’s always some uninformed loudmouth spouting hate and denying the validity of our existence. And every once in a while, the loudmouth will get really blunt and rudely direct trans girls to lift their skirts and look between their legs. “That’s biology,” he’ll say.  “That’s what’s real.  Not those crazy, confused ideas in your crazy, confused minds.  Look between your legs.  Check your anatomy. That’s reality. That’s science.”

And that’s when my friendly, loyal, lovable sidekick, Pluto, comes to my rescue.