Thursday, January 28, 2010

A sign?

Yesterday I went to file my paper work to officially change my name.

The date I was given for my court appearance is on my birthday!

So barring any judicial prejudice I will become Cynthia Patricia Lee-Bussell on my 42nd birthday! That's an awesome birthday present!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My next step.

Tomorrow I will be filing paper work for an official name change at my local county seat. It will probably take 5 days too 2 weeks before I get a court date.

After that I need to get a letter from my doctor stating that he is treating me for transsexual identity and that I am in active transition too the female sex. That letter combined with my own letter of intent to transition will be sent to the department of licensing so that I can change my gender marker on my ID card.

So theoretically I should have an ID with my name as Cynthia and female as gender marker within 2 months.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Spiritual matters.

Some of you already know I am a loud and proud Wiccan.(witch) The need for transition in a Wiccan must raise some serious red flags. Wiccans hold the Goddess divine. The symbol of the Goddess is the female form. That is our idol if you will. For a natal male Wiccan to seek transition is in some peoples opinion merely an attempt at attaining divinity or connection to Goddess that is not within the natural order.
Keep in mind Wicca is a fertility religion. Many Wicca are very anti Transsexual. (possibly the majority…)We are stepping outside the sacred binary and making ourselves infertile in the process. For some this is the ultimate curse of the gods and madness to pursue. They feel there is no place for someone who would throw away the gifts of birth sex. We are not welcome in many coven for these types of reasons.
However there are also Wicca that see a place for the transsexual. Transsexuals transcend the boundaries of both genders. Never completely male nor female the Transsexual has a special place in the coven. Those Wicca that embrace us understand that we are the perfect person to call the elements . Our ability to 'know 2 worlds' on the physical realm help prepare us too know the world of spirit. Who better to counsel the tribal family on relationship matters than the person that intrinsically understand both the man and the woman when they are at odds. (maddening sometimes. Watching a couple fight and being on both persons side at the same time is exhausting.)
Of course it is obvious which school of Wiccan philosophy I ascribe too. hehe

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Back from vacation.

The last week has been a time of wonderful healing and emotional growth for me and my mother.

I am no longer her son, I am now her daughter. That is awesome.

To be honest I didn’t do much touristy when in Florida, I did go to the beach to collect shells but that is the only touristy thing I did when there.

I was so busy enjoying my family and the setting that I had plenty occupying me.

On Monday my mother had the opportunity to meet Cynthia. She is a wonderful woman and her acceptance of me is a gift I will always cherish.

Far too often a transsexual turns to their family for love and support, but are turned away because of various lame reasons. Most reasons boil down to ‘I am selfish and I do not want to change’.

The suicide rates of transpersons is staggering. 50% attempt suicide by their early 20’s. For most of us it is literally a matter of ‘Transition or Die’! For a family member to turn their back on a transsexual family member is to say ‘go kill yourself’, and many of us do.

Thank you for your continued support and love. It could possibly be the one thing keeping me alive.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Vacation is going well.

So far so good. I will Endeavour to provide a proper narrative on my vacation when I return from it.

hugz and love


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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wednesday Pic


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Something to look at.

I would like to draw the readers attention to Zoe Brains’ blog. She is a cyber acquaintance of mine who happens to be a rocket scientist and one of the best advocates for the transsexual community. Her blog is on the list of 101 Inspiring Women Bloggers to Watch with the readers of WE Magazine for Women.

Her recent blog post Another for the Reference Library is an interesting read.

Anyone interested in transsexuality and intersex issues or rocket science would do themselves a great service by keeping current with her blog. It is eclectic and her posts cover a large and diverse area.

She is totally the epitome of nerd scientist.

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pronouns-a primer

A large struggle among friends and family of someone who is transitioning is changing the way we address the trans person. I’ve already discussed the matter of name change, but now let us talk about pronouns.

Gender has a huge role in how we speak. More so in other languages and cultures (such as those that are Hispanic) however everything from “Dude, bro, hon, and lady” on top of proper he/she, his/hers ect.

One of the most affirming things you can do when a person comes out as transgender/transsexual is use the pronouns of their true inner gender. However this can often be one of the most difficult steps for friends and family. Especially the spouse.

When Cynthia first stated the need to start transition, it was a multi step process. It is after all very very scary to admit! She first said that she only wanted to go part time, and felt herself androgynous. Which is often identified as somewhere between the two genders.

For me, when referring to someone who identified as androgynous; it didn’t feel right to use either female or male pronouns. (and a number of androgynous people prefer gender neutral pronouns) I started the process of taking gender out of my speech all together because it was quickly getting confusing! There are a large number of gender neutral pronouns. You can find most of the one’s I’ve heard of on this wiki. I like the Spivak set myself but even still it feels uncomfortable for me personally as it leaves many things out that I normally use.

I was never aware how gendered my love language was until Cynthia started transition. Around our house you can often hear “lover lady/lover man, silly man/silly woman” on and on. You get the picture. So I set about removing those from my language which left me feeling like something was missing.

The “stop” in androgyny didn’t last and Cynthia recognized herself to be transsexual. She wants/wanted to be fully respected as a woman. I found it much easier for me to pick up feminine pronouns! Almost joyous after I’d been letting so many things go unsaid because of their gender connotation.

Add on top of this that I am not out at my work about Cynthia’s transition. So at work I still talk about “my husband” and use “his” male name. If we’re out in public and Cynthia is dressed en homme (as a man) I need to use masculine pronoun set and name. If she’s out in public en femme (as a woman) then I need to use feminine pronoun set and name. It’s enough to make a person’s head spin! I do get it wrong. I am most definitely not perfect. It’s been a struggle, though the more I speak, type and think of her as female, the easier it becomes.

I think that was definitely the turning point for me. I started encouraging myself (not forcing myself.) to think feminine pronouns and name. Once it was comfortable in my own head it was much easier to flag her down across a store, “Cyndi!” convincingly and comfortably.

A number of spouses that I know report it being their biggest struggle. That they simply can not see their mate as woman (or man depending on which direction the trans spouse is going) and find creative ways to fully leave gender out of their speech. Everyone is different and comes to acceptance at different times, in different ways.

I stick to my original assertion though. The fastest way to show your true support is to use proper pronouns when talking to a trans person. I know that in this house there was a visible relaxation that took place when I started referring to Cynthia as she. The smile that followed was all I needed to know. After all, I wouldn’t want to tell someone I’m a woman, and have them insist I am a man. That would be beyond infuriating! What an insult that would be. No?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Name-from a family perspective

As this is my “maiden voyage” here on this blog I feel it necessary to give a little bit of background information.

I don’t remember specifically how it came about, but Cynthia came out to me as transgendered prior to us even starting to date. She did however insist that she had “put all that behind her, and had no need to transition.” (as I’ve become part of the trans community I’ve learned that this type of talk is not at all uncommon.) Over the years it became obvious that that just wasn’t the truth. I started to prepare myself for what I saw as the inevitable transition of my mate. It was more about “when” not “if”. I expected it around the early 50’s, though here we are with her in her early 40’s. I’m bisexual so my story is unique and not all that common. (seems to me) I didn’t feel lied to particularly, as I knew she was trans from the get go. I’m not straight so the issue of sexuality isn’t really one we deal with. Please keep these things in mind when reading my story. I do not speak for all spouses of trans mates! That’s for sure. With that out of the way…onto my thoughts for today.

Cynthia came to me in September very upset. Tears streaming down her face we talked about what was wrong. It was the “gender issues” again. It was evening, so we went to bed and slept on it. The next morning it hadn’t disappeared or lessened as it might “normally”. I asked her, “do you need to transition?” and bottom lip trembling she responded,


We started looking into the process and the first thing that came to my mind was,

“Well now what do I call you?”

To use her masculine name felt un-accepting to me, calling her “he/him” seemed like a lie and became increasingly uncomfortable. So we sat down and discussed it. She’d already picked out a name but wasn’t solid on it at that point. I tried to help her by bringing names to her that I thought she might like. She shot them all down. She later made it clear she really didn’t desire any help and she’d made her choice. Cynthia Patricia Lee. (as you may have seen in a previous entry written by her)

When she told me that she didn’t desire help in choosing a name I felt very shot down. Left out. Nearly panicky! We’d almost always done everything together. Truth be told..I didn’t like the name Cynthia. It just didn’t feel right to me.

I think the choosing of your own name is rather unnatural. We get our birth name from our parents. Any nickname we might have is normally bestowed upon us by friends or peers. Naming yourself is just a rare thing.

I now understand that this is one of the few gifts and benefits that a trans person has. They get to choose just WHO they want to be. They choose what someone else will call them. There’s power in that! No doubt.

In being left out of the process I believe it hindered my ability to use my mate’s chosen name. The first person to use it in our inner circle was actually Cynthia’s brother. I felt so terrible that I was struggling with something so small as a name. What is a name anyway? My mate is the same person regardless what we call her. I just felt so stuck with it though.

We’ve had many a discussion on the topic of names and now as I look over the meaning; it really is a perfect fit. I don’t think she could have chosen better. I’ve since been able to accept it, use it regularly and it’s become second nature.

If I might be so bold to offer some advice to other trans folk who have mates (or children!) let them be part of your naming process. Invite them into this process. You may not like what they offer, but trust me if a consensus can be reached it will be far easier for all involved.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Christine Daniels and Amanda Simpson are the two well known transwomen that have been in the public eye recently.
Ms. Daniels aka Mike Penner was famous for being a sportswriter and unfortunately also for committing suicide.
Amanda Simpson is famous for being the highest profile transwoman appointed by any president, and from what I can surmise; being one hell of an over achiever. Recently appointed to a high ranking position in the Commerce dept, her high profile has thrust her into the public spotlight.
These two women represent the two ends of the transition spectrum. Where Daniels was unable to go on Simpson thrives.
They have some striking similarities other than both being transsexual. Both carved their niche in a male world as women. Granted Daniels only spent a short time as a woman before she de-transitioned back to Mike and Amanda has been fulltime in the role of a woman for years. Both have/had acceptance in their professions.
What quality do we find in Amanda that we do not find in Christine? I think the question is unfair. There is no way we can quantify pain. What drops one person to their knees might just as well barely faze another person. Some people have high pain thresholds. They can simply take more abuse than others. To be a transsexual is tough. Even if you are never called names or looked at funny, there is no escape from the news and discussion of transsexualism in these times. There is no way to avoid hearing or reading the vitriol people have for transsexuals. No way to avoid the stark reality that we are killed and raped at a staggering rate. No way to escape from the inner demons that castigate and tease. Going outside of what society thinks is kosher will earn you the bile and venom of said society. For all its insistence to ‘be yourself’ we are met with the harsh reality that that saying is just that…A saying.
So I think to be proper we must ask what is it that these two women can teach us? Christine teaches that high profile level success is no guaranty of success and Amanda shows that no matter how qualified and competent a T woman is, she will be scorned by those who cannot learn to grow.
It is a harsh reality for transsexuals. I will not even put to pen the shear amount of indignity visited upon us as a matter of course. But will instead leave with this…
I pray that someday being transsexual is a total non-issue. We just want to live in peace like everyone else.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My choice in name

One of the few wonderful things for a transperson is that we get to choose our own names. Names can be for a multitude of reasons so I will not elaborate on the motivation of others and will only seek to provide my motivation in this matter.

My first name is Cynthia. To the distaste of some of my very close family. I find that it IS my name regardless of what I thought. Cynthia was the name I chose at about 14. This was my greatest secret. That I had a female identity. The name would leave my conscience for years then come back. Stronger each time. An aware mind can not sustain living a lie. My name is Cynthia. Cynthia was the name of one of my first girlfriends. She was really the kind of chick I wanted to be at the time. Not the best choice of names I thought but it stuck. Then I looked up what Cynthia means and I am very pleased…..

From Wiki:

Cynthia is a feminine personal name of Greek origin: Κυνθία, Kynthía, "from Mount Cynthus" on Delos island. It can be abbreviated as Cindy.

Cynthia was originally an epithet of the Greek goddess of the moon, Artemis, who was sometimes called "Cynthia" because, according to legend, the goddess was born on Mount Cynthus.

From UrbanDictionary

Cynthia's are often shy people, but once your get to know a Cynthia they are one of the most loyal and friendly type of people you would ever be lucky enough to meet. Cynthia's love to talk but are often quiet to listen to their friend's problems. Cynthia's do not like sports, and are often too worried about life once but once you get to know a Cynthia you will see little by little that they let loose and have fun. Cynthia' s are often known by there sad looking eyes and that gloomy look on there face, often they have dark hair and a pale dead like face because they are after all named after the goddess of the moon, and like the moon you will soon see their pale beauty and mysterious personalty, know as the invisible girl, a Cynthia can be a great leader,but is always ready to be a team player

So it is my name. I like it and I also like Cindy which I readily respond to. Which is a relief as I worried I wouldn’t respond to my name due to years of being conditioned to be Pete.

Next my second name Patricia. I chose this name to honor my stepmother Pat. She put up with allot of shit from my family and saw my father to his grave and is his widow. She worked hard and provided well with little recourses. I learned how to be frugal watching her as I grew up. Patricia is a solid and capable woman who had her shit together most of the time. Also the name provides the nickname Pattie which sounds very much like Petey. So my friends and family have an option that sounds similar to my original name that will also get me to respond.

From Wiki

Patricia, in English pronounced /pəˈtrɪʃə/, is a common female given name of Latin origin. It is derived from the Latin word patrician, meaning "noble".

Then my last name. Lee-Bussell. I like that women get a hyphenated last name. As a married woman I should have one so I chose the last name of Lee as my ‘maiden name’. Lee is a two part reason. First my mothers name is Leigh which sounds exactly like Lee. I never really liked the way her name is spelled but I like the name. In her honor I chose to be Lee in last name. There is another reason I chose Lee. On April 9, 1865, at the house of Wilmer McLean in the village of Appomattox Courthouse General Lee surrendered to Grant and effectively ended the American civil war. General Grant allowed Lee to surrender in honor. Inside my mind has been a civil war. Peter against Cynthia. The war within is over. There is peace over a well scared battlefield. As Peter is Cynthia the war could not maintain for as Lincoln said; a house divided against itself can not stand. So within myself Peter is Lee and Cynthia was Grant. So why chose Lee? Because Peter is Cynthia Cynthia had to surender to self and remember that Grant allowed Lee to surrender honorably. So I chose Lee for these reasons.

From Thinkbabynames

The girl's name Lee \ lee\, also used as boy's name Lee, is pronounced lee. It is of Old English origin, and its meaning is "meadow or pasture". Lee is often chosen as a middle name.

Cynthia Lee

The Transsexual priestess

January 05


In the various temples of the ancient world, both men and women served as clergy. In addition, a small but significant number of male-to-female transsexuals also served, especially in the Goddess religions... and the temples of Cybele were certainly very well-known for this.

As we know, transsexuals are people whose psychological gender does not match their physical gender. This may be the result of a rare variation in human genetics. Although our ancestors knew nothing about the scientific causes of the phenomena, they instinctively realized that it was best to allow people to live their lives in the gender-role in which they feel most comfortable.

Over time, ancient people discovered that transsexuals often posses certain valuable talents and abilities. For example, they generally seem to have a high intelligence and psychic sensitivity. Consequently, they came to be regarded as gifts from the Goddess, and frequently held respected and honored positions in society. This was also true in many Native American cultures, where transsexuals were referred to as "Two Spirits", and commonly functioned as teachers, healers and Shamans.

When the Christians took over, they sought to discredit the practices of the older religions. They created the myth that transsexuality was unnatural and evil, and that transsexuals were promiscuous, prostitutes, beggars, etc. Many of these accusations are still being spread by Christians today, and continue to cause serious problems for gender-variant people.

In addition, some historians have confused eunuchs with transsexuals. A eunuch is a normal masculine man who has simply been castrated. On the other hand, the transsexual Priestesses of Cybele (and most other Goddess religions) clearly were not eunuchs. They wore women's clothing, jewelry and perfume, styled their hair, used female names, and in every way lived as women.

In general, historians seem to have a very poor understanding of the transsexual Priestesses, for several reasons. First, they have absolutely no experience with the matter... and second, they appear to be very uncomfortable with the subject, and try to quickly dismiss it as the result of mental illness, or an act of excessive religious fervor. Fortunately, recent work by many doctors and psychologists has significantly improved our understanding of transsexuals, and enabled us to gain some excellent new insights into the customs of the ancient world.

From Cyndi: I want more than anything the return of the ancient ways.

Consider this…The FIRST deity of mankind was the mother goddess. Her image has been found in the OLDEST settlements ever found. The introduction of a male deity came many thousands of years later. So who is the true upstart? YHWH or Cybele? I think that answer is self evident.

Coming out of the closet

Coming out transsexual was the most difficult thing anyone ever had to do. No weight can be near as weighty and no task more onerous. To be able to speak the words I feel like I was born the wrong sex is a social miracle. At least for the late in life transsexual. We have years invested into a male persona (or female in the case of female to male late in life transitioners.) and have built friendships and loves on the foundation of a big fat lie. To admit you are transsexual is to admit that lie. Not easy to do. Many of us commit suicide rather than fight this fight for one more minute. Rather suicide because the pain of a life lived in denial is too great a challenge.

Luckily I have been so far able to narrowly escape that fate. I have myself heard the sirens call of suicide. The longing for the hell to stop. However it is my fear of reincarnation that keeps me here and working to fix myself. I am positive that if I do die before transition is complete I will have to come back and do it all again. Without the promise of being born in a free nation.

Lets leave that alone and move on.

I hate the word transsexual, yet I freely use it as there is no other term that says it as well as transsexual. The word has sexual in it and that makes it seem sordid in the minds of some. Trust me the LAST thing most transsexuals want is to have sex. Our bodies are deformed. (except for the post op) Yet in the porno’s they make us look glam and desirable. We are used as whores by an industry that does little to help other than provide fast cash. Sure you will see plenty of gorgeous she-males performing every imaginable act of carnality. But trust me no matter how well she smiles that woman is sad and just desperately wants her sex change operation and will do anything it takes to fund her transition. Do not delude yourself into thinking that it is glamorous or cool to be a transsexual.

I much prefer the term neo-woman and neo-man. It is a much nicer way of saying a woman or a man is just that but with a unique medical history.

There are 2 theories of what causes transsexualism. The first is the mental illness model. I can accept that. Just keep in mind that even if it is a mental derangement to date the only treatment that has any effect is transition to the gender of association.

The other is that it is an intersex condition. Parts of the brain become cross gender. That is to say a neo-woman has parts of her male brain that are feminized enough to cause the person to experience enough social trauma that the only relief is to transition to a woman. (or man in the case of FTM)

In both scenarios the only successful treatment is transition.

If you doubt the usefulness of sex change then please by all means provide a treatment that is medically sound and we will flock to your door with money in hand.

A transsexuals request to the cisgendered.


My name is Cyndi, short for Cynthia. I was born in 1968 and was proclaimed a boy by the obvious male genitalia I had. However looks can be deceiving.

I will spare the lengthy story of how I came to ‘know’. That is a rather long story that truly sounds like a carbon copy of other transwomen who transition late in life. If you are not aware of trans issues trust me on this one. Most late in life transitioners have an almost identical life story. Maybe another time.

Today I want to inform the world that it is not ok to alienate of victimize one of your loved ones for being gender variant. Nothing another person does as a gender expression can justify abuse. Gender variant people are hard wired to be gender variant. This fact has been accepted since the days of Harry Benjamin by most members of the medical establishment. Yet even in light of the overwhelming scientific evidence that gender variant people are made that way in the womb, some people find it perfectly acceptable to abuse others for just being natural.

Imagine if you were constantly ridiculed and heckled for being your birth sex. That no matter what you did people were always getting on your case for being what you were born as.

That is what its like to be anything other than a ‘normal’ gender. We can not help the way we feel. We do not invent our issues. We are born with them. You can not yell us normal. You can’t force us to conform with shame or religion. Because we know that this is what god wants us to be. Just as I am sure that god doesn’t want you to be gender variant. We all have a unique path that we must follow.

So the next time you see a man in a dress or a woman with muscles and a beard don’t point it out and make a fuss. Just let us go in peace. We haven't brought harm to you and we would just like to live in peace without being ridiculed for being the person we are born to be. You wouldn’t tease someone who had a ‘normal’ birth defect.