Cynthia Majors was born and raised in Teaneck New Jersey. She graduated from Teaneck High School in 1970 and Bergen Community College with a BA in 1972. She and her wife Sharla were married in Sept of 1983 and still live in Teaneck. Cynthia has been a member of Chi Delta Mu Chapter of Tri-Ess for about 10 years and is now serving as President for the second time. Besides being an active amateur drag performer Cynthia is also a member of a Drag Performance group called Flavah which has been a regular in the NYC Pride Parade for the last several years . Their photos have appeared in the NY Daily News and the front page of AM New York. In addition Cynthia has been interviewed on both WPLJ and WINS Radio on several TG issues.
1) You were President of CDM and then you weren’t and now you are again: did you take a break or are you feeling reluctant about leading CDM?
To put it frankly, I took a break. I felt that I was getting in over my head because I was trying to do everything myself and it just wasn’t working. I had gone into being President with what I had thought were some very good ideas but when things didn’t work out the way I had hoped I became frustrated and I think it had a very adverse effect on how I handled myself and the group. When election time came around again I had no interest in continuing as President. Now. a little older and a lot wiser, I’ve opted to try it again for several reasons. First I now have a great team working with me. My wife Sharla is the Treasurer and Linda Mills is my VP. I’ve finally learned that things need to be delegated or you burn out-not an easy lesson for a Type A personality to take in.
2) How does your wife deal with your transness? Does she participate in any way?
When I met my wife my Transgender side had been dormant for several years and at the time I considered it to be a non-issue. Eventually however my girl side made a comeback and I hid it from her for many years because of my fear of rejection by her over it. When I couldn’t take the sneaking around anymore I decided to make a leap of faith and tell her about Cynthia. I have to say I was shocked at how well she accepted my femme side and how supportive she was because of all the horror stories I’d read about wives reactions to their husbands cross dressing. She did however make me throw out all my makeup and start over with Mary Kay items because “If your going to do this you’re going to look good!!” She is after all a Mary Kay Rep).
Since that time 7-8 years ago she has accepted me and helped me along as Cynthia in many ways. As I said she’s the Treasurer of our Tri-Ess group and has attended almost every meeting since I told her about it. We’ve attended SCC together and last year she was our Parade Marshal for the NYC Pride Parade. We go shopping and to the movies and she’s had me come into the store where she works as Cynthia so her co-workers can meet me. Just last week we attended a dinner dance with the people from her store and mine as well as 4 others(We both work for the same retail chain) and Cynthia was a big hit.
There was one thing that was somewhat difficult for her to deal with. When I came out to her I believed that I was a CD but during the course of being in therapy it came out that I was TS. My Dr recommended that I start HRT for several reasons (Not all Transgender related) and we had many long detailed talks about this and why it was felt I needed to do it. In the end she agreed that it would help me but asked me directly that I not transition beyond the HRT and I agreed. She wants to be able to still have her Husband around now and then and I can’t fault her on that.
3) How do you personally balance married life and being trans? I know you’re “out & about” a lot!
Since Cynthia “Came Out” my wife and I have always been very open about my doing things En Femme. If I’m planing on going out I let her know well in advance and we make sure there’s nothing else going on that she may have made plans for. I rarely dress around the house just for the sake of being dressed so there’s always plenty of “George” time without any hint of Cynthia however we have had words about my girl clothes being all over the bedroom as opposed to being hung up(What can I say, I’m sloppy in both genders). When I first started going out and I was doing Drag shows every week she would often come to watch me perform and sometimes go into NYC to Ina’s or another club with me afterwards but over the years she’s come to the point where the clubs seem to hold no interest for her so she only comes along a few times a year now. The thing that’s made the biggest impression on me was when I once overheard her telling another TG’s wife that Cynthia was her best friend.
4) You’re also a member of Vanity Club and Femme Fever; do these different groups serve different needs in your life? Do you find the memberships differ by much?
The Vanity Club was one of the earliest groups I joined(Actually got voted into).When I first got on line and discovered I wasn’t the only TG in the world I was shocked at just how big the community was. While I have met many of my wonderful VC Sisters since then it’s still more of an online group than Femme Fever is to me.
Femme Fever is much more of a realtime group. Karen runs monthly meetings for both TS’s and CD’s as well as her monthly parties.
Both groups serve to unite TG’s and their supporters and spouses in one place where they can be free to discuss their concerns and acheivements with others who know and understand what they are dealing with on a daily basis. Do they sometimes get out of control? Yes, I’ve seen it happen in both groups-usually because of someone misunderstanding a question or statement and jumping to a wrong conclusion but this happens in the “Real” world too. The end results though are no less ugly because it’s on the net. This is not the fault of the group owners/Moderators but the membership, a fact I know Helen and Betty know too well. I will say that there are some basic differences between them. The VC tends to be more of a photo group (That is many of the e-mails are photos based on the current Thread (Theme) where as FF’s e-mails are more communications between the group members and the group as a whole. Both groups (as well as all the others I belong to) serve to keep my up to date with not only the friends I’ve made and their lives but things going on in the TG Community that may affect myself and my extended TG Family..
5) What changes have you seen Tri-Ess go through in the time you have (and haven’t been) President of a Chapter? Are there any on the horizon?
In the last 10 years or so that I have been a member of CDM I have only seen one change in Tri-Ess and that has been an increase in the level of apathy coming out of the National Headquarters in Texas towards the individual chapters.The reasons that groups like Tri-Ess were formed in the first place have changed and we need to change with them. Many support groups are going though a drastic drop in membership. This is effecting not just Tri-Ess but also Rennisance and several others according to what I’ve been told. There are many reasons for this but the primary one is that the demograpics that these groups were originally founded on to serve has changed drasticly. More and more TG’s are coming out and doing it earlier in their lives. The Internet is a big reason for this. They know so much more than we did just 10 or so years ago and are becoming more comfortable with their femme selves and don’t see the need for a support group.
My chapter is facing a Catch 22 type of problem where we have mostly older members and need to attract younger ones but the younger ones want to make sure they’re going to also have people their age there that they can feel comfortable with. They are also more comfortable being out and about doing things where as many of the existing members do not have this comfort level nor the desire to be seen outside of the meetings. I would hope that the powers that be understand the need to change how they serve the community. When Tri-Ess was founded they could afford to limit themselves to the Heterosexual CD only but times have changed. And while the bi-laws now say that they welcome not just Hetero CD’s and their spouses but also TS’s and TV’s the fact is that TS’s face a hostile reception from wives who are scared their husbands are going to go that route. IS that going to happen?? Well, the real answer is yes, it might but according to Tri-Ess National CD’s NEVER become TS’s! And when it does happen then the spouses are (Rightfully) PO’d and upset. As to what exactly Tri-Ess National may have on the works as far as changes go I’m not privy to that info. Quite frankly I am more than likely not National’s favorite person in that while I am President of a chapter, my status as a TS and a non-member of Tri-Ess National has already raised warning flags in TX. I’m not supposed to know this but word has been getting back to me that several serious questions have been raised regarding the legality of my holding this position. My answer to that is they have 2 options – a viable group run by someone like me, or a dead chapter.
Time will tell.