Five Questions With… Cynthia & Linda Phillips

Cynthia & Linda Phillips were once a crossdresser & wife who started the famous Texas T Party. They have stayed together despite this crossdresser’s having discovered she was transsexual, and they make their life together as two women.
1) Why did you start the Texas T-Party? Why did the event get retired?
Tlinda phillips & cynthia phillipshe Texas “T” Party was started by the Boulton & Park Society in the late ‘80s, as a form of outreach by several of the members who had been to other functions around the country. None of us ever dreamed it would be the huge success it turned out to be. Cynthia and I joined the club about the time the first “T” started. We had just retired and were looking for some way to help our community.
The reason we finally retired the “T”, after 10 years, was the stress had finally gotten to us. Most of the original organizers of B&P were gone, and we never had much help, in any case. Cynthia, because of her experience with group functions, did the majority of the work, with me tagging along behind. Her blood pressure became dangerously high from the stress of running the “T” and I had to pull her off the job of running the whole thing. It was just a matter of burning out.
2) Tell us a little bit about what it was like to organize such a large event before the internet was such a regular way of communicating. There must have been a lot of postage involved.
Organizing the event was not as difficult as it might seem. The two most difficult areas were, finding a hotel that would accept us, and talking the people who really wanted to come, into actually showing up. We had a lot of help from the various newsletters around the country. Because this was before the day of the Internet, the newsletters carried a lot of weight with all of us. We used our own newsletter to a great advantage. In those days all of us swapped newsletters, which meant that each newsletter had a large coverage, much more than one would alone. Plus we sent a number of registration forms to each club. The hotels at first were a hard sell. We were very lucky in finding a hotel where we held local B&P meetings so they were familiar with us. Getting the local people to attend was very difficult. Everyone was afraid they were going to see their Aunt in the lobby. We never realized the paranoia in our community ran so deep. We had many that belonged to B&P all ten years who never once attended the “T.” This, of course, was one of the reasons we got so little help and why the “T” finally had to fold. The postage was not bad since we had a group-mailing permit. The hard part was talking the people into showing up. Cynthia used her gift of talking to CDs, to get a lot of them to come. This was very time consuming and we finally had to set up times for them to call. We had folks that signed up every year and never actually came!

< Linda and Cynthia Phillips, at home on a stripey couch.

3) Having once been a crossdresser & his wife, how are you two doing now that you’ve transitioned?
Because Cynthia knew about my crossdressing well before we got married, it was never a big thing in our lives. I rarely crossdressed during the period of time that I ran my business. The most important thing for me, was to wear a nightgown when we went to bed and that seemed to keep me happy for many years. When we retired I started going out dressed and that was when I started thinking of going full time. When we first married, I considered SRS. But Cynthia, being a lot smarter than I am, talked me out of it. (Actually she said “no” and that was that!)
My transitioning was sort of a non-event. Cynthia was not happy about it but she thought that at the age of fifty, I had paid my dues as a guy and if that was what I wanted to do, it was all right.
Cynthia and I have a wonderful relationship, and my situation has always been a minor issue. We have always been soul mates and have been together almost every day for almost fifty years. (We were married January 10, 1958.) When you are this close, something like one of you being “different” doesn’t interfere. I have always used Cynthia as my role model because I admire her intelligence as well as her womanhood. We are now closer than ever, if that is possible.
4) How does Linda feel about the “lesbian” issue? I know a lot of wives get worried about being perceived as lesbians in public spaces. How does she – and you two together – deal with that issue?
Having reached where we are, at our age we have experienced many things and most of them we have discarded as not being relevant to our situation. I will never forget Virginia Prince telling me I couldn’t be a lesbian because I don’t have the right equipment! And in a way she was right. I am sure some people in our local community think we are lesbians even though we pass as sisters-in-law. Any time two women live together for years there will be rumors.
5) What are you two up to now?
Once we put the “T” to bed, we went back to working on our home. We bought this house twenty years ago, unfinished. We may finish it before we die, but we are not betting on it! We also try to contribute to our local community. We’ve spoken at colleges and universities regarding transgenderism, for years. Also, Cynthia is the City election judge and I am her clerk. We do manage to stay busy. We traveled so much in our business (which I just wrote a book about) we don’t care to do any now, a good thing, with gas prices and traffic the way they are. Interestingly we never see any of the people we tried so hard to help.
At one time we had three events a month at our home . When we finally said “enough!” the rats fled the ship, and that was that. A Christmas card would startle us.
Hope this answers your questions. Our lives are pretty mundane now and we couldn’t be happier about that.