I saw an ad for an online university and one particular line stood out to me. The announcer’s voice was trying to be encouraging when he said, “Talent is evenly distributed, but opportunities are not.” As I heard those words, I realized that while they SOUNDED good at a glance, they were in fact, patently untrue! If they WERE, then I would have the basketball expertise of Michael Jordan, the intelligence of Einstein, the voice of Celine Dion, and the body of Cindy Crawford….all clearly NOT the case. Talents, skills, and attributes are not and never WILL be evenly distributed.

Similarly, opportunities vary widely for different people. This can be due to economic status, geographic location, family dynamics, genetic inheritances, and hundreds of other factors. We as a society strive to provide opportunities to as many folks as possible to help them overcome the obstacles they face in achieving their dreams. But there will always be inequalities here as well.

What then can we do to achieve our dreams-whether they are fame, fortune, a good job, a loving family, or being true to our authentic selves? As I thought about it, I realized that the key difference between those who succeed in their quest, despite the obstacles placed before them, and those who fail, despite their inherent advantages, is in the attitude and effort they exhibit. When faced with a disadvantaged position (such as growing up in a broken home or in a poor neighborhood or being physically handicapped…. Or being transgendered), that each could choose one of two attitudes.

Stepping Out Secrets

First you could decide that you are a victim-of fate, of societal forces, or just plain bad luck. But that attitude just leads you to wallow in self-pity and does nothing to help you achieve your dreams. This is not limited to those who are truly disadvantaged either. Even those with a lot going for them can lose it all or fail to achieve their goals because they don’t put in the effort-choosing to seek out pity despite their favorable circumstances, feeling as if they still don’t have as much as someone else does.

OR… you can decide that you WILL succeed despite your circumstances. With effort and a positive attitude, many folks have overcome incredible hardships to capture their full potential and succeed beyond their wildest dreams. They see their obstacles as opportunities, the chance to become stronger by overcoming their struggles. In doing so, they inspire others to follow their example. No one denies that inequities exist, but by achieving your goals through hard work, you can help illuminate those inequities to the world-a world that despite what some might say to the contrary, DOES have the capability of changing attitudes for the better.

So as I navigate my journey toward an as yet unknown destination, I choose to celebrate my uniqueness, to work my hardest at overcoming any obstacles life confronts me with, and to try to inspire others to do the same. And maybe, just maybe, together we can change the world!


With apologies to Teddy Roosevelt for re-writing his quote “It’s Not the Critic Who Counts”-one of my dad’s favorite quotes.

It’s not the critic who counts; not the woman who points out how the crossdresser gets read, or where the person who left her home dressed could have looked better. The credit belongs to the woman who is actually in the arena, whose makeup is slightly smeared from nervous perspiration; who dares go out into the world; who fails to pass, coming short again and again, because there is no venturing out without initial failures and fiascos; but who actually DOES try and pass in the world; who knows great joy at going out dressed; working hard on her outfit and deportment; who gives her all in reaching for the stars; who at the best is accepted by the world as female ; and who at the worst, if she fails, at least fails while daring to reach her dream, so that her place will never be with those timid souls who hide at home and never try.


  1. bronwyn barron 7 months ago

    Hi Cynthia, while your words of encouragement are inspirational, they are somewhat wasted on me. I will be a closet dresser till i die. I have accepted that and have no desire to go further in my fem life.
    And looking at the comments here tells me that your encouraging words are of great value to the other girls here. Bronwyn

    • Author
      *skippy1965(Cynthia) 7 months ago

      Bronwyn, while not EVERY one can or even wants to go out (for any variety of reasons), you can still be true to yourself and value yourself. If you are happy, then that is what matters!

  2. Stephanie Flowers 7 months ago

    Beautifully written cyn , life offers us so many challenges and to this successes becomes our strengths as to failures brings in reality in one’s lives. To accomplish success draws a mindset to be positive in believing in one’s self , to be able to overcome and to conquer . A decision to move ahead in something that all of us face in our lives and must be recognized as true to your values even though situations dictate the opposite. In the end it’s you and only you who should feel right about pursuing your goal . Arise with Confidence show the pride found inside. it’s truly a compassionate time and opening up could cause failures but is just part of moving forward to dreams close to one’s heart.

  3. Again – very relevant article Cyn!

    I do hope, however, that we all realize though that as well as talent and opportunity – fortitude, attitude, and internal makeup are also not evenly distributed. So often we hear someone say “she just needs to have a better attitude” or “she just needs to work harder” and my answer is “well – duh!” Easier said than done sometimes. I know that I have been battling depression for most of my life and without the help of friends and family and some great doctors I would probably be dead by now.

    Now I own my life and my depression and I assume responsibility for the point where my life is today, but if I had been born with other talents, opportunities and a non-depressed mental state maybe things would have been exponentially easier. Who knows? I understand that I am facing a set of problems that are my own, yet, in many ways pre determined by who and what I am and my inborn, internal makeup.

    And I know many ladies here face similar obstacles. My hope is that we all find it within ourselves to be as open as we can to understanding that much of people’s makeup is beyond their control without a whole lot of love, understanding, and patience on our parts. We all make progress at our own pace – with the help of those who love and care about us enough to wait as we come along.


    • Author
      *skippy1965(Cynthia) 7 months ago

      I agree with you-and it’s why I try to always listen to folks and be encouraging to folks. I hope by always displaying my own optimism and enthusiasm that it will help others to be able to do so too!

  4. Andrea Adlerberg 7 months ago

    Great article Cyn. Attitude is truly the foundation for success. The adaptation of TR’s quote was the icing on the cake !

  5. Isabelle 7 months ago

    Very insightful, as always – many thanks for this article Cyn. I do relate to your point about making the effort as a crossdresser. While the result may not always be perfect, it is always so fulfilling to make the effort, with no regrets. Despite all the doubts we may each of us have, and probably understandably so, about going out and trying to live a normal life ‘en femme’ and blend in, I have observed that I am accepted for who I am, pretty much all the time, simply for making the effort to be Isabelle, with a positive attitude. As Fiona said, life really is what you make of it.
    Keep up the great work.
    Isabelle xxx

  6. JaiymeLynne 6 months ago

    Hi Cyn,
    Thank you for your inspirational message. We who take on this journey of self expression and discovery are valiant and courageous. But we must, to be true to our hearts. And take opportunity as it arises in order to be the person we are meant to be, whole and happy.

    • Author
      *skippy1965(Cynthia) 6 months ago

      I know this site has made an enormous impact on my life and it was through the love and support and encouragement from my friends here that I finally shook off the shackles of fear and ventured out into the world. The worry about what the world in general would think of me has nearly disappeared. I still have a ways to go as far as my concern over friends and acquaintances and coworkers giving me a hard time or rejecting me preventing me from coming completely out of the shadows. But I am slowly allowing Cyn to peek out in those areas of my life and have told three or four more friends about Cyn recently and been accepted-at least in the abstract and seeing pictures. We’ll have to see if that translates into them being comfortable being around me in person while I am in full Cyn mode but every step is a bit closer to just being “ME” and letting the world see me for all of who I am.

      And trust me-if I (as the paralyzingly shy introverted quiet person that I am) can do it, than ANYONE can!

      • JaiymeLynne 6 months ago

        Thank you Cyn. Your words are encouraging. I’ve a long way to go, but 1 day at a time is my mantra.

  7. Linda Porter 6 months ago

    Great piece that you wrote and I do believe there are those who do and those who do not. I see some people get it in their head that that can’t do something and then it snowballs into something more bringing them down entirely.

  8. Carrie 6 months ago

    Awe Sweetheart you look so happy and I’m very happy for you Cyn, you go Sister

  9. Char 6 months ago

    B E A Youuuu tiful Cyn yup yup yup Bzactly!!
    I don’t know where I heard this one:

    there are those that talk about other peoples ideas
    there are those that talk about their own incredible ideas &
    there are those too busy building to talk much at all…
    This is going to be a Fun year Girlfriends hehehe
    n huggles

  10. Rose Turner 4 months ago

    I try. I’ve been out. Do I pass? I don’t know. I don’t care either. I just want to have fun. Like the song says girls just want to have fun. So I don a dress or a skirt and go out and act like a girl. I have so much fun doing it that I’ll never stop. I may live full time one day. I go into the ladies room when I have to go. I’ve been reconized as a girl on some occations. Love the girl thing. I put on a skirt as my regular clothes now. No problem. OH, let it warm up !

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