When an adventure requires its central character to play the role of hero and damsel the plot becomes very confusing and at odds with itself very quickly, this was an experience to be savoured and suffered. I finally took the final step on escaping the cross-dresser skin that had wrapped me up so tight. I stepped out of this all-encompassing cocoon and tip-toed delicately and naked in the free air as woman for the first time. Gone was the awkward, exaggerated mannerisms and grace and beauty was found. For the first time I blushed at a mans affections rather than acting like a man in a dress, I felt like one of the girls and discovered just how different and real my situation is now.
For the first time I belong. The outsider is in from the cold.
It may not have been as realistic as the picture dictates but for the first time I had a place to call my own and my confidence blossomed into a powerhouse that was a runaway steam train on fire. I strutted my stuff, wiggled my arse and other revellers called me miss and sweetie! Arriving at this monumental part of my life has excited as well as humbled me, freedom has never been so close, the jailor had forgotten to lock the cell door and my escape has begun.
With all my strength my cell door has been broken and I breathe free air for the first time.
While all this excitement was happening inside me some very real experiences also cropped up that I had not considered before. Using the little ladies room for the first time was very surreal and I actually felt fear as I fumbled with makeup and tried to smile with the other girls.
Now, any man will know that using the gents is normally a quiet experience, a place of reflection, you think about how to get home, what you are going to say to the pretty girl next, and so on. It is a generally peaceful place, where men clear their throats and spit in the trough, they may joke with one another very briefly about how liberating that first mighty piss is. But what hit me like a tidal wave upon entering the ladies was absolute chaos, girls huddled in groups nattering like a mothers meetings, tissue and makeup gunk everywhere, and I am surprised there is not a sand shortage with all the mirrors lined up one after the other. I think a few of my fellow toilet dwellers could sense my anguish with this strange world, one actually asked if I was okay, I brushed it off as being a little tipsy but on reflection I wish I had explained my inexperience.
Another aspect that I have to improve on very quickly is applying makeup while standing up. I have practiced and practiced at my make shift dresser at home, but nothing prepared me to have to stand, with others watching, and make myself beautiful.
I had visions of the chaos but no imagination could have prepared me for this!
Later on in the evening, after I had become rather drunk, I was now stumbling about as opposed to gliding like a flower on the breeze, my next experience is one that has taught me the biggest practical lesson to being a woman. Whatever is going on, where ever you are, no matter who you are with, never, ever under any circumstances lose your handbag.
I was trying to make my way through an overcrowded corridor of the club and as I passed through a doorway another clubber hooked onto my handbag some how and it was ripped from my shoulder and back into where I had come from. At first I could not actually believe it. I started searching furiously around me and started to panic. Phone, money, cards, not to mention the cost of replacing all that makeup! I was like a damsel in distress and while at the time all I could think about was to not start crying, the actual emotion has added to my overall experience and made me feel more like a woman. Luckily my handbag had ended up with some lovely doorstaff who not only gave me back my little bag of tricks but comforted me to some degree, again adding to my feeling of real womanhood.
I am liberated and cannot wait for more days like this.
“We’ve begun to raise daughters more like sons… but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters.” ― Gloria Steinem
Life sometimes passes you by without any notice being taken. You can go for days and days in a blur, your ingrained ‘social training’ will hold you in good stead for as long as you need if you simply want to blend in without any consequence. After reading several blogs on here the last few days about names, pronouns and ID, I realised I had not given that much thought about how others perceive the new me or how to address me when we meet.
After having my breakthrough moment and working through the initial changes to mannerisms and my thought process that will allow me to start transitioning, one thing that has become very evident is how my friends now greet me and the gesture they naturally begin with. This seems a silly notion at first, but when you actually think about how society engraves our brains, from a very young age, how to greet others correctly, some very interesting points come to the fore when gender identity is thrown into the mix.
I want to put my new found experiences on this subject into perspective, as it really came to light on a night out recently. I have frequented a club in London every month for a while now and my clothing will vary from a male suit to skirts and dresses, depending if I have time to ‘create the girl’ before I get there. Now normally most would greet me as a male and shake my hand if they were male and a quick kiss on the cheek if they were a woman, regardless of my attire. This is standard meet and greet tactics that have reigned true since the dawn of time and it is fine. Since coming out to the world greeting people has been a mixed bad, and on my night out, some male friends, who have not been phased in the slightest and simply treated me as if I was really a lady and kissed my cheek with an embrace. This was fantastic and feels right and natural. No more having to make the perfect handshake, no need to worry about squeezing or shaking a hand to hard or softly. I no longer need to worry about a man making initial judgments about me through how confidently I shake their hand.
Others have taken the usual approach to shake my hand with a smile and do not seem to even notice what has just happened. Another person actually asked whether they should treat me as a female person from now on, and their honesty about not really knowing the best way to treat me was encouraging as they had at least had a little think before engaging. All in all everyone was fine with it and there were no awkward silences or questions. I did explain that for the time being I was not concerned about being referred to as ‘he’ because I have not started any form of hormones or treatments and I do still see a man in the mirror at the present time.
Now I want to make this very clear, that either way of greeting me is fine and I am not discussing this to stamp some sort of correct procedure in place. However it is something that going forward I may have to ‘correct’ people on and this may be unfair to them as it is my choice to change who I am. It would be terrible if people I meet were worried about approaching me to say hello only to be unsure how to start. I am not easily offended, that is for sure, and I would rather have friends that greeted me how they feel comfortable, at least for the time being.
In the future I hope the change is quite natural because my appearance over time should become more and more feminine. And the further the we go through the process the better we become at getting over the hurdles and helping others to deal with the changes as well.
“You are now free…” she said, with an authority I had never heard. And it was good!
More or less ten months ago I was waking up after an operation to remove some bits of metal from my leg. It was painful yes, but not in the physical way most would assume. I can take physical pain, not in some macho, double hard bastard kind of way, but for some reason I have an odd ability to convince myself it is all in the mind. Which it is!
After I sobered from my wonderful chemical embrace, the doc had some news for me that change my life forever. Three simple words that felt like a slow motion bullet, sent by an angel to smash my heart and resonate all the way to my inner being. A rainbow of confusion followed by extreme clarity that at first I put down to the morphine. “NO MORE FOOTBALL, Mr Johnson.”
The doctor had to explain this unfamiliar term to me a few times before it sunk in but after it did I did not feel angry, I was not even particularly sad. There was just one sole purpose that had now overcome my entire being and boy was she coming on strong. The voice that had been always suppressed, always pushed away, always ignored was louder and so acute that I felt as if I had been living under water my entire life. “You are now free, there are no more barriers in your life to stop you.”
After a few weeks, several more procedures, and more happy juice, my mind cleared and wave upon wave of realisation hit my head like a jackhammer. At first I considered it was all down to the shock of the injury and the fact my entire world had been turned upside down. During this time of reflection I was basically an invalid, I needed help getting out of bed, help to get in and out of the shower, even trying to make a cup of tea was a nightmare due to the fact I could only stand on one leg and had to use crutches to hobble around. I would like to say I had a nurse or hand maiden to help me with all this as that would have been great. Instead I had a brother who had to see his older sibling, the person he looked up to and relied upon for support, in a weakened state. Unable to be the rock I always was, I had been chipped down to a naked pebble.
I have looked after my brother for many years since we were teenagers. We are each others best mates and I think that if we had not shared those early days living in the backs of vans or sleeping in friends living rooms, scrapping around for a place to wash or something to eat, neither of us would have made it. If it was not for my brother I would not have excelled in a career, his needs pushed my pursuit for money, my love pushed his support to help us succeed. However, before me now was not a needy child who needed a father figure, before me was a fellow man who had the decency to suffer along with his brother in their time of need. He had to do most things for me, help me dress, make me meals, help me to walk and he performed this unselfish act without a single grumble or negative word.
So the voice in my head was not only telling me that I was free to be myself as I could no longer play football, I am free because my brother no longer needs me to look after him, my duty is complete and now we are both free. I am proud to have been a part of his coming of age, as I am sure he will be supportive in mine.
“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” Aristotle,
When great people say or do great things, people take notice, they listen, watch and learn. In our own lives, we want others to think great things about us. I used to enjoy scoring the winning goal in a dogged match, gaining a promotion at work, helping a friend in need.
A simple idea in principle but one that has now taken on a new meaning in my own life. Once it was enough to accept a pat on the back for a job well done or the smile of a friend who was in anguish only to be healed by your kind words or actions. I have a new challenge and one that I have little, if any, experience in. I have to act like a woman, and I need others to think of me as feminine in the future. There is so much that has changed within my mind over the last months and years but now the real hard work begins.
Practicing my walking had a most unwelcome outcome the other day, never before has putting ones foot before the other been so much hard work. Small steps at first, noticing my hips swinging a little and my arms doing a ridiculous flowing motion, like a hippy portraying a roller-coaster in charades. I felt it though, the smile was back, I felt free from societies shackles. I probably looked like a complete fool, but none the wiser I trotted my way into a faster pace, always over confident and ambitious…splat! Over I went in a spectacular fall from grace. Luckily for me a well placed railing came to my rescue and after having a little look around at who may have seen my stumble, there was only two elderly ladies waiting at a near by bus stop. Not sure they saw but was glad to not be more embarrassed.
As I grow and learn the techniques needed to convince others of my feminine charms a better person should be more evident, friendlier, less aggressive and hopefully more appealing. One aspect that has become apparent right from the outset is I do not feel the need to push my views on others as I normally do. I allow others to speak first, listen more closely before judging their stance and generally have a better conversation. This is all positive in not only my journey to womanhood but in social situations as a whole. I feel people are more drawn to me, gone is this arrogant, controlling and obnoxious man. Liberty and self awareness now fuels me instead of a sticky mud that kept me back from the truth.
Getting a job looking like a drunk rocker is hard enough, getting a job looking like a drag queen is a whole different ball game.
Jobless and having a brother to support was very scary way back in 2004. I was, and still am, a rocker at heart. Nothing pleases me more than head banging to the Rock Gods of old, but I was in a situation that forced me to change my image and attitude to life. I had lovely, long brown hair. I was the envy of every girl who crossed my path due to my lovely ringlets and volume that my hair had in abundance. Imagine Brian May and Axl Rose in their prime and you get the idea.
Interview after interview started to draw me to the conclusion that rockers just do not get the good jobs. And I really needed a decent job. The money from my role at the greyhound track was not anywhere near enough to sustain myself, let alone my brother as well. Then it happened, I was dragged kicking and screaming to the barber who had a field day, and an evil cackle, as my lovely locks fell the shop floor…
It worked, however, and now I have forged a career. This blog however is not about my glory days, it is about my gender identity issues and the transition from male to female.
The purchasing of a wig was far less challenging and painful then I imagined it would be. To top off the experience they had a style that matched my natural hair when it is allowed to grow to considerable length. I was very pleased with the kind gentleman who was not fazed at all in helping me with choosing and how to use my purchase. It was hard to gauge how I felt when I was wearing the wig inside the shop, but once home something magical happened!
It was as if the clock had wound back fifteen years and I was the gangly teenager that used to give his all in the name of an alternative lifestyles. I felt like I had been transported to a happy place where memories were once again present experiences. While all this reminiscing and head banging was happening, it seemed different from before. At first I could not quite place the sensation I felt. It soon became apparent that while I was remembering the young man from times gone by there was a young woman screaming for attention in my head today.
For the first time in my life I looked at the person in the mirror and there was a smile. Smiling does not come naturally to me and seeing my smile in the mirror was very odd, but satisfying. This sounds ridiculous, but it is the truth, I actually smiled at what I saw. There was a distinct lack of makeup and a six o’clock shadow had crept across my face, but there was happiness. There was almost crying, and I never cry, unless my entire being is shifted into an unknown situation. This was not unknown, it was more like a situation that had been hiding from itself.
The vision in my head for all these years is now real, there is another milestone on this wonderful journey conquered and a smile is now allowed. It will take many years for my hair to grow back to the length it once was, but a goal has been set and visualised that will not be taken away from me.
Opening the door and walking through it are two different challenges...
The initial step of my journey has begun, opening the door has been exciting, yet scary. A new world has presented itself and there are small islands, strewn across a vast sea, as I step outside. On the horizon is a mountain, one I will have to conquer if I am to find my true self.
This blog was started to document the many challenges that will be put in front of me over the next years and as with all journeys it is one small step at a time. The first challenge of accepting myself is over, I came to terms with the two voices inside me, knowing one had to win out over the other at some point.
The road continues and the next challenge is how to explain my new found self to others in my life. This will be a continuous challenge as it does not feel comfortable to over expose and add unwanted pressure or attention to an already difficult situation. Initially I will be talking with my friends on the fetish scene. Those who know me through fetish clubs and events will be the most accepting for sure, it is what makes this unique group of people so special. I know I will not face any negative attitudes and this is where my 'coming out' has already started. Not many will be surprised by the news either, as I have cross-dressed on the scene for many years and this is a natural step for many in my position.
Moving on from this initial stage of explaining will be more difficult, as I know my childhood friends will be confused and maybe even scared when they discover a leader among them likes to wear lingerie and dresses. This will, however, be sometime in the future as I have not even spoken to a doctor as of yet, and there is no reason to throw the cats among the pigeons until there are some pigeons to hunt.
I have been looking into how others have overcome this hurdle and it is fair to say there will be mixed results. I read about a young lady who came out recently and the article was sad at times. She has gone through so much in her short life, but now feels empowered from the experiences. It is stories like this one that give the realities against the fantasies that are in my head.
http://www.thedp.com...herselfÂ Â Â Â
I am nowhere near this stage yet but it I am working hard on how to explain all this to the people in my life. Family and work will be the hardest for sure, but I do not want to even contemplate this bridge until the path is a little wider and I am clearer in my goals and objectives. I think it only fair to be very clear in my intentions before explaining this to anyone other than close friends.
Today is the first day of an adventure. Sometimes in life you have to take a look at yourself and delve deep inside to discover what you really want from it.
I have never been very comfortable in my own skin, there was always a little voice in the crevices at the back of my mind. A tiny notion, planted when I hit puberty, has started to blossom inside of me since I began recovery from a severe broken leg at the end of 2013. The seed had been kept in hibernation by a variety of sources, mostly consisting of a love of playing football and the fact I was thrusted into the role of provider and caregiver for my younger brother.
Since the injury has rendered me unable to play football again and my younger brother is not so young anymore, my time of late has been spent in contemplation on my future and where I want to get to. I harked back to my past for inspiration and it was at this time the seed germinated and began to crawl and creep into my subconscious.
I have cross-dressed on and off for many years, never really going full on with makeup or wigs etc, but wearing skirts and lingerie is a real thrill for me. Having so much time on my hands I realised that going to the odd fetish night or dressing as a female in my bedroom was not quite enough anymore. It was at this point it hit me that in the back of mind the idea of being an actual woman was very appealing and that maybe I had been hiding from my true self. Her voice is echoing louder and louder around my head since the day I realised I could not devote my time to playing football any longer. Not that playing football was a waste of my life or time, it has provided me with fantastic memories and many friends. It is very evident, however, that it was a blockade that was keeping me from true self. I have used it as a barrier to get away from the inevitable.
I wonder if some spiritual force has caused my injury so that I would hide away no longer. This force has enlightened my life and where there was once darkness and fog, there is now clear skies and a beaming sun. The tunnel has opened up and I breathe clean air for the first time in my adult life.
Since breaking my leg I have been cross-dressing more and more, and I am speeding towards the thought that I am a trans-girl waiting to explode into the world and the journey to fulfil this desire has begun.
The first step is research, research, research. I have been reading so much material recently that I feel my head is going to fall off, but it has served a purpose and I want to explore these feelings further. I have an appointment booked with my GP and am going to ask for a referral to a specialist team in London who assess if I am ‘suffering’ with gender dysphoria.
This journey will be long, there is no getting away from the length of time it will take. I will use this blog as a diary, logging the ups, downs and challenges I will face in the next few years. As one flower dies another must bloom.