Tuesday, February 28, 2012

So How was the Party?

Well I'm glad you asked, Kim!

I had a blast!

I worked until 2, then headed up to Amanda Richards to get my makeup done.  I wanted to look my best (and if they see me in Amanda makeup, they won't recognize me when I do my own.  Yes, that's convoluted reasoning but there it is.)

I finished up at Amanda's at around six.  One again, I was dressed as a super heroine.  This was the fifth time I've worn the outfit.  Yes, I get it cleaned.  I really enjoy it, and since I paid a lot to have it made, I want to make use of it.  That said, my coworkers won't see it again.

Mary Marvel flies again!

A quick aside- why Mary Marvel?  When I first approached the person who made it (the amazing Lorraine Anderson of "Occasional Woman"), I had several ideas.  I knew I wanted to be a super hero.  I narrowed it to a few: Mary Marvel, Power Girl, or Batgirl (the red headed one.)  Doing Power Girl represented many issues, chief among them my weight (I'd need to lose a LOT).  Batgirl?  The mask would've cost a lot.  Mary Marvel has many costume variations, so I chose a traditional 1940s look which would help with my size and be fun for Lorraine to make (so she told me.)  End tangent.

So where was I?  I arrived at the party after seven and quickly had a few drinks.  Many people were already there and had a good laugh.  Despite being in a skirt in front of them, I was totally at ease.  There were some looks and some comments, but nothing nasty. Well, one person said I made an ugly woman. I just didn't care what they thought.  It was a party after all.

The night went on, and people had more to drink. We toasted the Honoree with shots Glenmorangie and of Jaegermeister. Other people arrived.  Many took pictures (most of which I haven't seen.)  Many of us played a game kind of like $25,000 Pyramid (if any of you remember that.)

A coworker snapped this picture of me drinking

I was asked lots of questions, most of them having to do with what was I using for breasts.  Some were asking why I was dressed as a woman.  Many had no idea of who I was dressed as.  (Is there any way I can make that last sentence grammatically correct?) I smiled and answered many of the questions, but not all.  A girl has to keep some mystery after all. 

One woman was hitting on me... really hard.  "I think it's so cool that you can get in touch with your feminine side without the whole macho bullshit" she said as she caressed my arm.  Well, if you want to know the truth...

Much later in the night, I was preparing to shower. That woman who I just mentioned dared me to change out of the costume, put on my street clothes, but keep on the bra, etc.  So I did.  That said, I DID remove the corset. 

Does this shirt make me look fat?

Later, I removed the wig and makeup.  I wasn't awake much longer, as I had drunk a lot, and it was 3 AM.  I crashed on an air mattress upstairs.  I am told the party lasted until around 6:30 AM. 

I woke up around 7:30 AM, and stepped over sleeping bodies to leave.  I went home and went back to bed.  At 4 PM, I was at work for another shift.

Fallout?  A lot of people asked about me wearing women's clothing AGAIN.  I pointed out that the costume cost money so I was going to wear it.  My manager said something like "You seem to be too comfortable wearing women's clothes."  (He wasn't there.)  I laughed and said there was nothing comfortable about it.

But there was.  I enjoyed being me, even if They didn't realize it.  Let them talk.  The most they can do is speculate.  Two years ago, the idea of them talking would've horrified me.  Now?  Who cares?  Is this growth? Indifference?

In any case, they've seen the last of Mary Marvel.  I have other costumes to wear, even if I want to be me: an Evil Queen, a Saint Pauli Girl...

... or maybe I'll try this:

Who knows?

What I do know is that I had a great time and that I managed to maybe educate some people.  Most important, our honoree, "E", had a blast and was sent off with style.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Party tonight.

I'm going to a party tonight.  It's a co-worker's going away party... and I'm going as Sophie. 

My co-workers don't know about my feminine side. 

I have a co-worker leaving for Instanbul. (We'll call her E.)  She's moving there to be with her boyfriend who is teaching there for a couple years.  So tonight is her going away party.  As it's her party, she chose the theme.  She chose "Halloween."  Why?  because she hosted the Halloween party that no one came to due to snow.  (I wrote about that here)  So dammit, she wanted her Halloween party!  Oh, and E asked me to wear the same outfit.

Besides, E says "There are 3 things I won't be able to have in Turkey:  my friends, good beer, or being able to dress up in a costume."

Ok, so I'm going to this party.  Unlike last time, I didn't bust my ass for a month setting it up.  Nope.  I dropped off the bar and decorations last night as well as my stereo with appropriate tunes (I made a new 2 CD mix set for this party.)

But I will be there as Sophie.  And many coworkers will see me that way. 

My costume then and for tonight

To be fair, this will not be the first time.  I've been to two other parties as a woman.  The first was my "re-awakening" night back in 2008.  E even helped me choose the outfit.  I even went to the store.  The result?  A lot of laughs and, well, my re-awakening.

At work that fateful night

The following year, I did it again.  I dubbed myself "Monique" and again visited the store.  No one recognized me.  Can't imagine why.


Now it's party time again.  Last time they'll see Sophie unless they bump into me dressed.  And what would I do if they did?  I have no idea. 

But for tonight, I'll have a blast and send E off properly.  I will be staying over so I don't have to drive. 

Bon voyage, E.  May the four winds blow your safely home.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


At a previous job of mine, employees were taught the Seven P’s: “Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.” There are many times I go on a whim and see where life takes me. Life’s too short to rob it all of mystery. However, some things require planning. For example, I usually plan my outfits for going out during the week before I go. Yeah I know- so what’s my excuse for poor selections? Heehee

One major event requiring meticulous planning is what I will be doing soon: telling my wife about my feminine side. I know I’ve mentioned this before, and this week is all about the what’s and why’s of this planning.

To recap, I have been back to dressing for over three years now. I haven’t told my wife about it. The idea of telling a spouse is always a major horror, more so for me because I know her opinion on this matter. My wife is a hard-core catholic and she feels that cross-dressing is a sin. Big time. Add to this, her mother lives with us, and she is an EXTREME right winger (she thinks Santorum is liberal- no joke!) So between the two of them, after disclosing my life as Sophie, the strong probability is that I’ll be thrown out on my ear.

Oh, add to that- my mother in law has said several times that if I ever leave, my dog will be going to the SPCA the next day… and who will adopt a twelve year old dog? Death sentence.

Why do it? Why spill the beans? I hate the lies. I have always hated lies, and having to lie to my wife really hurts. I’ve gotten to the point that I can’t stand the lies any more. So… time to make a plan.

Ok, first things first. I’ll need a place to live- Affordable on my meager pay and preferably one that takes dogs.

Second, I’ll need a way to get everything out of there that I want out before they change the locks (which I’m sure they will do.) So I need to prioritize everything and pack.

Third: Money. Rent costs money. Food. Clothing. Everything. I’m not paid much. So, where to raise extra funds BEFORE going and after if needed?

Fourth: Legal advice. I didn’t think of this until my therapist brought it up. If I’m out the door, divorce papers will probably come flying soon. I’ll need to know what that will ocst and what I stand to lose. And what about my daughter? Will my wife try to wring me dry for support even though she makes over double what I do? Will she paint me as some kind of pervert to keep my daughter from me?

Ok, so what are my advantages? My car is completely paid. My only real outstanding debts are student loans. I have very little credit card debt.

(Wow. Is being a woman worth all this?)

So as you can see, there are complex issues. Let’s add to this the following- if she finds out about Sophie before I tell her, I will have to mobilize super fast.

Any way I can Danny Ocean to plan this all out for me?

Ok, so what’s been done? I secured a place to stay on a temporary basis if needed. I have a couple leads on other places to stay. Fortunately, we as a group are very helpful to each other. I’ve prioritized what I wish to keep and started selling off other items on ebay to make money. I’ve started packing things in boxes. I have a storage space where I keep my girl things, and there’s room there for other stuff as well.

Legal? There’s the Mazzoni Center in downtown Philadelphia. They help with LGBT legal affairs, also with health care. I haven’t called them yet, but I will very soon. (http://mazzonicenter.org/)

Oh, right- health care. I am now on my own insurance instead of my wife’s.

As you can see, this is one massive storm of trouble I’m headed toward. However, this is something that many of us have already faced and conquered. Will I manage to come through ok? Who knows?

At this stage of my life, I can’t afford “piss poor performance.” Homelessness is something many TG people face, and without planning, that’s where I’d be. Hell, even WITH all this planning there’s a real chance I’ll still be there. Homeless AND owing child support. Figure that one out!

To answer my earlier question- yes it’s worth it.

It has to be.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Transphobia... hating yourself?

Like many of us, I get therapy for GID.  Part of it is a support group that meets once a month.  We always have a topic and this month was "Transphobia."  Dr. Osborne sent the following article to us all so we could discuss it.


According to about.com, Transphobia is defined as "an irrational fear of, and/or hostility towards, people who are transgender or who otherwise transgress traditional gender norms."

Ok, so what if you're a Transperson- can you have transphobia? 

Of course!

In fact, a lot of the attitudes and fears are probably based in it.

Let's face it, being this way is far from easy.  I've heard people say that they wouldn't wish it on their worst enemies.  Others say it's a gift.  I'm somewhere in between.  Am I glad to be Sophie?  Yes, but because I accept it.  Did I always?


In fact, it scared the hell out of me, and sometimes still does.  Why?  Well partially because of transphobia.

Fear me?

When I was growing up in the 60s, 70s and 80s, the kids in the neighborhood made fun of gays.  It was just the way it was.  If you couldn't catch a football, you'd get called a "faggot" for example.  When I was young, I realized I was different, that I felt feminine.  Not realizing the difference between "gay" and "Trans" I was so scared that someone would find out. 

Because I was the object of all that derision that I myself had dished out, I directed that inward.  Now remember, this was before the internet, so obviously I was the only weird person who dressed like this and who felt this way.  So add that guilt and shame to the mix.  Oh, and I was very slight and bad at most sports so I caught hell from my peers about that.  All that inward self loathing in addition to the jibes of my peers meant I pretty much kept to myself.

Fast forward to my early teens when I saw something on the news.  The local station ran a week long series called "The Transsexual Dilemma."  So I had a name for it.  And I saw others like me, and saw how much derision they were taking.  Scary!

By my mid teens I decided that I was going to be all man and stopped dressing.  Like many of us, I went overboard trying to prove my manhood to myself and others.  I could still hear the neighborhood kids' insults in my ears- and added to them were my own insults. 

And so my womanhood was buried for many years- by my own Transphobia.

Can you accept me like this?

Now I have accepted myself as a woman inside.  But I still hear the insults and jibes inside.  They are far worse than anything I have heard while dressed (except for the one jerk at the Harrisburg casino last year, but I ignored him.) 

I no longer fear being Sophie as I am now.  Do I fear taking more steps?  Yes, very much.  Am I still scared every time I step into public in a skirt?  Yes, but not as much.  Now I am going to try venturing out as a woman to places that aren't "safe."  In fact, I'm doing so tonight.  Be the person I need to be- who I am.

Conquer that fear. 

That fear is part of my own transphobia- a relic from my childhood that should've been put to bed long ago.

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Confession

Like many of my readers, I've known about my fem side since I was quite young.  I think the first time I dressed I was around 7.  The first time I dressed completely I was 13.  That I remember.  I even remember what I wore.  My mom's kelly green gown.  I tried makeup and a wig she had and believe me, I looked like hell.  But to my young eyes, I was beautiful.  Finally female.

I dressed when I could.  My mom didn't have a huge wardrobe, but I tried them all.  My favorite was a gray skirt with a pink top.  Funny how I own something similar now, isn't it? 

So was that enough?  Hell no!

Around the same time I started dressing, my friends and I discovered the world of Dungeons and Dragons.  This was 1977.  Yes, by then I was hard-core into Lord of the Rings and fantasy books.  And then this box came into my life.

Basic Set Box art from 1977

So how does this fit in?
In Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), you can play a character of many types, races... and either gender.  So while my main characters were always tough, buff fighters, I also made sure that there was a woman in the party (usually a wizard) and that I played the role.  There were only three of us playing, so we had several Non-Player Characters (NPCs) each.  It was my first expression of my femininity.

Then came my first main female character: a priest.  She was blonde, buxom, and wore a red dress.  Don't ask me how this protected her from swords or claws- I was only 14 then!  She was my main character in an adventure called Tomb of Horrors.

Tomb of Horrors cover art

It's still the most fun I've ever had in an adventure, especially since my fellow player and I (the third guy ran the adventure: the dungeon master) each ran four characters and my priest was the only survivor.  I think her name was Athena, but my memory is fuzzy there.  Oh, did I mention the hallway full of mist that changes your gender?  Heehee. 

I played D&D through high school and college.  In college, we actually had women in our group!  By then I'd stopped dressing, as it wasn't something guys did.  And obviously I was the only weirdo in the world who did that sort of thing, right?

Fast forward many years.  I kept playing D&D off and on, and even worked in the Adventure Gaming field for some time.  I kept my feminine side well buried, except for those female characters.

Then, nine years ago I moved back to the Philly area.  Stopped playing D&D altogether.  Three years ago, I finally recognized my feminine side. 

But another game came in between those: Second Life.

Four years ago, I started playing Second Life (SL).  What is that?  Ummm well, according to Wikipedia:

"Second Life is an online virtual world developed by Linden Lab. It was launched on June 23, 2003. A number of free client programs, or Viewers,[1][2] enable Second Life users, called Residents, to interact with each other through avatars. Residents can explore the world (known as the grid), meet other residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, and create and trade virtual property and services with one another. Second Life is intended for people aged 16 and over,[3] and as of 2011 has about one million active users.

I was hooked.  My first character was male, but I soon had a female character.  Then another.  And now all I play are female characters.  My current is pictured below.  I've played her for the last three years.

So why do this?  I find that when I CAN'T express myself as a woman in real life, it helps to do so virtually.  My character is identified in Second Life as TG, so I'm not trying to fool anyone.  (That said 3/8 of all women avatars in SL are played by males.  And those are the ones REGISTERED as men, so the number is probably higher.)

What do I encounter as a transgender in SL?  Well, some people refuse to speak to me.  I occasionally get some grief, but SL has a Mute button for those you don't wish to hear.  And there are guys who want to hook up with me because I'm TG (yes, virtual chasers!)

Still, I've connected with Trans-people from all over the world.  There is a huge network there which offers support and friendship.  And actually, most people are cool about me being who I am there.  In an environment where there is antire subculture of people playing furry animals, I'm not considered odd.  I've even made some good friends!

So there it is.  I confess: I'm a Gamer.  I have been and will continue to be.  Some people will judge.  Well, I'm used to that.  I think playing SL and D&D have helped me to find the courage to walk out the door in a skirt, and maybe to be a better woman.  And if you were to see my SL character's wardrobe, you'd find her style is very similar to mine.  Hmmm... think I try ideas on her, where it's inexpensive?

In many ways, becoming the woman inside is very hard.  It's good to be able to blow off steam.  And in my case, it's good to be the woman I am virtually when I can't be one outwardly in real life.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Some new sources

This morning I was looking through my Blog's Dashboard, trying to see where people find my ramblings.

As expected, my flickr site is a major source. 

So is Google, but the searches they use were kind of scary.

But two of the biggest werethe following, and I wanted to thank them.


These guys are a one stop shopping spot for Transgender Blogs.  I could read stuff there all week and not finish it all!  Great stuff!

The second:

This one looks like it's based in the UK.  Seems like more shopping then blogs, but it's cool stuff to look at for people like me. 

Hey, thanks to both of you, really!  A toast to you!