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Early March - 2006

Lately, I have been pondering a question that began a few months ago, and finally got me to sit down and start writing when I read an essay over at Gender Evolve.  The title of this essay was, "Crossdressing with a Capitol F" and was written by one of the GE contributors, Marlena.  Now basically Marlena's discussion centered around fashion throughout history, the differences between men's and women's clothing, and how women's fashion ideas often come from what men wear.  You can stop here and go read the entire essay, or you can finish here, and read it later, but by all means read her essay as it is well written and very enlightening, especially if you are into women's fashion.  Anyway, the question that I have been pondering is, "Am I really Transgender, or am I just a Crossdresser?

After reading Marlena's essay and responding with a comment, I began thinking about my own thoughts on the subject of fashion, especially women's fashion and Crossdressing.  As I have stated somewhere long ago I have been Crossdressing in female clothing since I was 9 years old, and for many years I had no idea there was a name for it other than I thought I was gay.  In my mid teens I saw "Female Impersonators,  Female Mimics, and Female Illusionists, but all of these people where involved in some form of entertainment and for the most part when they weren't entertaining, the dressed and acted like normal males, or at least I assumed they did.  It wasn't until I reached me early 20's that I learned there was a name for people like me that dress liked to dress in female clothing.  I was a "Transvestites," and I was happy to finally have a name to put to what I did.  It was also important to learned that because I dressed female clothing, that didn't necessarily mean I was homosexual, or bisexual; it just meant that I had a fetish for wearing items of female clothing and that I probably did this to achieve some kind of erotic or sexual gratification.  I have to admit that the definition fit pretty good, as it was the only one I had, and I did often enjoy some form of erotic or sexual gratification when I wore female clothing.

So, for the next 15 or so years, when I referred to what I did, I described myself as being a "Transvestite."  And, when someone asked what that meant, I defined it as being someone, usually a male who likes to wear female clothing.  I deliberately left out the part about wearing female clothing to achieve some kind of erotic or sexual gratification.  This was to much information, and although this was true for me at the time, I was honestly ashamed to admit it.  Now sometime in my late 30's a good friend of mine described herself as being a "Crossdresser" a term I had never heard used until I heard it from her.  Rhonda defined the meaning of the word as someone that dresses completely in female clothing in order to present a female image.  Crossdresser sounded less clinical than "Transvestite" and seemed to be a much better description of what I actually was doing at this point in my life.  I liked being completely dressed and I no longer got any form of sexual gratification from wearing female clothing, however I will admit that it was still kind of erotic.  I also learned that I was out of the closet, because others knew about my dressing, as opposed to being in the closet where no one knows.  Being out of the closet was kind of step above, as those that were in the closet were often referred to as being "Closet Queens."   Ironically, I actually fit both terms, because although their were some who knew about me, there were even more that had no idea of the other life I lived.  This is true today, as for the most part unless someone actually see me dressed, I really have no reason to make them aware of what I do, so although I am out of the closet with some, I am still in the closet with others.

There came a time in my life when I went back in the closet in the sense that I stopped going out and I stopped Crossdressing, and although I didn't stop being a Crossdresser, I wasn't actively involved and for the most part I fell back into being a Transvestite, as I often used female clothing to achieve some form or erotic or sexual gratification.  I still had all of my clothing and accessories in plan view, I just didn't bother to get completely dressed for fear that my wife would divorce me.  The period during my separation and eventual divorce was a time when I actually blamed my Crossdressing for the ending of my relationship and for the first time in many years I really didn't want to be a Crossdresser.  I wanted to be a normal male in a normal relationship and somehow I was going to be that person.  I began dating, and ironically, I never considered the age old Crossdressing custom of trying on my girlfriends clothing, even though I had ample opportunity to do so.  I didn't really fight the feeling or resist the temptation, it just wasn't there at the time. Of course the desire to wear female clothing is always there, like a obsession or addiction, but I just wasn't acting on it for the moment.  However, at some point I soon found myself buying one or two items, just to wear around the house.  As the desire began to grow I surfed the Internet for Crossdressing, and discovered a totally new word had come along, one that I was not even aware existed.  

That new word was "Transgender," loosely defined as, "A person that relates to both the feminine and masculine genders." We now had our own group to identify with, and people were saying they were Transgender, and calling themselves TG's, T-Girls, and Trans Men.  There were still Crossdressers, and the occasional Transvestite, and there were now lots of Transsexuals, (M2F and F2M), "Pre-op, Post - op, and Non - op."  We even had our own community, the "Transgender Community."  I guess some people got the idea that we needed to get it together and form our own community just like Gays and Lesbians, then we could start fighting for acceptance and equality along side the Gays and Lesbians.   So, now if you identified as being TS, CD, or TV, then you were now a member of the Transgender Community; and we were "Trans people".    

Since that time I have accepted being Transgender, or TG, although I have really never used the term "T-Girl" in referring to who I am as I really don't like it.  Besides, I'm not really a girl and if anything, I'm a "T-Woman."  Anyway, I've been identifying as being Transgender for about the past 6 years and it was only recently that I began asking what exactly does it mean when I say I am Transgender.  The only definition that I know of for this word is, "Someone who identifies with both the male and female gender."  So what exactly does that mean, "Identifies with both genders?"  Does the fact that I am a male and that I enjoy dressing as a female mean that I identify with both genders and thus I am Transgender?  What I do know for sure is that I am a Crossdresser first and foremost, and that I can sometimes escape the reality of being a male by dressing as a female and admiring how nice I can look as a female.  I am envious of those genetic females I see each day that have the ability to wear beautiful clothing and look so nice.  So, although I am questioning whether or not I am Transgender, I have never questioned the fact that I am a Crossdresser, and that I on any given day I suffer from "Gender Envy" a term I have borrowed from Marlena.      

 

Late April - 2006

This is really coming late as I started to write about my trip to Pensacola then got involved with something else and totally forgot about finishing the story.  The trip to Pensacola was to attend the "Final House Party in Pensacola," for my friend CAT, who is once again moving.  Jokingly I say that she can never hold a job for more than a year however this is the nature of what she does for a living and after so many years I should get used to her moving around.  Since has been nearly two months since the party by now you have already seen the photos so all I can say here is that it was a lot of fun.  Those who were there during the weekend event we many locals as well as friends who traveled from surrounding states.  I was really glad to see Samantha as we don't see or talk to each other as much.  Samantha is really someone very special and is a true inspiration to me.  For several years she has been into dancing, taking weekly classes and competing in dance competitions.  Recently she attended a competition in San Antonio, TX and came away with two trophies, one of which was "First Place" in her event.  Just imagine how proud she must feel knowing that she was number on out of 11 contestants.  Sometime this fall she will be competing in competition here in Florida and I hope to pay her a visit just to see her dance.  Anyway, if you haven't viewed the photos of the party please do.  It was a great weekend with a lot of great people.

Once again I missed attending "Be All" in Chicago, which I understand from those who did attend was really something special.  For several years I have wanted to attend this function but because the "Summertime Road Party" usually takes place in July, I tend to pass up the conference.  However, since the last year was the last, but not necessarily the final road party maybe and I say maybe next year I will finally get off my butt and visit Chicago and join in the fun.  Terri and I have promised ourselves that next year we will make definite plans and be ready go.  Meanwhile my thoughts are now focused on the next major event SCC in Atlanta, as this is the one event that I always make plans to attend.    

 

 

Mid June - 2006

It's been awhile since I made any major changes to this web site and for the most part I haven't been very active posting new photos.  However, I have been considering doing something different like changing the theme and maybe making it smaller in size by reducing the number of my photos.  I have made one decision with this latest photo update, as I deliberately deleted some photo pages which I no longer feel comfortable displaying on this web site.  Specifically I have deleted the lingerie photo pages as well as the pages I called something different.  The reason I have removed these pages from the web site is based on my feelings of not wanting to present a feminine image that consider to be provocative.  Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with the photos on these pages as they are not pornographic, but I do consider them to be provocative and in some cases suggestive in nature which is something that I no longer feel comfortable in doing.  I also feel that in having these photos on my web site,  I am being disrespectful to the women who I truly admire and envy, and this has never been my intention.  While lingerie can be sexy, and school girl skirts and maid's uniforms can be erotic, this is really not the image that I honestly want to endorse, as it tends to focus on the fantasy part of Crossdressing.  I truly respect women and want to emulate their appearance, but at the same time I do not want to exploit women by presenting myself in this particular manner.  Ironically the lingerie pages seem to be the most popular photo pages for many visitors, and for those who have enjoyed viewing them I hope that you understand how I feel about the subject.  

 

Early July - 2006

What started off as a summer to be frugal and conservative, and pay down those credit cards somehow ended up going to s*** in the blink of an eye!  There I was at the beginning of June going through my closet and taking out everything I no longer wore or liked. Clothing, shoes, lingerie, purses, and some costume jewelry.  Everything was put into two groups,  one of which was going to the local Goodwill or Salvation Army, while the other was destine to be given to someone that could probably use what I no longer wanted.  Then a very terrible thing happened, I got bored one day and went window shopping at "Old Navy" and "Dillard's."  Then before I knew it I was at the "Liz Claiborne Store" and right next door at "DSW."  Then not more than a week later I found myself roaming between two different "Chico's" stores  mixing and matching some old things, as well as picking up a completely new outfit and of course some jewelry to match.  Then last Sunday I was in the "MAC" kiosk which just happens to be located on the first floor of Saks, and although it is located at the entrance and I could easily walk in make my purchases and walk right out, no I had to walk pass the shoe salon and notice the 30% off sale.  Carrying my small bag from "MAC," I casually strolled over to a rack of shoes that were my size and I began to look.  "PRADA", "Gucci", "Stuart Weitzman", they were all there and in my size, and they were lovely.  But, suddenly hiding on the same rack I saw them, a pair of gold strappy sandals and inside there was the label, "Manolo Blahnik" and below them rested a pair of gold platforms with the name "Jimmy Choo, London."  Reaching out I touched the Manolo's then the Jimmy Choo's, then I carefully picked up the Manolo's and examined the shoe as if I were looking for some flaw.  Likewise I did the same to the Jimmy Choo's not once, not twice, but at least three times the I was suddenly interrupted by a nice sales person who reminded me that both pairs of shoes where on sale at 30% off.  A quick look at the leather sole and a price tag of $475 quickly brought me back to reality.  At 30% off I was still looking at paying over $300 for a pair of shoes that I might only wear a few times during the year, and would only be appreciated by me and Samantha.  To be honest had I not just finished going through a shopping binge for clothes, jewelry, and shoes; I might have easily handed over my credit card to the lovely sales person and later that night called Samantha to gloat.  However, in my wildest insanity; I at least had the sense to take a deep breath and think about it.  Then put the shoes back on the rack, thank the sales person and casually leave the store by the nearest exit.      

 

Late July - 2006

Well, I think I finally came to the end of my shopping binge or at least I hope so my sake and the sake of my credit cards.  I guess I could rationalize that I am helping the struggling retail economy by getting out there and shopping, but I have long since given up on using "Retail Therapy" as a means to fill a void in my life.  Of course had I waited a few weeks before going on my binge I could have at least saved on the sales tax as each year there is a sales tax holiday which is suppose to help the consumer as well as spark sagging retail sales just before the start of the next school year. But, rather than try and rationalize my shopping binge I should just be honest and say that I saw some things I wanted and so I bought them just because I hadn't been shopping since early January!  Anyway, I enjoyed the feeling of shopping and even more I enjoyed getting a few new things to wear and photograph.

Recently I added a new link to my index page, that of "KC's Top 10".  KC Tyler the owner of this web site has been honoring TG's for some time now with her "Top 10" and recently she has honored me by adding me to her list which includes some rather flattering comments.  Although I do not KC personally, I hope that we will have the opportunity to meet in September at SCC so I can personally say hello, and thank her for this wonderful honor, as well as for her wonderful comments.  

Speaking of SCC which is just around the corner, this year I am planning on taking a couple of extra days in Atlanta before the conference.  My plan is to arrive sometime late Tuesday afternoon and hopefully will have time to attend the dinner planned for the "Southern Belles."  Arriving a couple days earlier than usual should also give me the opportunity to spend time with a few friends who I normally do not see except at SCC.  Of course taking an extra two days means more clothes so I guess I should start thinking about what to take and then start packing! 

 

Late August - 2006

Last night I had the opportunity to view part of a documentary called "Transgeneration" which dealt with the lives of four young college students, Lucas and TJ, F2M and Gabbe and Racci, M2F as they persuade their education, as well as dealing with changing their lives.  Although I did not see the entire showing only the last couple of hours, it appeared to me that Lucas and Gabbe had the total support of their families, while TJ's mother was quite reluctant to accept the change, and Racci's family situation seemed a bit unclear to me.  What may be inspiring to some is that these young people were able to learn and understand at an early age and began to deal with their lives while at the same time pursuing a higher education.  A reunion episode will be aired on Monday, August 28, 2006, at 10PM on the Sundance channel.  Hopefully, I will be able to watch it or at least get it taped.  

Sad news, good news, our local TG dance club, Z109 is temporarily closed the result of a change of ownership and some remodeling.  It is scheduled to reopen some time in early September.  Now I have been told the new owner intends for the club to remain a TG friendly place, however he wanted to make some improvement and of course give his place a new name, which I understand it will be called "Vipers."  Let's see now in the 20 years that I have known about this club this will be the 5th name change and possibly the 5th change of ownership, and while the club has seen it ups and downs over the years, which included a brief period in which TG's were not welcomed;   The previous owners Amber and Sally did a wonderful job of restoring it to a place that welcomed everyone, as well as improving the inside appearance, and keeping it open even when I suspect it was a money loser.  Had it not been for their efforts and sacrifice I dare say that the old saying, "All Dressed Up And Nowhere To Go!" would have been true for many girls that live in the Tampa Bay area!  Although the Suncoast Resort is still TG friendly, the place just never caught on with the local TG's.  However, they do have an excellent Drag Show on Saturday nights, which features performers the likes of Esmee Russell, who hasn't lost her touch after a few years in the business.

Speaking of having someplace to go, the countdown to my vacation in Atlanta is quickly approaching.  The word is that the Sheraton Midtown is booked as far as room nights for the SCC discount.  I suspect there are still rooms available but at the normal rate.  If you are planning on attending this years event and you have some questions you can visit the SCC web site, or you can join the Yahoo Group, SCC Lounge and although this group is not affiliated with Southern Comfort Conference many of the members have lots of experience attending, and or being a part of this yearly event.  As for me I am trying to make a decision on getting a new dress for Saturday night, or just recycling something from the past.  I still have a couple of weeks to look around the stores and make a decision.  

 

Early September - 2006

Wednesday - 6  Well, it's countdown to SCC and what I now refer to as my fall vacation enfemme.  Exactly 14 days and I will be in Atlanta and I am so ready for a vacation.  I have started making a list of what to bring, and for the most part I have done all the shopping I intend to do for this trip.  So, over the next two weeks I am going to be talking about getting ready for my trip, everything from what I plan to wear and getting it all packed as well as how I am feeling about the trip.    

Right now I am looking at taking somewhere around 15 different outfits and at least 10 pairs of shoes. Now 15 outfits and 10 pairs of shoes certainly seems like a lot clothes, and probably is; and this is lot more than I have taken since my first few trips to SCC, however I am planning on being there from Tuesday evening, through Saturday night and I expect that much of that time I will be dressed.  Although I have a good idea of what I would like to wear during the day and evenings, base on my past experience I often change my mind and want wear something different.  To me this is really not much different than being at home and getting dressed to go out.  Sometimes I know exactly what I intend to wear and after I am dressed it looks good and I feel good.  However, there are sometimes when after getting dressed in something I don't like the look and so I change.  It's relatively easy to change my mind when I am at home, but when I am 800 miles away in a hotel room I had better like what I got or have some other choice available.  Therefore based on past experience I always over pack and since I am driving to Atlanta I have plenty of room available.  So, do I really need 8 pairs of shoes for 4 1/2 days?  Well, there was a time when I would have brought a pair of shoes for each outfit and thought nothing of it.  Now I have gotten a little better when it comes to hauling shoes around, but lets face it wearing high heels for an extended period of time can be murder and so having an extra pair that go with an outfit makes sense to me.  Those shoes that I love so much and can wear for a few hours begin to really pain me after about 6 hours and this is something I have learned from experience.

Of course I will also need to pack a few accessories such as lingerie, makeup, jewelry, purses, and less I forget hair and those valuable breast forms.  This is really the easy stuff as there is not a lot of decision making to do when it comes to these items, with one exception and that is making sure I have the right style of bras.  The most important part is to gather all of these things in one place and then make sure they are packed and that I do not forget them.  actually have two pair of breast forms, one pair I call my normal look and another that are slightly larger which I call my I want to be noticed look in this outfit look.  Lingerie is simple and basic, nothing fancy just bras, panties, and some pantyhose for certain outfits.  This year I'm not going to lug my makeup case along, but instead with bring only the makeup I use, as well as my good makeup mirror, which will make up for not bringing along the makeup case.  As for jewelry, that is also easy, some gold, some silver, and costume.  As for purses or handbags I could easily get by with two, but I will probably bring 3 or 4 just because I like the idea of changing purses like I enjoy changing outfits and shoes.  Since I don't have long hair I need to bring along at least two wigs that I like and that means head forms as well as the products I need to maintain and style the hair.  And lastly don't forget the personal hygiene products, body wash, spray mist, body lotion, perfume, and nail polish remover.  This year I plan on taking just one fragrance which should make my life much easier.

Okay, so tonight I picked out 15 outfits that I would like to take with me.  I'll work on the shoes another time. For now I am looking at these outfits and the first thing that comes to mind is do I really need that many? So, now I need to sit down and look at my schedule for the week because maybe I can get along with fewer clothes, which in turn means fewer shoes, which then translates in to less stuff I have to haul to my room.  I think the reason I tend to bring so many clothes is that events such as this one offers me an opportunity to wear nice things over a 4 or 5 day period and so I want to take full advantage by wearing as many different clothes as possible, without driving myself completely crazy changing three or four times a day.  At the same time I also want to be practical and enjoy the experience.  I think some of my first SCC experience I spent so much time changing clothes that I really didn't fully enjoy the experience, which is why I began to be more practical in my dressing.  

Saturday - 9  Today I returned two pairs of shoes I bought earlier in the week.  Like I really needed some new shoes.  However, in this case I did as I was trying to find a pair that better suited a dress I intend to wear.  Before returning the shoes I stopped by DSW and found two pair, so I bought them and yes I did return the other two pair as planned.  Now I didn't just return the shoes, but I also found a pair that I thought would be nice with jeans so I got them, and on my way out of the store I had to look at some costume jewelry, and made another purchase.  As it turned out one of the new pairs of shoes from DSW were perfect for the dress, so the other pair will be returned.  As for the shoes I got on an impulse, they will go back; but I will keep the jewelry.  While impulse shopping is not a very good idea, I can rationalize doing it as because I can return the item or items at some point as long as they are not worn or damaged.

Sunday -10  I've done some more thinking about the amount of clothes I will take and what to wear, so now I am down to  maybe 11 or 12 outfits and still 10 pairs of shoes.  

 

September 11, 2001

These colors never run!

 

Tuesday - 12  It was a very slow day at work today, so I had plenty of time to think about my vacation, to observe some of the nicely dressed females around the downtown area, and of course think about  what I really want to wear.  At this point I am now down to 9 or 10 outfits and 8 pairs of shoes, which I think is pretty reasonable.  I also took back the second pair of shoes I got at DSW.  

Saturday - 16  Well, I finally figured out what my problem is with this packing thing; and what I figured out is that I have just to many choices of things that I would like to wear and as a result I can't or won't make a decision.  Of course the solution is to select my favorites and get the stuff packed, rather than spend any more time thinking and procrastinating!

Monday - 18  Surprise, it's a little after 5PM and I am packed and ready to go.  I spent Saturday afternoon watching Ohio State football, Go Buckeyes! and the evening watching "Kill Bill 2".  I then spent most of Sunday watching NFL football from the Buccaneers to the Cowboys.  How about those New York Giants, when you don't play well, at least you can be lucky!  I got up this morning and after a couple of cups of Starbuck's, I ran a few errands then came home and got packed.  So, tonight I can relax and get a good nights sleep, and be on my way tomorrow morning.  Just for the record I did return the shoes I bought to go with the black jeans, and the final count on clothing is 12 outfits and 10 pairs of shoes.  So what if I only wear half of what I take, I'm on vacation!

 

Even More Thoughts Four is next.

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