Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Just the Thing I Needed

I was a little out of sorts yesterday morning. My inner girl has been feeling locked in a closet again, and I desperately needed a little something that said "pretty" to me. I fired up Poynt on my Droid, and looked for a nearby Nail Salon. There was one right around the corner from my office! I made a noon appointment, and dashed over at lunchtime.

When I walked in, it was all I could do to stop myself from saying, "Yes, the guy with the purse is the one with the manicure appointment." (I carry a Cole Hahn messenger bag.) When I sat down with the nail tech, she took out a set of clippers. I said, "I'd prefer they were filed. Do them exactly how you'do any other customer's nails... how you might like yours done." She seemed to relax a little and filed my nails to lovely straight tips. After trimming my cuticles came a salt scrub hand massage, after which I went to wash my hands. Sitting back in the chair, I smiled and said, "shine me up." Some glossy topcoat later, I was ready to head back to the office, feeling just a little prettier.

I think I'll go back tomorrow for a pedi... I wonder how she'll react when I hand her a bottle of Confetti's, "My Favorite Martian?" :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Then, and (Almost) Now

The post below is the introduction i've used in a couple of transgender forums that i'm a part of. It was originally written in October of 2007. At that point, i was still thinking of myself as a cross-dresser (or transvestite. Some CD's object to that term, to me, it's the same thing, just in a different language.) It took a fair number of therapy sessions for me to realize that "cross-dresser" didn't accurately describe me. For me, while i do like wearing them, it's not really about the clothes.


October, 2007

College, Halloween night. My girlfriend and i decide to dress as a hooker and a pimp. She's the pimp. I forget whose idea it was, but i sure didn't argue the point. As a child, i did the usual things a kid that might turn out to be a TV would do: Wore Mom's shoes, carried one of her empty purses around, rummaged around in her underwear drawer, wondering what it might feel like to wear them. As i got older, i got away from such things, as actual "vanilla" sex was new and exciting.

Then came college, and that night. I loved it. We had a great time at a little party some friends were having in my dorm. When it came time to leave, my girlfriend happened to run into a fraternity brother of mine. He wanted to haul me off to where a much larger party was happening to show me off. I panicked, practically running to my girlfriend's car, where i had what i can only call an emotional meltdown, bawling my eyes out. I had no idea why that happened back then, now i do. That was the only night of my life that the girl inside ever was able to come out... and she was afraid of discovery, ashamed of her very existence, brokenhearted that the clock had struck midnight - the chariot was a pumpkin again, and it was time to go back in the closet.

A summer or two later, i was in Philadelphia visiting a friend. I shaved my legs for the first time, reveling in the feeling of smooth skin between the sheets. But it was wrong, sick... guys don't shave their legs. I couldn't let anyone see me like this. I wore long pants for the rest of the summer, never went into a pool, even avoided sleeping with my girlfriend until the hair grew back enough to be felt as more than stubble - and i didn't let her see my legs in the light for many weeks.

The girl in the closet fell silent. I grew older, met a wonderful woman, got married. We had a child.

One night, our church was having a fund raiser. Part of the night of fun involved a "fashion show" in which all the models were cross-dressed. I was one of the models, and convinced my wife to let me shave my legs for it - it would make for more laughs, i told her. But for me, i just wanted to shave them again. The girl woke up - this time to stay.

My job allowed me to travel around the country a lot. I'd often buy lingerie - panties, bras, nightgowns, thigh-high stockings - that i'd wear while i was away, almost always throwing them out before returning home. I couldn't get caught, i didn't want my wife to know her husband was a pervert.

In my mind, it would actually have been preferable for her to think i was having an affair if she would ever find my lingerie. She might forgive an affair, who would want to be married to a transvestite?

"But," you might ask, "she should have been able to tell, right? After all, such a femme guy would be a real giveaway, wouldn't you think?" While i did have some mannerisms that might be thought of as feminine, i also played hockey and lacrosse in college. I have a black belt in taekwondo. At 50, i'm over six feet tall, and still fairly athletic looking. You see what you want to see.

I don't travel anymore, and in recent years, stress has made my CD urges more pronounced. Without the travel, i had no outlet to "relieve the pressure." That caused more stress and depression, which led to my starting an online search for answers.

As it turned out, there were a lot of other guys like me out there. Reading their stories late at night after the family had gone to bed, i was shocked at how similar they were to my own, differing only in small details. Reading their stories, i would start to shake, tears welling in my eyes. Meltdowns were becoming more common, and i felt like i was going to lose my mind soon if i didn't do something.

Finally, on the evening of September 19th, came a tipping point.

The room was lit by the light from our salt-water fish tank. My wife had told me she wanted to get a tattoo on her foot, and asked if i'd mind. She showed me what she was thinking of, and i told her i didn't mind at all. With relief, she said she'd been worried. I've been against our daughters getting them until they were old enough to do it without our permission - what they do with their bodies as adults is their decision to make, but they aren't doing anything they can't easily undo while they're under our charge - so she thought i'd think less of her somehow.

I've gone through so many up and down cycles lately, her saying that pushed a button in me. "Honey," i said, "i've got no right to think less of you. If you knew the things that were running around in my head..."

She asked me what was wrong, and i shook my head. Suddenly, my voice started working on its own. Words came spilling out, and i couldn't stop them. "I can't... you won't love me anymore... you'll want me to leave..."

She was confused, and started asking questions. Did i want to have sex with little boys? (no) Little girls? (no) Other men? (no) Other women? (no)

"Then why wouldn't i love you? What could make me want you to leave?"

Every once in a while, something will happen in our house - i'll do something, or say something, or we'll be watching a sad scene in TV and i'll start to cry - and i'll say, "I'm such a girl," or "i'm just in touch with my feminine side." Other times, i'll make a funny comment, and she'd say, "oh, you're so gay," and i'll answer, "I'm not gay, i'm a transvestite... there's a difference." And everyone laughs. One of those comments had been made earlier that very evening. But i digress...

"...What could make me want you to leave?"

"Because i'm not really joking." My voice trailed off, "they're not really jokes..."

There was a pause, during which she did some metaphorical mental math, figuring out that 2 plus 2 equaled 4. "Oh," she said. "Now i understand."

And just like that... the closet door was open.

There was crying. I cried a little, she cried a lot. She wanted to know exactly what i wanted to do... did i want to become a woman? (No, i just like wearing the clothes... and other things.)

"What other things?"

It was hard, she wanted specifics for everything, and while i've dreamed of being open, i had no idea of exactly how far i'd actually want to go if given the chance... i honestly didn't know the answer to some of her questions, and i was on thin ice - i needed to be honest, but what could she take? How far was too far for her to go? In her shock, nearly anything might be more than she could handle.

We talked for hours, but a lot was jangled emotions. We went to bed, and she cried herself to sleep. She had a nightmare: I had come into a wedding reception attended by everyone we knew... in a long black wig, a headband, black hotpants, a skin-tight top, fishnet stockings, and stiletto heels.

The next afternoon, we went out again and talked more. She understands now that this isn't about me getting everything i want, but about us finding a lifestyle we can both be happy in, one that lets me explore and express both the masculine and the feminine parts of my personality, but without making her forget the man she married. She's accepted the first steps. I'm trying to take it slowly, but each new thing she sees gives her mild panic. We talk about it, and she relaxes, i think.

Coming out was every bit as hard as i thought it would be, but the result - so far anyway - was better than i expected. My wife has been accepting, even supportive to a degree, though she's still fearful of how far i might go. She understands that i'm going to buy clothes, a wig, shoes, put on makeup, and go to meetings en femme, but has never seen "Bobbi." For that matter, neither have i... not since that Halloween night in college anyway. I worry that seeing me as Bobbi will push her over the edge. I think she does too.

Yet, in spite of those worries, there are two dramatic differences in our home life in the past month: When i wake up in the morning, i'm happy, and my wife and i have come closer together. But that's a post for another day.


June, 2011

I felt so alone back then. Were it not for a very dear friend that was also TG, i might have completely gone off the deep end, but she talked me off the metaphorical ledge, several times. I'm sure there's others that are in the same position today that i was back then. Maybe a few might read this blog and take some solace in learning they aren't alone, that their "horrible secret" isn't so horrible after all, and that love and acceptance can come after removing your mask.


Friday, June 3, 2011

A Little Bit of Fuschia in a Black & White World

Hi, i'm Bobbi. Well, part of me is anyway. I'm transgender, which believe it or not, doesn't tell you much. TG can mean a lot of things, from the crossdresser to the transsexual, with a lot of waypoints in between. In a nutshell, as far as gender identity is concerned, the way my brain was wired doesn't match the way my body was built. That body is male, the brain... somewhere in between, just a bit past the middle on the girlish side. I'm married, with two daughters. Yes, they all know, but to the rest of the "muggles," I'm still in a closet.

This blog will be a place for me to talk about my journey since coming to grips with my "transness," as well as other subjects that bounce around in my head. It'll be sometimes silly, sometimes serious, and I hope, occasionally thought provoking. Comments are always welcome, but mean-spirited statements will be treated in kind.

Well... time to hold my breath and hit the orange "publish" button. Wish me luck.