|Ah, modern studenthood, I wish I could claim to|
have studied as much as- wait! She hasn't
Now I shift the milieu and tackle a different form of life-rewriting. It is in my University years and not so much a question of if I had been born female, to be honest I would be writing fantasy of the worst possible kind if I were to try that (not to say I won't do it at some point as a thought experiment) but rather a question of confidence. The "what if" this time is principally based on the idea of what might have happened had I had the confidence to take my friends at their word in a throwaway conversation in the bar late one evening. Let me set the scene!
|Props to her for not using a straw and|
wearing a kick-ass corset.
So it was that Kristen correctly guessed the song was my choice. Then, in a surprising twist, she cornered me and asked if I were a transvestite. After a pregnant pause she reassured me that everyone would be supportive and that they were all my friends and that if I wanted to dress in women's clothes no one would think any less of me. In fact, she hinted that she might be on hand to help me choose clothes to match my style and that such a thing would be fine with her. I stammered a few times, mouth gone very dry, and said very little. She pushed, I eventually forced out a laughably stupid and transparent denial, she accepted it with good grace and promised not to raise the subject again unless I asked. I never asked.
But what if I had? What if, when I was cornered, I had instead stammered out an affirmative?
At this stage I had never been fully dressed en femme. I had worn some knickers back in my first year of University and toyed with string based bondage in Sixth Form and a little bit in that first year. I had bought that poster of Princess Leia that every geek-guy had back in the day but had gone no further. I had gone through a complicated ruse with e-mails to discuss the topic obliquely with a CofE minister and had discovered fictionmania, where I had been fascinated by the stories where the main character cross-dressed and found more acceptance dressed than when not.
|This is the sort of thing I expect. Note the tightness at the|
knee. And, of course, that last gasp of the 90s in the
platform flip flops. Totally my thing.
|Or, you know, perhaps a dark red.|
I like this image because I feel that I could emulate her
as a cross-dresser. I love the Devil-may-care hairdo and
the fact she is enjoying her wine. And why shouldn't
Instead of spending hours with David watching him play games I could not afford nor run on my ancient desktop I would have spent more time with Kristen in her room studying and discussing English, History and post-modernism. I would have probably allowed more physical contact too over those next few weeks, if my sojourns into being dressed in 2005, some five years later, are anything to go by. Without the added pressure of trying to impress two disinterested females for those months I think I may even have come out of my shell a little more too. All this would have aided my personality, made me a little more mellow and forgiving. I can see how I would have been a tad more compassionate generally and therefore more open to having proper relationships with my friends. I may even have actually taken a planning role in looking for an MA rather than sort of half-heartedly pootling about a few days before the deadline and ending up in Leeds.
Certainly I would have gained extra confidence at University, I would have been free to be more and I would have a different set of close friends that would have lasted longer than the circle I did have in the actual history. It was a missed opportunity. However, it would not be without its pitfalls, as I would have been shaken from the path that meant I met Tilly and our children would not have been born. That said, I would have met someone and we would probably have ended up married (given my views on sex and marriage) and with children down the line. That theoretical relationship may well have been more accepting of my cross-dressing as I would likely have been cross-dressed when we met. Does that make it 'better' than now? Probably not. Just very different. Of course, like last time, anything beyond that point becomes very difficult to judge indeed.