Words of warning and welcome:

This is very much my blog, so don't be surprised if this doesn't follow accepted patterns and norms. It is a place where I can be anonymous and honest, and I appreciate that.

It will deal with many things and new readers would do well to check out the "Story So Far" Page above this and the "New Readers" tag down there on the right. Although there's nothing too bad in here there will be adult language, so be careful. If you think this needs a greater control, please let me know. Thank you!

Saturday, 4 September 2021

Story Time

Much too recent, but you get the gist of the uniform
from my secondary school. they'd dropped blazers
the year before I went, but that lad in the shirt in the back
wouldn't have fit in at all! We all wore the jumpers.

No flashes beneath the cross for houses though.

Still, close enough, close enough.
Some time around age eleven, after we'd moved house, I remember vividly thinking how it would be to be female. In that year I would write my short story Boy to Girl in which, well, the title kind of tells you the plot - a boy wakes up as a girl in a boarding school(?) and... not a lot happens. For me the act of waking up as a girl wasn't really something that would cause great shakes - the character was still the character, but in another body. Indeed, the central conflict was about burglars, not about wanting to go back to being a boy. Tellingly, the story began with waking up, the reader never learned the character's male name nor anything about their life beyond a love of the First World War; the character missed nothing of their old life apart from getting irritated that people interpreted them as weak and feeble-minded (what does that say about my understanding of society at that age?).

Like this but less salacious.

The model was lying down, the shot from
the side, she was wearing shorts beneath it.
There was an advert in the paper for a body stocking that I was fascinated by, so I cut it out, stuck it on cardboard and bound it in sticky-tape to preserve it before hiding it (along with the drawings of the school uniform for the school in the story above, and the tanks and helicopters used by a paramilitary police force in 3093 - so, drawn a couple of years later).

The following year, I was 12, I wrote about Quantum Leap in my diary and refused to write that I wanted to see the episodes where Sam leaped into a woman. So I wrote the plot of the episode down instead. I cursed myself, vowed to try again, and so my diary is littered with episode summaries nearly every week as I found ways not to write what I was fascinated by (and set up a situation that if I ever did see such an episode it wouldn't look out of place for me to write about it - because people were obviously reading my diary [spoiler: no, they weren't, it was very boring]).

And I dreamed about being a girl, a tom-boy, and living as a girl; dressing as a girl, well, a tom-boy. I mean, dresses were cool and all, but I liked jeans and jumpers, cardigans and caps, trainers and socks. I imagined what it would feel like to dress like that, to have my hair cut like the girls around me, and just be treated as a girl. But I did nothing, because I sort of knew it was subversive and abnormal and I was already bullied with a small social circle so I filed it away and hid it.

I had this issue.

Maybe it was this one?
I kept a diary in Sixth Form, I was 16, and I finally wrote it out in the October of my first year in Sixth Form. I explored it further. By now my artwork included BDSM scenarios (handcuffs, chains etc) but no faces or full bodies. No sex. Just restraint. I was reading FHM and I looked at the models and really wanted to wear what they were wearing. I saw an article on 'kink' that had a photo of an adult baby and another of a woman wetting herself in a carpark in a dress and I was fascinated. I wanted her hair style, I wanted her dress. I wanted her boots. I tied it all together and pushed it deep and down inside, I wanted a girlfriend and this sort of stuff... it wasn't likely to get the result of having a girlfriend. Or it would ruin it if I did. I'd seen Ace Ventura by now, I got that joke and I got that wanting to be a woman was wrong for a man. But I still dreamed about it, imagined how it would feel, sighed when I closed my eyes and just... pictured it. Felt it. But I did nothing. Well, okay, apart from the aprons I wore at home in exam leave and the time I nearly locked myself in the shed because I'd tied my wrists to a screw in the ceiling I'd taken in with me for that purpose - dangling naked but for the teeny apron and panicking because I'd dropped the key below the lawn mower... Oh, I mean, spoilers: I got out.

Oh, hey, it's this poster.

I mean, this design. Mine wasn't signed,
graded or protected. It was just on my wall.
At University I got the slave Leia poster, because of course I did, and sat opposite to experiment with bondage (it failed, paper and thumb tacks don't make good handcuffs when one has been used to string and twine) whilst imagining being Leia. Something I had done since seeing the 1997 re-make on VHS at home earlier. Oh, and the episode of Star Trek: TNG where Picard and Crusher get neural linked and can't move away from one another whilst stranded on an uninhabited planet. I digress. I had a girlfriend: she liked me; she liked me; she liked me etc etc. I saw her in her underwear (she saw me in mine too) and all I could think was that I wanted to wear it - hers, I mean, not mine. I was wearing mine. I imagined being a lesbian couple, I dreamed of it, but I did nothi- well, okay, there was the fake love letter and the thong - practical joke. I kept the thong, wore it, threw it away. Fished it out of my bin, wore it, threw it away. Repeat. Five(?) times, until I emptied a soup tin on top so I couldn't rescue it and then threw it out properly.


They weren't Gucci, of course, but they were similar
in design and the lack of 'figure-hugging'.

Of course, back then, even the crotch area was
baggy. That's what the big belts were for, right?
I'd read fictionmania on the University computers, talk online with others, set up an anonymous e-mail to ask my chaplain about cross-dressing, and imagine if I could have gone to University a woman, not a boy. There was a charity shop and I would work out if I could buy clothes before concluding that I didn't know my size, couldn't deal with the staff knowing I'd bought them if I had to return them and probably couldn't justify it anyway, I needed the money for other things. But I'd stand outside most mornings and look at the window display, maybe five minutes, and imagine wearing the flared jeans, the dress, the blouse, the shirt, the t-shirt, the crop-top etc. And, in my dreams, I was a woman. But, apart from that thing, I did nothing.

In my third year, the beginning, the whole social group of us were together in a bar to see each other again. I'd been single for over a year. I'd confessed, under cover of drunkenness the previous year, to my by then ex (Terry) that I was a cross-dresser - keep in mind apart from the thong I hadn't actually cross-dressed in anything yet. Then, of course, used that plausible deniability to, well, deny it later. We were all putting songs on the juke box, social anxiety made me go last, all my usual choices were already queued, so I put on Blur's Girls and Boys. Kirsten, a Blur fan and now a housemate, asked if I were a cross-dresser when my choice came on: it was okay, everyone would support me if I were, she said, so, if I were, why not? She could help me if I wanted. Sweating, barely able to speak, trembling as my dreams came true, I lied and said no, I wasn't. Three times. Then the cock crowed and I- no, there was no cock crowing, but you get the idea.

This is the 'look' referenced to the
left.

The lady in question had a baggier t-shirt,
bigger satchel, baggier jeans and an open
jacket, but you get the gist. Oh, and no
cap or glasses.
There was a potential point of divergence. And, at that point, I knew it was more than dressing. If I dressed (I hadn't yet) I kind of knew there was more to it than that. I knew the word 'transsexual', assumed it was solely descriptive of people who'd had 'the Operation', and that was it. It didn't describe me. I knew about the two year wait for aid (Lord knows where I'd picked it up, but I knew it) and felt it was there "to see if you can hack it as a woman" - and I was terrified of most things. I had a degree to get, a Master's to prepare for (or a Doctorate, I wasn't picky) with the option of taking Maths at degree level in the future. I hadn't got the two years to spare.

So, when I went to get my MA I stuffed everything down as far as it would go. With Tim and his social group I met a girl from where I grew up on a Fresher's barcrawl and I was confused. I didn't want to go out with her but I wanted to follow her around like a puppy. She had two pony-tails at the back of her head, wore a baggy low-cut top, flared baggy jeans, trainers, a satchel that went across her body and a coat. You know, like that 'look' I had at the last in-person support group meeting. I was obsessed with her eye make-up - even though I only saw her for a couple of hours that one night, for the rest of the year I would draw close-ups of eyes with variations of her eye make-up on them, spent hours on the shading. I read fictionmania. I dreamed about being a woman, dressing as a woman, but I did nothing. No reaching out. I took solace in Real Life comics making jokes about masculinity being a curse - there was a bloke whom I could look up to, a man like me! I didn't masturbate for eight months, just to prove I wasn't addicted and I could. I told no one, it was a personal thing.

Yeah, close enough.
Teacher training followed. As the housemate I desperately fancied pointed out later, most of that year I spent crying to loud music like a complete wuss in my room. Terrified of the classroom, and failure, but unable to change course. I wrote shitty little poems, mooned after two girls, and dreamed of dressing whilst reading fictionmania. But I did nothing. I acted on nothing, I pretended it didn't exist. I knew of hormones now, and was able to search for TG captions and stories. Jerry would phone me from his ship in the Arabian Gulf at peculiar times of the night for a chat, I would be in the University College computer rooms reading TG fiction so I was usually available. When I wasn't in my room crying to loud music due to fear of failure. I dreamed of teaching as a woman, in a skirt-suit and glasses. Imagined how it would feel. But did nothing.

Somewhere round here, actually.

No, I can't remember the exact location, but these
houses look similar enough.
A job followed, somehow, and I met Toby and was instantly fascinated. And Robyn, the woman who used to be a man. Wait, you could do that outside of fiction and snippets in the news? Robyn insisted that what she was doing was entirely a choice - she wasn't born like that, it was something she wanted to do. A choice she'd made. I unexpectedly got a little tipsy at Tim's shared house one night and Toby loaned me a t-shirt/nightie to sleep in. I couldn't sleep. My heart was pounding all night, my dreams vivid and aflame. In the morning Toby showed me her Sims household, she'd added a character for me and I watched as she made the Robyn-character and mine a couple, laughing. I never saw Robyn again. But I did see Toby. By the summer she had asked me to wear a dress, I had suggested I would like to try. I bought my first pack of knickers and tried them on one night, ringing Toby and pretending to be drunk. She wasn't there. I carried on reading fictionmania and dreaming. I started a LiveJournal, anonymously, and made it pink. I typed out, for the first time, that I was a cross-dresser.

November - Toby and I were at a party. I was bemoaning my single fate, it had been five years since I split with Terry: "no one loves me" I said. "I love you," Toby countered. She asked me back to hers (she shared with Tim) to try on a dress. I agreed. It happened. Five minutes. I was unable to speak. I was going to ask for some way of creating false breasts to improve the way the dress fit. Toby misunderstood and I was taken out. We spoke, flirted, she shared the reason I'd missed her that summer, she was off getting married. Well, pagan joining, and she had a sort of husband. Oh. I closed everything down, denied it had happened when asked by Tim, who believed me over Toby. I lied. I hid the knickers, stopped reading fictionmania.

It's almost strange how often this image
turns up now.

But maybe not.
Until the New Year. Toby and I started dating, she'd left her 'husband' and unjoined (or something?) in another pagan ceremony. I dressed. I realised anew that it was not just the clothes. Toby knew too. Tried to push me in that direction, I resisted, I'd not spent years denying things whilst dreaming about it and imagining it every chance I got to simply let myself do it now. I was a teacher. I had a job! We split up. I shaved my legs for the first time that summer, plenty of time to grow the hair back before going back to work. I confessed to Catherine and Terry that I was a cross-dresser (again, but no way of wriggling out of it). Catherine arranged a chance for me to wear a dress at her house that October half term. In the company of friends. It was an electrifying experience. Catherine genuinely said that I looked better in her dress than she did and offered it to me on permanent loan. I turned her down.

In the new year, I was 25 now, I started looking for a house. I would dress in a nightie for bed, I would wear a bra, but it was all part of restraint fantasies. Dressing was for getting my rocks off. But, online, I had a discussion where I realised, again, that my dressing wasn't just about fetish. I mean, it was a fetish too, but there was more to it than that. I wanted to be seen as a woman. I wanted society to treat me the way it treated women - good and bad. And I knew enough to know that it was no fantasy or cake-walk. But I had a job, I was buying a house, I still didn't like being single and, well, I still didn't really understand transgender stuff, like, at all. I knew it could be done, but those two years loomed large - it was fantasy fodder, not real life, right? Right?

RIGHT!?

If you haven't yet, go read. It is relevant to our interests.
I got a house. I moved. I went on holiday to the States. I met Tilly. I met her in person. Catherine showed her the photos, I told her multiple times about my cross-dressing. Tilly moved in. We had a child. We got married. I still dreamed about being a woman, or, rather, being seen as one by others. But the opportunity had passed again. I tried to go cold turkey, and I sort of did for two years from 28 to 30 years old. But the stresses surrounding 2010 meant I started again, maybe three times that year, rising in 2011 to the point I would wear a pair of knickers to my grandmother's birthday, and I would confess that to Tilly a month or so later. The rest is this blog.

And so, in April 2021, Mae Dean destroyed the last part of my masculine lie, the disguise I thought I was wearing, when I read the arc where she came out in Real Life comics. Not long after that I would watch Abigail Thorn's coming out story. And so I shouldn't be surprised by my first two days at work, by my coming out to so many people so quickly. Because this might actually be it: I may actually, finally, honestly, really, truly, maybe, be embarking on a chance to live as... me.

It's only been thirty years (almost to the day) in the making - in the sense that before then I can't reliably tell you much about my life beyond what's already been shared in this blog in the past. Goodness, thirty years. Maybe it is 'my time' now.

If you have been, thank you for reading, that must have been a bit punishing!

3 comments:

  1. Yes, it's quite a read, but how else do you do something to rich and complex, justice?

    IMO, it's not easy to come to terms with being, well, in my own view of myself, an outsider to the norm. I don't say this to be considered special and certainly not better - just different.

    I hope you find what you're looking for and that brings you self acceptance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As always, thank you, Lynn.

      I would argue, ease or no, the fact that you (and others) *have* come to terms with being outsiders to the norm is, in itself, pretty darn special - in the sense that you serve as inspiration to others and, internally, get to be more at peace than most.

      I think... I think this may be as close as I'll ever get to self-acceptance. To the future! *clinks glass*

      Delete
    2. Also, yes, you deserve some kind of medal if you read all that!

      Delete

All comments are welcome, I have a thicker skin virtually than I do in real life!