Update..

First of all, I read that a golden rule of blogging is never to apologise for a long absence, but it’s been well over a year since I posted anything as I was afraid of repeating myself or boring my readers. Other bloggers fall into this trap, maintaining a daily/weekly update until repetition creeps in and posts become familiar, plus my life is not so interesting for such regular updates!

So have I moved much more forward since I last wrote ? Probably not, which is why I don’t update this much anymore as I think perhaps I should be further than I am.

Let’s begin :-

At the start of 2016 I heard of a regular group that met up twice a month in my home town, and I have pretty much been a regular attendee every fortnight. The group were based in great facilities, a dressing room, kitchen, lounge area up on the third floor of an office block and therefore closed to the general public. I’ve met some great people from all areas of the TG spectrum at this group, from Crossdressers, Transvestites, to pre and post op Transsexuals, all of varying ages but veering towards the mature side. Unfortunately funding has been pulled from the site so we are currently in limbo looking for a new home.

My wife is aware and is happy for me to attend this group, she sees it as ‘scratching the itch’ but has not yet seen me dressed yet, I get changed before and after the meetings so I’m home in male mode. I keep suggesting a night out with me ‘en-femme’ to see me as I am but (understandably) she says she is not ready but says she may attend my Xmas party (see below).

My wardrobe has grown and grows closer to 50/50 male/female clothes, all hung up with pride of place. As a couple we do talk about my crossdressing, but it’s always civil and normally only mentioned about my group meets, such as ‘was it busy?’ ‘What did you talk about’ etc.

I’m happy, but I always want more, I always feel I’m pushing at the envelope but don’t want to push too hard as I don’t want to lose my family, therefore I’m on a constant tightrope swaying back and forth, trying to keep my balance when everything is trying to topple me.

Still I’ve got a big TG Xmas party coming up, 2 tickets obtained (for me and wife), hotel booked, sparkly dress bought with a pair of hot heels, should be a good night and my wife says she may come unless she gets last minute nerves.

 For the last two years my wife has bought Lucy jewellery so I’m hoping this will be a great Christmas for both sides of my nature ūüôā

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Confidence (or lack of)

I had my second outing in public this week as Lucy. I booked a hotel near to the Venue where the local trans* group meets, but as the one I booked previously was full, I booked another that seemed closer. The hotel was nice, but checking the route from the hotel to the bar I realised it was in a very busy part of town next to¬†theatres, restaurants, pubs, building sites etc. I would have to have to have the confidence to walk from my hotel though the crowds and cross the centre of a busy city. For a historically closeted individual I found myself feeling the nerves as I got myself ready to go out. I’m still at a stage where ‘passing; is important for me as I don’t want to draw attention to myself, but I’ve not really tested it out.

I was told later that night that I looked very natural, but didn’t feel that as I left my hotel room, walked the four flights of stairs down¬†into¬†the reception and out the front doors in my dress, and heels. Luckily it was a cold night so had a thick coat, snood and a woolly hat to hide myself under to some degree.

Keeping my eyes down with my heart racing I walked across the city, past groups of builders, students, commuters and revellers, past restaurant windows with couples eating, past smokers standing outside bars and made it to the venue feeling a bit shaky.

Did anyone do a double take?

Did anyone stare at me?

Did anyone say anything?

In fact did anything happen?

The answer was no…in fact my nerves and walking with my eyes down was probably making me stand out more than if I had relaxed.

At the venue, I got chatting to a group that had travelled up from the corners of the country as a birthday treat for one of them, and the Matriarch of the group, a lady that had been going out in public for 53 years gave me some great advice.

‘Lucy’, she said,’ Don’t hide yourself away. You have a pretty face so tie your¬†hair back¬†and show it. When you walk down the street, hold your head up, back straight and look people in the eyes and smile. In my experience women will smile back and men will be thrown off balance and unable to reply. In shops, the assistants will love you, the shoppers will love your opinion, ¬†they are not bothered if you pass or not, and the tills will be¬†happy to take your money.’

I realised that for some of the women¬†they would unlikely to ever pass in public, some were well over 6ft before taking into account their heels, the majority had difficulty with shoe sizes and had to order larger shoes from specialist online retailers, and they dressed in public ¬†‘fabulously’. Yet this didn’t stop them going out on shopping trips and activities en-femme, and more importantly enjoying the experience. I find myself¬†lucky in having a feminine frame, ¬†small feet and not being too tall.

The flip side of the coin is that at the end of the night a man (who weirdly looked like Ben Fogle) sat down next to me and made an advance saying he was looking for some ‘fun’ that night and was attracted to male femininity.¬†I told him I was straight, married and not interested. ‘What? Your not gay?’ He couldn’t understand why a man would dress as a female yet not be gay. When we told him that the majority of the women at this event were probably straight he was nearly in shock.

Walking back to the hotel, I followed the advice above and enjoyed the walk back. Again no problem.

Next day when I told my wife about my adventure,she found that I ‘pulled’ amusing,and after seeing a picture of my outfit on the night commented that it wasn’t fair that my legs were better than hers.

I need to be like the cat in the image above, easy to say, not easy in practice. But every step gets easier (even in heels),

Lucy

x

Looking Forward, Looking Back

January is always a time to reflect on the year gone by and the year ahead. Interestingly the month January is named after Janus, the Roman God of Doorways, Change and Transition, depicted with two faces, one looking behind and the other ahead. Although the typical depiction of Janus is with two male faces some images of Janus also show a male and a female face.

So where am I going with this?

I feel a similar duality within my life,with my male and my female natures. In 2014, Lucy developed from a shadowy figure in the closet and began to become her own person, while ‘Luke’, once totally dominant within me, is now on the wane.

Looking back 2014 was an amazing yet scary year, at the start of the year I was uncertain of the future of my marriage after coming out to my wife about my dual nature, yet we have both grown to understand each other over the year. I have developed my own wardrobe, make-up, style, I shop for my own clothing. I have been out in public as Lucy for the first time.

On Xmas eve my wife came downstairs holding a small wrapped present in her hand with no name on it. She seemed a little embarrassed and said ‘This is for Lucy’.

Opening the present I found that inside was a number of simple¬†feminine¬†bracelets from Primark. My wife explained that she felt she had to give Lucy a token gift, as a way of acknowledging this side to my nature, this other face. She went on at length about how she struggled to know what to buy, she didn’t want to buy me something I would hate, or something too expensive that I would wear once in a blue moon. Of all my presents at Xmas, this simple gift of bracelets was the present I cherish the most.

This was my wife’s way of saying she accepted this part of me, even though she said she hadn’t yet embraced it.

Moving forward Lucy feels more and more real. Me and my wife mention Lucy regularly ¬†by ¬†name in conversation without any embarrassment. For example While Xmas shopping my wife pointed out a dress in New Look, ‘That looks just like your tartan dress’ I smiled and replied it was very similar, when out before new year my wife said she liked a friends of hers outfit¬†knowing¬†it was very similar to one I owned. My wife talked about in 2015 about moving house and saving up a large deposit, but also said that it was important that I still go out and spend time out as Lucy and asked me when I would be going out in January.

So we are moving forward and are planning our lives;- jobs, moving house and where Lucy comes into our relationship.

British society is more accepting of Transgendered individuals, (thumbs up to the BBC for showing the excellent drama on Boxing Day ‘The Boy in a Dress’) I see more and more articles and programmes portraying transgender people in a positive light.

It seems fitting to end on a resolution that I want to be Lucy more this year, I have contacted and made connections within the Transgender community and want to build up friendships as Lucy. But I also know how important it is to reign myself in for my wife’s sake!

Hope you all have a great 2015!

Lucy

x

How coming out has made me a better person

Hi all,

I touched on the issue before here where I dealt with labels and how should I refer to myself in this blog, but found I fell somewhere under the transgender spectrum near crossdressing, but my self identity was more complex than a couple of words.

Instead of subjecting you all to an internal debate on who I am, male or female (wish it was as simple of choosing a tickbox as you do in most modern computer games!) I will examine how coming out as transgendered to my wife has made me a better person.

1. Since¬†I live as a man, work as a man, but I am able to dress and express myself as a female, have my own¬†female wardrobe and now I can say I’ve been out in public as a female I can now truly say that I can see the gender divide from both perspectives.

2. This allows me to be able to have conversations from experience about fashion and what to wear with my wife. My wife asks me of my opinion on clothes and what matches with other items in her wardrobe, I can tell her what shoes, handbag or makeup goes with an outfit and can suggest items to compliment (I surprised her the other today by suggesting a bolero jacket with a party dress).

3. Since coming out that was the last secret between us, going through gender identity counselling together broke down the mental blocks and walls I had built up over the years. We are closer than we have ever been and I really appreciate what a great person she is. I also addressed stressful issues from my childhood that I had otherwise accepted and buried deep.

4. I can be more open and be myself instead of hiding behind a masculine front, We talk about gender issues, the discrimination that LGBT suffer, womens rights and other subjects, that before coming out I pretended to have no knowledge of so not to give myself away.

5. Dressing up is a great stress relief, I can be open about needing to dress at times and my wife knows that after dressing up I am such a calm and relaxed person, being fully me makes me smile even when under great pressure.

6. I am much more a confident person, I have gone from being very shy, always hiding at the back of the room at parties to developing a more outgoing and chatty personality.

7. I am a lot more careful about my appearance, not that I looked like a tramp or anything! But I regularly and carefully remove unwanted eyebrow hairs, look after my skin, and started running to keep my weight down so I can slip into my size 12 dresses.

8. No longer do I wrestle with myself about who I am, I just accept being ‘me’

Lucy

x

Street Harassment

This week was a special week for me, I talked it though with my wife and gained consent about attending a Crossdressing support group so I could move forward to being away from being in the closet in a safe environment. But as it was not in the city I live, I booked myself into a hotel under half a mile from the venue.

I arrived and dressed ready for the night, knowing that I would be walking through a busy city for half a mile¬†after sundown dressed in female attire.¬†However I¬†dressed without being overly provocative; brown ankle boots, thick black tights, a dress that came to about a couple of inches above the knees; over which I wore a long warm jacket with a scarf and hat, with hair and makeup not over the top. Looking at myself in the mirror I thought I looked great and hoped that I would be able to ‘pass’. Walking out of that hotel room into the wide world was scary, but¬†holding my head up I crossed¬†the hotel lobby and out through the entrance doors without anyone seeming to bat an eyelid.

I crossed over¬†the main road into a well lit side street that led to the venue. So far so good I thought. But then ahead of me outside of a corner pub was a young man in early 20’s, baseball cap and tracksuit. he spotted me and started to walk towards me.

‘Oy Love! Where you goin’ tonight?’ said young man suggestively as he looked me slowly up and down. I initially thought ‘Damn, he’s clocked me, what should I do?’

I carried on walking but told him as¬†I¬†stepped around him that¬†I was meeting some friends just up the road, he suddenly stepped back as my voice that gave me¬†away. ‘ *%^$ Your a man! I seriously thought you were a woman!’; I replied ‘Thank you!’ and kept walking, my heart racing away.

Thinking about it afterwards in all my time on this planet walking the streets as a man no-one has ever stopped me in the street with obvious sexual aggression, yet within 5 minutes of being out in public presenting as a (hopefully convincing) female I received first hand the abuse women have to put up with every day.

It really opened my eyes as a genetic male, that this happens and makes me ashamed¬†and embarrassed that women suffer this kind of abuse from men. I questioned myself and my own perceptions towards women (luckily I’ve never done anything so stupid, but I have seen others within my social groups doing it which has always made me uncomfortable).Women’s rights are an issue I am aware of and I feel that as someone who identifies part-time as a woman that I should get more involved and¬†make a stand against such behaviour.

I talked about it to my wife next day. I thought that my outfit wouldn’t elicit such comments; but as my wife pointed out I was wearing a short-ish skirt after dark. Yet as we both agreed, people shouldn’t make excuses for how they dress, I was dressing for myself not for others.¬†My wife said if¬†this same situation happened¬†to her she would have just¬†ignored them, not given them the satisfaction of an answer, and carried on walking,

I’m not sure I could be that brave.

A Year On/Stepping Out

It all came to a head last year, after going out in drag with my wife to a Halloween Rocky Horror Show performance¬†plus after show party I didn’t want to go back to being in the closet. A few days later I confronted my wife with the truth that occasionally I enjoyed wearing women’s clothing and I wanted to be upfront about it. You can see how we worked together as a couple in my earlier blogs to confront and understand my need to ‘crossdress’; laying down boundaries, couple counselling and agreeing to take one small step at a time.

A year has passed and again Halloween has been and gone, as it was half term last week my wife was at London for the day with my son and her sister¬†and she was fully aware and Ok that when I finished work I¬†would be getting dressed at home (indeed I went shopping for a new dress on that day). One agreement between us is that she doesn’t want to see me dressed as she worries she will lose her feelings and attraction towards me as a man.

A couple of days later I pointed out that it had been a year since I ‘came out’¬†and asked if I could move onto the next step, of going out dressed somewhere in public, somewhere ‘safe’;somewhere trans friendly..

I’m aware of a¬†group ‘Outskirts’ that meets up in Birmingham every 2 weeks, as I live about 30 miles away and the changing facilities are basic (disabled toilet) I had a chat with my wife about booking a hotel close to the meeting place, a bar in the Gay Village in Brum. It shows how far we had come as my wife asked to see the website and pictures of the girls at ‘Outskirts’, she was pleased that the girls were dressed quite conservatively and that it seemed quite relaxed and agreed that I should go. She is hoping III make a friend that shares my circumstances and it’s someone that she can meet and talk to as well.

Which brings me to today, in little over a week I will be booking in to my hotel room, getting dressed in a tartan dress, black tights, tan boots and a warm jacket, putting on my face and hair, and walking out of my hotel room door into a new future; I will be out in public for the first time truly as myself.

The thought of this is both exciting and terrifying!

When I ‘crossdress’ at home, it’s so simple to achieve¬†as the only person who see’s me is myself, but now I am planning how to ‘pass’ in public:- accessorising, make-up perfection and the tricks of the trade to get that feminine shape just right.¬†It’s a ¬†5-10 minute walk from my hotel room to the venue, and I don’t want to attract too much attention. I’m also considering:- do I¬†stop for¬†a drink before the event? do I stop to get something to eat? do I go shopping¬†in the day as a woman?¬†or am I trying to run before I can walk!

Even writing all this now is giving me butterflies in my stomach, but everything is now in motion and lets see what it brings!

Gender and Video Games

Being of the generation that has grown up with the birth and watched the development of video gaming, it is of no surprise that I am a passionate gamer myself. One common question I often see being asked is that why do men often play as a female avatars when given a choice between which gender to play? Studies have shown that men are three times more likely to gender switch when creating characters than female gamers.

I’ve heard a lot of reasons; the most common one is that if a man is going to watch a character’s rear end for the many hours of playing then they would prefer a bit of ‘eye candy’, but that doesn’t cut the mustard with me, as men will also take on the mannerisms and speech behaviour of females even without realising¬†that they are doing so.

In MMORPG’s (massively multi-player online role-playing games) the expectation among gamers is that the female character you are questing with is most likely played by a male, the common joke is that G.I.R.L’s are in reality ‘Guys.In.Real.Life’. While the¬†female player base is growing, MMO’s are a typically male dominated area.

The games themselves (with only a few exceptions) also portray women as sexual objects, all are beautiful and generally wear armour that in actuality doesn’t make any sense or cover much of their bodies (such as the infamous chainmail bikinis), it’s almost as if the programmers are encouraging the gamers to create the most perfect female forms.

I am biased, but I feel that the reason males play as female characters is that even unconsciously it is an expression of pushing through gender boundaries and enjoying experiences that they are not able to have in the closed world of their own gender, women can wear trousers and shirts so do not gender switch as much as they can blur boundaries in real life, yet as men cannot wear feminine garments without riddicule they instead create alternate virtual selves to allow them to do this.

Is it any surprise that pretty dresses and armour are normally the most valuable items in the game and are the most hotly contested? i’ve seen men fighting over the prettiest awards for their avatars!

At least I can be honest as I play female avatars as an expression of my own femininity and gaming is an outlet for my gender identity; I can switch between the two as I can in real life.

If only it could be so easy in real life!

Lucy