Saturday, 30 August 2014

a word about tucking....

I know I don’t often speak about my dressing routine specifics but today I wanted to briefly touch the subject of tucking. I suppose everyone has their own method but I will share mine with you.

I no longer use a gaff as I found the one I had uncomfortable. What I use instead are small-sized panties in the garconne style. What I like about these is that they have a wider band at the bottom that provide support and don’t ride up the sides of your crotch area which ends up inducing irritation over a longer outing.

I put the underwear on from a sitting position and slowly stand as I insert them. This encourages the penis to be pulled back comfortably into place and all that remains is to make sure that my testicles are pushed back into their sockets to produce a very clean and flat look.

The last step is to put on my padded girdle which I purchased from the Breastform store several years ago.

My entire dressing process, which I now have down to an art form, is now down to about 15 minutes so I can be out the door relatively quickly if need be.


Garconne style pantie





Friday, 29 August 2014

created

Everything I have collected in terms of research and personal experience over my lifetime tells me with virtually 100% certainty that gender variant people are created and not self made. When I say this I am not only including biological predisposition but also our socialization which leaves us with a kind of morbid curiosity towards emulating or becoming the other sex. We who are so afflicted are then dependant on a series of factors which juxtapose in their own unique formula to help decide our path forward; they include but are not limited to sexual orientation, religious beliefs, family and job concerns.

Why is this important?

Because that knowledge should help us to relax and realize that we are not the ones who are to blame for the feelings. Our behaviour (such as the desire for cross gender expression) is a symptom of a desire to become more closely acquainted with what we love and admire in the other sex. As hard as it is to explain even to ourselves, this is a basic truth.

For the vast majority of us, there is only one place to go and that end point must by necessity be self acceptance. Trying to suppress or curb will only lead to frustration and depression. I know I tried absolutely everything in order to eradicate my feelings and, despite what some militant "true" transsexuals will tell you, most of us are not born at puberty; we are in fact born well before. I can easily trace my gender feelings back to age 5 or 6.

Are some so called crossdressers born after puberty? Of course they are but their motivations and modus operandi are entirely different. It is like comparing apples and oranges.

Jack Molay over at Crossdreamers will be releasing the results of an important survey which will reflect what I am saying here. Many of you may have already taken part and, if you haven't done so already, I encourage you to participate.

The results will confirm what Harry Benjamin already knew way back in 1966; namely that gender dysohoria is a graded continuum.






Thursday, 28 August 2014

transforming yourself

Adrian Acosta is a drag artist, photographer and website creator. Here is a nice piece he wrote this year about his service which performs male to female transformations on heterosexual men. I thought I would post it in its entirety.

“Think of all the crazy things people pay money to do. Some people spend their money on skydiving, skiing, bungee jumping, paragliding, workout classes and the list goes on. Many of these things are downright dangerous. Think of attending the opera. I know, it's not dangerous but really think about it; sitting in a darkened room with strangers listening to fat ladies scream is downright ridiculous, yet people pay lots and lots of money for a two-plus hour front row seat.

When people express how crazy they find the idea of me doing Boy-to-Girl Transformations on my clients is, I ask them: "Is it as crazy as skydiving?"

There are many ways to get your thrills in life, and a Boy-to-Girl Transformation is one of them.

What is a Boy-to-Girl Transformation? A Boy-to-Girl Transformation is simply taking a man, giving him a makeover from head to toe, transforming him into a woman and documenting it with photographs.

There are many things I love about doing makeover transformations. I love my client's faces gleaming with delight as they see their femme selves in the mirror. It's like a child's face on Christmas morning. It's the kind of happiness that is contagious. I love that they are emotionally transported to an alternate universe where they are a beautiful, sensual female: The female inside they have suppressed for years. To tell you the truth, by the time I'm done transforming them, I have a hard time believing that they had been males just a few hours before they arrived in my studio. To me they are a beautiful female standing in front of me; I respect them and treat them as such.

On a deeper level, I love the fact that while out in the world there are men robbing, stealing, raping, killing, etc. -- in my Transformation Studio, it's just me and my client; two men relaxing, having fun, chatting, laughing, creating sensual art. Imagine how peaceful and fun the world would be if more men allowed themselves to get a Boy-to-Girl Transformation, to literally walk in women's shoes?

I've been transforming myself since 1996. In 1997 I won my high school's drag pageant. That's where my alter-ego, Amnesia Sparkles, was born. In 2002 I went national with Amnesia when she appeared in the first season of American Idol.

That was my first taste of society's resistance to a man dressing up like a woman. The online forums at the time were a battle ground of conversations on whether I was a decent person. I didn't mention my sexual orientation on national TV, yet I was deemed a "sinner" for simply being a man who dressed up as a woman. In 2009, I started a website, GenderFun.com, focused on gender and sexuality, and in 2013 I started offering Boy to Girl Transformations to the public.

"We are all half man, half women," I've been saying that for years. This is a nature and nurture truth. We live in a society divided by masculinity and femininity. We live in a time where women are still second class citizens making less than their male counterparts for the same jobs, and where men are looked down upon if they decide to dress as women, yet as in the intro of Madonna's song, "What it Feels like for a Girl":

Girls can wear jeans
And cut their hair short,
Wear shirts and boots,
'Cause it's OK to be a boy,
But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading,
'Cause you think that being a girl is degrading,
But secretly you'd love to know what it's like,
Wouldn't you?
What it feels like for a girl.

Grindr is infested with profiles that state: "Masc for Masc," which makes me questions if gays today are using their "masc" as a mask.

Why are you so afraid of putting on some heels and showing your softer side?

Many gay men feel like there is only two ways of being: gay or straight. They ignore or simply reject the notion that anyone can be somewhere in the middle. How could someone enjoy penises AND vaginas? How could someone be masc by day and femme by night?

All of the men I've transformed enjoy having sex with biological women very much. Some have had sex with trans women, as well as had sex with men; sexual labels do not bind them. Many are rugged guys and have girlfriends, but simply enjoy a femme vacation from their masc selves from time to time.

I can't tell you the numerous times I've gotten asked by gay men if my clients are gay.

Gay Guy: "So was your client gay?"
Me: "You mean, does he identify as a gay man, or has he had gay experiences?"
Gay Guy: "What's the difference?"
Me: "Well, you can have gay experiences and not consider yourself 'gay."'
Gay Guy: "Do they have sex with women too?"
Me: "Yes."
Gay Guy: "So, they're bi?"
Me: "To the outside world they are bi, but most gender-benders I've met don't care to label their sexual orientation. They are very open and attracted to men, women and pre and post-op trans individuals."
Gay Guy: "That's weird. Whatever, they are so totally GAY."

I've encountered this level of ignorance from gay men time and time again. For a group of individuals that is fighting for equality and understanding, "The Gays" don't seem to think outside the box. They don't seem to extend the understanding, acceptance and respect they very much desire from society.

An individual's gender and sexual orientation may fall anywhere on those spectrums. Simply think of how much more persuasive the gay liberation movement would be if we understood this fact, and we had an open and honest conversations about where we fall on the gender and sexual orientation spectrums, and about how our experiences make us feel.

The fact is, I love my clients. I love their courage to try new things and come out of the closet (at least to me), their willingness to listen to their hearts and their ability to let their hair down. They inspire me to do a better job every time. To me they are dancers of life, artists with their bodies, and spiritual beings manifested in fabulous physical form.

And let's not forget that they are sexy as hell! "



Adrian Acosta as Amnesia Sparkles

something to bank on...

Normally when I get home from work I go out for a bit as Joanna but last night my first instinct was that I probably wouldn't dress. I had a banking appointment to renew my mortgage at 5 pm and decided I wouldn't bother. But then I thought the better of it and decided to dress anyway. I was sure that the banking representative wouldn't mind and in fact a previous bank manager there, who has since left the branch, already knew I was transgendered and had absolutely no problem with it.

The person I ended up meeting with was a young (under 30) and very polite man who gave me very courteous service. I felt I needed to preamble our discussion by mentioning that I was transgendered, but without missing a beat he said that someone there at the branch was also trans plus he had already dealt with other customers like me.

In ended up being a very positive experience indeed and another indication of how the world is getting smaller and more savvy everyday. So with very little fanfare I went about my business, once again confirming that I need not second guess myself when it comes to these matters. Just get dressed and go out the door and don't give it a second thought.



Wednesday, 27 August 2014

a little more outreach

It’s important to do outreach.

Recently N and I were having brunch at her brother’s house and I had a chance to have a brief chat with his partner of many years; let’s call her by her first initial J.

The subject of my dressing came up (which by the way she knows about) and her comment to me was how surprisingly normal I was for a transgender person. I supposed that she had expected gender variant people to be odd or to have discernibly strange characteristics or attitudes. So she made the point to tell me that I had educated her on this topic.

Well maybe I am an odd bird.

I happened to have a picture on my phone of Joanna and I showed it to her. She was impressed with how much like a woman I looked and how well put together I was. She said it might be fun one day to have coffee with me in my Joanna mode to which I wholeheartedly agreed.

J had also recently seen an ex male employee return to the office as a transitioned woman. At 61 years of age this person had decided to make a major life change and apparently many of her colleagues were quite congratulatory and supportive. J also found that to be very touching.

It made me once again realize how important it is to let a little light shine on us once in a while. People of my generation were taught to keep this under wraps and be ashamed of it but I am way past that point now.

I was very happy to have had that exchange with her.


Monday, 25 August 2014

accepting your hard coding

Cross gender expression is often seen as most negative by the people who know the least about it. My sister who is deeply devout Catholic used to see it as an obsessive and sexually driven behaviour. I pleaded for her to become educated in the subject but instead she would point me to religious zealots or repentant ex-dressers who said they had been cured.

Invariably I would scratch the surface of these writings and immediately find the weak points and spell them out for her. Often the people most objectionable were the least educated on the topic and astonishingly biased to begin with. Most had an axe to grind.

For the better part of two years, my sister kept trying to make me see the light. But it wasn’t until she herself found the website of Chris Pagani the transgendered artist that she began to have her epiphany and realise that there was more than met the eye. Chris not only thoroughly explains her life long struggle with gender dysphoria but does so such much eloquence and convincing candour that you are hard pressed to ignore it.

My sister was the one who actually found her site and offered it to me as a great resource. She is now far more educated on the topic of dysphoria.

As I have said here recently, not all cross gender expression is rooted in the same causes and what one finds disruptive and unsettling about it in their own lives, another finds comfort, peace and joy.

Harry Benjamin was famously quoted as saying that “The transvestite has a social problem” and he was entirely correct. It is not the individual that has the problem but the reaction everyone else has to it. Once that obstacle is removed, the individual can truly be themselves and relax. However if your wife, children and extended family ostracize you, there will of course be repercussions of guilt and shame that will be felt. A desire for a cure will be first and foremost on that person’s mind.

This was my life before I came to be myself and the struggle that brought me to begin this blog. It was a hard fought battle but very worthwhile for it allowed me to look under every rock and every cranny to get to the core of argument. I needed to read Benjamin and Vitale and get to the science and forget the crackpots.

Eliminating my fears and preconceived notions was instrumental and in the process of finding who I was came the end of a marriage. However, it turned out to be the best solution for all. My 16 year old daughter recently told me that she could not envision nor desire to see her mother and I back together and I could not have agreed with her more but in my darkest moments I could never have envisioned this truth. She knows I dress and could care less; so does my son.

This condition is hard wired in a great many of us and accepting it and dealing with it positively is the only way to a successful and happy existence.





Sunday, 24 August 2014

morning coffee

I had the young server take my picture this past Sunday morning...