Sarahjanus's Blog

December 21, 2011

New boots and “on being me”

Filed under: crossdresser, shopping — Tags: , , , , — Sarah Michelle @ 5:37 pm

Finally, after what feels like months of searching, I finally found a pair of season appropriate boots. The boots don’t really qualify as “winter” boots for a Canadian winter. They are not lined and they do have a significant heel. The lack of lining means the boots will be worn from the car to the mall and not much further, although I will be able to wear them in the city as long as it isn’t too cold. The heel means they will be treacherous in slippery conditions, especially if the ground is “broken” or uneven. However, the boots fit, and they fit properly. I have been in and out of dozens of shoe stores looking for just the right boot, tall, tight to the leg, and a wide size which is unfortunately rare. Going up a size to get the width has proven to be the wrong choice too many times in the past. The shoes often fail to stay on my feet when I’m actually walking, as compared to just moving about the house.

I’ve written previously about being out during the day. It was a recent milestone and one that can only be described as “casting off a burden”. My spirit was lighter, brighter and consistently happier since that experience. Today I had to do my Christmas shopping and I had a bona fide reason to travel a distance from my home. A specialty item was only available in one store, and once there I remained in the area to do the rest of my shopping. I was making some returns, before the gifts were even given. The items were discovered to be wrong for one reason or another. I also had to do the “liquor run”. We don’t drink much in our house, so when we play host to a couple of dozen people, there is always a healthy list of staples, and curiosities that need to be acquired. All of the guests like to be able to make their “drink of the moment” for the gathering.

Back to the theme; being away from my hometown allowed me an opportunity to blur the lines again. I dressed in women’s jeans, and a top that wasn’t outrageously feminine but wasn’t male attire either. I took a man purse (shoulder bag) and wore a pair of shoes with flat square toes and blatantly obvious heels. What were absent were the breast forms, the wig and the make-up.

My first stop was a Winners/HomeSense megastore, where I had to return and replace an item with one of the proper size. It being just before Christmas, the parking lot was full and chaotic. I had to park far further from the store than I would have preferred. Doing so was a double edged event. It meant that I had an opportunity to adjust to the shoes and heels before I entered the store. I have learned not to assume that all heels are the same when walking. On the other hand, it meant I was clearly visible to cars and pedestrians coming and going, which is somewhat intimidating.

The feeling of being observed turned out to be an irrelevant issue. I’ve written before about the sense of “completeness” that I feel when dressed in a feminine manner. I wrestle with the proper terms to use and I struggle to find a better description than “completeness” so bear with me. I don’t want to say that I feel like a woman when I’m dressed as such because I don’t truly know what a woman feels. But I do feel very different when dressed “en femme” or in clearly female clothing. I feel natural and complete.

Once I was out of the car and had straightened my jeans, shouldered my purse, and taken the first few steps, I was not concerned about the stares of others. I felt “right” and because of that, I was able to disregard the stares. I went into the shop, accomplished my goals, walked the aisles, stood in the impossibly long check-out line and knew that I was the subject of looks and whispered comments. I am so much stronger now, more confident. The looks didn’t make me nervous. I didn’t cringe. I didn’t flush or blush. I simply was and wished that I could continue to be.

I went from that store to a liquor outlet and a major mall and from there to Costco and Wal-Mart. I loved my being for the entire time. It felt so good to be completely natural in my presentation and behaviour. I started this blog on Monday, added to it Tuesday, and here we are on Wednesday and I have no opportunity to complete it properly. So, it will be posted as is. Merry Christmas to those who are Christian, Happy Hanukah to those of the Jewish faith, Happy Holidays to everyone-else.

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December 16, 2011

Is cross-dressing a sin?

One of the appeals of the Internet and blogs is that one never knows who may read what you write, as well as the opportunity to read the writings of people far beyond one’s normal reach. A blogger by the name of Lulu Simawati read and commented on one of my posts, so I went to his site and read his material.

I write to give form to my feelings and my thoughts. I access the forums to explore the range of possibilities. The forums reassure me because I can place myself on that range and know that there are other like-minded people around me. They also reassure me because I am within the extremes of the ranges. As a statistician may comment, I am not an outlier.

I have wrestled with my secrets, knowing that because I lied to myself from a very early age, I am now stuck with the visage I have created and maintained for so many years. To dramatically alter that visage now would cause hurt and suffering to my children, my grand-children, and my loving and ever-suffering wife. I describe her as ever-suffering because although my cross-dressing is a secret from her, she has lived through the destructive behaviours that have scarred my life and by extension hers. It has always been a theme of my life that I would like to walk away from this existence and begin again, (or carry on) anew, in a more honest and accurate life-style.

I have also wrestled with my faith and my belief in the existence of God. I have, at times, preferred to deny His existence. I can argue credibly that the Bible is nothing more than a collection of morality tales that are common in one variation or another, to every civilization known to anthropologists. I can argue that the Bible is incomplete because Constantine directed that the Christian elders of the day choose which of the numerous Gospels were most effective and consistent with the central themes, and compile them into a single book. The discarded Gospels may have been insightful if they had been saved and stored. History is usually written by the victors, sometimes at the expense of objectivity, completeness and balance. The Bible suffers from the same effects.

I have watched the Stephen Hawking’s documentaries about the creation of the universe and his very cogent arguments against the existence of God. I prefer the television documentaries because they “dumb them down” to a level I can manage. Even then, I can’t allow anyone to interrupt them because one lost example can cause me to not grasp an entire segment. I am following the news reports of the progress towards finding the Higgs boson, a particle that the scientists are irreverently calling the God particle.

I have returned to a belief in God, faith being a belief in the absence of evidence. I still wrestle with the validity of the Bible and its application in a direct fashion to everyday life. In the course of a recent trip to North Africa, I acquired a local version of an English translation of the Qur’an which I have begun reading. It has been very insightful.

The sum total of this is that I believe I am open-minded. I am developing a self-awareness that I was lacking in my earlier life. I am less an actor now, in my own life and more a participant. However, I have never considered myself a sinner because of my cross-dressing. Of all the acts that I believe I will be judged for, my homosexual youth and my cross-dressing are not on the list, which brings me back to Lulu Simawati, and his blogs. There is a deep and abiding angst in his writing because he sees his cross-dressing as a sin before God. He also mentions a friend who is even more deeply tormented by an undeniable drive to cross-dress and the belief that every time he does, he offends against his God. In my mind, that is a terrible burden to go through life with.

There is a verse in Deuteronomy that says, “the woman shall not wear that which pertainth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment; for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God”. It is fitted in between, being responsible for your brother’s oxen if they get out, and finding a bird’s nest, and is followed by an admonition to not mix fabrics, or wear fringes on your clothes. It is this verse that, I am sure, is causing Lulu and his friend so much anxiety. Just for clarification, I’m not a dedicated student of the Bible. I googled some phrases and was led to the reference and some associated hardline right-wing Christian fundamentalist writings, which were far more hardline than they were Christian, (IMHO).

I’m not as troubled as Lulu by the admonition in Deuteronomy. I have a great deal of trouble accepting much of the Old Testament, and in my own mind, I am more concerned about my transgressions that have caused pain and hurt to others, than I am by this. Is this a rationalization on my part, that I can live by some of the laws of the Bible and ignore others? Or is this something that is an absolute like “you shall not lie with a man, as with a woman”?

If I’m wrong, I’m going to know a lot of people in Hell, but I can’t see God punishing people for a genetic outcome (homosexuality) or a psychological condition (cross-dressing) that is beyond their means and abilities to alter or control. I don’t “feel” that that is God. I have felt like an oddity since puberty. I never quite fit in with my obvious gender and I lived in an environment that was not accepting of variation. I didn’t fight back. In fact I acquiesced. The result is that mine has not been a completely happy life. I feel a bit like a deep cover spy or agent, living the life that was assigned rather than the one chosen. Now, the façade is beginning to crumble, but my God isn’t going to judge me on my sexuality or my gender dysphoria. I believe He is going to judge me on how I conduct my life, how I treat others, how I help when I should, on the acts of goodness or kindness done unknown to others. I wonder if my later life will be sufficient to offset my earlier transgressions, (setting aside accepting Him into your heart and the whole forgiveness and going forward thing). But I do not fear being judged for cross-dressing. Allowing myself to cross-dress, and accepting that part of me is what has put drugs, alcohol and a host of other self-destructive behaviours behind me.

 

December 11, 2011

Walking in the Sunshine

 

Milestones are what bring me back to this blog. If there are no milestones, there are no entries. Sad, but true. I have the same problem with Facebook. Although I check the site regularly and I avidly read the posts of others, I only rarely initiate a post myself. My thought is that what I have to say will not be remotely interesting to those who have chosen to be my friends. So, I choose not to waste their time.

My cross-dressing has settled into a niche amongst my activities. The Last Child Left (LCL), although still at home is now working regularly, so the house is mine all day, Monday to Friday. I can dress in the morning with confidence that no one will interrupt my day. I took advantage of a recent trip to the city to drop in a Wildside, the only store I know in Toronto that caters to cross-dressers and T.Gs.

I left with a new wig, and some double-sided tape, which is what I went in there for, and a plaid skirt. I would say “kilt” but I did see the thread about kilts and plaid skirts on Crossdressers.com, so skirt it is. The skirt became the basis for an outfit that resulted in a new Facebook picture. I still haven’t remembered how to smile so the pictures leave a bit to be desired yet.

The new wig is different from its predecessor in two ways. First, it’s gray rather than the auburn, and second, it is shorter and straight, versus long and curly. I didn’t feel completely comfortable in the first wig. The second is more age appropriate. I got some instructions on how to manage the longer wig, and I bought a foundation recommended for covering beard shadow. I left there a happy shopper only to get back to my car and find a $60 parking tag. I didn’t notice that my car intruded into a No Standing Zone when I positioned it. I paid at the meter but to no avail.

Enough of the preamble. I love the gray wig. It feels so me. I am happy with the foundation. It does a great job of covering a cleanly shaved face. Strangely, when I returned to the auburn wig, I was far more comfortable with it. I don’t understand it really. Thursday evening past, I took the time to sort through all my clothes and put together “an outfit”. I also put on a set of French manicure nails. I wore the outfit all day Friday and I was in heaven. I wanted the day to last forever. It didn’t.

Saturday I had no opportunity to dress, but as you may have assumed, my wife is away, so my opportunities have expanded tremendously for a short time. Sunday was another opportunity. Although it was a cold and somewhat windy day, the sun was shining brightly. Dressing and staying in the house was going to be exceptionally frustrating, so I didn’t. The idea wasn’t completely hatched on Sunday. I had shopped Friday and Saturday for a winter coat, and I found one that was sufficient although certainly not my first choice. I’m learning that I have expensive taste in clothes.

Sunday afternoon, I chose my clothes, put on my make-up and wig, “borrowed” a purse and went out the door. I drove to the city, far enough from home that I was unlikely to meet anyone I knew. For the first time, I walked in the streets in daylight en femme. It felt like it was meant to be. I thought to myself, that this is the way I should always be.

There is a less positive line of thought that goes with the experience. It has to do with how I believe others see me, which is as an imposter, not as the genuine article, but I need to work on convincing myself that I am the genuine article albeit that article is a man in women’s clothing. But that is another subject for another day. Every step along the way affirms that I could live as a woman and be very happy doing so except for the huge hurt that it would cause those who love me and support me.

 

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