Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Fear of Height

First time en femme among the civilians
Reading Paula’s post on Monday about being paralyzed by fear when attempting to go out en femme brought to mind my own going out en femme fears.

For years, I only went out en femme to attend support group meetings and support group-sponsored outings to restaurants, beauty salons, wig stores, etc. I was closeted the rest of the time because I feared that I would not pass due to my height (six foot two).

On at least one occasion, I made up my mind that I would go to the mall en femme. I drove to the mall, parked my car, sat in my car and finally got out of my car. And quickly got back in my car and drove home. Mission Not Accomplished!

There are not many women who measure up to my height, so my fear was justified. I resigned myself to being closeted forever. But then I began taking names – the names of women of height

Women of height affirmed my existence as a tall woman, i.e., I was not the only tall woman out and about in society. Few were as tall as me, but maybe there were enough out there so that I could blend in more easily as just another tall woman.

With new confidence, I drove to the mall again, parked my car, sat in my car, finally got out of my car, walked into the mall and the rest is herstory! 

It was not a perfect outing. A couple of women reacted in a manner that indicated that they might have figured me out. And that’s not surprising because it was my first time out among the civilians; I was a little nervous and might have done something to give myself away. Either that or they were just in awe of my Amazonian beauty (yeah – that's the ticket).

By the end of the day, I was strutting my stuff like a full-time woman. It felt wonderful. My fear of height was gone and I never hesitated again going out en femme among the civilians.

Source: Rue La La
Wearing Bailey44

Womanless wedding
Womanless wedding, circa 1960

Monday, August 15, 2022

Fear Not

By Paula Gaikowski

Paula on a train in London
I step toward the mirror; there she is “Paula.” A huge smile flashes across my face, a joyfulness takes over, a sense of relief. I primp in the mirror then pack my purse, credit cards, license, cash and room key. I primp in the mirror again. My nails! I forgot my nails. It takes a few minutes, but they’re pretty, a press-on French manicure – just the right feminine detail. 

I check my purse again. I’m nervous; there’s a bit of trepidation as I stand in front of the door. Faintly I hear his voice pulling me back. I stand there frozen. I open the door and step out and take a few steps. Filled with fear, I run back to the safety of the hotel room.

I go back out. This time I make it to the car. Oh gosh, as much as I want to, I can’t do this and I run back to the room. I spend the rest of the night doing my makeup and trying on different outfits. Next time I tell myself, next time.

I didn’t bust out of my and Dockers and into a skirt and heels without a struggle. This butterfly spent a lot of time as a caterpillar emerging. I spent most of the 90’s doing just what I described above and it wasn’t until 2006 that I started going out and about on a regular basis as a woman.

I was fearful of many things, but mostly it was a matter of self-acceptance. I gave myself permission to be transgender. Sounds simple, even silly, however, I finally realized that it was okay if I didn’t pass. I’ve grown a lot over the years. I no longer see my dressing as a woman as a problem to be solved. I am not doing anything wrong. I’ve cast off society’s condemnation of being transgender and realized that I am a good person and that part of my personality and character involves being transgender. 

Attributes I see missing in many men, such as nurturing, kindness, compassion and cooperation are parts of my personality that I believe come from my feminine side. When I am in public, if somebody realizes that I was a transgender woman that is okay because I am. That made a big difference in my frame of mind and allowed me to walk out the door.

As we all know, the fears we had were unfounded. Some of us went out and passed some of the time, but if we didn’t pass, we were still treated with respect and politeness.

Still many of us struggle with that bit of apprehension when leaving the refuge of our home or hotel room. After two years of pandemic imposed exile, I find myself acting like I did back in the 90’s. Gazing at that door with trepidation and pondering “what if, oh no!” 

So I came up with a little psychological ploy to overcome my doubts, fears and worries. One of the hurdles I had to get over was that I thought of myself as a man going out into the world dressed as a woman. Although I live as man most of the time, deep down I am a woman and for reasons too complex and drawn-out to list here, I live as a man.

Before going out, I check myself over making sure my look is complete. I take several minutes and begin meditating. This is a very peaceful time. After getting dressed and transforming myself, I feel so feminine, harmonious and euphoric. 

I imagine myself as a transgender woman who transitioned many years ago. I live as woman every day now, I tell myself. There is no reason to fear because I wear these clothes and makeup every day. I am Mrs. Paula Gaikowski, a married woman with a loving husband and family. I have a successful career as a woman. This is who I really am and who I was meant to be, so go forth without fear or worry and enjoy being my true self.

When I walk out that door that’s how I see myself. t works for me; maybe it will help you, too. 

Source: Venus
Wearing Venus

Femulating on Hungarian television’s √Čretlenek