Saturday, September 23, 2017

Saturday Night Lives

By request, I am rerunning this story that I wrote and posted here over a year ago. I hope you enjoy it. Have a nice weekend!

Third Saturday of the month, we dine with our friends, Bill and Rosemary Lucas. We take turns, one month at their house and one month at our house.

Last month at our house, Rosemary and my wife Karen discussed how men can be self-involved. As an example, Rosemary went on and on about how Bill spent a lot of time and money on photography.

Not to be outdone, Karen mentioned how I spent a lot of time and money on crossdressing.

I turned beet red with embarrassment. My crossdressing was a family secret. I was incredulous that Karen would let the cat out of the bag, but in the heat of the moment, she wanted to up Rosemary's complaints about Bill.

"Who would have thought that about Stanley," commented Rosemary.

"I'm shocked," said Bill.

"Yes, 'Stan the Man' likes to become 'Pearl the Girl' about once a week," added Karen.

"I'd like to meet her," Bill said with a Cheshire Cat grin.

With a twinkle in her eye, Rosemary suggested, "Maybe Pearl can dine with us next month."

"I think that can be arranged," Karen replied.

"I can't wait!" Rosemary exclaimed. I did not say a word and the subject was dropped for other topics that I cannot recall because my head was spinning about what just happened.

On the way home, Karen apologized for telling Bill and Rosemary about Pearl.

"I accept your apology, but why did you go along with Rosie's idea about Pearl showing up for dinner next month?"

"At first, I thought it would be too embarrassing for you, but Rosie and Bill were so enthusiastic that I thought, why not. Pearl is a beautiful woman and she deserves to go out and be seen."

"I'll think about it," was where I left it.

The month passed and I thought it was a dead issue.

Over breakfast on the morning of our next dinner with the Bill and Rosemary, Karen asked, "What is Pearl wearing tonight?"

I didn't see that coming.

"Stan was planning to go to dinner without Pearl tonight," I replied.

"Rosie and Bill were expecting to see Pearl. In fact, I was expecting to see Pearl, too."


"You are going to disappoint everyone. Why don't you stop being so self-centered and think about others for a change."

Karen was angry... very angry. I felt guilty and started reconsidering. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad. Bill and Rosie already know and it might be fun to get out of the house en femme, as the "girls" say.

I finally relented, "I guess Pearl can make an appearance tonight."

Karen's anger turned to elation, "Great! I'm so happy that she changed her mind."

I completed my Saturday chores by mid-afternoon and began transforming myself into Pearl.

I disrobed and applied hair removal cream on my legs, arms, breasts and as far as I could reach on my back. While waiting for the cream to do its job, I applied a shaving gel to my face, neck and armpits, put a fresh blade in my razor and got in the shower.

As the water washed the depilated hair from my body, I shaved. Then I cleansed my whole body, rinsed and stepped out of the shower.

After drying myself, I rubbed moisturizer into my soft skin, then I slipped on a pair of black lace panties (the only kind I will wear) and sat at the vanity to do my makeup.

I used some concealer to hide the faint shadow of my beard, then applied foundation and powder. I did my eyes next. The eyeliner makes them stand out and a deft application of mascara and eyeshadow make them look smoky and mysterious. Some blush and muted lipstick followed.

Pearl is a blond and has a variety of hair styles at her disposal, so I had to decide which coiffure she would wear. I selected a short wispy layered cut with flipped ends and dark roots that add authenticity to the wig. I slipped the wig onto my head, straightened it and finger-styled it.

I removed my undies from the bureau and pulled on a high waist panty girdle, while tucking Willy and his friends out of sight. Next came the matching long line bra and silicone breast forms that went into its cups.

Sitting on the bed, I put my pink-polished toes into a pair of suntan control-top sandalfoot pantyhose and worked the sheer nylon up my legs and over my girdle.

I slipped a black sheath dress over my head being careful not to smudge my makeup on the fabric.

Then I asked my spouse, "Karen, would you please zip up my dress?"

"Yes, honey," she answered. She stopped combing her hair to assist with my zipper.

"There you go," she said when she finished zipping me up and closing the clasp just above the zipper.

"Thank-you, sweetheart."

I completed my look with some tasteful jewelry: a silver watch on my slender wrist, silver heart clip-on earrings and my wedding band and engagement ring. Finally, I added a set of stick-on nails to my fingers.

I straightened out my dress and smoothed the hem, which fell about three inches above my knees, then slipped on a pair of 4-inch black patent pumps. A spritz of perfume on my wrists and on the nape of my neck and I stand back to admire the finished product in our full-length mirror. Stan has left the building and Pearl was in his place!

I announced, "I'm ready," using a feminized version of my voice.

"You certainly are, Miss Pearl! I'm almost ready, too. Can you return the favor?"

Karen had just slipped on her green belted sweater dress and was waiting for me to zip her up.

"Sure thing," I said and I zipped up her dress.

"Check me out, honey, to make sure I look okay," she asked.

She spun around with her arms posed akimbo so that I could see any flaws in her ensemble.

"You look perfect," I said, "I am so lucky to be married to a drop dead gorgeous woman." Then I spun around with my arms posed akimbo so that she could see any flaws in my ensemble.

"Perfect... I am lucky to be married to a drop dead gorgeous woman, too," she replied.

We air-kissed each other so as not to smudge our makeup, grabbed our purses and walked to the garage.

Karen drove because I had never driven wearing high heels. It was only a half-mile ride to the Lucas home and when we arrived, Karen parked the car on the street and we walked hand-in-hand to the front door.

Karen rang the bell and we soon heard the clicking of high heels approach the door from the inside. The door was opened by a beautiful woman, who I didn't recognize.

Karen said, "Hi, Bill. You look lovely."

"Thank-you, but Bill's not here. Please call me 'Pamela.' May I assume your beautiful girlfriend is Pearl?"

"You assumed correctly, Pamela."

I was speechless. Pamela nee Bill looked fantastic. He was wearing a white jacquard mini-dress, off white metallic pantyhose, and silver strappy 4-inch sandals. His shoulder-length chestnut hair was up and his makeup was perfect.

"You look fabulous," I gushed.

"You, too, girlfriend. Let's take some photos!"

Source: JustFab)
Wearing JustFab (Source: JustFab)

2017 Emmy Awards
Chorus boys (center left and right) sort of femulating in the 2017 Emmy Awards television show.

Friday, September 22, 2017

It takes an effort to look effortless

By Paula Gaikowski

I just want to say I agree with Stana’s comments over the last few days.

There seems to be a vain of sanctimonious smugness that runs through our sorority, a political correctness that surrounds passing, sexuality and crossdressers in the transgender community. Let’s remember that together we are sisters supporting each other.

Transgender women just want the human race to know that we are women!

The hair, makeup, clothes, lingerie, voice lessons and of course, shoes are all gestures to the world that we are women.

Just like the cowboy who wears his hat, jeans and boots in the airport, he is saying to the world, "These clothes reflect who I am, a culture that I belong to, a philosophy that I adhere to and a vocation that I perform."

The banker, the rocker and the professor – they all send a message with their clothes.

That is the reason we do this – we want people to know who we are. That deep down, under the five o'clock shadow and receding hairline, we all have to some varying extent the hearts and souls of feminine beings.

That’s why we so often ask about passing, presenting or how do I look? It is the reason why we in the transgender community take more pictures than most tourists. Ever notice that you are the only person at the family reunion that knows exactly how to work the self-timer on the camera! We want acknowledgement, we are sending radio waves out into the Universe and listening, searching, longing to know if we are being heard.

I always dreamed of going out in public as a woman. When I turned 50, middle age crazy took over and I began working on it.

First, I began losing weight. Nothing makes you feel or look better, than being physically fit. I went from a size 26W to a 16 Misses. (How you lose the weight is another issue all together.)

I began buying makeup from a very helpful sales associate at the NARS counter. Every couple of weeks I’d buy another piece of cosmetic and she would tutor me. Kasey was the first person who taught me not to be ashamed of being transgender.

I would practice at home. Even if I wasn’t getting dressed, I would apply my makeup, getting better each time. I’d watch YouTube tutorials when I couldn’t practice.

I saved up and bought a good wig. Wig stores are all transgender friendly! If you don’t believe me call one, be polite and honest, tell them you are a transgender person looking for a wig and would like to come in. I guarantee you are not the first.

Once you have the hair, learn how to style it. Ask you your wig lady for lessons. I have had several classes where she taught me how to style and comb out my wig. After the classes practice, practice, practice.

I found a gender therapist and for the first time in my life spoke openly and face-to-face with someone about this. Speak with any girl and she will tell you this is a big part of self-acceptance. Because of this I was able to shed the guilt and shame I struggled with for years. I was also able to understand where I wanted to go with this. That’s when I set my goal of being able to go out in public as a woman on a regular schedule.

Get a big sister. Connect with another girl online or in person, even if you meet in drab as friends. Having someone like yourself to support each other is important.

Practice your voice with a smart phones recording app. Use your feminine voice every day.  I recite a memorized speech each day during my drive to and from work. After several months, my femme voice started to really sound natural.

Become a student of fashion, find a transgender mentor and study other women. Which one are you? Find your style and not your fantasy.

So much of my presentation has become second nature to me now. I walk out the hotel room door, smile at the maid and stop at the front desk without trepidation or anxiety. This self-assurance is contagious to everyone around you – it validates your appearance to them.

When I visit cosmetic counters in girl mode, I am always open about being transgender. When you get this close to a person they can tell I am transgender  The sale associates seem to love the diversion of having a transgender customer. We always have great conversations and I always ask them about my appearance. Most often, the words I hear are, poised, natural and classic.

They say 90% of presentation is attitude and confidence. This takes effort and work. That confidence and attitude comes from the steps I outlined above. My point is that it takes an effort to look effortless. This effort is all part of being a woman.

Please remember to enjoy the journey, the practice, the friendships, the accomplishments and even the failures.

Source: Tory Burch
Wearing Tory Burch (Source: Tory Burch)

Gabe Belyeu
Gabe Belyeu femulating on stage in La Cage Aux Folles.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Getting Good Enough

Yesterday's post, Not Good Enough, caused a bit of a firestorm.

Some readers commented that they were very offended by my post, that it stunk of passing privilege and was transphobic. One anonymous commenter even claimed that I was in the closet, which kind of contradicts my stinking of passing privilege.

A common thread running through the comments was that I was lucky to be blessed with good looks that facilitated my ability to femulate and even pass.

Luck had nothing to do with it, but hard work did!

When I started out of the closet, I was big guy – 6 feet 2, big-boned and overweight (I refer you to my before, not so overweight photo). My makeup skills were poor, my wigs were a mess and I had no fashion sense. And I walked around with my head down avoiding eye contact. No surprise that whenever I went out, I got clocked.

After a handful of humiliating outings, I did not complain, I did not whine. Instead, I decided to improve my presentation. There was not much I could do about being tall and big-boned, but I could lose weight. And lose weight, I did. Tipping the scales at 249 back then, I am 203 today and still working on losing weight.

To improve my makeup skills, I bought books and videos and studied them closely. Even better, I had a number of makeovers to see how the pros did my face. And I practiced, practiced and practiced some more.

I stopped buying $39 wigs and invested in hair that looked realistic and did not become a rats' nest after one wearing.

I studied fashion magazines to improve my fashion sense. I also discovered that with the right clothing I could even disguise being tall and big-boned. And I constantly checked out other women to see what worked and what failed, to see what I liked and what I did not like. I also studied how they walked and how they moved.

Surprisingly, my fashion sense "improved" just by losing weight. When I was overweight, I was buying outfits that looked good on someone less weighty. So when I lost the weight, my tastes in fashion now matched my weight.

Getting good enough became an obsession and was always on my mind. After a lot of work, I eventually I got there and these days, I receive comments like "You are a tall woman" rather than "You are a guy."

If I can do it, anyone can do it, but I am not saying everyone has to do it. Trans dress as you like, but be prepared to suffer the slings and arrows of civilian goons who are close-minded and can't help letting everyone know how close-minded they really are.

Source: Boston Proper
Wearing Boston Proper (Source: Boston Proper)

Peter Sramek
Peter Sramek femulates on Hungarian television's version of Your Face Sounds Familiar.