Friday, March 2, 2007

her history

hobby – An activity or interest pursued outside one's regular occupation and engaged in primarily for pleasure. (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition, 1992)

I encountered female impersonation for the first time when I was 11 or 12 years old. That "encounter" was a newspaper advertisement for the 82 Club, a New York City nightclub that featured female impersonators. The advertisement asked, "Who's No Lady?" and contained a photo of a beautiful female impersonator.

The advertisement fascinated me. I was intrigued that a male could transform himself into a gorgeous female. Every week, I anxiously awaited the appearance of a new 82 Club advertisement and I was seldom disappointed as male after male was shown transformed into a beautiful female.

I was so intrigued that I began experimenting with female impersonation myself. Using my mother's and sister's wardrobes and cosmetics, I tried to transform myself into a young lady. I enjoyed every minute of it, but I started feeling very guilty. None of the guys I knew did what I did. I wondered if something was wrong with me.

I tried researching the subject, but all I could find were some foreboding references to "transvestism" in the encyclopedia. I also had a pretty good idea that Mom and Sis would not be happy about me using their stuff. But, I loved it too much to give it up, so I closeted my female impersonation, only to come out occasionally on Halloween.

I guess all my practice in the closet helped me become adept at female impersonation because more than once, when I attended Halloween gatherings, other attendees asked about me, "Who's the woman not wearing a costume?" If you can pass on Halloween, you can pass anytime and anywhere!

I thought about going to New York and becoming a professional female impersonator, but what would "they" think, so I went back in the closet and everyone was happy with me... except me.

I grew older and wiser and realized that I should have followed my dreams, but by then, I had commitments that would not permit me to run away from home and join the circus, so I had to be satisfied with female impersonation as a hobby rather than a vocation.

Although I am much older and a little wiser now, I still do not know why I enjoy female impersonation. I have read lots of articles that try to explain why we do what we do, but as far as I am concerned, none of the explanations ring true. Whenever I try to shoehorn myself into one of those explanations, I always conclude, "That's not me."

I love the ritual of transforming myself from male to female (and I loathe the reverse transformation). I am fascinated by the art of applying makeup. I love wearing dresses and heels and nylons and lingerie. I enjoy trying to speak, act and move like a lady.

If there is more to it, I really don't care. At this stage in my life, I have decided to play with the cards I have been dealt (and not try to figure out why I have been dealt four queens and a joker). I am going to enjoy myself and stop worrying why I am having fun.

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