Thursday, May 31, 2007
RANDOLPH, MA — You could call it Stephanie Edwards' first town meeting, even though she has attended the sessions for more than two decades.
Under a different name and persona.
“What better place to come out for the first time in the general public than at town meeting?” Edwards asked.
The decision to appear in her female persona at town meeting wasn't difficult.
Edwards, 53, has been attending events and going to social occasions as a woman for more than a decade.
“I go to the bank and the supermarket. Why should town meeting be any different? I dress (as a woman) as much as I can when I can. This is the other half of my identity,” she said.
Edwards has gone to government meetings as a woman, testifying before the Boston City Council on legislation that would prohibit discrimination based on gender identification.
She is also working on behalf of similar legislation at the state level. About the only place she dresses as a man is to work. Her male persona, Stuart Glass, works for the state, but does not want to identify the agency or position.
Her appearance in a long purple dress on the opening night of town meeting on May 15 created a buzz of conversation among other elected town meeting members and spectators.
Most smaller towns in Massachusetts have an open town meeting, with any registered voter allowed to take part in decision-making. But Randolph is among the communities run by a representative town meeting, with 200 members elected to conduct the town's business at annual and special town meetings.
A town meeting member since 1985, Glass rarely spoke on town meeting floor. Edwards did not go to the microphone once during the four nights of town meeting, which concluded Tuesday night.
Town Moderator Kevin Reilly, who presides over the sessions, said he didn't get any complaints about Edwards.
"Other than it was pointed out to me the first evening, I didn't hear about it," Reilly said. "It didn't become an issue."
Town Clerk Brian Howard said there were a couple of minor procedural questions. Edwards checked in as Glass, whose name appeared on the ballot and voters' list.
"Is it unique? Yes, it's unique," Howard said. "We're a tolerant community."
The town's population is racially, ethnically and religiously diverse. Its School Committee includes an openly gay member.
Edwards said the comments she's heard have been positive.
"It's been good so far. People have been polite," Edwards said. "People have complimented me on my appearance, mainly women."
Fashions at town meeting can vary widely, from town officials in jacket and tie to backbenchers in shorts and Red Sox T-shirts.
Edwards performs a couple of times a month at the Randolph Country Club, which caters to gay people. She's also starting a "drag queen entertainment" business, performing everything from Barbara Streisand songs to country music and current hits.
"I got loads of wigs, loads of outfits and loads of CDs," she said.
Glass has an image consulting business for transgendered people, men who identify themselves as women and women who identify themselves as men. Edwards has not undergone the treatments and surgery to change her gender, saying she has problems with the medical process.
Married for many years, Glass' divorce is about to become final.
Edwards believes her action has helped raise awareness of transgender individuals in the community.
"You don't become transgender; you're born that way," said Edwards. "I was just born the wrong sex. I feel better about myself as a woman."
This story appeared here in the online edition of The Patriot Ledger on June 31, 2007. This link is correct, but it looks like somebody hacked it. I contacted The Patriot Ledger about the problem and they are working on it. They did e-mail the whole story to me and I have posted it above.
Washington, DC — With new protections for transgender people going into effect in October 2006, Washington has the distinction of leading the country in protecting the transgender community from discrimination, according to the D.C. Trans Coalition.
Among the protections offered by the city, transgender people cannot be prevented from using gender-specific facilities, such as restrooms; employers must treat transgender medical needs as they would any other legitimate medical need; and neither businesses nor city agencies can require a person to disclose information about gender transition.
But on June 3, D.C.'s trans community will achieve another milestone, this time outside of the legal realm. On that Sunday, the community will celebrate the first Trans Pride.
"It's very, very, very important," says SaVanna Wanzer, chair of Capital Pride's transgender committee, a board member at the Whitman-Walker Clinic, and a self-identified trans woman. "It's been a terrible fight just getting this event together, with budget issues. The transgender community needs its own event, rather than just using us as entertainment. That's all we've been allowed to do."
Read the rest of the story here.
This is true. Reader comments here are scarce.
It is not the nature of the beast. I read a lot of other trans-oriented blogs regularly and some have few, if any, comments, while other trans-blogs that have lots of comments.
I can surmise that my blog readers agree with what I write 100% and have nothing to add or they so disagree with me that they don't know where to begin and just don't bother. Another thought is that what I write here is just so much fluff and readers don't think it is worth their time to comment on the fluff.
In reality, I just don't know. Nevertheless, comments or not, I plan to keep on blogging for the foreseeable future.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
CHAPEL HILL, NC — John Thompson has never met a transgender person, that he knows of.
"I've met someone I think might be, but that person has not said they are," Thompson said Tuesday.
"But I'm going to," he added.
That's because Thompson, an elder at The Church of Reconciliation, is helping to bring a transgender minister to town next month for a free weekend workshop on transgender issues.
Read the rest of the story here.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Typically, the women on Primer Impacto wear beautiful clothes (dresses and heels), which are a little over the top for the average television newswoman. For example, the woman often wear strappy high heel sandals, i.e., footwear that you are more likely to see on something like Dancing With the Stars rather than CBS Evening News.
In my next life, I want to come back as a Primer Impacto newswoman, but in the meantime, I can dress like one.
My state rep wrote (his name has been changed to protect this crossdresser):
Thank you for contacting me. I appreciate your stance on S.B. 1044, and I will take your thoughts and concerns into consideration as this legislation moves forward.
I hope his reply is a good sign. My state senator never replied to my e-mail and he ended up being one of the few senators to vote against the bill.
I wrote to my state senator asking him to support the bill when it came up for a vote. The bum was one of the four to vote against it.
Last night, I wrote to my state representative to support the bill. Here is what I wrote (the names have been changed to protect the crossdresser):
Hello Representative X,
I am one of your constituents, who lives in Podunk. I am writing to you today to urge you to vote in favor of SB-1044, An Act Concerning Discrimination.
Every day I fear that I may be fired, denied basic housing, denied credit and otherwise, suffer from discrimination just because I am transgendered.
I urge you to seriously consider all the stories presented as part of the public hearing in support of this legislation and to support the transgender community as being productive, useful and contributory citizens of this state.
This legislation is not about "special" rights; it is about "basic human and equal rights"! Please vote in favor of SB-1044.
Staci Ann Hunter*
* Staci Ann Hunter Is not my legal name. It is the name I use when I present as a woman in order to protect my male identity, another burden that would be lessened by the passage of SB-1044.
The music was not my cup of tea. I wanted to hear a Motown-like sound. Instead, I heard a Broadway sound, not that there is anything wrong with that. I like show tunes as much as the next guy wearing a sequins dress, but the movie was supposed to be about Detroit music in the 1960s, not NYC. What a disappointment!
On the positive side, Beyoncé Knowles was gorgeous and the retro gowns that the Dream Girls wore in the film were to die for! I will probably fast-forward the second half of the film to catch any other Beyoncé and evening gown highlights.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Looking at the Sirius literature that came in the mail a few days ago, I noticed that channel 109 is Sirius OutQ Radio, which provides "news, interviews and music on America's only 24/7 radio station from and for the GLBT community."
So, I dialed up channel 109 to check it out and see how much of the T part of that GLBT community gets airplay. The jury is still out, but I have heard some T-related items during the short time I have been monitoring channel 109. I will keep on listening and report back here after I have a larger sample.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Jade Catherine chimed in that she also eats less when she is en femme and that her spouse calls it "the Jade Catherine diet."
It turns out that we have different reason for eating less en femme.
Jade Catherine eats less because she wants to maintain her girlish figure.
I eat less because when I am en femme, I usually wear some kind of foundation garment intended to shrink my tummy and waistline. If I eat too much, the foundation garment pressing on my full tummy is very uncomfortable; "my girdle is killing me" like they used to say in the Playtex ads. So, I eat less to avoid discomfort.
Sometimes, in boy mode, I eat less to achieve a slimmer figure in girl mode and have successfully dropped weight with that goal in mind, but I have never gotten down where I would like to be, i.e., thin enough to not need a girdle, waist cincher, or corset.
By the way, Jade Catherine has a great figure and does it without the aid of a girdle, waist cincher, or corset. I'm so jealous!
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Bad news is that the gutless little worm, who is my state senator voted against it. That does not surprise me. He is one of those Republicans, who is so proud of his party affiliation that when he ran for the senate last fall, his campaign literature did not indicate that he was a Republican.
As I exited the scene with all due speed, I informed a woman stacking shelves in the next aisle about the problem and she said she would take care of it.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
I especially need to work on these two:
Give up on feeling guilty. Guilt changes nothing. It may make you feel you’re accepting responsibility, but it can’t produce anything new in your life. If you feel guilty about something you’ve done, either do something to put it right or accept you screwed up and try not to do so again. Then let it go. If you’re feeling guilty about what someone else did, see a psychiatrist. That’s insane.
Stop being concerned what the rest of the world says about you. Nasty people can’t make you mad. Nice people can’t make you happy. Events or people are simply events or people. They can’t make you anything. You have to do that for yourself. Whatever emotions arise in you as a result of external events, they’re powerless until you pick them up and decide to act on them. Besides, most people are far too busy thinking about themselves (and worry what you are are thinking and saying about them) to be concerned about you.
This year's fall fashion catalog did not let me down. Page after page, I found something that I would like to wear. I probably will not buy anything until it is on sale or shows up in their clearance catalog, but then again, maybe my ship is finally coming in and I can buy one of each of everything in the catalog, on sale or otherwise.
Monday, May 21, 2007
While in Dayton, I wanted to go out en femme Saturday night. When I mentioned my plans on (en)gender – the my husband betty message board, Jade Catherine contacted me. Jade Catherine ("JC" from hereon) lives near Dayton and had a friend staying at her house for the Hamvention, who is also a crossdresser. We decided to get together Saturday night en femme. Great! I would not have to go out crossdressed alone.
After two full days at the Hamvention, I was exhausted when I returned to my hotel room early Saturday evening; so exhausted that I was reconsidering my plans to go out en femme. But after a quick shower, I was reinvigorated and I prepared to go out.
I phoned JC and we decided to dine and go clubbing/dancing after dinner. JC, her spouse, her ham friend, Sarah, and I agreed to dine at Uno Chicago Grill
I grabbed my keys and purse and walked down the hallway to the hotel lobby. (The accompanying photo shows how I looked before I left my hotel room.) A handful of people mingling in the lobby paid no attention to me despite my heels clicking loudly on the lobby floor.
I exited the hotel, walked to my car, drove downtown and found the restaurant, but circled the area for over ten minutes trying to find a parking space. I phoned JC for advice and her spouse suggested that I park in the same parking ramp where they had parked. She gave me directions to the ramp and I found it easily.
After parking my car, I had to walk about three blocks to the restaurant. There was not much foot traffic on my route, so I was a little worried about walking alone, but I wasn't going to let that stop me now.
On the way, a hotel shuttle bus was waiting at a traffic light and the bus driver smiled and waved at me (I smiled back). A block from the restaurant, there were groups of well-dressed people mingling outside the Schuster Center. T
I entered the restaurant and a waitress accompanied me to the booth where JC and company were already seated. I was stunned: What a group of beautiful woman! And so young, too!
After introductions, we chatted. I did not recognize Sarah's ham radio call sign and she did not recognize mine, so we likely have not crossed paths in the ham radio world. Turns out another ham, a non-crossdresser would be joining us. When he arrived, we exchanged call signs. I did not recognize his call sign, but he was familiar with mine having read some of the things I have written for the ham radio media.
We had a wonderful time getting acquainted, talking about our lives and careers. JC and Sarah are like me: plain vanilla crossdressers, not interested in sex-reassignment surgery, so we had a lot in common.
JC actually worked as a woman for a long time. And I can see why: she passes very well. Her photos on the Internet do not do her justice: she is even more beautiful in person. In addition to her very passable looks, she knows how to act, walk, and talk like a woman, too. She inspired me to stop being lazy and start practicing using a femme voice myself.
After a delicious pizza dinner, JC and I went clubbing, while her wife and the other hams returned home. Our first stop was a lesbian bar called Up On Main
After a half hour, JC was frustrated that no one else was dancing, so we decided to leave and go to a gay club downtown called Masque
Downstairs was a bar and a small stage, but no dance floor. At first, we thought the stage was the dance floor because when we came in, a couple were dancing on the stage. After walking around the bar and finding no other place to dance, JC decided to climb up on stage to dance and I agreed to join her, but before we did, I suggested we ask the DJ. Good thing we did because the stage was for a drag show! The real dance floor was upstairs. So I followed JC upstairs.
The dance floor upstairs was beautiful with fog and a fantastic light show, but the sound was deafening (my ears are still ringing). After one dance, JC wanted to leave because it was just too loud. She said next time we should bring earplugs.
By the way, while we were in Masque, a half dozen or so young females smiled at me. Maybe they were happy to see a mother figure in attendance! When I went clubbing in boy mode in my youth, I can count on one finger the number of young females that smiled at the boy mode Staci!
The women at Up On Main were friendly, too! I don't know if they had us figured out or not. For what it's worth, when I ordered a glass of water, the bartender called me "Sweetie" and not "Sir," so go figure!
We called it a night around midnight. I drove JC home. She invited me in, but I declined because I had a long drive home ahead of me on Sunday and wanted to get some sleep before I began my journey.
I had a wonderful time en femme in Dayton and I can't thank Jade Catherine enough for making it happen.
KENT, Ohio - Kent State University is accommodating transgender students with a newly relabeled unisex restroom that has four images on the door: a man, a woman, a person in a wheelchair and a man and a woman separated by a slash.
Read the rest of the restroom story here.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
One assignment from my journalism class was to report on a lecture by Christine Jorgensen that the famous trans-woman was presenting at UCONN's Jorgensen Auditorium (no, the auditorium was not named after her).
I was so closeted back then. I feared that if anyone found out that I attended the lecture, I would become a marked man/trans-woman. Nevertheless, I was in awe of Ms. Jorgensen, who was one of my heroines back then, and I attended the lecture, completed my assignment, but I never told anyone about it.
I had buried this experience so well in my memory that I had completely forgotten about it until today when I came across this photo of Ms. Jorgensen on eBay.
Monday, May 14, 2007
With the growing number of Americans who consider themselves transgender, Assistant Managing Editor Debra Rosenberg and a team of Newsweek correspondents examines the question: what makes us male or female?
According to the National Center for Transgender Equality there are estimated between 750,000 and 3 million Americans (fewer than 1 percent)-many taking their intimate struggles public for the first time-who consider themselves transgender. With more and more young people identifying as a gender other than the one they were born with, and a growing number of schools like Smith College supporting their desire to live as the gender of choice, history and science suggest that gender is more subtle and more complicated than anatomy.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Friday, May 11, 2007
Read the entire story here.
Sparks, who joined the commission in 2004, has a long history of advocating for the transgender community, including working on a set of transgender-specific policy reforms adopted by the Police Commission in 2003.
Read the rest of this very interesting story here.
Here are two recent portrayals that come to mind that are so unrealistic: Rebecca Romijn on Ugly Betty and Famke Jannsen on Nip/Tuck.
Both are television portrayals, but the film industry is just as guilty using actresses to portray trans-woman, for example, Raquel Welch in Myra Breckenridge and Felicity Huffman in Transamerica.
Male actors should portray trans-woman because such portrayals would be more realistic if men filled the T-girl roles. Few actresses are the right size to realistically portray a male T-person. Their voices are not convincing and in boy mode, their mannerisms are not convincing.
When male actors do portray trans-woman, the portrayals are very realistic. Cillian Murphy in Breakfast on Pluto, Lee Pace in Soldier's Girl, and Johnny Depp in Ed Wood are examples of successful portrayals of actors portraying trans-woman.
Can you imagine someone like Drew Barrymore portraying Ed Wood? I think not.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
In the 1960s, Jean Shrimpton was a supermodel long before they coined the term "supermodel." She was English, part of the swinging London scene, and I was infatuated with her. In fact, I was so infatuated with her that I wanted to be just like her, which was kind of difficult for An overweight 16-year-old guy with acne.
About that time, my cousin dressed up as Twiggy for Halloween. He was a perfect Twiggy because he and she both had freckles and stick-thin pubescent figures.
Another Halloween, I dressed, more or less, like Jean Shrimpton. I certainly was not stick-thin and in my opinion, nether was Jean... well, not as stick-thin as Twiggy. Also, in my opinion, Jean was prettier than Twiggy and I was prettier than my cousin, so dressing like Jean Shrimpton certainly made sense to me.
Another British bird, Jacqueline Bisset, became one of my crossdressing models. My fascination with British girls had something to do with the miniskirt.
The mini was invented in Britain by fashion designer Mary Quant and it became the defining fashion symbol of "swinging London" in the 1960s. All the British "birds" wore miniskirts, more so than American girls, and I wanted to wear miniskirts just like the girls in Britain did.
When I made my first Halloween outing en femme as Jean Shrimpton, the dress I wore was just not short enough, so I used safety pins to shorten the hem, thus, my knee length dress became a thigh high mini.
Anyway, my attraction to the British distaff side continues to this day with Elizabeth Hurley and Kate Beckinsale now at the top of my wish (I was she) list. And I still like to wear short skirts!
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
She was beautiful and did not need makeup. Lipstick, powder, and rouge were all she ever used. I know because I used to enjoy watching her put on her minimal makeup.
She always dressed like a fashionable lady and that was difficult to accomplish because money was tight when I was a kid. As a result, Mom sewed her own clothes, as well as clothes for my sister. I guess I was a little jealous of my sister and wished that Mom would sew something for me, but there were few sewing patterns for boys' clothing. However, I would have been perfectly happy if she sewed a pretty dress for me like she did for my sister.
My Dad was a great guy, but he was not around much when I was growing up. He worked all the overtime he could get to make ends meet. For a few years, he also had a second job. I can remember way back to my earliest memories when I actually thought that my father was a visitor because his appearances at home during my waking hours were so rare. So, during my formative years, Dad was at work, while my Mom was at home raising my sister and me.
Since I was raised in an environment where the father figure was absent most of the time, it is no wonder that I tended to follow in the footsteps of the only figure that was available to me, my Mom. As a result, I admired her and wanted to do the things she did.
To add to my confusion, Mom often commented that because I had such nice legs, I should have been a girl. If she had made that comment once, I probably would have forgotten about it, but it seemed to me that she made that comment whenever she saw my legs bare. Don't you think that may have influenced me?
She also made comments about the way I walked. She said I "tippy-toed," i.e., I walked on my toes. I assumed from her comments that tippy-toeing was not the correct way for a male to walk, but I did not know how to walk any other way. She never showed me how I was supposed to walk, so I just kept on tippy-toeing.
I don't tippy-toe any longer. As I grew older, I must have figured out how to walk like a man. However, all my early years tippy-toeing may have facilitated my walking in high heels because ever since I slipped on my first pair, I never had a problem walking in heels.
I always took after the maternal side of my family ("You look like your mother"). So, it is no surprise that when I dress en femme, I resemble my Mom.
I don't know if Mom knew about her other daughter. I suspect she did because once she let it slip out that she was aware of my secret stash of female paraphernalia, but except for that one time, she never mentioned it.
Anyway, Happy Mother's Day, Mom!
From your loving daughter, Staci.
Read the whole story here.
Read the rest of the story here.
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
For the rest of the story, go here.
Read the rest of the story here.
Monday, May 7, 2007
I went to Home Depot to buy some super glue to fix one of my earrings. Then, I went to Payless to buy some new shoes, but they did not have the high heels I wanted in my size. Finally, I went to Kohl's and bought a darling dress: a black and white floral tie-back dress. It was on sale for $29.99, marked down from $50. I had a $25 gift card, so it only cost me $4.99 out of pocket.
I failed to mention how well I passed in my earlier post about that day!
As I wrote previously, I brought a second pair of shoes in case the first pair hurt my feet. By the end of the first class, my 3-1/2-inch stilettos had to go, so I asked D for the keys to her car so I could fetch my more comfortable shoes.
As I walked to her car, I saw a university dump truck parked right in front of D's car. The driver was talking with another university employee standing next to the truck. Oh, damn, just what I needed: the classic trans-woman nightmare, a Tranny Vs. Macho Guy face-off.
I was ready for the worst! Making a beeline for D's car, I tried to ignore the guys, but, the guy standing by the side of the truck greeted me with a very flirtatious, "Good afternoon." while the guy in the truck smiled appreciatively as he drove away. They flirted with me! Wow – that was an affirming moment.
I switch shoes for a pair that was a little lower and a little wider and now I have to find the Student Union where D, M, and the professor were camped out in between classes. I had been in the Student Union before, but in the past, I just followed the professor to the building without paying attention to how we arrived there.
I got lost fast, so I asked for directions. First I asked a couple - girl and guy students - for directions. The guy was a real gentleman. He left the girl and walked with me down the sidewalk to a place where I could actually see the Student Union building... sort of. And pointed me in the right direction… sort of.
I headed in that general direction, but I was still a little lost. In the next building, I found two girls seated at a table selling tickets to something or other, so I asked them for directions and received similar treatment.
My success at passing was amazing that day especially since I thought that I didn't think I look my best!
Did I really pass or were the people I encountered just being very respectful of a person showing a lot of diversity?
I have no doubt that I passed with the truck guys. If they knew I was a guy, I don't think they would have flirted with me.
I probably also passed with the male student who gave me directions. He was just a little bit too solicitous dumping the young girl student to help out the older businesswoman on campus.
My encounter with the girls selling tickets was too short, so I don't know for sure, but I did not receive any discouraging signals from them.
Needless to say, I was very pleased.
And I apologize to my readers if this all seems a little tedious, but I am still at a stage in my trans-life where passing is still important and I want to note all my successes and failures.
That's what I get for going to a s'mall. I should have gone to a big mall where there are more stores and larger versions of the stores I visited at the s'mall.
Saturday, May 5, 2007
Friday, May 4, 2007
I would answer with a definitive, "I dunno."
In reality, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I didn't dare tell anyone because I wanted to be a female impersonator (or FI, for short).
Female impersonation is not the kind of career choice that is going to make Uncle Joe or Aunt Nelly proud of their nephew, so I kept a lid on my dreams and never ran away from home to join the Jewel Box Revue.
I regret that decision now, but I try to make up for it through occasional female emulation. I also live the life of a female impersonator vicariously by reading about the subject as often as I can.
If you are interested in female impersonation, I recommend a couple of sites on the Internet that deal with its history:
Drag Artists & Female Impersonators, which is part of JD Doyle's Queer Music Heritage Web site.
David de Alba's Web site – Alba was a female impersonator and his Web site includes interviews with other female impersonators and pictorial tributes of other FIs.
Thursday, May 3, 2007
Whenever I tell my trans life story like I did at two Human sexuality classes on Tuesday, I always mention that I never told my wife about my crossdressing before we were married because I bought into the old wives' tale that marriage would cure me of crossdressing.
When I did come out to my wife about crossdressing after we were married, she was initially supportive, but less so as the years passed. Meanwhile, I became better at crossdressing mainly due to her suggestion that I seek out a support group, which taught me how to be a better crossdresser. Regardless, I enjoy crossdressing a lot and would do it more often if my wife did not dislike it so. And I feel guilty for not telling her before we got married, so I only crossdress once or twice a month in deference to her.
On Tuesday, one of the female students asked me if I could do it over again and told my wife about my crossdressing before marriage and as a result, she dumped me, what would I do? Would I continue dating and try to find a woman that accepted my crossdressing? Or what?
That was a very thoughtful question and a difficult one to answer quickly. I replied that if I could do it over again and my wife rejected me before marriage because of my crossdressing*, then I probably would continue looking. I know that such a woman would be very hard to find and that I would probably be unsuccessful, give up, and live full time as a woman.
Truthfully, if I had to do it over again, I would live full time as a woman and skip the formalities of searching fruitlessly for a woman that accepted me. If one came along, that would be great, but I would not put a lot of effort into finding Ms. Right.
Recently, there was a survey posted on Helen Boyd's message board asking "what woman you'd actually want to be?" There were a wide variety of answers, but mine was unique: "Staci Hunter - I very much like the woman I am when I crossdress. If I could live as Staci full-time, I think I would be one heck of a woman and would not want to be anyone else."
I really believe that!
So, do I owe it to myself to live the way I want to live? Should I burn all my bridges behind me and start living as a woman on a full-time basis? Do I abandon my commitment to my wife and become the woman I want to be? We only go around once. I won't have this opportunity again. I just don't know.* By the way, I asked my wife if she would have dumped me if I had told her about my crossdressing before we were married and she replied that she probably would have stuck with me anyway.
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
In the first class, there were only two of us, D and myself because M was stuck in traffic. After our biographies, the professor split the class into two groups for the question and answer period. When I participated in the past, the professor was unable to do this because there were no empty classrooms available, but yesterday a room was available across the hall, so half the class followed me there and we had our Q&A period.
I found that this arrangement was much better than when the whole class asked questions to all the trans-participants. The group was smaller, more intimate, and personal, so the students were less inhibited asking questions. Also, since I was the only one answering questions, they concentrated on my transness and I did not have to deal with transsexual questions.
In the second class, an empty room was not available, so the class was not split, and the Q&A period was noticeably less dynamic with a lot of lulls and dead air.
In both classes, most of the questions I answered were similar to ones I answered in past classes, but there were a few unique questions, too.
Q: When you are out crossdressed in public, have you ever run into someone you knew and what did you do?
A: It occurred once. I was shopping in a department store and saw a female co-worker. Normally, I would have just continued shopping because I am confidant that no one recognizes me when I am crossdressed. But in this case, I avoided my co-worker because she had seen me crossdressed for a Halloween costume contest that my employer had conducted two years earlier. I thought that she would likely recognized me and I was not competing in a Halloween costume contest.
Q: Don't you worry that your voice gives you away when you are out crossdressed in public?
A: My voice has never been an issue as far as passing as a woman is concerned. (By the way, my voice is not deep and I am soft-spoken even in male mode. In female mode, I just crank the softness up a few notches and hope for the best.) Then, I turned the question around and asked the class, "If you did not know I was a crossdressed male, do you think my voice would give me away?" Three or four students answered, "No."
Q: What is your favorite crossdressing film?
A: Just Like A Woman, a British film that represents the most honest portrayal of a crossdressing heterosexual male I have ever seen. Although the film had a typical sappy Hollywood ending, I found the film valuable because I could relate closely to the crossdressing character.
The highlight of the day was during the first class. After we broke into two groups and the Q&A was concentrated on me, a female student asked about my nails.
Q: Why do you have your nails done only to go out once or twice a month?
A: I wear pre-glued, stick-on nails that take about 5 minutes to apply.
That led to a comment from another female student about how good I looked for my age. Immediately, another female jumped in and said how well I was put together. After that comment, nearly all the females started talking at once, commenting about how nice I looked. I blushed with embarrassment and thanked them for their compliments. That Kodak moment ended abruptly as the professor entered the classroom with the late M in tow, but I was basking in the glory of that moment for the rest of the day and even now as I write this I feel very pleased.
By the way, I wore my black wool suit yesterday. The jacket has three quarter sleeves, which are more like half sleeves on me. Under the jacket is a matching sleeveless knee-length A-line dress. I also wore off-black pantyhose, silver jewelry, and my sexy black high heel pumps. I looked very much like a business woman visiting the university.
I have never worn those shoes for an extended period of time, so I was unsure how comfortable they would be. So, I brought along another pair of shoes that I knew were comfortable and all-day wearable. Lucky I did because by the end of the first class, my feet hurt, so I switched shoes and was more comfortable the rest of the day.
We did not eat out after the classes like we normally do because D had to attend an evening class she is taking at another local university, so we ate in the student union.
All in all, it was another great day out en femme and I was sorry it had to end!