Katie wrote, "I am very interested in finding out more about your experience when you said, 'I have lived 24/7 as a woman for short extended periods of time.' I also had spent some time as a woman 24/7 a number of years ago...it was a product of my being madly in love with a boy (only time I was ever attracted to a guy), and not having money to pay for both grad school tuition and rent. I kinda just ended up being his live-in girlfriend for a few months."
My real life experience was nothing like Katie's in either the length of time or the situation.
The longest I have lived full-time in my preferred gender identity was when I attended Fantasia Fair for 7 days in 2009, but I discount that experience because the people who live and work at the site of the Fair, that is, Provincetown, MA, are aware that the transgenders are in town for week. Every tall female stranger is a suspected tranny and nobody passes.
How can you have a real life experience in your preferred gender identity if almost everyone you interact with knows your assigned at birth gender?
Although Fantasia Fair is a lot of fun and a great experience, it is not a real life experience. Similarly, the three-, four- and five-day weekend trans conventions I attended in the past are not real life experiences.
I can count my extended real life experiences on one hand.
My 2009 five-day stay in New York City to attend a workshop related to my profession.
My 2010, 2011 and 2012 five-day trips to Dayton, Ohio to attend a weekend long non-trans convention.
In the case of my New York City trip, I took AMTRAK in and out of the city in boy mode, whereas I drive from Connecticut to Dayton en femme each time. And I will do so again next month.
I just reread my blog posts about those extended stays in my preferred gender. Reading what I wrote years ago is revealing, especially with regards to the change in my confidence level. Back in 2009 after I arrived in NYC, I was ready to abandon ship at any time. Last year in Dayton, it was damn the torpedoes... there was no stopping me!
If you would like to read about those experiences, I documented the NYC trip here. Dayton in 2010 is in three parts: (1) (2) (3); Dayton 2011 is five parts (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) and Dayton last year is in four parts (1) (2) (3) (4).
Alexander Bekker, male model.
Wearing JB by Julia Brown.