Working from home gives me the opportunity to dress as a woman once a week. However, it makes me feel like a bird in a cage and now I know why they named that famous drag movie The Birdcage. Writing reports and doing household chores in heels and a dress does fill that need for feminine expression to a certain degree. However, nothing chases away the gender dysphoria blues quicker than a day out en femme.
I had been looking for that opportunity for months. My corporate travel schedule had slowed down to almost nothing and there always seemed to be someone home or close by. When both my wife and daughter took off for vacation, I saw an opportunity and unpacked my clothes. That day in Boston was humid and in the 90s. So I decided to wear my light pantsuit that I bought in Houston last year. This was my first time out in my new wig so I was a bit nervous.
I decided that my first stop would be Illusion Wigs to meet with Dotty and get a lesson styling my new tresses. Dotty is transgender-friendly and not only welcomes, but enjoys working with our community. I buy my wigs at the Paula Young factory store in West Bridgewater, but come to Dotty to get personal lessons on how to style my wig. Best thing I ever did concerning my hair.
The summer time is slow for Dotty and her eyes lit up when I came into the salon. She sat me down and styled my wig and trimmed my bangs. Dotty specializes in getting wigs to not look like wigs. She has a lifetime of experience and she loves her art and knows her stuff. I stayed about an hour chatting about hair, fashion, beauty and life as a woman.
On a pink cloud, I turned onto the interstate and found myself trapped in a traffic jam. An accident ahead had closed the road; as I approached the next exit there were blue lights and state troopers everywhere. I was in the left lane, when they started detouring cars off the highway. A trooper walked up the shoulder toward my car. I rolled down my window not really concerned and the trooper shouts, “Go to right Ma’am, exit right Ma’am.” What a beautiful sound “Ma’am!”
I changed direction and was off the long way to the Burlington Mall. I made two stops: the first one was the NARS makeup counter to match an eyeshadow. The sales associate was polite and helpful, although I could see this look in her eye trying to confirm her suspicions. Some days this amuses me and other days it melts away all my self-assurance and makes me feel like a man in a dress. Today it just lifted my spirits. “Yes, honey, I am a transgender woman --- don’t I look fabulous!”
Off to the MAC store, I walked in and was greeted with warm smiles --- I felt at home. The cutest sales associate named Amber came to help. I told her that I was in the process of switching from NARS to MAC and needed to match the eyeshadow that I had on. She brought me over to the eyeshadows and we began going through the different colors.
We decided on two and Amber recommended a third to add more depth. I sat down in a chair and she did my eyes. Taking off all my old makeup, she applied a base, then three colors and liner. What an artist --- they looked so pretty and so professional!
While she worked, I introduced myself as a transgender woman. When a makeup artist gets this close, there is no doubt that I am transgender. So I like to get out there in the open.
I shared with her my problems covering my beard and male features. She gave excellent advice and complemented me. I asked Amber if they had a many transgender clients. Without thinking she responded quickly “Oh, yeah all the time!” So if you’re a newbie and have apprehension about going into a MAC store, rest assure, we are welcomed warmly whether en femme or in drab.
It was out to the car and into the traffic to commute home, my heels killing me, my bra and Spanx tight and sweltering. Nevertheless, there was smile on my face and I knew deep down that I wouldn’t dare complain if given the chance to be women every day.
Polish prisoners of war femulate while putting on a show in a World War II prison camp.