Saturday, December 13, 2014

Paula’s Favorite Photo (of Paula!)

Paula_Gaikowski_www This picture is from last year when I was on a business trip to San Diego. I had a whole day to spend as Paula. It was a wonderful day that filled me with so much joy. The outfit I was wearing came together perfectly. I was a size 16 and felt so pretty wearing a houndstooth skirt and sweater.

Everywhere I went that day I was called “Ma’am.” I just felt so pretty and female. In this picture, I was at the M·A·C store at the Fashion Valley Mall. I was surrounded by other women and felt so accepted and a part of their world. I spent about an hour with a young woman working on a winter look for my eyes. She had never met a transgender person before and I spent the time telling her my story. She asked me a ton of questions. “Are you gay?” “What does your wife think?” “How old were you when you started?” And, of course, the well-known, “Are going to get the operation?” She was a sweetheart and we hugged when parting.

Afterwards, I headed over to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. There was a queue for tables so I sat and waited amongst dozens of diners. I busied myself with my phone and sat there with my legs demurely crossed.

As I was sitting there, I remembered reading the Geocities pages of a girl back in the 90’s who always went to Cheesecake Factory en femme. I remember thinking, “There’s no way I could ever, ever do that!” But here I was, proving there is hope for everyone.

“Ms. Gaikowski, your table is ready.”

I was seated at a table and in front of me was a huge mirror that gave me a view of the restaurant. I’m always curious what others think of my presentation, so I kept scanning the room looking for the stares or whispers. Happily, I didn’t notice anything like that. Finally, I relaxed and I sat there gazing with wonder into the mirror at the woman across from me.

I guess what was all so exhilarating and exciting is that for most of my life I never thought I would ever leave the house dressed as a woman. I lived with such fear and shame that the thought of being accepted and treated respectfully as a woman seemed foreign and unattainable. Only a few short years ago in 2009, I was afraid even to buy makeup.

I truly treasure exchanges like this and it is with heartfelt sincerity that I say that I treasure and feel privileged to be addressed as a woman.

In response to my open invitation to send your favorite photo along with the story behind it and the reason it is your favorite photo, I received a lot of photos and stories that I am posting in the the order I received them. My invitation still stands, so don't be shy, send me your photos! And by the way, there are currently 20 girls' photos in the queue.





Source: DressBarn

Wearing DressBarn.






Actor and professional femulator Christopher Morley.


  1. As always Ms. Gaikowski, you are an inspiration. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I agree with Janet. Thanks again for sharing Paula. I always enjoy your observations and comments. I'm looking forward to a professional makeover in February at an ULTA store which is being arranged by Hannah (of Hannah's Illustrated Diary blog)

    Best Wishes