Whenever I acted on the advice to "man up," it felt so unnatural and uncomfortable that I invariably returned to my natural feminine ways, which were not a good fit for a young American male circa 1960. As a result, I was a favorite object of bullies and suffered through a lot of abuse in my youth. And having the breasts of a young woman did not help. My B-cups just added fuel to the fire being stoked by my peers.
In the early '60s, I became fascinated by the glamorous women who were no ladies, but rather female impersonators, as depicted in the 82 Club ads appearing in New York City newspapers. Eventually that fascination motivated me to began experimenting with female impersonation myself using my mother's and sister's wardrobes whenever I was home alone.
After honing my skills in private for almost half a decade, I had to let the girl out of the confines of the closet. So on Halloween 1969 I borrowed my sister's purple mini-dress, black mid-heel pumps, black tights, wiglet and knit beige cap. I wore minimal makeup. Although I had been wearing my mother's and sister's foundation garments in secret for years, I skipped the bra and girdle because I did not think they would appreciate me wearing such personal items.
I drove around town visiting a few friends and relatives, who were amused by my costume. I don't know if I passed, but I did not care. I was having the time of my life! All I cared about was that I was out in public living a few hours as the young woman I had discovered and nourished for the past few years.
|Wearing ONE by Honey Bunch.|
|Womanless wedding, circa 1950.|