Thursday, September 21, 2017

Getting Good Enough

Yesterday's post, Not Good Enough, caused a bit of a firestorm.

Some readers commented that they were very offended by my post, that it stunk of passing privilege and was transphobic. One anonymous commenter even claimed that I was in the closet, which kind of contradicts my stinking of passing privilege.

A common thread running through the comments was that I was lucky to be blessed with good looks that facilitated my ability to femulate and even pass.

Luck had nothing to do with it, but hard work did!

When I started out of the closet, I was big guy – 6 feet 2, big-boned and overweight (I refer you to my before, not so overweight photo). My makeup skills were poor, my wigs were a mess and I had no fashion sense. And I walked around with my head down avoiding eye contact. No surprise that whenever I went out, I got clocked.

After a handful of humiliating outings, I did not complain, I did not whine. Instead, I decided to improve my presentation. There was not much I could do about being tall and big-boned, but I could lose weight. And lose weight, I did. Tipping the scales at 249 back then, I am 203 today and still working on losing weight.

To improve my makeup skills, I bought books and videos and studied them closely. Even better, I had a number of makeovers to see how the pros did my face. And I practiced, practiced and practiced some more.

I stopped buying $39 wigs and invested in hair that looked realistic and did not become a rats' nest after one wearing.

I studied fashion magazines to improve my fashion sense. I also discovered that with the right clothing I could even disguise being tall and big-boned. And I constantly checked out other women to see what worked and what failed, to see what I liked and what I did not like. I also studied how they walked and how they moved.

Surprisingly, my fashion sense "improved" just by losing weight. When I was overweight, I was buying outfits that looked good on someone less weighty. So when I lost the weight, my tastes in fashion now matched my weight.

Getting good enough became an obsession and was always on my mind. After a lot of work, I eventually I got there and these days, I receive comments like "You are a tall woman" rather than "You are a guy."

If I can do it, anyone can do it, but I am not saying everyone has to do it. Trans dress as you like, but be prepared to suffer the slings and arrows of civilian goons who are close-minded and can't help letting everyone know how close-minded they really are.

Source: Boston Proper
Wearing Boston Proper (Source: Boston Proper)

Peter Sramek
Peter Sramek femulates on Hungarian television's version of Your Face Sounds Familiar.


  1. I was surprised, just like you seem surprised, by the s--- storm of comments engendered by yesterday's post. As noted I think what you had to say was well said and on point.

    I am a person who says that all of us have to accept the good with the bad. It is somewhat irksome how so many people seem to want to play the role of the victim. I admire you for the time, energy, effort and work that you put into your femulating. You set a goal and you did what was necessary to get to where you are today. I would love it if you could help me lose the weight that you lost but I know that this is a task that has to rest on my shoulders and whining about wanting to be thin does not readily advance the cause.

    Keep on keeping on.

  2. I take my inspiration from the Gay community of the 70's and 80's when I was growing up. Their battle cry was "We're here, we're queer, get used to it!" Just as the world got used to gay people refusing to hide their identity, they got used to women who choose to wear pants, have their own credit and make choices about their own bodies. I demand the right to choose to wear skirts and dresses. I don't think I need to be a woman or even present myself as a woman to feel going out in a dress is the right thing for me. My confidence is my shield against ridicule.

  3. It is true that there is much different between adopting a lifestyle and committing to living 24/7 as ones self-identified gender. I think this is what "anonymous" was saying in your prior post. However, I don't know how much that has to do with presentation; I've seen the best and the worst examples from both "camps." I will say, though, that it was much easier for me to spend the time to get all dolled up for an outing when I saw each femulation - as you say - as an event. When it became more difficult for me to go back to the expectation of my male role, though, I finally realized that I could not live with the dichotomy any longer. I do embrace the gender binary, but I respect the rights of others who may be more fluid in their gender identities and present themselves in whatever fashion (literally and figuratively) they so choose. I don't see them as making me look bad, as one commentor said. In fact, they can make me look fabulous by comparison! ;-)

    I did not leave the safe confines of a locked room in my feminine presentation until I was in my mid-fifties. I had been so insecure in my looks that I never dared go out to be seen. The truth is, however, that I was "good enough" even at the age of eleven. I would stand in the doorway of my mom's bathroom as she applied her makeup, and I studied every bit of it. Then, when she left the house, I would copy what I had learned on myself. My mother was always more than "good enough" in her looks, style, and presentation, and I expected no less of myself. Having been able to fit into her clothes in those days made it that much easier to look good. The bonus was that she sometimes wore a wig, and that was the topper (pun intended) for me.

    Now that I see and present myself only at the feminine end of the binary, I find that it is not always possible to be looking my best. Just as my mother could pull it off with some lipstick and a car coat (if you remember the 50's) over her nightgown when she drove my dad to work in the morning, I can attain a minimal, but presentable, look when I have to do so. Most days, my presentation is somewhere between minimal and glamorous, but I defy anyone who may think I'm not "good enough" to be who I am, as that has so much more to do with the way I see myself than the way others may see me.

  4. You don't get it. You shouldn't have to "don't whine about it when it happens". That is literally the same argument many use to blame a woman when she is raped; "She dressed for it".

    No one should expect to be harassed for how they chose to dress, however they chose to dress. Yes reality is there will be people who will comment, snicker, jeer, and so on. But should they expect it and not whine. NO. It should not be tolerated. If your friend makes a comment someone on how they are dressed you should speak up against it. They shouldn't have to "try hard" just because some idiot wants to make a statement. That idiot is in the wrong, no one else and just as the woman getting raped didn't "deserve it" because of her dress, neither does the Trans person (or anyone else) who is just going about their day dressed however they chose.

  5. Geez, you write a post telling the world how much prettier you look than other people, and that ugly people deserve the harassment they get and there's suddenly a backlash? Wow. This isn't a matter of trans women being insulted. It's a matter of trans women getting ASSAULTED.