Wednesday, September 16, 2020

No More Excuses

By Stephanie Julianna

Stana's recent post about buying girls clothes while in drab and telling a story that she was cast in Charley's Aunt has to be one of the most common ploys many of us used to shop. I used these stories to also create my own dressing events when there were none on the horizon. Stana's reminded me of one such event. It was 1983 and I was 34 years old. I actually used two story lines to make this happen.

The first, I had been using for years to buy all kinds of gowns that I loved to wear. For me, the feel of a satin or taffeta gown is simply a divine experience. To this day, I still adore the total feel of these ultra feminine fabrics.

I traveled the state for a grocery chain and frequently passed a bridal and formal dress store in Stratford, Connecticut. I had learned over the years that many formal wear stores had a “Marked Down” rack with many gowns selling for as little as $10. I would introduce myself, telling the sales associate that I was a drama teacher and was always looking for dresses to beef up my school's theater wardrobe. I believed it was an acceptable story for me to shop uninhibited and the story gave the store personnel a great plausible way to thin out this stock. I cannot imagine that they actually believed me, but it gave everyone involved an acceptable way to buy and sell women's clothes to a man, just like Stana's Charley's Aunt story. Over time, I had a half a dozen pretty gowns for the price of one. They were always “Final Sale” items. One was not the size 10-12 it was supposed to be and I could not close the zipper, but overall, it was a great way to get a great deal on new gowns.

The second story was my way to do a professional photoshoot while dressed. I don't think that Glamor Shots had started to pop up yet in malls yet and I really was tired of only having Polaroid pictures of me with the bad lighting and such.

In my travels, I spotted a professional portrait studio in Manchester, Connecticut. I built up my courage and entered the door to find a long staircase that brought me to the studio above a storefront below. I was happy to find that the photographer/owner of the  shop was a lovely lady in her sixties and we hit it off almost immediately when I told her my story. I do wish I could have simply told her the truth, but I think I came close and I think she knew anyway.

The story I told her was that I had dressed as a girl for Halloween (true) and was approached by someone who cast girls for female impersonator shows (false). This imaginary agent told me that I had potential and if I was interested in making some good money, I should call him. He said I would need a portfolio with a head shot that he could present to different clubs. So here I was hoping that she could help me.

She found this fascinating and in short order, we made a date and within a week, I was dressing in her studio and doing my makeup preparing for my photoshoot. It was a great experience and I think we both had a lot of fun. I imagine she smelled the hint of a very thin story. She complimented my makeup skills, which I honestly covered with the fact that I was a cosmetics buyer for a grocery and pharmacy chain with my boss having sent me to cosmetology classes so that I knew what I was doing when I purchased stock (true).

A rifled through my picture vault and found a few surviving pictures from this photo session. It was a great experience, but I do wish I had the courage that I have now to just tell her that I simply loved to dress like a woman. I would thank her for her acceptance and professionalism.

I do believe that over the years, the one thing I truly hate about my situation is that I felt I had to tell so many stories and lies to simply have a few moments to feel like a whole person. It is sad that we have had to tell so many lies in attempts to be true to ourselves.

Source: Venus
Wearing Venus

Stephanie Julianna
Stephanie Julianna’s photoshoot


  1. Wow, Stephanie, you are so gorgeous in those pictures! I really love the hot pink gown in the first one, baring your shoulders is so feminine and yet so difficult for most CDs. We won't comment on the 80's big hair though!😁

    1. I was waiting for someone to mention the hair. It was the style in the '80's and real easy to care for, just shake it out and pick it a little with your nails, hair spray and good to go. And you could hide a snack in there for later. LOL

  2. Thank you for the story, as well as the courage it takes to make your private life a public matter.
    Ahhh, yes. The stories we tell others, as well as ourselves.... As well as the effort we take in order to make the story airtight, so no question, posed by the 'other' will 'break the story'.
    As for this crossdresser, this is not my only kink/interest/fetish(?). Coincidentally, that 'kink' was also studied by Blanchard, should you also be a casual reader/researcher. Any guesses?
    And yes, I do have a repertoire of stories for 'that' also. In spite of such a duplicitous nature, I can 'shift gears' in an instant-- the 'spiels' are that well practiced over a lengthy life of 66+years.
    The reality is that you were most likely NOT the first crossdressing customer to partake the services of either your photographer, or gown purveyor.
    I have a friend who is also a 'semi-professional' photographer, who has accepted my request for him to do my photos, Covid permitting. My friend is a photographer, not a censor, as he will explain.
    To a professional, a sale is a sale. Whole industries are now built on the goal of satisfying our species diverse desires for just 'that' particular kink. You are not alone.
    In the long run, nobody much cares about your proclivities.
    Have Fun! Live long!

    1. That is the rub, am I passing or does a Sales associate, photographer or whoever just see a sale. Either way, their open assistance while I shop, as they treat me as a lady, is reaffirming that I am being accept as me, whether I pass or not. Hopefully, as the pendulum swings socially left and right, we will not lose the ground we have gained in the last few decades.

  3. You did out yourself when you said that you wanted to be a female impersonator?

    1. I tried to cover that by telling her that I was doing it for the money and that I did find it fun in some ways. I am sure that she saw right through that. She did say that she thought I would easily get the job.