Thursday, December 10, 2020

Throwback Thursday: My Quest

Another post from the past – nearly nine years ago, December 14, 2011.

In 1983, I purged everything related to femulating.

Not only did I discard replaceable items like clothing, wigs, makeup, etc., I also discarded irreplaceable items, primarily my collection of photographs. As a result, I no longer own a single photo of myself en femme prior to age 32.

Starla has been scouring the Internet searching online high school yearbooks for photos of high school femulations. She has sent me her findings and I have posted some of them here in the past.

Last week, it occurred to me that there were yearbook photos of me en femme (at the ripe old age of 25) attending my law school’s Halloween party. I lost the yearbook (it went out with everything else in the great purge of 1983), but I wondered if Starla could find it online.

I asked her, but after searching her resources, she responded that she could not find it. She explained that the majority of online yearbooks are of the high school variety; only a few college and graduate school yearbooks are online. She suggested contacting my law school.

I phoned the law school library and asked if they had the yearbook in their stacks. They checked and as it turned out, they had it! They welcomed me to visit the library to view it and photocopy anything I wanted.

Wednesday, I dressed en femme. I wore my black dress with the sequins pattern at the neckline that I bought from Ideeli, nude pantyhose, my new Nine West patent red and black Mary Janes, a new matching red bag from ShoeDazzle, earrings, bracelet, and watch. I topped everything off with my white fake fur coat and was off to Springfield to visit my alma mater.

(I might mention here that although I graduated from law school, I never practiced in the profession – not for one second. My first love was writing and while I waited for the results of the bar exam, I got a job as a writer and never looked back.)

An hour later, I arrived at the law school, parked the Subaru and walked to the school entrance.

There was a security guard station at the entrance. The library is not open to the general public; only students, alumni, faculty, and attorneys can gain admittance. I explained to the guard that I was an alumnus and she asked me for a photo ID. As I extracted my driver’s license from my purse, I told the guard that I was trans and that I looked a little different than the photo on the ID.

She said, “You're not the first.”

After she logged me in, I walked down the hall to the library. It was deserted. Final exams were underway and I assumed most of the students were in the classrooms filling up blue books. (Do they still use blue books?)

The library staff had set the yearbook aside for me, so they did not have to search the stacks again. I just had to fill out a simple form to borrow the book.

I found a comfy chair in the library lounge to cuddle up with the book and recall the past. I was sure that there were two candid photos of me attending that Halloween party 35 years ago en femme and I was a correct.

I wish I had my computer scanner to copy the photos, but all I had access to was a copying machine. I did my best adjusting the darkness to capture the best image and the result accompanies this post.

By the way, you find me in the photos wearing my first wig (purchased at a local Frederick’s of Hollywood store), my mother’s skirt (that I borrowed surreptitiously), my own boy mode sweater, a blouse of unknown origin and my first pair of Mary Janes.

And I was so young – so young that it brings tears to my eyes!

My Wednesday en femme did not end at the copying machine in my alma mater's law library.

As I exited the law school, I asked the security guard, who had been very personable so far, if she would take my photo. She was happy to do so and was even willing to go outdoors to take it.

It was a beautiful December day, so we decided to do the photoshoot outdoors. The photo accompanying this post is from that shoot.

I thanked her for her hospitality and left the school. I drove home and my day en femme was over.

All the people (male and female) who I encountered were polite, often friendly and always helpful when I needed their assistance. I don’t know if I passed or not and whether passing had anything to do with their reaction to me.

I have reached a stage in my life in which passing is not a deal breaker.

When I prepare to go out, I do my best to be passable. I try to be impeccable in my dress and makeup and make sure that there is not a hair out of place, but once I am out the door, I stop being concerned about passing.

I used to be very shy when I was en femme fearing that everyone I encountered would read me. If they seemed ok with me, then I would open up and be more like myself, but if they were not ok with me, I would get out of Dodge as quickly as possible

Now, I am personable to everyone I encounter. I don't wait to see how they react to me. I believe that by being personable and outgoing, it surprises people and they react positively whether they read me or not.

And I don't even think about it. That's the way I am in boy mode and now that I am free of the shackles of passing, I can also be myself in girl mode.



Wearing New York & Company
Wearing New York & Company



A Liverpool lad femulating in a 2018 stage production of Bugsy Malone
A Liverpool lad femulating in a 2018 stage production of Bugsy Malone

13 comments:

  1. Here's a coincidence: My son now teaches computer science at Western New England University!

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  2. Dear Stana, I have seen this early picture of you over the years and my first impression is how sweet you look and the striking resemblance to Linda Rondstadt in her younger years. You have always had a very feminine persona and there is a true softness of character that comes out. If you had been able to go to High school as the girl you were you could never have been a "Mean Girl". It's not in your nature or even your overall look. Steph

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  3. "...they react positively whether they read me or not."

    You might be the first trans person they've met, so giving that office experience is great, IMO. Plus, if you challenge some preconceptions along the way, bonus! :-)

    Oh, depending on your phone, you might have a photo scanning app. Worth a punt

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    1. My current phone does have a scanning app, but back in 2011, I didn't own a phone (except for the one hanging on the wall at home). LOL

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  4. Just a guess, but I'll bet the library still has that book! Maybe on one of Stana's days out that takes you and your scan-enabled phone near the library you could have a do-over, even to the outdoor photo!

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  5. I can remember when I didn't just fear people reading me -- I KNEW everybody could read me. So what's a girl to do, just stay indoors or limit myself to going out in the dark of night? But I decided to look my very best -- hair, dress, makeup, etc.. -- and just go for it. "They" don't know me and I don't know them, and I suspect they have much more to do than waste time deciding, "Is that a woman or a man"? Even though I rally don't pass, I take great pride in my appearance and do my best to fit in -- like any 70-something tall lady who doesn't quite look her age. To date, I can attest to the occasional questioning look from kids (those little weasels can spot us a block away) and the rare woman. Looks, just looks. My guess was right and I go about whatever I'm doing without a bump.

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  6. Stana yes you do resemble Linda Ronstadt!

    You do look so natural as a girl.

    Gosh you would have made a great girl!

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  7. Your last 2 paragraphs truly warm my heart! It shows that people are more interested in how we treat other people than how we look. If you're beautiful on the inside, that will show on your surface:)

    And congratulations on finding a long lost memory!!

    Ciao! Elise

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  8. I purged everything too, including all my photos, but 20 years earlier than you. I was absolutely paranoid about being identified as a crossdresser/transvestite (there was no word for transsexual then) so I threw away or burned all the evidence. Now I wish I had kept the pictures because I'm sure I looked better then than at any time since, but they were irrecoverable.

    You, on the other hand, get better with age!

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  9. probably like most concerned, i have had many times over the years when i wish someone would wave a magic wand to get rid of this at-times nonsensical desire to cross-dress and just be a "regular guy". however my "purge" happened not because of guilt, but due to circumstances beyond my control:

    throughout the first half of the 90's i had built up a fairly substantial wardrobe (including vintage/retro stuff, which was dirt-cheap back then) as a result of finally living on my own for the first time. and then i got the boot from my relatively well-paid job, and decided to downsize accordingly. which meant i hade to live a transient life for a while.

    it also meant that i had to cut my femme collecton down substantially, ditching the majority and storing what i could in a trunk which was stashed in a mate's basement (although locked to my recollection, i couldn't help but think curiosity might get the better of him - and he would get a shock as a result of opening pandora's box!). i also left a couple of mail sacks-worth at a professional storage facility, where the assistant surprised me by asking to prove there wasn't an explosive device in them. so rather than tip everything out for him to see, i practically jumped up and down on the sacks to show him otherwise. he must have thought i was mad!

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  10. Love the look of the Liverpool 'lad' - I have a similar flapper ensemble a lady friend made for me and have always loved it - especially the first Halloween I wore it!

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