Friday, July 29, 2022

Happiness Without Transitioning?

By Paula Gaikowski

As you may know, the transgender community is rife with politics and political correctness. 

Many years back, I was shopping at Vernon’s Boutique in Waltham, Massachusetts – truly a refuge for me at the time. For those who may not remember, Vernon’s was a store that accommodated the transgender community before Internet shopping. Here was a place you could buy wigs, size 12 shoes and women’s clothing without having to say it was a gift for your aunt. I was enamored by the selection of girly clothes. Anyway, I was looking at maid outfits and frilly sissy dresses, when a transgender woman I was chatting with started to criticize me for being a “fetishist crossdresser” and not a “true transexual” like herself. 

Another time I went to a transgender support group meeting in Denver. It was early in my going out and I was very fragile. I got all dressed up in my new business suit, nails, new shoes, good hair day and drove two hours through rush hour traffic to get there. 

It was a group therapy type set-up where we all sat in a circle and shared our thoughts and experiences. At one point I used the term transgendered instead of transgender and they condemned me calling me transphobic, and then criticizing me for the way I was dressed because I conformed to a patriarchal archetype of femininity. 

Both incidents hurt me, and I started to doubt that I was transgender and that my lifelong desire to be female and a woman was misplaced. If being transgender meant being like these persons maybe I wasn’t a “true transexual.”

A popular narrative in the transgender community is that “a transgender person must transition – that it is matter of life and death. If you don’t agree, then you are less than…”

So, if I am transgender, can I live a happy life if I don’t transition?

Being transgender is like having a pebble in your shoe. It takes away some of the joy, it causes some pain, however, there still is meaning and even happiness. 

For some, the pebble may cause too much pain, causes blisters and then an infection that becomes life-threatening. The pebble must be removed. In other words, the person must transition. Some of us just keep hiking with the pebble in our shoe, although we may opt for a cuter and prettier shoe.

Source: Joie
Wearing Joie

Just another beautiful Femulator
Just another beautiful Femulator

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Wear a Bra!

Jenn wrote, “My wife and many close female friends are known to comment about how they can’t wait to take off their bra. Of course, as a crossdresser I can’t wait to put one on! What do you think about your bra?”

Whereas fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg once proclaimed, “Feel like a woman. Wear a dress!” I say, “Feel like a woman, Wear a bra!”

Is there any garment that defines womanhood more than a bra? Fashion forward fellows may dress like women from head to toe, but they don’t wear bras. Only women and femulators wear bras.

On occasion, I have femulated without wearing a bra because I did not have the correct style bra to go with a particular dress or top I was wearing and since I am already well-endowed for a guy, going bra-less was not a deal breaker. However, I prefer to wear a bra when I femulate.

Early on, I wore some ill-fitting bras. The band was too small and/or the shoulder straps too short and like Jenn’s lady friends, I could not wait to take off my bra.

After too many misfits, I decided that the only way to get a bra that fits is to get a professional bra-fitting at an intimate apparel shop or in the lingerie department of a department store.

Your mileage may vary, but I have been fitted for bras in both girl mode and boy mode in both venues and have never been turned away. In fact, the women performing the fittings were very helpful and seemed pleased to have a male join their bra-wearing sorority.

If you are unsure about which bra-selling venue to seek out for a fitting, you can always call ahead and ask. My niece worked at Victoria's Secret and she said that the saleswomen were used to fitting both men and women, so don't be shy – go for it, girl!

And if your bra is the correct fit, you won't even know you are wearing one!

Source: Venus
Wearing Venus

Greg Maraio
Greg Maraio femulating on stage in Casa Valentina

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Someday Funnies

Rachel Reynolds
Rachel Reynolds (hostess on televisions’s The Price Is Right)

John Carroll Lynch
John Carroll Lynch femulating on television’s The Drew Carey Show.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Get Out!

By Paula Gaikowski

Back in the early 90’s, the “dark ages” before the internet, I found myself connected to a dial-up bulletin board service that supported crossdressers and transexuals. The umbrella term “transgender” had not yet entered the lexicon. What was special and different was the fact that you could download pictures of other girls. This was the first time that I could see and communicate with others like me.

I was awed by how pretty some of them looked and I also was captivated by the fact that they went out in public. The thought that it was possible to be out and seen in public as a woman became an aspiration. It would take years.

Often I’m asked for advice on getting out in public from first timers. It’s funny – I can’t really remember my actual first time, the first few times out all kind of melt together. 

I was spending time in Reston, Virginia, on business and was dressing up in my hotel room, as I had been for years. I started making short trips from the room to my car and then back. Mad dashes, full of fear, that took my breath away.

However, it broke the ice and the evolution began. I became less and less fearful each time I went out. By 2008, it was natural for me to be in public as a woman. I traveled all over the USA, UK, Canada and Australia for business and used this time to go out and about in the world. 

I dressed in business clothes and appeared slightly better dressed then most women. I feel it’s important to blend in, not stick out and to dress age-appropriate. I never thought that I could go to malls, get makeovers at MAC, visit the doctor, dine out, and enjoy museums. Over the years, I lost weight, improved my wardrobe and developed my makeup skills. I became very confident and happy with my presentation as a woman. 

Many girls are fearful of what the public will think and how they will react. I have many friends who have been going out and about for years and we have all had the same experiences and reactions.

People either don’t notice you or sometimes you pass and sometimes you don’t. And if you don’t pass, most people are fascinated and supportive. I’ve never had a person call me a name or insult me in anyway. I remember it became such a non-event that I would often look for a reaction or input from hotel clerks or sales associates. 

I enjoyed shocking them with the transformation, One time, I was checking in as Paul, and at Marriott where they always ask if you are in town for business or pleasure? I responded, “Both – this afternoon I’m meeting a friend and we’re going dress-shopping. She has a wedding to attend”.

“Oh, you’re such a good friend,” she responded, implying that dress-shopping is something that most men didn’t like.

I returned about 90 minutes later as Paula, grabbed a water and asked her to charge it room 410. She typed in the room number and then made the connection to the guy who had checked in.

“Well, how do I look?” I asked. She and the other young women with her responded very positively. They were kind, complementary and cheerful. This was typical of persons I’ve interacted with going out and about.

Going out reminded me of learning to drive a car. When you first get behind the wheel, you are thrilled, look at me, I’m finally driving. I drove to the store, to school, even to the beach! Your hands are tight on the wheel, each turn is a challenge, every intersection daunting. Eventually you get behind the wheel and drive without even thinking about it. 

So much of going out has become second nature to me now. I walk out the hotel room door, smile at the maid, stop at the front desk, etc., without trepidation or anxiety. This self-assurance is contagious to everyone around you. It validates your appearance to them. 

When I visit cosmetic counters, the sales associates seemed to love the diversion of having a transgender customer. We always have great conversations and I always ask them about my appearance. Most often the words I hear are “poised,” “natural” and “classic.”

They say 90% of presentation is attitude and confidence. This takes effort and work. This effort is all part of being a woman. Please remember to enjoy the journey, the practice, the friendships, the accomplishments and even the failures.

I’d love to hear about some of your first times out and about!

Source: WhoWhatWear
Source: WhoWhatWear

A tradition in Southern Germany and Austria, Faschingshochzeit is a “Mardi Gras wedding,” in which the gender roles are reversed with a male bride and female groom. (Thank you Yamini for the tip about Faschingshochzeit.)

Friday, July 22, 2022

What’s Up, Doc?

My wife came home Tuesday afternoon after a month of hospitalization and rehabilitation. She is in good health, happy to be back home, but is not too thrilled with having to use a walker. 

I had to move a bookcase and some clutter to give her clear paths for her walker. Also, I have been her doting nurse on call 24/7. I think a nurse uniform will be appropriate for Halloween.

Source: Intermix
Wearing Jonathan Simkhai

womanless wedding in the UK
Femulating in a womanless wedding in the UK
Source: Aunty's Womanless Photos

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

How did you make out?

By Paula Gaikowski

Friday, Stana posted my article of memories, an archive of sort that chronicled my journey over the years dealing with this special gift that we have. One of those memories generated a request for more details about making out at a Halloween party when I was dressed as a girl.

This is something that for years I pushed down and away and didn’t want to remember or acknowledge. When I started dating and then married, I made it a point to consciously forget about it. Now at 63-years-old, years of therapy and self-acceptance, I can look back at the event with pleasant thoughts.

So, let’s go back in time to 1979, Hahn Air Base, Germany. A married couple from my workplace was having their big annual Halloween party at their house off base. We were a young crowd, older teens, 20’s, some 30’s, very much into partying. 

On the night shift, costumes were discussed and when boyfriends and husbands rejected the idea, I happily volunteered to go as a girl with just enough insincere resistance. At 19-years-old, I was a size 14-16 and could not wait to wear the Air Force blue skirt suit that women wore on duty.

If you know my story, I was no stranger to crossdressing at this age and really didn’t need any encouragement or help. One of my female co-workers was a happy helper and loaned a uniform. I made a covert trip to the Base BX to purchase bra, panties, pantyhose and a slip and to a German store in town, a red lipstick.

Over to Linda’s apartment the afternoon of the party to “get ready,” I remember feeling so proud that Linda was impressed with the proficiency and aptitude that I had in getting dressed in women’s clothes and putting on makeup. (I had spent years after school using my mom’s make-up and trying on her clothes.) 

As Femulations go, this was a good one. I liked the way I looked, considering my inexperience in dressing up fully to pass. 

The party itself was a raucous affair, ranging anywhere from 30-50 people. I had a great time, playing along with the innuendo and crude comments. I reveled in and relished the attention and felt so feminine. Now remember, this is Germany and the Mosel Valley, beer and wine! By midnight, those of us left were all very buzzed.

A small group had gathered down in the basement, a side room at the end of the evening. We were all chatting, laughing as the night wound down. Then it was quiet and I was alone with a guy who I had been talking to at different times throughout the night. We started talking about my costume, crossdressing, drag shows, and I remember specifically he asked me how it felt to wear pantyhose? My inhibitions thinned by alcohol, I replied “Great, Silky and smooth!” 

Two lustful and lascivious 19-year-olds, one ravenous for the feel of a woman, the other desiring to feel like a woman. Now alone in the dark, thousands of miles from home, both drunk. 

His hand skimmed my leg, soon it was up under my skirt. “If you want me to stop, tell me now,” he whispered.

I was stunned, wanting to shriek and run, however, another part me wanted this, just a few seconds more I thought. He grabbed at my bra, I sighed, He pushed me backward and we’re lying down, a light kiss, then another, an embrace, this feels wonderful. Then as quickly as it started, it ends. I’m sitting alone and the night is ending. What just happened?

For years, I refused to think about that night buried away in the corners of my mind. I was young, confused and even ashamed of what happened. It has taken me years to accept and understand who I am. Now I take it out of that special hiding place, a treasured curio and share it with my sisters and community here at Femulate. 

Source: ShopBop
Source: ShopBop

Another femulator out and about
Another femulator out and about acclimating society to pretty men in pretty clothes.