Friday, August 11, 2023

Living the Dream

By Ciara Cremin 

As with every reader of this website, I love wearing women’s clothes. So much so that in July 2015 I dressed openly to work for the first time as a woman. 

I know from reading the site that many of you fantasize about dressing openly as women. Some do occasionally. I fantasized about doing this for decades. That fantasy is well and truly realized. At work, when shopping, on the town, day and night – all times, without exception – I dress fully en femme. I don’t “pass.” I don’t even try. There’s nothing wrong with our bodies. The problem is with society.

Soon after coming out, I changed my name to Ciara. At first, I identified as a “cross-dresser,” a transvestite even: both terms are now well and truly redundant. I dress as a woman because I am a woman. 

I can’t express strongly enough what a thrill it is getting up every morning, selecting an outfit from the many dresses, skirts, blouses, etc. that I own, matching it with shoes or knee-length boots, various accoutrements such as jeweley, figure-hugging underwear, panties, bras, slips and most of all, pantyhose, and spending about 20 minutes in front of the mirror putting on my makeup from the assortment of lipsticks, eyeshadows and so forth overflowing my makeup drawer. It’s such a tonic to get dressed up in my style and doing so in the knowledge that this is the image I present to the world, not simply in my own private oasis in front of a mirror, an oasis I once felt imprisoned by. 

After eight years, the pleasure is undiminished. It’s so liberating being able to dress openly this way and for people to recognize and identify me as a woman. I love shopping for new dresses, shoes, handbags, everything, in fact, associated with femininity, amassing over this time, a huge collection to indulge in and experiment with daily.

I’m fortunate to have a job in academia where I’m fully accepted as a woman; to live in a country, New Zealand, in which it is relatively safe to present this way; to have friends who fully support me – those that didn’t are friends no more. I know this isn’t the case for everyone. But if you do fantasize about dressing openly, day and night, as a woman, and can, all things considered, do so without losing your job, being ostracized from friends, loved ones and family and in relative safety, why not do the same? It’ll transform your life, maybe for the better. And if like me, it becomes you, your only regret will be that you didn’t do it sooner.

The photographs I selected are typical of my daily style, some of which were taken at work before giving a lecture to hundreds of students who know me only as Ciara. You can probably tell from them that I love wearing pantyhose. My legs feel bare without them. As too my face without makeup on. The only time I don’t wear pantyhose is when going swimming at the beach or in winter, at the hot pools in my bathing suit, but still in makeup as you can see from the photo below. 

I’ve published two books reflecting on my experiences. Published in 2017, Man-Made Woman charts my transition and documents the effects, both on me and the people I encounter daily. It’s quite theoretical, so not necessarily a book I’d recommend unless you’re willing to put the work in and prepare yourself for challenging ideas on gender, sexuality and most of all, a society that casts us as freaks. 

Likewise, 2021’s The Future is Feminine, an excoriating critique of the effects of masculinization that living as a woman, it is difficult not to regard as a sickness. Living as a woman has a healing effect, a kind of therapy that addresses the damage done over the years by a self- and societally-enforced masculinization.

If you have the desire and the conditions afford it, feel the fear and do it anyway. Liberate your femininity. Become the woman you were always meant to be. It’ll change your perspective on life and, just as importantly, the world. If enough of us do so, maybe we can even change the world and make it a better, safer, less alienating place for everyone.

(Editor’s Note 1: Ciara will entertain your questions. Ask them in the Comments section below or email them to stana-stana at-sign

(Editor’s Note 2: The book links in this article go to The books are also available from Australian bookseller Bloomsbury.)

Source: Pinterest


  1. Ciara
    You look like the sort of woman will disappear amongst the others in a busy supermarket

  2. I also live now in a country, which is more open-minded, than my home country (Hungary). After many years I was able to come out - first to my colleagues - that I would like to dress, even partially, as a woman (meaning: I wear heels and skirts in the office, and already on the streets, shops, doctors, etc), and their support gave me enough courage to tell this to my girlfriend as well. And indeed, my whole world has been changed. I am free. Not living in lies and denials, I am what I am, and now I can walk like that almost anywhere when I want.

  3. Ciara, you pass from the inside and out. I agree, women have more fun in dressing up and going on out and about. So many option, so many choices in expressing themselves. Hugs Brenda

  4. Ciara, I found both your life story of emergence and the challenge you pose to be breathtaking and motivating. I have found the same level of deep satisfaction in living as a woman for a few days and weeks at a time, but as yet I have lacked the courage to take the final step towards fulfilling my lifelong dream. I am encouraged by your example of how to live it!

    1. I obviously don’t know about your particular circumstances but if nothing catastrophic, such as those I describe, is likely to come of it, there’s not much to lose and so much to gain. Life will take on a new meaning, exciting, vitalising, transformative. One can only imagine what it’s like. Whatever you read or hear, the effects are often surprising and revelatory - of yourself and others - such that the ability to dress daily as a woman is the least of it. Once you cross that threshold there’s no going back. It makes you a different person, for the better. A therapy of a kind that takes place on the streets, in everyday life. Ciara

    2. I confess that I have mostly been restrained by fears. I have edged out a bit, coming out to former colleagues and out as myself at shops and restaurants in the rural community where I live. Still, it feels incomplete. As you so wisely noted, it’s not the clothes, it’s the life. You have given me so much more to ponder. Thank you, Ciara!

  5. Ciara, your photos are wonderful! What an absolutely lovely feminine presentation. You have great style, a style very similar to my own. I would love to present in public as you do, maybe someday.

  6. Clara-great article. If the only reason for not dressing openly as a woman is fear and not job,family etc then folks should get over it.Just like the 1st time swimming in deep water,going on a ski lift etc-the same fear. And when you do it you wonder what the fear was all about and enjoy the reward--emily

  7. My only argument is the not passing, especially in the first picture.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing your story Ciara, you really are an inspiration, and I hope that one day I will have as much confidence as you, and be able to venture out into the world as a woman
    I'd love to see you become a regular contributor on here, best wishes

  9. Bravo! You are amazing. Yes, please do become a contributor to our group!

  10. Thanks for sharing, wonderful! Yes, please consider being a contributor!