It’s a mystery you see, to anyone that’s not like me

LJ1

I was driving home from work today and had my iPod on random.  I can have a half-hour internal struggle just to pick out a song or album to listen to, so I usually just put in on random and let the iPod do the picking.  They’re all songs I like anyway, so why not?

Anyway, the point is that a song came on and I immediately thought I have to put this on my blog, since it has SO MUCH transgender relevance.  The songs is “Fabulously Done” by Lisa Jackson + Girl Friday.  Not only is it performed by a TG girl, but it truly could be the TG anthem for most of us.

I never had the pleasure of seeing Lisa or Girl Friday perform live, but I bet it would have been a blast.  Anyway, without further adieu, here are the lyrics (with the line that says it all to me).  Enjoy!

FABULOUSLY DONE
By Lisa Jackson / Lisa Jackson + Girl Friday

The makeup and the clothes I wear,
The fancy do and the underwear,
It’s a mystery you see,
To anyone that’s not like me.

So please retract those words of hate,
‘Cause I’m the boy you used to date,
Yes I’m your lover and I’m your son,
Yes, I’m your brother, we’ve just begun.

Somehow around the age of eight,
I learned that I should hate,
The fairies and the queers,
You know they’re just so fucking weird.

But little did my siblings know,
That I was putting on a little show,
In the mirror of the bathroom,
As my mother ran the vacuum and…

I’m not the only one,
I’m not the only one,
Who wants to be painted and pretty,
And shining and Fabulously Done!

It has taken some twenty years,
For me to learn to ignore the fears,
That there are people who will hate you,
There are people who will shame you.

So be the first to cast your stone,
‘Cause I would rather be all alone,
Yes, if I an going to be living,
Then I am going to be giving, all I can…

I’m not the only one,
I’m not the only one,
Who wants to be painted and pretty,
And shining and Fabulously Done!

I told that girl,
But that girl went away,
And I told my brother,
But my brother thinks I’m gay.
Yesterday I told my sister,
But my sister could not hear,
And I told the world,
‘Cause I’m tired of this fear!

The makeup and the clothes I wear,
The fancy do and the underwear,
It’s a mystery you see,
To anyone that’s not like me.

So please retract those words of hate,
‘Cause I’m the boy you used to date,
Yes I’m your brother and I’m your son,
Yes, I’m your lover, we’ve just begun.

I’m not the only one,
I’m not the only one,
Who wants to be painted and pretty,
And shining and fabulously,
Painted and pretty,
And shining and fabulously,
Painted and pretty,
And shining and Fabulously Done!

All images and lyrics are property of Lisa Jackson + Girl Friday

All images and lyrics used here are property of Lisa Jackson + Girl Friday

-ValS

 

Time for an intermission

Intermission 2

With the whole back-story of who is Valerie South is and what makes me tick well established, I can now spend some time going on and on about the multitude of thoughts that go through this cross-dressing mind of mine.

I literally have a hand written list of 30+ topics that I would like to blog about.  It should probably be 50+, but I forget about half of my ideas before I get a chance to write them down.  It seems I have the memory of an “old lady” as well.

As I look at the list I see that there are several topics that have become very timely when I consider some of the other blogs I have been reading.  So I may move those to the top of the list now.  “The list” is ever changing and adaptable to whatever topics seem to make sense at the moment.  I am open to any legitimate thoughts or ideas from anyone, and would enjoy hearing of topics others may want to cover.

My point today is that I am going to ramble from here on out, in no specific or organized pattern.  If I read something in another blog that seems like a good topic, I will link to it (when I figure out how) and give my $0.02.  No right or wrong answers, just my opinions on cross-dressing and the world it exists in.

If there is any topic anyone out there in the world would like to explore and discuss, please let me know.  I really do appreciate the ideas.  You can leave a comment on an existing page, or better yet, email me at:  val south cd @gmail.com Just remove all the spaces.

So this is the intermission between history and the present.  Please fasten your seatbelts and bring your seats and tray tables to and upright and secure position as we prepare for takeoff.  Where we go from here is anyone’s guess!

-ValS

Finding the real Valerie South

9h

Over the years, from the time I had gotten my “red groupie” outfit, my femme style began to change and develop.  It was wonderful being able to buy my own women’s clothes.  Not only did they fit finally, but I could also pick the clothing that appealed to me.  No longer did I have to open up someone else’s closet and pick what to wear.  It was wide open.

So I experimented with outfits:  Longer skirts, fuller skirts, jeans, denim skirts, capris, skorts, dresses, suits… sweaters, silky blouses, basic Ts… boots, flats, lower heels, sandals… and on  and on and on…

It wasn’t long before I had as many girl clothes as I did guy clothes.  I will admit that 75% of the clothing I bought was a fashion disaster.  Outfits my wife would look at me in and just laugh.  The majority of them were worn a couple of times and then relegated to just hang in the closet.  Many of them ended up being donated or sold by my wife in garage sales.  Still, it was fun to try all the outfits out and see what I liked.  Girls/women have a lifetime of experience in clothes and I was trying to make up for many years of being on the outside and looking in.

What I found was that over time I tended to wear the same few outfits over and over. It was the style and look that I was drawn to: Long, full skirts.  Soft, silky, blouses.  Traditional 2-3” classic pumps.

That was what I found myself in more often then not.  I liked a skirt with body, no pencil types or minis for me any more.  Blouses were soft, feminine, and frequently had bows at the neck.  No sandals or boots for me, just a clean classic pump.  That was Valerie South look.

My wife had a name for the look, “old lady”.  She said the years in my mom’s closet have scarred me, because I dressed like my mom did years ago.  It was true, when I looked around the only women I saw wearing similar clothes were older women going to church or some old lady function.  So I was turning into an old lady.  I always wore pantyhose, support garments, and never went without a slip.  More evidence.  I couldn’t help it, I was what I was.

My wife was the voice of reason as I tried to figure myself out (still trying to accomplish that by the way).  She said that since I wasn’t going anywhere, wear whatever you like.  So I dressed (and still do sometimes) like an old lady.  My wife teased me many times about the “old lady” thing.  Once she sent me to a store to pick up a gift for her co-worker and I had to call her to get some clarification.  I told her the place was full of old women, and she replied “so you fit right in”, then she added “don’t dawdle gossiping with the girls”.  What could I say?  Walked right in to that.

A while later, after more clothing exploration that didn’t take me too far from the old lady look, I said to my wife that I was bored with my purse, and wanted one that was more my style.  I searched around the internet for a bit and couldn’t come up with exactly what I wanted.  Now, my wife is much more intuitive and better at reading people than anyone I have ever known.  She said “would you like me to show you the purse you want? For that matter, would you like me to show you the look you really want?”  Not really believing she had the answer, I said yes.

She jumped on the computer and entered a few words into google and brought up a series of pictures that once again had me dazed:

9e9d

9a9f

9c

9b

Oh my god, she was right.  I got goose-bumps as I stared at the pictures. Everything was perfect, the purses, the clothes, everything.  She knew it and now I had just been let in on the secret… I was a 1950’s housewife at heart.

I am not kidding that it was a revelation to me.  Everything was exactly what I loved.  Full poufy skirts, soft feminine blouses, classic pumps, and now a classic kelly purse to match.  I only ever wore pearl necklaces, always painted my nails bright red and wore matching lipstick.  It all made sense.

I grew up watching June Cleaver and Donna Reed, wearing my mother’s skirts and heels, and spent my time cleaning the house and doing housework while my mom was at work.  I did love their look, then and even more now.  So then I bought my first vintage dress and a petticoat to go with it.  That was all it took, I had come full circle and felt like I knew what my style was finally.

As if being a cross-dresser isn’t odd enough, I am a vintage cross-dressing 1950’s housewife.  Love my pearls, my petticoats, my bright red lipstick, my classic pumps and my purses.  As my wife said, I don’t go out so I can wear whatever I like, and I do just that.  These are a few of my favorite things:

 9g

So that pretty much completes the backstory of who Valerie South is.  With this in the books, I can now get on to rambling about other cross-dressing things.  Can’t wait!

-ValS

Shopping for my first femme items

8

After outgrowing my mom’s clothes and shoes, I was left with few options.  I still played around with her makeup, but clothes was what I really wanted.  I went through a pretty long period where I didn’t get to dress up, at least not enough to be satisfying.

When I met and told my girlfriend (now wife) about me, that drought period began to end.  I wore some of her things, but like my mom’s, they didn’t fit.  I needed some things of my own and my wife agreed to take me shopping.

Remember that this was before the internet was at our finger tips.  Today you can browse different clothing retailers or eBay to look or buy things while still being in the closet.  I had no clue what to get or what was available.  I had never had a choice before, but I was super excited (and nervous)!

We went to a shopping mall, far enough away that running into people we knew was unlikely.  From the time I stepped out of the car, I felt as though everyone knew what we were doing.  Like I was holding a big sign that read “I am buying women’s clothes for me to wear!”  It was also the first time in my life that I realized how docile/subservient I was when it comes to dressing up.  When she said we going to blah blah store and getting you a skirt, I just said OK.  I was in a daze, felt extremely vulnerable, and doing what she told me.

We went to a big department store and she was looking through racks. She pulled a skirt out and held it up to my waist.  I tried to protest this obvious indication of who it was for, but she said she had to size it up, unless I was going to try things on in the dressing room.  Well that wasn’t going to happen, so she kept holding things up to me and was thoroughly enjoying my embarrassment.  She selected a bright red mini-skirt (it was the 80s) and said she had a top for me already.  She didn’t torture me anymore as we were paying, but once again I felt like everyone knew it was for me.  Once we had paid I thought to myself, “I own a skirt”.  I was all smiles!

Next we bought my first pair of heels, red to match MY skirt.  I don’t remember the whole event of shoe shopping, being in a state of euphoria since I owned a skirt.  I don’t think I tried them on in the store, but they definitely fit.  Unlike the skirt, I’m sure there was no doubt who they were for, since I wear a shoe a few sizes larger that her. So I then found myself wandering the mall carrying MY skirt and MY heels.

Next store was where my first bra, panties, and purse were purchased.  All red, just like my skirt and heels. I asked her why I needed a purse if I wasn’t going anywhere.  She said every girl has a purse, and quickly followed up with a “you don’t want it?”.  I said of course I do and she said “I thought so”.  Once we had paid the sales clerk held out the bag for us and my then girlfriend looked at me and said “get your things”. I’m sure I was as red as everything else we had bought that day.

We finally left the mall and I was exhausted.  Being so nervous and self-conscious literally wore me out.  She said we to make another stop for some routine items, but them we could head home.  We went to a K-Mart and she picked up a few items that she needed. When we got back to her place, she told me to try it all on.  Everything fit great, skirt was tight, but it was supposed to be.  She gave me a white shirt to put on, and there I was.  The outfit was a typical 80’s rock groupie look, which was basically a step just barely above prostitute.  Didn’t matter to me, they were my clothes and they fit!  I spent the evening clicking around in my heels.

I thought nothing could be more embarrassing than the shopping experience I had just lived through, but I was wrong.  She went through the K-Mart bags, tore open a few packages and handed my a few things to put in my purse: a compact (powder and mirror), a tube of red lipstick, a hairbrush, and a tampon.  I was dumbfounded and she just smiled and said “all women carry these in their purses, so here’s yours”.  I did what I was told and put my things in my purse.

She then did my hair and my makeup and I spent the evening dressed in my own girly things for the first time in my life.  I wore those things every opportunity I had.  I have once again outgrown those things and I am not really too sure what happened to them years later.  The only item I still have from that early experience with my wife is the red heels.  Every once-in-a-while I put them on just because they were my first.  They are reasonably well worn since I wore them at every opportunity, but I will keep them forever.  They are a symbol, almost a trophy, but really more of a reminder of a great time in my life, when my wife helped me to be me.

8B

My femme style has changed since then, as I began to discover what kind of person Valerie South is.  My clothing preferences have evolved greatly since that time (maybe I should say devolved), but that is another story.

-ValS

Finding the one in the Pink Fog

7

I said in my About Me profile that my wife was “reluctantly accepting” and that is true.  She pretty much tolerates me, but if she could push a button and make it all go away, she probably would.  Still, she loves me and for that I am eternally grateful.  However as I reread my About Me, I thought that somewhat makes her sound negative.  So I thought I would open up a bit about our relationship.

When I was in High school, I dated several girls.  I loved being around girls and women and definitely found myself attracted to them, in every way possible.  Still, I always thought that I would spend my adult life alone, never marrying or even dating someone for a long period of time.  I always assumed my cross-dressing would be a deal breaker and I knew the desire to dress wouldn’t be going away.

I met my wife in college, and we clicked in a way that me and my previous girlfriends never did.  I was convinced she was “the one” for me pretty early on.  I knew I could marry this one.  I didn’t want to get divorced (if we eventually got married) but also didn’t want to spend the rest of my life hiding (lying) to her about the real me.  One night I just decided that if she was truly what I thought she was, I could tell her and it wouldn’t matter.  So I told her.  She laughed and basically said whatever turns you on.  So, I was out to one person, and it felt great.

Usually, the first thing that we cross-dressers do once we have found someone to share our true selves with is completely over do it.  We can’t help ourselves, it just comes pouring out.  All of a sudden we have someone to talk with, learn from, borrow from, and who may even participate in our dressing as a woman.  After multiple years of nothing, this can be truly overwhelming to many of us.  It is so common of an occurrence that we have a name for the phenomenon: The Pink Fog.

At the most, this can absolutely drive away the newly accepting partner.  They may wonder what the hell is going on and what did they get themselves into.  Heard of it many times.  At the very least it can cause the partner to grow a little tired of everything being about cross-dressing, at least for the initial period after revealing yourself, and this is where my then girlfriend was.

So she was tolerant, understanding, and for the most part accepting, but really didn’t want me to go wild with it all at once.  She told me that I could dress, she would help sometimes, but that she still needed us to have a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship and the CD’ing should stay between us.  That is, I had to stay in the closet.  To be honest, I had no desire to go beyond that point, so I agreed.

On one side of the spectrum would be rejection/zero acceptance and on the opposite end would be someone who promotes it and pushes you to do more.  In the middle is the generic area of acceptance.  On one end is acceptance but I don’t want to see it or know anything and on the other is acceptance with participation.  In the middle/middle is acceptance, but if you want something, you gotta ask.  That’s what I call “reluctantly accepting”.  Probably not the best description, but it’s the one I use.

So we later got married, had kids, did everything a young couple normally does.  I had a loving wife that understood who I truly was, and she had a husband that seems completely normal to the rest of the world, but who completely understood why you can never have enough shoes.

What I really want to say is that reluctantly accepting means she understands and helps me, but needs it to be tempered and within limits that we as a couple have agreed to.  Mainly, it’s our secret.  Totally reasonable and fair in my opinion.  I thought I would spend my life alone. Instead I have found a loving, beautiful, compassionate, and accepting wife.  I was right all those years ago, she is “the one”.

-ValS

Like a duck to water

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Since I have been establishing a little background regarding my cross-dressing lifestyle and mindset, I think it would be relevant to go back to the beginning and discuss some of the developmental moments in my childhood. Nothing traumatic here, just a little insight from my youth.

When I think back in my life, I can not remember a time when I didn’t have the desire to wear girl’s clothes.  It didn’t just hit me one day that I should try this or have anything forced on me.  From the start, I have always been drawn to it. The earliest memory I have of it was noticing a skirt my mother was wearing and thinking I am going to wear that.  Sometime later I snuck into her bedroom and found that skirt, and many others, and put it on.  Even though she was pretty thin at the time it was still big on me, and I absolutely loved having it on.  I knew I had to be discreet and I knew I would be doing more of it, and I did.  Much more.

At first it was just the skirts, then dresses, then pantyhose, then undergarments, shoes, and anything else I could find.  She had some wonderfully feminine clothes, and I spent every opportunity I had trying thing on and looking in the mirror.  I wished then I could dress like this everyday and didn’t really understand why I couldn’t, but I did instinctively knew I couldn’t.

Speaking of shoes, my mother had several pairs of dress pumps with 2”-3” heels and I took to those like a duck takes to water.  I never had any problems balancing or walking in them.  They felt quite natural to me, and still do. (by the way, she had no duck patterned shoes, I was just amused by the picture) But I digress…

Knowing now what I didn’t have to maturity to realize then, I am sure my parents had to have thought I was going to turn out gay. I was pretty much a sissy anyway and not very tough.  Didn’t do well in sports and really didn’t care.  All the times I got into my mothers things to dress up, I’m sure she had to have noticed her things getting disturbed. Still she never said anything directly to me.  Looking back now, I think she knew something was up by the way she handled a few situations.

I remember one day being in a clothing store with my mom and asking her why girls got to wear soft and silky panties and boys had to wear the plain cotton ones.  She turned her head and looked suspiciously at me and said “would you like some soft and silky panties?”  I’m sure I turned bright red and I immediately went into damage control mode and said something like “No way! Just asking.” She dropped the subject and I was glad.

However, several times at Halloween when the subject of costumes came up, she would suggest me going as a girl.  She said she had everything we would need and it wouldn’t take much to do.  I would instantly go into the “no way I was going dressed as a girl!” routine but oh how I really wanted to!  Of course now I wish I would have.  I did go as a pirate once and she let me use one of her clip on hoop earrings.  She asked me if I wanted to wear just one or the pair.  I told her pirates wear only one earring, and she replied that she thought I might want to wear both.

Another thing I would do is take one of her night gowns from the closet and I would get up after bed time and put it on.  On one such occasion, I must have been making too much noise because she came into my room to see what was going on.  I was already back in bed wearing a full sweep lavender gown when she busted right in, clearly a bit irritated with my being awake and up making noise.  She asked what the heck was going on, and I just shook in my bed, holding the covers tightly up to my neck.  She gave me the strangest look and seemed to calm down.  After a moment (which felt like hours) of agonizing silence, she just said “go to sleep” and walked out.  My heart was pounding and when it was clear I took the gown off and threw it under my bed.  Did she see something incriminating? Maybe, but she never said anything.

As I got older, I would fake being sick on days when the house would be empty.  Siblings at school and both mom and dad at work,  I would get completely dressed up in one of here outfits.  I began to wear her makeup, jewelry and would even attempt to curl my reasonably long hair.  With nothing really to do while at home all dressed up, I would go about the house cleaning, doing laundry or anything I would see my mom do.  I think this homemaker role would have a deeper effect on me, but I’ll get into that in another post.  Those were some of the best days of my life.

I wore my mother’s things up and through part of high school.  It was then that a tragedy came about that I was not ready for: I started to outgrow my mom’s clothes and shoes.  I forced my way into blouses and shoes best I could, and I’m sure I did some damage in the process.  She never said anything if I did.  When I came to the conclusion that her things would no longer work, I was not sure what I was going to wear, but I knew I had to have some way to dress up or I would go crazy.  There was only one option, and that was to get some things of my own, but that is another story (or twenty).

-ValS

It’s a little like therapy, and that’s a good thing

3.5 Pv2

I have been writing my first few posts with the goal of establishing a little background into myself and to the general world of cross-dressing.  However, I just wanted to take a moment and say that even though I have only been at this blogging thing a week or two, I am finding it to be incredibly satisfying!

I know it’s not really getting out there to many people (yet), just writing my thoughts and feelings down and hitting that “publish” button is extremely therapeutic!  I had hoped it would be, but I didn’t think it hit me this hard and this fast.  I’m sure my enthusiasm will temper some as it becomes more routine, but I think I will really benefit from finding this outlet.

I’m not a computer illiterate, but it is taking me a little time to get used to the program and customize all the settings.  Took me a week to figure out how to get my avatar to show, even though I uploaded the image on day one.  Oh, it’s not hard, just taking some getting used to.

I am excited to also browse through the vast universe of blogs out here and follow some of the more interesting ones.  Besides being entertaining and informative in their own right, I think I can learn a lot from them as well.

Here’s to much more rambling in the months to come!

-ValS