Sing me away…

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We finally had some wonderful spring weather on the weekend, so I had an opportunity to get outside and get some of those outdoor projects taken care of. I spent the entire day catching up on all those jobs that I could only think about all winter long, and I enjoyed it!

I had a radio on for most of my time outdoors, as that along with the sunshine and fresh air makes the work seem more like play. I had my regular radio station on; it’s rock/classic rock for me on most days. I wasn’t thinking about anything related to gender or cross-dressing at all when all of a sudden “Lola” comes on the radio. Yes, that’s L-O-L-A, Lola.

I stopped what I was doing and sang along like it was the National Anthem playing.

When it was over, I had a Val South smile on my face and began thinking of other songs related to cross-dressing or other gender bending, and began to put them in a “Top Ten” list in my mind.

Half way through I thought I had should write this list down on my blog, so here it is. Val’s list of the top CD’ing songs:

10. “What It Feels Like For A Girl” – Madonna… not a big Madonna fan, but you just can’t resist lyrics like “But secretly you’d love to know what it’s like. Wouldn’t you? What it feels like for a girl.”

9. “Dude Looks Like A Lady” – Aerosmith… I am a big Aerosmith fan, especially the older material. Truth is I am sort of tired of this song, which was grossly overplayed when it came out, but it does get straight to the point… Dude does look like a lady!

8. “Get Back” – The Beatles… “Sweet Loretta Martin thought she was a woman, but she was another man…” poor girl, I know the feeling…

7. “Sweet Transvestite” – Tim Curry… from the Rocky Horror soundtrack. Great sing along tune (no gay/show tune comments please)…”I’m just a sweet transvestite, from transsexual, Transylvania”

6. “Strange Night” – Heart… big Heart fan. Just a song about a woman dressing up her man and taking “her” out for a Strange Night. Sounds good to me!

5. “Ob La Di, Ob La Da” – The Beatles… Last verse…“Desmond stays at home and does his pretty face, and in the evening she a singer with the band”. Just remember…” Ob La Di, Ob La Da, life goes on, bra!”

4. “Rebel, Rebel” – David Bowie… Mr. Bowie is sort of a classic rock gender-bender in his own right. Songs not really about a cross-dresser, but I always loved the line “You’ve got your mother in a whirl, she’s not sure if you’re a boy or a girl…”

3. “As Girls Go” – Susan Vega…this song actually gave me goose-bumps the first time I heard it…”What happened to you, to make you more girl than girls are?” Damn good question Susan!

2. “Walk On The Wild Side” – Lou Reed… what a classic! “Plucked her eyebrows on the way, shaved her legs and then he was a she, she says hey babe, take a walk on the wild side”. Thinking about it makes me start singing “Do-da-do-da-do-da-do-do-do…” over and over.

1. “Lola” – The Kinks… the one and only, greatest CD/TG song in my mind!

“Girls will be boys and boys will be girls,
It’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world,
Except for Lola. Lo Lo Lo Lola. Lo Lo Lo Lola.

Well I’d left home just a week before
And I’d never ever kissed a woman before
Lola smiled and took me by the hand
She said, “Little boy, gonna make you a man.

Well I’m not the world’s most masculine man
But I know what I am and I’m glad I’m a man
And so is Lola.

So there it is… As soon as I put this list together, I thought of a few more, but still think this is the “Top Ten”. Kind of fun to put together and share. If you have a favorite that didn’t make my list, please let me know in the comments. If I don’t know it, I will definitely check it out!

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Keep singing!

-ValS

Happy (belated) Easter!

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It was a busy Easter week and weekend here at Southland Estates.  So busy in fact, that it cut into my regular writing/blogging routine.  Just far too many people around and kids out of school, for me to get any real privacy. Just one of the many challenges of being in the closet.  Sometimes, you just have to “put it away” for awhile.  Still, it was a nice Easter weekend… weather was nice and got to spend some time with some family.

I used to love Easter as a child.  Waking up to find that the Easter Bunny had left us some goodies in a basket was great!  Back then, those Easter basket goodies were 95% chocolate, which was heaven to me.  I have an extreme weakness/love for all things chocolate!

As I grew into my teens and became more aware of the fairer sex, I used to look forward to Easter because the girls/women would go all out with the Easter dresses and hats.  I had already realized that women dressed to the hilt in feminine dress were more attractive to me, than to most of my friends. On a regular basis, I was always attracted to the women I saw working in offices… secretaries or executives… didn’t matter.  They just mostly wore dresses and heels and I found that immensely attractive.  Where my friends could plaster their bedrooms with posters swimsuit models at the pool, I would have preferred posters of the secretarial pool.

Anyway, Easter Sunday at church was like the ultimate feminine dress day and I would be surrounded by many beautiful things!  Now, the women I know now don’t all get dressed up to the degree that I liked, but there were still plenty who did.  Pretty dresses, hats, heels, and purses were definitely out there to behold!

I checked these women out to the nth degree.  Maybe a little too much considering I was with my wife and family.  But the point is I was no longer looking at them with sexual motivations.  I wasn’t looking at them as “hot women”.  I was looking at them to see what they were wearing.  What did I think of her dress, her shoes and accessories, even her hat or hair.  This is what I have become.  I no longer “check out the babes”! I critique and admire the fashion… and many times felt jealous.

I have noticed this happening more and more over the years.  One time I was watching a woman walking down the mall and she had a fabulous dress on.  Honestly I would have loved to ask her where she got it, but couldn’t.  The shoes were perfect too.  What a sight!  At some point, my wife said “Hello!  You are with your wife here!”  She had been asking me a question and I was oblivious.  She then asked me if I wanted to go ask for her phone number and I’m sure I blushed, but she was assuming I was looking at the woman in a sexual way.  Truth is I only wanted the name of the store where she shopped, but I was too embarrassed to tell my wife the truth.

This is just another part of my male self that has deteriorated away, leaving me as more and more an androgynous being.  I have no interest in porn or guys magazines, but give me the Macy’s catalog or an issue of Vogue and I’m all wide eyed!

I accept that this is what Valerie South is and has become, and fortunately my wife has too.  I still look forward to Easter for all the wrong reasons, that is what it has become for me.  I wouldn’t mind going to the Kentucky Derby sometime for the same reason.  My wife might like to go for the horses and the gambling, but I would be there for the dresses, hats, shoes, etc.

Anyway, I hope you all had a Happy Easter!

-ValS

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Shelter Me

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So pleased to know they had shelters just for us CDs!

So pleased to know they had shelters just for us CDs!


Heard this just the other day and thought it couldn’t be more timely…

From SHELTER ME

Everybody needs a little place they can hide
Somewhere to call their own
Don’t let nobody inside
Every now and then we all need to let go
For some it’s a doctor, for me it’s rock and roll

For some it’s a bottle
For some it’s a pill
Some people wave the Bible cause it’s givin’ them a thrill
I was one to figure if they don’t like what they see
If you live in a glass house don’t be throwing rocks at me

We all need a little shelter
Just a little helper to get us by
We all need a little shelter
Just a little helper, ooh and it’ll be alright!

************

Thanks to Tom Keifer and Cinderella for some appropriate words!  Speaking of Cinderella… well the other Cinderella… some other appropriate words and one of my favorite quotes:

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-ValS

Are you there God? It’s me, Valerie…

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Note: This was written a few weeks ago, but I hesitated to post it because it seemed to be a touchy subject, and maybe a bit harsh. However, in light of a few recent comments, I have decided to let it fly…

Being a cross-dresser has lead me to question religion and the entire Judeo-Christian belief system. I am not an atheist, but I now have to consider myself some form of agnostic.

First of all let me start out by saying I respect each and every person’s beliefs and opinions. I am not trying to win anyone over to my way of thinking in this post; I am just trying to explain my thoughts. I welcome any counter opinions or criticisms and will consider all that are presented.

My first point is that I was born this way. Preach all you want that it is a “choice”, but I’m telling you that is totally false. I do choose to dress up as a woman and to go with the desires, but I didn’t choose to have this need. It has been present in my being as long as I can remember; it didn’t just start one day.

Secondly, nothing in my developmental years or in my family life caused this to happen to me. I had a very normal childhood, with normal loving parents, and was never abused in any way, shape, or form. There was no trauma in my life to blame. As I said, I was just born this way.

I just have to wonder if God is all knowing and love us, why would he/she have made me this way? Why give me predominantly masculine features, and then give me such a feminine mindset? Just seems like a bad joke. Even if God did indeed make me this way, masculine body/feminine soul, why would he/she then declare me an abomination and a sinner destined for hell? It does say in the bible that a man will not wear the garments of a woman (see Deuteronomy 22:5) for the specifics.

I personally don’t think that a God who could create the universe, world, and all of us would get hung up on something as petty as clothing type. We are talking about a supernatural, ultimate being getting bent about something so typically inconsequential. It is a human emotion, this dislike of my wearing a dress. It is xenophobia, an unreasonable fear or hatred of something (or someone) who seems foreign or strange. I just can’t fathom the ultimate being, our creator, suffering from something as human as this.

I don’t mean to bash religion. I just think where humans are involved, human bias and chauvinism will infect and shape the end result. Such is my belief of the Bible. Based on something, but screwed up by humans.

So as I said, I’m not an atheist. I believe there has to be something more to this existence than it all just happened by chance, from nothing. That seems equally ludicrous to me. I just think the truth lies somewhere in between and I think at this point we have it all wrong.

I don’t accept the blind answer that cross-dressing is a sin because it says so in the Bible. There are so many contradictions and inaccuracies in there, that if it were any other reference book, it would be tossed out for lack of consistency. But that is a whole different conversation…

So you can tell me I’m a sinner and going to hell, as a few of the emails I received have declared. I simply don’t buy into it. Tell me why, without saying “because it says so in the Bible”. Why would God care that I am wearing a skirt instead of pants and more than he/she cares that I am wearing white instead of green? Give me some rationale that I can think about that isn’t just based on an idea that certain garments are for women.

Let’s go with the Bible story for a minute. Adam and Eve realized they were naked after the woman ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge, and then coerced the man into doing the same. Then they wore fig leaves to cover themselves. After God admonishes the woman for going against the rules, he/she tells her she will have extreme pains in childbirth as punishment and will be ruled over by her man. Then God made them garments of skin and clothed them. Then he/she kicked them out of Eden.

If God had such an intense desire for the garment he made for Eden to only be worn by a woman, why didn’t he/she say it then, when he/she was laying out the ground rules for them both? Seems to me that it was irrelevant, and just covered them. From that point on, any development in clothing, whether it is functional or stylistic, was of human creation. If I’m missing something here, let me know.

I could go on for hours on this topic, whether related to cross-dressing or just analyzing the Bible or religions at all. Again, I don’t mean to upset anyone, I just can’t reconcile my being with the whole idea of religion. I will continue to dress as a woman because it is who I am. I am the way God made me if you want my rationale, with equal amounts of ambiguity.

I would like to some answers to this as well as the hundred of other questions cross-dressing leads me to ask. However, like most of the other questions, there are no readily available answers, and I’m not sure there ever will be.

…by the way, that picture is SO appropriate on multiple levels!  😉

-ValS

Mirror, mirror… just another narcissister here

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Whether or not we will admit it, one thing that I believe all of us cross-dressers do repeatedly when en femme is check ourselves out in any and all mirrors available. It’s partially because we tend to be narcissists to a degree. Who doesn’t want to look good? In our cases, it is usually because we have an image in mind that we want to achieve, and when we pull it off, it is pleasing. So then we enjoy looking at it.

However, there are a few other reasons I think we tend to check ourselves out in the mirror a little too much:

One of the biggest reasons we look at our reflections is to judge whether or not we “pass”. Closeted or totally out to the world, we don’t want to look like guys who are trying to look like women. So we think “if I saw myself out in the world, would I notice I am a guy?” For those of us in the closet, it is one of the biggest confidence builders to go outside. If I look convincing as a woman and not likely to draw attention to myself, then maybe I will go. If I come off looking like Fred Flintstone in a dress, then maybe I will stay in the safe confines of my closet. Some will disagree with me, but I think all the CDs that dress and present 100% female, really do want to pass.

Another reason we just love to gaze upon our feminine reflections is that we are amazed at what we can become. I mean there have been times that I have looked and just been mesmerized at the image looking back at me. There have been a few looks that I have put together where I swear I look like a family member (female of course) and that can give you some chills. Actually it can give you a chill when you see that family member again when you’re not dressed up, but that is another story.

Another reason, and one I have repeatedly experienced when dressing up, is it is odd to see a reflection and actually have it match with the image we have in our mind of ourselves. That was a mouthful, so let me restate that. When I am in guy mode, I still feel like Valerie and that is the image of myself I have in my mind. When I look at myself in the mirror in guy mode, the image does not match what I feel I look like (jump in psychologists…) When I look in the mirror as Valerie and it matches with what my mind expects (wants?) to see, it gives you a strange sense of balance and satisfaction. So pleasing is that sense that I keep looking as often as I can. I understand how hard it is for any non cross-dressers to understand that sense of completeness, but I can assure you it is very real.

One last point I will make is not so much an explanation of why I look at my femme self in the mirror, but more of a phenomenon I experience every once-in-awhile when I do. Ninety-nine times out a hundred I see an image of myself that makes sense. One that gives that afore mentioned sense of completeness. But that one time out of the hundred I look at myself and think “what the hell are you doing??” Sometimes I even laugh. Then as quickly as it happened, my inner girl beats down those anti-girly thoughts, and I again see myself in a pleasing way. (another ideal psychological moment of exploration I suppose).

Mirrors are a closeted CDs friend, much the same way that pictures are for those CDs who are out to the world. However, to those of us in the closet, pictures are too permanent and too easy to spread to the masses. They are “evidence” for lack of a better word, especially now with digital cameras. Maybe years ago you could claim that the picture was at Halloween time or a fancy dress party, but now they get stamped with a date that can destroy your alibi in seconds. Hmmm… Halloween in December??

But I digress… (as usual)

So we look at our femme reflections for various reasons, and I supposed we always will. My observations don’t speak for anyone but myself, but I have spoken to enough CDs over the years to know the majority (that I have spoken to) pretty much agree. One of my regular CD contacts over the years used to refer to us as “Narcissisters”, and that pretty much sums it up for me.

-ValS

I am SO excited to get this !!!!

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I am so excited about this that I just had to share. I just ordered a book entitled The New Look, The Dior Revolution which could have also been called The Valerie South Encyclopedia of Inspiration.

The book is 176 pages of pictures and history of the revolutionary Dior look that came about in 1947, after the close of World War II. The silhouette was characterized by a small, nipped-in waist and a full skirt falling below mid-calf length, which emphasized the bust and hips. At a time of post-war fabric restrictions, Dior used up to twenty yards of extravagant fabrics for his creations, favoring luxury textiles. The New Look became extremely popular, its full-skirted silhouette influencing other fashion designers well into the 1950s, and Dior gained a number of prominent clients from Hollywood, the United States, and the European aristocracy. As a result, Paris, which had fallen from its position as the capital of the fashion world after WWII, regained its preeminence. The New Look was welcomed in Western Europe as a refreshing antidote to the austerity of wartime and de-feminizing uniforms, and was embraced by stylish women such as Princess Margaret in the UK.

Anyone who has read my blog basically knows that Dior’s “New Look” is South’s “Old Look”. I am excited to read deep into the history and style, and to check out the hundreds of pictures, which I love. I can’t wait for this to arrive so I can waste countless hours poring through it.

Grace would be pleased…

-ValS

I was nominated for the Lighthouse Award! “So Very Deep” is so very honored!

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I was nominated for the Lighthouse Award! I am honored, especially when you consider I have not been at this blogging thing very long. Since I have started, I have found it to be a fantastic experience and it brings me a lot of enjoyment and personal satisfaction. This award nomination is just icing on the cake.

One of the main reasons I am honored to have been nominated is because I was nominated by a blogger that I quickly found to be an inspiration. As a newbie, I was looking at many blogs for ideas and inspiration, and Mimi’s blog became one of the blogs I was quickly drawn to. Psychologistmimi is great blog that covers a plethora of subjects and experiences in categories such as the workplace, travel, food, family, and more. Mimi is an inspiration in the blogging world and beyond. Pay her a visit and tell her Valerie South sent ya!

The rules of the nomination (listed below) indicate that I also get to nominate some blogs for the Lighthouse Award “for blogs that bring light to a dark world”. While there are many blogs out there that deal with some seriously credible subjects, I can’t nominate them all. So I chose to just focus on those blogs that help bring light to my dark closet, and nominate a few fellow cross-dressers that are posting often about beginning to venture outside their closeted boundaries. Our blogs may not appeal to everyone, but within our circle it is wonderful to have others to share common feelings and experiences with, and to just know we are not alone. They are Kirsty’s World & Ruth’s Odyssey. Both have been inspiring to me and I live a little vicariously through them.

The rules also state I need to list three ways that I like to help other people, so here goes.

  1. I am a listener – sometimes people just want to talk things out and have a sympathetic ear. I am one of those people. I will let you get it off your chest without being judgmental.       Of course if you want an honest opinion, see point #2.
  2. I will give honest feedback – not to be mean, but simply to be honest. Too many people will tell you what you want to hear, and not what you need to hear.
  3. I smile and say hello – years ago after walking by people day in and day out who are stuck in the daily grind of the rate-race, I decided I would say hello or good morning and smile at everyone I could. Enough of this blank look or staring at the ground to avoid eye contact people!       Smiling and saying hello starts you on a pleasant path.

The last rule is that I have to “HAVE FUN!” Well, that one is already in the bag. I am having fun and look forward to having much more. Thanks again Mimi!

“The Rules” of the Lighthouse Award:

  1. Display the Award certificate on your blog.
  2. Write a post and link back to the blogger that nominated you.
  3. Inform your nominees of their award nominations
  4. Share three ways that you like to help other people.
  5. There is no limit to the number of people that you can nominate.
  6.  HAVE FUN!!!

-ValS