Lights! Camera! Ah, Nevermind…

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One of the posts I’ve made that drove a considerable amount of interaction was about what I felt were the top songs about cross-dressing. Since that time I have had several song suggestions and even a few complete lists from some readers. Many of the songs were new to me and many were ones that I probably should have included. It was a fun topic.

Along with the song suggestions, I also received a couple of suggestions to do the same sort of thing with movies about cross-dressing. Truth is while I enjoy songs about cross-dressing or something similar, I largely detest the movies that touch on the subject.

I just don’t feel that the vast majority of “cross-dressing” movies actually deal with the issue of cross-dressing or transgenderism at all. In fact, I feel like they treat the subject as a joke or in a negative light.

Even before the CD song post, I have been asked if I liked movies like Tootsie or Mrs. Doubtfire, and honestly I don’t. Both movies are not about cross-dressers or any type transgender issue. In fact, it treats the fact that they dress in women’s clothes as a sort of punishment. Both Dustin Hoffman and Robin Williams are forced to dress and impersonate women just to get a job or just to simply spend time with his children. It’s amazing to what lengths these poor guys will go! (Yes, it’s sarcasm)

The body suit that Robin Williams wears is similar to the one Martin Lawrence wears in Big Momma’s House, which is another movie where the main character (undercover cop) goes through extenuating circumstances (i.e.) cross-dressing, to accomplish his mission.

Sure there are funny scenes in all the films, and I don’t hate them. I just don’t like them and definitely don’t feel like I should like them just because they end up wearing women’s clothes (not really cross-dressing).

Even if you go back to 1959’s Some Like It Hot, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon only dress like women to escape pursuit by the mob. Forced to wear women’s clothes (poor guys) to stay alive. I do happen to like that movie, but then it’s not because of the “cross-dressing”, it’s a fifties thing…

Then there’s To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar. While the three ladies are not forced to dress like women, it’s just a silly movie. They do cross-dress, but the idea that three CDs save a whole red-neck town is just silly to me. Just not my kind of movie. I like a little more depth in my subject matter.

What I struggle with is the movies that have substance, but makes us cross-dressers look like mental cases and/or monsters… such as Psycho and Silence Of The Lambs. Both are great movies, but I cringe every time I see the cross-dressing portions, especially in Silence… The guy is killing and skinning women to make a woman suit… Oh my god! Great horrific imagery, but not so great for public opinion! Then there’s the scene where he tucks his “stuff” between his legs and says out loud…”I’d fuck me”. I love the movies, but can’t really express how uncomfortable those scenes make me.

Honestly, the only two movies that deal with cross-dressing or a real transgender individual are Just Like A Woman (CD) and Dallas Buyers Club (transgender character). Both deal with real TG scenarios and people struggling/dealing with the realities of their worlds. Not comedies, no characters in goofy women suits, and not mental threats to society… just stories about people.

In all fairness, I do love Rocky Horror Picture Show. RHPS is not deep nor is it a celluloid rendition of a literary classic. It’s just goofy and over-the-top fun. Liking it probably contradicts a few of the things I mentioned above, but there you go…

So no, I can’t do a movie list. There are just not enough movies dealing with cross-dressing or TG issues that I like. I know there are many I didn’t mention and this is not meant to be a complete list. It’s just the movies that came to mind as I sat down to write this.

The movies I really like are probably just like the movies other people like. Those with good stories and good acting. Movies like The Shawshank Redemption and 12 Years a Slave. Nothing to do with cross-dressing, just good movies. I could make quite an extensive list of this type of movie, and you could be sure Rear Window would be on it just for having Grace in it!

-ValS

Two of a kind… over-analyzing everything

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Samantha K. is a good friend of mine that I met several years ago in a cross-dressers chat room. We have always gotten along well in the virtually reality we exist together in, and have shared many good times, along with some downright awful times. She is the one person I have found that seems to be almost just like me (no 1950’s fashion queen, but we all can’t be perfect!).

We are both married cross-dressers who live out our female existences in the closet. One of the reasons we get along so well is that we are both randomly scatter-brained and can easily find ourselves way out on a tangent, wondering how we got onto some crazy topics. However, CD related or not, they are usually very good discussions with some good thoughts and perspectives.

In a recent email, Samantha asked where I was hiding since I had not frequented the discussion room for awhile, and was everything OK?  I assured her it was, and that I had been spending so much time on other sites and projects, that I just haven’t had as much spare time as usual. She chastised me accordingly and I promised to be around more often, which I will do since I miss the conversations.

Samantha knows I have been enjoying this blog and the whole WordPress community, and has recently started to visit some of the blogs I have talked about. That’s right girls, she has been peeking into some of your online souls recently and last weekend she couldn’t wait to talk about something that had occurred to her while exploring.

First of all, let me just say this… Samantha was against my starting to blog and refused to participate herself. She felt that to girls like us in the closet, this was far too risky. For a long time I agreed, but eventually said “Que sera, sera” and away I went. While she has loosened up a bit, she won’t be blogging herself or commenting anything soon. However, I sense that the variety and unique personalities found in the blogosphere has made quite an impression, so we’ll see where it leads…

OK, back on topic! Samantha and I had a chance to converse this last weekend and she had a lot to say! First and foremost she was impressed with the openness and honesty she felt. I can attest to the fact that when you primarily visit cross-dressing forums, the trolls and disingenuous persons are plentiful, so much that you have to wonder how much is true and how much is BS. Sometimes it can get overwhelming, but she felt the blogs were genuine and refreshing. I whole heartedly agree!

The deepest part of the conversation centered around the fact that there were quite a few more transsexuals vs. cross-dressers. We talked quite a bit about if we are the same, but just in different points of acceptance and denial, or were we truly different types of TG people. As the conversation progressed we began to wonder which is better. Is it better to be a cross-dresser or a transsexual? Is it better to be either one or none at all? Could it also be looked at as which is worse? A pretty deep conversation ensued. Let me explain…

After reading some of the posts, Samantha felt like the vast majority of TS were in some form of constant discomfort. They were in the wrong bodies and it caused them everything from anguish to disgust to depression. Such torment that could only be remedied by transitioning and putting all the wrongs right.

I guess to a degree I feel that same emotion present when I read some of the blogs, but not the utter distress that Samantha was interpreting. I myself have moments of extreme desire and urge, but would be hard pressed to describe it as agony. Maybe I’m wrong.

One of the things SK and I have discussed many times (probably too many times) is why do we have this urge to dress like women? I’m a guy that wants to dress and look like a woman, and have no real clue why. SK is the same, drawn to feminine things even though we know they are not things guys typically should desire. Why?

The conversation then turned to the blogs again, and SK felt that the TS group knows why they have the desires they have… because they are women! There has to be some peace in knowing what is driving all those feelings and desires. CDs largely feel that there is a feminine force influencing our every thought and fascination with all things girly. SK and I are not women inside, we know and accept that. So what’s the explanation for our situation? This is largely why I feel I have a split personality as a cross-dresser vs. one personality in the wrong gender vessel. I have also said it is like having an addiction that causes us to act against the “male norm” even though we know we shouldn’t want to do this. At times it is maddening! So yes, I do think it would be nice to know why.

I often will look at myself in the mirror and feel disgust at my eyebrows. The older I get, the longer and wilder the brow hairs become… and I hate it! If anyone were to really look at my eyebrows, they would probably think they are anything but masculine. I tweeze, shape, and trim quite frequently. Still, when I look in the mirror, I still see masculine “caterpillars” that need attention. So I find myself tweezing more, even though I know I am going too far as a guy and they will likely get noticed by some people (women especially) out in the real world. I can’t help it. I will even comment to myself that I am going to regret doing this as I am tweezing, but Valerie quickly tells me to be quiet and “sissy-up”.

If I was truly a woman in a man’s body, this reaction would make more sense to me. So what does that say about me? I really am a woman and just haven’t come to terms with it? I don’t believe that is the case. So I am back to the beginning… we CDs just don’t understand why we dress and try to look like women. We just do and are mostly happy with the explanation that we just enjoy it… our tastes are just a little different than most guys.

Samantha and I know we over-analyze things way too much. It just what we do, and we enjoy it. The discussion we had was much more detailed than what I can describe here, but this was the gist of it. To really tear the issue apart, it would have been nice to have some perspective from someone who is a transsexual, transitioned or not. It is very apparent at times like this that while we are frequently lumped into the same category of transgendered, there is a vast array of individualism in there that the general population doesn’t understand, or maybe just doesn’t care to understand. I have said it before and will say it again… we may be in the same boat, but we have rooms on different decks.

I’m glad I spent some time over-analyzing life with Ms. K again recently. It is one of the things that keeps me sane (if I am) in the “off-season”. I am just thankful there is someone else in this world that can also start talking about men dressing as women and end up talking about life on Mars or why people will pay $1.50 for a bottle of water, and complain about the price of gas/petrol. There are still many, many, many things for us to over-analyze!

-ValS

Just a little in the middle

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One of the things I have struggled with as a cross-dresser over the years is body weight. I have been up and down for a variety of reasons, but this time I think I am finally headed the right way.

Way back when I first started dressing in my mother’s skirts and blouses, there was a point where my growing male body fit perfectly into her things. The waist sizes, the shoulders, and even the shoe sizes all worked out right. Those were some great times, as I had literally had access to a full female wardrobe. Unfortunately genetics decided to put an end to this as I began to outgrow almost all dimensions of my mother’s things. Sadly, I came to the realization that I needed my own female things, or I would end up ruining my mothers.

One thing I have always been very good at is gaining weight. Actually, it might just be my greatest talent. I love to eat all kinds of foods and that pleasure is only matched by my love of all kinds of beers/ales. With this in mind, I was able to effortlessly put on weight.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t really want to gain weight… it just happened. The older I get, there more effortless it became. Now to be totally honest, at one point I liked the weight gain, because my whole physique became soft and round. Even though I was plus sized, there was nothing powerful or muscular about my build. My adams apple was completely obscured (not really very big anyway) and I was able to create some impressive cleavage using a boob belt. All these things helped me to feel exceedingly feminine, but only to a point.

Being brutally honest, I didn’t like being fat. I enjoyed the cleavage, but there was really little else good about being big. I topped out at about 260 lbs (118 kgs or 18 stone, 8 lbs).

I didn’t feel great, couldn’t keep up with the kids in anything, and probably wasn’t too healthy. Any of these realities should have been enough of a reason to make a change in my lifestyle, but they didn’t… at least not by themselves.

I could (and did) get women’s clothes in larger sizes, but they weren’t the feminine articles I really wanted. Once I had come to the conclusion that the fashions of the 1950’s were where my heart was, I started focusing on those vintage skirts and dresses. The problem is that women in the 1950’s were smaller on the average. Most of the items I found and fell in love with were simply too small for my larger frame. It was the desire to get my hands on more of the real vintage fashions that pushed me to lose some weight (sad but true).

So I have been at it now for about eight months, and to date I am down about 55 lbs (25 kgs or 3 stone, 13 lbs). I do feel much better and I am losing dress sizes! I am seeing a much greater selection of vintage items available in my range, but I know there will be even more as I continue to lose more weight. I actually get excited when I weight in and see I have lost some more weight and know that means the selection of vintage clothing is increasing conversely.

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One thing that has not escaped my attention is that most of women wearing the fashion I prefer (full skirts and petticoats) have that iconic “wasp waist” look that at this point I could only dream of having. Tight tops, tiny waists, and full, poufy skirts are so enticing to me. That 50’s hourglass silhouette… it is the look I really want, but once again genetics will be working against me. Guys, even ones in great shape, just don’t achieve Barbie doll thin waists.

Betty Brosmer... the original living Barbia Doll.

Betty Brosmer… the original living Barbia Doll.

Truth is most women didn’t achieve those wasp waists without some assistance, namely the corset. So now I am infatuated with the idea of getting a corset and beginning to train my waist down several inches smaller than what I could achieve through normal means. I have just started reading and researching the subject of “waist training” and I have a lot to learn, but I am truly enamored with the idea of wearing a tight laced corset.

This would be the type worn just at the waist, not right up to the breast or under-breast. So far I know that to be truly effective in training, they need to be worn at least 12-14 hours a day (i.e.) almost every waking moment. The idea of wearing one to work is not so ideal, especially when feigning a masculine existence! So I am thinking of wearing one at all times, outside of work and mostly at night. I haven’t quite figured this all out yet, but I gather for some reason wearing a corset at night while sleeping is much less effective. Figures!

Another thing I have considered and not yet figured out how to handle is my wife. I’m pretty sure she will not be in favor of the corset plan. Once I have a bit more understanding, I will have to explore the idea with her. Just based on experience, I am sure she will think I have fallen a little farther down into the rabbit hole and oppose the idea. But we shall see. Of course I still would have to hide it from everyone else in my personal life, and that would still be a challenge. The good news is it should be easier under all the winter clothing that will soon be coming out of the closet, even if I am not.

After writing this, I took a minute to think about the corset idea and all that Valerie has become. Once again I have taken the cross-dressing to a new level (or would like to). Again, I have to wonder… just where will it end?

-ValS