Taken completely by surprise!

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Obviously, one of the greatest fears I have is being outed as a cross-dresser to family, friends, co-workers etc. That is the main theme of this blog, being a cross-dresser and hidden away in the closet. Like it or not, that is the world of Valerie South.

So you could understand the intense shock I had when I recently received this text from a family member:

“Word is you are coming out TG”

I froze in my tracks and felt a sense of fear unlike anything I had felt in a long, long time. What happened? Who said what? How could this happen? I was truly in shock and didn’t know how I should respond to this text. Do I respond at all? Do I act like I have no idea what they are talking about? My world was spinning as though I had just found out I had lost my job or someone was in an accident. I truly didn’t know how to respond.

After a few hours, I thought I had to respond in some fashion. Ignoring it would only get me by temporarily. I needed to find out who may have heard me say something or may have seen something I left out. Somehow I must have blown it.

Then it occurred to me that the only person who could have spread the “word” about me being a cross-dresser would be my wife, and that just didn’t make sense. She is the one who most wants us to keep that secret between us. Maybe she is the one who slipped up and let it out accidentally. I thought maybe I should ask her if she knew what was going on. I dreaded that idea, because if she had not been aware, then she would likely be in a state of shock upon hearing this also. This could quickly spiral out of control.

At this point I was literally shaking.

After a few minutes during which I contemplated taking up smoking, I began to wonder if this could end up being a good thing. Maybe my wife and this person had discussed this and they were now part of the “privileged few” who knew of Valerie. That sort of panicked me a little also… would they want to meet Valerie? Following along this train of thought, I began to wonder if there might have been a reason for my wife to open up to this family member about me. Was she no longer able to keep this bottled up, or did something happen to make my wife reveal some incredibly personal things about us?

The unknown was truly daunting.

The one good thing about receiving this text message from this particular person is that they are absolutely the most liberal person I know. If anyone would be accepting of Valerie, it would be this person. No doubt about it. It was a small point of solace, but at this point I needed any I could get.

I couldn’t bring myself to respond and no further texts came from this person. I also didn’t say a word to my wife when I saw her later in the day. Maybe if I just ignored the text and stuck my head in the sand, the whole thing would just go away. Since this had become my grand (weak) plan, I then deleted the text like I had never received it.

Two days went by and I heard nothing from anyone. I was still worried about it, but not nearly in the panic I was on day one. It was in the back of my mind, and I still thought about it every few hours. At this point I decided to let whatever happens happen… Que sera, sera, as I like to say.

Then it did happen, the very next day. In the middle of a grocery store I see this person standing at the end of the aisle. Too late, they had already seen me and were walking straight towards me. Looked like I finally would have to pull my head out of the sand, fix my hair and makeup, and face the music!

Here’s how it went down:

Them: “Hey, you never answered my text!”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. I never saw it”

Them: “ Suuuuuure you didn’t…”

Me: “My phone has been acting up lately” (nervous laugh)

Them: “That’s OK, I was just commenting we would be seeing each other soon for Thanksgiving.”

At this point, I swear I may have heard some angels singing “Hallelujah”. I’ll bet the sigh of relief I let out probably made this person wonder what the heck was wrong with me. But I didn’t care, I was not “outed” after all.

TG… Thanksgiving… damn texting abbreviations! Almost gave me a heart attack. Not to mention if I had said something in response, I could have totally outed myself for no reason. Whhhhheeeeeeewwwww!

With that catastrophe averted, I could return myself to the solitude of the closet. However, I will honestly admit the idea of having another accepting person in Valerie’s life was not unpleasant.

So anyway, whether or not you celebrate it where you are, Happy Thanksgiving! That’s THANKSGIVING… not TG.

-ValS

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An apology of sorts…

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Since my recent computer issues, I have been very busy catching up with the many blogs I read, as well as chatting with the others that connect through other means, and I am starting to make some headway! I was overwhelmed with how quickly I fell behind and started to feel bad about how long it was taking to even acknowledge some communications. If you were one of the “delayed”, please accept my humblest apologies. I will get back to each of you… promise!

Unless it is spam or some troll just looking to give me grief about being a cross-dresser, I always intend to respond or acknowledge the comment or email. My girl Samantha calls it one of my fatal flaws… the need to acknowledge everyone or be guilt ridden. She also thinks I have another flaw to where I need to get the last word in. Neither could be farther than the truth (maybe). I just think that if you take the time to write, you deserve a response. To me it’s simply a matter of courtesy. I don’t consider it a flaw at all, although it does cause me to get way behind some times (like recently).

I don’t mind if I email someone and they don’t respond. I rationalize that unless I was waiting for a specific answer to a question, no reply is necessary. Still, I have a hard time doing that when I receive an email. I don’t want anyone to think I am ignoring them, so I feel the need to respond… to emails, discussion forums strings, comments on the blog, statements in a chat room, etc. OK, maybe it is a bit much.

Samantha once joked that I probably also respond to “junk mail” advertising that I receive at home. Ha! Nice try, but I consider that in the same bucket as spam email.

Now, the real irony of this post is the fact that my male persona is the exact opposite. Unless it’s critical that I respond to you, I read/listen and delete. That’s where it ends. No chit/chat coming from the male side.

Val is a social butterfly, and loves to interact. Mr Val is not so much, and often gets accused of being antisocial. It just figures that the side of me that wants to get out and interact with the world is also the side of me that is kept locked away from the world. I often say that Valerie is a walking contradiction and this a perfect example.

Anyway, I didn’t intend for this to be a long post, just a group acknowledgment and apology if necessary. I will eventually catch all the way up, but I am not rushing it or taking shortcuts. That is something Valerie won’t consider… fatal flaws or not!

-ValS

Sophistic desiderata… filling the voids

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A couple of posts ago, I mentioned that I have a “thing for Barbie dolls”. It was a topic on my list that I knew eventually I would blog about, but I didn’t think it would be anytime in the immediate future. Then I read a recent post by my friend Kirsty, where she described the overwhelming joy she felt as she dressed in a formal gown for a recent event. When I read her account of how seeing herself in her true form symbolically allowed her to “fill in” some events she was denied in life, it really touched me.

Silly as it sounds, Barbie dolls do the same thing for me now. They are one of the things that I really wanted as a child and simply could not have because I was a boy. I have always been mesmerized by the elaborate ball gowns and fancy hair-dos that Barbie had, and I so wanted my own Barbie. I knew I could never ask my parents for one, so I just continued to envy every girl that had one or what seemed like twenty (no girl I knew had just one).

One year I did ask my parents for a Batman “action figure” for Christmas. For all intents and purposes, it was a doll. A boys doll, but calling it an “action figure” made it less doll-like. I got the Batman and a Superman “action figure” for Christmas that year and liked them. But both Batman and Superman came in costume and that’s where it ended. There were no gowns or jewelry, and they didn’t come with a brush to comb their hair (Superman’s hair was hard plastic and Batman had a permanent mask on). They both had boots and Batman had a utility belt, but they weren’t the shoes and belts I was interested in. They were nice, but they weren’t Barbies.

I never really played with them much, in fact I just would put them in various poses and leave them around my room. One of my siblings would occasionally take Superman and whilst yelling their best “Up, up and away!” would launch him into flight across the house. On one such occasion, Superman was left lying in the middle of the dining room floor. When my father came home from work and saw it, he immediately told me to get my DOLL out of his sight. I could sense the disgust he felt in saying it and remember it vividly to this day.

My father was never abusive to me and never even said much about me being the least bit effeminate in my youth. I didn’t think I was then, but it is plainly obvious to me now that I clearly was. Still, even though his distaste was apparent in the “DOLL” comment, I don’t want anyone to have the impression he was anything but a good father to me. Still, it left me keeping any further “action figure” desires to myself.

Flash forward to now. My son has action figures, but they really are action figures… hard plastic molded figures and are nothing close to a doll. He has nothing close to a doll, except maybe some old stuffed animals. He never asked for anything like a doll and I am glad. Truth is anytime he remotely comes close to anything feminine, I gently encourage him in a more masculine direction. Hypocritical? Sure is, but I don’t do it to deny him… I do it out of fear that he will possibly end up like me, and certainly don’t want that for him.

As I have said countless times, I love who I am and love having a strong feminine side. I love understanding aspects of the female world that most guys will never comprehend. I love the joy and satisfaction I get presenting as a woman. Without Valerie, I wouldn’t be me. So why wouldn’t I want my son to experience the same things? Well, simply because it would be so much easier to just be a regular guy and not have to worry ALL-THE-TIME about getting caught. If he did end up like me, I would love and support him anyway, but I just don’t want to “encourage”it.

Now, back to my father… the “DOLL” comment was one of the few times I ever sensed his displeasure with my less than boyish ways. As I said, I know I was not a typical boy, because I have siblings and a boy of my own. I was never like them. I never took things apart for no reason. I never was mechanically inclined. I hated to get dirty. I didn’t really “rough-house” or “horse-play” with other boys. I wasn’t really good a sports. And yes, I loved Barbies. No normal boys I know of love Barbies (although I can’t understand why).

But ever since that comment, I did wonder if I was a disappointment to my father. He was always a good father, but just can’t help but think that was because he was a good man, and that is what he was supposed to do. Deep down, maybe he recognized what I was and as long as it wasn’t thrown in his face (or left on the dining room floor) he could live with it. On the other hand, maybe he had just had a bad day at work, and the “DOLL” incident was nothing more than a little frustration that just so happened to come my way, when no fault of my own really.

I’ll never really know. My father passed away several years ago and even if I ever got the courage to ask, the opportunity is now gone… God rest his soul (love ya Dad!).

If you have read my older posts, you may recall that I struggle with Christianity in a big way. I don’t want to get too deep into the religion argument here, but I do wonder if my father is able to look down into the world and see us. I wonder if he now has a complete understanding of who and what I am, and honestly wonder what he thinks if he has “seen” me all dolled up as Valerie (pun intended). Do souls in heaven feel disgust? Would he care that I look more like a daughter than a son? Is something so petty as gender roles even considered in heaven? I guess I really don’t think so. Maybe the departed have no idea what is going on here in the mortal world, and my secret is still safe. I guess maybe one day I’ll find out, then again, maybe I won’t.

So sometimes when I walk by and see one of my Barbies sitting on a shelf in the original packaging, I will think to myself…”now THAT is a doll, not a silly “action figure!”. So yes,I have a thing for Barbies and she fills a void in Valerie’s childhood that provides me with endless pleasure. I don’t expect anyone to understand it, but it is true. My children all think the Barbies belong to my wife, and that is fine. Soon she will likely have to explain to them why she just bought a new Grace Kelly Barbie. She’ll roll her eyes at me as she comes up with some explanation, or maybe she will tell them it is their father’s new “action figure”.

-ValS

It’s just about that time girls!

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So here we are, right in the middle of my favorite time of the year… Autumn! Fall! Harvest time! Pre-winter! OK, I am out of seasonal synonyms, so that will have to suffice. The real story is that I am now just about ready to begin to transform back into Valerie! Well, that is transform as much as a cross-dresser can without outing herself to the world at-large.

I just have to be sure there is no final heatwave coming at me before I start losing all the body hair. That happened to me once before. It had been reasonably cold for several days and the sweaters, coats, and jeans were out in full force. I couldn’t wait any longer and at the first opportunity shaved every inch of body hair. I categorically despise it! So what happens? A late fall burst of warm weather comes our way and everyone rejoices… except me.

It was 85˚F/30˚C for the entire weekend and everyone wanted to get out and enjoy the last splash of summer while we could. So while everyone was in shorts and t-shirts, I was in long sleeves and jeans. And it wasn’t fun! I found myself “explaining” my situation to many people. “Not feeling so well, still feel a bit chilly…” I swore I would not make that mistake again. Extended forecasts on the weather channel and nightly news have my constant attention.

Still, Valerie is very impatient and ready to get this exercise in fur reduction underway! Right now it seems that mother nature is on the same game plan I am right now. Nothing but cold on the horizon that I am seeing. As a matter of fact, they even forecasted a little snow for us on a couple of days! Everyone around me is cursing the upcoming seasons, but yet I am excited. I am getting those typical “you’re so backwards” looks from people as the weather is brought up in conversations, but I can’t hide my pleasure with the situation.

The change is season also means I need to do some Valerie shopping soon. Not all things survive the “off season” as well as others, particularly makeup. Seems that sitting idle for 7-8 months can take it’s toll on some things quite harshly. I noticed that the basics are the worst, things like foundation and concealer makeup. They seem to separate out a bit and just aren’t the same as they were when new. Does makeup have an expiration date? Seems like it does, but no dates are printed on the containers. I guess I just don’t use it up at the same pace as others do. I wish I did…

I usually go out on a restocking shopping trip to get myself back into dressing mode. Even simple things like deodorant and typically anything with a scent has to be restocked. At the end of the trip, I am always amazed at the expense of it all. Women have a real burden with all these costs!

One thing I never EVER complain about with my wife is the amount of money she spends on makeup. She has a blank check in this department and she knows it. Still, she doesn’t abuse it. I am far more “wasteful” with makeup than she is, simply because I keep throwing out “expired” product. Ounce for ounce, she gets many more miles out of what she buys than I unfortunately do.

She also knows that I understand that there is a huge difference in makeup quality, and doesn’t need to try to explain why the “expensive” is a better buy in the long run. I have bought her more expensive makeup items as gifts from the makeup counters in some fine department stores. Sales girls even comment that they think it’s great that I am able to do it for my wife. Seems typical guys don’t really know much about eyeliners and such. Hard to believe, but it’s true!

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Actually I am frequently amazed at how comfortable I am walking up to a makeup counter and discussing makeup with the sales girl… when it’s for my wife. Seriously, if I was buying it for myself, I would instantly feel like she knows it’s for me and I would tense up and freak out. It’s purely psychological, because I honestly couldn’t care less if she knew it was for me.

Again I digress… back to the preseason shopping trip. I will have to do a quick inventory of things and make myself a list. Then I need to convince my wife to go shopping with me. That’s right, to keep it all nicely tucked away in the closet, I need my wife to come along as cover. None of this stuff is for me… it’s all my wife’s! Yep, that’s my story should anyone see us.

Of course I will need to bribe her with a few items for her for her participation, it’s the least I can do. She will reluctantly help me out, and I love her for it. I’m sure she will make some teasing comments about being gay or being a sissy, but that’s all just part of the routine with us. As usual I won’t have much of a defense as we wander around the store with a cart full of base/concealer, nail polish, false eyelash glue, stockings, and any other completely un-masculine things a cross-dresser needs.

Yes, it’s that time again, and I am as giddy as a schoolgirl! (not sure if that makes sense to a lot of you, but it is a frequent saying around here) My head is full of feminine thoughts, quite distracting in reality. This is the “pink fog” making it’s way back to Southland, and it is coming back as a force to be reckoned with!

-ValS