“And oh, my dreams… it’s never quite as it seems”

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Quite a while ago, I discussed the fact that I rarely have dreams related to cross-dressing. Until recently, I rarely had dreams at all, or if I did I simply could never remember them. Even when I know I have had a dream, my memory of the details is fleeting. It’s like the dreams are scribbled in chalk onto a brick wall, and as soon as I wake up it starts to rain… slowly washing the details away so they don’t get confused with reality.

I have always felt it was a shame that I had such a poor memory of my dreams. I think it would be very interesting to over-analyze the dreams to see what fears, desires, and loves are represented. My friend Pat had suggested that I keep a dream-log/diary to help prevent the dreams from fading away and I began to do so. Still, I had so few dreams or memories of them, that there was almost nothing to write in my little notebook. Then I had a slight change of medicines, and the dream-factory went into production.

So now recently I have had many vivid dreams. Some have been ultra-personal and others have been a bit risque, so I will keep those to myself. Most of them are not related to cross-dressing, but some of them have been and I thought I would detail those a bit in this post. These are in the order that they occurred, but they were not necessarily back-to-back occurrences:

Dream One –

I woke alone and realized I had slept quite late into the morning. I got dressed in my standard “Bob” gear, and proceeded to go downstairs to see where the family was and to get a cup of coffee. As I walked through the house I kept stopping in various rooms to look at some things. I stopped in the library to examine the various books left open on one of the tables and then stopped in the gallery to examine a beautiful painting adorning the wall opposite the great window. (I suppose I should add that we don’t have a library, nor a gallery with a great window, but it seemed like it was my home as I always knew it)

After a few minutes I heard sounds coming from the kitchen and decided to greet the family. As I walked in, one of my children said “dad’s finally awake” and my wife turned away from the stove and said “good morning”. I was about to respond when I froze in my tracks. My wife was head-to-toe decked out in one of my Valerie outfits…. cream colored silk blouse, navy blue skirt, 3.5” heels, and a lovely set of pearls. Over the skirt was one of my aprons, protecting her (my) skirt as she cooked breakfast. She looked at me strangely and asked me “what’s wrong?”. I said something to the effect of “I have just not seen you in that outfit before”. She replied that she had found several outfits like this in the closet and they obviously had to be hers, so she decided to wear it. My daughter stated she didn’t like the outfit and it seemed like something you would see in an old movie.

At that point I remember getting a plate handed to me, but the rest is fuzzy. Then I woke up. Not exactly a cross-dressing dream, but one that gave me shivers since I previously hadn’t dreamed very much. Strangely enough, I don’t recall liking the outfit on my wife, although I always assumed I would like my wife dressed in a Valerie-type style. Also, we are not the same size (unfortunately) but the outfit seemed to fit her as if it was tailor made for her.

Dream Two –

I once again awoke in my bed alone, and proceeded to get dressed. This time around I put on a blue/white polka-dotted dress with blue heels. I checked my hair and make-up in the mirror and they were perfect (even though I don’t think I had put any on after waking) and proceeded to go down stairs.

I walked into the kitchen and found no one there. I proceeded out into the living room and there were my children. All looked up and gave me a strange look. I recall sensing panic as I realized I was dressed as Valerie in front of my children, who had never seen me dressed. My oldest called out “Mom, you had better come in here” and I started to run away. Before I realized it, I was going between two houses in my neighborhood looking for a place to hide. A door opened and an ex-girlfriend yelled for me to come inside. I ran in and she said they wouldn’t look for me at her house. (This ex does not live anywhere close to me and I can’t say I even recognized the house.)

The ex looked me up and down and said “I knew it all along”. The she said something to the effect of she liked me this way better anyway. She then stated we were late and needed to get going. We walked out to her car and drove quite a distance to a building I didn’t recognize. We got out of the car and we walked into the lobby of an office building. She then said “I’ll see you after work, and have a good day”. Then she disappeared into an elevator. I didn’t know where I was, had no car, no phone, no purse or wallet. I just remember feeling stranded and helpless. I don’t remember much else and woke up soon after.

Dream Three –

Both my wife and I were getting ready to go out. She was wearing tight jeans, a sweater that showed off her curves well and some boots with a modest heel. I was wearing a typical Valerie dress with a full skirt and heels, but this dress was really low cut and I had some impressive cleavage showing. I was doing my make up and she said that I looked really pretty (not something my wife would say to Valerie). As she finished, she said she would wait for me downstairs. I finished up and grabbed my purse and headed downstairs to meet her.

I don’t remember anything about being downstairs or any interaction with my wife at this point. My next recollection is sitting with her in a movie theater. I tried to recall what movie we were seeing, but all I can remember is there were horses on the screen. That’s all I could piece together.

My next memory is being at the entrance of a bar, and the doorman asking us both for our ID. I have not been asked for ID for many years, and was a bit surprised. My wife handed her ID to the doorman who said “thank you ma’am” and then he looked at me. I remember being a bit nervous about this whole process and my wife said something about hurrying up. I reached into my purse and found my ID, and was pleased that it had my name as Valerie South and the picture was also of me in Val mode. He also said “thank you ma’am” to me and we went inside.

We were sitting at a table and already had a couple of drinks in front of us, when a man asked my wife to dance. She said no and explained she was married, and the man left. A short while later he returned and then asked me to dance. Like my wife, I started to explain that I was married and not interested. My wife interrupted and said “you’re not married”. Then she looked at me and whispered “you don’t want to look out of place” even though I am sure I already did. (actually, the way she said it I would have to think he would have heard her also). Then she said in a normal voice “one dance won’t kill you”. In a bit of a panic I was being led out to the dance floor. I remember feeling scared and a little upset that my wife pushed me into this, and I turned to look back at her to signal I needed help getting out of this. Instead of watching what was happening to me, she was gathering her things and walked right out of the bar. More panic and I suddenly woke up. I tried to remember if I followed her or what happened, but I think I was immediately conscious as soon as she had left.

I did not enjoy this dream. It wasn’t quite a nightmare, but the sense of panic, fear, vulnerability and sense of abandonment was truly unsettling.

Dream Four –

I was at work and in full “Bob-mode”. I was in some sort of training or seminar setting. There were presenters rambling on about some work related material and I couldn’t begin to tell you any of that detail. Charts were being flashed on screens and I remember not recognizing most of the people present. One of the presenters asked a question and the majority of the people raised their hands to indicate their agreement with the statement. I didn’t know whether or not to raise my hand, since I didn’t know the question. I remember thinking I had better pay attention before I get into some trouble with my superiors.

So with a renewed sense of focus I continued on listening more intently. One of the female presenters then asked the group “So how many of you here are cross-dressers?” Without hesitation I raised my hand, only to find I was the only one (at least who admitted it) and I immediately felt I had made a mistake in admitting it. One of the other presenters then started to make some notes and kept looking up at me periodically. I put my hand down and looked around at the faces of the other attendees. Most looked either amused or that they could care less about anything going on in the seminar. I woke up quickly after that.

I barely consider this to be cross-dressing related, but I did raise my hand when asked. Shorter dream, but I spent a lot of time wondering what this might say about me and my real life mindset.

Dream Five:

I was busy cleaning up the house and my wife was asking me to move some things around in preparation for some guests. It was my house, but there was a lot of clutter and several pieces of furniture that were not something I had ever seen before, but like in a few of my other dreams, it seemed so normal that I didn’t question it until reviewing the dream later. Anyway, when the room was set to my wife’s approval, she disappeared to get changed and asked me to keep an eye on the food in the kitchen.

I went into the kitchen and the only thing I could find were some store bought, prepackaged, mass-produced, over-processed, chemical crap snacks that my wife detests. But I kept an eye on them until she returned. Having changed into a really beautiful dress, she came back into the kitchen, and said thanks for the help and she was really feeling rushed getting it all together. I had no idea what the whole event was and after seeing her in the dress, asked if I needed to change into something a little bit nicer. She said I needn’t bother since it was only for her and her friends. Fair enough I thought, and went into another room to do something.

A short while later I heard guests arrive and recognized several of my wife’s friends and coworkers voices. A little while after that, my wife called out for me and asked me to come into the room where they were meeting. I went in and found they were having one of the typical “Mary Kay” cosmetic parties, where the rep comes and tries to sell you and all your friends their beauty wares, giving the hostess many discounts and freebies for arranging the captive audience. I did not recognize the “Mary Kay” lady and as soon as I entered the room she looked at me and said “perfect, she’ll do fine”. I asked what did they need, and was told they needed a blank slate on which to apply some makeup and show some techniques, and my wife had volunteered me to be the demonstration subject.

I don’t remember great detail of the makeup application process (dammit!) but once done I was amazed at the face looking at me in the mirror. Totally feminine and beautiful and honestly looked nothing like me when done up in Val mode. Several of the ladies said that if she could make me look that good, then they wanted all the makeup she had used for the demonstration. I told my wife I would like her to get it also, but she said she had already bought some different items. I told her to get these specific items for me and she looked at me strangely and said “whatever for?” as if she had no idea about my femme side. With a room full of her friends and coworkers present, I was in no position to explain or justify my desire for the makeup to my wife. Feeling disappointed and somewhat hopeless, I woke up soon after (with no makeup on).

Dream Six –

I was sitting at my desk and nothing seemed out of the ordinary, until I was called into my bosses office. I got up and started to make my way to her office and as I walked I recognized the clicking sound of heels on the tile floor. Sure enough I was wearing a very tall set of heels instead of my “Bob” work shoes. The shoes were hideous really… orange with big flowers stuck on them at the toe. I looked around to see who might have noticed and nobody was giving me or my ugly heels a second look.

When I arrived at my bosses office, she told me to come inside and have a seat. I did so, and instinctively crossed my legs leaving one shoe in plain sight. She commented that I had great taste in shoes and then walked out from behind her desk to show me that she was wearing an identical pair. She asked if I had also bought the matching purse, and I had no idea. I told her “I don’t think so”. She then went to a closet and retrieved a cardboard box that was a similar orange color and had a big flower stuck to it. She then handed it to me.

I opened the box to look at the purse inside but found it was just a box containing her personal items. She then became very angry and said it is very rude to look inside a woman’s purse without permission and that I should know that. (In case I am not being clear here, the box was the purse… even uglier than the shoes.) She told me that she would be sure to let my wife know about my rudeness and that I had better get back to work.

I left her office and attempted to walk back to my office, but I couldn’t find it. I kept going down hallways and everywhere I turned was unfamiliar. I was totally lost. I was looking for anyone so I could ask for directions, but couldn’t find anyone. At some point in the wandering process, the office building had transformed into a hospital… long sterile corridors. The hallways were empty and the clicking sound of my ugly orange heels was very loud. I continued to walk around aimlessly until I woke up.

Dream Seven:

I was sitting with my wife in our living room. We were watching television and there was a wedding program on. My wife asked me if I was disappointed about being in two weddings this year, but having to wear suits. I told her I was, but that there was no other option. She then asked me if I wanted to be a bridesmaid at her wedding. For some reason I never questioned the “her wedding” portion of the question and just immediately said yes! She told me she was excited and very please I had said yes.

She then pulled out some photographs of the dresses she had been considering, and they were all ridiculously full skirted (even for me) southern-belle type dresses. Even Scarlet O’Hara herself would have had trouble navigating a church aisle in these beauties.

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Not as full as they were in the dream, but you get the idea…

She told me they were custom made and I would have to get measured with the other girls. I don’t remember acknowledging this but the idea excited me. She said they would also be taking measurements for my bikini and sandals (huh?? but again I didn’t question it).

After we looked through the dresses, she said she had to find out if I was allowed to be her bridesmaid before we do anything else. She explained she had a meeting with the mayor of our town later that day and would find out for sure. She left the room and I heard the phone ring. I started to look for the phone and woke up to the sound my phone ringing.

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So there you go, seven of my recent cross-dressing related dreams. As of the time that I finally finished this up I have already had three more, so it is showing no signs of letting up thus far. I spent quite a bit of time writing these dreams down and rereading my notes. Several times going through this exercise I would find another detail that I had forgotten and would expand my notes. What I wrote in this post about each dream is just a condensed summary, or this post would have gone on forever. Presented here are the basics.

I am not sure exactly what this might tell me about myself, or if it just more mental gibberish pouring out of Valerie’s subconscious. I do have some theories and some ideas of what may have contributed to some parts of the dreams. However, I know that I can never be absolutely sure of any of it.

I will say this, if nothing else this whole dream exercise has been very enjoyable so far. The dream diary suggestion has been key to me pulling this off (thanks Pat!). I have been able to remember details for much longer than ever before. Not all the dreams have been wonderful, but I go through the same process anyway. If you have never done this before, I highly recommend it to each of you. It is personally rewarding and a definitely insightful. The only down-side to it all is that now I have something else that need to keep hidden from the world and need to be careful I don’t leave it where it can be found by the wrong people…

“Dream on, dream on, dream on… Dream until your dreams come true”

-ValS

NPG x128515; Vivien Leigh as Lady Hamilton in 'That Hamilton Woman' by Laszlo Willinger

Simply a-muse-ing; or another graceful day…

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My blogging routine is not what it used to be, and that is largely due to my work schedule. I have been traveling quite a bit and when I’m not the work routine can easily eat up 12 hours a day right now. A lot of the things I love (female and male) have been taking a backseat lately, and it is starting to wear on me. Add to that I have been on a new medication which has had some side-effects that are less than desirable, and I have begun to wonder if a change of career is in order.

One of the not-so-unpleasant side-effects of the meds, I have mentioned a few times already, is that I continue to have some wildly vivid dreams. I have already begun to write them out and will post some of that soon, but I am finding that as I write I tend to remember more than I initially did. This is so completely opposite of my usual experiences with dreams, and I can tell you I am enjoying it. Not so sure it is worth all the unpleasant side effects, but I’ll take what I can get.

However, none of the above is what I wanted to post today (imagine that… Valerie off on a tangent already). Today is the anniversary of my muse’s birth, and I wanted to add some more images of her beauty in celebration of her life. So happy birthday Grace Patricia Kelly, born Nov. 12th, 1929. She would have been 86 today, but unfortunately she passed away at age 52. One of the few benefits to not aging fully in public is that the vast majority of photos preserve her younger image of beauty. However, I find that even in her last photos she was still an absolute beauty!

You can call this “filler” or you can call this post whatever you like. I call this a visual expression of who Valerie is deep inside. Every time I see her image, I sigh and think that is the image I would love to achieve. She still takes my breath away and likely always will…

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-ValS

Ughh, you again?!? or… time softens some attitiudes

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Just when I began to really feel that the people of the world were becoming more and more accepting of the GLBT community, I received an email from someone who obviously was not on-board with that plan. This person not only reminded me that some people still are not accepting, but that some of these people are downright nasty and feel the need to tell me all about their beliefs.

I am not so naive to think everyone has come to accept us all, in our varied forms and lifestyles, but I did feel like it was improving. After reading the email, I wondered if this is indeed true. Are we as trans* persons (or even the broader GLBT community) being accepted more or are we just getting more exposure? Sure Caitlyn is everywhere, and more legitimate television programs are telling our stories to the world, but does it really mean acceptance is growing?

Sometimes it feels like more and more cis persons are expressing support, but I’m not sure that there are more supporters than before, but simply that the increased exposure has made it easier for those that already supported us to speak out. Sort of a “coming out” of trans* supporters. Not many more than there were before, but they are more comfortable vocalizing that support.

I should say that before I began my So Very Deep blog here on WordPress, I participated in various discussion forums on the internet. One in particular became overrun with “trolls” who seemed to make our group their personal cause. They regularly told us how we were abominations and clearly destined for a trip to Hell. I believe they were eventually banished from the forum, but I had left prior to that happening. It didn’t matter. One particular woman took it beyond the discussion forum and began to send me personal emails. I will admit I fired back at her with as much “enthusiasm” as she fired at me. However, eventually the emails waned until they just stopped… until a few weeks ago…

In and among the typical insults and ludicrous claims, there was one statement that made me stop and think…”Now the freak lover in the liberal media are giving transgressors like you to much attention but dont think that means you will ever be received by everyday people GODS PEOPLE! Your no more loved today than youwere three years ago”.

I’ll spare you the whole email as I’m sure you know the general vibe. But that statement did make me think… are we truly seeing more acceptance or are those who already accepted us just more comfortable saying so?

It is difficult for me to gauge true public perception, because I am not out to the world. I know of many sisters who pass as female and go out into the world, but that is not the acceptance I am referring to. That is blending in and hoping the world see us as we want to be seen. Nothing wrong with doing this and it is what I would like to do more, but it is fooling vs being accepted.

Maybe the world is beginning to accept us all more. One of my friends told me once that any thought or idea naturally becomes more accepted over time, even if understanding isn’t completely there. The fact that it is more mainstream means it is less shocking, then less threatening, until it becomes old news. I don’t ever see my email “pal” ever subscribing to that logic, but I can appreciate the idea.

I suppose if even just a few become more educated and accepting then we have progressed somewhat. Maybe the old saying “Time heals all wounds” does have some relevance, but I think more appropriately it should be “Time softens some attitudes”.

Well now, that is my first quote of partial substance… “Time softens some attitudes”, although I don’t expect to see it on any coffee mugs or T-shirts anytime soon. It’s not as good as “Shit Happens”, and really that’s the phrase that came to mind when I saw my old email pal back in my inbox.

She doesn’t know me here in WordPress-land, and I am glad about that. I am sort of over the idea of arguing and/or trying to install reason into persons who are simply not capable of understanding and accepting. I did however reply to her, and this is what I said:

Hello again XXXXX,

So nice to hear from you after such a long time. Yes, I am well and thank you for asking. I hope you are also doing well and am pleased to hear you are still active in your church. Please pass along my love and well wishes to the others in your group.

Love,

Valerie

As of yet I haven’t had another message or reply, but it has only been a week or so. But hey, “time softens some attitudes”. The key word here is “some”. Not all, but some… and I guess some is better than none.

-ValS

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What a revelation! …or maybe just a complete waste of time

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A friend sent me a link to a quiz that was supposed to tell you which iconic American figure you are most like, so I decided I would give it a try and see what the interwebs think of me. I was hoping for Grace Kelly (imagine that) but apparently that was not a possibility. Here was my result:

Jackie Kennedy

Jackie

It’s no wonder that everyone who meets you instantly falls in love. You are so similar to the closest thing to royalty that the U.S. has ever seen. You are charismatic and beautiful, and you have the lady-like elegance of a queen. You are a natural people person, and you put the people around you at ease.

I cant complain about the result, Jackie Kennedy is also quite a role-model for myself. However it was the line You are charismatic and beautiful, and you have the lady-like elegance of a queen.” that had me laughing. I thought, well… the internet just might be a lot more in tune with my reality than I thought. (That would be the “lady-like elegance of a queen” part, and not so much the “charismatic and beautiful” part).

From there, I took a quiz that said it could determine if I was male or female. Well it came back saying I was “most definitely a woman”, but the truth is the questions were so sexist and stereotypical that it it was downright insulting (but I still liked the answer).

That then led to the next quiz… “What Disney Princess Are You?” Turns out I am Belle. I was hoping for Cinderella and I can’t honestly say I know much about Belle, but I approve of the hair and the gown:

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From there I think I ended up taking about eight more quizzes of various topics. So what does all this mean?? Well, it means that with so few opportunities to blog lately, when I finally got an opportunity, I wasted on these worthless quizzes. But they were entertaining for a bit, and I’m still pleased with the line “lady-like elegance of a queen”. How appropriate!

So go ahead, waste some valuable time. Here is the one that sucked me in:

http://www.playbuzz.com/margaretbrown10/which-iconic-american-figure-are-you-most-like

Have fun…

-ValS

My mind opens up and more fragments come out…

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It’s been awhile since I have just opened up my mind and poured some of those random little thoughts out, so I have decided to further pollute the internet and blogosphere with more Valerie Fragments. For anyone who might not have experienced my often-times pointless ramblings, these are some of the thoughts I have that are not significant enough to warrant a full posting on their own.

Every Spare Moment:

Lately, every time I am out by myself or traveling for work (in Bob mode), I keep thinking to myself that I should be taking advantage of the alone time to buy something for Valerie. This is especially true when I am in a different town and nobody knows me. I am getting quite good at walking up to a sales counter and putting something clearly femme on the counter without giving a damn about what the sales person thinks. Make-up, pantyhose, fake nails, etc. etc. I couldn’t care less about what they think, and now I feel like I should be doing this at every opportunity. Thing is, there is really nothing I need right now, but I feel like I am missing out on a rare moment of privacy when I don’t go get something. Maybe this is the shopping gene fully developing.

No, not those…

Speaking of shopping, I recently needed to purchase another pair of sunglasses for Bob, having broken them once again. In the shop looking at the sunglasses, the layout was such that the women’s sunglasses were right next to the men’s. I could not focus on a pair of men’s sunglasses because I kept spying some fabulous feminine frames. I struggled to find a pair for Bob that were satisfactory, but could have easily purchased Valerie about three pairs. I have had this problem before with pants and shirts, but never with something so basic. Valerie’s preferences are quickly becoming synonymous with all “my” preferences. Bob rarely has a preference for anything anymore.

Don’t Look Down!

On a similar note, I was recently in an elevator with some other people that I didn’t want to engage with, so I just looked up at the ceiling and then down at the floor. Then it hit me… I have never really noticed how hideous men’s shoes are! My pumps/heels are so much more classy and beautiful than these things that I found on my feet. I might as well of had a couple of black boxes taped to my feet. Actually, I’m sure I have thought about this before, but at that moment it seemed like such a revelation. I’ll stick to looking up or just staring aimlessly ahead from now on.

What not to do…

When at work, I try to maintain genuine male mannerisms and persona. It is part of the “hiding in the closet” routine I must adhere to, however some days I let a few things slip here and there. Maybe not enough to arouse suspicion, but if one were to add it all up… a gesture here, a saying there, a compliment a guy just wouldn’t typically make, etc. But without thinking about it, when going to sit down in a meeting, I swept my hands down my rear-end and further down the backs of my thighs as if I was smoothing out my skirt and petticoat to sit down. I didn’t realize I had done it and a female co-worker asked me “What was that all about?” I made the mistake of saying “What was what?” to which she responded by describing to everyone what I had done and then conveniently demonstrated for the group. Luckily, I quickly commented I had worked out the night before and the backs of my thighs were really sore. Most of the room seemed satisfied, but she just let out a unconvinced little “uh huh”. Kind of concerning that such a feminine act was executed without an ounce of awareness on my part. Fortunately I won’t be seeing many of those folks again for a very long time.

Couldn’t have said it any better!

I was taking to a CD friend of mine, who happened to have some alone time and spent her day dressed as Linda and wandering around a fine art museum. She was searching for a favorite painting when her cellular phone broke the silence of the library-like quietness. It was her wife (who does not know about Linda) on the phone and Linda answered. While quietly trying to sound like a husband, and obviously not looking the part, Linda explained to her wife that she “had lost a Rembrandt”. Her wife’s reply was perfect… “Be a woman!” Of course she meant to stop acting like a typical man, swallow the male pride and just ask an attendant. I found the situation so amusing that I had to share it here. Mrs. South wouldn’t have to tell me that twice!

What’s in a name?

In my hours of searching for pictures of vintage 1950’s fashion, I have become acquainted with one of the first super models named Dovima. Several of her photos have adorned various posts here in So Very Deep, including this post. It wasn’t just the fashion that attracted me to her photographs, but it was also her fabulous eyebrows! Another thing I found interesting is the name. Dovima. Say it out loud and it just sounds so sophisticated. However, like many of us she picked the name, or actually crafted it. Dovima was born Dorothy Virginia Margaret Juba.  First two letters of each of her given names yields DoViMa. I love it, but then simple things sometimes impress me. Those eyebrows certainly do.

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All right, that’s enough rambling for now.  I feel the seasons beginning to change and am eagerly anticipating my return to fully femme form!  It can’t come quickly enough for me.  It’s time for me to “Be a woman!”.

-ValS

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A voice from the closet; or just making my opinions known

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I am an opinionated person. Trans* or not, both sides of my personality have insights, perspectives and viewpoints. But when it comes to trans* issues, I simply am not a good advocate. I don’t hide or deny my trans* or GLBT opinions, but I don’t actively make them known. I don’t preach nor “get on a soapbox” and sometimes I feel guilty about that.

Truth is that in trying to hide my trans*ness from the world (you know… this whole in the closet thing), I feel too self-conscious to really let me opinions be heard. It’s sort of that Shakespearean “I think the lady doth protest too much” sort of fear. The more you push the issue, the more you risk being seen in a different light…possibly leading to outing one’s self. I have been hesitant to really engage others on a variety of trans* subjects since since a friend once fired back at me in the middle of a discussion with “How the hell would you know what they think or believe?” I so wanted to answer “because I am one of them”, but all I could do is shrug my shoulders and say “just seems logical to me”. The rest of the day I received repeated looks of “is she or isn’t he?” and I have censored my tongue ever since.

Like most of you, I believe all people should have the right to be themselves without fear of harm or discrimination. Live and let live is indeed my whole outlook, unless it means someone else is being harmed or encroached upon. I mean you have to draw the line somewhere I guess. It just seems I often find myself amongst ignorant people and trans* issues seem to be taking center stage more and more often.

My desire to blend in with the crowd is often at odds with my desire to express my opinion, especially when some bigot needs a dose of reality. In my recent experiences, whenever something trans* related is being discussed with my work peers or other friends and family, it is only one or two railing against us. Most often there is no one really taking up the trans* side, and the majority of people don’t feel it needs to be hashed out (or simply don’t care). I assume these non-participants are generally on board with the “live and let live” program and don’t really care to hear arguments either way. I guess what I am getting at is that there are times where I would like to speak my mind without fear of outing myself.

When the whole Caitlin Jenner news broke, it seemed it was constantly in your face. The media was really taking the circus to a new level. I never really made a comment about it except to say “whatever she wants to do”. I don’t really have much of an interest in Caitlyn, even being trans*. She just seems to be riding the same media/reality chaos that the Kardashian clan has perfected. Didn’t seem that “brave” to me. Try doing the same thing at 15 years old with no fame, sponsors, and cash while attending a public school. That would take bravery.

The only reason I mention Caitlin is because at one point I received a text from a friend that said “Caitlin Jenner’s dog:” and there was a picture of a cat. I’m sure he was expecting me to make some equally distasteful response, but I ignored it. When he point blank asked me what I thought, I just said I don’t find people’s struggles and life choices to something to be made light of. I haven’t heard from him since, and that’s OK with me.

Now more recently, there have a number of debates going on about transgender kids in schools and which bathroom and locker room should they use. In one very close school district, a transgender girl asked the administration if she could use the girls facilities to change and go to the bathroom. The school gave her permission to use the bathroom and locker room of the gender she identified with… and all hell broke loose in the community.

This one is difficult for me. I absolutely understand and support her right to use the girl’s bathroom etc., but I can also understand why some parents don’t want what they see as a boy in their daughters’ changing rooms and showers. Few people seem to get the idea that sex and gender are not the same thing, unless you have been blessed with perspectives like we have. I heard multiple times “but he’s not a girl”. Now before you cuss me too much, you also have to understand that another person in the same community then also claimed to be transgender and wanted to be able to change and shower with the girls. This individual has never before claimed to be transgender and most don’t believe it to be true. But how can anyone say yes to one and no to another? The debate rages on even now.

I am just so uncomfortable tackling these issues publicly, so I keep my thoughts to myself… until I can’t help but just speak out. Being in the closet is a such a mental constraint sometimes that I often think I should just come out and let the chips fall where they may. Big talk, but I’m not willing to risk my life and family.

I am thankful that there are more and more of us (you) that are out and willing to speak up on such issues. Even on non-trans* issues, I am just not an activist. Opinionated? Yes! Outspoken? Not so much. I really would like to change that.

I know it’s just paranoia (again). I just need to find a way to present my opinions and beliefs on any issue I have an opinion on, especially trans*. I can discuss other issues without feeling like I am assumed to be part of the group or position I am defending. Trans* issues have been simply “too close to home” for my comfort, but I pledge to change that as our causes now begin to get more and more of the attention they deserve. I need to be able to educate people with my perspective, and keep them thinking it is the opinion of just an average person. And if they think I might just have some personal involvement in the issue beyond the (hopefully) obvious… well I just have to put that in the category of que sera, sera and get on with my life.

-ValS

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Seems to me you don’t wanna talk about it… Seems to me you just turn your pretty head and walk away

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Yeah… it’s been a while. 120 days actually…

Being in the “off-season” has been very difficult for me to manage this year. For the first time in my life I feel what can only be described as dysphoria. I have always struggled with the return to male form each spring and summer, but this year is different.

This time around the dissatisfaction and discontent are almost like a constant irritation. The word that come to mind is “querulousness”. Seems like a totally appropriate word to me in my current state. In years past, the roles and responsibilities that come about in the warmer months have seemed to keep my mind occupied… well maybe “fooled” is a better way to look it. The problem appears to be the more I explore my obsession with feminine form and clothing, the more I grow, the more I keep my mind in Valerie’s world…. the harder the male months become.

I have gotten some wishes, and now it is very hard to get the Jeanie (intentional) back in the bottle.

Most of us have said this before… “I look in the mirror and what I see doesn’t match up with what I feel”. This happened to me the other day. I stopped and stared at myself in a mirror and I thought to myself… “who the hell are you?” I stared so long that my wife asked what I was doing. All I could say was “just looking”.

I have been saturated. I reached a point where every waking minute was consumed with some sort of thought or desire about being Valerie. This isn’t balanced anymore. This isn’t right, and it surely can’t be healthy.

I went from saturation to saturnine, and I wasn’t sure what to do. So I just walked away.

I took off my heels and walked away from everything Valerie. I didn’t purge, in fact I have never purged. I know I will be back in femme form soon enough and would regret it. I’m not disgusted with my trans-ness, I just think I needed a serious break. This last winter the pink fog somehow seemed to become a pink binding. I think what it really amounts to is that I am a little scared of where this is going. I am also afraid that I may pass (and may already have) certain “points of no return”.

I haven’t been blogging, chatting, emailing, reading, or even web/window shopping. I was hoping that shutting down everything related to Valerie would allow me to let the male side of me back into the driver’s seat for awhile, and re-institute the balance I have been able to maintain for so long.

It didn’t really work. I still seem to be consumed with thoughts and desires of a femme nature. Instead of 50/50, my current normal state is more like 80/20. I feel more femme now than I ever have in my life. Summer has long been a time of masculine pursuits, but not this year. Even a forced break didn’t ease the situation.

It’s possible my current state is related to some changes I have recently gone through with my medicines. Dosages were adjusted and a couple of changes to the basic mix of meds. It has had a positive effect on my condition, but there have been some side effects. This general state of gender blah may be one of them.

One thing I have noticed is that I have dreamed more in the last few months than I have in years. Vivid dreams, almost nightly. Previously, I had rarely dreamed at all, or could rarely remember having dreams. Some are Valerie related and some are not. For those that are related to my cross-dressing, I immediately took some notes in a notebook I am now keeping at my bedside. (Thanks for the suggestion Pat) Once I get them translated and my thoughts organized, I will describe some of these here.

For those that emailed me recently and expressed concern over “where I’ve been” or “if I am OK” , first of all let me say thank you. I appreciate your concern but I really am fine in the grand scheme of things. I am just simply trying to force balance and the cosmos is pushing back hard at me. The emails were nice, but I didn’t intend to create worry. If I did, I apologize.

Writing this entry has been difficult. I had been away for such an extended time, that I honestly didn’t know exactly how to get back in. I’ve never really been one to tell you what I have been up to, and prefer to just ramble on about the thoughts in my mind at the given moment. Organizing those thoughts has indeed been a challenge today.

So here is what I know (not much different than before):

Valerie is a huge part of who I am. Closet or not, she is me.

I still enjoy many aspects of being male. I just can’t force one side or the other at any given time.

I love my family and my role in my family life, that still takes precedence.

I don’t want to be a woman, but I would like to live as one.

I just love feminine and vintage things.

I still can ramble on about virtually nothing.

I have missed blogging and indulging in other blogs.

Fall/winter is coming and my femme desires may be more intense than ever.

I really don’t know where any of this will take me.

I love this aspect of my being, but it simultaneously scares the hell out of me.

-ValS

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