Wrapping up 2015; and looking forward…

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So here we go into year number 3 in the blogging world. 2015 came and went in what seemed like a flash. Many transgender issues were cast into the public spotlight throughout the year… some good things and some not-so good. However, at least they are being “discussed” (I use that term loosely, depending on who is doing the discussing). Years ago the very same topics wouldn’t get the same level of exposure in the media like they do today, and certainly the good people of the world wouldn’t be confabulating about them openly.

I look around at many of the trans* persons I have come to know and I see so much growth and exploration. I am thrilled for these people, and also envious. The only growth I have achieved over the last year was a quick trip out as Valerie with my wife, and I am not sure it had an overall great effect on our relationship. It was personally monumental at the time, but now seems like ancient history.

So here I sit, comfortably huddled in my closet of reclusion, really just being the same person I was last year at this time. Yes, I lost all vestiges of hirsuteness, painted up my toes, and even spent some days dressed in bliss over the last month or so, but I haven’t progressed a bit. I’m not complaining as much as I am stating the obvious… that is the life of a closeted cross-dresser.

I really haven’t had the opportunity to do much more recently, as I have all my children off school and at home over the holiday break. The last will resume studies next week, so I hope to have some more free time back soon. Then I can read and write more without a nosy body saying “what’cha reading” or “what are you writing” as they try to steal a glimpse of my screen. Once, while reading a trans* person’s blog, my youngest plopped down beside me and said “Can I play too?” I just quickly minimized the page and said that “I’m not sure this is something you would like to play”, and the response was “More work stuff?” Sure, that’s it… more work stuff.

The holidays were wonderful really. I enjoyed the time off work and spent with family and friends. All dressing desires aside, everything was very enjoyable… even a Christmas family dinner event…

Somehow during dinner, the conversation turned to politics. Not surprising really, as my wife and family are very politically aware and yes… opinionated. Where I live in the US, it is the norm… very conservative and vocal people. As I have said before, I love my family, friends and neighbors, but we have somewhat different beliefs and attitudes, which is fine.

On the other hand (the one with bright red, long fingernails…), both Valerie and my “Bob” are not overly political. In fact I rarely discuss politics in either world. In this blog, you will not find I am out to change the world or push an agenda… right or left. Many of my trans* sisters and cis friends do that, and I support their right to do so. It’s just not me.

Anyway, back to dinner conversation…

The whole gun control topic came up and it was a rather one-sided conversation. I think besides myself, there was only one other adult male there who didn’t own a firearm. Actually, some of the women there have them and a few have concealed-carry licenses. Not a revelation to me.

I have mentioned before that many in my wife’s family are active hunters, and frequently I will get asked if I want to go hunting with them. They know the response will always be no, but they will say “Just checking to see if you changed your mind.”. This time around, one of my brothers in-law asked me when I was going to get a gun, to which I replied “never”. But it was his response that made me smile… he said, “We can get you a small one that you can fit in your purse.” suggesting that a man without a gun is not a man (feel free to flex and grunt accordingly). I know he was just kidding, but I wanted to say “All my purses are pretty small, and with my make-up and things I carry I just won’t have room.”. Then as quickly as the topic came up, it changed to something less volatile. Overall, it was a very enjoyable holiday.

So now I turn my attention to 2016 and moving forward., hoping for some of that growth myself. I only have so much winter left and intend to take advantage of it. I am continuing to build a more modern Valerie wardrobe and am truly enjoying the shopping so far. Turns out I might just have a modern side after all!

The most limiting factor at the moment is money. Once I got over the vintage bias and started to find some current fashions I liked, I spent more money on Valerie than I have for quite some time. It’s worth it though, and I’m not done yet. It’s a good thing I will be winning $1.3 billion in the powerball drawing this upcoming Wednesday! Haven’t you heard?? It’s all part of the Valerie South plan!

-ValS

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Hello, can we talk?

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In a very recent post, I mentioned that my wife and daughter had come across a young man that they clearly thought had to be a cross-dresser. I also mentioned that I fought the urge to go in and see for myself.

I’m not sure what I would have said or done, if anything, if I would have gone in to look at these “obvious long and pink fingernails”. If I would have said to him/her something along the lines of “I love your nails”, how would she have reacted? Would she have said thanks? Would she have gone into some detail? Would she have ignored the comment? Would she (he?) have been offended?

Truth is none of us knew why this individual had long pink fingernails. Maybe he lost a bet and his girlfriend put him up to it. Maybe he was test subject for his sister that was in cosmetology school. Far fetched? Absolutely, but the point is one can’t just assume she was a cross-dresser. Now that I am a couple weeks removed, I’m glad I didn’t go in and gawk or make a comment I may have later regretted.

But how should the CD/TG/TG etiquette play out in a situation where we come across what we think is a kindred spirit? Since in 99% of the cases, the individual will be just trying to blend in, should we just continue on as if we are unaware there is anything other than a woman there? Clearly I wouldn’t want to make anyone more self conscious or out them. On the surface, this seems like the best option to me.

Would it make a difference if we are both dressed as women? Does that make it less threatening than if a “guy” approached them and let them know they are also transgendered? Again, I think that person would just be like “yeah, great, now get the hell away from me!”

On the other hand, having another person with you may make you less noticeable. Especially if the other person is a guy and treating you like the woman you are presenting as. Maybe not.

I like talking to other cross-dressers and TG people (obviously). If I were dressed in public, trying to blend in, and someone approached me to talk about cross-dressing, I wouldn’t truly know what their motivation to approach me is. Are they a kindred spirit and just wanting to talk? Are they curious and just checking out the situation? Are they amused and hoping to get a selfie with the queen to post of Facebook? As closeted as I am, I would probably assume the worst and remove myself from the situation.

Then there is the possibility that what I think is a kindred spirit is in fact a GG (genetic or genuine girl). How embarrassing for the both of us! How insulting to her!! Oh sorry, I thought you were a cross-dresser and not a woman. That individual would likely have already had similar comments hurled at her, and I would have just then sunk her to a new low in self esteem.

Nope, no way, can’t do it. The more I ramble, the more I am convincing myself that there is no good way to approach this or reasonable outcome that could occur. Best to just smile in a friendly way, and go about your business.

There should be a way to ID each other out in the world without too much difficulty. That way you could participate if you wanted or not if you were uncomfortable. Sort of the secret “handshake” mentality. Displaying the sign would be a way to publicly say “I’m one of us lucky ones” and the normal folk would be oblivious to its meaning. But in the end, the secret would get leaked, and everyone one would know that anyone displaying such a sign was a cross-dresser, and thus defeat the purpose.

So my wife and daughter saw what they thought was a cross-dresser. The mere mention of it kept my mind wondering for several hours at the possibilities of what the true situation was. I also kept thinking that it would be nice to look at my hands on the steering wheel and see some long pink fingernails (actually red would preferred, of course) and I was a bit jealous. No, I was a lot jealous. Maybe one day soon… 😉

-ValS

I’ve finally found the place where I belong

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Whilst on my previously mentioned vacation at the beach (aka holiday at the seaside), I came upon no shortage of tourist trinkets for sale on virtually every street corner we came across. Whatever memento you may want, they had it… shells with the locale painted onto them, hats, t-shirts, salt-water taffy, shark teeth, and even hermit crabs. What more could a cross-dresser want?? Well actually, a lot more.

My kids bought a few items to take home and thought it was the greatest stuff on Earth. Who am I to judge? Obviously everyone places different values on things, especially us CDs, so I was fine with them getting a few minor souvenirs to take home.

Not only did they have a few hundred t-shirts promoting everything of the ocean/beach lifestyle, they had an enormous selection of novelty t-shirts. While waiting on my family to shop for their critical treasures, I was looking at some of these shirts. Plenty of “Keep Calm and ________” (fill in the blank with any of a few hundred slogans) and Justin Bieber selections. There were some humorous shirts and some pretty risqué, but nothing I would buy and wear… except for one that caught my eye.

There on the wall was a shirt that pretty much summed up my persona in the most appropriate way possible. Across the top it said “I’ve finally found the place where I belong”. Underneath was an image of the characters who resided on the Isle of Misfit Toys from the classic Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer television show. How absolutely perfect!

This was the pace that all unwanted and defective toys ended up. Along with the elf that didn’t want to make toys (remember he wanted to be a dentist!), was Rudolf and his non-conforming nose, the Charlie in the box (not Jack), the polka dotted elephant, the Dolly (not really sure what was wrong with her), a bird that swims instead of flies, a cowboy that rides an ostrich, a train with square wheels, a boat that doesn’t float, and airplane that doesn’t fly, and a water pistol that shoots jelly!  Who better to join them on the isle, than the man who dresses like a 1950’s housewife?

I didn’t buy the shirt, although I easily could have. It’s not that a t-shirt really isn’t something I’d wear in my male life. In fact, I frequently wear a concert t-shirt of one band or another on my personal time. It really wouldn’t be too out of place. However, I didn’t really want to have to explain to anyone and everyone exactly why I felt I belonged on the Isle of Misfit Toys. When you are in the closet, you keep your head down and you lay low. This just seemed like it was asking for attention and trouble, especially from my deaf, dumb, and blind neighbors who just may think I fit in, even though I don’t go hunting or muddin’, etc.

As perfect a statement as it was, the t-shirt needed to remain on the wall. It struck me as funny that for the first time I couldn’t wear something typically masculine, because of my cross-dressing. Talk about irony. That’s exactly the type of thing that justifies my membership on the Isle of Misfit Toys!

Now, if I remember correctly, in the end Santa ends up delivering the misfit toys to all the girls and boys and everyone lives “happily ever after”! So this means one of two possible things… 1) This is a sign that eventually I will come out and get to live with all the normal people as a defective (but accepted) toy girl cross-dresser, or 2) real estate has gotten cheap on the Isle of Misfit Toys and I should make my relocation move quickly while it is still a buyer’s market! Who knows, there could be a nice Barbie’s Dream House available on some beach front property! 😉

-ValS

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A wonderful holiday… and more rambling

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For the last 10+ days I have been on vacation, or as my European friends call it, on holiday! It was a great time spent at the beach with some of my favorite things… ocean, sand, sun, family and beer.

It was a much needed break from all the realities and responsibilities of the adult world. Both my male and female sides thoroughly enjoyed it and came out the other side feeling much more centered. Well, that is as “centered” as one can be when splitting between two genders. Maybe “calm” is a better term to use here.

I am now in the process of digging out from all that responsibility that builds up while you are away. Those of you that have jobs or other responsibilities that get put on hold while you are out will understand. My wife has the type of job where someone else fills her role while she’s gone, leaving only a few critical items for her to attend to when she returns. On the other hand, I need to work 80 hours to get ahead of my vacation, and then will spend another 80 dealing with what has amassed since I have been gone. No worries though, it comes with the territory and it’s worth it to get away for awhile. Not to mention you are never truly away with modern technology. But, this is not what I wanted to focus on, so enough of the work stuff…

Many of the times I was enjoying a cold beverage on the beach, sitting back and soaking up some sun, my mind began to wander and ponder. That has a nice ring to it… “wander and ponder”… maybe that it what this blog should be called. Nah, “So Very Deep” is a keeper!

But again, I digress… anyway, I had a few thoughts that I wanted to mention here. They are not really significant on their own, so I can’t post a blog about each topic. So instead, I thought I would just touch on the relevant CD/TG musings (Pat’s word, thanks Pat!).

1.  When a CD is a generally young, say under 30, the gender-bending seems kind of harmless and almost a bit wild and adventurous. As we get older, it starts to lose some of the mystique and I fear it starts to feel a bit creepy to the general public. It seems as if the general public looks at an older male that dresses as a woman and no longer thinks of her as adventurous, but starts to assign the dreaded “pervert” label. I spent a lot of time people watching and wondering who might be a CD, one of those “1 in 20” I have talked about, and found myself thinking about the “creepy” feel when I considered some of the older people. I am getting older myself and don’t like the idea of being thought of this way, even if I am in the closet. Hopefully I’m wrong, but I don’t think so.

2.  Pink is associated with females and likewise blue is associated with males. If you mix pink and blue together, you should get some sort of lavender, which could possibly be more of an appropriate CD/TG color. If you add too much blue, it starts to turn a bit gray, which I associate with a general “blah” or depressing feel. Hmmm, that’s starting to makes sense now… And btw, shouldn’t there be some pink on the LGBT rainbow flags???  I know, not part of the proper rainbow… left out again… 😉

3.  There was quite a bit of music blaring out of the loudspeakers at the bar next to the hotel pool. It did make me smile to hear some Lady Gaga and watch my daughter sing along to the lyrics of “Born This Way”. Specifically… “don’t be a drag, just be a queen!” Thankfully she didn’t point at me when she was singing, but it did give me a big smile!

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4.  I would love to be able to wear a modern day women’s bikini swimsuit. Some of them are so sexy and attractive, and the feminine body is so beautiful!  This is one item of clothing that Valerie doesn’t lean towards the 1950’s style, although I do like them too.  But with the body I have, there is no way I could pull it off successfully. Maybe the 1950’s style is more appropriate anyway. I was checking these women out and thinking I am SO jealous of those bodies. Not what most guys think, but then again, I’m not like most guys!

5.  As we were leaving to head back to “Southland”, we stopped in a gas station to fuel up before the long drive home.       I filled up the vehicle while my wife and daughter went in to get some drinks and snacks. They came out talking about the clerk who rang them up, a young man with long pink fingernails. My daughter said “I think he’s a cross-dresser” and my wife sarcastically said “do you think??” then she winked at me. I fought the urge to go in and look for myself, but I thought about those pink nails for a few hundred miles.  At least my daughter didn’t go on about how odd or disgusting she thought it was, she just made the comment and moved on.

So that’s about it for my vacation ramblings. Soon I will get caught up on blogging and reading/commenting on some of the blogs I follow. Seems I have to dig out in Valerie’s world as well as my professional world. This is much more fun though!

-ValS