I was luckier than most girls. Transgenderism never posed any major problems. However, this has a lot less to do with my daily lifestyle, than with my attitude towards it.
Before we get to all that?
Here's a few other related sections you might find useful:
Do You Already Know a Crossdresser?
What's Up with all these different labels?
Important Terminology in the Transgender Community
Additional Slangs and Terminology
Problems Associated with Transgender Labels
Telling Your Friends You're Transgender
Crossdressing in Public
Making Transgender Friends
Your Evolution as a Transgender Lady
Finding Happiness in a Dress
I follow three basic rules for trans-happiness:
1. Accept the gift of transgenderism.
A blind person does not choose to be blind. You did not choose the color of your eyes or skin. Neither of us chose to be transgendered - we are, simply - who we are. To be happiest? You simply must learn to appreciate this facet of your life & the gifts it offers.
2. Don't let your life get in the way of your transgenderism...and don't let your transgenderism get in the way of your life.
Unfortunately, being tg can make for some embarrassing moments over the course of your life. These problems can be reduced if you learn to share your gift with a select number of your closest non -t friends. Guard against becoming obsessed with the pleasure you derive from your tg activities. Balance is the key to long term happiness - in all areas of your life.
3. Make transgender friends.
There is nothing more powerful than sharing thoughts and ideas with sympathetic friends. (By sympathetic - I mean sharing a common interest). I have learned this to be a powerful tool in my business endeavors. I find I get similar advantages in my tg activities. Making tg friends will help you better explore your sense of feminine sexuality. It will make it more fun as well.
The gift of being transgendered
I am always been taken back by girls who profess being tg is like having a curse. I believe being transgendered is perhaps the most precious gift you will receive in the course of your life. I've always had trouble accepting gifts. It took me a while to embrace this one. I hope you're smarter than I was.
The most obvious reason is the fact you'll be in a position to experience the sensuality of both sexes. You'll enjoy the intensity and eroticism most easily apprehended by your male side, and the sensitivity and real passion that only a woman can understand. That combination is very special.
One benefit that is often overlooked, is how it tends to make us non-prejudicial. I never felt I was judgmental before embracing my transgenderism. I can assure you, I am not now. Learning to appreciate people are born with traits different from our own - which they cannot change even if they so desired - can be a whole new beginning for many individuals. It makes life so much more fun.
Another benefit? The ability to appreciate even the simplest of feminine frustrations is heightened immensely. We finally comprehend why you can't wear the same dress, in front of the same crowd - more than once!
I could go on and on. Each of us appreciates this gift in different ways. However, it is very important to recognize your transgenderism as a gift - if you are going to enjoy it.
The hassles that come with the gift of being transgender
Unfortunately, that age old law of physics regarding opposite reactions, holds true in the tg arena. Being transgendered does have its costs.
One problem is the sheer economics. To fully explore your transgenderism, you have to build and maintain two separate wardrobes. If your weight changes, you are talking twice the expense to update your inventory. We should get a special tax credit!
Of course, there is always the hassle of dealing with existing norms within society. Nobody forgets that first time they got caught...the pounding of the chest...the silent promise: If I get out of this, I'm never going to dress again....
We live in a society that loves to point out differences. Why do you think Tabloid newspapers are so successful? It's quite sad. How many people have not at least tried some form of drugs? Yet we have a media that makes a mongo issue of a presidential candidate that admits to having tried them as well.
I do not take drugs. However, I don't want a nerd or religious right winger in the White House, who is not open minded about the realities of life in the good ol US of A. The media continues with these onslaughts, because we patronize the station or publication that is most controversial.
You will face challenges with your transgenderism because some people simply will not understand it. However, if you take the time to better understand - and appreciate it - you'll have a much better time getting others to accept your unique sense of sexuality.
Getting everyone to understand this is a gift - and not a liability - is of benefit - to all of us.
Standard Transgender Issues
Everyone will face challenges specific to their particular life. However, there are a handful we all tend to have to deal with:
It is important you plan in advance on how you'll deal with getting caught en fem. Why? Because you will get caught along the way. The more often you dress, the likelihood of being discovered increases several fold. How you handle this depends a lot upon who actually catches you.
Experience will teach you to tell those closest to you about your transgenderism as soon as possible. This significantly reduces the problems that arise from discovery. By doing so, you stand a much better chance for successful understanding. You get to set the environment for how they discover this little secret. If you have any gay friends that have come out, they will be quick to tell you the empowered feeling you'll have - when you no longer live life in total secrecy.
Usually, you will inherently know who you can tell. My favorite method of sharing it with someone new, is to show them a photo of Renee en fem. Sometimes, I've just put a framed photo on my desk when my friend stopped by, and responded to their question of who is in the photo. Most people envision a crossdresser as quite ugly. We all have our bad hair days, but the right picture, can make any of us look pretty good. Use this to your advantage when educating a neophyte. It will go a long way in helping them to understand.
I do feel it is important to develop some form of written crisis plan if indiscretion is a concern. The last time you will want to make rapid decisions is with pressure bearing down on your bra. Think through who you could call to help, what you will say and explain to people who might be affected. Not only will this save you a lot of turmoil should a nightmare arise, but it will also act as a reminder of how important it is to stay on your particular path of righteousness. Catch my drift, GF?? ::))
Telling others you are transgender
There is some great advice from my sisters on-line regarding the exact procedures for telling a loved one about your desire to express your female side. I found the link below to be one of the better ones I read.
I think most early stage gals fret too much over telling others and would benefit more by focusing on finding safe ways to cross dress - without interfering with the lives of these people you feel you must tell.
In general, the key is to success is to focus on talking, listening & loving. Isn't that always the case?? ::)) Also, you will find a letter from one of my old friends on what it was like to learn about "Renee". He offers some excellent insights as well.
Purging - the act of getting rid of all your fem inventory due to a feeling of shame - is a common problem amongst us. I know a lot of girls who have gone through various stages of purging. I never did, for the simple reason that I'm so economy minded. I wasn't about to throw stuff away, that I spent hard earned money buying. Basically, I'm cheap! *grin*
If you feel the urge, try this: box it up, and wait 30 days before you decide to toss anything. After this cooling off period, if you still feel it can't fit into your life - toss the box(es) at that time. Actually, I'd suggest you sell the stuff on e-bay, or give it to another girl - versus tossing it. I use this same rule in making significant art purchases. Time has a powerful influence on our sanity. ::))
To shave your body - or not
Nothing finalizes your fem appearance quite like shaving the hair from your body. Problem is, people tend to look at you a little funny when they see you in this manner as a guy. Ironically, one of the most troublesome areas to shave is your legs. A lot of men don't have much hair on their chest to begin with, and it has become socially acceptable to shave it off. This is particularly true amongst younger males. However, if you'll look around, you'll notice a lot of guys don't have much hair on their legs either!
Want to know something funny? I get more stares at my smoothly shaven legs while I'm dressed as a guy from women - than I do men. I've actually had them stop in their tracks to look at them. Guess why? Because our legs usually look more feminine than theirs once we take the hair off. *Grin* Hey, we deserve some advantage, don't we?
The change of seasons can be your friend in this department. A lot of t-girls don't shave in the summer, so they don't have the issue come up when wearing shorts. However, come winter, they stay smooth all the time.
I stay smooth all over year round. I simply don't wear shorts very often. It's a trade off I have learned to live with. When I do get a question or strange look from a friend, I either tell them it's for my "swimming" - which I don't even do - or for my bicycle riding. It never seems to be an issue after that.
Most people are more interested in their daily problems than they are my smooth legs.
I don't look very feminine syndrome
Since first adding this section to my home page, I've had a number of girls write me and say: I enjoy your input, but unfortunately I could never look as feminine as you do.
Everybody assumes a t-girl who looks fairly feminine today, just had one of those natural forms to start with that already looked like a woman. That is the case with a few girls, but for most of us - looking feminine is a constant battle - that takes a lot of hard work to achieve.
Very few males start off exploring their fem side looking like a lovely woman right off the bat. When I began in earnest, I was 50 pounds heavier than you see in my current photo's, had a couple of extra chins, and didn't exactly look very fem. The early photo I've included is unfortunately not one of my worst.
Looking very feminine takes time - and it is not what this whole thing is about. It is about experiencing the emotional pleasure of embracing and accepting your feminine side. I didn't start off looking like much of a woman - but I sure had fun feeling like one in my silky lingerie.
Take small steps. You are taking on a huge challenge, if you try to develop your skills and appearance too rapidly. Learn how to make your eyes look fem - then your hands, etc., etc. Women don't learn how to look their best in one day. They start as teenagers, and spend years developing their skills. Take solace from their example.
I've never seen a man who could not look great en fem. One of the hottest TV's in Atlanta is 5'10, 54 years old, is bald & gray headed and weighs in well over 250 lbs. The reason she looks so great, is she has learned to use each of her physical attributes to her advantage. She's put me to shame more times than I care to recall.
I can literally hear some of you under your breath right now saying: Yeah, well Renee ain't seen me. Trust me - I have. I've seen every type, size, and style of guy in the world in a dress - and I've yet to meet one who could not look hot as a firecracker - if she took the time to get her look right! It simply makes no difference where you "start". The end result is only a function of the effort you put forth in gaining knowledge on how to make your body and features coincide with the ideal feminine illusion.
As a magician, I had an advantage in already understanding that illusions are not real, but when properly executed - can fool anyone. I also discovered the key to fooling all the people all the time - was practice! Unlike every generation of t-girl before you, you have the Internet - and the wealth of information it offers - on your side. There is simply no way you will not look great - if you are willing to spend the time researching and learning how to look your best.
If you hate the way you look, it has a lot more to do with your attitude - than your appearance. Do you know how many stunning female models consider themselves ugly? A lot. Learn to love yourself just the way you are. You'll like yourself that much more, if you go further with your fem appearance.
Grappling with your sexuality as a Transgender Woman
If you're new to dealing with your transgenderism - I say dealing with, because I know what you've been doing and feeling for years - then your exact sense of sexuality is something you've spent time pondering. You might feel a little confused on this issue early on. I'm quite sure you've masturbated to some pretty wild little fantasies. We've all got them, dear.
lot of new girls become obsessed thoughts of basically acting - and being treated like - a "whore". Many desire to be taken control of and used sexually. Part of the reason for this desire is their own guilt over transgenderism. By having someone else take control, their male side is able to release responsibility for the things they desire to do.
Fantasies are by definition - not reality. They serve the wonderful & delicious purpose of taking our mind and bodies to places they would never go otherwise. More dangerous fantasies are all fine and dandy buried in the confines of your head. However, if you start to pursue such action in the real world - you're in for a host of potential nightmares.
Pursue whatever ideas you may have - slowly, and carefully. Transgenderism breeds a lot of misplaced thoughts sexually. Often what is fantasized about - is nothing like what reality would be.
Every t-girl I've ever known - including yours truly - started off with some pretty wild desires buried deep inside. However, as you spend more time en fem and embrace the woman inside you, these will adjust a good bit. I discovered that many of my fantasies had more to do with a mixture of being totally desired as a woman and being in the yielding role - than actually having sex. Once I understood this phenomenon, I was able to develop much safer alternative avenues to satisfy this need.
Take the time to find a person you care about if you feel a need to explore. Pursuing your fantasies on a role playing basis with someone who is concerned about your pleasure - and your safety - is worth the wait!
Getting Professional Help with Transgender Issues
Dealing with, and more importantly - learning to accept your alternative gender is challenging in the best of circumstances. Among your many challenges is determining exactly where you're going with all this. Before you can successfully tackle that feat? You've got to get a clear handle on where you are today.
Can you imagine what would happen if you attempted to drive to Los Angeles, CA from Dallas, TX - but it turned out you were actually starting from New York city? Sounds silly - I know. However, this is exactly what many newer gals do by not getting some assistance regarding their transgenderism. They focus too much on where they want to go - versus getting a much clearer handle on where they are presently.
Of course, the only way I know you can get an exact pinpoint on your current emotional longitude and latitude - is through professional counseling. I give these certified advisors grief at times - in an effort to challenge their great minds and abilities. However, I thank God for their gifts - and all they helped me through.
I'd strongly advise you to identify a qualified therapist to assist you in finding yourself - to aid in mapping your future plans.
My "advice" - and that of many others you'll discover on-line - are handy tools for accessorizing your smile. I hope to provide you with the equivalent of a nice pair of earrings and lovely pendant necklace. However, your foundation garments - must come from your loved ones, your therapist, your life experiences, and your own heart.
Learning to Laugh More Often
The final element I find essential to dealing with my transgenderism is a sense of humor. To be honest, this was particularly challenging for me. Being your typical male control freak, I've never been adept at laughing at myself - and certainly never took it well when others did it for me!
If ever there was a teacher in humility for the proud - a guy wearing a dress - is it. If you can't develop a sense of humor about the things that will happen to you as a girl - you are in for a very long process. You are going to bust your ass in high heels, put on way too much eyeliner and look like Rocky Raccoon, have your wig come off at the worst possible time, get caught in a cloud burst and melt like ice in an hell - name it! If I had learned to laugh at myself better early on - I could have made a small fortune with America's funniest home video awards.
I'm known as a fairly no-nonsense guy at my work. However, I feel I've lightened up a bit as I've allowed my transgenderism to pervade my life. I missed out on many pleasures before I learned to balance laughter and seriousness. Try not to repeat Renee's proud errors!
You have a lot to be smiling about - you're living your dream of being a woman - if only for a few minutes a month. Translate that smile into some good laughs - and all of this - will be a little easier - every day! ((hugs))