Crossdressing Memories — Chapter 6

| Dec 5, 2016
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[Chapter 1] [Chapter 2] [Chapter 3] [Chapter 4] [Chapter 5]

With my cousin entering an Alzheimer’s facility I had to leave her lovely home. It was “Déjà vu all over again” as a certain Mets baseball manager once said. In my second year of college and several times as a bachelor whenever I rented an apartment the first priority was  ordering clothes from Sears, Spiegel, Wards or Penney’s catalogs — they were the internet source of that era. With new apartments came closets I filled with new pants, skirts, top and dresses, and drawers where I accumulated more lingerie than I would need in a lifetime. This time, almost sixty years later, the final touch was buying a four-foot long makeup table with a large mirror and three drawers. Prior to marriage makeup wasn’t an option but now, all alone, it sure was. I was in heaven.

(As an aside as I’m typing this post there was a knock on my apartment door. In full makeup I was dressed in shorts having just finished a workout on my stationary bike. It was a landlord representative along with someone doing a pest spray. The rep had keys to my door but the latch was on. So she knew I was home. Bit the bullet and opened the door for a one minute spray. A few words were exchanged so I don’t know what she may have thought and will probably never find out. True that when visiting the VA doctors or meeting the landlord in the 400-apartment complex where I lived I presented in drab. A day before such appointments I would start removing nail polish and facial makeup. Sure I had already outed myself through my memoir but, unfortunately, it was still unread by most of the population. I had no patience having to explain my actions to everybody. Today’s spray visit was unexpected and, obviously, unplanned.)

Then came a fortuitous meeting. A CD that I had only met on line through another website suggested that we meet for dinner on his way home from his business days north of Lake Worth to his family two hours south of me. But, he said, you have to come dressed! Having made bomber runs in World War II, met with armed dissidents at midnight during the racial riots in the ‘60s and similar situations there wasn’t much left to scare me. Still I was nervous.

The world didn’t come to an end. Not one person in this upscale restaurant gave this old lady a second glance! The length of my hair still required a wig and makeup was probably overdone for my age but still I was my own worst critic.

The importance of this one meeting was to open a new world — I was OUT.

It wasn’t long before my hair was long enough (thanks to my mother’s genes) to provide an excuse to go out alone — to the nearest Beauty Shoppe, hair salon or whatever they’re called. Went unannounced. Fortunately they weren’t busy so directed to nearest chair. In a low voice I asked for wash, cut and style. Pointed to a wash basin and told to put my head far back.

Physically I can no longer bend my neck since damaged when my bomber crashed in a belly-up returning from Germany. I was about to blurt that out when I caught myself — that would be embarrassing considering where and who I now was. Did say had an injury so gal put a towel under my neck. Not good enough as water started to soak my back and bra. Then instead of helping me dry up she blissfully began to mop up the area around the sink. Final results were passable and the operator never made one comment during the entire half hour. Amazing! Proud of my composure but vowed never to go back there again.

Having given up my car at the advice of VA doctors who were, rightly so, concerned with my medications causing a black-out while driving, I was lucky to find a GG whose husband had, unknowingly, been driving Julie to local supermarkets. Surprisingly, her  sixteen year-old son and husband accepted me as family. To this day I never have found out what they know, or don’t know about CDing. Decided not to push a good thing by asking.

There is a decided advantage going to department stores with a GG along. Less chance of being scrutinized. A high point was picking out bras for both of us. Sadly I didn’t have the nerve to ask for a fitting room try-on and she hadn’t suggested it.

Had a rather unnerving experience going to restroom at Macy’s. It was well decorated with room length mirrors and marble-styled sinks and floor; but the one large stall for disabled people was occupied! The advantages, I had found, were the handy grab bars, sink, and it was large enough that I could take off layers of lingerie without worrying about the time it took. But today I had to pick the only unoccupied stall. The problem was the low seat and no bars to hang onto. Slowly I lowered myself and thought it was enough to make contact. It wasn’t! The last twelve inches were unexpected. I landed with a thud. A load, very masculine, “ugh” resounded throughout the stalls. Shocked with my own clumsiness I waited for someone to scream. Nothing! After a few minutes of silence I left the stall to find an empty space along the mirrors to repair my makeup.

Calm now I headed out to my waiting GG. Numerous visits to lady’s restrooms since then but usually found an unoccupied large stall available. The other option that usually helps are the “family restroom.”

julie_12-16Recently I received a compliment that inflated my confidence level tremendously. My GG driver had taken me to an appointment with the only not VA doctor I see. (She prescribes sleeping pills that VA has only recently and reluctantly orders). I had seen her both as Julie and as Julian in the past. On this particular visit the doctor remarked that I present better as Julie. My companion agreed! Consider that my features are not feminine by any means however aging  does often blend the genders. My body had shrunk almost three inches in height as my hunched back became more pronounced. So at five foot seven it was not an unusual height for a female. Walking with a cane as well no one would check whether my butt or breasts were  too small. Also, as previously mentioned as a common result of getting older my pecs had turned to flab and a 38B fit nicely with even some cleavage in a bullet bra. The point of the above: Most, but not all, CDs strive to pass; however the majority, when honest with themselves know that they aren’t blessed with features that would pass on close-up scrutiny. Nevertheless, we have learned that with confidence and practice we will seldom receive a second glance. True that if your physique is that of a line-backer or at six foot something the challenge is that much greater. So, in my case, age plus a misshapen body has given me a pass — a benefit not sought or foreseen.

So the next time you read of a CD boasting that they can leave their house with a little lippy and no body shaper — wonder about their age and bone structure. Only a few are blessed.


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Category: Transgender Body & Soul

Julie Gaum

About the Author ()

Born to successful parents – both amassed fortunes during Great Depression with little time for their two sons. Flew with Air Force in England during WWII and with N. Y. Air National Guard for twelve more years; Graduated University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School; then motion picture production in Mexico, Hollywood and New York; climbed retail corporate ladder from coast to coast; bred and showed Boxers for thirty-five years and became a scratch golfer. Encountered many world-famous personages along the way. Awards-winning memoir includes a chapter -- Myths, Fallacies and Most Therapists Without a Clue that addresses all aspects of the CD spectrum. Now at 91 -- when health permits --able to be en femme most of time as family and friends have all passed.

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