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Feel Good Stories: We Have Them Within

| Mar 5, 2012
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Would I be correct in saying that most crossdressers keep their two identities almost completely separate?

Typically we live our male-mode as one person and adopt a second identity for those special moments when we get to spend some time en femme. I think it is usual that the two identities are completely separate and their lives rarely cross. In my case only my wife knows ‘Linda’ and also knows the boy me.
I do not think that anyone else who knows Linda would recognize me if they passed the male me on the street. I recall several instances where friends and associates of my male identity have been close to Linda without a hint of recognition.

When we get together with other CD’s some of us will share personal details but there seems to be an understood code that if someone does not wish to share details of our other lives the rest of us will not pry.

Amanda, second from right, helping to cut the cake to open Gay Pride Week with officials from the the Ottawa (Canada) Paramedic Service.

Inevitably this secretiveness causes a lot of stress and anxiety. Many of us are consumed with fear of being ‘outed’. However does that have to be the case? A few years ago a T-girl I know up in Canada decided that she wasn’t going to live her life as a series of lies and deceptions. Paul started telling his extended family and many friends about his life as Amanda. The reactions were mixed but mostly positive.

As the years passed Amanda has broadened her life, one year spending her entire summer vacation en femme, taking up various political causes, including recognition of the National Transgender Day of Remembrance and attempts to get transgender rights included in the Canadian Constitution. Amanda co-organizes the ‘Gal’s Spring Fling’ and is well-known for opening her lakeside home in Ontario to a weekend party for her t-girl friends where her t-friends, family and neighbors mingle with each other.

If there still were a Virginia Prince Award or an IFGE Trinity Award Amanda would be a worthy nominee in for either award.

No less important to me is her practice of seeking out ‘feel good stories’ to share with her fellow members of a leading Canadian support group, Gender Mosaic. Typically these feel good stories illustrate examples of crossdressers pushing their personal limits and finding acceptance where they didn’t expect it.

Recently Amanda posted this feel good story of her own. She ended it with a keen observation which we all should keep in mind if we are preparing to open our closet door to others. It will help predict how others will react.

Here’s Amanda:

I think it is time for a Feel Good Story. Since I didn’t have one at my fingertips I decided to go out and make one.

Yesterday started with one dentist appointment at noon that I was going to mesh into my work day. Then I got a doctor’s appointment at 1 pm. Then I booked an appointment with my financial guy at 2 pm. With all these appointments I decided that I would accomplish nothing in my work day so I extended my Amanda weekend right through Monday. All three of these people/places know about Amanda but have never met her. So this was the day.

My first appointment at the dentist was the coolest. As I walked in the receptionist said, “Hi Paul.” I replied, “Good eye!” The fact that she was expecting Paul notwithstanding. Her manner was friendly and she greeted me with a smile.

The Hygienist was equally warm and friendly. I opened the door for her to ask any question she wanted and after a short time she started asking. I answered as best I could with a mouth full of instruments. Her first question was about laser and electrolysis.

When the dentist came in to finish up she commented about me being dressed up, then asked several questions including, “Are you transitioning.” She, obviously, has some knowledge about the Transgender Community. At the very end she commented, “You look really good in makeup” to which the Hygienist commented, “Ya!” Those two comments made my day. This was a wonderful and very accepting experience.

At the doctor’s office I confused the receptionists. But they were friendly and efficient. The doctor came into the examining room, commented that I was dressed differently and then went on to discuss my lab results. I noticed on his file that there is a notation “Transgender.” I commented about that and he said, “Why not. It is part of your history.”

My financial guy is also my ex brother-in-law. He was just like the doctor and got right down to business. After business was done we talked about family. He told me that another brother-in-law wanted to come and visit me at the cottage. As we talked about that and thought about organizing it he also said he would like to come. So we will try to organize this. All this took place as he is looking across his desk at Amanda. Pretty cool.

The difference between the dentist’s office and the two other appointments was striking. The Dentist’s office is a very female environment while the doctor and financial guy are both men. Their reactions are what I have come to expect from men and women. Women are generally more inquisitive and accepting. Men avoid the conversation. Not that they are disapproving, just that they handle the situation differently. Best case scenario with men is to have women around who will ask the questions. Then they can sit back noncommittally and take in the information.

This was a good day. All three appointments were very positive.

Amanda

For me, the moral of Amanda’s stories are that life and current friendships do not have to come to an end because one is identified or ‘outed’ as being in some degree transgendered. Some adjustments do happen but life goes on. One’s essential personality does not change because occasionally an altered outward appearance emerges. Perhaps even the softer, nicer edges of that personality can be revealed once the macho outer layer is cracked. Paul’s long-time associates have come to accept seeing Amanda as a normal occurrence.

How great it would be to go to my dentist or financial planner and not worry whether they will notice nail color residue, a hint of perfume or that my eyebrows have been plucked a bit more. I once cancelled a doctor’s appointment at the last minute when it dawned on me that during the examination he was going to want to see me with my shirt off. The bra lines still visible in my skin from wearing breast forms overnight would have been a certain give-away.  How good it would have felt to walk in to the doctor’s office not only with the bra lines but wearing a bra itself!

Amanda has it right. That is a feel good story.

Epilogue: Amanda is not above sharing a laugh at her expense. About a week after the feel good story appeared she posted this event.

I spent the weekend in Amanda mode. I did a particularly nice job on my nails.

When it came time to go back to work I woke up, took my shower and took my nail polish off. At least that is what I wanted to do. When I went to get the nail polish remover it was not there. I ALWAYS have 2 bottles available. But not today. Even the one in my suitcase was gone, apparently, left at my daughter’s. So now I have problem. Do I dress as Amanda and go out to buy some nail polish remover or leave in male mode and buy nail polish remover along the way. Since I wanted to travel away from home this week I decided to go in male mode, bright purple nails and all. I went to Shoppers Drug Mart in Belleville to buy the nail polish remover. I was basically unnoticed until it was time to pay. I handed the cashier my money with my bright purple nails. Her eyes were a little wide but otherwise no commotion. I am sure she has a story to tell friends but I was able to remove the polish in the car and continue on to work. This could have been embarrassing but I didn’t let it be that way. I just did what I needed to do in a matter of fact way. I will buy more nail polish remover though.

Amanda

I just had to offer my two cents worth:

If you ever need an excuse (and I’m sure you don’t) you could try: My daughters really got me this time. That’ll teach me to fall asleep in front of the television.
Linda

Amanda got the last word, again with advice well worth heeding:

I have thought of those excuses but I am actually more inclined to simply look at the cashier and say, “Life as a crossdresser can be a bitch!” There are ways of making these incidents fun for everyone. Me included.
Amanda


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Category: Transgender Body & Soul, Transgender Fun & Entertainment

Linda Jensen

About the Author ()

Canadian writer Linda Jensen is a long time contributor to TGForum. Before the days of the Internet Linda started her writing with the Transvestian newspaper. Her writing ranges from factual accounts of her adventures to fiction although frankly sometimes her real life adventures are stranger than the fiction. Linda is married to a loving partner who upon learning about Linda said, "she was part of you before I met you. Although I didn't know it she was part of the package I fell in love with. I don't want to mess up that package." "Does it get any better than that?" asks Linda.

Comments (1)

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  1. j2emily j2emily says:

    St Paddy’s day marks 1 years as “Emily” part-time but already all of this hiding out (like amanda’s nail polish experience) I find to be a pain in the butt

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