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Wednesday, 24 April 2013

A lesson in beauty

I've been delighted to be working this week on a project involving a beauty product. The 'ordinary' women who have been selected to promote it look absolutely radiant.

It's not just the product that makes them beautiful, of course, but the delicate makeovers they have had before being interviewed, and the professional hair care.

But not even that. The fact that they are being pampered and are receiving minor celebrity treatment is also obviously boosting their self-esteem. But mainly it's their being allowed to speak for themselves as valued people which is bringing out their inner confidence and innate self-worth that, in turn, promotes their physical beauty - the smiles, the sparkling eyes, the healthy features, the enthusiasm. Not all are convinced by or like the product, but that's just fine in this exercise. The honesty is refreshing and the openness brings out the genuine side of their natures.

Why am I considering this? Partly because - and let's be honest here - since I am still attracted mainly to women, they please my eye. But it's also because they have given new inspiration to my own look and boosted my aspiration to womanhood. Mainly, though, it's because it shows that valuing someone and treating them well is the best way to bring out their true beauty and worth. I have been accepted and treated better as a trans woman in public than as a guy, and that in turn has boosted my confidence and therefore my attractiveness, which in turn promotes acceptance. It's a virtuous spiral.

Treat people well. The dividends will be greater than your investment.

Sue x

Saturday, 13 April 2013

"Playing dress-up"

It’s a month of serious work and family dos but I had a couple of girls, Rebecca and Gillian, round yesterday to give them a chance to dress at my place. “Guess you’ll be playing dress-up,” says Mrs R when she goes away leaving hubby behind. Yup!

My own latest dress-up session has so far gone on every single day for nearly 17 years (from the day I stopped purging my clothes and accepted I was trans), with breaks of a few hours for things where it has been better to look like a bloke on the outside, such as employment. My women’s attire has long since filled all my wardrobes and drawers and such men’s clothes as I have are falling apart and, truthfully, I’ve forgotten my male sizes. It’ll be a while before I live full-time as a woman but essentially I dress as one. Not everyone can, though, so time to dress as a woman can be precious and the trans and gay clubs and dressing services of Britain’s cities perform a vital service. But I like company and so, from time to time, I have friends round so they can dress in a safe environment.

Anyway, Rebecca and Gillian came early and got dolled up. They’re both experts and can safely be left to transform into very smart-looking women. We drove to Richmond (the one in Greater London, not Yorkshire, and which they have rather nicely named after me) and took a few photos around the town green before having lunch at a very nice French restaurant overlooking the River Thames. Apparently it was the first time either of my companions had been out to eat in daylight, and it’s always exciting to be with a TGirl enjoying a “first”. Pity about the rain, and that Becca had to go early as the Mrs seriously doesn’t approve of her dressing escapades, but Gillian and I enjoyed a bit of frock exchanging at home as we are a similar size. I suspect photos of her in my ballerina dress will crop up on Flickr for all those drooling admirers of hers. And I shall enjoy the nice little dresses she left for me when (if) the summer comes.

A very nice lunch with a view of the Thames. Becca's photo.

My thoughts recently have been running over various things connected with my socialising with other TGirls. TGirls who are married are very common indeed. But their circumstances all differ. Some have wives who are supportive, a few have wives who cannot support or live with them, some have wives who don’t approve and would rather not know more, some have wives who tolerate but don't participate, some have wives who do not know and, it is felt, would be better not knowing. All TGirls want to dress and the frustration of finding the opportunity can be terrible. Many lies are told and covering scenarios are built to try to deflect attention from what ‘hubby’ or ‘dad’ is doing on ‘his’ day off. This is the reality of the trans life for so many. I, on the other hand, can dress any day as I have no obligations to a wife or family, but I wish I had a partner to love; yet finding a partner who can accept that I am not really a guy is very difficult. It really restricts your choice. All this creates an unenviable position for TGirls. So I try to help other TGirls in a little way and have fun wherever we can, which seems to help make those golden dressing opportunities more memorable. Sadly, not every trans person appreciates that and I have been thinking over last year’s unjust abuse that suddenly exploded from several quarters at once as it has made me more cautious and disinclined to continue supporting trans issues on a political level. More on these thoughts another day. For now, just enjoy the picture of three TGirls having a nice meal together as friends and being looked after very well by the waitress who took the photo.

Sue x