DONNA KELLI – GRAND CHAMPION 2014
Donna Kelli’s beginnings are similar to many cross dressers, transgendered and transsexuals. Her earliest recollection of wanting to dress or thinking she would rather be a girl was when she was about 3 or 4 years old. While attending Kindergarten she thought that her teacher looked nice and wondered if she would grow up to be a woman like her. She knew she was a boy, but no one had ever said that she had to grow up to be a man.
I believe that was my first fantasy about what it might be like to be female. In my family I had 2 brothers and two sisters. Both brothers were 10+ years older than myself. I had a sister that was a year younger and a sister that was 6 years older than me. This made my older sisters clothes and shoes available at times to play with. I remember the first time I tried on her high heels was when she was 14 yrs old and going to the prom. I was 8. I actually practiced walking in them secretly probably more than she did.”
My parents would go out of town sometimes for the weekend to Mexico or Pismo beach and take my younger sister with them along with some of her friends and I would always make an excuse to stay home, thus leaving me with the house and Mom and sisters clothes to play with. I went out as a girl dressed completely for the first time when I was 17 and just drove to a local apartment complex and walked around, then she drove to a nearby thrifty drug store.
I was thrilled and amazed that no one recognized me and that people thought I was a young girl.” It was very exciting and I loved it.
I continued to cross-dress in secret even though I had a girlfriend, sometimes waiting for her to go home and then dressing as a girl myself. I began investigating all the possibilities of becoming a girl, and watched some of the old talk shows that interviewed Transsexuals such as Christine Jorgensen and cross dressers in the late 60’s. I wrote to the gender society in Palo Alto California and even spoke to a couple of Dr’s via phone, again trying to keep it all completely secret.
I went to a place called Uba’s fashions in Los Angeles in 1970 and was amazed that she was willing to assist me in learning about makeup and dressing as a girl. I binged after that, but then purged my wardrobe.
I thought I was going to marry my girlfriend in 1971. I enlisted in the Army became an artillery gunner, and forward observer during Vietnam..I served two years active duty and 4 years reserve time. During this period I had almost no time to think of dressing as a girl and feared if anyone knew I would be shot, or humiliated, which almost seemed worse at that time.
When I came home my girlfriend abruptly broke up with me. She had found someone else that had not gone away for over a year. That was a blessing in disguise because my old feelings of wanting to be a girl surfaced. I returned to college and while in school was recruited and hired by a large Law Enforcement Agency. I was always good at this type of work even though I thought I wanted to be a girl. (Remember girls did not do that type of work in the early 70’s) I tested for the position and was hired for more aggressive training for 6 months at the farm/Academy. I enjoyed my work but thought maybe I was trying to overcompensate by doing a very masculine type profession.
I always thought it was odd that I wanted to be a girl…but was attracted to girls and had no desire to be with a guy. From this I concluded that I must be crazy, confused, mixed up or worse and again tried to stop dressing altogether.
I managed to stop for a few years with only random times of trying on heels or nylons when it hit me again. I was 26 and had my own home living in California, I started reading the Free press, there were ads of cross dressers and TS in it. This made me think of dressing as a girl again. I started to compile a wardrobe and this time decided I would not purge anything. Finally in the mid 1980’s the internet became available and I realized I wasn’t weird or strange. I began taking pictures to see how I could improve my look, learning from watching the girls I was dating. I would also watch women on television and in magazines, carefully selecting the ones that I could look like and paid close attention to the way they dressed. I believe this is important to looking real, select women who are your same or similar body type and facial structure then study how you can achieve a similar look.
I continued to dress up as Donna Kelli about twice a week and dated several girls none of which knew about my dressing. I decided I wanted to have a family and needed to settle down. I had been seeing two girls that I thought would be excellent choices for a wife. It turned out one of them moved away and had some family difficulties with an ex-husband so I ended up marrying the girl that stayed and had three children with her. She knew about my dressing but always said it was “Weird , against nature, not right”, this made me feel like I was doing something horribly wrong. Since we had kids I suppressed the urge to dress for many years and only did it in complete secret, getting out only 4 or 5 times a year. I knew I needed to be ” Donna kelli”, and also that I loved my children. I worked hard and achieved professional success. I also raised our kids finding time for all manner of things. I was the baseball coach to my daughters softball team for 7 years and my sons little league and maverick league for 5 years (I also played baseball, College, and was pretty good in my day).”
Eventually, I realized that my children and work were my life, and my wife was just a partner and not an emotional one at that. The only real emotion she would show was how disgusted she was with cross dressing. We had not been intimate or touched for over 15 years. She stated on 4 occasions adamantly that she didn’t love me. I realized I married her to have the family but that I was missing a loving relationship in my life.
I refused to do what MEN do in these situations and go find other women. All I wanted to do was dress like a woman and go out. I began dressing frequently but my wife made me feel like I was somehow a sexual deviate or weirdo. She said she knew about it , but was completely unwilling to participate and wanted me to hide it completely which made me feel as if I was doing something wrong that I should be ashamed of.
When our children became adults I advised her I was going to move out and she was very clear she didn’t want that. It turns out she didn’t want it because I was not going to pay the mortgage any longer. She wanted me around for all the wrong reasons. So I left and ultimately divorced her. I have no regrets about staying in a loveless marriage because I got to be with my kids who today are happy ,well adjusted and have a great relationship with me.
After getting a divorce and living on my own I began dressing more often and reconnected with old friends and made new friends. I dated a little but it was difficult since I hadn’t dated for many years and never even saw anyone during the years I was married. I had stayed in contact with some old friends, One of them was a girl I had dated when I was 25 and again at age 28. We had exchanged e-mails about family and old friends over the years because we had been friends in High school. After emailing for a while we discovered that we were both single again. Eventually we decided to get together for dinner. It had been over 12 yrs since we had seen each other.
She called me the day after our dinner date and said she didn’t think we should go out as friends anymore and I asked why, She told me she felt like we were more than friends and thought we might go too far. The story has a happy ending because I married her , and of course I told her about my dressing, DonnaKelli and everything. I remember the day I decided to “come clean” I was scared to death; I would have rather been in a military fire fight. I calmly sat on the couch and explained…she didn’t run away and asked excellent and intelligent questions (she is an MBA and very smart). She said she wanted to go somewhere with me as Donna Kelli and the rest blossomed from there. We have been married ever since and I could not be happier.
She thought it was funny when we would go out together as women and guys would hit on us in the clubs we frequented. We always went to straight clubs. Only recently have I begun going to some mixed TG clubs and I have to say they are fun. My wife enjoys when we go out to Palm Springs and Vegas because we shop the outlet malls together. I don’t frequent clubs often though and am more the girl who hits the malls shopping and does the grocery shopping or picks up the dry cleaning. I enjoy dinner out and my wife and I are often asked if we are sisters, we love it.
I have been going out regularly as Donna Kelli for over twenty years and have an entire group of friends who know me, some of them know my male side as well. I go anywhere I want as Donna Kelli and up to this point have not had a problem. I don’t know if I get read or not and to be honest don’t care. I think if you believe you are being read by someone you should rise above it and they will wonder if they were right. If you make them wonder then you are ultimately passing. I know GG’s who have been clocked as guys and most of them have stories about it. I am told by people, my wife included, that my voice is one of the things that allows me to be passable. I have a good and believable female voice. My wife says that if anyone were guessing whether I was a guy or girl all I have to do is speak and they will Know for sure I’m a girl…LOL..
I chose my name around 1985 and combined the names of two girls I had known into one name. It stuck and my female persona grew which made me very happy. I know DonnaKelli is as much me as my male self is. I became a Vanity club member in 2000 and the club has grown a great deal since then. I have won a few contests and honors online, but I don’t enter to prove I’m better than anyone else, rather only to continue to test myself and my ability to be Donna Kelli. One of the biggest honors for me was when Carollyn Olson asked to use my name in one of her books, and wanted to use my likeness for the cover of her book. Another great honor was being asked by Heidi Phox to be included in her blog The Phox Den.
I was asked to be in a modeling event in 2008 by my Dr’s staff since they know me as my male side and Donna Kelli. The event was sponsored by several women’s boutiques and facial salons in Southern California. I was the only cross dresser in the group of 15 girls selected. I modeled three different outfits selected by the shop I was to represent. I asked the girls at the Dr’s office if anyone knew I was a guy because I thought it might make them uncomfortable, they said they didn’t tell anyone. After the event I was chatting with people at the show (over 400 people attended), and came to realize that no one knew I was male not even the other models, (selected by the salons they go to or other sponsors). I was certain that at least one of the models would realize or ask at some point. I made a few friends that day and finally told one of them about a month later, we are still friends.”
I could keep writing about so many other incidents and things that I would need to write a book to cover them all. One thing I will share is, if you have a girlfriend or wife tell her. If she wants you to hide it from her you may have issues that need to be discussed. I want to thank the Glamour Boutique for sponsoring this contest annually, it is a huge honor for me to have won and at the same time very humbling. I hope my story isn’t too boring and that it might help someone who is struggling with being a crossdresser or TS. Remember there is happiness for us all. Thank you for reading this and as always be safe out there…
Warmest regards, (and Hugs)