|How Michelle Does It|
Some personal advice on some hard CD/TG topics
After 12 months, our good friend Michelle is back with another great article for our readers. We know how much you guys loved her last article, You’ll Never Walk Alone. So, Michelle has written another great gem. This article, How Michelle Does It, is about some hard topics and questions that might be haunting some CD/TG woman out there.
Her answers are based off her own personal experiences as a crossdresser and can hopefully benefit or help many of you out there dealing with these same problems or questions. This is a really good piece that we know many will identify with. We only hope, from reading how Michelle handles these topics, some people can find peace regarding these topics as well. Read Michelle’s full article:
How Michelle Does It
Wow! How quick time passes. It has been 12 months since I last contributed an article to Glamour Boutique’s informative newsletter and Crossdressing Tips Blog. Over the last year, I have learned a lot more about the femme world, attended about 235 femme outings, and unfortunately suffered a heart attack.
So, some light hearted topics as well as the more serious. I hope that by sharing some experiences there might be something of interest to you good readers.
GB: Is your dressing style too young? What is ‘Just Right’?
Dressing style is very different for each individual. Some CD woman tend to dress very appropriate and conservatively to ensure that they do not draw unnecessary attention to themselves. However, I am not a rule book kind of girl. I like to wear what I want no matter what anyone else might think. This might be hard for others so, dressing your age is important.
One word of caution before appearing in public, for those who like to dress a little risky, is confidence! If you’re 6 foot plus and 240 lbs, like me, you need to be sufficiently comfortable and confident dressing in public. You will never be able to ignore what others might be saying or thinking if you do not exude confidence.
I’ve long accepted the fact that I’ll be recognised, by those who are observant, as a man in a dress. However, it is empowering to me to stay true and honest to who I am. Plus, it makes for lots of fun exchanges.
This degree of confidence requires self-acceptance and personal growth through many positive experiences. For beginners, starting your journey by appearing at some CD/TG events, to get your feet wet, will help make dressing in public a lot easier. The more you attend, the more you will feel comfortable. Baby steps are key.
However, many that are frequently out and about dressed will say if I can, you can. This is true, however, I can still remember the nerves that went with my first steps into the world. Just remember you’re not alone! Ask friends and other dressers you idolize how they did it.
Some Dressing Humor: Someone recently shared a posting on Facebook that I believe reflects how I dress. It stated:
Age 16: Takes 4 hours to do hair and plan outfit
Since, it takes me 2 hours to transform, my preparations reflects the age of an 18 year old (as the post states). As much as I wish that was true I still enjoy dressing my age while, keeping my late teens in mind! In my femme life, I try to be as fun as I can with my style by wearing bright colors and fun flowy dresses and skirts. Sometimes, even though, I know that a dress or skirt might be a little too short I still wear it since legs are a great way of distracting folks from looking at my face. I love showing off my legs! If you do too, you should check out Glamour Boutique’s recent Sexy Leg Contest. It received many terrific entries from ladies that love to show off their legs, like me.
Some recent photos showing my style:
Christmas Tree at King Street Wharf, Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia.
The tree is assembled each November and comes down after Christmas. Quite a challenge getting the whole tree into a photo.
Here you can see I am wearing a cute, flowy skirt that shows off my long smooth legs! Wearing some heels to add definition to my calves as well.
Barangaroo near Darling Harbour – still largely a construction site but will be a brilliant addition to the features and ambience of Sydney.
Now, if you want to be noticed, construction workers make an interesting audience for short skirts.
National Museum of Australia, Canberra, ACT-a great place to visit and for photos. Flash is allowed plus there are interesting back drops.
Never be afraid to wear your favorite color top.
At my favourite restaurant, Cyren at Darling Harbour. The lights of Sydney CBD in the background. Me and the restaurant manager had to take a lovely photo. This would also be my all-time favourite photo.
I just love this dress. It complements by body in all the right ways. The pattern is gorgeous and really makes for a beautiful feminine outfit. Blues really look good with my skin complexion and light hair.
GB: How do you deal with people that have a problem with you?
I have been very fortunate to have had just one stressful encounter in all my outings. Whether it be because of luck or good management- I don’t know. However, a combination of confidence, a happy smile, and a preparedness to engage with others will always help.
My experiences have been very positive and I am welcomed at shops and other places I go. Being different does have advantages – people remember you and if you are happy, friendly and thoughtful they will be pleased to greet you again.
However, the one incident I found to be disturbing and very stressful occurred very recently. It immediately became a learning experience to me on how to deal with people whom are unaccepting of my choices. So, to begin, a lady at the government facility I frequently use as an office stopped me outside the ladies’ restroom and said that she felt very uncomfortable using the ladies knowing that I might be in there. “Please use the unisex/disabled toilet” she said.
I wasn’t sure what to do. The dilemma I faced was, knowing that physically I was a male, so, I started to wonder how I would feel if I was a genetic female in the same situation this other woman was in. So, I started using the disabled toilet, yet it felt wrong to be treated as if I wasn’t female.
I found out the next day that she also, accused me in front of a number of people that I accosted her in the ladies. I wasn’t sure at the time what to do about use of the ladies but, I couldn’t leave her accusation unchallenged.
Here in Australia, the legislation and government policy supports my choice of which facility I decide to use. I took up the incident with the HR section and was encouraged by the manager to lodge a complaint. Long story short, the lady who apparently has a history of disrespecting minorities was counselled. It was suggested to her that if she had a problem she could use the disabled toilet. I was encouraged by fellow people in the building to use the facility I felt most comfortable using and they supported my decision.
Due to this incident I also received some very good advice to help me deal with difficult people. As the manager said, don’t let people bully you for being who you want to be. The incident reinforced my acceptance of Michelle and gave me more confidence in asserting my right not to be treated differently.
GB: How has your significate other coped with your journey?
Thankfully a very good and understanding female friend gave me the support and encouragement I needed dealing with this traumatic incident and the soul searching that followed. It was sad though not having the support of my wife and my male side’s best friend.
When the need/urge to crossdress again hit me with a vengeance after 3 years’ absence and 3 years into our relationship, I thought my wife would be supportive. Totally the opposite – dressing was abhorrent and she threatened suicide. Can’t live with you; can’t live without you was her mantra. I loved her and didn’t want to lose her, yet I knew that dressing was an integral part of me and I couldn’t stop. It was one of the most difficult periods of my life and I got through it with the help of a gender aware psychiatrist.
What followed was a series of discoveries of deescalating intensity and a very gradual easing of tension. I used a storage shed to change and to store most of my clothes.
That was 4 years ago and we have a form of don’t ask, don’t tell (DADT). It is not ideal leading two separate compartmentalised lives but so many positive aspects particularly still being together and very much in love. I still use the storage shed to change but, my wife knows that I still dress and that my clothes are in a spare bedroom.
Over time I think she is used to the idea that I dress and her fears have eased as our marriage has not materially changed. Apart from a fleeting accident she has not seen me dressed. I am still her husband, a father and a grandfather.
I am often tempted to push for greater involvement and a degree of tolerance. I know to do so would not prejudice our marriage but, I feel what I have now is good and works for us both.
GB: Do you see yourself being a full time female?
I’m out dressed about 4 days a week. Even after many, many outings, I really enjoy dressing and I intensely dislike having to change back to drab before going home.
Fortunately, my heart attack earlier this year was a warning shot and not a gotcha moment. It did reinforce the frailty of life and the unpredictability of the future.
So, the question is a good one given the importance of my femme life. Is there a tipping point that would take me to go full time? If it was as simple as flicking a switch, then the answer would be so much easier.
For the time being and probably for the rest of my life it will remain compartmentalised between my male and female worlds. Despite the pluses there are too many negatives to transition to a full time female life. I would lose my wife, I’d make a very ugly and high maintenance female, and I would lose my income. I greatly admire those who started young and can live their true lives as females however, I cannot. I have too much to lose.
So, my world will continue to be a compromise, but full of fun, friendships, and fulfilment. I wish you a rewarding life throughout your journeys.
My email address is [email protected] if you have any questions, concerns, or comments. I would love to hear from any of you. Feel free to email anytime.