Best of times. Worst of times.

2020 so far.

It is indeed the tail of two situations  (I have a vague recollection of reading something decades ago about best and worst times…yes I know it’s from the opening of A Tale of Two Cities, the only thing I remember…lol). Ok, back to this year so far.

2020 started off with so much hope and excitement. For me in January  there was the revelation that I’m bigender!  I was also eagerly looking forward to the Keystone Conference in Harrisburg at the end of March. Then COVID 19 came along and cancelled things. Ok, so I would be home for the 31st of March, Transgender Day Of Visibility, “I’ll see about arranging a flag raising at my Bases main gate”, I thought. Well that went bye-bye too. I did however write a small article for the local Base paper that got published on the 30th, with the article also appearing on the papers Facebook feed on the morning of the 31st. It was really nice to see a dozen or so “likes” and “loves” along with a couple shares.

I didn’t let the disappointment of losing the flag raising, or no chance to be visible on TDOV, or attend my first ever Transgender conference get me down. Rather it energized me to do something else for the first time.

While the majority of folks are having to stay home (or should be), I’m one of those essential personnel required to keep my RCAF Wing running. While some of those at home take advantage of this time to practice make-up and putting together outfits, or just hang about all day in pajamas, I did the opposite. I actually had to get dressed and head into my shift cycle (2 x 10 hr days, then 2 x 14 hr nights) which started on the 1st of April. Now, there aren’t many people around at work, again essential only with some coming in for an hour or two, but I committed myself to be visible all the same after not having had the chance on the 31st.

I’ve expressed a few times at work, but never  in uniform while in the position of working the “Duty Desk” (there was the casual Friday event). I was able to get ready at home for the two day shifts and leave before my wife got up. At the end of those shift, I changed before coming home. I had initially planned on a one day of visibility, but I thought, why not a couple days? That turned into “at least one night”, which ended in a complete shift cycle. For the night shifts I’d dress under my flightsuit and do my makeup in the car on the drive in, reversing the process on the way home in the morning.

Except for one instance (on the last night) of questioning my ID at the main gate, “You’ve got the wrong ID there ma’am”, followed by my well-rehearsed/used story and “well now I know. Thank you”, there was never any issues. I also got to explain things to one of the members who has known me for many years but not this part of me. We had a good chat, with his closing remarks being, “wow, that is really interesting and congratulations. You look great by the way. Good job.”

“Why are you in DEU’s?” (Distinctive Environment Uniform – referring to the uniform blouse and skirt) was asked by a Major friend and one of my Positive Space ambassadors. My answer was a paraphrase of what Maj (Ret) Foss told me once; “I wear the skirt all the time “she said. “When you’ve been told you can’t do something all your life and now you can, you do.”

I am so thankful I have the opportunity to be able to express myself freely as a bigender member of the CAF. That last shift cycle was liberating. I was so comfortable. I did my job and didn’t really think about how I was dressed or expressing. I was being me. Next shift is Easter weekend, more than likely male me. Following that it’s a Tue/Wed day, Thu/Fri  night shift. Who knows? I’ll see how I feel, but it’s nice to know I can.

Yes, so far 2020 has been a mix of the best and worst of times. We’ll get through the worst, and enjoy the best! Stay safe and healthy!

Michelle

Dress With A Difference Friday

So, for those who have visited recently, or even those who have just tuning in and read my last entry,  and via pictures on my Flickr account, You will have noticed I have now come to the conclusion I’m bigender and I’m very comfortable with that fact.

It was with this knowledge that I decided it was time to express myself at work, for a full shift. Not in uniform this time, but take advantage of a full day on a Friday; Dress with a difference day, aka Casual Friday, with a Toonie ($2 Cdn) going towards charity . I’ve done short days in uniform (DEU’s or flightsuit) and a couple classroom sessions in civvies, but never while working as the Duty Ops Officer.

I am proud of where I work and those I work with. “Dignity and inclusivity for all” is a major hallmark of the Canadian Armed Forces and Friday proved that.

“Oh, its Michelle on the desk today”, “Good morning Michelle” was how I was met entering the office and throughout the day. Later in the afternoon, when a flight crew from the other coast came in to pick up their kit left from the night before, the Master Corporal had no hesitation addressing me as ma’am multiple times (even though I’m in civvies, he recognized the position I’m in as that of an officers), and it feels completely natural. During my shift, I received may phone calls. I find now that while expressing my female self, I have an automatic tendency (I don’t need to think about it) to shift my voice to a more feminine one. A number of callers have only ever known me as male so automatically refer to me as “Sir” when I answer the phone with rank and name. I did notice though that a number of times the caller may have been caught off guard (and not sure?), as they just addressed me as “Capt” or “Hello Ops”, which has never happened before.

The day also presented opportunities to inform/educate a couple of members who didn’t know about this part of me. The CO’s Executive Assistant and I compared our boots and outfits (we were both wearing tall boots, black leggings and oversized sweaters, “hey, we dressed the same” she says with a laugh). She also said I needed to give her some make-up lessons…lol. Again, it felt so great to be able to participate in this kind of talk.

I’m comfortable with who(what) I am. I will continue to balance my expressive opportunities as life allows. There may be a couple chances in the near future, but, guess what? I have a major event occurring at the end of March. My first ever attendance at a gender conference; Keystone! Getting very excited. There may be a write-up or two and a couple pictures from that. 😉

M.

Looking back for clues

In light of my recent declaration that I’m bigender, I spent the morning of Sat 01 Feb, reading my blog from the very beginning and picking out some key points of interest. I wondered what I would find. It’s definitely interesting to see the progressive change in my understanding and thoughts about myself.

Although, not too long ago, I had labelled myself as gender fluid (which was a better description than crossdresser as it not just about the clothes), I didn’t feel 100% good about doing so; I have some control over when/how I can express myself. It hit me this past week while reading another blog, I had never considered the term bigender and its application. But it is actually a best fit for me.

It is quite curious how the signals have always been there. I’ve also wondered about things like why I chose the name for my blog or how I selected the cover picture for my female Facebook page; there must have been some unseen/unconscious influence.

So here is what I have pulled from my blog:

First Post, appearance – Dec 23 2011: When Michelle is able to appear, I like to look as passible as possible and be accepted in the real world as just another woman.

Why? – Dec 24 2011: I believe there is something deeper in our psychological makeup that pushes us to do this.

Not normal, or? – Dec 31 2011: I never had a real girlfriend during high school, had a crush on one, but was too shy ever to ask her out….had friends who were girls, ”so I must be normal, somehow, as I still have an interest in girls”……”oh I like what she is wearing, wonder what it would look like on me?”…….lol. “I’m confused, but I bet it would look good”.

I slept in my sisters room, in her nighty, got up the next morning and dressed 100% in her barn clothes and went and did chores…

Starting to accept myself – Jan 19 2012: this is not something that we simply can abandon. It is part of us, part of me. This is who I am. I’m a normal guy, with a fantastic wife, great kids, enjoying myself as a father and husband, partaking in all my kids activities, home handyman, gardener, and oh yes, I’m a crossdresser. I accept myself for who I am.

A guy with thoughts – Apr 16 2012: Just to clarify; I am a guy, I like being a guy. I like being a dad and a husband. I do not want to be a woman full time (I would be lying if I said I had not fantasized about this possibility…giggle), just sometimes when the urge, or planned urge, hits me.

Passing yes, but there is more – Aug 21 2012: I want to look as feminine as possible. I have no intention of becoming a woman, I am not denying to myself that I am a male (I’m very happy being one, thank you), but for that time when the desire so occurs, I want to portray a woman as best I can, act the part, be the part and if going out in public, receive the recognition for a stellar performance as an actor/actress; passing.

First mention of expression and gender – March 22 2013: Or I could describe myself as a guy (I may have mentioned that already) who sometimes likes to wear the clothes of the opposite sex (crossdress). While crossdressed in these clothes, I like to portray the image of a woman by adding make-up, hair and female mannerisms (crossact). While crossacting, I am expressing or displaying characteristics of the opposite gender to which I was born (transgender). How’s that for a long winded description using multiple labels?

Understanding? Not yet – May 7 2014: I had set out with the purpose of this blog to see if I could find an answer to the question “why”, but, like so many others, have not been able to find it. Instead, I have come to understand crossdressing and the role it plays in my life.

Starting to realize something – June 12 2014: When I transform myself from the look of an everyday guy to that of a woman, it is all exterior decorating. Change the hair, change the face with makeup, change the texture of the skin by shaving and change the overall look by donning clothes that a woman would wear. My thoughts don’t change, my personal views don’t change, the things I love and hate don’t change. The only reason I would change my mannerisms, again an external manifestation, is so that they match the image I am portraying. My overall intent when I dress is to look like and to emulate a woman to the best of my ability. This has always been my goal when dressing from as far back as I can remember.

I still don’t know why I do what I do (this crazy, enjoyable thing called crossdressing), but with every little discovery, I’m understanding myself more.

I am me!

A female portion to my brain? – Oct 20 2014: I have previously stated, there is “no girl trying to get out” or a “second self”, but then, why do I have these “girly” thoughts. And why, when I dress, do I have this need to portray a womanly image? There is obviously a small portion of my brain that is “female”

Progression – July 18 2017: Despite my best personal effort and belief that I had “found” myself a number of years ago, through writing my own and reading others blogs, I now believe I am on a similar road of progression and self-discovery that so many others have experienced.

Comfortable – June 14 2018: Comfortable with my hair and make-up. Comfortable with my clothes. Comfortable with my presentation. Comfortable in my mind. Comfortable being me.

A summary of hints that my female gender was trying to reaching out and be known – July 12 2018, Am I now also experiencing the “finding ones true self”? And if so, what the hell is it? I used to describe myself as a “hetero-crossdresser”, but I’m now thinking there is more to me than that. There is a deep seated desire to be much more than just my male self. I know there is always a process of maturing and education throughout our entire lives, but while reflecting on my outings in Ottawa and digging deep into the recesses of my mind, there seems to have always been a part of me that has wanted to show/express my female person.

 

Which brings me to where I am today.

I’m bigender (with a hint of fluidity) and pride of it!

It was hidden in plain sight.

Although this will not be an in-depth post, I thought I should do a short update anyways.

Why did I choose the “themichelleinme” as the name for my blog? Why have I said so many times “I what to explore the woman in me” or “I’ve learned more about this part of me”? Or “I just want to express this part of me in normal/everyday activities”? (If you read back through my posts you may start to see all the hints)

Its because I’m Bigender! There has always been a female gender looking out from my male frame. Born and assigned male, raised and conditioned to be male, always suppressing that part of me that didn’t fit the expectations of those around me. Until recently, it was only when I was alone that I could “allow” that part of me to be free. But I’m also still very happy with my male expression.

Fortunately, in recent years I have become less fearful of letting me express both genders that make me who I am. I’m able to, without shame, express female at work and with friends out and about in the local area. I’m fortunate that I have some control over when I express M or F, to best fit my personal schedule or in showing support for the greater LGBTQ2+ community (both within the Canadian Armed Forces and in the general public), through education and visibility.

This is who I am and Michelle has always been in me.

M.

Wow! Where did the time go?

16 months since my last update! Sorry about that folks. But if you have seen by my Flickr pics on the side, I have been VERY busy. Busy expressing that female part of me that has been there all my life, but now has had many opportunities to be “let out”.

I’ll get around to some more detailed accounts on the near future. Just wanted to let you know I’m still about, but yes, things have changed.

Michelle

More Thinking. More Progress? Destination?

So, in light of recent events and how things have changed over the last few years, as well as finding my mind wandering, questioning what is going on, I have decided to list everything I can remember with regards to how I’ve thought about this crossdressing thing and how my thoughts may have change. Or where they always that way, I just didn’t read the signals then, the same way I do now?

Some points that follow I have mentioned before, others never.

Childhood (7-11 years old)

  • I remember the girls at school wearing the school uniform skirts, doing handstands against the wall and showing their undies and me thinking I would like to wear those.
  • I went to a Cub Scout theatrical performance where a number of the boys where dressed like “angels” in white dresses. I was jealous, I wanted to dress like that.
  • That time I wanted to wear my sisters nurse uniform (too small) but turned my police one into a girl’s version using my sister’s black cape as a wrap skirt. Why? No idea, but it felt great. Not so finding out my mother had taken back her nylons I had stashed under my bed. That was a major downer.
  • Continued sneaking through my mother’s stuff as “we” so often tend to do, loving the image the mirror projected. Never questioning.

Youth (12-18 years old)

  • Puberty was starting. Sister’s too. I tried on her training bra and wondered if this might cause my breasts to grow. Remember the first “real” bra I wore, a Daisy Fresh front snap closure.
  • As a kid, ever remember the story of if you crossed your eyes and looking in the mirror at midnight, you would stay cross-eyed? I tried that while being crossdressed. I looked like a girl, would I stay that way after midnight? Why would I even tempt fate if that’s not something I wanted?
  • I wore my mother’s bathing suit. It had semi rigid breast cups and tummy control. It provided some hiding factor to my maleness, but that’s the first time I remember tucking things away, to look like a girl. Then I thought if I can do this with a swim suit, why not a bikini? That quickly moved onto sisters smaller panties and bra (which, like so many girls that age, I stuffed with toilet paper). This was all done with the aim of looking like a girl. And I never thought anything was wrong with it.
  • I tried pushing “things” back inside my body to hide them. Didn’t work.
  • All through this time (and still do), I looked at girls and wondered about dressing like them. Their hair, make-up, clothes. After evening Drives Ed, the school was empty, so while waiting to be picked up, I’d sneak into the girl’s bathroom and experience a sense of…I really don’t know how to explain it…it “felt” good to be in there.
  • In grad 12, one of the girls can to school in a skirt suit as she had a job interview right after classes….I was SO FRIGGING JEALOUS of how she looked. I SO WANTED to look like that.

Teen to adult

  • I would be remiss if I didn’t say that dressing also brought about arousal and pleasure, but ALWAYS followed by guilt and shame. After the purges, deep regret for having done so. Like I’d lost something that I may never get back.
  • On the farm, when I’d find myself alone, I’d dress in my sisters barn clothes to do chores. I mean everything she wore! I wanted to be like her.
  • When I worked overseas on an exchange program, again, for whatever reason, I wanted and did get out while dressed. These where my very first excursions outside of the safety of my room. Went for a drive, walk in town, cycled. I wanted to be seen as a woman.
  • When I can home, waiting to get into the Forces, there was a compelling need to go beyond dressing in the apartment. A needed to get out and be seen and interact with society. Always nerve-racking, but also enjoyable.
  • After joining the Forces, there was two Halloweens, a winter carnival with a Womanless Beauty Pageant and an Octoberfest that were used as “excuses” to dress. Again, I enjoyed being out.
  • On two occasions, while driving from temporary posting to the next, I chose to dress for parts of those drives. But why? It would have been so much simpler to just travel as “me”. I’ve never really given much thought until recently, as to what the motivation was. I just wanted, or needed to do it. Now as I think back, I may have started out nervous, but it did indeed feel great to be able to do it. Dare I say, as I’ve most recently written…it felt comfortable.
  • A couple of times I drove 50 minutes to the nearest airport just to wander around. No thought given to “what if something happened”.
  • I stifled the desire to get out once we started a family. The thoughts though never went away. The “want” has always been there.

Today

  • Most recently, through the fantastic invention called the internet, I have been able to reach out to others around the world. Read, write and exchange thoughts on what makes “us” tick. I’ve learned much about myself, but with each passing experience, although I keep learn more,  I’m also left with newer questions.
  • Am I now also experiencing the “finding ones true self”? And if so, what the hell is it? I used to describe myself as a “hetero-crossdresser”, but I’m now thinking there is more to me than that. There is a deep seated desire to be much more than just my male self. I know there is always a process of maturing and education throughout our entire lives, but while reflecting on my most outings in Ottawa and digging deep into the recesses of my mind, there seems to have always been a part of me that has wanted to show/express my female persona.
  • I know there are many who have gone through something similar and can relate.
  • And the rhetorical question re-appears…Where is this taking me? Time will tell I suppose.

M.

Comfortable

Ottawa, May 2018
Comfortable, actually quite comfortable. Comfortable with my hair and make-up. Comfortable with my clothes. Comfortable with my presentation. Comfortable in my mind. Comfortable being me.
Comfortable is the best word to describe how I felt during my time I was able to present that part of me that normally remains hidden. It was also an incredible feeling of freedom.
I was able to attend some training in Ottawa at the end of May, for a new Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) national initiative called Positive Space Ambassadors. It is the CAF’s take on other Federal Departments programs but keyed for the military. Ambassadors are peer helpers, resource providers and facilitators of Positive Space information for LGBT and non-LGBT members of the CAF.
This was the first time I’ve been away on training by myself and I packed “extra” clothing(+), in anticipation of having an opportunity to dress while out of town.
After a very informative day one of training on the Tuesday, which included an introduction session where I “came out” to the group, I asked the instructor if I could present that part of me the next day. “As long as you dress in business casual, in fact that would be great. You are free to express yourself. That’s what its all about”.
As I had some difficulty finding a hotel room at short notice, I ended up staying at the Algonquin Collage Residence and Conference Centre, which turned out to be a very busy spot. Bus loads of high school kids, business and trade people coming and going, but this did not deter or even make me nervous with the thought of dressing around them.
Training ended quite early, so that afternoon/early evening, I took the opportunity to change and take a stroll along the Ottawa River. I also took the opportunity to wander through a mall, visit a MAC store and chat with the very nice sales lady and on the way beck to my lodgings, pick-up a pair of pantyhose from a Shoppers Drug Mart.  Later I wandered around the collage campus, passed many others doing the same. It felt good to get out!
Wednesday I was up early to have that all important close, close shave (I’m lucky I don’t have a heavy dark beard anyways) and dress in my grey pinstripe skirt suit. My mind was at ease, again no nervousness or second thoughts as I walked out the lobby, across the parking lot to my car, passing many others. No “emergency bag” of male cloths, this was me for the day.
I got to security, handed them my Mil ID and drivers licence, the Commissionaire handed me my temporary pass and ID, “here is your pass Ma’am. Have a nice day”.
It was quite a walk from the front gate to the building we where in, the furthest I have ever walked in heals…it took a bit longer than the previous day, lol.
I wouldn’t bore you with all the details of the day, but needless to say, it was a fantastic day. Well accepted, many questions and many chances for education.  By the end of it, my mind was in a different place. I don’t want to use the work normal (as there is no such thing), but that’s how I felt. However, comfortable, really covers all the bases.
That evening I was to go over to my father-in-laws for supper and watch the hockey game, but I took some time after training to change and take another local stroll, before changing back to drab and heading over.
Thursday was a major milestone…I flew home while presenting female!
I had enough time in the morning to make sure everything was in order before heading to the airport. Again, no emergency way out, this was it. Stopped at the front desk to get a printed copy of my bill (for my claim), stopped enroute to fill up the rental with gas, returned the car at the airport, checked in at the self serve ticket machine (needed to get a clerk to tag my bag as it was fee being military), and then proceeded to security. I’d left plenty of time to get though…just in case. Turned out I got there at a very quite moment. No lineup, straight through in like 30 seconds! It now turned out I had two hours to kill before boarding!
My ticket had been issues without a seat assignment, so as boarding started, a number of manes where called out, mine included, to get a new boarding pass. The new pass was printed and picked up by the gate agent working the other side of the counter, she scanned it then handed it to the agent I was dealing with, who was about to scan it again but was to told “I already scanned her through”. My agent then said “I just have to see your passport”, that’s what I had in my hand and as I did I said “bad hair day” (male picture), laugh, “Oh don’t worry about that. Have a great flight”. And it was.
Side note. I had talked with an Air Canada agent before leaving Halifax about ID requirements. Transport Canada states that you can use Government issues photo ID, or two pieces of non-photo ID. If there has been a Legal change of name or sex that is not yet reflected on your ID, then an official letter is required to state such. As for a case like myself, nothing legal changed, only presenting a bit different than my photo, there “should” not be any issue. Its just like a long haired woman shaving their head, or guy growing out his hair since the ID photo was taken. There are stories of those who have run into stubborn/inconsiderate agents, but hopefully, through education, this is rare.
Transport had been arranged for the drive home from the airport.
I saw the driver and went up to him and asked “for Greenwood?” “Capt B?” “Yes. I’ll need about 10 minutes to get changed” (I could not arrive home dressed as I was), “No problem, your the only one I’m picking up”.
I know of a quiet area with a gender neutral bathroom and did a super fast transformation. I walked up to the driver again, who was on his phone, waiting a moment, he looked at me inquisitively, I said “For Greenwood”…pause…strange look (as he only had one person to pick up)…2,3,4 “I mentioned I had to get changed. I’m ready now, we can go”…pause, 2,3,4…”OH!”
The hour and a half drive back went quickly as we talked about many topics, including of course the military and LGBT issues.
I believe I was very lucky to not have had any negative experiences during those couple of days. I’m hopeful that maybe, despite what is going on in other parts of the world (North America…), that acceptance of those who are “different”, is no longer a big deal. And as the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms states, we are guaranteed and environment free from harassment and discrimination and are free to express who we are in a free and open manner.
Before writing this entry, I had put that short blurb about still being around. After I did that, I went back and read my last full blog entry and was somewhat stunned. I could not remember writing it. What was there was very enlightening, considering what I had just done. I had learnt much during the training, but how I felt after the fantastic experience of those days, only leaves me now with more questions, especially after re-reading what I had wrote. Yes, I am changing. I’m getting older. Life is getting shorter. My Give A F@$% Factor has changed. I have this part of me that needs to be freed.
I’ll close this entry with a quick mention of a couple of notable events that occurred over the last 11 month: Got out to supper, twice, with a group of local trans* friends and spouses (we are all over the spectrum). Had “the talk” with my wife…lets just say it’s now more of a “don’t ask, don’t tell” relationship. It’s more than she bargained for. She understands its part of me and that I need to express it, she just doesn’t want to see or know about it. I hate that I have lied to her in the past, but that’s a wound that may never heal. Somehow life will continue. That magic balance, a compromise will be found.
In the mean time, not to end on a downer, I’m personally comfortable. So much so, that a number of co-workers now know and all have been absolutely fantastic about it. 🙂
Hopefully it wouldn’t be another year before my next entry.
Enjoy who you are!
M.

Still here!

Hey everyone. Yep, it’s been like 11 months since my last entry. A bunch of stuff has happened during that time, but my next entry, coming soon, will skip straight to very recent events.

Stay tuned. M

Thinking. Progress. Destination.

Reflect on the events of this past Saturday and some questions that where asked of me, along with the phone chat I had recently with the social worker in Halifax, I am starting to wonder where my current journey may take me.

(Saturday July 15th was raising of the Pride flag in Wolfville Nova Scotia. I had been determined to attend and was fortunate to be joined by some friends I had previously met along with meeting new ones.) 

Questions posed: What am I hoping to gain from the mental health services? If I could dress (present) more often, would I? Am I still finding myself? Transgender, crossdresser, gender queer…what am I?

THINKING

In the past, I have had a feeling of loss when, after finding someone (on line) who presented very nicely in there feminine role and seemed to be of similar mind set as myself, would then decide to progress further down the transgender road and transition or at least live their lives as “their true selves”. I felt like I had lost a “brother”.

I’m still jealous of those who are able to express themselves with little restriction or with exceptional presentation. There are also those in larger cities who have social support groups where they meet monthly and have outings with friend and/or spouses. We really don’t have anything like that in Nova Scotia (not yet anyways).

There is at least one contact I have on FB who has found a balance in their lives and is very happy being a guy but has also embraced their female side, is fully out and alternates between the two as events and occasions dictate.

In the couple of sessions I’ve had with social workers, I tell them I have lived my life balancing the crossdressing with my other life responsibilities. I’m now of the belief that I’m now placing more weight on the crossdressing (now referred to as transgender) end of the scale and I’m looking to move the fulcrum to regain that balance. What is it going to take to move that point? What do I need to do to regain a balance. That’s one of the objectives I have in discussing this with the social worker.

This past Saturday, I spent almost 8 hrs presenting as female. Met with friends, had coffee, attended a public gathering, stopped for gas and milk, bought ice-cream and sat around in public, all while feeling completely “at ease”.  There was no feeling of nervousness. (I don’t think there is a single word to describe the feeling of excitement/euphoria/happiness/enjoyment/normalcy that I was experiencing). There wasn’t even the normal desire to snap pictures every few minutes. This was all about being out and interacting in public presenting as Michelle…being “normal”.

I’m quite happy with my presentation and had a fantastic time. But where does that experience leave me?

QUESTIONS, LABELS.

Back to trying to answer some of my questions; if I could dress (present) more often, would I? Right as of this moment, yes. Although it takes a lot of preparation (ie close, close shave etc), it would not be something I’d do for days on end. More along the lines of a couple times a week or as a situation allowed. Maybe nothing for weeks. Does this thought pattern (along with many other’s swirling around my grey matter) now remove me from the simple ‘Crossdresser’ label and place me more firmly into the ‘Transgender’ one? Personally I thinking yes. I love to present my femme side. Or does this make me Gender Queer, a newer term being bantered around these days?

PROGRESSION

In the past number of years, I have read may others personal experiences on progression and had wondered if it could/would happen to me. I had denied for the longest time that it could (I was happy with who I was and how my dressing was incorporated into my life and treated it as a hobby), but now realize I seem to be following the same progression as so many others. Is this a result of aging? Chemical changes (differing amounts, differing results for different people) in the brains of transgender folk maybe?  I’m sure these days, due to a more accepting public (for the most part, at least in Canada), if one has any sort of tendency towards being trans*, this might bring them out of the proverbial closet.

As so many have experienced, as a young child when I first dressed, I had no idea of social restrictions, sexual feelings etc, I just wanted to LOOK like the girls. Adolescence came with the usual feelings of arousal/pleasure. This past Saturday however, I have to admit, was the first time I went all day with no sexual feelings…I was just being me. More progressive steps down the road to…?

Am I still finding myself?

Despite my best personal effort and belief that I had “found” myself a number of years ago, through writing my own and reading others blogs, I now believe I am on a similar road of progression and self-discovery that so many others have experienced.

I really don’t know where this is now going to take me…

 

A bunch of catching up

Happy 150th Canada!

July 2017

Well……Well, well, well, well. Where to start. Where I left off I suppose.

I know it’s been a long time (again) since my last entry, life, family, car maintenance and job have all kept me busy, but not too busy as to be able to dress on occasion.

Back in December, I had a couple of issues I needed to talk to my CO about. As I hope to be able to expand participation within the local LGBTQ+ community in the future, I used the opportunity to have “the talk” with him. I wanted him to hear everything from me and not by accident from other sources. His response, “you have to be true to yourself, as long as it doesn’t bring shame to The Forces”.  Wow! Great relief.

Things where quiet during the winter, but for TDOV, 31 March, I posted my small homemade Trans* flag on the inside wall of my cubical. Not in plain site unless you stepped right in. Small steps.

Towards the end of April was my next opportunity to dress, a few hours, but as always, enjoyable! (Pics are posted on Flickr as always)

The month of May proved to be a bit of an emotional roller coaster. During this time, my dancing daughter heads to a competition in Moncton NB. The past two years my wife and eldest daughter have also gone, giving my almost a week of possible dressing time (work schedule depending). I was informed I would be taking her this year. Initially this was a downer…however, upon discussion with the two girls (who OKed the plan), I decided that I would spend some of the time dressed. I was very excited about the prospect of spending a couple days exploring Moncton and possibly even watching the dance competition enfemme.

Then the inevitable change of plans (I still don’t know if these kind of things just happen to me or, if I was the suspicious type, I would suspect my wife plans and was making these changes on purpose) she was going with the girls, I would stay home with my son and TWO international students. Oh yes, we had picked up another student in January, from China…so if I wanted to dress for extended periods of time (outside school hours), I would now have to talk to him, which I did and all went well, no issues!

So, anyway, before the dance comp, our Chinese student need to go to the city (Halifax) and complete an English exam. By pure luck, the times worked out on that Saturday, that after dropping him off, I was able to attend the FLY community coffee. Although it was Trans Guys week (my luck), I was able to meet another member Katie and had a great talk. I was also fortunate to find a couple pair of flats out of the many pairs that one of the guys had brought from his neighbor. Bonus!

Friday the 19th May proved to be another one of those firsts. After exchanging a couple messages with another Nova Scotia gal, she arranged to come over from the south shore (an hour and a half drive) to have coffee, both in girl mode. We met at the bottom of the local highway off ramp. I jumped out of my car and gave her a big hug, as passing traffic (and a cop car…lol) drove by and I wasn’t nervous or anything. Darlene wanted to go through the local drive through for coffee but I initially backed out of the idea, but while driving as I got closer…”what the heck…” and drove through. Ordered an Ice Cap in my best feminine voice…again, no issues. We then drove to a local picnic park and talked for something line 3 hours or more. Just a tremendous feeling of freedom!

Just so you can appreciate how nervous I have been in the past and never dressed in the local area, the village I live outside of has a population of only around 7000. The adjoining village has about the same. The RCAF Base I work at is the largest employer in the area, so I have always been sensitive to running into someone I might know. However, my mind set is changing. I’m opening up, as you will read about in a bit.

The time went too quickly, but I had other tasks to attend to. Prior to heading home, I texted my two sons to let them know I was dressed and on the way home. They in turn let me know that their girlfriends would also likely be there….I had given them the ok to tell them about ‘Michelle’…how would this go. Only #3’s girlfriend (L) was there…again no issues. Later that evening, the 2 Internationals, son and girlfriend and I sat around the campfire with marshmallows, chocolate (and red win for me) and had a blast! (and we didn’t even talk about crossdressing…lol)

Saturday was a guy-stuff-to-do day.

Sunday was another girly day. I had to drop one of the IS’s off at his drama group and I then used the opportunity to drop in on the ladies bathroom at the local mall (this was a really big first for me). Passed another woman as I went in and one as I came out after checking hair and makeup. All great. Then I walked around a local park but was surprised how quiet it was, sort of disappointing really. It was then home, slight change and out for my now annual bike ride. I did the same route as I had done the previous year, only in reverse. Again, what an exhilarating feeling.

That evening #2’s girlfriend (R) got to meet me.  Well, it couldn’t have gone any better. Later that evening the three of us “girls” (L, R and me) sat around the kitchen table talking make-up (kind of pissed off my eldest son as he was trying to watch a movie in the adjoining room…lol). She had a number of very sensible questions, one being “I’m unsure about pronouns, what should I use?”. For me, it’s how I’m presenting at that time. I told my son she’s a keeper…lol. A question that I struggle with was one she also asked “if it was more acceptable for you to dress, would you?” My answer, “yes, but…”. It’s an ever lingering question, one I’m really attempting to answer as I explore this part of my life.

The “high” I was experiencing even lasted until the following day, as even without much makeup and simply dressed, I looked in the mirror and saw my fem self.

The next week I posted this on my FB page “Back to reality, back to work. NO. Strike that…just, back to work. Everything that occurred this weekend WAS reality. I can’t deny it. My head is spinning somewhat”.

With that I re-engaged the mental health unit on my base. An hour long talk with the social worker was again enlightening. Though she has 17 years’ experience, only 3 months working with the military, and not a great deal of knowledge in this subject, she was willing to learn from those who do. At the end of the session I showed her a couple of pictures. She was quite taken back and said “please don’t take this the wrong way, but you look like a woman”.  I now have to talk with someone else next week. In the year since I last talked to this other woman, there has been some change in my desires/wants/needs. We will see where this takes me. I am also looking for help in talking with my wife as to my expanding desires to be more out and participating in the LGBTQ community.

With June being Pride month, Bill 16 passing here in Canada, and the desire to have more flexibility to pursue counselling and other activities associated with trans+ issues, it was time to tell my direct supervisor. He is someone I have known for many years, been my boss a couple times (though same rank, Captain) and volunteered with for local hockey events. Wow…total acceptance, total support. If I need time for appointments, just let him know so he can move my work schedule around to accommodate.

One more talk to have in the coming weeks, the new incoming CO. Again, someone I’ve known and flown with in the past. Apparently it gets easier to tell others…will see. Stay tuned. I’ll try and not be so long between postings.

M.