Mirror Images

One day while texting back and forth with my friend Sherry, a dear person and probably my only real world friend (using the true definition of the word “friend”) dealing with all of this, I realized something. Before I move forward, I have many friends in the virtual world, I have many good acquaintances who are like me and I have great friends as Kandi who are cis-gendered people. However my only real true friend, dealing with many of the same feelings as I do, is Sherry.

While friends, Sherry and I are almost complete mirror images of each other. Consider the following:

  • My wife couldn’t care less about my dressing; her’s isn’t a fan.
  • I’ve told no one other than my wife; she’s told co-workers, family members, random strangers, people walking down the street, etc. (okay, I exaggerate a bit).
  • Along those lines, she’s participated with people that know her otherwise; I have not (unless they came to know Kandi first) nor do I wish to with those that know the real me.
  • I go principally where ever I want, when ever I want; she has limited windows and limited places due to her profession.
  • She likes drag; I detest it.
  • She (wisely) is in therapy; I am my own therapist (what do they say about someone who represents themselves?  Same thing here, they have a fool for a client).
  • I speak in my male voice; she speaks in a feminized voice.
  • Sherry is a nocturnal creature; I turn into a pumpkin around 9:00 PM.

I’m sure there are other points I could make, but you get the drift. I asked Sherry to pen her view of the matter, as she completely agreed with my premise.

Recently, Kandi emailed me with an idea for a combined post between the two of us, a point/ counter point if you will. She has noticed how the two of us approach our feminine side in very different ways. The irony of this is, I have been noticing the same thing. The funny thing is, our male sides seemed to have paralleled itself in many ways leading up to the blossoming of our feminine personas. For example, we both have been married to our wives for many years (almost 30 for me!) [33 for me], we live in the same community (less than a 10 minute car ride apart) [hell, it’s less than a 10 minute run], we are both runners (I don’t compete anymore but coach now), and we both couldn’t stand ourselves until our female personas walked out the door around the half-century mark! I’m sure there’s more…

Now for our approach to our Kandi/Sherry side. When I finally walked out of the house as Sherry a few Januarys ago I was scared, excited, relieved, all of the emotions that we have all experienced. I soon found, and continue to find, my likes and dislikes to just about everything. When Kandi was nice enough to reach out and meet me in drab initially and again later as Kandi and Sherry, a friendship was established. She has guided me to a comfort level that is still evolving and improving day by day. I thank you for that! [Go on…….] Since those initial outings I/we have noticed a few differences in our approaches to our feminine sides. Now neither of us are right nor wrong, just different.

I absolutely LOVE the process of getting ready. I love seeing the male self fade away and the female self emerge. [The key word here is “see” she can, I cannot.] As my male self I build a lot of things and I enjoy how I make something from nothing, this is no different. [Interesting point.] I spend a lot of energy thinking about how my makeup and hair should look based on my outfit. Kandi says that she hates the process but knows it’s a necessary evil. I enjoy spending time looking online about makeup and hair techniques and how to create the best outfit.

Kandi’s wife could care less about her dressing and doesn’t care about seeing her and taking pictures/lending articles of clothing etc. My wife, although she is coming around, has no desire to see me dressed and rather me not do it. In the near future I will be going out for the second time with her knowing it.

Kandi has told no one about her dressing but I have told many. The list of people who know include two sisters-in-law, my sister and her husband, three co workers, a work acquaintance, two of my wives friends, my son (not by choice, he walked in on me), his wife and mother-in-law, and a couple of salon workers who I have shown pictures of my male self to. [Did you miss anyone?]

A huge advantage for Kandi is that she can go out pretty much whenever she wants where my time is limited due to my job and my wife. Kandi always counters with I can retire in four years at the age of 58 and she cannot. [Trade that anytime!]

I like going to drag shows and will be going to another soon with my sister and two co-workers (blog to follow). I think it is just another way that individuals can express who they are. Kandi detests going to drag shows. [Not a fan of the “bitch” this, “bitch” that culture.]

When my wife and I started having meaningful conversation about my dressing I quickly realized that I/we needed a therapist to work through things and found one to help us. We have gone twice together and Sherry has gone four times by herself. These sessions have been helpful and I want to continue as soon as I get my insurance straightened out. Kandi is her own therapist but has been a therapist to many of us! [A few years back I did see a therapist who told me I was just a “normal” crossdresser. Good enough for me!]

Kandi uses her everyday voice when out but I try to use a feminized voice when out (if you recall I went to voice lessons during the summer). I continue to practice my female voice and hope to go back to voice training this spring and/or summer. [My feminized voice sounds like Minnie Mouse, actually more like Mickey.]

Kandi knows she doesn’t “pass” and doesn’t care [just realizing what the realities are, we never pass, way too many tells] and believes that is one of the reasons people interact with her so much (personality has nothing to do with it!). [I won’t argue my personality helps, but I get many a smile or a hug without even opening my yap.] I want to pass and will go to great detail to try to obtain the correct look. I love to just fit in and be another woman in the room. Idle chit chat is my friend.

Since Kandi has the ability to get out on a regular basis she doesn’t stay out late when out. [That actually has nothing to do with it, I cannot stay awake, plus I’m old. Been this way all my life, even in college. I am a morning person.] Me, on the other hand, am a bit of a night owl. Since my opportunities are limited I have to take advantage of my time and tend to stay out longer than I would if I were my male self. Kandi and I have stayed out to about midnight together but she goes home and I stay out a little longer. [I also like retiring home before I have had one too many, as a bar is principally the only place one can go to after hours. Such a mistake would be twice as costly for me because I would also lose my job.]

I’m sure there are other similarities and differences and maybe Kandi will expand upon those as well. Bottom line, no matter what, find your comfort level first, step out of the house, and be the person you deserve to be. [Amen, sister!] I believe a reason why Kandi wanted us to collaborate on this blog was to show how different approaches to dressing can be but yet the ultimate goal of happiness can be achieved in all of us. [Plus it’s content!] I can’t wait to hear Kandi’s point of view! [I blab enough here, so I just left snarky comments.]

Attached are pictures of our first and last outing together, what a difference!

Stay beautiful-Sherry [I need a catchy sign off.]

We’re all different, we’re all the same, interesting juxtapositions. Thanks Sher!!

This was one of my personal favorite posts. Two pretty good looking chicks!

8 thoughts on “Mirror Images

  1. Ladies,
    This was a great post with both of you putting things forward to show that we are all unique but that we all are faced with dealing with our issues in ways that work for us. What we do is not mainstream and it is out of the realm of the ordinary for folks in our age group but it is something we have to do. We have our male selves which is a good thing but we have this other side, this need to present as women, that makes us unique and requires us to almost treat our dressing as a sort of secret identity.

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  2. I absolutely agree that this post is so important and powerful. It shows that we are all unique in our own way, even as we all share the stories of our dressing. Although we may find friendship and support from other CD/TG people, both virtually and in reality, each of us has to forge an individual path forward.

    I can see much of my own experience in parts of Kandi’s and Sherry’s. I started dressing around 9-10 years old, but never considered going out with a wig and makeup until 2011 (I’m close in age to both of you). While my wife and daughter know I have dressed, they don’t know the extent of my wardrobe or how many times I have gone out. I’ve only showed a couple of SAs a picture of me dressed while shopping in male mode. I have limited time due to my family circumstances, I can go weeks or (usually) months between dressing days. Not a big fan of drag. I’ve been in therapy before, not currently, but I’m looking for someone new. I soften my voice and raise the pitch slightly, but I don’t really feel I am “feminizing” it as much as taking the edge off my normal male voice. I do go out more often in the daytime, but I could see myself out late at night and having a good time as well.

    Thank you Kandi for this blog and all your support!

    Hugs, Tina

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  3. Ladies,
    Yes, we all have our similarities and differences to what and how we do it. Bottom line…go do it!!
    Stay beautiful-Sherry

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  4. At one of our monthly transgender dinner meetings we had a guest speaker who specialized in gender issues. She said, “When you’ve met one transgender person, you’ve met one transgender person.” In other words, we all have our differences.

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