Improvements in a Changing World

We love and miss Stephanie! Check out today’s new post at kandis-land.com after you revisit this gem from Steph!

By Stephanie Julianna

 I would like to address Emily’s thoughts about Society’s acceptance of our desire to experience life as a female, if only on a part-time basis.  Since I have been closely watching and then participating in this activity for over 65 years I have probably experienced most examples along the entire spectrum.     

I have been very fortunate as a crossdresser to be of the size of the average woman.  At 5’5″ I have been able to literally stay below the radar when out and about, even in heels. LOL 

I have experienced complete acceptance without raising an eyebrow in my early days.  However, I also had some of my worst experiences during that same time back in the ’80’s.       

One of these events sticks out in my mind.  I was on a date with a friend and  crossdresser admirer.  We decided to go to The Top Of the World restaurant at the World Trade Center.  I was dressed in a pretty satin dress and thought I had nailed my look that night.  We got on the elevator and were joined by a group of teen couples, also dressed to the nines.  It turned out that some posh school was having their prom that night as well.  The teens spotted me and read me as quickly as if I had forgotten to put my wig on.  They started laughing and pointing and it became the longest elevator ride of my life.  By the time we reached the top I was in tears and we quickly took the next elevator down.     

The good thing about this story is that the same age kids today would never do that.  They are so sensitive to the transgendered community that I can not imagine a repeat of that experience.  However, I have mostly had very positive experiences that sometimes even surprised me. 

Another time, out with that same friend, Sam, we decided to go to a new club for “Queens” as we were called back then.  It was close to the Holidays and I bought a pretty outfit that included a chiffon white blouse, black velvet straight skirt with a wide red satin belt with spike heels (see above).  As we approached the door, we were stopped by the guy holding the rope and politely told us that the club was not for mixed couples.  When we realized the issue, I used my deepest voice to thank him for the compliment and his smile grew as he welcomed us in.     

Sales associates and restaurant staff have also been wonderful over the years, and like Emily has related to me, even seem to like chatting us up making us feel like just one of the girls.  It actually took me a while to get used to this when I stopped doing the drag scene 20 years ago and went out in “straight” public only.       

I remember a time during those early public days shopping at Nordstrom’s Closet in the winter.  I was wearing over the calf leather 4″ heel boots with a skirt and short Winter coat.  As I passed a SA she smiled at me and said, “I love your boots.”.  I shyly thanked her and continued shopping.  This happened over and over at different times in those first few years before I stopped questioning their motives and started to confidently thank them and even answer questions like, “Where did you buy that?” or some other question.  I now will even ask a SA in a changing room what she thinks of a dress I am trying on.        

Sadly, I will never be able to ask my wife of 49 years these questions since we are in a “I don’t want to see it.” relationship even though she has known about it since ’68.  It has been like this for so long that I would now feel uncomfortable if she did see me dressed.  Yet I have no issue with strangers seeing me.  It all comes back to that magical word, ACCEPTANCE. 

What I do know more than ever is that I am now happy for the most important reason of all, I accept who I am and love how I turned out.     

Pictures show times when acceptance was the experience savored.  One was taken the night we hit that club I spoke of above.  The other was just before a dinner out with a friend last July.

Baskins-Robbins

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Yeah, I know, we’ve seen this before…work with me here. I have to finish packing up the place!

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This is us, the CD/TG community.  31 flavors, variations, different slants on the world.  Beginning with the obvious differences, in their basic definitions: CDs, we like women’s clothing, presenting ourselves as women.  TGs, wish to become and/or feel as though they are women. There are many other different varieties, non-binary, gender fluid, etc. You all know them and probably identify with one of them.

I’ll try to best explain my flavor.  I enjoy being dressed, looking stylish.  I am not hung up on a specific item or type of clothing, don’t seek to hyper-feminize myself.  For example, I love a stylish pair of heels.  I don’t seek to wear 4 inch stilettos just because they are ultra-feminine.  My presentation is designed for the mainstream world, that of a woman my age.  That is both because of who I am, my mindset and view of the world as well as how I enjoy my Kandi time.  For me, just going about the day (on an outing dressed), with little notice is the perfect day. That means I assimilated, blended if you will.  Practicality now trumps sensuality. I certainly enjoy the complements I receive.  Those are 100% acts of of kindness by strangers, but they are also an acknowledgement that I fooled no one.  Not a bad thing, mind you, just the reality.

There are so many other flavors.  Those that wish to shock.  Those that wish to stand out, to be noticed.  Those that want to cram every possible thing they can into an outing or evening out.  Those that never leave their houses, so dress in a fashion that they may not if out.  The tent here is a wide one and each slice or niche is very different than the other.  I tell many, just because I share a like of wearing women’s clothing with someone doesn’t mean we have anything in common.  I also wear men’s clothing and do not have anything in common with every man.

For many of us, it’s all about getting dressed.  When dressed, it’s still all about being dressed.  When you don’t or aren’t able to get out often, I completely get that.  But once you move beyond that, things change.  Many women I met early on in my journey are no longer on the scene or have moved on, evolved.  I have done that as well.  It’s not different than how a woman progresses in her life, it’s just a bit more compressed and then you find yourself, discover who you are and settle in to live your life.

I read on CD forums someone who thrills about having worn a bra.  Wants feedback on how an outfit looks (often in Icabode Crane fashion with a headless photo).  That is all part of our wanting to feel a part of something, to feel like a part of a community.  We all need that.  But we grow, evolve, move forward.

My flavor?  I’d describe it as Butter Pecan.  Really good, but very basic.  Not one of those flavors with fifteen different ingredients.  A classic.  I’m a step up from a simple Vanilla, but nothing fancy.  I know my place, stay in my lane, help and support within our community where I can, do what I can to help others and myself.

Will that be a single or double scoop?

Will we see you tomorrow at the new place?

Ok, Kandi, Your Turn On The Couch!

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Another blast from the past, reworked, updated, rethought.

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What I am about to talk about is only my belief.  It is not anything scientific and it is my belief from personal experience. Why am I a crossdresser?  This theory of mine has nothing to do with being transgendered.  I believe that those that are transgendered are born that way.  Much like someone is born gay, left handed, tall, athletic, highly intelligent, etc…  I believe crossdressing is a learned behavior and happens early in our lives.  I have rarely read about someone becoming a crossdresser in their adulthood (although it does happen).  Most stories talk about trying on a sister’s clothing or a mother’s clothing in our youth.  Now please understand my analogy here, I am NOT equating these two things, but it demonstrates my point.  If you are abused as a child, odds are good that you will grow up to be an abuser.  You process those experiences differently as a child.  If you get abused as an adult, you probably have the ability to defend yourself in some fashion and can make a conscious decision that this is behavior you do not wish to engage in.

Look we all know how much fun it is crossdressing when we have the ability to do so freely.  I contend that if you injected every male with a truth serum and dressed them, a significant percentage would enjoy the experience.  So as a child, if we are exposed to crossdressing, it becomes hard wired into us, before we have the societal guidelines drilled into us that boys do this and girls do that.  My very first memory is as a five year old, behind my neighbor’s garage (two neighborhood girls, I even remember their names, Denise and Lisa), putting on a dress.  I still know what that dress felt like and what color it was.  That instant Kandi was born although she took almost 50 years to make her debut.  From then on it was that urge, sneaking into the basement to try on a bra that was in the wash or wearing that dress that was on the pile for donation.  During high school I had a paper route in the early morning.  Of course, it was impossible to get anyone to cover the route, so I never joined my family for vacations.  That meant being home alone for a few days at a time, which meant trying on a whole bunch of things.

Also contributing to these urges, I am sure, was the fact that I was the oldest, first born son.  Then in successive years my parents had three girls.  I am sure somewhere along the way subconsciously I felt like girls got all the attention.  Three sisters, no brother.  Two daughters, no son.  Living with women for the significant majority of my life.  That means I almost always had easy access to women’s clothing.

Make any sense?  That is why I wince when I see any scenario where a young boy is dressed as a girl.  If it’s his choice, God bless him, probably transgendered.  If not, you just may have created another crossdresser.  There were three periods in my life where I did not live with women: college, about a year after college and one other time.  Near as I can remember, I never had these urges during those periods in my life.

I lived by myself when I finally landed my first job. I know for a fact, no CDing. Never crossed my mind, never thought about it. I believe that from the second half of 1979 (yeah, some of us dinosaurs roamed the Earth back then) until around mid 1986, these feeling were gone. Gone but not forgotten! But it all came rushing back and in about 2014, took over my life. A blessing? Absolutely. A curse? No question. This is so many different great and deplorable (thanks for the word Hillary!) things. Life, if you understand it, please let me know.

Okay, time is up Doctor.  I’ll pay on my way out. I believe that was $0.05, correct? Here is my insurance card.

Cleveland, Baby! (Part 2, 2019)

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By Dee

As I wrote about yesterday, every year (well, maybe not this year), USA Triathlon has a National Age Group Championship. In 2018 and 2019 the races were held in Cleveland. Besides the races, it also gave me some Dee time and another chance to rendezvous with Kandi.

The Wednesday before my races I drove as Dee, with one main stop at an outlet mall outside of Columbus. After the mall, I cleaned up and drove the remaining two hours, checking in at the hotel in guy mode. Upon arrival, I met up with Kandi’s lesser half, and, in drab, we went for a run (5.5 miles, if you’re curious). Our alter egos had to wait until Thursday.

Thursday afternoon Kandi and I met at 3 (I spent a couple hours before at Nordstrom trying on dresses) and went to a consignment shop favorite of Kandi’s. It’s a favorite because the workers dote on her. As it turns out, neither of Kandi’s faves was working, but Patty, who was working, was helpful in her own right, pulling clothes for us to try on and offering opinions. Neither Kandi not I could resist her force of will. I bought a pink Tommy Hilfiger dress and two tops.  The pictures were taken back at my hotel, which is a former Arcade and a great backdrop for pictures (Kandi likes using it for pictures too).

From there, we went to dinner at a local LGBT bar called AXS (“Access”), where we had a nice meal and a spirited conversation with a local LGBT rights activist. Once again, Kandi demonstrates she’s a natural for the camera. 

One footnote to add about our discussion with the LGBT activist. She was wearing a sharp looking Calvin Klein dress, and I told her it was a nice dress. After dinner, I went back at the mall where Kandi and I met, and I decided to give Dillard’s a look. Lo and behold, I find the same CK dress, so of course I have to try it on. I emailed a picture to Kandi, she forwarded it to the LGBT activist, and apparently the activist loved me in “her” dress. 

Friday afternoon I went to a matinee showing of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood at a downtown theater. Good movie, but the twist (spoiler alert) on the Manson murders makes it a somewhat depressing movie. I had a private showing–the only one in the theater. I only saw five or six others before or after the movie in the complex. I can’t imagine the theater is very profitable.  

Saturday morning I had my longer race (750 meter swim, 40 km bike, 10 km run). I did respectably; mid-80’s placing out of 109 entrants. Given I had been LAST the year before because of a flat on the biking leg, I was happy with my time.

After the race, I had the itch to get out and went to Savers and California Pizza Kitchen for dinner. After dinner, I stopped at Nordstrom Rack, and then returned to my hotel (always interesting to interact with the valet parking staff while dressed). 

The arcade below my hotel room had wedding receptions both Friday and Saturday nights. I was tempted to get glammed up and crash the receptions, but I didn’t. It did mean that when I entered and exited the hotel, there were usually a number of people using the elevators. Once upon a time, that would have freaked me out. Now, not a problem. As the wedding reception was still going on (read: loud in my room), and because I had 1) a dress I hadn’t worn out yet and 2) a voucher for $7 (yes, not a big gambler) at the nearby casino. I changed into the dress I hadn’t worn and walked to the casino. Stayed for about an hour, won $3, and cashed in my $10 to return to my room and pack most of my stuff (packing takes a while when you have both boy and girl stuff).

Sunday morning was a Sprint race (750 meter swim, 20k bike, 5k run). and the shorter distance makes it seem a lot easier. This time I was mid-40’s in my age group (out of 63). Happy with both of my times for the weekend, and that the prep work I did the month before paid off in better times (and extremely happy the prep work shrunk my waistline enough so the Ted Baker dress could make an appearance).

After the race, I returned to my hotel, packed the car, and hit the road. I binged on junk food and sweets for the 10 hour drive home–some habits die hard–and look forward to my next race and my next Dee time.

Cleveland, Baby! (Part 1, 2018)

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This is a Dee classic!

By “Sun” Dee

I (the guy me) have participated in shorter distance triathlons for over 30 years (shorter being the maximum of roughly one-fourth of the famous/infamous Hawaii Ironman). In my latter years, as I have gotten fitter and thinner, I tend to place higher in my age group in local races.

In June, 2018, I won my age group (out of four) at a race, which qualified me for the US Triathlon National Age Group Championships, held in Cleveland, Ohio in August, 2018 (and August, 2019). Making the Championships is one of my annual goals; besides competing in the races, being out of town means I can have some Dee time.

After qualifying, I contacted Kandi, as we were (are) both members of an internet forum. Having similar interests (besides the obvious) we made plans to meet and get out. 

The races were scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, but to have my Dee time I arrived in Cleveland Wednesday evening. Kandi and I arranged to meet Thursday evening, which gave me time to get out Thursday morning. I drove to the Cleveland Nordstrom, located about a half hour from downtown. Driving meant getting my car from the valet parking staff dressed slightly differently than when I checked in, but I have learned to just deal with it.

I was lucky and the SA was a very nice young lady named Storm. Yes, I asked, and yes it’s her real name. Apparently her mom was pregnant with Storm and while in Canada saw a boy named Storm, and figured it was unisex–and Mom wanted her daughter to take the world “like a storm”. I wore my latest Nordstrom buy, a purple skirt, along with a top my wife didn’t want (so I took it). 

After Nordstrom, I returned to the hotel, changed into my favorite dress, and walked to the nearby Science Center, one of the 6 million local places where Kandi volunteers (ok, slightly less than 6 million, but not that much less). We went to dinner at Kandi’s favorite place with her favorite bartender, Leia, and had a very nice meal.

When Kandi and I were trading emails to plan my visit, she sent me the menu for a restaurant she was thinking about visiting, and wondering if I was ok with the choices. I answered back I was going to be walking in downtown Cleveland in the middle of August in a dress and heels, so a menu was the least of my worries. 

After dinner, Kandi drove me back to my hotel, and decided I wasn’t done with Dee for the day, so I changed into my latest thrift find, a $6 Maggy London (a/k/a my favorite designer–the red dress is also a Maggy London) and walked to the local casino.

On Friday Kandi picked me up at my hotel (a full service hostess) and we spent a couple of hours at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and after to dinner at a restaurant that a friend had recommended to Kandi (and the food was well worth the recommendation).

We had fun and despite being two CDs in a crowded RNRHOF, we had zero issues (and received a compliment from a cute GG walking to the restaurant). So as Kandi counsels, get out!

P.S. As to the races, for Saturday’s longer race I had a flat, had to wait over an hour to get it fixed, and finished dead last (of 132) in my age group. For Sunday’s race, half the distance of Saturday’s, I finished 63rd of 87, decent for me.

Julie’s First Time Out – Part 2

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Our final logo!

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By Julie Slowinski

The next day, a Thursday, I had business until about 6pm and was determined not to make the mistakes of the previous night. Across the street from my condo, was a sushi restaurant so I took my time getting a really nice meal. I had been wearing one of my favorite guy suits, fits perfectly and always makes me feel extra confident. So, by the end of dinner I was in a great mindset. My plan was to get to the club, which was having a drag night, around 11pm – no blazing sun this time. Got ready without a hitch and made it a point to do the nails last – a single coat of gold sparkly polish followed by a quick use of the room provided hair dryer and I was out the door.

This time I was wearing my favorite LBD and these really cool platform Maryjane heels. This time the 2 block walk to the club was with total confidence and those shoes were actually quite comfortable, even though they don’t look it. Once I got inside the club I felt like I had finally found my people. The crowd was about a third drag girls, a third gay boys and a third GG’s – not exactly my people, but it sure felt like it.

After about an hour I met my first crossdresser – Michelle. We talked for the rest of the evening and really hit it off. After we closed the place, we walked to her car, gave each other a big hug and didn’t exchange any contact information. So, I’ve totally lost contact with her. Hopefully, we’ll find each other on one of these internet sites and will be able to reconnect. Oh yeah, bathrooms!! That night I used only the little girls room – my first time. Really a non-issue, but was kinda a big deal for me. 

On my last night in Seattle I was too excited to get out there to take pictures beforehand and little too drunk to take pictures afterwards. Nothing all that noteworthy of the evening. Went to a different drag themed club, hung out with a group of drag girls, talked to a cd girl a couple of times (but she had other objectives for the evening). Also, talked with a straight couple from the UK – had to bring up the subject that I was a dude in a dress. They thought it was odd that I would even bring up the subject (I’ve got to figure out how I can get an extended visit to the UK). I think the best part of the night was that the bartender kept saying ‘Need another one gorgeous?’ It’s no wonder I got home so drunk. There actually was a noteworthy part associated with my walk home, but I’ll save that for another time. 

So, the next day I got packed for my flight home. In the Uber to the airport I was looking out the window, reflecting on the past 4 days and started tearing up, almost got to the point of uncontrollably weeping, but was able to hold it together. I just couldn’t believe how wonderful the whole trip had been and couldn’t help but feel that there was someone above that had made all the pieces fall into place. I should add that when I booked my accommodations I had no idea it was in Capital Hill or even what that was. So I truly believe that it was some sort of divine intervention that said ‘you have had enough of doing this by yourself and if you don’t take advantage of this perfect opportunity I’ve created for you, then I don’t know what else will get you out there’. Since then I’ve tried to give back at every opportunity available and am so thankful that someone has led me to the door and that I had mustered enough courage to walk through it. 
❤️❤️🧚‍♀️❤️❤️

Julie’s First Time Out – May 2017

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We revisit this gem from Julie!

By Julie Slowinski

It was a 4 night trip to Seattle and as you can see from the picture, Julie made it out all 4 nights. My AirBnB condo building was right in the middle of Capital Hill, which is what gave me the confidence to go out at all – that and the fact that I would not need to walk past a hotel front desk. I arrived on a Tuesday afternoon. Did a lot of thrift store shopping in drab, got my event ticket for the next day and headed back to my room to dry run my outfits for the next 3 nights. Got into full makeup and started taking pics of each possible outfit.

About 12:30am I was dying for a smoke. Almost deconstructed just for that one cigarette, but then thought why not? That’s what I’m here for (actually I was there for business, but you get the point). So, I put on the most blendy outfit I own (the left most pic), took several deep breaths, slowly opened the door, listened for anyone in the hallway and finally stepped out into the hallway. After I heard the click of the door closing, I thought, did I remember the key, thankfully yes. Got to the elevator, waited for like an eternity for it to get there, stepped into the building lobby and finally outside the building. There was a group of maybe 6 guys talking right outside the building and a couple of them noticed me, but didn’t pay me much mind. As I was smoking, I tried to look casual, but didn’t know what to do with my hands, should I lean against the wall? Okay, stop freaking out and just enjoy the cool evening air. So, when I got back to the room my confidence was through the roof and I felt totally prepared for the real thing the next night. Oh was I wrong … 

The next day (Wednesday) I had a meeting that was scheduled to end at 1:30, which would leave me with ample time to get ready for the 7:00 screening of Cabaret as part of the SIFF, which included a preshow by one of the contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race. Of course, the meeting went long and I was in agony as the person in charge kept blathering on about who knows what. Finally, get back to the room and proceed to spend way too much time on my nails, which I’d been growing for about 2 weeks. Needless to say I ended up way behind schedule and at 6:30 I am scrambling to get my outfit together (second picture).

The boots were my favorite shoes at the time, the skirt I bought the day before and the top is sleeveless. At the last moment I decide my arms are too muscled and hairy so I put on the jacket again. So, Seattle is supposed to be a cool and overcast city. However, this week they were having a once in 20 years heat wave. So, the 3 block walk to the movie theater was not just in broad daylight, but also under a sweltering sun. About a block into the walk I figure a cigarette will calm me down. Of course, I put on some crazy lip gloss before leaving and with my shaking hands, felt like the cigarette was smearing lip gloss all over my face and gave up after 3 drags.

I’m late so I’m trying to walk as fast as I can, but seem to be getting nowhere. Of course, it’s the heels, which I thought I was a pro at, but was totally unprepared for the unevenness of city sidewalks. Finally, get to the theater and the 18 year old girl taking tickets is so excited to see me – maybe the first time she has seen a dude in a skirt. In my haste out the door, I had thrown my dude wallet in my purse, which contained my admission ticket. Of course, having no experience with a purse, other than taking pictures with it, I am unable to find anything. Finally I find the ticket, get some wine and find a seat.

At this point I start thinking I might have misjudged this event. While everyone is clearly LGBT friendly, I am not seeing anyone else dressed the way I am, other than the girl on stage (she was phenomenal by the way). The other problem is the corset, which became very uncomfortable in those deep theater seats. The movie was good (I had actually never seen it before) but about 3/4 of the way through I decide I need to get out of here, cuz I don’t want to face this crowd on the way out. Before leaving I stop at the men’s room to check my makeup (maybe even pee before walking home). It’s unusually crowded and while taking a peek at my makeup, a guy just finishing with the urinal is heading to wash his hands, looks up at me, eyes get wide, and decides he’s okay with dirty hands. So, I skip the peeing and just head back to the room. The sun was down, the streets were quiet and the air was cool, so it was actually a rather enjoyable walk back.

Part two tomorrow!!

From Man to Woman

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For those of you contemplating this road, understand what it takes.  This post really shows what goes into all of it! This is one from the vault, reworked for your enjoyment.

So, what does it take me to become Kandi?  Quite a bit.  First off, I take tremendous pride in my presentation.  I want to emulate a woman as best I can.  I go out usually two to three times a week and I never go half way.  I may dress casually, but I do everything else.

There is first daily maintenance.  Eye cream and moisturizer twice a day.  Hand lotion daily.  I grow a five o’clock shadow pretty easily and try to save my facial shaves for game day.  That entails a close shave with a fresh razor.  I generally (okay, always) draw blood. Then I grab one of my ladies’ razors and do a bit more in the shower, under hot water.  I have to get my brows plucked, tweezed and cleaned up. I used to get my brows waxed periodically at a salon, but days later it was as if I hadn’t, so the cost was not worthwhile.  A few times a week I have to trim and clean them up as well as clean up the nose hair.  I have removed all of my body hair, but don’t you know….it keeps coming back.  I’ll do a full body shave three times a week.  I LOVE being shaved, I HATE shaving.  I have allowed my nails to grow, so they need maintained periodically.

That’s the ongoing work, in addition to my daily runs, which feeds both the male and female parts of me.  These are vital to my figure and therefore my overall appearance.

When it’s time to go out, more work ensues.  What eyewear will I be wearing?  If contacts, those have to go in and get comfortable (not always easy).  I moved away from contacts as they always at some point in an outing became uncomfortable (I never wear them otherwise, too uncomfortable).

I need a good shower with any touch up work depending, on my attire.  Sleeveless, then the arms get touched up.  I cannot tell you the state of nirvana I achieve when wearing a sundress, but the work……

Dry off and get into my lingerie.  Make sure I like how certain parts look (use your imagination).  Then it’s either make up time or I get partially dressed so as not to ruin my makeup later by pulling something over my face.  Primer, beard cover, loose powder, foundation, finishing powder, highlighter, blush and contour.  Brow pencil, eye shadow, eye liner and mascara.  Lip liner and lipstick.  Finish getting dressed.  Nail polish (I use clear often, it dries quicker and sometimes I keep it on afterward) unless I did so beforehand with a specific color, which itself takes about 20 minutes.  Place the wig on (followed by the giant smile) and get the hair right.  Earrings, rings, necklace and bracelets.  Shoes.  Select and pack the purse.  Now take it all in, make any adjustments and then it’s time to document everything.  I always take a number if close up selfies and then some posed distance selfies to get the entire outfit.  With my poor eyesight, this is often a guessing game and I am sometime disappointed with the results of the pictures later.

Now I have to case the neighborhood for the ease of escape.  I have one cardinal rule; thou shalt not embarrass thy wife!  So I make sure I am not seen.  The challenge though, is that we live at the very end of a cul-de-sac.  No option as to which way to proceed down the street. Once I head out, if someone comes down the street, surprise! If folks are out, I have to throw on a sweat jacket, remove the wig, wear a hat and speed off to reassemble somewhere else before driving to my destination (usually about a half hour from home).

Now that I see it all on paper, what am I doing?  Is it worth it?  So far, absolutely!  I’ve gotten pretty good at all of this, but it is still worth it. I’ve said this before, if I were to get dressed, go somewhere that I usually do and then turned around and immediately came home and cleaned up, you would probably be looking at at least three and a half hours of time. That doesn’t count the wardrobe management and the assembly of the outfit for any given outing.

Sherry’s Excellent Adventures

This is a repeat as we move toward the April 1 opening of the new Kandi’s Land!

By Sherry Greer

It’s been a few weeks since I have written about my adventures. I have had a busy couple of weeks (not Kandi busy) to get out as Sherry and like always, I encountered some firsts! A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to meet Kandi at the Men’s Chorus gala that she volunteers for (it was the first time I wore a dress in public) and I have wanted to go back ever since. This year was the year so I texted Kandi saying I could volunteer and of course she put me to work helping with the silent auction and wine ring toss game!

The people that I worked with were amazing! Prior to the evening I went out to buy some needed items. Since this was a Carnaval theme, I bought a lacy and ruffled top and skirt to give me that Latin flare. All of the stores I visited I portrayed a confident, and I hope, convincing woman. (You have already seen the pictures that Kandi posted from the event.)

The day of the event I made arrangements at a local Sephora to get a makeover. I needed some new foundation and a few other things so I easily spent the needed $50 to get the makeover for “free”. I went to Sephora in skinny jeans, a camisole top, fly away sweater, booties, no makeup, and my real grey hair in a ponytail with a hairpiece. I again was confident! I enjoyed myself getting pampered and talking with the makeup artist the entire time. As always, no issues. The male, heterosexual manager even came over a couple of times to see how we were doing and even asked what the occasion was for getting a makeover.

I then visited Gina at my favorite salon to get my long black wig styled in a tight bun and bought some flowers to accessorize the look. She was extremely happy with the job she did on my hair and so was I. This was the first time I ever wore the black wig and had a theme to my outfit. I absolutely LOVED the earrings I bought to tie everything together.

The evening was fabulous and I met many lovely and caring people. I received many compliments on my outfit and hair. My wife knew about the evening and asked if I would be home by midnight so I definitely wanted to make sure I was home on time. She has come a long way so I need to be considerate of her wishes. I did help with some of the cleanup but then left to use a hotel room that a friend and her wife got for the night. It was an adventure walking from the parking lot in my 4″ heels while carrying 2 bags and my purse to the busy downtown hotel! As I was getting on the elevator Lindsay, a friend of mine and Kandi’s, was getting off so we hugged and chatted briefly. I made it home on time so my wife was happy. Whew!! The next day my wife asked how everything went and I gave her a brief synopsis of the evening.

Kandi and I have both mentioned my Wine, Wigs, and More event on her blog that took place on March 1st but the real story took place on leap day! I was supposed to go out with a co-worker but she came down with the flu and my wonderful and supportive sister was busy as well so I went solo for the night. I did some window shopping at the mall where I got my makeover the previous week and tried on a few things along the way. I talked to store associates and other patrons in the stores I went to with no issues. I then went to a Dollar Store to buy some hangers so I could eventually hang up my Sherry clothes in our home office closet. I had my clothes in garbage bags shoved in the bottom of my closet which was a pain in the … Before walking into the store I was approached by two people asking if I could sign a petition to get an issue on the ballot but after some discussion I couldn’t because I wasn’t a registered voter in the county I was in. At no time did it appear either person “read” me. I then went to one of my favorite restaurants that Kandi took me to and that’s where the real story begins.

As I entered the restaurant I was immediately welcomed by our favorite bartender Leah. She is one of the most beautiful (internal and external) people I have ever met! When I sat down at the bar she told me I might have to move down eventually to make room for more patrons (a bit of foreshadowing!). We asked each other how things have been since it’s been sometime since my last visit. She told me I looked beautiful and that she loved my hair (I had my blonde wig on), the comment wasn’t superficial but a genuine, heartfelt one meant to make me feel good (it did just that).

I ordered an appetizer and a Lemon Drop Martini and chatted with Leah. The bar started to get busy so I moved down one stool to accommodate a couple waiting for a table. I chatted with the wife a bit until they were seated as well as another couple doing the same. A gentleman came in to pick up a take out order and ordered a glass of wine as he waited for it to be ready. He was a “regular” because he knew Leah and she asked how things were and he told her how his dog was dying of cancer and he was extremely sad about it. You might recall from a previous blog post that someone bought Kandi and I a drink so I paid it forward and bought him his wine.

When he got his bill Leah told him I bought his wine and that started a conversation and my attire was a non issue. After he left another gentleman sat down and this is where it gets interesting! Another group of people came to the bar which necessitated another move in seats next to this guy. The two new couples were wonderful and of course the guys were having a conversation and the ladies sitting next to me were having their own. I interacted with the ladies for a bit until the gentleman on my other side introduced himself. He mentioned that he was supposed to go to the Cavs basketball game but his friend couldn’t go so he went to another restaurant but couldn’t get in and ended up at Taste. I told him a similar tale and we had something in common! Throughout this time I was doing my best to act and sound as feminine as possible and I was succeeding because at first I think he believed I was what I was portraying. He told me I had beautiful eyes and his body language suggested an increased level of arousement towards me. I am good at sounding feminine for short bursts but I am not able to sustain a prolonged discussion with a good female voice. We had some light conversation and I could tell after a while he wanted to ask me a question. He was apprehensive but I told him he could ask me anything. He started by “Are you a…” he hesitated and I said “Yes I am”. His reply was “Really?” I could sense his mind was racing and the level of intrigue rose exponentially. As we continued to talk he twice did the cheesy “stretching the arms” move to reach my shoulders so he could rub them. Now, I have thought about what I would do if I was ever hit on but this was the first time it truly happened. After talking for at least 30 minutes he finally asked “What now?” My reply was “since we’re both married, nothing” When he left he gave me his business card. As we were talking I thought about how women have total control over a situation like this, the guy is basically begging for sex and the woman controls if that happens or not. After he left Leah looked at me and asked if I was okay. I was but I was shaking from the situation and excited at the same time. I asked her what she does in these situations and she said you must be in control and assertive at all times. In the end, I was extremely flattered by how he was attracted to me. My goal has always been to study every part of femininity so I can use that knowledge to portray the best woman I can to pass. Everytime I go out my confidence grows!

The next day was the Wine, Wigs, and More event that Gina and I planned. We wanted this to be a networking/open house event to gather individuals together. We didn’t know what to expect but for our first effort it turned out better than we expected! About 14 people showed up with a few of the ladies bringing a supportive person with them. I arrived early to help Gina set up and we had to go to the nearby grocery store to get a few things. When we arrived the store was crowded and the two of us went about our business to get the needed supplies.

At no time did I feel uncomfortable even though I was over dressed for the grocery store! As people arrived at the salon we greeted them. It was wonderful to see everyone who came, one couple drove over an hour to come! Most ladies were CD’s but one was a transsexual who is having her surgery in a month! We talked for awhile about it and I commented on her beautiful long brown hair. She told me that most family members disowned her when she came out…that’s sad, I told her we were here for her. Everyone mingled with each other and it appeared all enjoyed themselves! We are already planning the next one. Since this was a “trial” run it was more of an open house but the next will have demonstrations with makeup, nails, hair, and voice exercises!

After the event was over my sister and I went to a restaurant for dinner. The entire time I was greeted in a feminine manner and one server even commented that she liked how my eye makeup, glasses, and dress matched! All in all a wonderful weekend! On Monday when I went back to work in male mode I was a little depressed getting dressed putting on my boring male clothes.

Respite From The Storm

A trip in the Dee wayback machine!

By Dee

My day was evolving like most in the Groundhog Days of Covid-19 (choose between walking, running, biking, or yardwork; lather, rinse, repeat) when I received the following text from my friend Michelle: “My new doors may be in!!! I’m gonna head to the spa tomorrow and wait for one of my big orders to come in!! You’re more than welcome to visit!!!! I would love to see ya tomorrow!!”

Michelle lives in a world of exclamation points (she’s a lot of fun) and because of a variety of circumstances, including the virus, we hadn’t seen each other for about a month.

Just before the start of the stay at home orders, she had started expanding the salon she owns (yes, it’s good to have a friend who owns a salon). She was using the closure time to rehab the additional space she was renting. Not the optimal time to expand, but she’s an irresistible force moving forward. 

For me, it was a chance to get dressed up and out the door, even if was going to be for a short time (she had errands to run so our get-together time was limited). I confirmed the time, and asked her to bring a dress of hers that I had tried on about six months ago. It’s a formal dress that she had worn many a moon ago when she won the “Miss Carlyle” contest (did I forget to mention she’s a former model?). I was hoping that with my recent weight losses it would fit better.

The following morning I got dressed in a Dress Barn dress I had found at Savers, matched with my first pair of long boots, both bought shortly before my departure to Australia. This was my first chance to wear this dress out, and it did fit better than when I had bought it three months before. Given the fabric and color of the dress (almost feels like vinyl, and it’s a dark brown), I call this my dominatrix outfit.

Overnight, a big thunderstorm had arrived. Leaving my driveway, I noticed items blown around and branches down. Crossing the dam across the lake I live on, I looked left and saw a big tree on our property–well, previously on our property–had fallen into the lake. Another (costly) job for the tree company I use (they had been out about two weeks earlier to clean up a fallen tree in our front yard). But I couldn’t worry about that now; I had a few moments to enjoy being out dressed.

I arrived at the salon and was greeted by Michelle and her younger daughter Mila (pronounced “ME-la). I had not met Mila before, but Michelle had shown Mila (and her older sister Cecilia) pictures of me so they know who I am. Michelle had repeatedly told me both sisters wanted to meet me, and Michelle and I had planned a “girls day out” with her daughters, but that’s on hold because of the virus. They both complimented me on my outfit and Michelle commented how much thinner I was.

Michelle handed me the “Miss Carlyle” dress and I went into another room to try it on. It fit better than before, but it still didn’t zip, so I guess I have more work to do on my weight (yes, fitting into smaller sizes motivates me to lose weight). I also put on my ankle strap heels, which do the best job of highlighting my legs.

I also changed into a black lace dress that Michelle had given me (a “Hand-Dee-Down”). A friend had given it to her, and Michelle had given it to me, so I wanted to show Michelle how it fit now (pretty damn well).

As Michelle needed to run an errand, our time was short. I changed into my girl Jean’s and a black t-shirt (one I found running), and my Red Ked’s to go to Costco. I thought about doing it as Dee, but I’m not that brave yet, so I cleaned up in the car (remove wig, makeup, and jewelry) and walked through Costco in my girl clothes (with a sweater over the girl top). One day I plan to visit Costco in Dee mode…I hope.

But, although brief, it was nice to have a chance to dress and get out, and it’s always great to be with Michelle. A few days later I went back to the salon in guy mode and helped Michelle out by assembling four specialty cabinets the nail techs use for their supplies. That day I met Cecilia, Michelle’s older daughter. Even when I’m in guy mode, Michelle refers to me as Dee, and that pleases me very much. That her daughters accept me–however dressed–also pleases me very much.
Plus, I know that when I return to the salon to have something girly done (and Michelle says I’m always welcome), the technician may be using the cabinet I put together. That will put a smile on my face.