Friday, 25 May 2007

One small step

In retrospect ...

Yesterday I went to visit Fiona for a makeover and photos.

My wife is away a few days ... she'd suggested maybe it would be nice to visit Fiona - it was really nice that she did.

I arrived in Portsmouth a little after noon. Was good to meet with some friends of Fiona's.

During the afternoon Fiona asked if I'd like to go out to a local pub in the evening. Gosh ... yes!

After the makeup and pictures I watched TV a bit, had a glass of wine and chatted with Lauren and Fiona. In the early evening Kelly arrived.

At round about 8:00 pm we headed downstairs. I felt a lot less nervous than I expected. I think that deep down I had decided that more than almost anything I wanted to give Andrea a chance to step outside. And yet ... there was a sensation of nervousness.

So ... the front door opened and Andrea took her first stiletto heeled steps into the big wide world.

It was raining so there weren't many people about as we walked fifty yards or so to the car. I don't know if the few people that were there paid us any attention. I suspect not - more interested in getting in out of the rain than watching a few trannies wandering around.

We got into the car. I remembered the DVD that I had watched about applying makeup. It had a session on deportment. So ... I took my shoes off before I started the engine.

Then a couple of miles to the pub.

Park the car. And ... open the door ... and walk into the pub.

Lots of people ... and well lit.

I really didn't know how I was going to feel about this.

Just followed Fiona round the bar. There were a couple of other t-girls there. But mostly the place was full of people just having a drink and listening to the band.

In a way I felt people looking over at us.

But not in a hostile way.

It felt OK.

It would be easy to over emphasize this ... over dramatise it ... overstate it.

But, I do remember standing there talking and sipping at a glass of wine and feeling that at last ... this part of me that has been hidden away for so long ... at last she's been able to step outside into the world. And not feel ashamed. And not feel guilty. I could just be me. One of the nicest and most fulfilling moments of my life.

I talked with Lauren, Nikkie, Kelly, Carol and Neena. A few other people just drinking at the pub came over and talked a little as well.

As with almost all trips to a pub there came that inevitable moment when the capacity of the bladder is insufficient for the moment.

So ... I checked ... is it the Ladies or the Gents? And was told it was the Ladies.

So ... my first visit to a Ladies at a pub - well ... except for one time when I went through the wrong door by accident.

At closing time we got a taxi back to Fiona's. Stayed up very late talking.

This morning I drove back home. The only remaining makeup was the nail polish that I left on my fingernails.

This whole thing has been more special than I had ever imagined it could possibly be. A million miles from my imaginings.

It's strange that sometimes when a fantasy becomes a reality it's a big big let down. This reality is so much better than I ever thought.

I remember talking with Lauren last night about my wife. About how she was coping with Andrea being around. Lauren said to me that in my position that would make her feel more love for her. And that's how it feels to me as well.

Kelly drove me round to the pub to collect the car from the night before. We talked about wives and kids and things. I said how grateful I was that y wife wasn't freaking out ... and that I realise that it can't be easy for her ... that if the situation were reversed I'd find it difficult as well. Kelly said ... "yes ... if she started wearing a moustache and beard ...". That made me smile. But also, it made me thankful of my wife's attitude.

Fiona Floyd ... thank you! I do know that you know how much this means to me because I've told you. But anyway ... it doesn't do any harm at all to say some things more than once.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Another appointment

In retrospect ...

Made another appointment at Fiona's for a makeover for the bank holiday at the end of May (26th).

Amazing how feelings change. I'm eager that one day I'll be able to step outside into the world as Andrea. Not so long ago I couldn't have even imagined that as a possibility.

I've been chatting with a few t-girls at TVChix and it's been reassuring to know that I'm not so different.

Saturday, 19 May 2007

Self inflicted makup

In retrospect ...

My hair has arrived. And I like it.

My head is too big ... but I can get it on.

Today I tried my first self applied makeup.

I watched the DVD twice. I kind of wish it showed someone putting on makeup for themselves rather than a makeup artist applying it to someone else.

But at least it gives me the general idea.

I sit at the computer ... watch step 1 then do it. Then the next bit and do it. It takes quite a while.

On the whole ... well ... it could have been worse.
My wife arrived home ... and was ok seeing Andrea for the first time. Uneasy about kissing me in lipstick ... but OK. Thank you ... this could all have turned out so badly ... you're helping me hold it all together.

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Wigs and tits

In retrospect ...

I've searched the Internet looking for wigs.

Earlier today I called in at Debenhams in Guildford ... they sell wigs. Unfortunately the girl that sells them was on a lunch break and I couldn't wait. Also ... well ... not sure I liked the ones that I saw ... and there didn't seem to be a place to try them on - well nowhere private.

So ... I selected one at a web site and made an Internet order. I hope it fits! I hope I like the colour.

I also ordered a pair of silicone breasts from China. The description of them on eBay made me smile.

Are you still worry about the breast curve, shallow breast ditch and shortage of temptation? Wear it, you will swell and collect the breasts instantly, and get the tempting breast ditch. Solve efficiently the problems of smallness, flatness and dissymmetry breast.
This is a brand new revolutionary silicone enhancers which can perfectly boost your breasts by up to 2-3 cups size. They give you an invisible support for a fabulous shape!
These nude, strapless, backless inserts provides comfortable, ultra-flattering coverage that looks and feels like your own skin.
These soft and natural silicone cups totally seamless and invisible under sheer clothing. They are easy to apply and easy to remove. In one minute you will have a magical appear.

I'm looking forwards to the magical appear. Not so sure about the tempting ditch though.

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Foxes, makeup and DVDs

In retrospect ...

I need makeup.

Having experienced it I know that I do.

But its complicated. I've chatted with tgirls on the web and looked at web sites that offer advice. Feels like it will take forever to learn how to do it all.

But I need to start somewhere.

Vicky at TVChix had mentioned Charles Fox in Covent Garden. I'd thought of Boots. "Might be a bit busy" said Vicky. And I need foundation that matches my skin colour.

So ... about 1:00pm I set off. catch a train into London ... tube ... then walk towards Covent garden.

Not sure what I'll say. But I decide that I'll just walk in and get it over with.

In through the door ... walk to the counter ... then ... somehow I manage to explain I'm a transvestite ... but new to it all. The girl I am talking to is maybe 20 ... no more than 25. Young enough to be my daughter. I explain I need to buy some makeup ... but I have no clue at all.

She asks me do I want liquid foundation or a stick. I know nothing. Whatever is easiest I say.

She shows me the samples. Explains I need to get something that matches my skin colouration. Gets a sponge ... asks if it's OK to put a little on my face. Looks at it in the light. Tries another shade. Asks a few other assistants in the shop ... which is best .. is it for the stage? No ... just to wear. Looking in the mirror.

Somehow in all of this I felt comfortable. People were coming in and out of the shop ... but it didn't bother me. I felt safe ... accepted.

We select a colour. What else do I want? Well ... what else do I need?

Blush. A blusher brush. Eye shadow ... two shades ... eye brushes ... mascara ... lipstick ... lip brush ... lip liner pencil ... eye liner pencil ... lip brush.

Not cheap ... but not so bad. And not frightening.

As I leave the shop she says to me ... "I hope everything works out OK."

Next stop is Transformation near Euston Station.

"Can I help?"
"Yes ... do you have any DVDs on applying makeup."
"Here they are ..."

A nice chat with the lady at the shop.

Home kind of late. Wife is fine about it. A bit bemused. But OK.

Now ... more brushes than I'd need to paint the house.

What do I do with it all?

Monday, 7 May 2007

Yesterday I had a makeover

In retrospect ...

My wife arrived home today.

We talk about how things had been with her. At some point in the conversation:

"I went for a drive yesterday."
"Oh ... where to?"
"What did you do."
"I had a makeover"

Moments of silence.

"A makeover?"
"Makeup ... clothing photos."

No freaking out. Just an acceptance. An acceptance ... not a resignation.

She doesn't want to know my other name yet. Not sure about seeing the pictures.

A little later when she is checking email I mention that the pictures are on the computer. So we look at some of them together.

No freaking out .. but later I learn that seeing me with makeup and hair ... not just the clothing ... is kind of a shock. A different kind of ball game. But still she accepts me ... is willing to see where it leads. She doesn't understand it ... but nor do I.

She prefers the pictures in the white blouse and skirt ... the short black dress it too ... well sexy or something. That's why I like them best I guess.

Sunday, 6 May 2007

A birthday

In retrospect ...

Makeover day!

Woke at maybe 9:00 am. Shaved ... everywhere. Fretted a bit about what clothes I should take ... in the end opting just for lingerie.

Had second and third thoughts. But I tell myself that I've paid the deposit and I hate letting people down.

As 10:30 am arrives I get in the car and begin the drive to Portsmouth. No one knows that I'm doing this. What happens if the car breaks down ... if I have an accident? Thoughts of buses and being run over pass through my mind.

Not sure if I feel frightened or just nervous and excited. Perhaps all three.

Wondering if I am completely crazy.

Wouldn't it be easier to just stay at home?

The M3 and A3 are not my friends. Part way there phoned Fiona to say I was going to be 20 minutes or so late. It was a bit strange to find I was speaking to someone with a very blokey voice. Why I would have expected anything else I have no idea. We only spoke for a few moments ... I called her Fiona ... she called me Andrea. No one had ever called me Andrea before.

Twenty minutes late I arrive in Portsmouth ... having taken a minor accidental detour near the end. The M27 isn't much of a friend either.

Parked the car on Pink Road. Somehow the name of the road seemed quite appropriate. At the end of the road is the house with the sign Born Beautiful. I ring the doorbell and wait.

The door opens ... it's Fiona. Fiona is drab - dressed as (and looking like) a bloke. Needs a shave.
We walk upstairs to the flat.

I'm introduced to Kerry and also to a t-girl friend of theirs. We are all drab.

Fiona introduces me as Andrea. We talk a while ... she asks about my dressing ... my wife. Nothing intrusive. I feel that if I want to say nothing then it's OK to say nothing. In fact I feel that here is someone that cares about what I'm experiencing. Understands the confusion that I feel. Is willing to listen. I like Fiona.

She asks if my wife knows I'm here today. I say "no". "Maybe you'd like to tell her sometime" says Fiona. No hint of compulsion or judgement or criticism in her voice. Just understanding. I begin to think that maybe I will tell my wife.

As we all talk I find it odd. People talking about guys but using girls names and referring to each one as she. The need to differentiate at times between t-girls (transvestites) and girls.

Though the conversation is strange it feels OK. Just ordinary people that like to wear dresses. Kind of like me. Here I am talking about dressing in skirts and things and no one is uptight about it.

Fiona asks what I'd like to do. If I'd like some photos taking outdoors maybe. This is mind boggling. Outside? Me? Dressed as a girl? Ha ha!

I feel relaxed though ... well a lot more relaxed than I was expecting to feel. Not that I really know what I was expecting.

We go up more stairs to the studio. A little guided tour ... clothes ... wigs ... shoes ... makeup ... lights ... cameras.

I choose some clothing. Decisions decisions. I have no idea of style or colour. No idea about what might look good. I select a short black skirt, white blouse, a short velvety-satin black dress and a maids outfit. It seems that the maids outfit is quite popular.

All the time we are chatting ... I talk about my experiences ... Fiona listens ... and shares lots of little anecdotes. This whole thing seems normal in an abnormal kid of way.

I have my own underwear so ... before the makeup I put it on. Here I am getting naked in front of Fiona ... a bloke at the moment. And then putting on a basque with white stockings. I need some help ... fastening suspender dangly things to stocking tops is not a skill I have fully mastered (should that be mistressed?). For some reason the one at the back left is always a problem!

The basque needs some padding ... so Fiona passes me a couple of ... well ... the word tits fits the bill. In they go.

White blouse and short black skirt.

Here I am ... dressed as a girl ... looking like a bloke ... talking with Fiona who is dressed as a bloke and looks like a bloke. And it doesn't seem weird. Now that is weird.

I put on a smock, sit back in the chair and the makeover begins.

I never knew that makeup was so complicated.

Foundation ... lots of it ... all over my face and neck ... powder ... eye shadow ... three shades ... eye liner ... mascara ... blush ... lip liner ... lipstick ... lip gloss. It goes on and on. All the while chatting with Fiona. She explains what she's doing and why. No way am I going to remember this. We share thoughts and feelings. These I will remember.

And then we are ready. Time to choose some hair.

I get out of the makeup chair ... and sit in front of the mirror. My specs are still off so everything is kind of out of focus. I put my specs on while Fiona gets the hair. The plan is to try a few different styles to see what I like.

The first one ... long and dark.

A necklace. Earrings. Shoes.

I look into the mirror.

Ohhhh ... ohhhhhh .... ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

It's like Andrea has just been born. Sunday May 6 2007 ... must have been about 2:00pm.

Since that moment I've chatted with a few people that have had exactly the same experience.

Not easy to catch the feelings. I don't know what I was expecting ... but whatever it was ... this was so much better than it. Whatever fantasies I'd dreamed up in the past ... the reality was so much better.

It felt like ... like a part of me that had been hidden away in secret my whole life was suddenly free.

I know ... I know ... all I saw in the mirror was a guy in a skirt with makeup and a wig.

But that's soooooo much of an oversimplification. A bit like saying that all I see whenever I look in the mirror is just a load of water mixed with a few chemicals. Whilst it's true that is part of what I see ... it's not all that I see.

Seeing myself as Andrea for the first time was ... well ... Fiona later said she could see that it was a pivotal moment. I remember her hugging me and saying "hello Andrea". I hugged her back. Too blokey still to cry ... but deeply moved and tears not far away.

Then some photographs.

Awkward at first but relaxing as time passes.

The short dress with a change of hairstyle ... blond. Fresh shoes and black stockings.

The poses are a little cheekier.

Then the maids outfit. Laddered my stockings!

The poses cheekier still.

And then it's over.

Fiona mentions as a place to talk with other TVs.

I wash the makeup off ... saying goodbye to Andrea ... and yet not goodbye.

On getting home I look at the pictures on the CD that Fiona gave me. And I email her.

It definitely ranks as of one of the nicest experiences that I've ever had. I felt welcomed and accepted.

And the photographs .... I love them ... I really do ... especially the ones in the party dress. I love the hair ... the make up ... you really have helped me get in touch with myself in a way I didn't know was possible. Thank you ... thank you ... thank you!

My whole perspective on some things has shifted. I never ever in my remotest dreams imagined that there could ever be a time when I could be myself with a group of other people. And now I feel that it is possible. Such a sense of freedom.

It was strange driving back ... it almost seemed like I was leaving myself .. Andrea ... behind ... and yet I know that Andrea is me ... and always will be ... and I feel good about that.

Tomorrow when my wife gets back I'm hoping that I'll get an opportunity to tell her about things ... and hope that she will be willing to look at the photos ... well ... the first two sets at least ... and I hope that she'll like them ... or at least not feel too threatened or worried about them.

I have a profile on TVChix now ... AndreaW. I hope you like the pictures that I selected.

I chatted with a few t-girls at at TVChix. Vicky was really sweet. mentioned make up classes at Charles Fox in Covent garden as a possibility. Vicky knows Fiona as well.

I'm resolved to tell my wife about it when she gets home.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

An appointment

In retrospect ...

Fiona replied. A really sweet email.

A paragraph that made me stop and think:

Having told your wife now, and her understanding and accepting things the trick now is to not become over pushy ... remember she is the Lady of the house ... and that she still needs to be cherished and put on a pedestal. Andrea is part time she your wife is full time ... don't forget the odd card or flowers to say thank you for her understanding ... it goes a long way.

I replied and booked for Sunday May 6 2007 at 12:00 noon. My wife is away over the weekend ... I've no idea what I would say to her if I told her. So no one else knows.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Fiona Floyd ...

Written in retrospect ....

I discovered Fiona's web site during April. The thought of being made up and having a wardrobe of stuff to try on and having pictures taken is intriguing. That's definitely not the right word. Anyway ... interesting enough for me to email her today.

It's nice that the web site includes a bit of biography about both Fiona and Kerry. In my email I wrote a little about myself ... mostly my cross dressing and where that had come from and how I was unsure about where it was going.

Some of the things that I mentioned in the email:

I feel though that I'm still at the beginning of something ... self discovery I guess.

Dressing for me is somewhat of a challenge. I'm a little over 6ft tall and have size 11 feet. I have, however, found that skirts and dresses of size 16 fit quite well ... and that a bra size 38 is a little tight. I realize that it will be a challenge to make me look feminine ... but at the same time I am longing for the opportunity.

I like to wear quite varied clothing ... love the feel of a long loose skirt swirling round my legs ... but also feel very sexy in something much shorter.

The description of your Dressing Service seems perfect. A selection of clothing .. a makeover ... learning the beginnings of how to apply makeup ... a hairstyle ... jewellery and painted nails. All of this is ... well ... perfect. And the chance to be photographed as well!

So ... I asked if an appointment over the coming bank holiday weekend was a possibility.

This email is special. For some reason I felt that I needed a feminine name ... and in just a few moments Andrea was conceived.

A beginning ...

So ... June 19 2007 and here I am.

I'm not sure as to where this blog is heading ... nor even what I would like to achieve from it. Mostly, I think, I'm hoping it will give me a chance to stop and think about things. Things being whatever is on my mind at the moment. I'm aiming to write it for myself ... but who knows ... maybe someone else somewhere will find some interest in it.

OK ... the date of this posting is April 30 2007. This is because there's a way in which this date represents the end of something and the beginning of something. Everything mentioned in this post happened on or before April 30 2007.

To begin ... maybe I should set a little context.

At the time of writing I'm 52 ... not far from being 53. Andrea, however, is much younger than that.

I'm married ... for years and years and years. In a strange way I'd say we are more divergent in our beliefs and thoughts than we have ever been. Yet, in another way, we are also closer.

I have two daughters.

I'm a transvestite.

This seems to mean quite different things to different people. One dictionary version is ... someone who adopts the dress or manner or sexual role of the opposite sex. Some of that is part of what it means to me ... but not all.

It seems that being a transvestite is a different experience for everyone that experiences it. Just like everyone's experience of being a human being is different from every other persons. This being the case I can only speak with any authority about Andrea the transvestite. So ... that's what I'll do.

The first time I recall wearing stuff not usually classed as masculine attire I was a teenager. The attire was lingerie and it belonged to my mother. So far as I remember the attraction was the clothing rather than the owner of the clothing. But it's far enough back for me not to really be sure of the motivations. The experience was initially pleasant ... pleasant enough to repeat from time to time. Until one day an unexpected returning home on the part of my brother led to some seriously embarrassing moments. It was with great satisfaction that I returned home unexpectedly one day not long after this and returned the favour.

After that ... I'm not sure.

I don't recall cross dressing at all as a student.

Sometimes ... in my mid twenties when I worked away from home occasionally ... I bought lingerie and took occasional opportunities to wear it. It wasn't regular ... but it happened. It wasn't easy. I'd become a born again Christian during my first year at University. Cross dressing isn't something that born again Christians typically find an easy thing to accept. So it was generally accompanied by feelings of guilt and followed by pleas for forgiveness and attempts at repentance.

My involvement with the Church pretty much came to an end a few years ago. I don't have bitter feeling about it. I'm not sure that it is all wrong. But I am sure that for where I am at in my life at the moment it's not the right place for me to be.

Towards the end of the twentieth century (omg that does make me feel mature) I began to discover the Internet. It provided opportunities, once in a while, to tell people that ... "by the way ... sometimes I like to wear lingerie".

Usually I was careful that whoever I mentioned this to was likely not to freak out. I do remember one of the first people I mentioned it to asking pretty early on about what happens if I walk under a bus? What would the people at the hospital say? Strangely enough, at the time, that kind of thing was more of a worry than the damage that the bus itself might do to me. I have things in better perspective now.

Once in a while someone or other would ask if I wore dresses and blouses and things. Or did I wear lipstick? Eventually I began to think ... "well why not"?

I didn't buy my first skirt and blouse until towards the end of 2006. It was a trip to Primark. I also called in at Anne Summers ... well ... I needed stockings ... and I couldn't resist the basque.

I did try lipstick once ... mmm ... well ... that's enough said about that!

At this time my wife had no clue. Keeping a few pairs of knickers, a bra and stockings hidden away isn't all that difficult. Add a couple of skirts and blouses and it begins to get much trickier.

Near the very end of 2006 someone asked me "does your wife know"? Internet people had asked me this before, but the circumstances seemed different somehow. In a way I was maybe different.

As a result of that conversation I decided that I wanted my wife to know. But I didn't dare tell her. I didn't know what she would say. I was afraid of how she would react. But I was tired of having to hide.

Having no idea how to broach the subject I stopped wearing Y-fronts and began to wear panties. I know ... not the bravest of all possible approaches. But I wasn't feeling brave. Just tired.

It took a few days ... and the unusual mix of clothing in the laundry caught the attention of my wife.

She asked me. I told her. It wasn't easy. Explaining:

  • no ... it's not something that just happened ... it's been a part of me for years
  • no ... I don't know why I do it exactly
  • no ... I'm not thinking about having a sex change operation
  • Why had I never said anything before?
  • Where was it leading to?
  • What difference was it going to make?

A place that helped a lot is It gave us something to talk about.

It carried on not being easy for a while. The first time she saw a bra under my shirt led to a long, long discussion about what is weird, what is acceptable and what isn't.

There were other issues as well. Bad tempered. Over-critical. Under appreciative.

One day, though, she said that if it would help then it was OK for me to "dress" in the evening and sit in the lounge.

So ... a few days later I did. For the first time she saw me wearing a skirt.

I know it wasn't easy for her. But ... she handled it!

Over the next few weeks she says she began to notice that I was different.

And yes ... there is a sense in which the fact that I was prone to wearing a frock after getting home from work made me very different.

But it was more than that. Less angry. Better tempered. Less critical. More appreciative.

I've read that for many transvestites, the act of dressing is something that relieves stress.

Whilst all this was happening I'd never really applied the term transvestite to myself. I was just a cross dresser.

Then ... in April 2007 I discovered