Monday, 14 December 2009

Another trip to Windsor

Saturday December 12th. Sally wakes me at about 8:45 as she sets off to play in a golf match.

Coffee, shower, shave, underwear, makeup and clothing.

Billie arrives at round about 11:00 and we set off for a trip out to Windsor.

Driving into town I’m struck by how thoughts, feelings and fears change as time passes.

Once, not so very long ago, driving around as Andrea in the daylight was a very self-conspicuous kind of thing to do. These days it feels comfortable.

After parking, the first port of call is the Post Office. Last week I ordered some computer memory for a friend and no one was home to sign for it when it arrived on Friday.

Of course, the man at the post office needed to see ID. The picture on the card is kinda fuzzy – but the hair definitely looks a lot different than Andrea’s hair. But he asks no questions and doesn’t look horrified.

Wandering along Peascod Street we call in at Fenwick’s. In the window there is a sign advertising “Pricilla Queen of the Desert”. Makes us feel at home, if somewhat underdressed for the occasion.

Lunch at Cafe Rouge. As always it’s a relaxed affair. The waiter brings food – but a little mixed up gives us the food destined for the people on the next table. The plates get passed across with a few smiles. Again, no looks of horror, or even especially of surprise. No one in the restaurant pays us much attention at all even allowing for our “deep” voices.

The restaurant manager says it’s nice to see us again as he passes by.

I have a shopping list from Sally and so buy some Christmas cards at the British Heart Foundation shop and some more at the Oxfam shop. Two nice glass bead bracelets from the Cancer Research shop (bracelets weren’t actually on the list … but well … I like them).

Then a short walk to Marks and Spencer’s for some food – this was on the list.

The people that I pay tills all say hello and don’t worry at all at the way I look or my rather low pitched voice.

I resolve to leave hold up stockings off my own shopping lists in the future. My legs don’t seem to be sticky enough. Stockings and suspender belt or tights from now on.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Cartoon Andrea by Dani

My friend Dani recently posted  a cartoon / self portrait of herself (

Having left a comment saying how much I liked it, I was really delighted and surprised to receive an email with the following picture:



Thanks Dani … you’re a sweetie!

Dinner, hobbies and personalities

Last Tuesday was the Christmas TV (Transvestite) Dinner at Billie and Kathie’s.

Excellent food and company.

We talked a little about where the transvestite thing fits into our lives.

In a way this seems to be connected to another question that two people have asked me about recently … about the meanings of the terms “cross dresser”, “transvestite” and “transsexual”.

The first time I ever wore makeup, Fiona Floyd shared with me her understanding of this, and I think it makes sense. The definitions are from a male kind of perspective and highly over simplified.

  • Cross dresser – a guy that sometimes wears ladies clothing.
  • Transvestite – also wears makeup and wig.
  • Transsexual – someone that feels that they are a girl that has been born in a mans body.

The truth is, I know, much more complex.

Personally speaking, for much of my life I was an occasional cross dresser.

For the past few years I have been a transvestite – though really, I think, this has always been a part of who I am and that it’s only been in the past few years that I’ve felt the freedom to be able to

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express it.

I don’t believe that I am transsexual.

Of course, everyone’s experiences are different and I can only speak with any authority about myself.

In many ways the cross dressing seemed to be associated with eroticism and masturbation.

The transvestism is different. There are elements of eroticism associated with it, I know. But much, much more of it is about self expression. It’s who I am.

I remember the first makeover … and the sensation of self discovery that was associated with it.

At the TV dinner we talked a bit about that.

Sometimes, I think, it’s useful to look at the transvestite things as a kind of “hobby”.

In a way I can see that from some perspectives, a transvestite could be viewed as a guy that likes to play at being a girl once in a while.

But really, it’s more than that – for me at least. And for other transvestites that I know – Tina, Julia, Laura, Billie and Fiona to name just a few.

Andrea isn’t just a hobby to me. I am Andrea.

The freedom to express the femininity that is a part of me matters a great deal. I also accept the masculinity that is a part of me. Both are more than hobbies. Both are aspects of who I am.