Thursday, August 9, 2012

Own It ! A blog By Cici Kitten for Suddenly Fem

I received the best advice I’ve ever received in an elevator in the Orleans Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada in October 2003.  I had signed up for a bdsm event called BondCon and I was dressed in my newbie fetish best for the event. 

In 2003, I’d already been out in girl mode a few times, but I could tell this was going to be very different.  For instance, when I first started going out in Southern California, I used to secure a cheap motel room on the first floor.  And then I’d secure a parking place directly in front of that room.  My goal was to be able to slip out of my motel room and into my car in as little time as possible.  I didn’t want to be seen.  And I hated it when I had to hurry down stairs, or scurry across a parking lot.  When I first started going out as CiCi, I was like Gary Numan.  I felt safe in my car.  The safest of all.

Not long after arriving in Vegas I realized that any hurrying or scurrying would be futile. You see, the casinos have cleverly placed the elevators leading to the guests’ rooms as far as possible from the main door.  This forces their guests to walk past as many craps tables, poker rooms, and slot machines as possible.  The hope is that the temptation will be too much for any guest and they’ll have to stop and play a hand or two.

I wasn’t planning on doing any gambling, but the long walk from the elevator to the front door (and the taxi stand) was a pretty daunting walk.  For someone who had avoided any face-to-face contact with the vanillas of the world, this was going to be quite a challenge.  As I walked through the casino, I knew I was going to be on display in front of literally hundreds of Vegas tourists. And whenever you’re out in the mainstream public, you just never know how anyone is going to react.  Disgust? Ridicule? Bemusement? Acceptance?  Applause?   Now, nearly 10 years later, I can honestly say that I’ve experienced all of those reactions.  But back then, I had no idea what to expect.

That night, I dressed and did my makeup.  I was pretty excited about attending the fetish event.  But I was not looking forward to the walk across the casino.  Fortunately, I made it from my room to the elevator without seeing a soul.  And no one stopped our elevator on its way down to the casino level.  The elevator car stopped.  The doors hesitated.  And in that moment, my friend gave me some of the best advice I’ve ever received.  And it only took two words.

“Own it.”

It wasn’t the most original advice.  It wasn’t the most brilliant or mind-blowing.  It was pretty common advice actually, and – like a lot of good advice – it was precisely the advice I would have given to myself if I hadn’t been stressed and terrified and already sore from the ankles down thanks to my high heels.

“Own it.”

Strangely enough, my friend and I hadn’t discussed the long walk across the casino or my trepidations regarding that impending walk.  I had spent the day trying to appear calm.  Confident.  Unflustered.  So I kept my fears to myself.  But obviously my friend could read my mind.  Or my anxious gestures.  Or my nervous laughter.  I was petrified and she knew it. 

She could have given me a lot of different kinds of advice that day.  The elevator ride was long enough to deliver an entire football-style halftime pep talk.   But she didn’t. She waited ‘til the last second, and hit me just as I was about to take the field.  Just as I was about to enter battle and engage the enemy.  And, as is often the case in such situations, the enemy was me. 

I don’t remember much about that walk.  I remember that I didn’t trip in my heels.  I remember that I didn’t get any memorably positive or negative looks or comments.  And I particularly remember looking straight ahead so as not to see or hear potentially insulting looks or comments.  Before I knew it I was outside in the warm Vegas night air waiting for the next cab to come.  I don’t recall feeling particularly victorious.  I don’t remember any sense of accomplishment.  I do remember feeling relief.  A lot of relief.

But I did accomplish something.  I faced the fear.  And the public.  And the sore feet.  And I did something that just a few months before I would have thought impossible… I went out for a night on the town in Las Vegas dressed head to toe in girl’s clothes.

I owned it.

I still think of that advice in times of stress or trouble.  Whether I’m in girl mode or not.  And I particularly think about the “it” in “own it.”  What is that “it” any way”?  And how does one go about “owning” it?

For me, the “it” is a bit of a moving target.  If the idea is to own what you truly are, then I must confess that what I truly am seems to change from moment to moment.  There are times when I’m a guy.  A husband.  A stepdad.  A brother.  A son. An employee.  A breadwinner.  A weekend athlete.  An aspiring writer.  An incurable daydreamer.  In girl mode I seem to have even more identities.  Glam girl. Goth girl.  Rocker chick.  Submissive. Fetish doll.  Latex model. Shy girl.  Quiet girl. Girl who won’t shut up.  Newbie.  Old-timer.  Party girl.  Thoughtful girl.  Oh… and still… aspiring writer.

And yes somehow, if I really focus, if I really concentrate, I can own them all.  As long as I don’t try to be all of them at once.  And to me that’s the big key.  To own – to accept, to embrace – exactly what you are at that moment.  No worries about what (or who) you were previously.  Or what you hope to be in the future.  There is only one reality.  There is only one present.  And they are one in the same.

Let me give you an example.  Let’s say you’re about to enter a club.  Perhaps you’re somewhat of a newbie.  Still getting used to the idea (and the feel and the sights and the sounds) of being out in girl mode.  Your hand is on the door to the bar and you’re about to swing it open.  That to me is the moment.  The sad moment. The moment of wishes that cannot come true.  Because in that moment, doubts creep in.  And you begin to wish you were something else.

You wish you were prettier.  Or thinner.  Or taller.  Or shorter.  Or more confident.  Or more relaxed.  Or wearing a different outfit.  Something classier.  Something sluttier.  You wish you’d worn taller heels and smaller lashes.  Or bigger lashes and shorter heels.  You wish your dress was tighter and your boobs were bigger.  You wish you’d worn the blonde wig.  Or the red one.  Or the blue one.  You’re thinking that maybe the bare midriff wasn’t such a good idea, the makeup is much too heavy and more than anything, you wish you hadn’t worn that stupid pink furry hat. 

Okay, that last one has probably only happened to me.  But my point is this.  You’re already there.  You’re at the club.  Your hand is on the door handle.  And the truth of the matter is -- it’s too late to change now.  The other outfit, the other boobs, the other boots, and the other wig are just going to have to wait until next time.  You are, in that moment, exactly what and who you are… dressed and appearing exactly as you are.  And so, your choices are two:

  1. Bow your head in shame and spend the whole night worrying about bad decisions that you made three hours before.  Or…
  2. Own it.

I suppose there’s a third option.  You could let go of the door, climb back in your car, and head back home until such time as you achieve the perfect body, perfect makeup, perfect outfit and perfect hair.  Or, in other words, never.

Own it.  It’s taken me a long time to “own” the fact that I am a crossdresser.  Nearly 50 years or so.  I still haven’t told everyone in my life.  (As a good friend once told me – more good advice here – “everyone doesn’t have to know.”)  So I haven’t told everyone. I haven’t decided exactly where this fits in with my guy life.  And I haven’t made any big decisions on what I intend to do with all of this in the future.   Hormones? Transition?  Go 24/7?  Give it all up and rejoin the vanilla life? 

Anything is possible in today’s world.  I’ve watched dear friends of mine do all four of the options above, so I know that I can too.  I can do anything I choose.  And so can you.  But until you make that decision, you are what you are.  Prettier than some, and not as pretty as others.  Taller than some, and not as tall as others.  Thinner than some, but not as thin as others.  More stylish than some, much less stylish than others.  Further along in your feminine development than some, and not nearly as far along as others.

In other words, you are just like all of the rest of us.  And yet totally unique.  Tomorrow is full of possibilities. But for right now, you’re you.  And, in this moment, that’s all you can be.  But let me tell you this, there’s a lot of fun and fulfillment waiting on the other side of whatever door handle you happen to be hanging on to.  So swing it open.  Be you.  Right now. Accept it.  Enjoy it.  Embrace it. 

Own it.

Take care out there.

Be safe. Be smart. Be sexy.


Anonymous said...

Seem you have the fear of being discovered under control with help from a friend.
My question is how long did it take you to really get over the fear of being discovered or do still have the fear sometimes?

Julianna Rhodes said...

A lifetime in the closet is me. At 64 I've sneaked out just a few times, but after 41yrs of marriage, my wife and I are very close to coming out. She's allowed me to be as much Juluanna as possible, and this October we're alone for a week in the Smoky Mountians.

Just Nancy and Julie. It's taken soooo long, but I/we've got to get out out of the closet. At least a little. Here's hoping we can prove that it's never too late.

Anonymous said...

Cici, thanks for the memories. As a new cd I have done all but walk do the casino walk. I have the first floor motel room and have my car parked close by for easy access.

As a new cd I know everything is not perfect when I go out. I do worry about it more getting ready.
Once I'm out it is all about fun and the worries are mostly gone.

That's the best adivce is to go out confidantly and have fun being a girl. Hopefully someday I can go out like you and "Own it"!
xx, Patti

nathaniel sherrill said...

i have been following your blog for a while now and this one almost had me in tears, as i have just recently told my fiance now wife and she has been gettin used to the idea. but this whole post was so well written and has made me feel like i can go out and be brave enough to go out and be seen THANK YOU!!

Larr;y Miller said...

Cici, That was perfect and I'll definitely remember to, "own it", at least I hope I can. I relate to many of your blogs but this one really hit home. I hope you understand that your encouragement is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Lana (Houston, Tx.)

Susanna Sweet said...

CiCi... I have been reading the Suddenly Fem blog for a while now and I always enjoy your work. This one is maybe the most inspiring one I have read.

I have been out full time now for about a year. Doing hormones and such, and becoming the woman I have always felt I was inside. And I can so totally relate to "The Walk". Four years ago, I would dress to go out in secret. Car in the garage and on more than one occasion, had to play possum while a friend was knocking on the door, and I in full femme mode, hiding as to not be seen. The "Own it" advice came to me from a friend as well, and it was that advise that made me realize that I am who I am. If I want to be me, than I need to "BE ME".

Sence then I have been more confident and my true self is emerging. I am mistook for a woman even when only in jeans and t-shirt. It's not because I have learned to pass as a woman... I have learned to 'OWN IT"!

Julianna Rhodes said...

Own it as soon as you can, and with compassion for your partners, because it never gets easier, and the addition of children and grandchildren doesn't make that walk smoother girls.

Thanks CiCi. Nancy and I are starting with car trips, then our week in the Smoky Mountians. But I'll take mo more than what she's alright with. For God knows I'm blessed

greenhawk46 said...

you're gorgeous xxx Jim

CiCi said...

Wow... so touched by all of these letters.

SWFUNMALE... i am neither fearful or fearless, but somewhere in between. i had acceptance from my wife and great friends here in LA right from the start. but i still get nervous when i go out. i think it took a few years of going out (not that often, only a few times a year when i started), to start to feel comfortable. but to this day, it depends a lot on where i am and who i'm with. that's why i always say... it's always best to go out with friends. it's safer and it's way more fun!

Juliana, enjoy your Smoky Mountain vacation! sounds like a great week ahead. and big hugs to your wife for her love and support! make sure she knows... it makes all the difference in the world!

Patti... i remember those days very well. very scared and very excited all at the same time. but you're doing it, girl! that's all that matters. And ... omg... so much fun for you ahead! i wish i could trade places and do it all again!

Nathaniel... just take it slow and don't take unnecessary risks. be safe and have fun. oh... and my best wishes to you and your fiance. true love really can conquer all... even alternative dressing. ;)

Lana, i'm so glad that something i've written has helped you. it's pretty amazing. we're all so different, and yet, we all face so many of the same challenges and fears. best wishes, doll!

Susanna, i totally remember that! playing possum when someone was at the door. all dressed up and my heart pounding as loud as the knocking at the door! but i'm so happy for you... the hardest thing in the world to be, is yourself.

Thanks to all of you for responding and commenting. it means the world to me. a nice reminder that ... no matter what stage in this journey... we're all in this together. and we can all encourage and inspire one another!


Anonymous said...

Hi CiCi,

Well, I live in Vegas. My first time out involved a casino, an elevator, and the gaming floor. I do all three without thought these day's and more. I didn't have anyone to tell me to just "own it" back then and I'm sure if I did it would have made all that much difference. But then again, maybe it would have. I was nervous and scared and to be honest petrified of what might be about to happen. I guess somewhere along the way I learned to "own it" without even realizing it.

To own something shows possession and results in an air of confidence that to many crossdressers is elusive at best. Finding the balance to own both sides of who you are is difficult but not out of the question.

One thing you stated in this blog hits home. When I came out it was hard an fast. I told everyone but later came to realize it wasn't all that necessary. Not everyone needs to know. Wish I felt then what I feel now. I kind of exploded when I came out. Maybe it was just years of pent up energy.

Kudos on a well written insightful blog. Look forward to more.

Assistant Forums Manager
The Gender Society

Julie said...

What a wonderful blog! I can certainly relate. The first time I went out it was a sense of empowerment. The moment I stepped out of the car and walked a block to the restaraunt to meet some other T-Girls for dinner it was the moment I "owned it" or "it's to late now. I since have been out many times and love it.

bisou kiss said...

You are providing a great resource with your blog. Only recently tis last winter that I had a sort of heart opening. Profound acceptance in yet another level of awareness.
I recall two years ago in a Vegas casino as well. It was a long walk to the elevator. There were a few drunken young man whom started to laugh. Embarrassed, no. Feminine, yes. I felt unsafe. This is a fear that can be met.

Julianna Rhodes said...

You couldn't possibly mean me Jim, so I'll just agree with you and say, "CiCi, you are lovely to behold."

Since my last post my darling wife of 41 years, agreed to let me go smooth and shape my eyebrows (I messed them up) but I'll get there. Thanks ever so much.

Luv Ya,

Julianna Rhodes said...

I such a tech no know nothing, I didn't even see you wonderful response. We had s fabulous time, and I got to feel what it's like to be out!!! The feeling of a breeze on my legs was devine, as is my dearest love: Nancy. She's made such a joy of my life, after years of misery, that I often just burst into tears.

We do so much more now. Both with me as Julianna, and as Jack, though she always apologizes when she calls me Jack. I'm making a huge effort to make her feel as SPECIAL as she do obviously is.

Can life begin at 64? I think so, and it's just the beginning.

Luv Ya,

Anonymous said...

@Susanna sweet, OMG I remember when my nieghbor came knocking on my door and the music was on. He kept knocking on the door calling my name. I was in girl mode so tip toe back in my bedroom not knowing what to do. He left and I saw him the next morning.:)There have been other times after that too.

Thanks Cici, I had the pleasure to meet you on my first night out and it has been all fun for the last year. I was able to go out to a restaurant with my girl fiend for the first time last week. We both had a great time and now looking for somemore mainstream experiences.

The best advice I got was from a friend. She said" When you walk in to a room walk with your head up and you belong there". It was the best advice becuase if you are comfortable others will be too. She said" you don't want them to feel sorry for you". So like you it is going out and like you Own it.

I just hope to someday be comfortable in any situation. So a litle at a time and having fun!

CiCi said...

Thanks so much for your comments. And as for future blogs, I try to submit two new blogs per month to this site.

Patti, Julie, and Bisou... it's so good to hear stories of empowerment and confidence! Just please stay safe everyone!

Can life begin at 64? Life begins again 365 mornings a year. What you do with those 365 opportunities is totally up to you. It's so odd to think that i had more fun at ages 47 and 48 than i ever did at 17 or 18 or 27 or 28!


Julianna Rhodes said...

You're so kind CICi. I/we try not to look back. I guess it's natural to look back, but as I learned with the 196th Light Infantry Brigade in Vietnam, you just can't stare. What's done is done, and none can predict the future, so we try to stay in the moment. And the moments are increasingly divine!

Julianna Rhodes said...

For the record: I/we did it!!! We went to New Hope and had a fantabulous night. Those first few steps out if the car and onto the sidewalk were literally breathtaking, but I did my best to "Own it."

Result: A night to treasure forever!!!

Mickeytgurl said...

LOVE your stuff, Girl. I've just found your writings--and love reading so many of what I thought were my own observations about our little corner of the world written down. Thank you for sharing!

Kiss Kiss

academic essay writing said...

am I the only one, who thought she too old to make up face like this?? it's awful, just look!!