Thursday, September 19, 2013

Allies Among Us - A Blog for SuddenlyFem by CiCi Kytten


Allies Among Us

I hope the person who sent me the email I refer to in this blog doesn’t mind.  Because I think it’s worth sharing.  I know a lot of the readers of this blog have never been out. And those who do usually go out to trans-friendly events or clubs. 

And that makes sense.  For a lot of us, this dressing thing is more of a hobby than a vocation. Few of us will transition or attempt to live fulltime as a woman.  Most of us only go out in public on rare occasions.  And I suspect that large majority of us will never leave the safety of our homes.

But those of us that do go out tend to head for gay clubs, tgirls bars, or drag shows.  In LA where I live, the “out” girls are making a big effort to get out in the general public -- either on their own or in planned tgirl excursions.  (See the photo of me below, hitting the beach at one of Shelbe Chang’s SoCal Tgirl Fun Events.)

CiCi @ Bolsa Chica State Beach. Photo by Victoria Goldscale.


I know a lot of girls don’t like to be out in the general public.  They don’t want to mix with the vanillas.  And I know why.  You never know that you’re going to run into.  When I walk into a normal neighborhood bar in CiCi mode, I know I’m going to turn a few heads.  Maybe every head.  I mean, even the most disinterested drunken barfly is going to glance up from his Bud Lite when a 6’ blonde in 5" heels walks in.


I’ve developed this system for my own protection.  And when I say “protection” here, i’m not talking about physical protection.  (That’s a whole different topic.)  I’m talking about emotional protection.  No one likes to be laughed at. No one likes to be mocked.  Or insulted.  Or even to hear unintelligible mutterings under someone’s breath.

And that’s what you risk when you go out in the mainstream public.

Like I said, I’ve developed my own system.  It’s pretty simple. I don’t look around much. I concentrate on my friends.  (I never go out alone. I always go with a date or with friends.) To be honest, in most bars, I’m not a good listener.  To start with, I don’t hear well.  And I tend to lose focus. I mean, when you add in all the distractions of a typical club -- old friends, new friends, complaining about the dj, complaining about the drink prices, trying to catch the eye of the guy with the nice build, and... and, sorry, there I go, I lost focus again.  See, to me, a bar or club is just not conducive to an in-depth conversation.

But when I’m in a vanilla bar, I’m the best listener ever. I focus in on my friends.  I hang on their every word.  Not because they’re suddenly the most interesting people on earth, but because I don’t want to see how the other people around us are reacting. 

If someone in a mainstream bar is staring at me, does he think I’m hot?  Does he think I’m a freak?  Is he intrigued by me?  Is he puzzled by me?  Is he repulsed by me?  And what is his wife thinking?  Or his friends?  Are they even looking at me?  Maybe they’re checking out one of my friends.

My point is, unless you engage the people around you -- or unless they make some kind of overt gesture -- you’ll never know what the vanillas around you are thinking.  And chances are, unless they’re really drunk, most of them aren’t going to approach you.

(I’m going to break here to give kudos to all of the bartenders, valets, cabbies, waitresses, passersby and fellow diners who have been kind enough to smile at me, wave at me or give me a thumbs up.  Small positive gestures go a long way, don’t they?)

Any way, all of this is beside the point as you’ll see when you read this email. (The name of the bar has been changed for privacy purposes):

Subject line: I think I saw you

Message:  Hi, CiCi. I'm sure you get a ton of email, but I had to write anyways. I think I might've seen you a few weeks ago at “Vanilla Bar.” Tall, very sexy girl, poofy hair, and the sexiest teeniest skirt! Was that you?

Now obviously I liked the compliments.  Always love stuff like that. (Although I’m not sure, is “poofy” a compliment?)  But, wow, this letter really had an effect on me. It reminded me of something that I should have known: the mainstream crowd is secretly full of people like us!  Closeted girls.  Allies.  Admirers. They’re all out there in vanilla world.  But often they’re not in any position to approach us or even acknowledge us -- for fear of somehow outing themselves.  

Now I’m not saying this kind of behavior is particularly courageous or noble.  But I wouldn’t call it cowardly.  It’s just human. It’s what most humans would do in that situation in today’s world.  (That’s why I gave kudos up above to the few people who did indicate some kind of connection with me.) 

I’ve traded emails with the person who wrote me that email, and, first, he seems very sweet and sincere, and, secondly, he is a crossdresser. Totally closeted.  Never been out.  And not really in touch with the community.  He’s married. He has kids, a career, and expressing himself in public just isn’t in the cards for him right now.  And, of course, on a night when he’s out with his vanilla friends, approaching me wasn’t in the cards either.  But he tracked me down online and sent me a nice letter.  

I was very touched. Very touched that he reached out to me. And very touched that he reminded me -- quite unintentionally -- that transpeople are among the world’s most invisible minorities.  You just never know when you might be talking to another transperson -- in your family, at work, at church, at a ballgame, in a club... even, perhaps, as you’re exchanging vows.

Transpeople are literally everywhere.  We’re often invisible.  And, what’s more, we’re often invisible even to one another.  That just means we have to be extremely thoughtful about how we talk about this life, how we talk about each other, and how we present ourselves in public.  You never know what dramatic impact your words or actions might have on another person -- positively or negatively.

Just don’t get too carried away with that last point. The one about how your present youself.  I mean, I wouldn’t want concerns over presenting yourself properly in public to stop you from rocking poofy hair and the sexiest, teeniest skirt ever.   :)  

Take care out there.

Be safe. Be smart. Be sexy.

xoxo,
CiCi

19 comments:

Val Watanabe said...

CiCi, thank you for sharing your insights, this one reminded me growth I've experienced and the lessons I've learned for so many others. Val

Kevin Taylor said...

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Robyn Jasmine a.k.a. RJ said...

I would like to leave this comment in the hopes that it may encourage some of those who are still closeted.

Physically, I am 100% male. I hope to change that (to 100% female) one day, but I'm not waiting for my body to change before I live comfortably. I have just enough male clothes to keep my job, but that's it.

I've lived as a woman full time for years, everywhere I go; and as I prefer to "keep it real", it's not hard to see that I'm still just a cross dresser. I get looks all the time. I can't even go grocery shopping without getting those looks. How do I deal? I own it. I wear other's discomfort like a shield, and even allow myself to get slight satisfaction from it. Sure, I prefer to hang out at LGBT places, but I don't shun "vanilla" locations either.

Because I know who I am, I love who I am, and to Hell with anyone who has a problem with it - I really don't care. Also keep in mind, having kids doesn't have to stop you! Granted it's harder if you didn't start when they were born, but... I have a two year old son, and this lifestyle is all he knows of me. It's all he will know, and I will teach him as he grows up that it's okay for a person to be true to themselves, no matter what!

This last bit I usually don't do, but I really hope to reach someone who may have needed these words. If what I've said has affected someone in anyway, and if you're bold enough, e-mail me and let me know. You can reach me at: germanwulf40@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Hi CICi
I'm a cross dresser and been wear womens Panty, shorts, minni skirts, tops, but in SC you can not go out!!! There one place and the police walk that bar every night. I 'm self employed and have a 100 client it would destroy my business. Every day I may say I wished I looked like her or her or her. I look great ina bikinni white yellow but can not lay on the beach ,only ina private pool.
i love my panties and lingerie and that all i have. 20 years past still a 100% male. I have no place tp turn, or where i can come out of the closet.I would have gave any thing to be felmale. working with a felmale i get a look at her
butt, her private place and have apeek of her white panty from time to time. Depression every day wishing I was this girls.

PaulaKay said...

I have to agree with Robyn Jasmine and suggest that part of the trouble with trying to be accepted by the vanilla world is some girls' insisting on wearing "the teeniest sexiest skirt ever." If you feel like a woman, and if it is a part of who you are, wear what genetic women wear, where they wear it. By wearing daring clothing, you call attention to yourself, and some vanilla folks take that to mean you are trying to get in their face, and they either resent that or think you are strange, or a fool. The point of crossdressing, IF you want to express your inner femininity, is NOT to stand out, but to pass unnoticed by cis-people. If you WANT to show off and draw attention to yourself, I have to ask why.... BTW - I dress often and go out alone to supermarkets, department stores, doctors' offices, and restaurants...all in normal fashions bought from normal stores made for genetic women.

PaulaKay said...

I should perhaps add that it is not illegal to crossdress in Texas. I have been treated respectfully by police, male clerks, young and middle-aged female clerks, doctors and medical assistants. The make-up girls at my local Sephora have become my first fan club, happily greeting me when they see me enfemme or enhomme, and a female clerk at a David's Bridal store complimented me in one of their gowns saying "that really works for you!" So, do your best with make-up or go to Sephora or Macy's or friendly salons, then go out. It gets easier every time you go out! I am going to be getting a state ID card soon so in case I get pulled over, the police won't think I am going to rob someplace in a disguise. You could also get a letter from a therapist. Have courage!

PaulaKay said...

I should perhaps add that it is not illegal to crossdress in Texas. I have been treated respectfully by police, male clerks, young and middle-aged female clerks, doctors and medical assistants. The make-up girls at my local Sephora have become my first fan club, happily greeting me when they see me enfemme or enhomme, and a female clerk at a David's Bridal store complimented me in one of their gowns saying "that really works for you!" So, do your best with make-up or go to Sephora or Macy's or friendly salons, then go out. It gets easier every time you go out! I am going to be getting a state ID card soon so in case I get pulled over, the police won't think I am going to rob someplace in a disguise. You could also get a letter from a therapist. Have courage!

Shirley Corning said...

Well CiCi, I'm sure you know that everyone is unique and that sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction. Keep in mind I'm transgendered but not transsexual. My story was fairly typical for a cross dresser and I started going out about once a month as Shirley from 1990 through 1997 and even appeared on the Leeza Gibbons show in 1994. I withdrew depressed and didn't go out as Shirley again until May of 2011. I started going out once a month again but this time with a new attitude. Ever see the movie trailer where the guy leans out his third story apartment window and yells, “I'm mad as Hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!” I went out with a chip on both shoulders. I'm going to go where I want, when I want and if anyone dares to give me any static I'm going to hand them their head on a platter! Not literally of course, just verbally, though I was prepared to defend myself if necessary. Much to my surprise no one cared. I didn't get any static, not one word or even a dirty look anywhere and I was out in public like Walmart, Costco, grocery stores, restaurants, the mall, etc. I'm 6'4” weighing in at 240 lbs and I'm no Miss America. Nevertheless I pass most of the time. I'm usually read when they get a closer look or I start talking to them because I sound just a little more feminine than Jay Leno. Well I was very happy and having a really fun time running around, talking to people, laughing and joking with them. They'd read me early on but would get into it and go with me. Everybody seemed to like me and were happy to see me again. Now isn't that a kick in the head?

That's remarkable enough but then the incredible happened. There was no well laid plan, in fact no plan at all. My life turned on a dime, in just a few seconds. It was March 15th 2012 and I was at a salon as Shirley. I was so happy and felt so comfortable as a woman and so accepted by everyone there that suddenly I didn't want to go back to living as a man anymore. I couldn't. I didn't and I've been living as Shirley ever since. I'll never go back. I can't. On the few occasions I was asked to appear as my old manly self and I actually considered doing it the top of head would blow off and a hurricane of emotions would roar around me, rage, despair, resentment, regret, pain, sorrow, agony, hopelessness, depression and tears. Would you ask me to go back to Hell? I can't take it. You couldn't pay me enough. I have been very happy ever since and everyday is wonderful. Have I gotten any static from the public since then? Yes, one incident of no consequence at a gas station. A young man probably in his twenties pointed and laughed. I thought that was rude of the fool and ignored him but was ready if he approached. He didn't. Relatives and friends were another story but it worked out okay for the most part. Considering what some of the transsexuals go through I feel like I got off pretty easy which is not to say that it was easy. It was not. The public was effectively no problem at all.

It's not a perfect life but it's sure as Hell much better than what I had. I wish I had done it sooner. I had lots of good reasons why I shouldn't and why I couldn't but once I did, one quote burned into my brain. “Whether you think you can or think you can't you're right!” Henry Ford.

If you want to email me go ahead at shirleycorning@aol.com I'm easier to find than city hall. Just do a search for Shirley Corning. I'm on Facebook and LinkedIn too.

JinianVictoria Herdina said...

CiCi, You bring up some very good points. Like some of the others who have commented here I have simply said the hell with it and I have started going out routinely as a female and living as such. i am retired and I simply dont give a red hot damn what others think. This is all about me. If others have a problem with my presentation it is exactly that their problem not mine. i dress conservatively but elegantly and blend in where I am. Where many of us go astray from my limited observation is we dress non age or environmentally appropriate....how many 50 year old women for example wear miniskirts? how many gender girls dress like Tijuana hookers on Saturday night and go to church dressed that way? Of course others will get in our faces when we try to jam our appearance or actions as normal into theirs. My best advice is try to dress and act age and environ appropriate. Dont slouch and try to hide it WILL draw attention. Enjoy yourselves, smile and be polite you will be amazed what will happen and the accptance you will feel. JinianVictoria H

Karla korazon said...

Hi CiCi

I liked your latest piece a lot.
You hit it right
trans people are trans...parent
we are simply imppossible to SEE

I bet we have actually saw many girls that went unnoticed even by ourselfs

The other day I saw a young crossdresser in a pink dress in the middle of the day in a crowded street, he was so proud of his/her outing, and proud, I think of not being transparent

of course there is the normal people reaction to CD, but we enjoy it anyway

thanks

Kayla Kremme' said...

CiCI, I want to say I have been viewing & reading posts for just a short time here on your blog. But I love all of it, your postings & the people that follow you & post comments also. So many sweet & kind words. So much input with many different views & opinions.
And every last one of them are inspirational & motivating, full of great info from all
I will continue to check this blog on a daily basis like I do.

See I too am a "closeted" part time male to female crossdresser. I have been since I was 7-8 years of age, mommy's things always seemed to find there way into my room ;p ... all through my teenage years off & on with the lingerie, makeup, etc. Even in my first marriage I secretly wore the exact sexy lingerie I bought for my wife. I never took it any further than that at that time.
As things would plan out through the years of living the obsession, it became like a light switch in my head, I could turn it on or turn it off. I love women, I love everything about a women hence the passion for dressing fem.
Its funny, in one relationship well after the failed marriage. I decided to stop hiding my deep desire & shared it with the woman I had been dating for ooohhh 8 years or so. Well needless to say that was the end of that relationship, such a sad time it was.
Being single again was a good thing in many ways at that time. I had more time to dress as I wished. So I did just that, I had more money to buy more tings now. I had built up quite a collection of wigs, heels, clothes, lingerie & makeup. But I was still living in my world, inside my own fortress I had created. I believe it was the year 1999, I came home from work as boy. Stripped down I remember, crawled into a tub of hot water & baby oil...i just love the way it soaks in...I shaved, had a glass or 2 of wine, was feeeling as sensual you know. I got myself somewhat all dolled up, dressed moderately but fashionably. Tight blue jeans, heels, short cut blonde wig, nice little top that fit my breast forms ever so nicely. Climbed into my 4 wheel drive truck drove to the corner store, went inside purchased another bottle of cheap wine...i didnt care, I had one thing planned and I was doing it...gong out in public.
It was the most exhilarating thing I had ever done in my entire life. When I climbed back into my truck I felt eyes burning on my backside, and I didnt care if they were gawking or admiring..as I sat there for a moment...shaking like you would not believe...it was sooo hottt. omg....

Oh god look at me, I get to just rambling on. I am so sorry I couldnt help myself, lol I may need to start my own blog...

Cici thank you for everything you post...

I love it all & everybody!!


Kissses!!
Kayla

Robyn Jasmine a.k.a. RJ said...

Back again, having read all these new comments (new to me since my last read lol). It's awesome, seeing that I'm not alone in the world. I've never let it weaken me any, but sometimes it feels like... "am I the only trans left with the courage to say fuck you to the world?"

Well, only on in my city, it sometimes seems. But awesome to find that I'm not the only one in the world :) I also tend to agree with the whole not dressing like a slut thing. I despise the feel of pants on my body, but I certainly don't wear skirts--even long ones--when there's snow on the ground. I've even ONCE been given the compliment of being the first cross dresser someone I knew ever met that actually dressed conservatively.

Unfortunately, you'll still get noticed. We're cross dressers and trannies, even when we do it right, we get noticed. But then again, men's eyes were made to see, so let me look. You never know, one or two of them may be seeing something they like @};-

celeste hodson said...

I too am one who has known from my very early age that something inside of me was how I was feeling. I felt as if I should have been a female and not a male. I would start to take my sisters clothes and escape to the nearby woods to become my female person. I would feel right as I ran around dressed up as a girl and that feeling has just grown stronger in me as the years have passed. I now have gotten to the point where as soon as I am able to be who I should have been all along I switch to my female self in the comfort of my own apartment. I have gone out a couple of times and walked through a mall to see how I would feel being myself as Celeste and it felt great. Soon I will be able to retire and I plan on taking the journey to completely become the female I should have been all along. I know the journey will not be easy and I will probably lose some family and friends but hope to also gain some true family and friends to help me to my true being that is a true woman. I will get courage and direction from hearing your blogs and advice so please don't ever stop being the encouragement and hope we all need to hear from you. Thank You So Much Celeste

Anonymous said...

Dear Cici-Once again your insights are profound and I would like to say that I too once lived in a very vanilla world and moving across the country to various cities didn't help. I worked for twenty-seven years in the music business where "dressing" wasn't a big issue, but the city you did it in did, I did come across a place that was so warm and welcoming to us T-grrls that when I retired I moved there and I've never had problem of any kind- that place is Boise, Idaho

Anonymous said...

CiCi,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! You have no idea how helpful you are. Knowing we are not alone is so important- many times I thought I was the only little boy in the world who wanted to be a girl.

About a year ago I started dressing for the first time- I found a wonderful mentor (a professional) who has helped transform me and guide me. I only get to see her about once a month and felt bad about that. I feel better now knowing how lucky I have been to get out at all at least be the real me once a month.b I never knew that most cd, tv and tgs never leave home.

The first time my mentor did my makeup, etc and I looked in the mirror, I cried. I felt like I was looking at myself in the mirror and saw myself looking back for the first time in my life! She also helped me look far better than I ever dreamed I could look in a mini skirt (I am a couple of years older than you).

Going out the first time was scary and exciting. You are so right in your public thoughts. Is he looking at me because he thinks I'm hot? A freak? Grossed out? Is that older lady really looking at me with that disgusted look on her face? I also noticed that I am a good listener when out (desite my ADD)- now I know why, I'm very focused on the friend or person I'm talking to and I avoid looking around.

CiCi if you ever get back to
New England I would love to meet you for lunch. It would be great to talk.

I am married with a daughter who needs me very much. For at least the present the occassional becaming me is the best I can do. I don't consider myself a tv, but really a tg. I have wanted to be a girl since I was a little boy.

CiCi, thank you for all you do and please keep posting. I hope someday we can meet.

xxoo

Part Time Danielle

Anonymous said...

CiCi,

Thanks to some local t girls here in SoCal I've been able to go almost anywhere as a t girl, even a church on Sunday. I go shopping regularly too.

I'm always ready for a confrontation but it has not happen yet. I've only get nice comments like "you look nice", really you look nice for a dressed guy. I really don't care what others think about me. Just having fun being a part-time girl. I have to give credit to the girls that helped and gave me advice.
xoxo,

Patti

CiCi Kytten said...

Thanks so much to everyone for their comments. As you can see from the reaction, there are many different points of view on going out and personal presentation.

The one thing that keeps coming through to me is that the world at large seems to be becoming much more accepting. I realize that this can depend a lot on what city you're from (yay, Boise, iD!!!). But when I hear some of the horror stories that those he came before us (some of whom are still very much a part of our community), I realize how lucky we are... and how lucky i am.

I may have misspoke or given the wrong impression in my writing. I really don't mind standing out. I know that others like to blend. But between my size and my style of dress, it would be hard for me to go unnoticed. And I know that i have no one to blame for that but myself.

I've tried "toning it down" before. But it just didn't feel right for me. I felt like i might as well have been dressed in drab (dressed like a boy).

Now I know that probably tells you something about me and my need for attention. But that pretty much goes without saying with me. Will that change as i grow older? Perhaps. But i'm happy with my style for now. And I'm happy with the reaction i get from both friends and strangers.

But this discussion keeps coming up -- dressing age appropriate... dressing more conservatively -- so I think i'll address it more completely in a future blog.

In the meantime, my best wishes to all of you. I don't care whether you dress like like a school marm or a harlot... i respect what you're doing. And i know it takes a lot of inner strength to be the you you've always wanted to be!!

xoxo,
CiCi

Anonymous said...

CiCi,

Your 10/17 comments are so well said. As I have gained more confidence in the last year, I don't mind standing out. I love the harlot rather than the school marm.

Being 5 11 and adding blonde hair and 5 inch hills with a micro mini skirt, is really who I am.

Screw being age appropiate- I'm told I look great dressed like this! being in my late 40s and finally getting to be me feels great, even if it is only once a month!

Part Time Danielle

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