Thursday, August 8, 2019

Accepting Who We Are

By Hannah McKnight

We are amazing and beautiful people. We have something unique about us, something we likely hide from the rest of the world. We keep this side of us from almost everyone we know because, well, let’s face it, they probably wouldn’t understand.

Explaining to someone else why we wear what we wear isn’t easy. Why do we wear panties? Why does putting on a corset, a push-up bra, towering stilettos and stockings relax us? Why is shaving our legs the perfect way to end a long day? Why are we jealous of the girls in our office who wear beautiful skirts to work?

If I have to explain it to you, you wouldn’t understand it.

We have lived with this side of us for as long as we can remember. We may have suppressed it, we may have denied it, we may have hoped and prayed it would go away. But this is who we are. We cannot ignore that this is a part of us.

We may call ourselves crossdressers, t-girls, gender fluid, non-binary. We know who we are, we know what we love. But sharing this side of us is not easy. We tell ourselves to keep this a secret, we tell ourselves that they wouldn’t understand. And we’re right. They won’t.

But I have been who I am for a very long time. My earliest memories involve wanting to wear lipstick and trying on my mom’s high heels. Four days ago I strutted (believe me, I absolutely strutted) down the streets of the city in a beautiful black dress after a makeover. I don’t know why this is who I am. I don’t understand why this is a part of me.

I have realized that understanding why I am the way I am is a puzzle without a solution. I can’t answer this no more than I can explain why I prefer coffee over tea. I just like what I like. I am who I am.

Understanding why we are who we are is overrated, anyway. We spend so much time trying to comprehend why this is a part of us when it’s not something that needs to be understood. Rather, it is more vital to accept, and then embrace this side of us. Who we are is beautiful and we should acknowledge and celebrate every single side of us.

Once we have accepted that this is who we are, then we will finally be at peace with knowing that we will never change. This is not a phase, this is not something we can or will ever outgrow or move on from. And God knows we all have tried. The seemingly endless cycle of purging and then shopping again haunts me when I think of how many fabulous pairs of high heels and how much beautiful lingerie I have lost over the years.

Time doesn’t change who we are.

And neither will love.

So many of us fall in love and then resolve to never dress up ever again. We throw away our bras and panties, we toss out our makeup, and we say goodbye to those cute size 13 red patent high heels. We are in a serious relationship now, thank you very much, we no longer need to feel beautiful.

Besides, they wouldn’t understand. Best to keep this side of us to ourselves. We don’t do that anymore anyway, so there’s nothing to tell.

And it’s true, they won’t understand. I came out to my wife thirteen years ago and she has guided me through selecting out wigs to teaching me how to apply makeup and reminding me to drop my hips when I walk in heels. Despite her witnessing my evolution and all those years of mentoring me, she is no closer to understanding this side of me than she is to setting her foot on the moon.

What she has done is accept this side of me. She knows this is who I am and that I have been me for as long as I could walk. I can’t change. I told her the truth about me two years before I proposed. She needed to know who I was. I had long accepted this side of me and she deserved to know everything about me. She needed to know I couldn’t change or deny this part of myself.

So, how does one come to terms with this side of them and have a happy, stable, and successful relationship? It starts with the truth. The truth about who you are. This begins with you accepting that this isn’t going away. I understand why we keep this side of us a secret from the world and why we think we should keep it from our partners. However our partners deserve to know the truth and you deserve to love yourself. Living your life in constant denial about who we are is horrible.

The point of all of this is that this is who you are, too. You cannot deny this part of you. It won’t go away. The desire to wear what we want to wear will not fade over time. This is who you are and it cannot be changed. And why would you want to change this? It doesn’t need to go away. There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel or look beautiful. Wear what you want to wear. The world may not understand, but they don’t need to. You don’t need to understand it, either.

Just Accept it. Embrace it. Own it.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Choosing Your Femme Name

By Kathy Hamilton

Furrow your brow and think back carefully… just how did you get your femme name? And did you pick a femme name from the very first day you started cross dressing… or was your name something which just sort of came along or appeared some time later?

I must say that this is quite a fascinating subject, especially as many of us can’t really answer the question—indeed, most seem to say that their femme name just appeared…. and just felt right for them. Most names come from our sub-conscious, possibly very much like the first appearance of our inner female self: we don’t know where she came from or why she suddenly appeared—but once she was here, we had this innate feeling that she was here to stay, that she would be part of us forever!

In many ways, we are lucky that we are able to choose our femme names, whereas genetic women are at the likes, whims (or mercy) of their parents who often deliberate for ages to think about and select a name for their daughters. This freedom of choice gives us unlimited scope to choose whatever name we wish, and can go for a modern day name or one from the annals of time.

Yet some of us are almost pre-ordained to have the names we choose and I feel quite sure there is a deeper side to femme names that can be explored ad infinitum; just why did we pick that name we choose, why did we need to label ourselves so; or why do we need to have a femme name at all—is it a tacit admission that there really are two souls or spirits within our one body? That we really are two people in one? Generally, it appears that many girls do not seem to pay as much attention to picking their last or surnames, which is not that surprising, as many girls only use and know others by their first names.

But, back to the main question. From talking with a number of crossdressers and trans girls, the most common ways in which they derived their first femme names include the following:
-Some girls simply make an extension to their male name, for example: Martin to Martina, Justin to Justine or Eric to Erica;
-Some make subtle or single letter changes: Francis to Frances, Robin to Robyn or Tracy to Tracey; or they pick a name that has similar sound qualities to their male name: Bill to Lil; Harry to Marie or Keith to Cathy;
-Others adopt names that are the same for both males and female and stay with the name they already have been given: say, Kim or Evelyn or Chris;
-A number of crossdressers select their femme name by choosing the name of someone they may know who is related to them, now or from the past, such as an aunt, a former teacher or a school colleague—someone who may have exuded womanhood in the style and manner our crossdresser aspires to;
-The selected name is the same as someone our CD/trans girl admires and looks up to, whether it be a celebrity or a famous sports person or singer;
-The femme name was suggested by someone else; or, finally:
-The right name just sort-of popped up into our conscious and stayed there; without us having to think about picking a femme name—and the name just seemed appropriate

I believe I fit into this last category… my femme name just, how can I say, appeared and became a part of me without me ever consciously realizing it…

We also, as you would expect, have girls who feel the need to have more than one first name or hyphenate their name(s) (and why not, we are free to choose!). They choose names such: Christine Jane Jones or Kate Jennifer Smith or Tiffany Lori Johnson or Mary-Jane Wilson or Trixi-belle Angel…. and so on…

Finally, of course there are those CD’s or trans girls who deliberate at length, choosing and discarding names, then choosing and discarding all over again— choosing several different names over a period of time until they find the one which they feel fits them best.

Whichever way you found your name, don’t ever forget that it is she (the one within) who makes the choice so don’t be too puzzled or perplexed about why your femme name is Emily or Julie or Amber or Snowdrop—as long as your inner lady is happy, roll with it!

So, how about you, where did your femme name come from? Comment in the comments section!