Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Princess Protector

Reading about autogynephilia, cross dressing, transgenderism, etc., always brings up the subject of how we see ourselves and why we do the things that we do. There are no hard, definite answers or explanations of these subjects. There are lots of theories and generalizations out there. Recently, while surfing the web, I found my collection of those theories and generalizations doubling. There are two sides of a coin, and I was reminded that how others view your transgenderism can have as big an impact on how an individual views his or her transgenderism.

Deviant Art is very nice web site featuring all sorts of artwork -- from stunning photographs to digital creations to anime fan art. The other day, I stumbled across a work called The Princess Protector. It featured a male dressed as a princess (complete with a little crown) with a real, female princess standing in front of him. The female princess held a sword, protecting the male princess. The look on her face seemed to say If you feel lucky, just try to give me your best shot! to some unseen enemy.

The artist then included some notes as to the inspiration of the work. The inspiration was a documentary on gender roles. In an experiment, a box of costumes was given to a group of three boys and three girls in a kindergarten class. The costumes included knight costumes and princess costumes. All the boys grabbed the knight costumes and began playing with the toy swords. The girls all grabbed the princess costumes and put on their pretty dresses. Then the teacher walked in, a male teacher, who was wearing a princess costume. All the children were confused.

One of the boys told the teacher that he could not be a princess because he was a boy. The teacher said boys could be princesses. At this point, the boys began harassing the teacher and attacking him with their toy swords. At this point, the girls each grabbed a sword and stood between the boys and the teacher, protecting the teacher. They defended the teacher, telling the boys he could be a princess if he wanted to be one.

I find I am now just as curious about other people's behaviour as my own. I see myself as a woman. I dress like a woman. I act like a woman. I see no problem with that.

It is typical human behaviour to be afraid of something that is different. The argumentative and even violent reaction of the boys in the experiment is regarded as normal and even encouraged by some adults.

A common psychological debate centers on nature vs. nurture in the development of a person. That person then plays a role in the nature/nurture of another person. None of this happens in isolation. We are all interconnected. My actions affect others, and vice versa.

Hmm.... Peaceful people living their lives as they see fit versus people physically attacking them because they seem different. Variety is the spice of life. Poison has no place in the human diet.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Working Girl Blues

Sorry for the lack of updates this week. As much as I love being Kelli, five days a week I have to dress in male drab and seek a living as an underpaid and overworked male employee. I can't complain too much about my job as it does put food on my table (and pretty clothes in my closet). However, although my company seems to be profitable and doing reasonably well even in these uncertain economic times, that prosperity has yet to trickle down to the ground floor where people actually have to work up a sweat (pardon me... I meant perspire! How very un-ladylike!). I work on the ground floor, and my repeated attempts at gaining a raise in pay or promotion had pretty much been ignored. So, I decided to test the job market and see what else was out there.

Sending out resumes was easy, and whether you are male or female, I recommend flats or low heels for "pounding the pavement". Then something wonderful happened -- a company I had talked to some time back had an unexpected job opening and they called me. They liked the freshly updated resume I sent them. They liked the witty job interview. They even liked the background check (which I am guessing makes no mention of Kelli). They hired me on the spot and I am in the process of changing employers (same job / more money!). All in all, it's been a very busy week.

The nice thing about my job is that it can be done equally well by either men or women, and more and more women are making inroads in the business. I normally get along well with whoever (or is it whomever?) my co-workers are, but have found it possible to slip into something of "girl talk" mode with female co-workers. For a conservative, Christian, TG, autogynephiliac, that's like icing on the cake.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

My Fantasy Became Reality...

...And I Lost It When I Introduced My Reality To My Fantasy.

I've been very busy reading other blogs on various TG issues and trying to catch-up on reading about autogynephilia. It's truly amazing the increase in information on autogynephilia that is now appearing on the web. Many years ago, I was basically faced with having to decide whether I was a transvestite or a transsexual. At the time I was confused about which truly described my situation, and that confusion actually gained some unfriendly responses from both groups. Cross dressers pushed me towards transsexualism as I felt there was something more to my whole experience than just wearing female clothes, and transsexuals were annoyed because I really didn't want to have any body parts chopped off (and, yes, I know they don't actually chop off any body parts).

It was back in those days that I had my last dance to the music of love -- I entered into a serious relationship with a woman. After a series of failed relationships, I found myself feeling this was my last chance at marriage and a halfway normal lifestyle. To this day, I believe we were truly in love, but we each had our own agendas.

I realized from past experience that it was futile to purge and deny the existence of Kelli. At the time I began dating this woman, I was actually trying to embrace Kelli and figure out if she was just going to be that pile of lingerie, dresses, and makeup in the hall closet, or if I was going to be Kelli permanently 24/7. This added to my confusion over being CD or TS since I was now in love with a woman.

Now you have to also remember that I was actually an autogynephiliac (hindsight being 20/20) and knew nothing back then about how big a role fantasy played in my outlook. This fantasy was rooted deep in my sub-conscious, and whether I was Kelly or Kelli (male or female), I had the same sub-conscious. This woman was an almost perfect fit in my gender role reversal fantasy of life. She was two or three inches taller than me (I loved it when she wore heels). She outweighed me. She proved on numerous occasions (all innocently on her part) that she was stronger than me. She was far more outgoing and confident and would gently push me to "be the man" in our relationship. We were two steps away from having a complete role-reversal, and whether or not she noticed it, I definitely did not notice it at the time (something about rose-colored glasses and such).

I managed somehow to hold our relationship at bay until getting the courage to tell her about Kelli. That changed everything. She asked to see Kelli as soon as possible and made a brave attempt to accept that part of my life, but in the end, she just couldn't do it.

I never should have allowed it to happen, but we took our relationship to the most intimate level. It was then that I discovered that, as far as my thoughts and emotions in bed were concerned, I had to be Kelli. I tried to hide that fact from my lover, but she eventually found out. I knew how important it was for her to be physically with a man. Empathy is one of my strong points and I knew how I would feel if the shoe was on the other foot. Unfortunately, she discovered my secret and really had problems with that. Some people, like myself, don't worry too much about what other people might or might not be thinking. My girlfriend was not one of those people. For me, autogynephilia is about 90% mental and 10% physical. That was not a good ratio for her, and understandably so.

To make matters worse, she decided the best way to help me was to tell other people about Kelli, starting with her friends and family. I am in the closet. That is a personal choice I have made. I know I am free at any time to come out of the closet if I choose, and I choose not to come out of the closet. I am happy with my decision. This caused friction between us which escalated into other things and led to our messy and ugly breakup. It was something I regretted, but in hindsight had to be done.

I often think it would be nice to have a girlfriend. Were the right woman to come my way, I would give it all another try. But this time, I like to think I would have a bit more maturity and wisdom so I can distinguish between the fantasy and reality.


Friday, April 9, 2010

Glass Closets

I've mentioned before that I find dreams very interesting. I seem to have a fairly active dream life (in technicolor, no less) and have often found them very helpful. Depending on the subject matter, I can observe a problem in waking life, go to sleep, and dream a solution. I've had dreams that were purely entertaining, and I have had dreams that seemed to deal with personal obstacles and problems. Some dreams I was actually able to interpret into meaningful insights on my life, and some dreams still remain a mystery to me.

Several years ago, I found myself facing the same question from three different sources. At the time, I had a girlfriend (now an ex-), became involved in a local cross dressing group, and was seeing a therapist. I became involved in the cross dressing group about the same time I began seriously dating my girlfriend. When I felt I had no choice, I came out to my girlfriend about Kelli and later began therapy sessions about my cross dressing.

I need to add here that I have always been, and still am, in the closet about my TGism. I was originally silent on the subject because of fear, but as I've aged and been around the block a few times, I'm not really interested in the whole world knowing about Kelli. I seem to have no problems with Kelli and other TG friends, and no problems with Kelli and therapists. Kelli and girlfriends/family seem to be another matter.

That leaves my male side (referred to as "Kelly" here) for girlfriends (even when they know Kelli) and family. I was confident that folks I didn't want to introduce to Kelli didn't know anything about her. That confidence was shattered by my TG friends, therapist, and ex-girlfriend. About the same time, the same conversation came up with all three about whether or not they knew anything about Kelli. For example, my ex-girlfriend knew me as "Kelly", but after I introduced her to Kelli she told me that she knew something was up -- that something was different about me. I knew my therapist for several years as a friend before I began seeing him for Kelli. He told me he knew I was "different" and wasn't really surprised to meet Kelli.

That led me to wonder what I had done to tip them off. True I'm not an overly testosteroned, beer-gutted, skirt-chasing, can't hold a conversation without mentioning a favorite sports team, type of guy, but then I am definitely not the "metrosexual" type either. I have a tough time deciding between going fishing and having my nails done.

I worried quite a bit. Although my ex-girlfriend knew, I hadn't told my family about Kelli. My ex-girlfriend was having enough problems about her, and I knew my family would completely freak. I made a mental note to try to act more manly around these folks, but really didn't know what actions, male or female, were giving me away.

Then I had this crazy dream.... In the dream, I had gone to visit my parents. I found myself in my old room, which looked completely normal, but I was now a woman. I had a feminine hairdo, a pretty face, and a figure that I would be willing to kill for if there was ever a chance I could actually get it!!! It's okay... I'm calm... breathe deeply.... Anyway, I was dressed for bed (wearing a babydoll nightie, of all things!) and in bed, reading a book. The door to my closet was open, and it was full of dresses, blouses, and cute shoes. My old desk was now covered in make-up and hair care items. There was a knock on the door and Mom entered my room. She sat on the edge of my bed and said, "Kelly [addressed me as a male], I need to ask you an important and personal question. Are you a cross dresser?" I found myself gasping and sitting upright as I awoke from the dream.

That silly dream made a big impression on me regarding what people think of me. I can't help what other people think of me. I could do my best to act macho for those who don't know Kelli, but then they wouldn't know Kelly either. All they would know was some person trying to imitate someone he/she wasn't. I'm lazy, so I'll keep it simple -- I'll let people love or hate me for who I am. Kelli is a big part of me, and you will see a bit of her in Kelly. Kelly is a big part of me, and you will see a bit of him in Kelli. I'm doing better on combining these two aspects of my life, and I'm feeling much better by doing that.

And on the subject of who knows and who doesn't know about Kelli, at the moment, everyone that I want to know about Kelli knows. For those who think they know, it's up to them whether they want to approach me on the subject or not. Trying to read minds gives me nothing but a headache.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Invitation to Church

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday, one of the holiest days on the Christian calendar. Do yourself a favor and attend a church service.

Sunrise services are nice.

Many churches observe regular services, but have special messages or music.

I've lived in cities where they had public Easter pageants where actors portrayed the death, burial, and resurrection of our Saviour.

Spend an hour or two meeting and in fellowship with the Lord. Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. The hourly ratio between the time the Lord wants to meet with us and the time he has given us for the rest of the week shouldn't interfere with anyone's hectic schedule.

But my church won't let me dress! Then don't dress, or find a church that will let you dress. That's way down on the list of importance (see previous post). Our Lord and Saviour has asked to meet with us. The Creator of all that is has asked to meet with us. He has shown us so much love, how can we say "no"?


Friday, April 2, 2010

On Bathrooms, Deuteronomy, and Freedom

There are certain questions and topics that frequently arise in the life of the everyday T-girl. "Which bathroom do you use?" seems to be one of the most common inquiries. Personally, I try to avoid it, but there have been times when I have used the ladies room. I've always waited until it was empty for safety and politeness, and usually tried to find "single seaters" where I can lock the door and enjoy some privacy.

Years ago, I attended several Help Me, Accept Me meetings at the Dallas, Texas Gay and Lesbian Center. I would arrive partially dressed and scurry into the restroom to apply the finishing touches. There was always a long line of T-girls at the women's restroom, so I would duck into the men's room and be finished before everyone else. Looking back, the scene was a bit comical. I remember another T-girl seemed to disapprove of my actions and questioned me about my choice. I replied, "Are you kidding?! We're all TGs here!" My practical outlook on things seemed to negate the need for restrooms designated for two specific genders when everyone in attendance was pretty much the same. Some may not agree with me on that point, but I still try to be practical in all things.

It was when I first began coming to terms with my transgenderism that I came across Deuteronomy 22:5 -- The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God. That seemed to seal my fate. I was definitely some sort of pervert in the eyes of the Lord. This was going to be a demerit on my record for the rest of my life, end of conversation, subject closed.

Then I learned about context. Everything in the Bible is spoken in the context of the day, and in the context with the rest of the Bible. Have you ever seen pictures of how good Israelites dressed back then? There was not a lot of difference as they pretty much wore robes. This piqued my curiosity. Then I looked at this verse within the context of the surrounding verses and found no context -- this verse of instruction stands by itself with no explanation.

I turned to some well-established theologians and commentators who felt this verse was a warning to the Israelites about some of the pagan practices of their neighbors. These pagans would cross dress to serve false gods and idols. This led me to believe that the intention of this verse was less about what a person wore than what he or she did. This makes practical sense to me. It makes sense that God would be angry at one of His children for turning their back on Him and going after an idol. Does God care if I wear guy's or gal's jeans? Does God care if a woman wears pants or skirts? Does God care if I wear heels or flats? These matters seem trivial and of no importance in light of the historical context. The focus is not on how I look but on how I'm serving.

Matthew 23:25-26 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. (26) Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. When Christ came to this earth, He fulfilled both the Law and the Prophets. One of His revolutionary teachings was on the correct motivations of the heart. Our reasons for action and intentions are as important if not more important than our physical actions. In the quote above, Christ was confronting a bunch of religious leaders who were so wrapped up in legalism and ritualism, and the power and prestige of their office, that they forgot the most basic aspect of God -- love. The scribes and Pharisees loved the applause and praise of the people for being "holier than thou", but gave little thought about how God viewed their actions and intent.

And don't forget, the New Teatment looks back and fulfills the context of the Old Testament, while the Old looks forward to the New for completion.

I'm probably not doing a very good job of conveying my thoughts, but here is an extreme example: It's okay to cross dress. It's not okay to cross dress and rob a bank. Why? Because it's not okay to rob a bank period! Hitting a little bit closer to home, it's also not okay to cross dress with the malicious intent to mislead someone.

Now why did I and many other people have to work so hard to come to the conclusion that cross dressing in and of itself is okay? Well, it wasn't God's fault, I can assure you. Fact is, we live in an imperfect world where there is sin, and the old devil himself is a master of lies, deceit, and misdirection. The devil can use his tricks on believers just as he can unbelievers. It's up to those who know The Truth to encourage others in The Truth and lead still others to The Truth.

Maybe I'll come back to this topic again. In the meantime, I'll try to prepare myself so I can better address it. My poor writing on religious matters has helped me have empathy with Moses when at the burning bush he said "I am slow of tongue".