Thursday, May 27, 2010

Personal Spring Wardrobe Notes

This post will fulfill something of a dream I have had for years. I've read many fine cross dressing magazines over the years, and many of them had very good advice columns pertaining to makeup and fashion. Friends have told me that I do pretty well on both fronts. I have to study and work hard at makeup, but when it comes to fashion, I'm pretty good at dressing like a normal woman. At home, I don't dress like June Cleaver or a fantasy French maid, but if the occasion calls for feminine slacks and a nice blouse, that is what I will wear. If the occasion calls for a dress, that is what I will wear. I don't own any haute coture. I think you get my point.

So I have never really needed much fashion advice, and have never really given (or been asked to give) any fashion advice, which is okay because I thought everything that needed to be said on the subject had already been said or written. Today changed all that, and I found an area of fashion decorum that needed my two cents.

I live in a moderately-sized town in the U.S.A. which is located in a region referred to as "tornado alley". This region of the country experiences more tornadoes and severe weather during the spring months than any other region of the U.S., and at the moment, we are at the peak of the season. I was talking with a stranger at a gas station about the weather. I figured we were just making small talk, when I saw him jump in his vehicle and discovered he was a storm chaser from a major university. These folks will travel the highways chasing tornadoes. They are normally in a convoy and will have lots of neat gizmos like computers, weather radars, satellite trucks, etc. With all this equipment, they seem very smart, and yet, they are chasing some of the most dangerous storms to hit this part of the country. If they don't have to get too close to the tornado, I suppose it would be very exciting and interesting, so naturally, I began making notes about what to wear should I ever decide to chase after a tornado.

Unfortunately, it seems the first piece of advice would be to not wear a skirt. Tornadoes are windy. It's embarrassing when a woman's skirt is blown up, but when a cross dresser's skirt is blown up, it's just gross to me. I would suggest a nice pair of slacks, or possibly, if you've got a decent shape, a cute pair of shorts. I use fanny pads, which I figure would also offer some protection from the weather elements (like if the wind knocks me flat on my a... seat).

The second piece of advice is also a bit of a downer -- wear flats, not heels. Take a look at Helen Hunt in the movie Twister. A tornado will easily catch up to you if you're running (mincing for some of us) in heels, and the added height will attract more lightening strikes. I'd go with a cute pair of sneakers, and the added running will help tone the legs and butt for when you do wear heels.

Now for the top, I'm thinking of some layering. You would want the outer layer to be a long-sleeved shirt of some sort that can easily be removed or added. The weather under a thunderstorm is often much cooler, and with the rain and strong winds, it can get downright chilly, especially compared to the warm sunshine you were in just moments ago. The inner layer needs to be very light and cool, like maybe a t-shirt, halter top, tank top, or exercise or swimsuit top. This way you can tease the world a little with "what you've got", yet keep somewhat modestly covered (Mom and Dad would be proud of their... a... child).

As for underwear, the standard crossdressing rule applies -- the sexier, the better. If a black lace push-up is all you've got, it will do just fine. A word of advice -- you might get pretty wet, so plan ahead of you want to avoid looking like you just left a wet t-shirt contest.

This will be an excellent time for your makeup skills to shine. Remember, it will probably be warm and sunny while you are out traveling, so you will want a light, minimal look to your makeup. However, once you are in the storm, it will be quite a bit darker in an atmosphere dominated by various hues ranging from blue-grey to grey with some greens thrown in for good measure. I would be packing lots of blues, grays, greens, purples, magentas, evening-type makeup, and make certain it is not only waterproof, but wind-proof as well.

It took a long time for me to summon enough courage to leave my home the first time dressed as a woman. Taking that into consideration, it will probably be a long time (if ever) before I actually consider chasing a tornado dressed as a woman, but if I do, I've got my wardrobe already selected.


Friday, May 21, 2010

The Thorn In The Flesh

In the book of II Corinthians, the Apostle Paul made mention of a "thorn in the flesh" which he had. This thorn was some sort of infirmary, a flaw, a handicap, a malady that Paul wanted removed. We don't know any specifics, but we do know that Paul asked God directly to remove the thorn, and God refused. Here's what happened:

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
-- 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

I recently came across the question, Is crossdressing your thorn in the flesh? In the past, I have considered it a pain in the neck, and other areas of the body, but never as a "thorn in the flesh". When I looked at what a "thorn in the flesh" really was, I realized it could be relevant to my situation, and, here's the best part, that is a good thing.

Paul was an amazing man. He was well-educated, he was what we would consider to be a blue-blood family lineage associating in all the right circles, and then he met the Lord and his life changed. He became a pillar in the early church. His writings are central to New Testament importance. We know more about his work in spreading the Gospel than anyone else. He traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia, preaching, teaching, and writing like no one else.

It would be easy for anyone in that situation to start feeling like they were Super Preacher -- faster than the speeding Word, more powerful than the Sanhedrin, able to leap over false gods and idols in a single bound. It's a bird! It's a plane! It's super Paul!

One tiny, little problem: that is known as a classic case of self pride, which is not good because it incorrectly attributes these great blessings as coming from us, when God is the author of all blessings. At the most, we can be a vessel through which God works, which is also a blessing from God.

The end result was that this thorn (whatever it was) reminded Paul daily that he was nothing without the Lord, and the same is true for us who are followers of the Lord.

It would be too easy for me to dismiss my autogynephilia and cross dressing as a problem that I wish could go away (I've already tried that, and, SURPRISE, it's not going away). But if I consider it something of a thorn in the flesh, I have to admit that there have been blessings from it. I've met a lot of wonderful people through the years because of my cross dressing. I've been able to talk with other cross dressers about the Lord and have heard back from them. I have found them very encouraging, and I hope they were able to gain something useful from me. My autogynephilia has definitely kept me in check as a man, but the resulting balance I have found between masculine and feminine has, I hope and pray, made me a better person. I know I am much happier with this balance, and can't imagine tipping back more towards the masculine side (female side would be just as bad).

Through the years I have found myself praying that God would turn me into a woman, and I have prayed that God would make me more manly. Looks like considering this to be a thorn in the flesh is the best option I've come across.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Mommy's Little Girl -- NOT!!!

I always enjoy reading the Crossdreamers blog, even when the conversation becomes so scientific and psychologically deep and complex that it hurts my brain and I find myself wondering if I'm really a blonde. Still, I press forward with my attempts to understand all, even when I know I probably have as much of a shot at understanding transgenderism as I do of using Einstein's and Hawking's theories to build a time machine (hot tub optional).

When it comes to the nature vs. nurture argument (are transgendered people born that way, or learn that behavior), until fairly recently, it seemed the vast majority of information I had seen pointed towards a nurture theory. In the past, I generally had read that the typical transgendered person had a dominant mother, absent father, and was generally rewarded for embracing a more feminine personae than the typical male. I, personally, couldn't raise much of an argument to that theory. I grew up in a very loving family, but could readily see how this environment could lead me to autogynephilia and cross dressing.

Now the "nature theory" of some sort of hormonal imbalance has been around for a long time as well, but the scientific understanding of how those hormones work, when they work, and how they affect various receptors has exploded many fold in recent times. I found myself reading recent posts in Jack Molay's blog and saying to myself I have those physical quirks and I remember Mom telling me that happened to her during her pregnancy! I was completely "freaked out" many times over.

So here I am, still sitting pretty, and still without an answer I can readily accept as to whether trans people are born or learned. If you read this blog and would like to offer your thoughts, I would love to hear from you! Did your mother force you to wear a dress when you were young and you have continued doing so to this day? Do you know of anything that happened during your mother's pregnancy that might have made you autogynephiliac? I don't personally subscribe to some theories, but still would like to hear if you think you are transgendered because you were the opposite sex in a past life, or aliens from the planet Sunev abducted you and reversed your sex. Until then, maybe I'll start on that time machine...[tongue planted firmly in cheek humor].


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Kelli's Simplified Dictionary of Big Scary Words

My list of words that need defining for the purpose of using them in this blog is growing, so I decided to give Kelli's Simplified Dictionary of Big Scary Words its own entry.

  1. autogynephilia -- A man who fantasizes that he is a woman.
  2. Christian, conservative -- Holding established and/or moderate views and interpretations as found in the Holy Scriptures (Bible).
  3. cross dress -- To wear clothes of the opposite sex.
  4. drag queen -- Think "female impersonator" on steroids. They generally present over the top caricatures of female personas.
  5. fantasy -- Note real; fiction; imaginary. Example: Flying unicorns are fantasy creatures.
  6. female impersonator -- Male who does his best to present himself as a woman to the point of fooling his audience into thinking he is an actual woman. Generally used in the context of stage shows and entertainment.
  7. heterosexual -- Attraction to the opposite sex.
  8. homosexual -- Attraction to the same sex.
  9. penis envy -- Originally refered to a part of Freud's theory about a young girl's growth and development during the psychosexual phase in which she realizes that she does not have a penis. The phrase "penis envy" over the years has come to denote masculinity, virility, and male dominance as Freud's original theories on the subject have fallen out of favor and become archaic.
  10. role reversal -- A situation in which two or more people swap mental and/or physical attributes. Example: If an office manager and his secretary swap roles, the office manager assumes all secretarial duties and manners while the secretary assumes all office manager duties and manners.
  11. she-male -- see "tranny".
  12. tranny -- Generally a pre-op transexual (one who has undergone partial sex reassignment). Usually used in a pornographic context.
  13. transexual -- A person who either strongly desires to undergo, or has undergone sex reassignment surgery (SRS).
  14. transgender -- A blanket term for those in gender identity situations.
  15. venus envy -- Desiring and/or envying any mental and/or physical attribute(s) of women.
The dictionary will be update from time to time as the need arises. I welcome any comments and suggestions.