On August 1st, after 50 years of crossdressing, this girly girl finally came out of the closet and into public view. It was a bit like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis. Here was Annie, the butterfly, coming to greet the world.
I had scheduled a makeover at Macy’s in Pittsburgh; I planned out the event for weeks. After much deliberation, I chose the perfect outfit (a casual dress of course), the perfect shoes, (sparkly flat sandals with a bow), and a Versace fragrance. I had the proper accessories and the perfect purse. My nails were polished, lighter on the fingers and darker on the toes. This butterfly was ready to emerge.
Before I go on, I want to thank all my friends here at CDH. I couldn’t have done this without your love, your encouragement, and all of your support. My emergence from the chrysalis was a group effort. Thank you ladies, your support helped me do this. We are truly a sisterhood here. You have my utmost love and respect.
I arrived at the mall early, wearing only minimal makeup. I wandered around a bit to put myself at ease. I got a few curious, knowing looks, but really wasn’t sure if they were reading me. I used the woman’s restroom for the first time ever. It was truly a nonevent; two other women were in there, but I didn’t see them. I was extremely calm for some unknown reason. In anticipation of the day, I was sure that I’d be scared to death, but I wasn’t. The day felt natural, it felt right.
My makeover and the experience were almost perfect. The women taking care of me were wonderful and treated me as Annie, the woman I presented as. I thought I might get looks from passers-by, and yet that didn’t occur. It was amazing; I felt soooo girly. We talked about makeup, my dress, my sandals, and my jewelry. I was in female nirvana. It took about an hour, and I learned so much. One of the consultants explained that my skin had a pink tone to it and I should apply makeup with a pinkish hue. My eyebrows and lash are more feminine and cuter now because of the experience.
I purchased more product than I had intended to, but doesn’t a girl have the prerogative to return items. I followed up with the personal shopper who’d arranged the session. I tried on several outfits that she had pulled for me. I felt so feminine, so accepted. The PS told me I was such a sweet thing; I just loved her.
The day wasn’t perfect; there were two negatives, albeit minor ones, which cast a slight pallor over the otherwise amazing day. The first was of my own creation. I felt that I noticeably stood out; I’d chosen a casual dress, and it seemed I was the only at the mall in a dress. (It was for a different reason that I stood out and not because of being a crossdresser.) I wanted to wear a dress; I had to wear a dress. It was appropriate, but not quite right for the environment.
The other minor flaw bothered me a bit as well. After working on me for an hour, calling me Annie, discussing makeup, my dress, my jewelry and such, I made the overture and bought a considerable amount of product. In response, the stylist doing my makeover conveyed to the manager working the counter that “he” would like to buy it all. At that point, being referred to as he hurt. I felt close to tears.
Day two was going to be another girly day. It would have purpose and be perfect.
Purpose was easy. I had several clothing items needing to be returned. Plus, of the $900 in makeup product I’d purchased, $600 was going to be returned, leaving me with what I’d wanted originally and still entitled to the “freebie” gifts Lancôme was offering.
This time, I dressed to fit in. I wore my skinny jeans, an adorable pink glittery top with Parisian design, rose-colored Sperrys, and the perfect accessories. I carried my favorite Coach purse; I was a woman doing what so many women enjoy—I was going to shop.
I applied my new makeup with the techniques I’d learned, applied perfectly I might add. I put my makeup bag into my purse, loaded the car, and off I went. It was a two hour drive to Easton Town Center in Columbus, Ohio.
First up, I went to the Lancôme counter and returned makeup product. If the girl there believed me to be male, she didn’t let on. I was trying to use my practiced fem voice, but it was far from perfect. In retrospect, she probably knew.
I next went to the clothing counter where a delightful, older lady took my returns. She and I chatted about family and children. She kept calling me sweetheart, honey and dreary; I was in heaven.
I walked around the mall for nearly an hour. If anyone read me, I didn’t notice. For all intent and purpose, I was just another woman shopping. I mingled, seemingly unnoticed. The walking was tiring, and as it was a hot day, I decided to take in a movie.
I also needed to use the ladies room. Ladies, the lavatory was amazing! It was comprised of 30 stalls and 10 sinks. It wasn’t immaculate. I entered, took care of business and went to the movie. Given my overt femininity, it seemed disingenuous to see an action flick. I felt as if I should have attended a chick flick, it being a girl day and all, but instead I chose to see Hobbs and Shaw.
There were only eight people in the theater; it was by assigned seat, and for some reason everyone took the seat assigned. A young man sat right next to me and was crunching his popcorn. If he had offered me some, it might have been different, but he didn’t, so I moved.
After the movie, I again made use of the ladies room, touching up my makeup as another woman stood there. It was a cathartic experience to say the least.
I went into many women’s stores. I had to converse a bit…”no thank you” or “just looking, thanks.” It appeared as if I went undetected. I truly felt one with the women around the mall.
I drove to another area of the mall to pick up a few items. I received nary a glance. By this time, I had been walking around a lot and my shoes were rubbing at my heels so I bought footies to wear. I usually wear hose without issues, but being a modern girl, I went without. In retrospect, I wish I’d worn the hose.
My two girl days were amazing, and I didn’t want them to end. Being out was an amazing experience. I wish everyone could feel the same essence of freedom and exhilaration that I did. I truly believe that if you present reasonably well, people in general are so wrapped up in themselves that they pay little attention to others. I was warned about teenagers and tried to avoid them, but those I passed didn’t even look my way.
As the day went on, I tried to emulate movement of the women at the mall. They were so varied that a commonality was hard to find. I did notice they were smiling a lot, standing straight; arms swinging at their sides or bent at the elbow to hold their purse. They maintained a fairly consistent head position. Ladies, if I can do this, many of you could also. Have confidence, work on your appearance, your presentation, and…practice, practice, practice.
To quote Monica Prata, founder of Nouveaushe in New York City, “If you want to wear a dress, wear a dress, just shave your legs first.”