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  • #22528
    Codille Benton
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    Registered On: August 24, 2015
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    A final pass of the lipstick and it’s done; a firm cupid’s bow sits above a shiny half moon. The lips glow from a nicely made-up face, eyes shining from within the borders of fine black eyeliner. Dustings of colour along the eyelids accentuate the deep blue of the eyes themselves. With a pace backwards the beautiful face can now be seen in its entirety.

    It is a beautiful face though no longer young. There are lines but they are faint, somewhat hidden beneath the fine layer of bronzing powder. This is the face of one accustomed to the skilled application of well-chosen cosmetics but not all is well. Despite the smile that draws apart the lips something is not right. It’s the eyes. The eyes are sad. They take in the beautiful visage the mirror offers yet they do so with an infinite depth of sadness. For this is the face of a prisoner.

    Today, as on many similar days, the prisoner imagines what is happening outside her window, a window blackened to prevent the world seeing in. She imagines others, perhaps people somewhat like her, going about their daily lives. They laugh, they meet, they enjoy each and every day, outside. She envies them with a passion that borders on pain. “If only I was free from this place” she thinks.

    She steps away from the mirror and examines her whole appearance. Her clothing is tasteful and suits her age. She wonders, if she was to escape from this place would those others, outside, really notice her? Would they laugh at her emergence from her prison? Would they perhaps shy away from her in fear of a person they do not know? Perhaps though, she hopes, maybe they wouldn’t notice her at all. That is all she would hope for, to be able to enjoy those same freedoms; to laugh with others, to meet for coffees or drinks, perhaps even to go dancing with no-one paying any particular attention to her.

    The prisoner’s face clouds with despair for she knows that it cannot be. She is a prisoner, incarcerated not only behind walls of stone but by the shame of her deeds, a shame that burns deep within her for, despite that shame, she enjoys what it is that brings it. If she could overcome that then perhaps she could be free. The prisoner eyes the door with a desperate desire to have it opened yet afraid of what lies beyond. Perhaps those who hold the keys to that door would forgive her if she repented; swore to never again indulge in her evil pleasures. But are her crimes so grave? Grapevine gossip tells her that they might not be so though she still believes that in her case there will be no acceptance. Release might just condemn her to the rest of her life in loneliness, rejection and pain. Is not this cell far safer?

    A camera sits on a shelf and with practiced efficiency she sets it up to capture her appearance today. She laughs a little to herself when she considers that the photos will never be viewed by anyone else, yet she ensures that she looks right and her pose is correct. There is pleasure in simple things. The photos done she quickly downloads them to her computer, hides them within a secret file and then deletes them from the camera. A serious search would find the images that would betray her but for now they will be safe from a curious search. What photos they are. Even though she is the sole judge she is full of praise. If those others, outside, could see how nice I look, how normal I look, perhaps I would be accepted.

    Many such days pass, shaped by the joy of the experience followed by the shame such joy brings. Each such day is the same; no-one knows what happens behind that locked door and blackened window. No human however can endure such conditions indefinitely. Eventually something must change. So it is that one day the prisoner decides that escape is the only way. She has considered that perhaps she should forfeit her life but realises that despite who she is, especially considering what such an action might uncover, there are those who love her and who would be deeply saddened by her loss. Her escape must be of a different nature.

    On the chosen day, once again with her face eloquently made up, she prepares herself for what she considers will be one of the most difficult undertakings of her life. She is ready but at the door she falters. What waits beyond? Does someone lie in wait to entrap her? How far will she get? Will she survive the attempt? Finally though she summons the courage and reaches for the door. To her surprise it opens easily and with hesitant steps she ventures beyond. The light seems different, the air seems fresher and her steps lighten as she moves away from her cell. There is no plan for where to go because she never expected to even get this far. She is walking freely, enraptured by the freedom she feels when she hears voices and realises that people are coming towards her. Fear grips her and she cowers in an alcove until the people pass. It is enough though and her resolve fails. She hurriedly retreats to her cell and closes the door to reimpose the safety she feels there.

    It isn’t long though before the need to escape reasserts itself. This time the prisoner is prepared. She knows what it’s like just outside the door, she knows how far she got last time and she has a plan if others approach. This time she will succeed. The door opens easily, more easily than she remembered from last time. The air again feels fresher, the sunlight brighter and more warming. The further she gets from her cell the easier the adventure seems but the euphoria is halted. Someone is coming. With a slight feeling of panic she realises that she could never retreat in time. She must brazen it out. She continues to walk calmly and with grace while watching a couple approach. With an inner sigh of relief she sees they are in conversation and don’t even notice her as they pass. The feeling of freedom is intoxicating.

    In that state she approaches a café and before she has time to reconsider she decides to order the coffee she has dreamed of. She waits for the recriminating looks, the shriek of terror by the young lady behind the counter as their eyes meet but instead the young lady smiles at her:
    “May I help you ma’am?”
    The reaction is not what the prisoner expects but she is now filled with dread as she speaks.
    “Just a cup of coffee please,” she says as softly as she can. “with perhaps a slice of cake.” Now it will come. This is where her adventure will end. She’ll be set upon and will wish she had stayed in her cell. What a fool she has been.
    “Certainly. The carrot cake is very nice. Will that do?”
    “Yes, thank you.” With trembling hands she gives the young lady the money, once again fearful, this time that her hands might now betray her but the young lady continues to smile as she passes back the change.
    “Take a seat and I’ll bring it out to you.”

    The prisoner chooses a table slightly separate from some other customers but soon sees that they are paying her no attention. She smiles to herself as she slowly comes to realise that her fears seem to have been greater than reality. Can it really be this easy? Surely, she thinks, some of those stories I’ve heard are true. She ponders her good fortune and has the confidence to smile when she sees the young waitress approaching with a small tray that she places on the table.
    “There you go. Enjoy, and may I say, you look lovely.”
    The prisoner’s voice breaks slightly as emotion overwhelms her.
    “Thank you dear.”
    “You are welcome. Take your time and enjoy your day out.” The young lady returns to the counter to serve another customer.

    As she sits sipping her coffee and eating the carrot cake, which seems wondrously tasty, the prisoner smiles to herself and softly says “Well Bian, did you ever imagine being here?” She likes the name, so different from another she is known by. Bian was her choice, a name she discovered means ‘secretive’ or ‘hidden’. She knew as soon as she heard it that that would be her name for it described who she was. Now it would serve as a reminder of a prison she would never go back to, a cell that was of her own making.

    Bian finished her coffee, brushed the last crumbs of delicious carrot cake from her painted lips and rose from the table. With a wave of thanks to the waitress, who waved pleasantly back, she walked calmly away from the café and began the walk home. She passed numerous people going about their daily lives. Some looked at her with brief glances, though one young man paid a bit more attention but with a slight look of confusion walked on. Most people didn’t even notice her. Before long Bian was back at the door that had started it all.

    This time though she knew that it was really she who held the keys. The blackened windows were of her invention, an invention she resolved to remove. She no longer cared who chose to look in and what they saw if they did. She would install curtains for privacy but would open them to let the sunlight of freedom in whenever she wanted to. Never again would she hide who she felt was her true self. Bian knew there must be others like her, others who had felt similar fear and who understood. It was time to reach out to them.

    Bian was free, a prisoner no more.

    Authored By Ambassador Janes
    A Great Friend and Wonderful Woman
    05/20/2016

Viewing 29 reply threads
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    • #386530
      Grace Scarlett
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      Registered On: July 26, 2020
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      Codille

      Omg….I thought I had heard it all but that was heartstoppingly beautiful….I cannot really say anything else….for once I am speechless….grace xx

       

       

    • #327407
      Kalyani V
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      Registered On: March 20, 2020
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      Its such a lovely story and very artistically narrated too. I cherrisshed each and every word. I could totally see myself in there during the first half of the story.

    • #238224
      Bobbi
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      The Eagles put it this way: “So often times it happens, that we live our lives in chains, & we never even know we have the key.”.
      That was a lovely, uplifting story.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #201228
      Jennifer McCrennaugh
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      Beautiful. Simply beautiful. This touched my heart. Thank you so very much.

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    • #139323
      jen brownigan
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      Registered On: December 10, 2017
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      wow, what a great story you wrote.  I started to write my version of the same title yesterday, and tried to post it on a different site where it was rejected, saying i should have posted it in the help forum.

      My partner is traveling for two weeks, and while she knows, she prefers not to parcticipate and I am so enamoured with her that I do not dress when she is in town . Why6 shoud she have to struggle with my fetish if thats what it is?   I let  my hair grow out beginning a couple of months ago knowing of her plans, and two weeks ago  now, made a salon appointment for hair and nail tips.  I started to cancel the salon a couple of times, but did go.  After all it is 25 miles away.  I wore a pair of jeggings, penny loafers with no socks, a not too tight corset, a tee shirt, a bra but left the forms in the car.  Loose fitting denim shirt .  Very light foundation and very pale lip color.  I had told the owner who was the nail tech that I was a crossdresser and she was very accommodating and friendly.  She did a great job on the nails while a young beautician tried to get curls in my hair.  The hair was ok, but did not last. I have struggled with the hair ever since ,  having not enought patience to let the hot curler stay there long enough.  The directions said 7  or 8 minutes.  After that many seconds i wanted to release it.

      With a  little courage I drove back home from the slaon and while online bought tickets to see the new movie Vice also in another city.  Hair curled and brushed up and set ,  nails on, long flowing loose peasant black skirt, dark blouse, new jacket, and new two inch heels.  No one paid any attention and I got involved in the movie enough to ignore and be ignored by the couple who came in and sat in assigned seats next to Jen in the back row of the mostly empty theater.   Finding the corset uncomfortable, Jen was able to remove it without getting out of her seat?   I planned on letting them go out first so I could be inconspicious but they moved slowly and I finally headed out and they paid no attention.

      It was not until this morning, that i began to write of being imprisoned.  I realized that, in this small city where I am well known that I could not go out with these nails.  Finally , after a week, and needing to go to the store for food, i began to struggle with removing the nails from my left hand as the bottle of acetone had arrived from Amazon.  It was harder than i recalled from the last couple of times, but the i had had the nails removed professionally in another city.

      Wearing a glove on my right hand and my left hand acetoned and filed down i was able to go to the local Wegmans.

      Now with another week before my partner returns, and knowing I need a couple of days I am only half imprisoned.  I jsut cannot decide which side is the imprisoned side.

      Now I have to decide which half is the imprisoned half, the left half, the guy mode half, the guy who went through a series of relationships , three kids, over 50 professonal years, all the time hiding Jen; or the right half, the still acrylic nailed half, the jen half , the half struggling with returning to guy mode.

      Sitting here now, showered and lotioned, curled, and nailed, low heeled  and a pair of leather rear zip slacks  on,trying to fufill my committment to not turn the TV on today.

      Easy, not much guy mode sports on tv?   A committment I made this morning when I took the new puppy out for ended up as a three mile very slow run on the deserted college campus near by.

      It has been a great 8 days so far, disappointed that the dresser I met online cancled at the last minute?  Wondering what will happen in another 4 days when Guy mode, gets a hair cut and wonders if the remnants of the acrylic nails, without color will be noticed. Some depression, but not sure if thats because of my self imposed imprisonment, or just a recurring theme.  Lonely.

      I wish i could write like the person who started this thread, wish i knew how to write a coule of drafts and save this for revisions, revisions and revisions as i recall Prufrock saying,  decisions and decisons?  I will have to find and read that Elliot poem again.  In the room, the women  come and go, speaking of michaelangelo.

      It maybe time to see if i can write and re write this, make it readable, confront whichever side of me is imprisoned, and decide on freedom for the other side?

      and if anyone gets this far I apologize for I am just learning to keyboard with nails.  and thats the easy part of trying to learn writing at this age.

    • #127368
      Paula1
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      thankyou for this amazing story

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    • #97719
      cdheaven
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      Thank you so much what you and the others have written. Unfortunately, I am still in my prison. What all of you have written gives me hope that I will be free someday. Now I must wipe my eyes and carry on.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #89076
      Sara Marie Franklin (SMF)
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      Codilla, thank you so much that is exactly how I felt and still do at times.  So glad you posted it.

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    • #89074
      Anonymous
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      What a wonderful story. So true. We are our own jailers until we  free ourselves

       

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    • #84286
      Marianne
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      A beautifully written tale of determination overcoming the fear that paralyses so many of us. And with a happy ending giving hope to those who sit imprisoned in their own homes, wishing to go out in the world of freedom. Thank you very much for sharing this with all here.

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    • #83816
      Peggy Ann Culpepper
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      Registered On: January 21, 2018
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      I”M awestruck-just this morning I decided to venture out for the first time wearing pantyhose under my satin Pj Bottoms, camisole and bra under my Pullover Sweatshirt(all black) With bright red Lipstick. I got to the door twice before i could venture out, im only going to try to make it to the mailbox which is only about 100 feet from my front door. i finally make it outside and to my horrow my Neighbors daughters car is in her driveway about 30 feet from my front door. i know this is the day that the big heartsttack is coming. I can’t hide im pushing a walker(icall it my 4 wheeler) that i have to use since i had a stroke a year ago. I made it to the Mail box without seeing anyone but i could feel my ears burnig and i could feel the blinds in alll the neighborhood trained in my direction. When i got to the mailbox i decided that i was already dead so i kept walking and walked a mile around my circle knowing that any minute the neighbors daughter or someone was going to drive up. didn’t happen. I think that i dont know if im releived or disappointed. Cant wait to try it again. Still scared to death. Thanks to you Codille I be lieve that i will have the courage to try. Bless You

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      • #121382
        Jessica Summer
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        Hi Peggy,

        Be comfortable with who you are, this is the first step I have found. Feeling good in your clothes and the natural feeling of being yourself let’s most of all the fear from strangers.  The times I have been out have all been positive.

        Be happy who you are!!!

        🤗😘

        Jessica

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    • #75527
      Anonymous
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      omg… You’ve lived my life to this exact moment 💖. 

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    • #63730
      Anonymous
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      Although a familiar story in many ways, the way this is written is excellent. It really draws you into the moment so very well, that it allows us be there with you throughout.

      <3

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    • #63724
      Dame Veronica Graunwolf
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      What a great story, brought tears to my eyes. Damn it! That is twice now in 45 years. This tale ranks up there in the inspiration category, along with Jonathan Livingstone Seagull and The mouse who Came in from the Cold. Thank you for passing it along.

      Bless you all, especially those who fail the first and subsequent times. All it takes is one little success and you are on your way.

      Lady Veronica Graunwolf

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    • #55992
      Anonymous
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      so moving!

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    • #54537
      Dame Veronica Graunwolf
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      We have nothing to fear but fear itself.  I ask myself……where does fear come from. Is it a “lingers on” from an embarrassing moment that makes us feel ashamed? Is it a painful reminder from a previous injury and all that surrounded it? Is it a reminder of a serious altercation (physical or mental)? Is it a rebuke from an employer? Is it media telling us that we don’t measure up according to the rest of the herd? These shoes, this car, this make-up, this furniture. Media has constantly bombarded us with advertisements, actors/actresses have brain-washed us into thinking…”we use this…don’t be a nothing…use this and be what we are”. I bought a European sports car, used Hi-Karate after shave, smoked Salem cigarettes and frequented the “IN” spots…all to attract females. I was crushed when it attracted nothing, not even a glance! Media starts in on us when we are young and never ends. We are conditioned to believe, in fear, that we will be inferior to all if we don’t follow “their way”. Young children are not afraid or wounded when they commit some buffoonery…….not so with teens and adults. The brainwashing continues till death: just waiting for commercials on coffin lids. We develop “fear” of offending the status quo, so we hide in our rooms afraid to express ourselves. Prisoners as it were in our being and minds.  When I went to Vietnam, drill sergeants pounded into our heads (brain washing us) all of the dangers we would face, death, dismemberments, insanity and what not. Snakes, tigers, deadly bugs and the worst of all…the foe! You could always spot a rookie, head and eyes darting everywhere, wet and crappy pants and as nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof. 50% would die before 3 months were up. By then they new what they were told was non-sense. Don’t get me wrong….there was danger everywhere but they had learned to ignore negativity packaged in pretty ribbon and bows. New people were shunned, as a liability to your own health. The big and most important lesson was to be aware, don’t be traumatized over something that might not happen. People to-day are so wrapped up in themselves….they are 99% not likely to notice you.  If you are expressing non confidence, you will get noticed.  I can walk down Yonge St. at High Noon in Tor0nto. Everyone moves out of my way as if I was surrounded by a force field….Chicago as well. Why??? I exude confidence and a certain je na say quoi. I walk the walk and talk the talk. I am left alone. About the only thing to come out of Nam.

      One must swallow their fear of rejection. Do the things that scare you and you will lose fear of that thing. People who take exception to you over something….do you really care what they think? Relatives and friends yes….you can pick more favorable friends who accept you for what you are…unfortunately you can’t pick your family and their non-acceptance will hurt. But to thine own self be true because it is Your Life…live it how you want to (within reason)…let Max Klinger of MASH be your guide……..never give up on your own “Section 8″). And let us not give the Drill Sargent an excuse to criticize us by tucking your skirt into your panty hose or forgetting to shave and nail down those wigs in the windstorm (You would be surprised at the number of wigs blowing down the street followed by a stampede of Girls.  Before you leave your den…..remember Nathanial Bedford Forrests first rule of march….”Don’t Fergit Nothin”   (Don’t forget anything you might need in your “possibles bag”)    Purse.                                          Lady Veronica Graunwolf

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    • #45147
      cdheaven
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      This is absolutely fantastic. What a brilliant way to describe what all of us  have experienced at some point in our lives.

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    • #42658
      Rachel J Rose
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      Fits me Jane and others here that want to venture out as themselves and others that have.  Maybe some day I will venture, if I do I am afraid Rachel will be out all the time.

      Rachel

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      • #167153
        Rachel J Rose
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        Now out for over a year and I thinking to myself what took you so long lol

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    • #42488
      Anonymous
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      Thanks for submitting this piece Cordille, sometimes those first steps seem like trying to jump a canyon.

       

      Margie

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    • #41835
      Anonymous
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      Beautifully written, bordering on poetry. Words are important to those of us who live softly within. Thank you for sharing.

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    • #41781
      Sarah Daniels TG
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      Wow.   Just wow!

      You write so well, I felt like I was standing there with Bian.

      Bravo!!

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    • #32616
      cdheaven
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      Very thought provoking and bittersweet experience…… different culture, different land…but the feelings and desires are universal for all crossdressers every where.
      Thank you for a nice and memorable post.
      Vera Jane

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      • #32621
        cdheaven
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        Thank You Vera honey I hope I can help someone else like myself we all need all we can get for sure I agree pain is universal life makes us who we are I truly wish the world could learn how to love more hate less we are human beings doing our best in a complex world Love Maria

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    • #29690
      cdheaven
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      Thank you for that story it’s one we face almost every time we venture out but it does get easier each time for sure being 56 I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve dressed as well as escaping that prison we build ourselves I’m still working on myself but improving daily Love Maria

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    • #29042
      cdheaven
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      A beautiful story that reflects how a lot of us feel. Thank You to the person that wrote it.

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    • #29000
      cdheaven
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      Wonderful story reached deep inside and touch on how I feel. Being a dresser myself I get so fed up on having to hide part of myself from societys eyes for fear of being persicuted and my family harassed because of who I really am

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    • #28422
      VickieJ
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      Thanks to the person who wrote this story. I hope you know how much your stories such as this can help people who are conflicted or suffering inside. Your words made me feel good

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    • #28278
      cdheaven
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      • Well I haven’t had a chance to read the story yet but I will I’m sure it’s great we all have some I’m sure I’m just finding my way in here ok I’m duhmb on this thing most of you look amazing or at least your avatar does I’m more like the rest still more masculine trying to change 56 years of covering up relax and be myself and I’m working on that I’ve been out several times dressed I pass easy enough growing up with 4 sister’s I picked up a little bit mainly just how to dress I’m only now learning to get my makeup right I need more practice of course gotta get some dental work badly pistol whippings are hard on the teeth ok oh I’m sorry I’m Maria or MJ
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    • #28261
      Cynthia Elaine
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      That was a beautiful story, and at first just a bit touch and go. it goes to show that we all can overcome our fears.

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    • #27999
      cdheaven
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      I can so relate with Bian’s  dilemma, and really pleased she made that small step outside her front door. Unlike her however i am forever locked in my small apartment.  Having to live 2 lives sux big time but that’s my choice.  I live in a small town where every one knows me as Brian. A few people know i am a cd and don’t care.  It’s only my own paranoia that keeps me, as Bronwyn, locked up.  The only give away when i am out side are my really long manicured nails and 2 earrings in each ear and long hair.  But to look at me one would just see a big older guy, big arms, big shoulders, big hands and feet. My male side dominates over my fem side, so i just accept that i must live two lives.  Bronwyn

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #27360
      Janine7
      Participant
      Registered On: November 18, 2015
      Topics: 0
      Replies: 30
      Has thanked: 11 times
      Been thanked: 50 times

      A beautiful story! I am inspired to contemplate a similar plunge into the real world out there.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
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