I have noted a number of fellow dressers who keep facial hair, and the mixed feelings they have about it.  I thought I would add an article about my own experiences and feelings in hope that it might be of some interest.

Growing up in the 60’s it isn’t surprising I developed an eye for short dresses and nylon clad legs.  In my teen years I secretly tried on pantyhose and a dress, and although I really enjoyed it, I followed my conservative upbringing and gave it up.  I finished high school and went away to college, where I decided to exercise my facial follicles and grow a beard.  I discovered I liked the way I looked and kept it.  I finished college, got a good job away from home, got married and started a family.  I also got involved in the hobby of Civil War Reenacting.  Ten years later, I changed careers, moved back to my home area and settled in.

All this while, I never completely rid myself of the urge to wear feminine clothes.  The most I did was occasionally buy a pair of pantyhose to slip on secretly or, very rarely, underdress.  The urge never left, and I still wanted to experience dressing, and seeing what I might look like as a woman.  I still regarded it as a vague fantasy or a passing whim, so I never discussed those feelings with anyone.

I continued to experiment when the opportunity presented itself, but always regarded it as a weakness or flaw in myself.  Then I discovered an online forum and felt a rush of excitement in the realization that there were other people who felt as I did, and acted on it.  I eventually got pantyhose, shoes, bra, panties, and a dress.  Although I was still bearded, I was greatly enjoying the feeling of dressing feminine, and took digital photos with my face cropped out.

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For the next several years I followed the cycle of acquire, dress, shame and purge.  In time, I made peace with myself about dressing and broke the cycle.  I came to the understanding that it was harming no one, and it was interesting, exciting, and fun.  I still had the unfulfilled desire to really transform to the appearance of a woman.  I tried using digital apps and photo-shopping,  and was encouraged by what I could do.

Then covid hit and I discovered that a mask could hide my facial hair.  A decent wig and eye makeup came next and I had gone as far as I could take it.  I was more than pleased with the results.  I looked and felt feminine behind the mask and I explored it further and began building a wardrobe.  I became so bold as to try venturing out dressed.  I first went to an isolated park and walked around in plain sight of passing cars wearing a little black dress, patterned tights and wedges.  Nothing happened – not dirty looks, ridicule, or otherwise.  I did more outings, each time daring closer contact and even interactions.  In one store I actually got a compliment!

In January of 2022 I got grudging approval to clean off the beard.  I did it in stages over a few days, leading up to the moment of truth.  For the first time in over 40 years I saw my clean shaven face, and was horrified!  I saw a weak chin, turkey neck, and the beginning of jowls!  Still, it would be worth it to see the real Geena.  But even that did not turn out well, much due to my poor makeup skills.  Disappointed in those results, I immediately set about growing it back.

Fortunately, I had taken plenty of photos and studied them frequently over the next few months.  In October, when a CD friend offered to meet up for over 2 days, I shaved again (staging an ‘accident’ to explain it to the family).  Being better prepared, I wasn’t so very shocked, and, thanks to my friend’s guidance in makeup, I looked much better as Geena.  I was so encouraged by this outing that I stayed clean shaven for the next 4 months and enjoyed more than a few Geena outings, including eating out and making friends with members of the social group in Grand Rapids.

I have since grown the beard back since I am still active in Civil War Reenacting.  I do harbor plans though, to clean it off in the fall for a repeat of last winter.

I am left with a dilemma, though.  While I very much like the look I have accomplished for Geena, I still do not like my drab shaved appearance.  I thought I would get used to it over the winter, but the best I managed was resigned acceptance.  Now I like my appearance, but Geena is again masked which precludes a number of activities.

I believe I have arrived at a happy middle ground in which, over the course of a year, I can enjoy both my usual bearded appearance, and be able to be fully Geena.  For the next few months I can do Geena, but masked, while enjoying my drab appearance.  Come fall I can again break out the serious makeup and really be out as Geena again.

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    Suzanne Martin
    Active Member
    3 months ago

    Geena – Thank you for your story. I also have facial hair and don’t have the option of shaving it off. I’m okay with that (although I would like to shave it off just to see what Suzanne really looks like) and I understand why. Though my wife hasn’t said it out loud I think she is afraid if I shave it off I’ll want to go out. While I would like to go out it is not imperative for me to do so. I only dress at home and occasionally for my therapy sessions (I change at my therapists… Read more »

    Kris Burton
    Trusted Member
    3 months ago

    Nice article Geena – and you know I’ve been there. Like you, I had some sort of facial hair since 1975. It all came off in the summer of 2021 when Kris made her appearance and I embraced my alter ego fully. My wife and never seen me without some sort of facial hair. It is not likely mine will be returning as Kris is now an integral part of my person in totality You never can tell, you might find the same someday. I say roll with it should that occur!

    Active Member
    3 months ago

    Geena, great article.I have shaved my beard, first time kids and wife have seen that took them a bit to get used to that. Still have the moustach which I would love to shave but my wife is not quite ready for that.

    Christina Cross
    Active Member
    3 months ago

    I had a beard/goatee since my early twenties. I shaved it off for the first time at 49. My wife never saw me without my facial hair.

    Felt so weird initially. But body hair was a sense of dysphoria for me. I grew my beard back for month for my wife’s birthday at her request (but only if I was ok with it she said). We’ll see if I do it again this year or if she asks.

    Active Member
    3 months ago

    I married my first wife at 20 years old in 1978. That next fall I grew my first beard as it was the “thing” back then. Some liked it, some hated it. I always shaved it off in late spring. After wife 2 stayed on me hating my clean shaved face did I begin to keep it year round. Always trimming it much closer in the hot months. Then the goatee craze came in and that was my summer look. Only in the last few years have I shaved clean during summers. And those times as it was available I… Read more »

    3 months ago

    I also have a moustache and the last time that I shaved it off for a while, my wife said that I should grow it back, which I did. I want to shave it off for our Pride Parade coming up in a few weeks. It can grow back again, but I wouldn’t mind keeping it off while I learn about makeup more.

    Carolyn Kay
    Trusted Member
    3 months ago

    I had a mustache for years while I was working. I Even grow a full beard once I retired, but only for a year. Then I shaved everything off, and like you, was a little surprised at my face. It was shortly after that I had “the talk” with my wife. To my surprise she understood, and my life has been so much better. She has lots of rules, but I am so relieved that I don’t have to hide at home anymore. So my facial hair will never be back, now if I could just convince her to let… Read more »

    Auroras Livingfem
    3 months ago

    Hi Geena For me no problem to shave it as a matter sometimes I leave it for awhile but since I have gray and black mostacho ( if I leave beard most looks gray) that’s when my wife comes and will said to shave off, but every time is shaved also comes the “urge” to dress up. I know every time I practice makeup I learn, extras and even I had said to wife when she applies hers why’d is foundation and or base or eyeliner lower eye lids different pencils she will uses like saying I approve the looking,… Read more »

    Amy Myers
    Noble Member
    3 months ago

    Thanks for sharing your story with us Geena. Mine is not so dissimilar to yours. I grew a beard in my early 20’s and kept it till I was about 65 and the reason I shaved it off, what else, to look better and to try to pass as fully femme. My adult kids wanted to see pictures of the “new me” right away as soon as they heard. Also, like you, I started young, gave it up but for decades had the thought of getting better clothes, shaving, a good wig and then having full makeup on, but was… Read more »

    Wanda Ovahear
    3 months ago

    I enjoyed this article, thanks for sharing it. As you will see if you check my photo section, I’m bearded, too. I’ve got a neck gaiter for a solution like unto your mask. I don’t think shaving will be an option for me but we’ll see.

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