So, it’s the holidays… “Yahoo!” Or is it instead the feeling of, “I won’t have any time to dress.” Being who I am, and I expect, who you might be as well, when it’s been a while the need and desire to dress raises stress and when finally doing so it calms the inner anguish, at least until the regrets filter through for some of us. Our lives are like a never-ending game of “Truth or Dare.”
I have one foot out of the closet, and yes it has a nylon-clad leg and wears a black pump. I’m way out to all of you, I have my closet and drawers filled with clothing and accessories (all easy to find if one were to snoop.) It’s better than having it in hidden places that I have to wait for others to leave in order to retrieve to don my finest frillies. Even though I share a house with my father (mother recently passed,) he has no clue about this other side of me, and if possible, he’ll never know. Thus, I play the game of Truth or Dare. My feminine side is on display in many ways-my ongoing dare. All one would have to do is open a drawer, study the contents of my bathroom closer, or use the powers of observation to detect the slight feminine appearance that I maintain. The truth is that I would love to be out all the time to everyone, and then I also fear the consequence and live somewhere in between. It changes by the moment. The best I can say is, “if it happens, I’ll deal with it then.”
This life has brought me much more good than it has bad. I won’t say it was always that way, but it is now, especially after (not just accepting) but realizing that Brina is not a separate half of me but a vital part of me. The anxiety, shame, confusion, hatred, wondering, and fear of her throughout my life became mere timeline points as the calm, clarity, appreciation, empathy, kindness, thoughtfulness, willingness, well-being, and so many other traits that my feminine side has brought out in me has shown. I still exhibit the masculine traits that are most beneficial to my complicated life, but they are seen many times through a feminine perspective.
“I wish” is a phrase that I’ve used many times, as I’m certain you have, too. Just as it is with aging and our retrospective thoughts on what I wish I’d done differently when younger, being a crossdresser has its share of wishes as well. (Maybe another article down the road.) Today, I reflect on those situations that were so evident of a good Truth or Dare game, even if I was the only participant.
My high school girlfriend wore a strapless, elegant white prom dress with 4” matching white heels, and for a surprise, white nylons held up with a garter belt (The dress went below her knees.) The truth, my continued compliments on how beautiful she looked were also edged with a strong desire to be the one wearing it. I couldn’t understand it then, I do now. The dare was sneaking into the bathroom where it hung and (almost) trying it on.
I once sat at a table with mixed company (many drinks) and listened to the conversation turn rowdy. One guy asked a girl if she’d ever kissed another girl. Her response was, “Have you kissed a boy, do you want to?” Should I have been the one pinned by the question, the truth might have been seen on my face. I might be fairly straight, but I won’t lie and say the thought, when fully dressed, hasn’t crossed my mind or happened in my dreams. I’ve yet to take the dare.
The outfits that I helped to buy my ex-wife were in fact a truth of what I would buy my female self. I didn’t realize this until years went by and those outfits were rarely worn and given away by her. They weren’t her style. It’s a shame, because everyone she tried on looked amazing on her, as did the higher heel that she didn’t like to wear. How many of those outfits have I bought for myself, too many to count or even remember. This does bring up a notion that we dress as we would if we could date ourselves—the all-female version of us. The truth is that we are enamored by the ideal female diva we wished we were. This ideal woman is who I compare all others to. The dare is to pursue that vision to the best of my ability or through transition. I admit that my vision has changed over my life as the sexy stripper look is now the provocative, mature office gal.
I manufactured reasons so that I could find opportunities to dress. “You take the kids and go spend the weekend with your parents. I’m going to watch football with the guys and work on house projects.” The truth was my need to calm away my building anxiety coupled with actually doing the projects—dressed in lingerie and heels (this was before I went all-in). The dare was not closing the curtains or believing that she might ask my (alibi) friends how our day went. It was also doing more than enough to convince her that I held to my (slight-truth). The day of anxiety relief was quickly squashed by the guilt and need to create a believable outcome. You might suggest that it really is more of a Lie and Dare than it is Truth or Dare. But isn’t it only a lie if you get caught? This secret is something that we only tell ourselves. Others might comment that omissions might also be considered lies. I’ll let you debate it.
The last 9 years have been an equal part truth and dare. My truth is that I am a full into it crossdresser and probably more. The dare is to let that part of me that is more show itself. No one seems to notice the thinner eyebrows or that my arms and torso aren’t as hairy as they used to be. They don’t care that my walk is more refined and could be called feminine. No one checks to see if my legs are shaved during the cold months or comment on the lingering smell of perfume, flowered body wash and shampoo I regularly use. Never have I gotten a comment on my female jeans that show off my booty or the wild socks that I like to wear, the neater nails and softer skin from my continual use of body lotion, face crème, and hand lotion. I am careful around my daughters as they (and females in general) are more observant of the things that I described. The ultimate dare is in how far do I go, and why? (Another article someday)
The truth is that we can not rid ourselves of what is really a part of us. We can deny it, fight it, hide from it, curse it, and sometimes go years believing we beat it…only to have it poke us at the strangest moments. And in this truth, “What is wrong with being a crossdresser?” Our answers are individualistic and personal. Those of us who embrace the dares now know that the real question is “Why is it so amazing to be a crossdresser?”
I can’t see a future that doesn’t have me in a dress and heels, nor do I want it to be. I’m as hooked on the pursuit and path of my own femininity as I am in seeing it portrayed stylishly on other crossdressers, cis women, and those in transition. And should life counter me with a dare that I can back out of, I will face it because the woman inside is strong and far from silent and afraid.
I mean it when I say, “Show kindness to others and above all to yourself.” When you chose to see value instead of deficiencies, you’ll see what is ultimately the better you. It can only happen when you allow yourself to accept all of you.
Until next time…
More Articles by Sabrina (Brina) MacTavish
- Reflections in the Mud
- The Sound of Footsteps
- A Matter of Perspective
- A Place to call Home
- Bits and Pieces