Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hello World Part 1 : Halloween

It's Halloween in America and it's a party!  All Hallow's Eve (or Halloween) has become one of the biggest adult party days in the USA.  I remember trick or treating as kid and enjoying that aspect of Halloween but I have only been to Halloween parties or worn costumes as an adult for the last couple of years.  This year Halloween falls on a Wednesday and the previous Saturday is when most of the parties happened.  For the second year in a row I went with my boyfriend Mitch to the Carolina Meeting Place Halloween party in Raleigh.  A year ago this was our first party attended together and since we did meet through this Yahoo group, it was a special event for us as well as the final celebration of our first anniversary.  Now we are working on year 2! :)  Last year I went as cougar and he was my "tamer" (yes I am older than him and yes he has tamed me quite well) and this year we went as pirates with me as his wench.  As always, we spent the night in the hotel where the party is held and it was great to see and party with all our friends from the group and as always, new people showed up and it's great meeting new people, cd/tg and others.  My good new friend from communication class, Donna, even stopped by after a local support group meeting and this was her first time attending a party downtown.  A good friend from Facebook and Vanity Club sister, Jessica Ann, came up from South Carolina with her tg girlfriend/roommate and they had a blast at the party and a club dowtown afterwards so I think they will become regulars to the CMP parties now. 

Halloween has an important and interesting history to me and one that is fairly recent.  In 2008 I moved to my current home in this city from the trailer in the country and began recovering from my hard drug addiction and a very messed up period in my life.  I began to realize that I could not hide the female inside me any longer and in order to have any sanity in my life I was going to have to move forward and progress towards what would eventually become my transition from male to female.  The first step in that progress was something I never, ever wanted to do and that is come out so that I could be free to be myself.  The first person I had to come out to was my wife because we lived in the same house and I could not go on hiding myself from her, mainly because I could not stand to be so limited anymore.  The coming out process will not be complete until I tell my parents at the end of this year but its beginnings do revolve around the Halloween holiday.

In 2008 I did not have any plan for coming out and spent all the time I could working on my look and even got several makeovers which gave me a chance to get out, interact with others and make some friends.  The next three pictures show a little of how my own look evolved from 2008 to 2010, even though I had better pictures from 2008 and 2009 taken after makeovers.  My new career afforded me the freedom and time to travel around during weekdays and of course I relished every minute I had when my wife would leave on some weekends so that I could spend time at home as myself or go hang out with friends at their homes.  I did not feel confident enough then to go out in public at all except driving to and from places and that in itself was exciting and a little scary at the time.  By the time 2009 got here I needed a plan to come out to my wife.  Really I needed the courage but first I needed a plan.  The plan I came up with was to come out to her on Halloween and to do so by getting "dressed" in my little guest home here.  When she came over for the night to hang out and watch tv, as she usually did around 8PM then, I would "surprise" her with my new look.  I talked to a Lot of people online about the situation, getting their opinions and listening to others' experiences.  Some told me I could Never tell her and I knew that was not going to work, I had had enough of the secrecy.  Some told me to just do it but to dress and do makeup in such a way so that it looked like I had never done it before.  I did not have my look perfected anywhere close to where I thought it needed to be but she could tell it was not my first time putting together a full female look.  Some told me this was not a bad idea but I really needed to sit her down first and have a discussion, not have her shocked by walking in on me and seeing a female me sitting there.

          November 2008                                                October 2009

Of the three ideas the latter certainly made the most sense but how in the world would I ever be able to tell my wife about myself.  Just opening my mouth and starting a conversation like that is the hardest part and ultimately I chickened out and Halloween 2009 passed by with that opportunity lost.  Of course I could have done that anytime, I was just using Halloween as a catalyst or excuse, but I am a chronic procrastinator.  That was especially true back then and getting high all the time on pot and hiding from my problems was something I was very adept at.  I am so glad I gave that stuff up this year, finally.  2010 arrived and I decided to tell her as soon as I could but before I knew it, it was the end of summer and Halloween was again approaching.  So I started the process by doing something that always works in these situations (Not), throwing out hints.  I managed to tell her that I wanted to be Kim Kardashian for Halloween or perhaps Khloe Kardashian.  She knew I loved the reality television shows about the Kardashians (even though she hates them) and Khloe gets kidded a lot about being a "tranny" because she is tall, bigger boned and has a deeper voice than her sisters.  To my surprise she didn't freak out but she did wonder why I wanted dress up for Halloween when we had never celebrated it before.  I think it was August when I first brought it up and over the next few weeks I kept mentioning Halloween and it brought up a few discussions such as her telling me I didn't have the hair for it and I told her I could always get a wig.  She seemed to be ok with that idea and that's a good thing because I already had about 7 wigs.  The more I mentioned it the more confidence I got that I could pull it off and that she would not freak out on me.  Deep down my greatest fear about coming out to her in any way really was that it would somehow get back to my parents.  I had lived in the shadow of  Mt. Everest all my life and I still had no idea that I could Ever climb that ominous mountain, which was and is my greatest fear.     {as stated in previous posts, Mt. Everest is my descriptive term for coming out to my parents}

                                                      May 2010

October 2010 arrived and I decided that I was not simply going to dress up at home and let my wife see my female side, that would be downplaying the importance of who I really am by making a show of how much "being Tammy" means to me.  I still intended to "dress" for her that night but I knew I needed to have a deeper conversation with her first.  One cloudy Sunday afternoon in mid October we loaded the dogs into the truck and rode the 30 miles of country roads to the tiny town that she was born in.  I take her there occasionally to visit the graves of her parents and family members.  Its usually a time when she is very relaxed and in a good mood.  On the way back I still had not opened my mouth to start "The conversation" so I took a detour farther into the country and she was feeling good so we decided to ride awhile.  That's pretty country up there, northeast of where I live, with lots of big farmland and forests and very few houses scattered along the roads.  There is not much traffic, if any, and its as relaxing and quite a spot as I can easily drive to from here.  At some point, miraculously, I opened my mouth and said "There is something I have to tell you about myself..."  What I said afterwards was a blur  but I remember starting with childhood experiences and worked my way up to the point of the present and told her that I was crossdressing at the house when she was not home and that I wanted to continue that and do it even when she was home and even go out during the day and at night. 

Her reaction initially was much better than I had imagined it would be.  We had a discussion but it didn't get too deep and not at all negative and one thing that really surprised me was that she didn't know already.  I thought she would at least be suspicious because of certain things she had probably seen on my compuer screen or found around the house.  Turns out she was about as oblivious as I am about certain things and told me she really had no idea.  A testimony to the how intimate we were at the time is that she had not noticed that I was shaving my legs and body and had been regularly for a couple of years.  I thought she had certainly noticed that, and other things, and just not said anything about them but apparently she had not.  The morning following our conversation she awoke and was in a bad mood and seemed mad about the whole situation.  Whenever she is unhappy about something I always hear about it in the morning.  We had quite a few more conversations over the next days and weeks as I tried to explain myself to her best I could and also negotiate some kind of rights to express myself freely at home and go out occasionally as myself.  I don't know why I deferred to her for such "rights" as our intimate relations consisted of oral sex only 3 or 4 times a year maximum, she did not work or bring any money into the home and was not even that active in cooking or cleaning.  Besides all that we jsut weren't very close and didn't get along very well.  Its about the same way now with her except that the limited intimacy stopped completely when I came out to her, so the last time we ever had any contact in that way was August of 2010. 

From that point on I was honest with her about myself except for one thing.  She kept asking me about men and kept saying that since I saw myself as a woman didn't I want to date/have sex with men?  I consistently lied and told her no but when she asked me about other women I told her no also, the truth.  I guess she thought I was going to be asexual and with no social/dating life going forward but she kept asking so she was not satisfied with my answers or could sense I was not being truthful.  In part 2 of this story I will address how her and I have evolved over the ensuing couple of years and how all the truth finally came out.  Part 2 will also go into how in 2011 she became comfortable around me at home presenting female and began to, I believe, accept me as woman and even encouraged me to live my life as my true self full time and come out to my parents.  She is the one that eventually planted the seeds that Mt. Everest could be conquered!  But getting back to 2010, she was not close to being ready to seeing me in female form yet.  I agreed not to dress female for her that year and also agreed not to dress at the house when she was there until the end of the year.  After the first of the year I was going to dress as I wanted in the little guest house, whether she came around me or not, and go out when I wanted to but I was still not going to leave her alone at home at night, definitely not overnight.  She had a great fear of staying somewhere alone that I will address in Part 2 and I do not think she ever had to do it before. 

                                                  Halloween 2010

So I celebrated Halloween 2010 by driving up to Raleigh and meeting my friend Laura (pictured on my right)who had agreed to let me come to her house in the morning and get dressed and then we went to Crabtree Mall shopping for the afternoon.  This was my first big time out in public in a normal situation.  I had driven to people's homes, been at small house house parties and been in a couple of convenient stores before but this was a shopping mall on a Saturday and it was Very crowded.  We met another friend, Jessica there and she had begun to live full time earlier that year so she was out all the time.  Laura is someone that some of comes and goes from the scene but she had no fear of going out.  I have not been very good friends with her but I will always remember her for helping me out on that big day.  I got sort of a weird vibe from her before I changed back and left that day that maybe she wanted more from our friendship than just hanging out and so I never again took her up on her offer of going over there, dressing and going shopping again.  She didn't say anything overt so I may have been wrong and just being leery from past experiences.  That is a feeling I got from a some cd's, especially during that time when I was new and perhaps naive and vulnerable, and I used to say that I never a crossdresser that didn't want to sleep with me.  Since then I have met many more good members of the community that have never approached me in that way and I don't say that anymore.  I think initially I was running into people who might take advantage of me as someone who was looking for friends to help me develop my look etc.  That was something that I was not into but I didn't hold it personally against anyone, except the few that were rude or overt with it, and I never had that problem or feeling with Jessica (pictured on my left).

                           2010: Tammy World meets the real world.

I was so nervous walking into the mall that I was shaking a little and all that may have affected my presentation a little bit, at least at first.  I also realized I was wearing too short of a dress for this type of thing, not so much that it was distasteful but I realized that I did not want people looking at me and I was not that good yet at blending in.  All that aside, being out in public was one of the best feelings I remembered having and once the initial nerves wore off I had a deep feeling of calm, knew I was on the right track and that this was how I was supposed to be.  Even in the short dress and getting some looks (perhaps generated by the people I was with also), I felt less like an alien than I felt in my everday role as a guy and this was something I wanted to do again, and soon and often.  The clerks in the stores treated me like a normal person and I do not remember if I was called ma'am or not or whether I passed but at least no one called me sir. As usual, detransforming at the end of the day was depressing and I drove home, had supper with my wife and had a boring night at the house.  After this experience on Halloween 2010 one thing was for sure.  The cat was out of the bag and you could not keep this girl down on the farm anymore.  I had never felt better about myself and even though I laid low for awhile, as per my agreement with my wife, I was soon going to come out into the world and in a big way.  Stay tuned for part 2...2011.

                                           Y'all come back now, ya hear.

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