26 January 2011

Wigless peers - 2

I'm really starting to feel like the odd one out at cafe nights!

Last night, there were 8 of us, including 3 crossdressers, 2 transsexuals, 2 hairdressers who did one of the CD's hair last week and this week, and one GG partner.

Last week, there were 2 of us wearing wigs. This week, I was the only one in a wig!

It was one of my favourite wigs which is getting a bit old and the net is a bit stretched. I had pinned the sides back off my face before I went out as usual, but when I arrived at the restaurant I found that the clips just weren't keeping it off my face how I wanted, and took about 10 attempts to get one of them to sit okay. For some reason, the wig also irritated my neck all night. I really regretted wearing it.

I had a chat with the hairdressers who came along, and will probably organise to get my hair cut by one of them soon. They assure me that they can come up with a style that will work much better en femme while still looking much the same as it does now in boy mode. I'm probably also going to have to read up on hair straighteners, as that's probably the solution to the way the ends of my hair go fluffy.

Going out en femme wigless to local events might not be as far off as I thought! If it really works out well, daytime outings might not be out of the question either. :)

23 January 2011

Wigless peers

I haven't blogged for over a week, and I'm not happy about that. I'm not ill as such, but being back at work has really put me off balance.

At this week's cafe night, we had a total of 7 of us, including 5 crossdressers, one transsexual and one GG partner. Within the group, just 2 of us were wearing wigs. Two of the others who had worn wigs to the Central Coast cafe night when I went wigless were wigless this week, leaving me really wondering what is stopping me from doing likewise.

The restaurant that the Newcastle cafe nights are held at is a lot more public and a lot closer to home for me than where the Central Coast cafe nights are held. I have seen people both in the restaurant and walking past who know me, and I've been very happy hiding behind a wig, but am getting more and more comfortable coming out to people around me. I suspect that going there wigless is going to happen for me fairly soon. I'm not sure whether it'll be weeks or months, but I'm pretty certain that it will be this year.

15 January 2011

Back to work blues

I mentioned on Tuesday that I've been feeling a bit flat, in part because of the sense of impending doom that comes from the knowledge that my 4 weeks off will come to an end on Monday, and I'll be flat out at work again. Combine that with the fact that I haven't been out this month aside from the cafe nights, and I look like I might fail to achieve my frequency of outings goal in the first month of the year!

On a brighter note, one of my nieces (the older sister of the one that I've mentioned before) and her partner joined us at the cafe night this week. Unfortunately, her partner developed a bad headache and needed to go home, so I arranged to drive my niece home. Finding that her partner had taken something for his headache and was in much better spirits, I visited them for a while, leaving after 12:30am! My niece is quite accomplished at sewing and has offered to help out with some repairs and alterations that my wife has been promising to do but just hasn't got to. For example, there are a few dresses that I've bought at op shops that I've later realised were a little too long for my liking, which I want taken up so that the hem is a little above the knee instead of below. With my recent weight loss, a few of my dresses also need taking in, particularly at the waist. Hopefully my wardrobe options will improve a little bit, fairly soon. :)

11 January 2011

Feeling flat

I've been feeling a bit flat for the past few days. I made a big effort to get out several times in the last week of last year and went out to cafe nights twice last week, which was great but a little tiring due to my badly screwed up sleep patterns.

That is fairly minor compared to the big problem. I took 4 weeks holidays over Christmas and new year, as I have done in previous years. Unfortunately, they're holidays that aren't really relaxing because the emails and phone calls from customers won't stop even though I'm not answering them yet. There's also the stress of knowing that not only do I have to go back to work next week (with a considerable increase in workload compared to last year) but I really should start catching up on work this week because there's so much to be done.

I had hoped to take a trip to Sydney this week to do some shopping but one of the places that I planned to go to is effectively a wholesale outlet. You're expected to know the products that you're after before you go there, so I need to spend some time looking around locally and making myself a wish list. Given that it's already Tuesday, I'm a little doubtful that I'll get out, make my wish list and get to Sydney between now and Friday as well as getting a head start on work.

Rather than push myself and stress even more, I've decided that I'll do the wish list when I can, and plan the Sydney trip for a day off work later in the year. For the sake of my sanity (what little I have left), I am going to have to take days off work on a regular basis. I'm thinking probably one day per fortnight.

First things first, though. I'm off to decide what to wear to the cafe tonight so that I can work out what colour I want to put on my nails. :)

08 January 2011

Recognition? Wigless, yes

One of the downsides of going out en femme wigless is that there is considerably less difference in my appearance between male and female, and hence a much increased probability of recognition compared to wearing a wig.

That was quite clearly confirmed yesterday, when I was shopping at Charlestown Square in boy mode. I had met a relative of one of the other crossdressers for the first time at the cafe night on Wednesday. When I saw her in Charlestown, she immediately recognised me, smiled and said hello. We chatted briefly then went our separate ways.

While it might not have been a problem if my sister-in-law's mother had recognised me, I'm not sure how things would have gone if my customer and her daughter had, and it could have been very awkward if my father-in-law had. Then again, perhaps they all did and just pretended not to and it's all irrelevant. I don't know.

I think that I much prefer the greater chance of anonymity that the combination of a wig and makeup provides. Wigs also provide the option of a radical change in hair colour, which I quite like.

Whether wearing a wig that frames my face better than my own hair makes me more passable, or my real hair looks more natural and hence more passable, I'm not sure. One thing that I am sure of is that, for now at least, going out wigless close to home is not likely to happen soon.

I guess I'm just not out enough yet.

07 January 2011

Gone wigless - reactions

After I posted yesterday's post about going out without a wig for the first time ever en femme, I realised that I'd been interrupted and had only told half the story.

I think that a couple of the reactions on Wednesday night deserve a special mention.

Sue, the organiser of the Central Coast cafe nights and a regular at the Newcastle cafe nights, who has been wigless the past few times I've seen her, greeted me when I arrived, commented that "Alice has her hair tied back" and started to say that she hadn't seen that wig before, then realised that it wasn't a wig and complimented me on my hair.

The other notable response was from Linda Karen, the organiser of the Newcastle cafe nights. When she arrived, I was seated facing away from the door. With my hair tied up, it was obvious that it wasn't a wig, and she later said that she had no idea who I was from the back. It wasn't until she walked around to the other side of the table to take a seat that she realised it was me, and jokingly came out with "You look great you bitch. I hate you", which is quite a compliment from her. :)

06 January 2011

Gone wigless

I have sort-of achieved one of the goals that I wrote about a few days ago. However, it was done with no hair on my widows peaks. Instead, it was done with a combination of makeup, a fringe combed over the bald spots and hair spray to keep it in place. I'm not sure how I feel about the comb-over bit an I'm not sure how things would go if I was out in the wind, but for the indoor venue of the Central Coast cafe night, it worked.

The idea of using makeup to disguise the widows peaks came about because I had noticed some time ago that the eyeshadow that I use to colour my brows when I'm wearing an auburn wig (because I can't find a brow pencil the right colour) is actually quite close to my hair colour. A few nights ago, I experimented by using that eyeshadow to colour in the widows peaks and create a more rounded hairline.

It wasn't great but it worked. I decided that I'd try it for Wednesday night's Central Coast cafe night, which is in a relatively private suburban restaurant. If I wasn't happy with the result, I could always put an auburn wig on instead.

On Tuesday morning, I went and bought a beaded hair comb gadget, which consists of 2 metal combs with bead covered elastic between them. Before I started doing my makeup for last night, I tied the top half of my hair up in a pony tail, then used a plastic gadget to pull the pony tail through underneath the tie that held it and up the back of my head, making it stick out more, then put the comb in to cover that. This is something that you simply can't do with a wig!

Instead of stopping my primer and foundation at about the edge of where a wig would come to, I carried it all the way up to the hairline, including fully covering the widows peaks to give the shadow something to stick to. I coloured in the widows peaks before doing contouring and highlighting, and feathered the edges a little when I powdered my face.

Once I was dressed, I brushed my fringe forward and, with a bit of fiddling, got it sitting just right to cover the widows peaks. I gave the fringe a light spray with hair spray to help keep it in place, added jewellery (including my only pair of real gold expensive earrings) and spent a few minutes looking in the mirror trying to work out if I was happy enough with the result and whether I was ready to do this. The fact that the venue is relatively private made it much easier to say yes.

If it had been somewhere more public or closer to home, I don't think that I would have been able to do it. There's a psychological barrier there that I'm yet to overcome. I'll have to work on that.

05 January 2011

Off colour

No, it's not that I'm feeling ill (although the thought of going back to work is having that effect). I wore the beige (Revlon Putty) nail polish that I applied on Wednesday night last week until yesterday morning. While I've experienced a slight yellowing of nails from polish before, I really wasn't prepared for the colour that my natural nails had gone. In spite of having used a base coat, they were a brighter yellow than I was expecting in even my worst nightmare. In contrast, the two nails that were covered with gel were still nice and pale except up towards the cuticles where they'd grown out, and the ones overlaid with acrylic but not gel were a bit patchy.

So it looks like I'm stuck with something of a catch 22 situation. I have to wear nail polish to hide the yellow staining of my nails, but by wearing polish, I'll guarantee that they will continue to be stained, unless I have gel overlays done on my nails. Overlays also reinforce the nails, reducing the risk of breakage.

Add in that I'm still having trouble with the side of one nail cracking, in spite of having had an acrylic overlay over a patched edge, and I decided that it was time to head back to the salon to see about getting gel on all my nails. I dropped in yesterday afternoon and made an appointment for this morning, then went home to put some CoverGirl Fuchsia Girl on for last night's cafe night.

04 January 2011

Goals - 2

Last night, I realised that there was a goal that I omitted from yesterday's list.

* I want to try to learn not to eat too much when out at parties or visiting people who habitually put out nibblies, and/or over cater. I need to learn that just because there is food available doesn't mean that I should partake of it in larger than normal quantities.

72.5kg on New Year's Eve, 73kg the next 2 nights, then 75kg after visiting some of my wife's relatives last night to catch up with one from Canberra who didn't make it to Newcastle over Christmas. :(

I'll be going out to cafe nights tonight and tomorrow nights. Hopefully I'll be able to do better with my diet than I did last night!

03 January 2011


I didn't make any new year's resolutions, as that would just be setting myself up for failure. Instead, in addition to the ones I've already mentioned separately in the past few days, I have set myself a few my goals for 2011:

* I intend to continue to come out to the people around me, and aim to raise the profile and improve the public perception of transgender people. I'm still trying to work out whether to say anything to the people who know but want to pretend not to or whether to let things continue as they have so far.

* I know that my work commitments will increase significantly this year compared to last year, and to prevent that from swamping my girl time, I intend to delegate anything that I can. It might sound trivial, but I need to do things like paying someone to mow the grass so that I don't have to do it myself.

* I plan to get out on average more often than once every 5 days for the year, with at least 6 outings, including at least one daytime outing, every month. I don't want to be a long way behind in about October and have to push other things aside to catch up at the end of the year as happened last year.

In the back of my mind there is an even bigger goal of getting out no less than once every 4 days with 8 outings per month including 3 daytime outings but if I aim for that but fall short, I'll be happy as long as I make the easier goal.

* A few times last year, when I didn't know what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go, I wasted an opportunity and didn't crossdress at all. This year, I intend to try doing new things push my comfort zone en femme but I don't intend to place myself in danger.

For example, I will probably travel by train to the Sydney CBD and walk around shopping during the day. I had a very traumatic experience in the Sydney CBD a few years ago, and am not very comfortable being there even in boy mode. I've travelled by train in boy mode plenty of times but never en femme, but know that some of my friends in Sydney do so without any problems.

I'd also like to get back in touch with our belly dance teacher and see if we can arrange classes again. I miss them, and even though I only ever did one en femme, I really enjoyed it and would like to do it again.

* I want to sort out my sleep patterns so that I can get to bed and get up earlier instead of missing out on daytime outings because I'm too late getting up. It's something that I've mentioned several times before and made no real progress with.

One of the things that makes it difficult is that the cafe nights always end late and, with the Central Coast ones that can be almost midnight and I have about an hour drive home afterwards. I'm thinking that I may have to set an alarm for myself for around 10:00 as the time that I leave cafe nights, even if that means missing out on being in the group photos.

* I want to organise myself so that I can reduce the time that it takes for me to transform in both directions, as I have come to realise that the combination of this and getting up too late often prevents me from even starting to change.

* I need to make a decision one way or the other on buying a smaller pair of breast forms. The ones I have now make me a D cup, which is a little large for some outfits. Buying a smaller pair so that I have the option of being a C cup instead would make some of my clothing choices much easier, but for reasons that I'm not going into here, I have been unable to talk to my preferred supplier.

* I intend to wear halterneck tops and dresses for the first time. I bought several last year, but have never actually worn one out. To some extent this relates to problems with body shapers and breast size but hopefully I'll sort those problems out very soon.

* I intend to go out with my own hair instead of a wig. As I mentioned a while ago, my hair is longer than most of my wigs, but my receded widows peaks hairline discourages me from going out without a wig. I've been trying Minoxidil without discernible success, and will continue until I finish what I have. Unless it starts to show results, I'll consider hair transplantation after I finish the Minoxidil. I'm now also considering makeup techniques to make it less obvious without actually doing anything about the hair, or possibly getting an artificial fringe to clip in.

* I intend to organise myself so that I can pack my girl gear when I travel, and do so. I've been thinking about how to convert the cane basket that I bought recently and hope to start on it quite soon. At this stage, I have no suitable trips arranged this year but that's quite likely to change. While I didn't make it to Transformal last year, I might get there this year.

* I want to work on improving my female voice so that it fits my appearance. I have a recorder program on my internet tablet that should be quite suitable for recording and listening back, and will have to make myself spend time practising. I also need to get over the shyness that prevents me from comfortably practising my voice at home when anybody else is there. My wife and son both know about me, so there's no logical reason for the shyness and yet it persists.

* I intend to maintain my nails at an (un)reasonable length and wear nail polish virtually all of the time. I'm comfortable having about 8mm of overhang beyond the nail bed, and want to keep them at about that length. While I'd love to have them longer, I find that when they are longer than that, the rate of breakage and damage goes up noticeably. Even if I often wear a colour that is close to the natural colour of the nail bed to minimise attention, I intend to try to wear polish. Depending how things go through the year, I may wear increasingly obvious colours in boy mode.

I'm sure that there are more but I can't remember any others off hand.

02 January 2011


I'm very happy to say that I finished 2010 weighing in at 72.5kg. After getting to that weight once a few weeks ago, I went back up, peaking at 75kg as a result of various Christmas parties. Annoyingly, I seemed to get very peckish yesterday afternoon and evening, weighing in at 73kg again last night. I'm starting to think that perhaps there is a correlation between crossdressing and weight loss! The days that I'm crossdressed, I eat less between meals and therefore lose weight. Then again, it might just be the fact that when I'm en femme, I'm usually also away from home and hence away from the temptation to snack.

I have decided that my goal in weight loss is to try to get rid of the (now much smaller) spare tyre around my waist, but not go below 65kg. If I get to 65kg and still have the spare tyre, I'll just have to put up with it. If the spare tyre is gone and I'm still above 65kg, I'll adopt the weight that gets rid of the flab to be my target weight and try to maintain it plus or minus 1kg.

I'd like to say that once I get to my target weight, I'll be able to stop wearing a body shaper, but until I get there, I simply won't know. In the meantime, I will continue using the best flexible, comfortable body shaper that I can find. I will not wear rigid corsets and the like, they just aren't me. If I can't wear it comfortably all day on a hot Australian summer day, it's no good to me.

As part of my time out shopping on Friday I went for a drive and bought the Bella Bodies strapless boxer body shaper that I intended to buy. As it turned out, between when I made the decision to go there and when I actually went, I did some more research online and discovered that the style that I have now is obsolete and that there is a new style with a new sizing scale. The one that I bought on Friday was of the old style, and is quite suitable to wear with anything that covers conventional bra straps adequately. Given that the current recommended price is $65, the normal price from this shop was $70 but, with a 20% off sale it came down to $56, I'm happy to have another old style one, and will buy a new style one when the opportunity arises, probably during a trip to Sydney in the next month or two.

The new style changes 2 things. Instead of having a detachable shoulder strap on each side, they apparently rely upon a pair of straps that loop around the sides of the bra above it, eliminating the need for additional straps and opening up the possibility of fitting with any style of bra including halter, crossover, etc. The other thing that has changed is that with the new sizing scale, I'm now towards the top of the scale for the M size, instead of firmly in the L-XL size in spite of my recent weight loss.

Interestingly, the sizing scale no longer has Large and eXtra Large names in the scale. The scale is now S, M, V and VV. Apparently V is for Voluptuous and VV is for Very Voluptuous. As a marketing strategy emphasising positive body image terminology, I think that the naming is a brilliant idea.

The Bella Bodies strapless boxer isn't the only body shaper that uses straps around the bra. A few months ago, I ordered a similar garment from Spanx in the USA. The Spanx one doesn't just use side straps, though. It uses 4 straps, with two at the middle of the front and back and two at the sides. The strap at the front turned out to be quite noticeable under even a moderately low cut top! On a whim, I also ordered an all-in-one version that has an integral bra. When they finally arrived, weeks after the expected delivery time, they were too big to the extent that they were virtually a perfect fit for my size without compressing anything anywhere. They were also made from very heavy material. I would probably collapse from heat stroke if I wore one of them outside on a hot Australian summer day. The Bella Bodies material is thinner and breathes quite well, making them much cooler to wear. The only advantage that the Spanx have over Bella Bodies is that they are seamless, whereas the Bella Bodies have seams down the front and back.

The bra part of the all-in-one Spanx was not specified as a cup size. There was just a "size large" with rather stretchy cups and underwires suitable for about a C cup. The cups provide vastly inadequate support for D cup breasts and have too high a centre height at the front for my liking. Unfortunately, the cost of posting them back to the USA for a refund would have been throwing good money after bad, so I didn't bother returning them. Hopefully I can find someone a few sizes larger to sell or give them to. Hmm. Perhaps I'll consider a give-away to blog followers. I'll have to think more about that.

01 January 2011

Recognition? Probably not - part 3

I intend to do a wrap up of the year and set out my goals for next this year, but it will probably be spread across several posts over the next few days as I think of things that need wrapping up or that I want to mention. I think that there's just too much to fit in one post. First, I want to tie up and/or add to a few loose ends from the last week or so.

Just in case anybody is confused, the inlaws I am talking about most of the time are my wife's family. The sister-in-law whose mother volunteers in an op shop is the wife of one of my brothers.

After spending a few hours out shopping in the makeup-melting heat (which reminded me why I prefer air-conditioned centres with covered carparks over open air shopping centres with exposed carparks, such as Glendale Supercentre aka the smokers' shopping centre), I changed back into a frog and went out for dinner last night with my family, then drove to the inlaws' place. My sister-in-law almost immediately commented about the fact that I was no longer wearing the green and red nail polish that she commented on when I wore them on Christmas day, but didn't comment about the beige that I'm wearing now. Considering her earlier comments (which I mentioned in last year's wrap up post), I'm guessing that perhaps her attitude has softened a little, but I'm still not sure that I want to say anything.

In conversation, I also asked whether they had been at Charlestown Square on Wednesday, because I thought that I had seen my father-in-law there, pushing a pram. The answer was yes. I didn't mention how close to him I was at the time, or what I looked like. There was no indication that they had any idea, and I thought it best that I leave it that way for now.