Memoirs of a Tgirl, Chapter 4
I’ve long since crossed the Rubicon. With breast implants, facial femininization, and tons of girlie hormones, there’s no turning back. I could never be male again…even if I wanted to.
Instead – yes! – I’m a so-called shemale. Not yet a woman but never again a man -- midpoint on my journey to the sexy bitch I was destined to be.
The very first steps in that journey were no doubt the hardest…and the most tentative (I could always change my mind, right?)...and yet also, perhaps strangely, the most thrilling!
So it was that during those hard, tentative, thrilling days when I had first started estrogen therapy and was living “full-time” as a would-be woman, I kept a daily diary. My entries now seem breathless; everything, so, so new…and exciting. And, yes, sometimes scary.
So here now, through these “Dear Diary” excerpts, you can be there at the creation – to witness the birth of the person now called Joy Saint James. (How I came up with that name remains for now a secret, best shared later -- but only if we’re still friends!)
It’s a Saturday in summer when I pull my old Toyota up in front of my new home -- the place where no one would ever know the boy I had been, the boy who had spawned me. It’s a so-called group home, kind of hippie-like, in the Maryland outskirts of Washington, D.C. The genetic girls (GG’s), Maureen and Jennifer, already living there had run an ad in the local, alternative paper looking for another female (!) housemate. I had gathered the nerve to call; we then met for coffee; I told them everything (well, almost everything!). They allowed that they actually thought it might be fun to have a would-be girl as a housemate!
Hector and his friends from the gas station across the street offer to unload boxes and belongings from my car to carry up the stairs into my room in Maureen and Jennifer’s house. I offer to pay Hector something; he refuses; Jennifer later explains that Hector just found it “titillating” to go into a girl’s bedroom!
So that must mean I’m passing!
Standing in the check-out line this hot summer day at the local grocery, I’m joined by a girl dressed in a studied casual look of short shorts with halter top and a woman put impeccably together in a business suit. I have on a peasant blouse and Guess jeans -- a look it took me at least an hour to get just right. We exchange knowing glances, with a mixture of admiration, envy, superiority…whatever. The important point is that we all know the thought and effort and care that went into each, though decidedly different, presentation. Men in the same situation share no such affinity.
Running errands, establishing my new life, I feel so much more “passable.” And if I feel that way, I probably am! Venturing outside in feminine attire just to see if you’ll pass: that may be thrilling, even heart-stopping, but your very self-consciousness is what causes you to stumble. When running errands, however, how you’re dressed is secondary – you’re just like any other woman with a goal that must be accomplished.
Your hips! Just remember what you learned in belly-dancing class: to move your hips, always, lead from your hips…everything else naturally follows and flows from that. Hips working, just right, going about my everyday activities and chores, I evoke no questions in anybody’s mind that I’m not a woman. I love it!
Saying I look pretty, Maureen, an executive at a downtown firm, adds: “The worse thing to say to a woman is that she looks like a man…. But often the best compliment is to say that she acts like a man!”
A real test will be when I sign up for a membership in the local health club. I come downstairs in the leotard and tights that I want to wear to my first Pilates class and Jennifer, without any prompting, says: “Hey, that’s cute!” So life-affirming! Could a Pulitzer Prize winner feel any more gratified?
At the shopping mall, not one double-take or unwelcome stare! Hips swaying, I’ve got the attitude! I get a Macy’s credit card! The salesgirl at the cosmetic counter calls me Joyce! The salesgirl at Victoria’s Secret shows me how to create the most cleavage! To another salesgirl, she refers to me as “She!” The Scientologist handing out brochures flirts with me!
On the car radio, I hear Beethoven’s Sixth. “The Pastoral,” I smile, as I look at my skirt, with prints of flowers and foliage and herbs and branches. Beethoven was a man, I say to myself —stating the obvious – but, really, I had never thought of him as a man before. He was just simply Beethoven. As a man, he tries so hard, I think for the first time. As a man listening to him, I would play make-believe, acting out the jerky arm and shoulder and head movements of a strutting conductor.
As a woman, I just listen. The power of passivity – I can feel it!
It’s the same power I feel on my very first date with a guy named Jay. I let him make-believe he’s in charge; he tells me his plans, what’s going to happen. It’s exactly what I want to happen -- and I don’t even have to ask!
In my car at a stoplight, I use the rearview mirror to touch up my lipstick. In the car behind me, another woman is doing the exact same thing. Our eyes meet briefly, and we smile; then intently, studiously, we get back to work on our lips. A man caught looking in a mirror so seriously would find his cheeks turning the color of my lips.
That’s the difference between crossdressers and true transsexuals, I decide: irony. Crossdressers are never “all in.” Ironic detachment protects them. They laugh at themselves if their lipstick looks clownish; I, on the other hand, would feel like crying.
Indeed, the very best, sexiest drag queens keep their deep, masculine voices. The ironic contrast invites the laughter of an inside joke. But for a transsexual, committed to going all the way, having such a voice invites mortifying ridicule. I need voice lessons!
Big thought for the day: Everybody’s nicer! The bus driver calling me “sweetie.” The air-conditioning repair man saying he’ll keep the charge under $100 “just for you.” The waitress, so solicitous. The grocery check-out: “Thank you, Ms. James!”
None of these interactions would have happened if I were still presenting myself as a male.
And I realize I don't need others at all to feel so....what's the word, I wonder, that best describes how I feel?
Is it the flowery dress I have on? Putting on this dress can’t alter my consciousness like a dose of hallucinogens, can it? And yet…and yet…. I see and feel things so differently! Maybe the explanation lies in the simple fact that -- in a flirty, frilly, feminine dress – I’m allowed to experience what for an ostensibly straight male was forbidden?
Hair is the hardest: Definitely, most definitely. No matter that I tease, use mousse, or turn my head upside down when I blow-dry, I can’t get the fluffiness that I want and need. “The desired body,” is how the girly magazine advertisements put it.
Still, it’s a turn-on, I must confess, to see myself in the bathroom mirror decked out in bra and panties using a dildo-like styling brush and sextoy-like blow-dryer.
“A pig that thinks it’s a dog. That’s me!” I laugh to Jennifer, stealing a line from the movie “Babe” that we had just seen on DVD together last night. “Here, let me help, sweetie,” she says, and, like magic, my hair frames my face so that I look a bit like a runway model. Jennifer steps back to admire her handiwork:
"Yes, not bad,” she says, then pauses and, knowing I have my second big date with Jay tonight, adds with a wink: “Yes, not bad,...definitely fuckable!”