I have just experienced a weekend of firsts.
I hope you are not reading this to kill 30 seconds of boredom, because there is a lot I need to try and put down so I can work it through in my head.
This weekend was the first time my niece had seen me as Dee, the first time my big sister would see me in a wig and makeup and not just a slightly feminine jumper and jeans.
The first time that my married friends would meet me as Dee too.
The first time I would go out, and interact in public as Dee.
Oh – and my first time going to a Pride event!
(I will hopefully cover the other firsts as I go)
I worry a lot, questioning my gender has been absolutely exhausting and whenever I seem to make a step forward all of the nagging doubts and “what ifs” snake their way back into my head and I wonder what the hell I am doing.
I have to wait until October for my initial appointment at the local gender clinic and so this weekend was suggested as an experiment by my niece who has no clue about being trans but wanted to show her support for me when she was told about this months ago.
Questions answered this weekend:
Is Dee just me trying to validate a cross dressing fetish? Nope. While I have associated dressing and fantasy for years and have shifted these last few months into wearing more practical clothing, this weekend I can safely say that my libido never made an appearance and there was absolutely nothing sexual about any of it! (yay!)
Is Dee just me escaping into another character to avoid my real life problems? No. Online it is easy to have my butterfly avatar and people make assumptions from that, but I do not change my style of speech or the language I use, but the worry was there.
This weekend I interacted as Dee the whole time, the people I interacted with treated me as Dee, from the vendors and stallholders in the pride village who were all absolutely incredibly friendly to the waiters, waitresses, bar staff, bouncers and sour faced city bus drivers with whom I interacted. No one overtly treated me like a male.
- it took my niece a good few hours of being corrected every time she used he and my male name, and then the same with my married friends, each time I would correct them that for this weekend I am Dee and am a her/she, but to be fair I was asking them to change 20+ years of habit! A few hours into the evening and when they were gossiping about me taking ages to get ready and I was her and Dee so it did become more natural to them as time progressed.
Is Dee fake? No. This relates to the question above but on a deeper level, in questioning my gender I was and am trying to remove masks and layers – I was worried that Dee was a mask I was putting on to fit in and this weekend I had nowhere to hide – while I was not euphoric the whole time I was perfectly content and would still be there now given half a chance.
It was all perfectly normal.
I was self conscious and nervous, but I didn’t have to hide my feelings, I could admit to being scared and happy and allow myself to be vulnerable. I am not and never have been considered a jock – but when people talk about toxic masculinity and men not showing their feelings it is a genuine thing. Suck it up buttercup is how “men” deal with the world around them, when out with women we are supposed to protect them, this weekend I was the one being protected.
I am not claiming to be a victorian-esque waif who will faint at the first sign of trouble, but I did not have to be aggressive or dominate and claim the immediate area as I would feel I had to in the role of uncle/brother/safe friend/protector. My big sister and then later my male married friend did that for me, making sure I did not sit in an aisle next to strangers, walking ahead of me through a crowd….
I think that overall this weekend has helped me to see that Dee truly is a big part of who I am, but more than that it has helped those who want to support me see her too in a way which I could not do otherwise.
Each day I got in and recorded my thoughts so I will paste them below so you can see my journey in real time!
I left my house this morning wearing my ladies jeans and a ladies tee that when combined with my male boots, baseball cap and baggy jacket looked like I was just wearing skinny jeans, at most slightly androgynous. I drove down to meet my sister, stopped for an iced coffee and to buy a toothbrush and a razor, because even though I have packed my biggest suitcase with enough clothes to go on holiday for a fortnight I forgot them.
My sister and I put the world to rights as we drove down to my nieces, on arrival I immediately put on my every day blonde bob hair which has a fringe so it hides the netting well even though it is cheap, I then went and changed into a more overtly feminine styled black and dark blue top that had long sleeves and a rolled neckline, put on my “natural” false lashes and some lip gloss and both my niece and sister said that I looked completely natural. I wore my charity shop pastel blue Vans trainers and paid the price for my bargain with blisters later.
I know my chin is still red and blotchy from the combination laser and electrolysis but they said it was not noticeable. I put my phone and wallet (which is small enough to pass as a purse) in my handbag with the lip gloss and perfume that I had chosen and we then walked up to the place where my sister was staying to drop off her bag. As we were waiting to cross the road my sister did a double take because she thought I was some random woman who had walked up and stood beside her 🤣.
We then walked into the centre of town to a buffet style Thai/Chinese restaurant and had a wonderful meal, the city was a typical busy city street, lots of people passing and my niece and sister told me at the restaurant that not a single person had done a double take. I must admit that while I felt slightly self conscious the conversation and company made me completely forget I was presenting female a couple of times. Nobody shouted anything, I’m fairly certain I heard one guy asking his mate if that was a guy at a bus stop as we passed but they didn’t yell or choose to come and find out. None of the waiting staff stared or treated me any different to my sister or niece and as far as I am aware none of the tables around us passed any comment or stared either. I was just another customer stuffing my face with plates of sushi.
The loos were practically unisex – an open lay out design meant one set of sinks with a couple of cubicles denoting the woman’s area, my sister came with me but it was deserted.
My fears turned out to be just that, spectres that had no substance. It was a fantastic meal, I felt too full and then when we queued and paid we were just a part of the queue – nothing different or unique.
We walked back up that same busy street, again no one stared or said anything – the buskers asked for cash as they do but again no one said anything – there was a short period where a man was walking uncomfortably close behind us and talking to his friend about how he was carrying a knife, but thankfully before long he turned off and went into a pub.
My niece then suggested a quick drink to say thank you for the meal before my sister headed back to her lodgings and so we went into her local pub. It was very bright and there was a wee corner that my sister and I went and sat in while my niece got a round in with her student discount. The woman at the table next to us stared heavily as we walked in and sat down but it could just as easily have been because they were a large group and had been using the seats we sat down in – in the UK if there are no jackets or drinks you just sit in the empty space – if a seat is being kept you are told. We had our drink and then the large group left, my sister went up and bought a second one but we left when some old drunk guy came and sat down in the now vacant table beside us and started trying to strike up a conversation with my sister – I went to the loo, this time with my niece and then we came back to her flat after a quick stop for some blister plasters because every step was agony for me.
My first time out in the big city was completely uneventful – my niece used my male name twice and both times I gently asked her not to while I am wearing a wig and ladies clothing and she was mortified, but she did not treat me any differently.
I was hyper aware of my surroundings and how close people were to me, my sister said that she felt really protective of me – if the knife guy hadn’t turned off she was going to stop us under a pretext to let him pass, she also sat on the outside so that I could sit in the corner – physically placing herself between me and the rest of the room. I laughed when she asked if that was how guys feel and I had to say yes – every male becomes a potential threat, even though I knew I could never finish anything it was my duty to get in harms way to protect the women I was with.
Overall I did feel self conscious – I do not think I pass in the couple of photos we took, but my sister and niece said that I absolutely did. Apparently my false lashes looked amazing and I will now have to show my sister how to put them on because she cannot do them, but like any woman my age I was not caked in makeup and I was dressed properly – I had noticed that my sister stopped long enough to apply some lippy when she dropped her bag off too.
The world did not stop – I did not get lynched, or shouted at, or spat on, or treated like I had an extra head (though a gull did poop on my sisters jacket – it was good luck for me)
Tomorrow is the more overtly flamboyant day – I intend to wear my makeup and put on my “violet vixen” nails and trans coloured wig and am considering wearing a skirt and top if they meet with my nieces approval. Then in the evening we will go out – though I only have a little black dress which could be too fancy.
It is hard to say how I feel precisely – it felt so totally natural, apart from the times when I remembered that I was wearing a wig, or when I needed the loo – it was just like every other time i have gone out with my sister for something to eat – the difference tonight is that I was her sister too. I was glad to get home, going from the night air into the building made me sweat really quickly so I was glad for the ice in my drinks, I remain unconvinced about my ability to pass and yet even without makeup I seem to have had my wish to just be invisible. Just another person in the city having some food and enjoying a drink with her two friends.
My married friends will be meeting up with me tomorrow and this is the first time they will see me out as Dee so I hope that they can be as nonchalant about it as my sister and niece were, my sister has a beautician with a trans sister and was talking about me telling her at her last visit – apparently the thing that struck her most was just how little she reacted to the news, she was not overly shocked or surprised even though she had never seen me as anything other than male.
I have been offered to go and see the beautician any time and she will take care of me which is so nice, especially as I am starting to want to express myself a bit more. This evening was just so lovely – I am tired and sleepy but really wanted to record it before I sleep – more again tomorrow night if I remember!
I am still a little bit unsure how I process today. A slow relaxed morning meant that I missed the parade but Today I did my own makeup and then got help from my niece to do my eyebrows and eyeliner – pro tip: she used some eye shadow rather than eye liner or an eyebrow pencil, it gave the same effect but did not look so harsh when on and came off so much easier just now! Then my sister helped me glue my nails on – they were both jealous of my nails, but they matched my hair perfectly – they were just a bit on the long side and completely impractical!
So all day I had to adjust to barely being able to use my phone or do simple things like button my jeans when I went to the loo.
I was wearing some comfy pink and grey trainers (I had bought blister plasters on the way home last night) my jeans and my butterfly tee, my niece was also in jeans and a bright blue tee because she was wearing a rainbow bright my little pony wig, I could not believe that a pastel blue and pink wig could look subtle but compared to hers I positively blended in and because everyone else was wearing jeans I did not want to wear my skirt.
We caught the bus into town, when we got on there was my sister in normal clothes, my niece and I with our wigs, but as we got closer to our stop more and more people got on wearing rainbow flags or all dressed up so that we were soon just a part of the entourage heading to the pride village. The village was free of charge to get in but required a previously booked ticket which got you into the site where there was a music stage, an info tent, a dance tent, along with lots of info stalls and snack vans. I had not eaten breakfast due to nerves but needed to eat something so that was our first port of call.
It was a great atmosphere, the weather pretty much drizzled rain the entire time, but in Scotland that does not put off festival goers, and this had the feel of a festival so I relaxed very quickly. The fact that there were glittery drag queens, many openly gay and lesbian couples, people dressed as goths, lolitas, folks with rainbow angel wings, a wizard in a bathrobe – I did not even come close to standing out.
We wandered around and listened to music and then my niece took my sister back into the city centre to catch her bus home. I was left on my own for around an hour and a half during which time I went and spoke to a stall called trans space and a woman called Emma from Glasgow who was looking for support to fix some of the more ridiculous legislation in Scotland and protect Trans people using public facilities, I duly signed as Dee but admitted that it was my first time out and about and we spoke for a good 20 minutes about the questioning process and trying to find out where we fit- she made me feel much more confident in myself though because although she had transitioned years ago she could instantly identify with the questions and worries that I had.
I also made friends with the ladies running the coffee van and was enlightening them about good places to visit in my area. They spoke to me as a normal human being and it was only a comment after them asking if I lived in the area that I outed myself by saying it was just a nice chance to get to be me. I am under no illusions – my voice patterns may be pretty feminine but I still frequently talk from the chest and have that low rumble echo when I finish sentences or have to speak loudly- especially when I am compared to my sister or niece.
But as this weekend was an experiment I had already decided that I had done enough practising and prep without becoming a tragic mickey mouse impersonator.
Around 6pm my friends told me that they were on the bus into town so we left the village and went back to my nieces, she had already said that she would be wearing jeans and a nice top, so while I was a little bit disappointed, that went away when we went into the local Asda and bought a nice blue dressy top and a pink cardigan to go with my jeans and hair, I then changed into some black leather calf boots that had wide but definite heels on and we caught the bus back into the city centre – I kept my colourful wig on.
My male friend won an unofficial bet between them that I would be wearing a wig, but they both gave me a hug and then we caught up over a couple of drinks – I deliberately did not order a single pint all night, I just ordered whatever drink I fancied.
In over 6 hrs of partying the only people who openly clocked me were bar staff, and they always smiled, and I am pretty sure that one young lassie complimented me after she had given me my order, but it was hard to hear over the drag act at the other end of the bar where the woman were doing all of the whooping and cat calling as their boyfriends were made to feel uncomfortable with the over endowed thanks to padding, leotard and fishnet wearing absolutely stunning drag acts.
We walked to another official pride party venue and the music was rubbish – the only reason it gets a mention is because by the time we got there I was busting to pee and just walked into the ladies without thinking, it was packed but by now I had used the facilities a few times over the day and a smile and a thank you for a door held open was as much interaction as I did.
My female married friend noted her disgust that I was happily walking along with them in heels when she cannot wear any herself, but it was good natured and she also envied my nails! During the evening there was a lot of misgendering with “he”and my male name getting used, but each time I would remind them that for tonight I was Dee and to use she/her so I could get a read on how it feels to be gendered that way in real life – oddly my male friend picked it up quickest, but it really only took a couple of hrs and some deliberate she/her repetition for the ladies to refer to me as Dee too.
By 11pm we then went into a club that exclusively played 80’s music, and its little sister annex reached through the main area that exclusively played 90’s music. The music was loud and I felt my age but I got to tick another thing off my wish list, we danced until just after 1am. My feet are killing me but my niece and I walked back to her flat and after removing my nails, eyelashes and makeup we enjoyed a late night pizza – although I still do not have an appetite – I drank enough to be sociable but also ordered a mocktail at one point and so I did not have to worry that I would revert to “laddish” drunk behaviour or even worse trip and fall in my heels.
It is half two in the morning and when I wake up I have to drive back up the road and be dad again and I do not know how to feel about it.
I frequently forgot that I was actually wearing makeup and a wig and then would sometimes catch my reflection in a shop window and remember, or have to move hair out of my eyes!
My niece, my sister and my friends went out of their way to look after me and make sure that I was feeling okay, escorting me to the loos when I needed to go and letting me sit in corner seats so I did not have to sit next to strangers and it was nice to know that I was allowed to be vulnerable.
My friends said that other than seeing me in different clothes it felt just like any other night out we had been on – I was still me – there was just more girly chat.
Not one person did a double take, or pointed or nudged their friends or looked at me funny – I was literally just another girl on a night out – an experience validated when I went to the ladies without seeking an escort and even though it was packed around the mirrors and the sinks I never even got a second glance.
At one point I thought I had been clocked when a hen party came up to us and started pointing at a list but then her friend pointed to a number and they went to my male friend instead for his signature, so either they had thought I was male from a distance or they had gotten the numbering wrong, but either way I was not seen as male for whatever dare the bride to be was doing.
I cannot thank my friends and family enough – the fact that it felt completely normal, but I was freer tells me I definitely need to keep looking forwards.
The fact that my male friend made a point of letting me know that he was with me regardless, but did ask some questions was really nice – I get one more sleep in Dees pj’s and then back to work next week. I am physically and emotionally wiped out – but in a really good way!
It looks more and more like when I get to my appointment in October I will sit in front of them and tell them that I want to be a real girl!
I’ve got no strings to hold me down
To make me fret, or make me frown
I had strings, but now I’m free
There are no strings on me