October 20, 2002
What's happened since March 2001

Wow, it's been over a year and a half since I wrote in an online journal.
I used to keep a crossdressing journal on my old web site, Julia's Teen Crossdressing Page. I wrote about the first time I went out in a skirt, and wearing costumes to Halloween and drag ball, and coming out to my family, stuff like that. I think I'm in a different phase of my life now...my friends and family take it as a given now that I'll crossdress pretty much anywhere. I've really come out to just about everyone I could possibly want to, and I'm no longer a teen anymore.

So I think this Journal will be a little more broad. I still would like to write about my experiences as a crossdresser, but now that I'm writing for a more inclusive page, I'd also like to write about more transgender issues in general, and since publishing is now so easy, about anything, even non trans issues.

I bought the domain name transyouth.net in February, but for seven months managed never to find time for it. Then, on Saturday, hearing about the death of Gwen Araujo really moved me. It was such a tragedy, it was her first time out in a skirt. She could have read one of my crossdressing dares from my old crossdressing page for all I know. I don't think we could have done anything to stop the murder--to blame her crossdressing is to blame the victim for this atrocity. It would have taken an educational revolution about transgenderism on a mass scale to stop it, but I realized that the longer we wait, the more people will die.

I'm really excited about this page--catering to the entire trans youth community, and keeping up with trans news stories is really exciting. Publishing is so much easier, too. On my old server, Bianca, I used to edit HTML from scratch, and when I finally used an HTML editor, I had to copy and paste the source code into Bianca's web shacklet updater, they didn't allow FTP. I have 200 times as much space, I can host any type of file, and the pages load a lot faster. Now I can just upload from dreamweaver, and installing this blog and template was really easy, making publishing journal entries a two step process. Installing the chat and other scripts were done automatically for me via Aletia. So things will be a lot easier.

I'm also excited because I'm implementing as many ways as I can think of for the trans youth community to connect, share thoughts, and publish works. I've created a glossary with the capability for infinite numbers of definitions that can be edited by anyone. I'm encouraging everyone to post art, poems, links, success stories, photos, bios, news stories, anything. We now have a live streaming chat system without any ads. And I'll open up a couple of these Blogs for anyone to post to.

I'm not going to sum up everything that's happened in the past year and a half for me, but I'll write about two events of significance to me. The first was, my A Cappella group, the Offbeats, was nominated for best new music / jazz in the region by Northern Ohio Live Magazine. This meant that we were invited to a fancy black-tie champagne banquet and awards ceremony. This was exciting for the group, but was stressful for me because I've basically vowed never to wear a suit or tux again.

We didn't win the award, but I did go in a dress, which went very well. In Chicago last summer I went out downtown in a skirt and got a makeover at Bloomingdale's, and bought the makeup the makeup artist used on me. I wore my long red dress that I wore to drag ball freshman year, and put on makeup. The first amazing thing that happened was, I didn't get any shit from anybody. Luckily we didn't walk very far outside in downtown Cleveland, but outside or in I received no problems.

The second amazing thing that happened was, I passed. The catering crew and the ushers called me "Miss." And I had a whole conversation with a couple who thought I was a she the entire time--I could tell I was passing, so I spoke softly and in neither a masculine or feminine voice, which I was surprised worked because I'm a deep bass. The conversation went like this:
Woman: That's a lovely Dress!
Me: Thanks.
Woman: Where did you get it?
Me: In Chicago, at a store called Tall Girl.
Woman: You've been here before right?
Me: No.
Woman: I thought we saw you here last year.
Me: No, I never been here before.
Woman: You're the one that always comes with clothes you can't get anywhere else, right?
Me: Yeah, I guess.
Woman: Doesn't she look beautiful, Paul?
Paul: Yeah, she looks like Kimberly, only taller.
Woman: Yeah, how tall are you, 6'3?
Me: 6'3, yeah.
Woman: I guessed it right on the mark, didn't I!
Me: Yeah. Excuse me.

It was really funny. I've never passed before, so it was an entirely new experience. I'm not sure I like it--it has its thrills, but I feel like I can't be myself--ordinarily when I'm crossdressing, I can be like, "If you accept me, that's cool, if you don't, to hell with you." But you can't be like to hell with you for people who are reaching out to you as a girl but might not accept you as transgendered! I was also constantly nervous about being read, a new feeling for me. I can see how passing can both make you safer if you do it well, but in even more danger if you're read.

My other experience was, I went to my cousin's wedding in the same outfit. I didn't pass, obviously, since half the people there were my family, but it went really well. I was out to some of my cousins, aunts, uncles, my dad, my sister, the bride, my girlfriend (who was there), and my grandma, but definitely not to my whole extended family or the groom's family. I had also asked the bride if it would be ok with her, and she said it would be. So I really prepared myself for the worst--I'd been teased by some of my family members when I was younger for being effeminate, or dorky, or any number of things. But the people I thought would be asses about it weren't. In fact, no one was. I heard that people asked my cousin about me and why I was wearing a dress, and he said, "that's my cousin, he's here with his girlfriend, and he has more balls than you have." The comments I got either nothing, that I was really brave, that I looked good, or that they liked my dress. So it went really well.

I've been in much worse situations, but I must admit that it is nerve wrecking pitting yourself up against your old image in front of your family. I crossdress all the time, but when you're doing it around someone who's known you forever and doesn't know about you, it can feel like you're doing it for the first time. It was helpful to remind myself that I wasn't doing it for the first time, I was essentially reintroducing myself, since they really didn't know who I'd become. I felt more like myself than I ever have in front of them. I also attribute this to having my girlfriend there; she was such a support and I couldn't have done it without her.

Posted by julia at October 20, 2002 10:34 PM
Comments

Your cououndkicks ass. I wish I had cousins like that. :)

Posted by: Marcus on October 21, 2003 10:43 PM
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