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April 2000 Entries

Finally, an update

Wow. So much has happened, and I hadn't realized it had been so long since I last updated. Sorry about that. Life is pretty crazy for me... When I'm at school I just don't have time to update, and when I'm at home I feel uncomfortable updating and using my mom's computer after what happened, even though she now knows. I know I'm also very behind on my email, about 60 messages or so, but I promise to get back on top of that as well.

Well, let me give a brief summary of what's been going on with me. First of all, it won't be as scandalous anymore if someone I know sees this website, because I'm pretty much out to everyone. (More on that later.) So, I've decided to take the risk of revealing where I go to school...I go to Oberlin. For those of you that don't know, it's a small liberal arts school with a great music conservatory in the middle of nowhere in ohio. It is a haven for the queer community, because an unusually high percentage of the people that go here are gay. This is why I have had so much success in coming out and being in drag on campus. Why I bring this up is because the annual campus- wide drag ball is coming up, and I wanted to invite you all to www.dragball.com, where it will (supposedly) be webcast live on the internet Saturday starting at 9:30 PM EST. I thought it might be fun for you all to see 3000 or so students in drag partying live, as well as a chance to see me. I'll be in a long, red dress, and I might go on the runway and dance to together again. Drag Ball is ridiculous...It's been rated I think the 4th largest campus-wide party in the nation...*Everyone* goes, students, faculty, staff...They have been renovating the student union this past week in preparation for it. If it is in fact webcast, like they say it will be, be sure to check it out.

Now, on why it won't be so scandalous if someone I know sees this website or if people find out who I am: I came out to my dad! I did it last week while I was on spring break. It went very, very well... I won't go into the details because I'm learning as I go about respecting people's privacy on the internet, even if it's anonymous...But anyway, he's ok with it. So now everyone in my nuclear family knows. Yay!

This week is Transgender Week at Oberlin...Something I've been helping to organize. I've been going everywhere in drag, including classes, every day, which has been both fun and trying. I also started using my T-shirt maker, and have made two T-shirts: One that says " 'Oberlin College recognizes choices of dress and appearance as issues of free speech and expression...' - The Oberlin Regulations Book...Happy Transgender Week, April 4-11." And another (which I'm wearing now) which has a calendar of this week's events on it. I've gotten a lot of great responses from it, and two bad responses...One was from a guy who misread it and asked, "what's transvestite week?" and another from a guy who yelled, "young man, why are you wearing heels?" The voice sounded like a college student, but I was too far away and couldn't tell who yelled it for me to confront them about it or anything. I think I would have asked "why do you care?" And then talk about it from there, had I met the guy. But I'm glad that I've been doing this long enough for me to hold my ground before something like this happened.

Transgender week has been a huge success so far...So far we've shown two movies, Ma Vie en Rose (My life in Pink) and You don't know dick. I missed you don't know dick but my life in pink is really cute, it's about a young transsexual and his problems with his parents. I might start a review section on TG movies somewhere on this site later.

We also have five speakers coming in, four of whom are transgendered, and panels and discussions on: "trannie allies and significant other discussion group," "meeting for queer and questioning people of color," "reception for LGBTQ students," "Equality, Acceptance, and Achieving Social Change," "support and discussion groups for trans-identified folks," "Dealing with the New Denial in the Era of Protease Inhibitors," "Experience Counts: A Journey Through the land of 'isms' and Intersections," "discussion and presentation of trans issues," and "An intimate show and tell evening." Most of these haven't happened yet and I'm very excited for them to occur.

What else...I also visited some friends in new york, and while I was at it, did tons and tons of shopping for drag ball, including trying things on! I did it for the first time at a thrift store, and luckily my girlfriend was there to explain to the salesman (who was also gay, which helped) about drag ball and stuff. I tried on a medieval dress there, which didn't fit, and then he recommended going to a drag shop! I didn't even know such things existed. But they gave us directions and we went to Patricia Fields, which was a fabulous place. There were crossdressers and transsexuals all around me. It was great because you could try on even the most ridiculous things and no one cared. I tried on this long fishnet dress, that was tight and trailed on even me, but it was to scandalous for my tastes. They had on-site makeovers and hair styling there, as well as wigs, heels, and fetish gear, but I didn't have a chance to take advantage of any of this.

Since you all seem so concerned about shopping, I'll tell you about the rest of my experiences...Another place I went to was this women's ethnic-fabric type store which seemed to have a lot of medieval garb. I asked to try on one thing but the lady didn't think it would fit me, though she did let me try something else on, a beautiful and very heavy velvet dress, and it was very nice but too expensive and kind of boring. It was a little awkward there because there were lots of old ladies and the place was really small, and also because by that time my girlfriend had to go and so I had no support, but the lady helping me was very nice and helpful.

The next place I tried something on in was actually in chicago, in my new favorite store, tall girl. There I asked if I could try something on and the lady said to wait until there were two dressing rooms across from each other that were both empty. (There were four dressing rooms, and two of them were in one place and two were in another.) Once they were empty, she escorted me in and I tried on a couple dresses. One was a long, silky, sparkling red dress that was so ridiculously long it reaches my toes. It's the one I bought and am wearing to drag ball. I'm a size 8 tall, according to tall girl.

My next quest was for shoes...I wanted something to go with my dress and a pair of thigh-high leather boots. I had ordered a pair of great shoes and a pair of leather boots from Shoecraft, but their boots were out of stock because it was spring. I searched the yellow pages and yahoo for places (try keywords "shoes" and "tall" for good results) and found 6 places, and went to all of them. 1-4 were all either closed or only had shoes up to 12. The 5th place was way on the west side and was really sketchy; It was run by all men and had both men's and women's shoes, which I could predict would cause confusion (wait...you want women's shoes?) so I left pretty quickly.

Finally, the last place, about 30 miles from my house, way on the south side, ended up being another tall girl. There I probably had the hardest time...Some women were giggling and I think joking about calling security...But I sat down and a salesman helped me out. There I found a pair of red heels and a ridiculous pair of knee-high leather boots with skinny heels. I wore the boots yesterday and one of the heels snapped off, and I super-glued it back on but it snapped off again today, which makes me really pissed. Oh well...

Oh yeah, I met my first real life M to F crossdresser, sort of...It was the friend of my roommate's that, when I learned that he crossdressed, prompted me to tell my roommate about my crossdressing. It turns out he seems to be some new species of crossdresser that I haven't met yet...I showed him my website and it seemed a little too intense for him. I can't remember exactly what he said, but it was something like, "it's not as big of a deal to me, I just do it for fun every once in a while." Kind of like a drag queen, but not gay, I guess? Wait, maybe he is gay. I dunno. Anyway, it was interesting to note. Everyone that writes to me is either a crossdresser who says that everything I'm saying is exactly what they've felt their whole life, or not a crossdresser with questions or comments. Is there anyone out there who does crossdress, but doesn't agree with the rest of the stuff I write here? I'd be interested to hear from you.

And finally, I performed a modern dance in drag. I went to "diva night" at the disco that a drag queen friend of mine hosted, in drag of course, and was dancing when a guy came up to ask me to be in his senior dance recital, "shades of gay." It was a modern dance portraying different aspects of "gayness" in I think 5 acts, and I would be in the drag-queen act. It was inspired from "Paris is burning," a documentary about drag queens in new york. Our act was called "family," in which we take in an abandoned drag queen into our family. I was working on this from february to early march, and it was lots of fun. Of course the chance to perform in drag was fun, but I also made a lot of friends and got introduced to dance, which I had never really done before but really enjoy. The only hard thing I think about it was that I was representing a drag queen when I was a crossdresser. It's not that I object to people assuming I'm gay...I go to the LGBTu meetings all the time, and my name was right next to the title "shades of gay" on posters all over campus, and that was fine with me. My problem was with oversimplifying crossdressing and reinforcing the stereotype that crossdressers are gay. I like hanging out and performing with my drag queen friends, but I feel like we dress for completely different reasons, and people need to know that. I'm generalizing here, but although we both like to express our feminine sides, I can't see drag queens wearing feminine clothes under their masculine clothes or having the same urges we do, just like I don't necessarily go in drag to perform or to shock people. Still though, it was a fabulous experience and I'm so glad I did it.

Well, I'm babbling now, and I've got tons of work to do, so I'll stop...Thanks for reading this, and for continuing to visit the site even in my lack of updates.

love, julia

Previous Journal entries: January (I know, I know, it's been forever...)

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