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November 1999 Entries

Tuesday, November 23

Halloween

So, like I promised, now I'll tell you about halloween. As you may or may not know, I dressed as queen amidala for halloween. I knew as soon as I had seen episode I on opening night that I wanted to be queen amidala...In fact, the notion actually distracted me from the movie quite a bit. I'm a big fan of Natalie Portman and her costumes were beautiful, and they were all I pretty much paid attention to. So that day I resolved to dress as her for halloween, and not to cut my hair until after halloween, and I let it grow all summer just so that I could put it up for the costume.

A few weeks before halloween, I started researching how to get a queen amidala costume, and I found the most resources on the internet. I decided to go for the deluxe edition (the standard was too cheap and the movie version cost $500...Not that I'm not still considering buying it one of these days). I ordered it, and got it in the mail a few days later. I tried it on and was a bit disappointed...Because I got the standard version and not the large one, it was a bit short on me. (The dress didn't reach my feet, while in the movie it reached the floor.) The mask, "a headpiece with lifelike hair," was just a plastic mask. But it would work.

Unfortunately, I went out of town the weekend of halloween and didn't get back until the day of, and had no plans. All the parties were the saturday night before halloween, and I had missed them all. But at about 11:00 PM on halloween, my girlfriend woke me up and told me that she and a friend were going to go get something to eat in costume, and that I should come too. At first I didn't want to, but she convinced me to since I'd spent so much money on the costume anyway. So I put it on and we went out, and we had a nice meal...People were impressed with the costume. But I was pretty disappointed that I hadn't gone all out.

But then, the next day, I learned about two things: One, there was going to be a make-up halloween party the next weekend, and two, a group I'm in was going to perform that weekend as well. I realized I had a second chance, a big chance, so I went through this big ordeal that whole week trying to make that weekend a memorable one. First, I convinced the group I'm in and another group we were performing with to dress up as a late halloween gig. Then, I borrowed white cream makeup and supplies from a friend of mine. I asked my girlfriend if she would help me with the costume, and she agreed. And finally, I came out to the group I'm in (something I'd wanted to do for a long time anyway) and asked them if it would be ok if I dressed up as queen amidala, and they said ok! So things were all set.

That friday night, my girlfriend and I tried to figure out how to get my hair up like queen amidala's (image from Queen Amidala page of starwars.com). We decided that since the mask had a plastic mold of the shape of queen amidala's hair, that the best way to do it would be to cut slits in the mask between the frame and the hair, and pull my real hair through the slits over the hair form. We tried that for about an hour using a hook to pull the hair through and bobby pins to hold the hair back, and it worked.

So the next day, I waited in anticipation until it was time to get changed. I put the dress on first and then we did my makeup, first putting the cream on and then brushing on baby powder to even it out. That ended up taking a lot longer than we thought it would. Then I put the mask on, and my girlfriend started working with my hair. The whole process ended up taking at least two hours, and I had already missed our sound check! But I looked good. A friend of mine got me some lipstick (it's funny, she had to scavenge down the halls...Not a lot of girls wear makeup here) and put it on me, and I was all set. We rushed to the gig and we rehearsed and performed.

People loved the costume. A girl in my group also surprised me, and dressed as darth maul, which was awesome. Our performance went really well...There's nothing like crossdressing to keep your mind off of being nervous about performing. :) After it was over, we all went to the halloween party. People loved my costume there, too...Generally, the reactions I got were, from the guys, either "woah...That's elaborate" or "woah...That's cool! That took guts!" and from the girls, "you look beautiful." Literally at least 5 girls said that to me. You have no idea how good that felt...I think that somehow they knew that this wasn't just for halloween (probably because no guy in his right mind would ever do something so crazy), but really it was a form of self expression. And for them to acknowledge that and tell me that I looked beautiful made me almost cry, it made me so happy. It was such a wonderful evening.

And then, to top it all off, I passed on the way home! Sure, it was dark out and the guy was kind of far away and probably drunk, but it still felt good. Especially because I knew the guy, and he didn't recognize me. He said, "Hey! Are you that star wars chick?" And I didn't respond, instantly knowing that I was passing, and my girlfriend took the initiative to respond, "yeah." And he mumbled something like, "look at her...that's cool." And then afterwards my girlfriend teased me for passing. It was wonderful! And that was my halloween.

Monday, November 16

All right, finally I've caught up on all my email and yahoo messages, etc., so I finally feel ready to at least tell you all about college life. I'm sorry about not updating for so long...Life has been good, but very busy. There's been a few things I've been meaning to tell you guys, which I'll finally mention here.

My lifestyle

So, I'm out here, and it's marvelous. After I had come out to my girlfriend and my roommate, I decided that they were they only people who would matter to me if they were not ok with my crossdressing. And since it was ok with them, I decided to crossdress in public. So on October 2, just five days after coming out to my girlfriend and a week after we had started going out, I wore my black bouncy skirt in public. It was one of the hardest things I'd ever done. Here's how the day went: First, I locked my door and put it on, and spent some time just getting used to wearing it, then I tried on different shoes to see what went with it, and finally I tried standing on my skateboard and decided to skateboard around while wearing it, for a few reasons: One, I wanted to see if I could go about living my normal life while crossdressing, two, I wanted to break the stereotype that crossdressers don't do masculine things, and three, I figured that while I was attracting attention to myself, I might as well really draw attention to myself. So I psyched myself up and left my room and locked the door, and practically raced out of the building. I was very glad I didn't see anyone I knew. Then I skateboarded to the cafe. If you haven't skateboarded wearing a long, flowing skirt before, on a nice summer's day with the wind blowing, you're missing out. It was wonderful. I just tried not to look too embarrassed and walked into the cafe.

I saw a friend I knew from the frisbee team, and said "what's up, man" and stood in line, shying away from him towards the back. I hoped he wouldn't notice, but he came a few steps out of the line and bent over to make sure I was wearing a skirt, noticed that I was, tried not to look at me too awkwardly, and then got back in line. While I was waiting I got a drink from the soda fountain, and I noticed that my hands and knees were shaking violently. I calmed myself down and bought my lunch and ate in the middle of the cafe, and then went outside.

I sat on the lawn outside and pretended to read my book, but obviously couldn't concentrate so I just tried to relax. It was a gorgeous day outside, and I realized that I'd never crossdressed out doors before. It was truly a wonderful experience. It made me happy to be alive. I stayed outside for at least an hour, and then went back to my dorm.

And that's the story...I ran into my girlfriend later, who didn't even act shocked and said she liked it, and spent the rest of the day in my skirt. Since then I've publicly warn a fleece skirt, my velvet shirt, my cat suit with a shirt I borrowed from a friend on top of it, my queen amidala costume, and once I was locked out of my room after I showered so I borrowed my girlfriend's skirt and some of her other clothes to wear while I was locked out. Every time I go out it feels better and better, and I get more relaxed and more comfortable. I can't tell about you every single reaction people have given me, but the worst it's gotten has only been a few dirty looks from some guys, nothing more. Most people either accept it, like, "wow, nice skirt," or ask me why I'm wearing it, and when I shrug and don't give them a reason or tell them that it's fun or comfortable (thus giving away that I'm not doing it for religious reasons, a theater production, for laughs, or what not), they're like, "oh. Cool." People are very non chalant here. It's great.

So I guess you could say that my deepest wishes both come true and not come true. My deepest wish was to have a change of lifestyle here, and for people to be accepting. And that's come true, and it's very liberating. But I guess I also hoped that I would become known as the crossdressing guy, and people would get used to it, and although lots of people have seen me crossdressed, there's always someone surprised by what I'm wearing. I also haven't been able to fully crossdress yet, and I'm not sure if it's appropriate for me to go to class dressed yet. But I'm still very happy with the stage I'm at right now. I can deal with people being surprised. I'm very comfortable dressed now, to the point where I'm almost not embarrassed anymore. People will be like, "nice skirt!" and instead of laughing and being embarrassed, I can be assertive, and say "thanks!" proudly. It's great.

I've been going to GBLT meetings, which have been ok...There's not too much support for the "T" part of the group. But I have met a few F to M transgendered/crossdressers, which is nice. I do feel a little alone here, because I haven't met any male crossdressers yet, but I did meet a gay guy whom I'm friends with who likes to dress up...

The performance

...Which leads me to the performance. At my first GLBT meeting, this person introduced himself and mentioned that he liked to dress up in women's clothing. I later asked him privately if he considered himself to be a crossdresser, and though he got kicks out of dressing up, he didn't consider himself to be one. We exchanged phone numbers, and then later he invited me to a performance he was doing (he didn't say of what) at a cafe, and that he wanted me to come to it. That night, I had other things going on which made it difficult to go to the performance, but for some reason I knew that it was very important that I should be there, even though I didn't know what was going on. My girlfriend, who was going to just walk me there, sensed my urgency, and decided that if it was so important to me, that she should come too.

So we walked into the cafe, and the first thing I noticed was that it was the crowd from the GLBT. Then my girlfriend told me she felt a little out of place, and I asked why, and she said because she was one of the only white people there. And I looked around again and noticed that it was almost entirely filled with people of color! It's funny, I guess because I'm a minority myself, I didn't notice this. But anyway, the evening turned out to be a meeting for the queer students of color group on campus. But it was a lot more of that.

I wish that I would have written about this evening right after it happened, because it was so life changing to me and now I'm forgetting the details of it. But my friend started off talking about his and my conversation at the beginning of the year and how I asked if he was a crossdresser, and he still thought he wasn't but that he wanted to explore the issues of gender that night. So that night, he started off as a man, and changed in front of the audience and within a couple of hours was completely crossdressed. He would say a little bit about being gay, or about dressing, or talk about crossdressing tips, and then he'd pause to do make up or something while people got up in front of the mic to read poetry or sing a song or something. It was an incredible evening. I don't remember everything he said, but I do recall him saying when he first put on his dress, "First I'd like to say that if you have a problem with me wearing this dress, it's an issue with your sexuality, not mine. I'm completely comfortable with wearing this dress." And he talked about how if you had a problem with it, you should examine your own sexuality. It was really neat.

Anyway, I can't reproduce how meaningful the evening was except to say that it was. This person is a true inspiration to me...He either doesn't care what people think, or he does a damn good job of pretending, and he's very outgoing. He's also a very warm person, and made the evening quite magical.

Also, he crossed a lot of boundaries that I haven't even crossed yet...He wore tights that clearly accented his, um, package, he wore false breasts, and he wore make up. It made me think long and hard about myself as a crossdresser...I guess on this site I've taken such a political view on crossdressing and on how it's all about the clothes, and I've neglected the psychological aspect of it. I'd like to think that I have such an open mind about things that I'm not afraid to look silly by wearing whatever clothes I want, but if I didn't have the psychological aspect of it, I wouldn't be doing it. I would have fallen into society's standards and would be dressing like a male. But I guess I've been staying away from breast forms, make up, and stuff like that because I can't explain it. I guess I've been promoting the political implications of wearing a dress so much that I can't handle being ok with imitating a woman, which is what it's all about. Maybe I'm afraid that by admitting that it's psychological and something I can't explain, I'm making myself vulnerable to the thought that there might be something wrong with me. I don't know. I guess it's something I need to work on.

Ack. I forgot to mention what this did for me and my girlfriend. Like I said, my girlfriend came, thank god...I think our relationship would be very different right now if she hadn't. But she did, and my friend explained a lot of it, and even though I felt so exposed with the breast forms and everything, it was a breakthrough in understanding between us. After the evening was over, she and I sat down and talked for hours and hours, and she learned a lot more about me and it made us much closer to each other. It was wonderful.

Coming Out

Briefly, I wanted to talk about how it's been coming out to people...I haven't talked about that in a while, and I've come out to lots of people. As I said, I came out to my girlfriend after just 3 days of dating, and she's fine with it. I realize now that I could have done a better job of explaining it to her...I just told her I was a crossdresser that night, and we talked about how long I've been doing it and what it meant for us, etc. More shocking to her probably was seeing me actually dressed, learning that I use a female alias on the internet, and coming to the performance with me. But even though I've been a bit careless in how I told her, she's still been wonderful and has been very supportive of me.

After I told my girlfriend, I told my roommate. This was one thing I worried about doing for a very long time, even before I got to school. What do I do if I'm living with someone who's not ok with it? I waited about a month before I told him, but once I heard him say that one of his closest friends from home was a crossdresser, I was like, "oh...Then perhaps you should know that I'm one too." It's funny, both he and my girlfriend had crossdressing friends from back home, which is very surprising to me.

And finally, as you probably know, I accidentally came out to 43 of my friends by sending a message regarding my crossdressing (with a link to this site) to a listserv that forwarded it to everyone instead of just sending it to one person. I already mention this in my last entry, but in hindsight, like my accidental coming out with my mom, I think this may have all been for the better. If there was one group of 43 people that I had to come out to, this would be the group. I didn't want them to find out this way, but for several of them it's actually strengthened my relationship with them.

Ack...I'm tired and I need to go to bed. I wanted to tell you all about halloween, but I've already written a dissertation so I'll do it tomorrow. Hugs and kisses...

 

love julia

Thursday, November 4 - 1999

So as you probably already read, I mistakenly sent an email to 43 people instead of one that said that I was a crossdresser and it had a link to this web site. I can't believe I could be so stupid...It's funny how much my life reminds me of the dilbert cartoon where dilbert sends a message to a co worker that says, "Hi, I wanted to talk to you about how I'm thinking of you in your underwear...Oops. *beep* oops. *beep* oops." And Dogbert asks him if he deleted that, and he says, "no, I think I just forwarded it to the whole group." It was funny at the time....*sigh*. I feel like shrinking to the size of an insect and crawling under my bed. But oh well. My ultimate goal was to be out to everyone, and now I'm one (or, 43) steps closer.

Anyway, about life, and everything...Sorry I haven't updated in so long...Life here's crazy. I also want to do a really big update, and have been putting that off...Maybe get my own DNS address, make cool logos, stuff like that...I've been thinking a lot about this crossdressing revolution idea of mine, and I'm thinking I should at least spread the concept more. Maybe make bumper stickers, stuff like that...Get the word out. I dunno, I just think that maybe the world is ready for something like that after all. Or maybe I'm just crazy.

See you all later,

love julia

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