My gender dysphoria has been with me since a very young age, possibly as young as 3 or 4. Years of fear and denial forced me to suppress the desire to be the woman I was but towards the end of the "noughtie's" my female side was starting to burst out of the seams, so to speak. Somewhere in 2009 I had managed to snatch a brief moment to be Lucy (she still didn't have a name then), and I was struck with the thought that I wanted to take this further than the bedroom and venture out into the real world as her. I had often had this thought, but the idea was so terrifying, I always buried it deep to protect myself. I do not know what changed this day but I think that suddenly I was tired of all the deceit and secretiveness. Why was I doing this and was it wrong of me to do so?
I spent many months thinking about it all, churned it all over and eventually all those childhood memories of knowing I was not a boy came to the surface. I was more than aware of people that had changed gender and felt that perhaps I may be one of those people. The Internet was obviously my next port of call and at least I knew what I was looking for in amongst all the porn and fetish that pops up when you typed in anything with trans in the term (this has improved over time and is not so bad now). I found groups, message boards and resources galore. There was a massive community, even more divided than it is now, but there were people writing about their trans lives. I read a great many and although none really stood out individually for me, one particular experience really did stir me and that was the first shopping trip as their female identity.
Thoughts of hormones and vaginas were still a way off, but walking down a high street dressed as a woman was suddenly a powerful motivation in my mind. It became a mini-obsession of sorts but then transitioning can also become this way so it was simply preparing me for what was to come! I plotted and schemed and came up with all sorts of ideas about how I could get this shopping trip of my dreams. There was the option of meeting others in my area and asking for help, but I was never the sort to make friends easily as a man and asking for help was also not my style. Another option was to use a dressing service and this was nearly a choice as it seemed a real possibility. I found one in London that would provide clothes, make-up and then go out with you. £500 was being asked for and I seriously considered it. There was a problem though, I had to remove £500 from our income and get to London and back without my partner, Mandy, discovering.
I had realised that my secret dressing had to come to an end for me to achieve this trip. The idea of blowing half a grand and still being secretive about it all was unthinkable. The time had come to tell Mandy all about myself and this was not something I was going to undertake lightly. At the time we had been together 8 years and I had to accept the possibility that our time together may have to end. Our relationship was however an immensely close one and I suspected that she would stand by me regardless but I still had to prepare myself to go it alone. We reached the end of 2009 and I decided that by the end of 2010 I would have that shopping trip and see where I wanted to go with it after that. This meant I would have to pluck up the courage and "out" myself to Mandy.
It did not take too long, I had kept this secret for too many years from anyone and it was getting more and more difficult to contain it. Looking back, I was clearly exhibiting gender dysphoria but such words were unknown to me at the time. I remember towards the end of January, when virtually every day had seen me churning this all over, I decided to tell her. I did not plan the event, it just happened. We were travelling to Taunton one evening to do our shopping and I spent half the trip in complete silence with the same old thoughts in my mind. I do not think there was nay prompting from Mandy, I just told her at some point in the journey. I can remember the exact point on the road where I opened my mouth and started telling her that all those occasions when I had cross dressed for fetish reasons, it was actually much more than that and that I felt I was (at the time) a transvestite. I explained that I no longer wanted to dress for sexual reasons because I felt that there was more to it than that. I also mentioned that I wanted to meet some others and look to go out in public as Lucy (who was still nameless). I also said that I had tired of the secrets and wanted her to be involved in everything that she wanted to be so there would be no more. She didn't say too much, but said ok to everything and was happy with things. I assured her that she could talk to me about anything and I would be telling her the truth from now on.
The next few weeks were not easy or difficult. We talked a great deal and there were some tears from her. She was scared, not for herself but how people would perceive me. We both firmly believed at this time I was just looking to express my feminine side and perhaps move through life being able to be genderfluid. Of course, it did not take long to realise that it was much more than a bit of expression. Once we had talked for a few weeks, we both realised that I had wanted to be a woman for most of my life and we were embarking on the start of my transitioning. GRS was still not in our thoughts, but going full-time and hormones were starting to crop up in our discussion.
For the next few months, we worked on my identity. I chose my name, but that was about all I did on my own, everything else we did together. I had final say in my clothes, and we also had a few arguments about that, but it was with her help that I built up my wardrobe. Actually, we had to buy one of those as well; suddenly clothes were things to be cherished and not thrown in a drawer! A series of wigs were bought, and it was third time lucky, this was the one really suited me. We also went to some support groups and found they were a very mixed affair. One was good and one had the potential to break our relationship and we didn't persist at that one for too long.
We also had a holiday in June of this year (2010) and this was to be a completely male holiday for me. I felt I could handle this, it had been booked way before I had come out and it didn't strike me as the sort of place to be out at all as Lucy. What didn't help this situation was the pair of us visiting a dressing service a week before for make-up and photo's for a whole day. This day made me realise what I was capable of and being treated as a woman by a complete stranger had an inspiring effect on me. I then had to pack Lucy away for a whole fortnight, after busting her right out, and I struggled. A few days before the end of the holiday, I ended up having a breakdown.
Mandy took charge and we went into the town we were near and bought some make-up. I also had some clothes I had bought during our holiday and for a short time I could feel comfortable. We had to draw all the curtains in our caravan so no one could see and we were also in the middle of a heatwave so the sweat became a massive factor. But for a short time I felt a little less distressed. So we talked and it became clear that going full time at some point was a definite. I was finding it more and more difficult to play the part of a man and being a woman was what made me happy and comfortable.
We made a date soon after for our shopping trip, and we did it. We booked a room at a hotel in Bristol and on July 24th 2010, I went out in daylight and in public for the first time as Lucy. The feeling was incredible, it was so liberating and I felt right in myself. I attracted a fair few looks and sniggers, but within an hour I was so happy in myself, I didn't care.
|A photo from the dressing service I mentioned.|