Book Reviews – What’s helped me!

I have read lots of books, publications, documents during my on going journey of discovering the real me. Many have been useful in helping to try to explain what makes me tick, why am I like this etc.

Christiane has listed some good reads on her TG web page and I thought I would say a little more about some that have helped me.

 

He or She by Vicky Lee

I have personally found this book invaluable on my journey. Originally printed in 2006 but still useful and informative today. There is a huge amount of “me” in the book and I’m sure if you read it you will find your journey and story somewhere in there too.

Very well researched, presented and written, Vicky has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the transgender world spanning many years. She runs the Way out Club in London and Way out Publishing, a specialist TG publisher.

He or She is very easy to read and a real eye opener! Lots of photographs and real life stories from across the spectrum. The book covers many areas and facets from casual cross dressing to full gender reassignment and everything in between!

It is broken down into sub sections.

  • Why do we cross dress?
  • How to achieve a realistic female image, shape wear and outer clothing.
  • Wigs, hair, makeup, deportment etc.
  • Legal issues, the work place, relationships, coping in the real world, psychological, physiological, medical issues and much more.

From the first timer to the more experienced, through to those considering hormones and surgery. Lots of helpful tips and advice.

I have purchased several copies over the years and loaned or given them away to those I’ve met: those just starting on their journey; HR department store managers; TG support Groups; Beauticians etc.

Everybody who has read the book has been fascinated, impressed, challenged, helped. Eyes have been opened, questions answered, anxieties, worries etc aired in a very positive way.

I’ve read He or She numerous times and although I have never met Vicky face to face we have spoken and emailed each other in the past. I was delighted  to be asked to write a review for the publication in a Transgender Magazine! Even to this day I still can’t put it down. It’s a great book to just dip into!

Pearls of Asia by Lee Geiger

This book is a romantic detective murder mystery featuring a transgender twist published in 2014 and set in San Francisco. It is an irresistible and fun story featuring five fictional transgender women. Each with a compelling unique story to tell.

The main theme is a thought provoking romance between a pre- operative transexual woman and a heterosexual male detective. Lots of twists and turns. A fun read, hard to put down once started!

Alice in Genderland by Richard J Novic, MD

This book is a fantastic true story read. It is the account of a Harvard educated psychiatrist cross dresser in search of himself, herself and the truth that makes him, her tick!

Alice in Genderland is a fascinating read. Richard, Alice runs a medical practice, is married and has a family.

It is a fascinating, gripping account of his, her life over many years. The highs and the lows, with no stone left unturned. There is lots of medical research, medical journals, papers, articles, references etc relating to TG issues from a psychiatrists point of view. I’ve looked at some of them with my medical counsellor.

Alice is well known and respected in her native America. She has written widely, appeared on TV, conferences, conventions and media.

I found her story very much like my own. We have a lot in common! Her book is very helpful and inspiring. Truly gripping, thought provoking, challenging, hard to put down. We are all on a journey and at different stages along the road. We all though have many common threads to our journeys!

I hope you enjoy these reads. All have been a great help to me!

 

Laser Hair Removal – Hair Today! Gone Tomorrow!

I can still remember my first time out fully dressed as Amanda. A party I will never forget!

Jenny and Sue instructed me to remove my body hair to look as convincing as possible. Hair removing cream and a razor and shaving foam did the job. It took ages! A first!

I can still remember them dressing me up, putting on a bra, women’s pants, tights, an under slip and then a skirt and blouse. It all felt amazing against my smooth skin! Then full make up. Moving around, getting into a car, looking at my legs in amazement, going into the pub and then the party.

Deep physical and mental feelings. I felt amazing but also felt very vulnerable. I was totally unrecognisable! Dancing at the party in a skirt felt totally natural. Friends commented in a very positive way. Many said I had a huge amount of bottle to go out fully en femme. Little did I know my life was never going to be the same!

Roll on a few years and another party. I was married then. Again total hair removal, creams and razor. Stockings this time. Another set of deep feelings and emotions. This time no going back!

Amanda was out! If you have read my previous blogs you will know that a lot of talking – heart ache and tears occurred. It was not an easy time with my wife but, we talked and gradually worked things through. She suggested I see beauticians and start on regular beauty treatments . She could see how much Amanda was me. If I wanted to go out I must look as convincing as possible. She was worried for me. I approached a local beautician and she was great. Full waxing, getting an Epi Lady, eyebrows waxed, threaded, tinted! I just loved the whole experience. It felt totally natural. This was now part of my feminine beauty regime.

Moving on again. Amanda wanted a more permanent solution. She was spending more and more time en femme. We had a guest speaker at the transgender support group I go to (Surrey Swans) who did transgender laser hair removal. This could be a solution. I did a lot of research and visited several local companies, salons who could possibly help. All were very open and supportive. Many men now like permanent hair removal.

Well, I have now started on my first stage of laser hair removal. I went in male mode for a free consultation and appraisal. Would it work for me? What results were possible?

It’s not a cheap option and only works on dark not light hair. I decided it was worth pursuing. I’ve opted for full face, beard, neck line and each session takes about an hour and I go every six weeks. What’s it like? It depends on ones pain thresh hold. The lip area for me is very sensitive, other areas less so. What are the results to date? Well a lot of hair has gone. About 70% to date! I can go out all day en femme with a lot more confidence without imagining my beard shadow comes through early evening. I can wear less make up and concealer.

It has raised other issues though. If I was on female hormones my maleness would be suppressed more and the results quicker and greater. This raises an issue when one is married or in a relationship. It would suppress ones sex drive, skin would soften, fat would be redistributed and breasts develop! My totally supportive wife would be even more effected. I would not be the man she married! Our relationship would change. It would raise issues with her. She says she would stay with me on the journey wherever it goes but would she become a lesbian in our relationship? We have talked at length about these side effects. Her medical background helps enormously! If Amanda fully transitioned and had surgery our life together would radically change. Clapham is still my station.

A lot more thought, planning, talking is needed. An ongoing chapter of Amanda’s journey! Not sure where it’s all going or the end destination! It’s so much nicer being in a grey area even if it is dark grey!

 

 

A 1-2-1 Make Up Master Class with Christiane

Hopefully you will have seen from previous articles Amanda is still work in progress. Make up has been vital to this.

Over the years my wife has been very supportive and critical about how I present my female persona. I want to present as a natural woman and blend in without attracting undue attention.

Over the years I have been very fortunate to have had lots of help from many female friends in the beauty business. I have visited shops and department stores to get help and advice. One of the most difficult areas is getting the correct foundation to look natural. For many years I have used Estee Lauder Double Wear, Clinique and Benefit products to give a good base. These foundation products are used a lot in the TG world. How to apply these products, tools and tricks of the trade take a lot of learning and practice! Books, You Tube etc have been a great help! I love the glamour side of creating a well-groomed look.

Where is all this going? Well, it all leads to Christiane and her make up artistry. I found her web site by chance. We emailed each other, I exchanged some of my blogs and the rest is history!

Who is the real Christiane, what is she like? I knew she was at the top of the tree by the awards, accolades and achievements she has posted on her site. The pictures, articles etc. tell it all. Real talent!

Amanda soon booked in for a 1-2-1 with Christiane in her lovely home studio. I was going out for the evening to meet up with some friends in a classy country pub and wanted an evening look. I was warmly greeted at the door and taken into her very well-equipped professional studio.

“Like a drink? Tea, coffee?” Yes please!

We started to chat. Christiane is very approachable.”Let’s start” she said handing me some make up removal pads and Micellar Water. “You look great but we need to start from scratch.”

 

Christiane has a huge selection of beauty products covering all the major brands, some of which I have never come across. She does not have brand loyalty but selects carefully the best products for the client. She has a massive product range. We started from basics including cleansing, moisturising, to primers and foundation. We covered techniques, brushes and some great tips!

With me Christiane started with my eyes and primer, then eye shadows and finishing with lashes and mascara. We covered brow shaping and contouring to give a lovely shape. My brows are regularly shaped using waxing, tinting and threading!

Next came the face, primer, foundation etc. covering topics from contouring, shaping, blusher, bronzers, highlighting etc all clearly shown, demonstrated and expertly taught. Nothing was too much trouble! She is a great teacher! Very patient and understanding. Clear to follow and understand advice and instructions.

Lastly we covered lips, something that I don’t find easy, but again her expert tips helped greatly. All through the demonstration – lesson or to me a “master class” I could clearly see every stage with the aid of a large mirror.

Time flew by! Conversation passed! What an experience! So much was covered! The end result was a stunning look. The real me! WOW! I felt a million dollars!

For those of you who are apprehensive about getting help and advice don’t think twice! Christiane has her studio at home. She is super aware of TG issues and problems and would love to help those on a journey like me. It does not matter where you are on the TG spectrum, she is there to help.

There was also a lot to take in and remember! Christiane produces an individual written plan – revision sheet of every topic covered, products used and some useful reminders. Great for cognitive overload! She also took pictures on her phone and mine. Great visual reminder of the session.

A 1-2 1 is a must have, must do! I’m still no expert and have so much still to learn but, with help and advice from Christiane I am now so much better equipped and qualified with my makeup knowledge, technique and skills.

My confidence has grown so much! She has raised goals! Go on treat yourself. You know you deserve it! You will learn so much! You will love it!

 

 

Not Black or White, but Shades of Grey.

Moving on and moving forward, Amanda is still work in progress. It’s been a long journey over many years. She is evolving and developing all the time!

For years I have been a black or white person and have been wondering what makes me tick?

  • Why was I born like this?
  • Where is this all going?
  • Is there an end to the journey?
  • What is the end result?
  • Why is my brain wired like this?
  • Why do I get these intense feminine feelings?
  • Why am I so at ease and comfortable as Amanda?
  • Why do I want to be Amanda more and more?
  • Why do feminine beauty treatments feel so natural to me?
  • Do I want to fully transition? Some difficult thoughts and questions. No easy answers!

Some years ago I regularly went to a transgender group called Fabuliss which was based in Liphook Hampshire. It was run by a lovely married husband and wife team. The husband embraced his female side with his incredibly supportive wife. Social events were organised on a monthly basis with regular guest speakers, make up beauty demonstrations, mannerisms, deportment lessons and pageants! One could really embrace ones female side. It was a great place to be and meet up with others on the TG spectrum. Its sad end came when the wife died after a long illness. A great loss to all.

So where is all this going? Well, one event was run by a TG councillor who worked for Hampshire NHS Trust based in Portsmouth. She offered help and counselling on the NHS. I had a long chat with her at one of the meetings and made an appointment to meet up professionally and discuss Amanda. I attended four sessions that helped me come to more of an understanding about what made me tick. It also though presented some interesting data. On some psychological tests I came up as 74% female. That explained a lot! This was a few years ago and over time Amanda was becoming more and more important.

My wife wanted me to seek professional help and explore Amanda more. How would I find the right person? Well the internet came up trumps! Independently, we both googled Psychologists specialising in TG clients based within a radius of where we live. We also decided I would pay and go privately. There were 5 possible people on the search list. My wife has a medical background being a GP Practise Nurse. We both independently read up their CV’s and chatted about our listings. “Amanda,” she said, “Who do you think ticks the boxes for you?” I gave her the name. “That’s amazing,” she said. “Your number one is my number one!” Well, that answered my question. I exchanged emails with my first choice and got an appointment for a consultation two weeks later.

“You will be coming as Amanda” she asked? “Yes” I said! Well, two weeks rushed by. I was very apprehensive but knew it was the right move. I spent the morning getting dressed. Nail extensions on, full make up, Dior perfume, the full works. A dress, jacket and high heels complemented the look! I wanted her to see I was serious about Amanda. I arrived early for the appointment and knocked on her door. “Come in Amanda. Wow you look great, you are very convincing and confident!” I was instantly at ease with her. She had a lovely smile. I instantly warmed to her. We talked for over an hour. Time flew by.

“Well,” she said, “We can go on this journey together if you are comfortable opening up to me? You need to be totally open and honest with me. There may be some difficult and challenging questions and answers. We will dig deep! Are you committed?” she asked. “Do you want time to think about it?”

“No,” I said instantly. I was ready to proceed with a professional counselling course. A date was booked for the following week. I was asked to keep a diary and write up comments, observations etc after each session. Initially we met up weekly for the first few months. We then dropped to alternate weeks, then every three and then monthly. Now it’s when I need help we meet, talk, discuss, explore. We covered some ground! My note book filled up fast. When I got home I was exhausted. My brain ached! So much going on, so much to think about. Every week I was given homework to do, articles to read, internet research, books, magazine, journals etc. We discussed media postings, films, documentaries, radio programmes etc. Most weeks TG issues appear in the media.

When I got home my wife always asked me do you want to talk and discuss what went on? Most times the answer was yes over a cup of tea or glass of wine. I was taught how to cope with my TG side. To embrace and not fight it. My Psychologist got me to see life not as black or white but shades of grey. This is a much more comfortable place to be than black and white. She described my journey as a train ride. Imagine the Portsmouth to London railway. I’m now at Clapham Junction heading towards Waterloo. I’ve been at Clapham now for quite a few months. There are still more questions than answers but I am now in a much more comfortable place. At greater peace with my mind and body than I’ve been for years. Where do I go from Clapham? When will I leave Clapham ? Do I ever leave Clapham? Is Waterloo my end stop? What happens when I get there? The journey goes on! A massive grey area! Dark grey!

To be continued …

 

We’ll update Amanda’s blog as she shares new chapters with us.

So where is this all going? What has been achieved?

It’s taken me many years to accept myself. I’m really fortunate to have a wife who is very supportive and understanding and who has helped Amanda develop. We have spent many hours talking and discussing Amanda. It’s not been an easy journey but we have talked and talked and been totally open and honest with each other. I’m sure her medical background has helped enormously and during her career she has seen patients across the whole transgender spectrum. Her only request now is that when I go out I look as ‘passable’ and feminine as possible. To date I have had no surgery or hormones, but do enjoy regular beauty treatments including full body waxing and eyebrow shaping. I have pierced ears and get regular nail and eyelash extensions. I have a beautician friend whom I have known for years and she is very supportive and understanding of my needs, feelings and requirements. Most weeks I’m fortunate to spend one to two days fully en-femme and I regularly take mini breaks of up to a week, fully ‘dressed.’ I realise I’m so lucky to have this support, help and understanding.

So where is this all going? What has been achieved?

I’ve been speaking to personnel departments in local shops and companies on transgender issues and policies, including how their staff act and perceive us. Through local department stores, I’ve liaised between the shop floor staff, managers and company bosses about staff, products and TG needs and issues. This has often come about when I have been approached by women personnel managers in local stores and shops. Was I happy to give an interview? Was I a genetic female? Was I TG? Did I mind being asked questions? Was this an imposition? This did make me realise that I had perhaps been ‘read’ but I did want to help and so was more than happy to be interviewed.

On each occasion I have been asked to answer questions and talk about transgender shopping, TG issues and concerns and how their staff approached and served TG girls. This was done through interviews in their offices, telephone conversations and regular e-mail updates. I’ve even lent out my copy of ‘He or She’ by Vicky Lee on extended loan. Everyone who has read it says it should be compulsory reading and is very enlightening and informative.

All large shops have transgender policies and want to get things right and correct when dealing with us. All have said I was very confident and convincing. Some asked was I full-time? Have I had surgery?And some even thought I was a genetic female – What a compliment! All I have spoke to say the TG scene is now mainstream, there are loads of us out there! The more informed they are, the more they can help us realize our dreams.

This has opened up many doors and invitations for Amanda to attend. For example police forces have departments and policies regarding transgender issues. I was first approached by a young woman in plain clothes who said she was a police officer working on TG, gay and lesbian issues and hate crimes. She showed me her warrant card and again we just started talking. She wondered if I had ever had any dealings with the police when dressed?  The answer was yes, (as I’m sure many of us have) twice, while out driving. On both occasions, male officers stopped me on spot-check road blocks. Questions were asked, details checked and I was off. Both times the officers were very courteous, pleasant and polite. Both wished me a good evening and told me to keep safe and enjoy myself. Following on from this, I have again exchanged emails and met up and talked with the Police Liaison Officer. I’m so pleased that these links have been really good at helping me promote the TG Community.

None of this would have occurred or even been considered a few years ago. I now have the confidence to go out as Amanda and give help and advice to to others and to encourage those just starting their journey. What about future plans and ideas? I’m exploring TG counselling courses. Again, I feel I could give a lot back after after my journey of exploration and discovery. Also, I can’t wait to have more time to spend fully en-femme. Who knows where I might end up! How far will Amanda go? It’s so exciting!

The whole transgender scene has come on hugely over the last few years. The internet, media, books and publications, the Beaumont Society have all helped play a massive part in this change and move. Publications such as Repartee and Transliving have been inspirational. Cross-dressing and the TG scene are far more open today and mainstream. I’m meeting more and more people, employers, companies, workers etc. who will back this statement up. Ask the lingerie departments, the personal shoppers in the large department stores, the small boutique owners. You really are not alone out there!

Finally, what would my advice be to others? As I’ve said before, be open and honest with everyone you meet. I know it’s especially hard with ones’ partner and those closest to us. I know this is not easy; it can cause a lot of friction and be a complete minefield. But ask for help if need be. Join a local support group, perhaps even get some counselling. Above all enjoy yourself and get out in to the ‘real world.’ It’s great fun out there. Life is a massive adventure! Embrace it! You won’t regret it!

 

Amanda’s Quest for a Cleavage

Lingerie and especially bras are an important part of any woman’s wardrobe and even more so for us TG girls. Different looks, moods, images and feelings can be created with these most sensuous of garments. For most T-girls the creation of breasts and a cleavage are very important.

Since writing in issue 54 of Repartee my TG life has really taken off. I’m lucky to be Amanda one to two days a week and sometimes longer if circumstances allow. For years I have used tear-drop shaped silicone inserts, but I wanted more realism and different shapes for varying outfits and styles. My silicones have been fixed using double-sided tape or medical adhesive. I did not want anything permanent, (one can dream!) but needed a new look. I’m lucky that I have natural breast tissue. Lots of internet research followed and lots of ideas. I needed help! For years I have used good old M&S but I decided to look around. I phoned up my local La Senza shop and told them what I wanted to achieve. “Come in ‘dressed’ we would love to help you” they said. An offer Amanda could not refuse.

The La Senza girls were brilliant. Laura rose to the challenge. Using a gel-filled bra with silicone ‘chicken fillets’ and with help from breast tape, she helped me create a very realistic cleavage.  I was amazed at the natural-looking result. Looking down, natural breast tissue filled my new bra. What a look! What a feeling!

Amanda, though, still wanted more. She is a perfectionist. I decided to contact two local independent specialist lingerie shops, found in my local Yellow Pages. I phoned the shops and spoke to the owners. I explained I was a T-girl. No problems, no issues, yes, we can help you achieve a realistic cleavage and yes, you are not alone. We have other TG clients. Yes, we have lots of products. Come in ‘dressed’ and let’s see what we can do. Appointments were quickly made. I could not wait!

Zoe came up with a Nu Bra Gel. Not cheap, but what a result! It can be worn on its own or under another bra. Its sticky back pulls and holds the breast flesh in place. Great for low-cut tops or backless dresses. She has several TG customers and was really keen to help and advise. I believe Leah True used one, or something very similar, on her Mr Miss World adventure on TV Channel 4 and You Tube.

Helen owns the other lingerie shop. Again, I phoned her and booked an appointment. She was most helpful and knowledgeable. She had several catalogues and brochures to show me and lots of ideas. Again, I was amazed to learn that real girls regularly change the shape of their breasts to create new looks. She recommended a mixture of silicone inserts, tape, up-lifters and side-lifters. These are shaped inserts which fit in to the bra and can be attached to the bra or breast using special double-sided tape. Again she helped me shape myself. Lots of looks could be achieved. I could not believe the results.

I have since been very fortunate to meet a fantastic lady called Geraldine Hurd who runs a lingerie business for genetic women and TG’s. Both myself and my friends have purchased from her, so I can highly recommend her business, Hour Glass Figure, with confidence.

I now have all I need to mix and match. A really realistic cleavage can easily be created. Every TG dreams of ‘passing’. Correct bras are very important to get the right look, along with the cleavage, makeup and powder. Money has to be invested, but I love the results. The look and feel is so natural. Several real-girl friends thought I was on hormones or had implants! Such compliments! The pictures of Amanda out and about tell the tale. So don’t be afraid to ask for help.

The Beginnings (Part 1)

The Beginnings (Part 1)

It all started in a pub years ago when I was a student with a group of friends. We were all going to a friends 21st birthday party fancy dress party in a few weeks time. Two of my female friends suggested I would look great dressed as a woman. Both commented on my naturally long eye lashes and nicely shaped legs! I did have shorts on! Jenny and Sue would provide me with everything needed to do the transformation. No half measures. Not the man in a dress look with hairy legs, chest and arms. A convincing female. Was I up for it? It was to be a full on transformation! Well, with some trepidation I agreed to the dare. Both girls insisted I removed body hair to look as passable and realistic as possible. A razor and hair removing cream would do the job. Two days before the party I removed all my body hair as requested. To my surprise I really enjoyed the experience of feeling really smooth all over.

Saturday morning arrived, the day of the party. I was asked to arrive at Jenny’s mid morning as there was lots to do to transform me. I was slightly apprehensive on the drive over to Jenny’s parents house. Luckily they were away on holiday caravanning in France. Both girls told me I would need to hide my male parts and gave me some surgical tape. With my tackle secured, I slipped on Jenny’s matching lacy panties, padded bra, and an under slip. A convincing cleavage was also created using the surgical tape. I was the given a pink dressing gown and sat down in a chair for the transformation. Full make up was then applied, toe and finger nails painted, eye brows tamed, a wig put on my head and then a collection of their outer clothes. Sue gave me a new pair of nude coloured tights which looked and felt amazing on my hairless legs. I was then dressed in high heels, short leather skirt, pink top and black leather jacket. The clothes fitted really well. Luckily Jenny’s black high heels fitted really well. Walking was a different story. Not easy! This was complemented by jewellery, clip on ones Jenny bought me as my ears were not pierced then and accessories including a handbag and then finishing off with a liberal spraying of Dior Perfume.

You need a female name Jenny said. Any ideas? I paused for a minute then came out with the name Amanda. Why this name? Well, I fancied at the time a girl called Amanda. Amanda was born in the form of a “Rock Chick.” I was shocked when I saw my reflection in the full size mirror. I looked and felt amazing. I had never dressed on femme before. Deep inner feelings were triggered off. I had never experienced these feelings before. It felt very strange! Jenny and Sue then dressed as Punks, wearing ripped black bin bag dresses showing off red underwear to shock, spiked up coloured hair and outrageous eye make up. Both looked amazing and unrecognisable!

To my horror they then insisted that we went for a drink in a local pub before the party. It was my first adventure out in public! I felt very vulnerable leaving the house fully feminised and getting into a car. I kept looking at my skirt, legs, shoes, nails etc. It felt very strange but, I was really enjoying the whole experience. Both girls put me at ease saying I that I looked fantastic. Just have fun and enjoy yourself. Unknown to me other friends were in the pub all fully dressed before the party in a local village hall. Nobody recognised me or batted an eyelid. At the party friends were amazed at how convincing I looked. Girls came up to me and said I had a lot of bottle to go full on en femme. I felt great! It felt natural. It felt exciting! I had a fantastic time and really enjoyed the party. I did not want it to end. Little did I know that this initial step into the feminine world would have so much impact on my life. Amanda was born nearly 40 years ago! A turning point in my life! The events and memories of that Saturday are still vivid in my mind!

Bridal Adventures

Bridal Adventures

Amanda has been dressing for years and is gradually going further in her TG lifestyle. She regularly spends one to two days a week fully dressed and most holidays spending several days living 24/7. She is very lucky to have a very supportive wife and a brilliant beautician friend Jude who helps achieve a feminine body. Amanda regularly has nail and eyelash extensions done, full body waxing and eye brows shaped and tinted. Her ears were pierced years ago! Well, where is all this going? For over a year now Amanda has wanted a bridal dress to wear to a TG weekend run at a South Coast venue. Where does one start? How do you get help? Who could help? What styles would suit me? Let the story start! Firstly I contacted two local Bridal Shops and explained I was serious about dressing as a bride. I previously had sent them copies of articles I have had published in Repartee No 49, 61, 68, and 76. I also gave them photographs of me out and about. Would it be a problem helping me achieve my dreams? The answer came back no if I was serious and booked an appointment. I very quickly arranged appointments and the adventure started. I spent ages getting ready for the appointments. Everything needed to be perfect! With trepidation I arrived on time for my first appointment. Jane the owner could not have been more welcoming. She was fascinated by my journey and how I achieved my female persona and body shaping. I was told Amanda was very convincing! We talked for ages discussing my dream look. Out came a selection of dresses. Wow! I could not wait to get into to them. Jane also suggested a laced corset back was the best option. Well she said, you had better get undressed, I will help you get into them. My heart was pounding! I was in heaven! Deep inner feelings were triggered off. Jane helped me into the first dress. I felt and looked amazing. It seemed to take ages to get the lacing done up. She let me borrow some bridal shoes. Amanda, you look amazing, turn round and walk over to the mirror. I could not believe what I saw in the reflection. It felt so natural! We talked like girls all the time, I was so excited, more dresses to try on and results to see. Altogether I tried on six dresses. This was going to be an expensive day.

The dresses ranged from £800-£1500 and accessories and extras needed. Underskirts, shoes, bridal underwear, jewellery, the list goes on. We had a lovely time together. Amanda, I can see you are very serious about you female side Jane said. It has been a pleasure helping you but, have you thought about buying secondhand? You can get dresses altered. I can help with that side. You now know what suits you and a size 16 is a good fit. I have loved having you in my shop. It’s been a real pleasure getting to know you. Well I went away on cloud 9. The following week I went to my second appointment in another bridal shop. This time the owner Sally was just like Jane. She was very interested in the TG scene and I experienced the same experiences as I did with Jane. She was very supportive and enthusiastic. Again, I was in heaven! I had a lot to consider and think about. Was the secondhand route worth considering. Yes was the answer. I turned to the internet and discovered two really great sites (preloved.co.uk and Bride2Bride). Both proved to be a great resource with lots of dresses in my local area. I logged onto these sites regularly and saved possible dresses in a folder. I monitored prices, most dropped over the months and gathered ideas. Was I really ready to move forward? Yes I was! I found three possible dream dresses locally and emailed the advertisers explaining I was transgendered. Would this cause a problem? No came back the answer each time. I duly asked for more pictures and detailed measurements of bust, waist and hips. Both Jane and Sally gave me detailed dimensions to assist me in getting my dream dress. Well, the story continues. My first choice would be my dream come true! I pinged an email off to Sue and said I would love to come and see the dress. She was selling on behalf of her daughter who had emigrated to Australia and wanted the dress sold. Again with trepidation Amanda set off on another adventure fully dressed, feeling and looking the best I could. I found the hose easily, parked my car on the drive, walked up the path and knocked on the large house front door. Within seconds the front door opened. Come in Amanda, WOW you look fab! She gave me a hug and a kiss. Things were looking good. Her husband also warmly greeted me. Well Amanda, come upstairs and see the dress. I hope you like it! It was laid out in her daughter’s old bedroom on the bed. It looked amazing. Would it fit? Would my dreams come true? Well Amanda do you like it? Can I help you get dressed? Yes please I answered. Sue was fascinated in my story and transgendered issues. Do you mind if I see you in your lingerie Sue asked. No I said. Well I undressed and Sue helped me in. You are so brave she said. You do take Amanda so seriously. You look great. I hope the dress fits. I pulled the dress up, Sue laced me in. Wow she said, you look amazing. The fit is really good. She put on the veil and I looked in the mirror. I was lost for words! I walked around the room in heaven, the dress rustling and the long train and veil following me. My bridal dream had come true. This was my dream dress. I changed back into my blue Diva dress and we chatted and packed up the dress into it’s box. Cash was exchanged and I left in a dream that had just come true. The dress had originally cost £1400 and the veil £100. I got the whole package for less than £130. Sue had dropped the price three times over the year. Who said bargains can’t be found and had? If you need TG underwear, shape wear, lingerie or breast forms I can highly recommend a friend Geraldine Herd who runs a company called Hour Glass Figure. She has been involved and is very supportive to the TG community. She has set up this site to specifically help the TG Community. My dream dress just needed a very slight tweak with the back panel. I’m a perfectionist! Again a local dress maker friend helped out with this. She has altered dresses and skirts for me before. The fit now is AMAZING!! A dream has come true!! The story has not ended yet. Amanda is planning to go to a Bridal Event in Bournemouth in September run by Danielle who is well known and respected in the TG scene. Amanda is also aiming to retire this coming year and who knows where this will lead.I can’t wait and will report back hopefully with a part two of my Bridal Adventure.

Bridal Adventures (Part 2) – The Bridal Pageant

As you can see from the pictures, I did enter the Bridal Pageant at the Bournemouth Transgender Weekend. I had a stunning wedding dress and all the accessories.

My beautician friend Jude helped me prepare for the event. She suggested treatments that I would need and a time plan. Things kicked off a week before. A full body wax including everything off was required as I also wanted to use the hot tub and swimming pool. I had just bought a new swimming costume! A few days later followed a spray tan. A first for me. This was then followed by nail and eyelash extensions and my toe nails painted! I felt fantastic and looked amazing.

My very supportive wife was stunned when I came home. You are really going for it she said! It all felt so totally natural. I had planned to live 24/7 en femme for 7 days with her full support. I could not wait for the pageant at the end of the week. I drove to the hotel, parked up, went in and introduced myself. What a weekend it turned out to be. The hotel was not totally TG’s but a mix including other guests. There were about 35 TG’s some with partners, spouses. It was a fantastic event! The pageant, catwalk and interviews took place on Saturday. It was amazing. Such fun! Amanda got down to the last three after a catwalk and interviews and won highly commended. What a confidence boost.

Wearing the dress for most of the day was a real challenge. A ride in the Bentley was the ultimate experience around Bournemouth. I had completed my first pageant with flying colours!

Swimming en femme in the indoor pool felt so natural as did the hot tub. I had a lovely chat with three genetic women in the tub. All thought I was transsexual and was on hormones and had surgery. All thought I had put in a massive effort and had a lot of bottle to do what I had done. We met up again later in the bar and chatted more. What an experience. Out and accepted in the real world. Such fun! The three-day event whizzed by very quickly. It was soon time say good fare well and head home. I managed to keep my lashes and nails on for a couple more days before Jude removed them and I reverted to male mode!

The weekend was a real eye opener. I proved to myself I could live en femme. I had such a ball and did not want it to end. Deep feelings were triggered inside. I knew I would never be the same again! Amanda’s journey reached new levels. There was no going back!

The Beginnings (Part 4)

The Beginnings (Part 4)

By now I was truly out! Many friends now knew about Amanda. We deliberated for ages as to whether to tell our son. We did when he was in his early 20’s. We were very unsure how he would react. To our astonishment totally unfazed! He totally understood and said it did not matter one iota! He had gay friends but no trans friends. He said he guessed years before that I was different but no issues! What a relief! Amanda has really grown and developed over the last few years! For a long time she had to fit in with work. It was not an easy time but, I’m now retired and can be Amanda far more regularly. I have wanted to present as a female more and more. Beauty treatments are now a regular feature. Eye brows plucked, shaped, waxed, tinted! All body hair removed by waxing and shaving, nail extensions and eye lash extensions added and worn whenever possible, toe nails always painted and spray tans for a natural summer look. I also stated to wear perfume. My confidence was growing all the time. By now I had built up a huge network of supportive friends. Lynne was instrumental in sorting out my hair. She set up Femesque as a consequence of us meeting years before. Girlfriends in the beauty, fashion world were a great help in developing my looks and style. Over the years I have built up a network of TG supportive beauticians, the lists go on! As I’ve said in previous blogs TG supportive groups and societies have been a great help. The Beaumont Society, Fabuliss in Liphook now sadly no longer, Roses Repartee, Transliving , The Surrey Outcrowd have all been embraced. The internet has really been helpful in finding out more and answering questions. Going away en femme to transgender weekends has given me a new perspective and look on the TG Scene. Being asked to talk to groups and people about TG issues has been a great way to gain confidence and give a little back. The Surrey Swans Group has given me openings and opportunities including like with the Police. The TG scene is now far more oped, out and main stream. A lot of my female supportive friends are getting far more enquiries for help, advice and support. Shops are happy to arrange TG events and functions. Personal shopping is freely available in many top shops and companies. Local department stores have asked for advice on how to help, support and embrace the TG Community. So where is all this going? Well I’m so fortunate to have such a supportive wife. She still finds it challenging but we keep talking and exploring. She was very supportive when I started laser hair removal. She also suggested I start having professional TG Counselling which I have been doing for a couple of months.