Monday, 30 March 2009

Bargains Galore!

The wigless experiment continues. This time I tried a headscarf:

The Headscarf Experiment

Now you might say "If you're going to wrap your head in a scarf, why not just wear the wig?" And that's what I thought. But, do you know what? It was more comfortable than a wig, and not half as warm to wear. And, given that my default look is 'hippy chick' not a million miles away from the style I've opted for anyway.

Come the Winter I'll try Hats :-)

Full outfit shot, because I'm a photo view whore:

Forgot To Smile - I'm Smiling Inside Though

I wore jeans. It is possible for a crossdresser not to wear a skirt.

The last few weeks have been on and off stressful in the Rachel household, and both Mrs Rachel and I have sought solace in retail therapy. Being cheapskates, of course, we've hot the sales racks and charity shops, and found some real bargains. I've got two pairs of 'cute shoes' (slippers/pumps/whatever you want to call them) for a few dollars each - both pairs are gorgeously comfortable, which is a real bonus for girly shoes I buy. And I have managed to get three personal wardrobe essentials. Numer one is that salwar kameez (Indian trouser suit) I always wanted. It wasn't dirt cheap, but was under A$50, which was good enough for me. Dove grey cotton, with lovely green embroidery. There are hours of entertainment to be had just working out how to wear the dupatta (shawl). The other finds were even better. A couple of weeks ago I found a perfect Little Black Dress in a charity shop, for a grand A$4. Fits like it was made for me, and is simple enough in style that I can dress it up or down as needed with accessories. And today? A pair of leather trousers. For A$3. Gorgeous. I've found a number of tops and shoes they go with, and am itching to inflict them on a jealously waiting world.

I nearly added a floaty chiffon evening dress to the haul today as well - A$10 of utter loveliness. But it didn't quite fit. Probably for the best; we need to keep some money for food ...

Sunday, 22 March 2009

The Only Tranny In The Village

Wollongong has a gay nightclub. That's 'gay' in the LGBT sense, not the 'yoof-speak' sense, so it's a club for people who are gay, rather than one that's not very good. Anyway, said club has a small web-presence in which, on a Saturday night they promise 'Glamourous', a night for those of any gender to come and sparkle and be seen

A tranny night out in Wollongong? Sign me up! Ever since I've got here we've been looking for the local tranny community (as opposed to the one in Sydney) on the assumption that, since The Gong is a reasonably big place by Aussie standards, there must be one.

So, last night, Mrs Rachel and I decided to go and see what this night of local tranny activity was like. I got myself all glammed up, as, of course, did she, and away we went. It's only about a ten minute drive from us, and entry is free if you get there earlyish, so we reasoned that our time wouldn' be wasted.

And it wasn't. The club was fairly nice. Edgier than Mrs Rachel normally likes, but not too crowded, and with both a loud dance area and quieter seating/chatting area. We spoke to a few interesting people and had a pleasant time.

Only one problem.

I was the only tranny at Wollongong's premier tranny venue night.

This did tend to defeat part of the point of actually going, of course.

So, am I the only tranny in The Gong, or are the rest all hiding somewhere else?*

I also went wigless again. I looked good; the club had lots of mirros and I could check frequently. But when I came to take some pictures later (you didn't think I wouldn't, did you?) I was disappointed. I looked terrible in virtually all of them; my hair just doesn't work. Now it could be that the style wasn't quite right this time, but I think it's mostly that it doesn't really have enough length to work properly yet. It does just seem to be in photos, but it's now shaken my confidence in how it looks in real life. And confidence is everything.

I'm still going to continue my move towards wiglessness, I think, because I love the freedome it gives me. But unless I can find some ways of diguisling my very male hairline a little more (hats, headbands or similar) I'm going to wait until it has a bit more length and body to it. At the moment it's too short to really work properly.

*We do have one local friend, but she lives in Albion Park, and that's not Wollongong. As any fule kno.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

New Look

It was my wife's idea really.

Last night we went up to Sydney with our friend Letty for one of the regular tranny meals held there. So the late afternoon found all three of us getting ready at our place. I had just done my makeup and put on the outfit I was planning to wear and was getting my wig ready, when Mrs Rachel said, "You know, you might get away with your hair as it is". Now my hair is short and blokey, but still mostly all there. It's a far cry from Rachel's faux-silky reddish locks, but it does the job.

The truth is, her comment reinforced something I'd thought earlier; maybe I could just go out with my hair as it was. I asked how she thought I might get away with it. "Gel it up and comb it into some kind of shape. If it doesn't work you can always stick your wig on."

So I did. After ten minutes with gel, a comb and a hair-dryer I had something that wasn't quite my normal bloke look, but wasn't the Rachel that I, and you, know and love.

And do you know what? I liked it:

Arm's Length

I looked like ... me.

I went for it. With my new look we went to Sydney, and did a little cruise around some shops before going to the restaurant where we were due to meet the others. And I felt as confident as ever. Different, but confident. I thought I looked good, and I felt good. If I ever passed before, I didn't now, but what does that matter? I am a crossdresser, and proud of it, and as long as people accept that I'm fine.

It's strange. I've always felt that the wig is what 'makes' the person I call Rachel. I never felt fully dressed without it. It's usually the last thing I put on; a ritual of 'becoming Rachel'. Last night I just made that leap without the wig ritual.

I guess the wig has been a kind of mask; something I could hide behind and which gave me the confidence to go out and face the world as Rachel. Last night I took off the mask and let the world see something more real, perhaps. The wig made me look more feminine, but perhaps that's less of a worry now I'm more comfortable with the idea that people see me as a bloke in a frock. I can just redefine 'passing' to suit myself. Although perhaps a bad experience will change my mind on that score; so far I have been lucky and not had any encounters with people in the real world that have shaken my confidence.

So will I do it again? I'd like to. I may let my hair grow a little more, and then get it styled in some adaptable or gender-neutral way. I'm not sure I want long hair again, but I think it needs just a bit more length. It may mean a change in how I do my makeup as well, as I've always done it on the assumption that my face will be 'framed'. And if it doesn't work, I always have the wig to fall back on. It's been a good friend up until now, and will still be there for me when I need it.

Actually my biggest concern is that my wardrobe has been designed around 'Redhead Rachel'. I'm hoping that he stuff will work for 'Short-hair Rachel' as well, otherwise this project could get very expensive indeed :-)

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

The Perils Of A Vanity Google

I googled my user ID:

"One day I was just plain Rachel and the next I was a Page 3 girl"

May be NSFW? Depends on where you work, I guess :-)

Monday, 2 March 2009

Separated At Birth

I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not:

Rachel And Lois

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Two Months Seems So Long

All right, it's been more than two months since I wrote anything here. Anyone who's followed my male blog will know that I'm extremely lazy blogger, and this one looks like it's going to be affected by the same malaise.

So, what have I been doing?

Well, we are settling nicely in to our new life in Australia; Mrs Rachel and I are in the throes of setting up a (non-tranny related) business, whilst the children are now at school. There are a few things we could do without, but on the whole life is good.

From a Rachel point of view things have been relatively inactive. After Transfusion I didn't dress again until the middle of January, when Mrs Rachel, Letty and I went up to Sydney for the semi-regular Concord meal. It's always pleasant company, and good food, but the two-hour drive each way isn't much fun. And we always get lost in the Western Suburbs. the next one isn't in Concord, but in newtown, so we'll have somewhere new to get lost in :-(

It was also on one of the hottest days of the year up to that point. One of those days when I envy those t-girls who wear their own hair, and don't need the security blanket of a thick layer of makeup. You can see me suffering a bit if you look closely at this picture:

Back In A Frock

But I survived.

And then it got hotter. Fortunately this coincided with a major dropping off in my desire to dress, so I didn't have to make the choice between not induging my tranny urges, or doing so and cooking for my sins. I know that in the UK there was a perceived drop-off in tranny activity in the Summer, due in part to holidays but also because it's not much fun when it's too hot. Well, girls, it's worse here, I can tell you.

But, Summer is nearly over, and this week saw me go out not once, but twice.

As the weather cooled the urge crept back, and I indulged it with a shopping trip into Wollongong. I'd been promising myself this for ages, partially because there's lots of clothes shops there (I'm so shallow) and partially because I'd promised the owners of two of them (both vintage/esoteric establishments) that they'd get to meet the feminine version of the beardy bloke who kept coming in and trying on their frocks and skirts.

I actually wore one of the skirts I'd bought in one of them, and the lady who runs the shop was thrilled. But it is a wonderful skirt. Have a look:

On The Beach - Closer To The Camera

And, yes, I had a walk on the beach as well. Not just a walk; I ran barefoot across the warm sand, allowing my skirt to fly out around me. I rejoiced in being alive and free to be me. And it felt wonderful.

But I gush. I'm sorry.

In terms of hard practicalities I came away from that outing with two more skirts and some jewellery, and a 100% pass on the Schoolgirl Test. Yes, at one stage I walked past a gaggle of teenage schoolgirls who either didn't notice me, or were so polite that they didn't call out anything. I know that neither thing would have happened in the UK; girls there have well-tuned tranny radar, and gobs like skips when it comes to letting you know they've spotted you. Apparently.

Three days later - yesterday, in fact - I was off out socialising again. Letty (my local tranny friend) organised a local get-together. This time it was the Sydney-siders who had to travel down to us. Letty and I were the only locals, and we had a couple from Canberra as well, but the aim was to show the girls that we know must be in Wollongong that there is some tranny activity here, and that they needn't be shy. We ate in a very public and busy Italian restaurant, with no bad experiences (and at least one nice one, when the waitress complimented me on my shoes), and then went to a local bar/club for the rest of the evening. A group of tall, blokey-looking girls turned a few heads there, but again there were no problems and we had a very pleasant evening drinking, talking and dancing. Here I am before we went out:

Wollongong Social

In trousers again, I hope you note. I was going to wear some different, tighter trousers, to show off my legs (tart!) but unfortunately they also showed off too much else in the ... nether regions. And no amount of tucking seemed to hide that problem. They are trousers for another day, and a much longer top :-)

So, that's me caught up with news for the last two months. There's another Sydney meal coming up in a couple of weeks (see above), and Mrs Rachel and I are considering popping back to the club we went to last night; entry was free if you got there earlyish, the drinks weren't too expensive and the clientele were of a wide age range, including old fogies like us.

It's also the first time that I've been clubbing as Rachel in a 'regular' club. Previous outings have always been to LGBT establishments. As I have said before, being a tranny is a series of 'firsts' sometimes.