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:
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 :-)