Well, I'm still in Australia. No surprise there. We moved house about nine months ago, but we're still in roughly the same area. In terms of Life As Rachel, I've done a few things, some of them new experiences.
I've been to two Mardi Gras Fairs (2010 and 2011); they were good fun, but very, very hot. My decision to switch back to wigs at the start of January 2010 was a good one, but makes dressing in the summer something of an endurance trial. The Fairs are probably the closest I've been to The Scene though. With my one local tranny friend effectively retired (although we see each other from time to time as guys), and no other local scene I was really looking to be part of the Sydney scene. But, frankly, Mrs Rachel and I found travelling there for evening meals was exhausting and just a little too expensive for us. I've chosen to concentrate my dressing on just going out and about as me in what we laughingly call The Real World.
So, I still take trips up to Sydney, mostly by train. But I do so just to enjoy the city - as a tourist or shopper. I still venture into Wollongong as well, from time to time, but am doing so less with Mrs Rachel. Whilst I am relatively open about being a crossdresser in my male life, it's not something we over-emphasise through our work, as many of our customers are not as trans-friendly as we'd like. Out on my own I am relatively OK, as people tend not to connect my scruffy bearded male self with the gorgeous tranny they might see walking around town. But if I have Mrs Rachel in tow then I may as well just wear a name-tag; if anyone sees her then it's not hard to work out who she is with.
What else? Well, I went to a non-tranny ball as Rachel in 2010, on the grounds that if it involved dressing up I wanted to do it as a gender that can really dress up. And I bought a new wig; my original one is starting to get past it and is now really just a costume prop for my male self's photos.
Oh, on my trips to Mardi Gras my children joined me. This was a big event for all of us, but they were really cool about it. I know that a few of their friends know their dad is a crossdresser, and two of them have met me as Rachel. The world didn't end. One of my daughter's friends surprised me a few days after he first met me by making me a pair of clip-on ear-rings. I was a little overwhelmed to be honest.
I have been out twice with non-tranny people. In both cases it was photographic expeditions to Sydney. And in both cases people were cool about being with me. In the first case it was with people many of whom knew me quite well as a guy. Indeed most of them were unaware that I used the name Rachel and, to be honest, I didn't bother with it during the day. They know me as a guy, and will continue to do so. So on the day I was the guy they knew. As a girl.
On the whole I dressing less than I used to. Life has got complex and busy, and finding time for Rachel whose expression, despite being something I need to do, is something of a luxury, isn't always easy. As ever, I do my best.
I'll finish with a few pictures to bring things up to date:
|On The Train To Sydney|
Mardi Gras 2010
|Coffee In Austinmer|
|At The Ball|
|Still Visiting The Beach|
|The Beach Again|
Around Sydney In Jeans And Boots
Hippy Chic In The Southern Highlands