You won’t meet a great friend sitting at home watching Midsommer Murders and taking selfies….trust me.

Adelaide is not a big place…and I make a LOT of noise both in male and female mode. In male mode I’m heavily involved in sporting circles, I come from a very large family (I have 4 children, 6 sisters and 3 brothers, plus their attendant spouses and nieces/nephews), and I have a few other pastimes that bring me into contact with a load of other people from all sorts of places.

Emma has a LOT of friends too. Many of these go back many years. My BFF Susan and I have been going out on the town in the real world here for more years than we care to remember together with lots of other local ladies who have oscillated through our lives at various points. We go out to mainstream hotels, nightclubs, restaurants, and other such places and very rarely go to so-called “tg friendly” places despite the fact that our hemlines are not age appropriate, we are show-off’s, and we are tall and very noisy. Once upon a time we used to run shows with 100+ girls from all over the place. Emma’s twin sister, Bubbles O’Tool (heiress to the K-Tel Record Selector fortune), also occasionally ventures out and about and she is very popular also with the punters. What’s this all got to do with anything you ask? Well I shall tell you…..:

I took just over 7 years off from our lifestyle for various reasons and returned a couple of years ago. I mean, once a girl always a girl right? Right. Initially I made some tentative enquiries around the place to just see if anyone even remembered me at all and, god bless, they all did. One of the first people I contacted was my dear friend Amanda as I was looking to re-activate my account on a website she moderates which I have always viewed as being “the last serious word” on what to do/wear/go with anything related to our lifestyle. After we had chatted for a while Amanda made a comment which stuck in my head and still does…she said that “a lot had changed”. A seemingly innocuous comment in a very broad conversation but a very true one for lots of different reasons.

I come from the days of what I now like to call “horse-drawn crossdressing”. I was no different to anyone else back in the 1980’s (it seems that long ago…almost like someone else’s life now) and conducted my little hobby strictly behind closed doors and completely oblivious to the fact there may be others like me. I thought I was the only one in the entire world who did this. I would somehow scrounge together some outfits, make some boobs with varying success out of stockings and bird seed, buy a wig from a costume shop on the pre-text of going to a fancy dress party, squeeze my feet into heels that were way too small, taught myself the rudiments of makeup application via trial and error and lounged and posed around home when I could. Different to most and through a curious series of events I started “dressing” publicly as a waitress to earn extra cash at some interesting private parties. A good friend of mine was doing it, thought I could do it also, and so off I went. I was playing sport at a reasonable level back then so I was pretty fit and lithe and ended up quite popular in those circles but they are tales for another day..

Somehow along the line, it’s that long ago I don’t remember, I heard there was a “special club” for people like me and after 20 or so aborted attempts of trying to get hold of someone I finally made contact with these other “women” and got invited to a meeting. Then I got invited to a house party. Then a tennis day. Then I got invited to something else, and so on. Eventually (quite quickly as it happens) I’d outgrown the “supportive” environment, found a group of people to catch up with on a regular basis that I got on well with, and I’ve never looked back. I would think my experience has similar elements to many but is at complete odds with others of you.

I really don’t have anything against the Seahorse and Carousel Clubs of this world but personally I found them stifling. There was, back then, a large focus on “protecting” newly emerging girls which in general is not necessary. One committee member in particular would bang on about secrecy and security so much that anyone who had previously been comfortable enough to attend a meeting left it completely paranoid and unlikely to attend another. The one (and only) Carousel Club meeting I attended was very much like that and the whole thing disappointing beyond belief. Although there were a few smartly turned out ladies present there were also a lot of jaw-dropping sights to behold as well. One particular “lady” sat there in the throng resplendent in a beige safari suit that was well past its use-by date and some form of road kill atop her head. If you’ve seen Jeffrey Tambour in the series Transparent then you’ve seen what I repeatedly saw that grim evening. I was dressed in a predominantly bright orange Go-Go outfit with white knee-high boots.Thankfully, one of the more with it girls whispered in my ear that a few of them were going to the pub afterwards and so my life in the real world began properly. You must find your own way of course and I’m hopeful that things have changed in these clubs since I went all those years ago. I know a bunch of girls who are associated via their membership of one of these groups who meet regularly for dinners who seem to have a great time so don’t take my word for it go and find out for yourself.

Now in my dotage I find myself in the 21st century amidst the world of social media. Facebook, for example, was just in its infancy when I took my gap years and at first glance it has been a boon for women of our persuasion. You can chit chat and make friends with cd’s from next door and across the world. You can join like-minded Groups and explore whatever you want to. You can order anything you like anonymously and have it delivered directly to your door. You can flirt with men, trade pics, have a general rant about how life is unfair, try and convince people that cancer can be fixed by sharing a post and “you know who will share this and who won’t”, post cute cat videos and a whole lot of other things but what I don’t see is much evidence of people just getting together in the real world. If anything, I think the easy accessibility of just having an online crossdressing life in the majority of cases has excused people from taking the plunge and stepping out into the big wide world. You can, instead, stay home on a Saturday night and doll yourself up and practice and practice until you get the perfect selfie which you can then post on your Facebook profile and wait for the adulation of loads of other crossdressers doing exactly the same thing.
For some, and experience has shown me over the years that it is actually a very small group, there is no other choice but to stick it out however tenuously in the online world – I get that. For most there is no real excuse other than the old chestnuts of “oh I could never pass” or “oh no what if I am recognised??”Both excuses are for the most part crap. 90% of us do not pass close scrutiny and in all the years I have been going out all over the place at all hours I have never, not once, been tumbled. I even lit my nephew’s cigarette one night at a club and he did not recognise me – because he wasn’t looking for me.

Thankfully though, Facebook and other places do publicise places you can go with, or to meet, other cd’s. Places that are welcoming and value the fact you’ve chosen them as a place to patronise. There are regular Groups in just about every state and territory having catch-ups in fun and more importantly safe environments where no one will judge you and where everyone has been where you are now. There are night spots where you can go by yourself and know that it will be full of girls just like you and you won’t be alone or stared at. Give it a go…you will wonder why you hadn’t done it years ago I guarantee it. You DON’T have to be loud and brassy – you can suit yourself as long as you are sincere.

So I guess the point of this was to say that even though it has never been easier in any point in history to contact other people just like you, to me it seems a much lonelier place than it was for people like me and Amanda back in the day. I was so starved of cd companionship when I was a younger woman I couldn’t wait to meet others in real life and it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders when I did. Everyone I know has felt the same.

There is one other thing that scares me more though in the modern world than 100’s of cd’s sitting at home on a Saturday night to be honest – have you noticed? There are NO young ones coming up to replace us when we depart to that big wardrobe in the sky………


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