Thursday, March 26, 2009

Fears ….. & Baby Steps - Part 1

Obviously many of us have fears about going out dressed up for the first time. Fears of people seeing us for the first time, fears of people making fun of us, fears of people recognizing us.

When we do start to go out every step is a challenge. Our fears include going out in public for the first time, going out during day light for the first time, leaving your own house, going someplace that isn’t labeled as “cross dresser friendly”, and the list goes on and on.

Even many of the things that we do on a frequent basis in our daily lives - stopping for gas, going to the grocery store, etc. - become major obstacles while we are in our feminine personality.

Jenna has went out in public a lot over the course of the past 2 - 3 years, but I still run into new experiences all of the time that make me “worry” about how it will go. Last weekend I went downtown Charlotte for the first time. I went with a group of friends to a crowded bar on a Friday night. I was worried about how many people there would be, worried about being downtown in general, and worried about being someplace where there were large groups of males drinking. I had a wonderful evening and overall it was a great experience.

Maybe our fears will never totally go away (after all, we are a minority, one that most people have no experience with), but we can break down our fears and take baby steps to overcome them!

Many of us get into our cars at some point, usually at night, and “just drive”. We feel like we are out in public. We can use this activity as a foundation. If your currently one of “us” that wants to make the jump into going out, but have many of these fears, I’d like to offer some baby steps that I took to help you overcome your fears.

The next time that you go for one of your “nightly drives” make a point of stopping at a gas station. It is the smallest step that I can think of and it was a great first step for me. If you go late at night there most likely won’t be to many people there and you don’t have to have any interaction with others, since you can pay with your credit card at the pump, but you do have to force yourself to get out of the car for that 3-5 minutes.

Once you feel comfortable with the gas station you can move onto other places late at night. After the gas station I progressed to the drug store (shopping for makeup) and the grocery store (just watch out for floors .. they are super slippery in the heels!). You don’t have to stay at these places very long, but they do make you at least interact with people to some degree.

About a month ago I was sharing these baby steps with one of my online friends. She works out of town during the week and spends many of her nights dressed up in her hotel room. A few days later I got an email from her asking me to check out her new pictures on her Myspace page. She had decided to take a very big babystep - she had taken pictures of her pumping gas!

We can all overcome out fears. We just need to take them one baby step at a time! Have fun … and be safe!


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Interview .....


Several weeks ago I came across an email that was sent to a local CD organization here in Charlotte. The email was written by three graduate students at a local university who were taking a class on basic human sexuality. They had a small group project to work on and they had chosen to study cross dressing and its effects on marriages and families. Their goal was to provide their classmates with correct information about cross dressing so that, as future therapists, they would be informed and could provide ethical and professional services. They emailed the local CD group in hopes of meeting cross dressers and their wives to talk about any challenges they face as couples.

After reading the email, I immediately forwarded it to my wife. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure if she would be exited about this type of thing. Turns out she was very excited about participating. I spoke with several of my friends about it. They all seemed very excited and thought that it was a great opportunity for my wife and I. After several emails back and forth (plus a couple to our babysitter) we agreed upon a date and time to met with them to be interviewed ( Friday evening at 6 PM).

I was exited about being interviewed, until about 2-3 PM that day. All of a sudden I became extremely nervous. I hadn’t felt that nervous for a “Jenna related activity” since I first started meeting people. All of my friends told me not to worry about it. They were just going to ask questions, questions that I had heard before. They also pointed out that I like to talk! I guess I was just nervous because it was something different and I didn’t know what to expect.

We arrived at the interview and within five minutes all of my nervousness went away. The three graduate students were very nice and genuinely seemed interested in the topic and what we had to say. It wasn’t so much an interview as just a conversation. They did have some specific questions, but for the most part it was just free forming conversation with my wife and I talking (for two hours!).

My wife was outstanding. She mainly wanted to participate because she liked the idea of being able to help other CD couples and the fact that it may help future therapists, but I also think she wanted to do it because it sounded fun.

After the interview was over, we headed to a local restaurant and sat at the bar and continued to talk over appetizers and a few drinks. Overall we had a wonderful time and it was a very enjoyable experience.

They are supposed to email us a copy of their findings / presentation when its completed. I will keep everyone updated as I find out more.


A Decision to Help .....


My name is Jenna Taylor. I’m a happily married 38 yr old cross dresser (CD) in Charlotte NC. I’ve been married to my wife for just over 15 years and we have two wonderful daughters - ages 6 and 9.

I’ve been a CD since I was around 10 years old. Until I was 35 years old I was totally fine with hiding that side of myself. I never felt guilty; I never purged my stuff, it was just part of who I was.

When I was 35, something clicked in my brain that told me it was time to explore the feminine side of me. I wanted to start meeting people. I wanted to start going out. Jenna was born.

I told my wife and at first, she was shocked. Both that I was a CD and that I had hid it from her for so long. After a few days of processing, she became very supportive. We have worked out a system that works for us. It’s probably different than what works for most CD’s and their spouses, but it works for us.

My wife has no desire to ever see Jenna. I’m fine with that. I told her because I didn’t want to have to sneak behind her back to meet people, go out, etc. I also knew that at some point that she would find out.

My wife is fine with talking about Jenna related issues if I need to talk. She has no problems with me having CD friends, GG (genetic girls) friends, etc. She has met several of Jenna’s friends. In return, I always make sure that she knows who I’m going out with and where we are heading.

Over the course of the last 2.5 years I have made some wonderful friends. I have chatted with lots of people online. I hear it a lot that I am easy to talk with and that people feel comfortable talking with me because I am so open.

Over the past 2.5 years, several times I have thought that maybe Jenna was supposed to help people. That’s not a feeling that my guy side has ever felt. I have been wondering the past 2-3 weeks, that maybe this is my “calling” in life. My guy side has never felt a calling in life. Work is work... I go … I get paid... I come home. I’ve been wondering if either I missed the calling because I was looking in the wrong place (i.e. the wrong side of me) … or maybe … I hadn’t discovered my calling yet because I wasn’t ready for it .. and now I am (thanks RKM!).

I’m not sure yet what my calling may be, but I’ve decided to start writing a weekly CD Column which I’ve entitled “The Life of a Happily Married Cross Dresser - A roller Coaster of Emotions”. The purpose of the column isn’t to offer advice - I’d just like to share my experiences. (things that helped me get over my fears of going out, challenges that my wife and I have experienced and how we overcame them, etc).

I hope that you will find this column beneficial. Please feel free to send me any comments, feedback, etc that would make this more helpful!

Thanks... and catch you soon!
Jenna Taylor