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With the big confession behind me and in a very positive frame of mind I set out with a combination of eBay, Amazon and iPad to make a few orders.  Actually, make that a ridiculous number of orders.  It was the pent-up demand of female me having been unable to shop for what I really wanted before, but still having looked admiringly at all that could be available to me and made a mental shopping list.  The advent of internet shopping has of course made this much easier for nervous girls like me, although the downside is you don’t get to try before you buy.  Still, most retailers offered a sensible enough returns policy so I really just got stuck in and began to build the wardrobe I wanted. (N.B.  I didn’t literally “build a wardrobe”, that would be silly, I just bought some stuff)

So I ordered (pause for deep breath); 2 dresses, 2 pairs of shoes, breast forms (DD, which I now slightly regret, they are a tad big although not comically so), waist cincher, bum and hip enhancing padded panties, high gloss tights, diamond patterned tights, and a medium length blonde wig.  And a wig cap.  And 2 bras (1 white and 1 black).  And some body adhesive to hold the breast forms in place.

And then I thought, “accessorise, dear!” and I ordered a diamante bracelet, a silver bangle, a heart-shaped diamante choker (a big shout out to the lovely Penny at Twirly Trinkets who makes all her items to order by hand and is the nicest friendliest e-tailer I have ever come across), 2 pairs of clip-on earrings (1 dangly, 1 hoop) from The Clip-On Shop and a little blingy stretchy ring that snagged on my tights and cut off the circulation in my finger and won’t be worn again.

And then to complete my planned transformation, I needed make-up and lots of it.  After a combination of advice from my wife, who’s not a big make-up wearer and would admit herself that she’s no expert, and watching a lot of YouTube instruction videos, I ordered (pause for another deep breath);  foundation, concealer, blush, powder, lipstick, lip liner, lip gloss, eye shadow trio, eyeliner, eyebrow pencil, mascara and some dark pink nail varnish.  And some nail varnish remover and eye make up remover.  My wife then pointed out that I hadn’t bought any remover for the rest of the make-up, so she got me some wipes for that too.

I did put a lot of thought into what make-up I was going to buy.  This was my first go at it and first impressions count, particularly when the audience is myself.  What I wanted to avoid at all costs was looking like an over-made-up drag queen.  In fact, I would say that that would be my nightmare.  I really didn’t know how I was going to look when I put all this stuff together, but I had a real fear that I would either look like a completely unfeminine bloke in a dress, or else like some awful cartoon tranny, Danny La Rue crossed with Barbara Cartland.  So I planned and I planned and I planned.  And then I clicked on “Buy”.

All this ordering was done in the day or two after I came out to my wife, and she was well aware that there were going to be “quite a few” items dropping through the letterbox in the week to come.  I still had to make sure that the kids didn’t see what I had been ordering, but since all four of us arrive home together from work and after school club, and neither of them have a door key (and daughter no2 is too small to reach the keyhole) it was easy enough to get through the front door first, check for deliveries and hide anything inappropriate from them.  So slowly, and then not so slowly, all my female apparel began to arrive.  The postman must have bloody hated me for about a fortnight!

I reckoned that everything I had ordered should arrive within a couple of weeks as nothing was coming from outside the UK, so I gave myself a date to look forward to.  Friday 7th February.  I booked a day’s leave from work and knew that this would be the day when I got to properly be female me for the first time.  I was stupidly excited at the prospect.  OK, I was going to be by myself so not exactly a public debut, but I was hardly going to show myself to anyone without first getting some practice in to make sure I didn’t look like Lily Savage.

By the end of January I had taken a razor to my torso and my formerly hairy chest had been shaved clean along with my shoulders.  It didn’t half feel odd for the first week or so but I like it now.  I can actually feel my clothes against my skin for the first time in about 25 years!  My leg hair has always been both fair and fairly scarce, so I left the leg hair untouched for the time being.  Back hair is a bigger problem as I can neither see nor reach it very well, but since neither of the dresses I had ordered had an open back, I could safely ignore that for now.  As I was due for a haircut anyway, I also made sure to get my barber to give my eyebrows a trim in order to avoid the Denis Healey look.

As the various items of clothing arrived, I would sneak into the bathroom, lock the door and try them on.  Incredibly, everything fitted pretty well with one notable exception – the bras.  I had made the schoolboy error (schoolgirl error?) of ordering a chest size to match my male chest size but as I soon learned bras don’t work like that.  They were too big by about 4 inches.  Undeterred, I just had to make do by putting them on the tightest catch, shortening the straps and hoping that the body adhesive for the breast forms did its job well.  I also ordered more, smaller bras, but too late for my “dressing day”.

All my orders (bar the smaller bras) had arrived by the Saturday before my big day, so all that was left to do was wait.  Well, there was one other thing.  The woman inside me was as yet unnamed, which would never do.  I only had to think about it for a fraction of a second.  I had always liked the name Kirsty, but when it came to naming our daughters it just never seemed appropriate.  I think I may have been subconsciously saving it for myself.  So Kirsty was named, if not quite born yet.

In my next blog post I will write about what happened on my “dressing day” and how it has affected me in unexpected and profound ways.  And there will be pictures!

I am also very much aware that I haven’t really begun to deal with why I think I am the way that I am, and while the truth is that I just don’t know, I do have a few theories.  But the fact is, I’m still trying to understand what “the way that I am” actually is as it seems to change with alarming frequency recently.  But then I suppose understanding that is a big part of the purpose of this blog.