Well I’ve done it. Walked along a street with actual people on it while presenting as female. What a feeling – less exhilaration, more liberation. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
In my last blog post I wrote about my experiences at the Belfast Butterfly Club’s “Open Meeting” last week, at the end of which I joined the club. Well last night was the first chance I had to go to a “proper” club meeting since joining and I was very glad that I did. An opportunity to get fully prepared at home had presented itself with daughter no1 being away on a 2-day residential course with school, so with daughter no2 much easier to sneak around I decided to go to the club already dressed. Now I’m not brave or foolish enough to walk out my own front door fully transformed and announce my trans status to the entire street, but I did have on a full face of make-up and my dress folded up underneath my jumper as I went out the back door, got into the car and drove off. The driving off actually proved to be the scariest moment of the night, as my next door neighbour had chosen just that moment to take the dog for a walk. I then had to drive past him as he waved at me. Or at least according to my wife he waved at me, I was too busy looking at something incredibly important in the other direction and feigned not to have noticed him.
I parked up in a quiet lay-by, removed my trousers and jumper, pulled down the dress, put on the wig, inserted the breast forms and swapped my male shoes for female ones – it’s ok, they had very low heels so still safe to drive in them. I then emerged from my car so I could put on my coat – strictly speaking my first time outdoors en femme, but there was nobody around so it doesn’t really count – then loaded the male clothing into a holdall and threw it into the boot of the car. I then drove the approximately 20 miles to the club premises fully Kirstified. And it was upon arriving at the venue that the fun really began…
The location of the Butterfly Club’s premises is secret, and I intend to keep it that way. So without being too descriptive, it’s in a residential street just one row back from a main road, right next to a youth club. I parked my car about 50 yards away from the venue, not very far in reality but a world away to me. This was a momentous thing I was about to do (in my own highly subjective way) so I decided to note the occasion with a little post on the Angels forum. At least, that’s how I’m rationalising it now. I think I was really just delaying taking the plunge and stepping out into the open. But step out into the open I did, and at 8.40pm on Wednesday 26th March 2014 Kirsty met the world for the first time. The world barely noticed. There were a couple of people on the pavement that I walked past without a look. Several more people were emerging from the youth club, including a couple of teenage boys. Again, I walked straight past them without a care in the world. At least I hope that’s how it appeared. I found my way to the door and knocked.
Linda came and let me in. The club premises are small but cosy, consisting of a locker room, a bathroom-cum-changing-room, and a reasonably large living room area with settees, armchairs and a small kitchen area. Oh, and mirrors. Lots of mirrors. We like to look at ourselves. I was introduced to Michelle and Jane, and then later to Andrea who arrived shortly after me. Numbers were a little lower than usual, apparently, but it mattered little to me. I had a great chat with everyone, they were all incredibly nice, friendly and supportive. I don’t really want to get into any more detail about individuals as it would start to feel like I was reviewing people’s personalities, which would obviously be inappropriate, but suffice to say I felt like I belonged very quickly.
We sat chatting about all sorts, family backgrounds, how long we have been dressing, what we think our individual “styles” are, what Bob Dylan’s best album is (ok that one was a bit out of left field but you can’t beat a bit of Bob. I think it’s Highway 61 Revisited incidentally). I felt I had new friends. It’s a strange feeling for me. As a man I find it very difficult to make new male friends. To the extent that those friends that I do have are almost exclusively people I have known for 20 years or more. To sit down with 4 new people, and by the end of the night feeling like I had made friends was a new experience. It’s like when I’m Kirsty I don’t have to worry about dropping my guard, because Kirsty is me with my guard already dropped. I don’t have to worry about failing to live up the expectations of what other men expect a man to be, because I’m not a man any more and can be myself without fear of being caught out.
All too soon the clock drifted towards 11pm and although I could have happily stayed longer, I knew I needed to get to bed to avoid being a zombie at work the next day. I wrapped my scarf around my neck, and as I stood up to put on my coat and hat, one of the other girls (either Michelle or Andrea but I can’t remember which one!) looked at me and said “You would pass so easily”. I think this may have been the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me and I wish I could remember who said it. I don’t believe her though.
Andrea and I left together, back out into the big wide world again still fully feminised and feeling wonderful (well I felt wonderful anyway, I can’t speak for her). We stood in the street chatting for several minutes more, and the fact that I was presenting a completely feminine image to the world was barely on my mind. It was just the most natural thing in the world to be out in the open like that, having a girly chat. Then it really was time to go, a little hug goodbye (something I would never do as Bob in a million years, far too uptight) and then in the car back home via that same lay-by to reverse the process from earlier on.
It might have been just five people in a room, but it was yet another remarkable experience for me in these last couple of months which have been so full of remarkable experiences. I didn’t consciously do it, but I know that I behaved in a way that I never could as a man. I think I behaved in a manner fitting to the image I was presenting to the world, and more importantly, fitting to the person I am inside, whatever gender that person may be. Can’t wait till next week.