Where I stand in the TG Spectrum -
By Ana Cristina García
This time I would like to talk about how I feel when dressed as a woman. It is difficult to explain such an oddity because I am a masculine man who leads a fulfilling life both in terms of family and work and who has no problems dealing with what life has dealt me. For all that I am thankful to God because I know this is not the case of too many people. However, once I am wearing makeup, wig, padding and feminine clothes, I do my best to behave as feminine as possible. It does not come naturally even though, once transformed, it has become second nature over the years. As a matter of fact, only when dressed I am able to act “feminine” and nobody has ever mentioned that, as a man, I show signs of effeminate conduct or manierisms. I have always said that it is as if I were an actor who specializes in one character and that is playing a female named Cristy. As such, I have found a look with which I am comfortable and rarely experiment with other looks. By the same token, Cristy has the same values as my male persona and acts accordingly. The role is played exclusively within the social environment and I have no desire or need to extend it to what is sexually expected from a woman. Why not? Well, because I am not a woman. Putting gender aside, for a moment, I am a person who is and will always be loyal and faithful to the spouse. On top of that, I am, as defined from the beginning of my ramblings, heterosexual and therefore only attracted to genetic women. Why? Because I am a man and this is how I have felt all my life.
What is then what I find exciting about transforming myself into Cristy? First of all, as all heterosexual CDs, I need to do it even if I can’t totally explain why. Then, it is all about the clothes, looking the part and playing the role. Yes, I really like wearing women’s clothes, shoes and accessories. It gives me a sense of removal from reality that puts me in a state of relaxation that no other thing provides. It is not only the feeling while dressed but also that, after I go back to my natural male mode, the state of relaxation continues and I am able to deal with life with recharged energy. My wife often tells me that she envies how I have this way of momentarily escaping reality and I consider myself lucky for having it. I don’t think that a round of golf or any other hobby would provide that same relief from tension that I get from becoming Cristy. Many would argue that if that makes me feel so good then why not be like that all the time? I did have some periods in my life when I thought that being Cristy all the time was what I needed but it did not take much for me to realize that was not the case. I will not go into details but let me tell you that I have no regrets about being where I am today. Lately, that I have spent a whole week as Cristy, each year, by the end of the week I am exhausted and even fed up of all the preparations and work it takes to look like a woman. At moments, I even get tired of using my feminine voice and playing the role. But I am digressing…
… Getting back in topic, as a perfectionist in all things I do, I have invested some time studying how women dress and behave. If you want to look and play the part, then you have to learn from the masters and who would be better than the real thing? After all it is them who we are trying to emulate. This is why, when asked for advice by fellow CDers, I tell them that they should observe genetic women and not necessarily other TGirls. Granted that we can learn tricks of the trade from TGirls but when it comes to behavior, ways of talking and how to wear clothes, nothing beats those who have lived all their lives as women. Women, and I will include here all of the male to female TS who have assumed their real gender, do not wear high heels all the time, do not wear a lot of makeup most of the time, prefer comfortable clothes than sexy clothes and when they dress up, they do it for themselves or to show off with other women and not really to attract or impress men. This last idea is what makes all or at least most of us, at one point in our cross-dressing life, to wear clothes that we, as men, think are sexy and is how women should look. How many women do you see at the mall, at work or in any other social activity, besides nightclubs, wearing short and tight dresses, nylons and very high heels? I outgrew my slutty stage in my teens and have never looked back. However, many colleagues seem to enjoy this phase so much and continue to believe that this is how real women look that they never abandon it or change it for a more “normal” look. I will argue that this is the type of heterosexual CD who tends to confuse the attraction for the illusion with attraction for the person dressed in such type of attire. They are also the ones who also seek attention from men and it is understandable since they dress as the women they find provocative and sexy. I have digressed again…
… Back on topic one more time. I have studied, consciously or unconsciously, feminine deportment all my life and have been able to identify what is doable and what not especially after trying it at leas once. I wish I could control and let my wrists and ankles go loose and flexible as is the case for most women but no matter how hard I try, there is a limit beyond which my articulations would break. However, there are other things that can be done and I store them in memory for when they come handy. This behavior does not come naturally and I have to force myself to do it even though, as I mentioned, sort of becomes second nature to me when dressed. Every time I see a woman who I perceive as very feminine, I pay attention to how she moves and talks and also analyze the way she is dressed and how she wears the clothes, which is not the same. Over the years, while driving alone, I would tune the radio to talk shows with female hosts and tried to repeat each phrase they said paying attention to the tone and inflection they used to stress certain parts of the phrase. That helped me a great deal in achieving an acceptable feminine voice that has been essential for completing the illusion. In conclusion, it is by studying women around me or on TV and movies, how I have developed a character named Cristy García and play her when I get the chance. It is no longer about being able to play her often but rather about playing her well each chance I get. I prefer to wait for the right opportunity and not force a chance just because I feel like it. This has been the hardest thing to learn and control in managing my life as a heterosexual CD. It has been years since I last felt anxious to dress to the point that it would alter my temper or make me feel miserable. I have even passed, not once but many times, an opportunity to be Cristy just because I was not in the mood. Planets aligned, all prepared and ready but I was not in the mood so I did something else even though I did not know when there would be another chance. This is a hobby we have to enjoy and to enjoy it completely we must be in the right state of mind. Easier said than done, I know, but once you reach that point, you find yourself not only enjoying more the chances you get but also feeling cool when you can’t dress or in-between dressing opportunities.
Do I feel or think like a woman when playing Cristy? The answer is a definite NO. I am always aware that I am a man playing a feminine role and must focus in playing it the best I can. After all, I could never know how do women feel or think because I am not one. If feeling like a woman means the sensation of the breeze blow my skirt or wig, the sensation of having your feet inclined by heeled shoes and knowing how to walk in them or the way one must hold things or type with long finger nails; then yes I feel like a woman. I will argue that this is not what makes a woman a feel like woman. As a matter of fact, those sensations that we enjoy so much while dressed are so trivial to women that they don’t even notice them. If thinking like a woman means knowing about feminine fashion, knowing how to put makeup on, using words that only women use or being caring about others; then yes, I think like a woman but, again, I argue that this is not what means women thinking differently from men.
I will argue that there are more things in common than differences in the way men and women perceive things and react accordingly. Yes, it has been demonstrated, over and over again, that there are distinctive differences between the male and female brain but in essence we are all human beings and in most cases we will think and react as human beings and not as male or female. Having said that, there are some specific characteristics attributed to humans based on gender. I will not invest time on listing which are typically male and which female but will give you a very specific example regarding one of the most recognized differences between men and women. It is a generally accepted fact that women are capable of handling several tasks at a time and perform them successfully while men can manage just one task at a time if it is to be completed with success. I am no exception to that rule and have always been able to do just one thing at a time. I have heard, countless times, fellow cross-dressers say “When I become - insert feminine name – I feel like a woman and think like a woman”. If this happened to be true then we should be able to handle several tasks at a time while in our feminine persona. I don’t know about you but that is not my case. I might be dressed to the nines and look and feel awesome and yet I can only do one thing at a time and it is always the same thing. That one and only thing that I am able to do well, while being Cristy is… …playing the role of Cristy. My mind becomes busy making my male body and instinct move and behave, as close as possible, as a woman my age would. Yes, I can walk, eat, breathe and chew gum while dressed but, aside from breathing, I have to remind myself to walk, eat and chew gum in a feminine manner. I call this process “piloting Cristy”. My proven male brain spends at least 80% of its neurons and electric impulses in playing the role that matches my current appearance. Hence, I tend to be clumsy; I am a lot less receptive, attentive and perceptive and I invariably misplace things, all of which usually do not happen when I am my usual self (a man). I do not acquire feminine intuition by becoming Cristy, either. I am as unperceptive as Cristy as I am as my male self. Let me remind you that I am talking from the heterosexual CD point of view and have no idea if this is different for male to female transsexuals, for instance. This is just one case of many I could present and many of you might disagree with me and that is ok. I will just say that, as it occurs with cisgendered people, there will be some CDs that will be more feminine and others more masculine than others. By the way, if being cisgendered means that your identity matches your birth gender, then I am cisgendered with a little twist.
If you ask me what I would consider as feelings or thoughts that are exclusive to women, I would say that maybe only that maternal instinct that makes them wish and think about giving life to another human being. Being attracted to men is another but we know that it has never been exclusive to women even if it is the norm. I have never wished I had a womb that would enable me to conceive a baby nor have I ever been attracted to another man. I have wished to be able to have a feminine body but only for short periods of time so that I did not need to tuck or wear padding and for clothes to fit me nicely. If anyone comes up with that proverbial pill that will turn an ugly old man into a young and shapely woman for a couple of hours, please put me in the waiting list both for stocks and as a regular customer. Oh, and there is no need for a vagina as long as it is perfectly flat down there. No side effects would also be desirable.
I have rambled quite a bit and all can be summed up in one idea: When I dress as a woman and play the role of Cristy, I do not feel or think like a woman; I do not become a woman. In other words, I am a male playing the social role of a woman by assuming a feminine appearance and emulating feminine manierisms. To me, it is an art of feminine illusion; not in the way a female impersonator would perform it for entertainment purposes but rather in a recreational sort of way. Does that mean that heterosexual cross-dressers could also be called “recreational cross-dressers”? Does it make it sound like a sport? Maybe not but it certainly can be a hobby; a hobby that most people don’t understand but many enjoy practicing.