Tag Archive | Appearance

Still about my hair.

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Sans wig. Looking rather blah.

I bought a new wig. Two of them, as a matter of fact. Should come in on Wednesday. I can’t wait! I want to wear them now! Chop chop!

My current wig has had it. It looks great in photos, but up close, it’s pretty ratty looking, especially in the back. No amount of conditioner or brushing is fixing the issue. I’m growing my hair out, but it’s not where I want it, yet. It’s getting there, but not yet. It’s so effing frustrating.

Gyahhh!

So for the time being, I bought a couple of wigs that should last me until my hair grows in. I’ve considering it for a few weeks now, but I had been hoping to last, but my last excursion into the world without made me change my mind.

As I’ve stated a few times before, I’m considering extensions as well, but I’m not there yet, either. Maybe I’m not ready to venture there quite yet. I don’t know, really. I should probably start to at least go looking at them, see how much they’re selling for, see if I want to pay that amount.

Thus far, I haven’t paid all that much for my wigs, which I’m sure has been part of my problem. If you go cheap, you’ll regret it, and I have. I’m going cheap once more, but I’m hoping for the last time. I’ll pony up a little more for extensions. Maybe. I’m such a tightwad when it comes to stuff. Then I’ll spend an ungodly amount buying something here and there, and end up spending more money that I had intended. Silly me.

So what advice do you have for me? Are extensions the way to go? Does anyone have any experience with them? My hair is getting pretty long, so maybe it isn’t a stretch to think about it. Let me know what you think!

Also, email me at tgstef@stefanilara.com

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Isn’t this better? ~Stef~

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Wig, wig, wig, hair!

20160522_204647I recently decided to start growing out my hair. I say recently, though the truth is that it’s been growing for a few months now. I hate having the wear a wig. It feels unnatural and I fell that the upkeep is next to impossible. Maybe what I should do is spring for a high-quality, human hair wig, but I don’t have that kind of money.

I grew out my hair in college, back in the mid-nineties. When I say I grew it out, I mean just that. I wore it long, all the way to the middle of my back, for almost ten years. I did chop it off once, around 2000, but I grew it back out. Long hair was just part of who I was. It felt right.

But when I was about 28, I decided to cut it off for good. When I say I cut it, what I mean to say is that I shaved it off. Nothing left. I had been wanting to cut it for a while, but it took several drinks, to the point of being quite inebriated, to give my the courage to make that drastic a change. I kept it like that for several years, until after I got married, then I started wearing it in a spike, which lasted another few years.

Then I grew it out. Not long, like I’m doing now, but decently trimmed, short, but not buzzed. I always missed my long hair, but I was a grown up, trying to make a living, trying to look somewhat professional. Now, I don’t care so much. I want to look professional, sure, but I can do that with my hair long. I’m not planning on becoming a businessperson, working my way into the corporate drudgery.

I’m not sure if growing my hair will work. I’ve hit middle age, and though I have a full set of hair, it is receding. If it gets too bad, wigs will be my only option. We’ll see. I just know that I would prefer my actual hair. There’s a lot I can do with it long, say shoulder-length. I’m limited to the style my wig comes in. I can buy different wigs, but that takes up room. I don’t have any to spare.

It’s getting to to the point where I can start wearing hair extensions, which I better than a full wig. I’m doing some research on it. My cousin was the one who suggested it in the first place. I want to ask her to help me, but that may be a while before that happens. We’ll see.

 

And yet another

20160824_150210It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. I’m still alive, though extremely exhausted. Work has been brutal these past two weeks, and I don’t see it letting up anytime soon. I could use some time off. I should look into scheduling a vacation.

Things on the Stefani front is still about the same. I did bring someone else into the fold, my cousin. It began when she brought up a guy we went to school with, someone I always wondered if he was transgendered. There was something about him that made me suspect that he was.

That conversation led me to disclose my own gender identity, though I was nervous to do so. I opened myself up to her, and we ended up talking until after midnight. She was surprised by supportive. I showed her a picture, and she was amazed that I didn’t come across a some drag queen. I took that as a compliment.

Earlier, I had wondered out loud whether I should grow my hair back out, and she pieced it together, that my desire to grow my hair was an extension of my gender identity, and my loathing for wigs. She then made the suggestion that I should try to use extensions instead.

We talked clothing, makeup, and other girl things, which I found quite strange, but oddly satisfying. I could drop all pretenses and be me. It was great. I felt free, happy that at least I have an ally in the family. She did agree with me that my parents would never accept me, nor would my sister, but that’s a longer conversation.

What I hate is that I don’t have ample time to me Stef, only the occasional stolen moments. A friend asked me if I intended to transition, and all I could say is that I didn’t know. I’ve maintained that I had no intentions to do so, but this pull is getting stronger, and though I’m unwilling at the moment to say that I will do so, I have to concede that it is a possibility.

I don’t have to make up my mind yet. I can still dress when I have the chance. It’s the best I can do, and it’s fine for the time being. I have found some measure of peace whenever I do get to dress. I have found happiness, though only for brief moments of time.

Pictures

2016-07-08I haven’t taken as many pictures of myself as I used to. Isn’t that odd? Maybe it isn’t. My friend thought I was being a little conceited every time I got dressed up, and I would take several pictures of myself, admiring the transformation from drab to glam. It was intoxicating! I wanted to document this change to prove to myself that I really did look that good.

Okay, that’s coming out a little conceited.

I don’t think I’m alone. On all the blogs I follows, forums I visit, social media sites where others like me post, I see countless examples of other crossdressers posting pictures of themselves, seeking validation that maybe they kind of pass. I know I’m guilty of that. I’m also guilty of enjoying the compliments I receive.

Lately, however, I have not taken as many pictures. I click a couple, but I don’t sit and pose, trying to find the best picture. I don’t dress to validate myself. I dress because it feels right. I dress to be me, and that’s enough.

So there aren’t as many pictures of me to post. I don’t feel the need to document every time I put on a dress. I’m able to enjoy my time now, sit back, and glory in my femininity. It’s nice. I still enjoy being complimented, so I suppose I’m not going to stop taking pictures all together. I mean, years from now, I’m going to want to see what I looked like. I owe it to myself, after all. I’m just a little more discerning.

Reintroductions

IMG_20160603_210251I’m about set to take another road trip down to visit a friend of mine next weekend. I can’t wait. I’m working to get my car ready as my air condition decided it no longer needed to work. I think I’ve located the leak, I’ve ordered the part, and I’m hoping it arrives before I leave. The Texas heat has begun to settle in, and I’m not looking forward to making that drive sans air conditioning.

I’m also looking forward to it because I’m planning on making the drive as Stefani. I did it last time, back in March, but I pulled over before I got to her house, changed back into boy mode, so that her husband wouldn’t see me. He doesn’t know, and as macho, right-wing man, anyone that doesn’t subscribe to traditional gender roles is to be ridiculed.

So I’m leaving early Friday morning, around five in the morning, and I asked my friend to be off that day. I want to introduce Stefani to her, even though she already knows. I send the occasional photo, but she hasn’t seen me dressed yet. At least not since 2000. I can’t believe it’ been that long.

She was the first person, back in ’97, that met Stefani. In fact, she’s the one that asked if I had a name. Back then, I dressed in secret, and though I came out to a friend even before then, it was still more of a fetish thing, one that filled me with shame and regret.

I came out to her as a joke. We worked at the same place, a Burger King on campus of the university we were attending. I kind of fell in love with her, which is strange to say now as she is my best friend. Then, I didn’t know her, but I thought she was cute, and we had that awkward banter that two people who are into each other fall into.

I would joke how I probably looked better in a dress than she did, as I recall. She laughed, but then she called my bluff. She told me where she lived and invited me over. To my everlasting surprise, I went over. I’m not sure if I actually put no a dress on that occasion, but I eventually did. I remember her pulling out a short, black dress. That I could have put it on is nothing short of amazing, considering how thin she was back in those days. Come to think of it, I was a lot thinner, too. Ugh, I feel fat!

Back to my story. She’s the one who helped me accept myself for who I was. She exhorted me to stop feeling guilty and to embrace the woman within. She taught me how to dress, showed me who to do make up, and encouraged me to leave the house, which I did. We went our during the day, me in short shorts with hose, and a sleeveless blouse. I totally rocked the look back then. It helped that I actually wore my hair long back then. We even went to Lubbock once and shopped around, if I recall correctly.

A lot can change in over the years. I’m no longer a thin wraith, and I don’t pass as well as I did back then. We dated for a while, broke up, but remained friends. She married, and I did as well, before divorcing five years later. The only constant is our friendship. And though I hid Stefani away for years, she never wavered in her acceptance of a person I tried to deny.

So here I am, ready to reintroduce myself to the woman who helped create my identity all those years ago. I can’t wait to make that drive, to step out of that car, and have her see me again.

What do you guys think?

I told you guys about my new wig in my last post, but I hadn’t had a chance to try it on until late last week. Then it occurred to me that I hadn’t posted any pictures of my new do. What do you guys think?

I know I love it. It feels better and fits better, and I’m no longer getting tangled at the dinner table, lol. I can’t wait to have a chance to go out in public. I’m hoping to get that chance in March. We’ll see what happens.

 

XOXO
~Stefani~

The transformation

stefThe ritual begins with a quick shower. Depending on what I plan to wear, I may shave my legs, or I may decide against it, but I usually do. Even if I’m just wearing jeans, I like the feel of pantyhose on freshly shaven legs. And yes, I usually wear pantyhose, even in jeans. I love the way they feel.

After I’m out of the shower, I’ll go into the bedroom and start to dress. I try to avoid looking at myself in the mirror at this point because all I see is a middle-aged man staring back at me. Once I’m finished dressing, I’ll put on my shoes and then head to the mirror to do my make up. I have no choice but to look at myself at this point.

Looking into the mirror, I’m confronted with ridiculousness of the sight. I’m 39, clean shaven, and after almost fifteen years, I feel naked without my goatee. I steel myself and prep my face and then begin my ritual. I like to present a natural appearance, so my make-up is minimal yet necessary. I apply concealer to my beard area that doesn’t quite hide everything, but I’m still searching for the right products that work with my face.

I pat my foundation on, followed by my powder. Next I being working on my eyes. I’m using liquid eye-liner at the moment, and it’s interesting to use, but I still haven’t quite mastered the technique. I fumble forward and apply my eye shadow, followed by mascara. Once done, I brush on some blush, apply a second layer of powder to set everything in, and finally I’ll do my lips.

I glance into the mirror to see my handiwork, and I feel silly. I’m the clown in my own private hell. I close my eyes before I turn to walk away. I glance at the full-length mirror and catch the middle-aged creep staring back at me, looking like the laughing stock I feel at that moment.

I slip on my wig cap, followed by my wig, and the man disappears. It’s at that moment that I emerge, no longer silly, no longer ridiculous, but a woman as I feel I am. I touch up hair, give my make-up a once over, then I step in front of the mirror and I’m looking into an alternate reality, one where the person looking back at me is the person I know I am. I feel beautiful and I’m mesmerized by the look of contentment that appears on her face. It’s the same look I know I’m radiating.

In that moment when I slip on my wig, I’m transformed, and I’m aware of the transformation. It washes over me and I become a new person, a happier person. I pause before stepping out of the bedroom and into the living room to show my friend, and she usually gasps appreciatively. I’m complete.

I take a few pictures of myself, selfies to memorialize the stolen moments I have away from the prying eyes of society. I share them online, a concession to my need to be accepted by my peers. A few make unwelcome comments, a little to sexual, a little too graphic. Sometimes they are desperate pleas for attention. I’m cautious about who I reveal myself to. I don’t hesitate to block those who make me uncomfortable. I’m not here to be someone’s fetish.

I remain me for a few hours before I peel away the layers and the magic fades into memory. I come down from my momentary high, back too this haze of oppression by body locks me in. I look at the pictures, and I read the comments online, smiling as I think about how happy I feel being Stefani. I envy those who have had the strength to go full time, to transition completely. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to.

But for a few hours I got to be me, and it was glorious!

If only…

11753870_10204800331195250_1977484206_nI need more clothes, but I’m so broke! UGH! Why couldn’t I have been born rich or something? I need a job, a better job, one that pays me a decent salary. I need money!

Being me isn’t cheap, and I don’t exactly go for designer clothes. I buy most of my outfits at Target or Wal-Mart. Yeah, I’m really high-class, lol. I have expensive taste but a poor man’s wallet. Damn my inability to play nice at work! If only I could get a promotion, or get a better job. If only I would finish one of my many books I’m writing.

If only…

We all have if only  moments in our lives. Some of mine are, in no particular order:

If only…

  1. …I would have been born a woman.
  2. …I could be a normal man.
  3. …I was brave enough….
  4. …strong enough…
  5. …I was skinnier…
  6. …prettier…
  7. If only I knew who I was.

Lately, I’ve spent so much of my money on clothes, but I don’t have near enough. I want more. I need more! I need shoes, boots, I need dresses, jewelry, make-up. If only I had enough money to make ends meet, with enough left over to realize my truest vision of myself.

If only…

Earlier this week, my friend took me to Burlington Coat Factory where I found some reasonably priced clothes. I bought a pair of jeans and she bought me a couple of blouses. Guess what, still not enough. I suppose the truth is it’ll never be enough. Not with my obsession with taking selfies to post online. I can’t help it that I like to show off! I pretend to hate it, but part of me likes the attention, so long as it doesn’t get creepy.

I know I’m not alone in the struggle. It’s hard to balance the girl side that we keep hidden with the public boy image we much maintain to save face. We’re not allowed, as men, to admit that we aren’t 100% manly. We have to be macho, sometimes doubly so, to prove to ourselves and to others that we have a softer, feminine side to us.

You know, I think that’s a shame. If only we were allowed to be ourselves, I think we would be happier, more productive members of society. And I’m not talking solely about the LGBTQ community, but all of society. We are raised to conform to an arbitrary standard of behavior. Sure, some of it is necessary to maintain an ordered society, but why should that come at the price of our individuality?

I realize there are those who have come forth into the light, to show society that being transgendered isn’t some sick vanity, that we chose to be somehow different. How many of us struggled against yourselves, against our need to be who we are, to try to present a normal identity to the world? How many are no longer with us because they couldn’t do it, and opted instead to kill themselves.

Right now, I buy my clothes in secret, afraid of letting my secret out into the world. Sure, I post my selfies, but I live terrified that my family could find out, or my co-workers, or friends. I wish I could go out everyday, showing the world who I truly am, instead of presenting this bitter facade for all to see. I’ve made jokes about wanting to be a woman, and it’s funny that everyone thinks I’m joking, all unable to contemplate that I could actually be serious.

But what if they were to see the real me? What then? Would the accept me and realize that I’m much happier as Stefani, or would they reject me outright? What if I didn’t care anymore? What if I let my secret out to the world to see?

There are so many what if situations that I don’t know what to do, or how to realize any of them. Instead I lay here, dreaming about my next outfit, wondering who I could scrounge up enough money to buy something really killer. Maybe I’m a little shallow and self-involved, but all I can think about is what if I had the money to expand my wardrobe.

If only…

Accepting myself

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Being silly – being me! Stefani Lara 2015

I’m surprised at myself for having the courage(?) to actually post pictures of myself, namely my face, for all to see. I’ve hidden myself behind closed doors for years, even going so far as to deny myself the simple act of personal acceptance. I tried to pretend I wasn’t a crossdresser, even though I knew in my heart that was who I truly was. I’m accepting it now, in this very public forum. I’m a boy who loves to wear girls clothes! Sometime I feel as though I’m truly a girl at heart.

There’s still some confusion for me. The Christian Right would love to hear me say that. “He’s just confused!” I know what I am. I know who I am. Sometimes I lack the ability to define exactly that because I’ve repressed my true self for too long. I’ve lied about it for so long that the lie became a mask, one that I had forgotten I wore. The mask has slipped enough that I can question the person peering back at me in the mirror.

“Who are you?”

“What are you?”

“Are you real?

“Am I?”

I have eschewed definitions for so long, labels being a construct of a society bent on establishing societal norms. But I have come to realized that norms are not inherently evil. There are niceties to preserve, common decency to uphold. What’s missing is respect. We have become too partisan, attacking those who don’t agree with us. We’ve lost the ability to respect one another, even when we don’t agree. Especially when we don’t agree.

The time has come to define myself, though who I choose to define myself will remain fluid for some time. I’m a crossdresser. That’s simple enough. I’m straight. I’m attracted to women, though I do have flirtations with curiosity about my sexuality. I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to go out with a man. I’m not ready to say yes to that. I may never be.

I’m divorced, my ex-wife unable to accept this part of me. I will never accept as a condition of a relationship, a denial of this part of me, one that I’ve come to realize is essential to my happiness, and indeed, my survival. I would rather remain alone that accept a conditional love. No thank you. Not again.

This is me accepting myself and showing my face to the world. Yes, I remain in my ways closeted to those in my life, especially my family. I’m terrified of having them find out my secret. I terrified that I would be disowned, ostracized for the sin of honest about who I am. I envy you who have had the courage to present themselves fully to their parents, family, and friends. One day I may join you, but I’m not ready. For now, this simple corner of the web will suffice. Soon, I’ll start to go out in public. I feel the urge to walk freely. I did so once, ages ago, and I will again.

For now, I’m content to experiment with my look. I can’t wait to buy another outfit and take another round of pictures to post. I’m grateful to have a friend who knows how to shop, and who has helped me find my size. I’m pleased with my progress, I look forward for the future.

This is me, and I’m starting to love me again.

Expecting Miracles

I just bought my first wig. I found one on Amazon the other day, on sale, with a great consumer rating. I’m not expecting angels to sing when I get it in, nor do I expect it to work miracles. It’s only one small piece of the puzzle, one I’m learning to put together to transform myself from an ugly duckling to a swan.

Years ago, when I first started to crossdress, I actually grew out my hair. I loved it, and I didn’t have to worry about my hair. I could curl it sometimes, but most of the time I left it down. I cut it all off about ten years ago, hoping to start to fit in at work and maybe move up the corporate ladder. That worked out great, may I add.

I’ve considered growing it back out, but a nearly forty-year-old man with long hair is looked down upon. In business, he’s not taken seriously. It’s sad, but it’s the truth. There are certain social expectations in regards to gender, appearance, and the like. We can rail against it, but there are norms to consider, and though many are trying to change them, I’m happy to play along, at least to a point.

I don’t feel the need for the world to accommodate itself on my behalf. That, I realize, is partly a function of my personality. I’m best if left to myself, and I am not the type that seeks to change society. All I ask is that I’m given all the respect due to me. That’s it. I know there are those who are incapable of giving that kind of respect, and that’s a shame, but I can only be true to who I am. I’m not a warrior. I’m not a fighter. I’m simply me, an artist trying to realize the truest representation of who I am.

Which brings me back to the beginning, and the wig that’s due to arrive early next week. I hope it doesn’t look too cheap, but it probably will, and that’s okay. I’m not expecting it to last a lifetime, just long enough to get used to the idea of wearing a wig. I’ll have to save up to buy myself a quality wig in the near future, and when I do, I’ll have to find a brick and mortar shop, one that is TG-friendly, to fit one correctly.

Along with that, I need to relearn to do my make-up, build up a wardrobe, and learn to be at ease in my skin. Right now, all I see is a near middle-aged man staring back at me when I try to transform into me. There’s a skill in becoming who I’m supposed to be, an art in transmuting what I am into what I’m supposed to be, and it’s one that I’m working to gain. I hope to have that piece of the puzzle in on Monday. While I profess that I’m not expecting miracles, and I have to admit that I’m praying for one. I really want to be beautiful again, like I once felt I was over ten years ago.