Thursday, April 6, 2017

​ Allowing Yourself to be Seen

​ Imagine you wake up tomorrow morning. You get dressed as usual. You hit the busy streets of New York City. Suddenly, you start getting some strange stares from every person you pass. When you get your coffee from the corner store the clerk calls you "Sir."

Wait what, "Sir"?

But but but you're a woman, right? You feel feminine so you must be a woman. You grab your coffee and rush to see your reflection in the storefront window. To your great dissapointment you see a man reflecting back. You realize you are experiencing a enormous amount of dissonance.



​ You can't shake off the feeling something is not right. A dark cloud gathers over you. You know you will have to play the role of a man for the rest of the day...and possibly for the rest of your life. Will anyone in the world ever SEE you the way you feel and see yourself? The loneliness is palpable. You lock up those feminine feelings and ideas of yourself in the recesses of your mind...for one year...two..three..four...maybe even for fifty years. Noone is ever to know how you feel deep inside. They couldn't possibly understand. You resign yourself to live with the unfomfortable feeling of dissonance from the moment you wake up in the moring to the second you fall asleep at night.



Throughout the many years I've been performing male-to-female makeovers time and time again I hear similar stories from my clients. It's heartbreaking. All I wish I could do is jump into a time machine, go back in time, and tell my client that she doesn't have to put that very important part of herself deep in the closet.



This week we asked the GenderFun Community an important question regarding the "Closet"



​ The answers encompassed a variety of viewes but one thing was certain, being in and coming out of the closet can be no fun.



​ As painful as this truth is, the email I got from one of my recent clients, after I gave her a makeover, gave me a glimmer of hope regarding living life in the closet.


​ In her words:


​"Dear A,
Over the last 24 hours I've been reflecting on the experience [makeover] I had yesterday. It was an utterly life-changing event and I thank you for that. I've been carrying this [crossdressing secret] inside me for more than 50 years without ever having an avenue to discuss it or have someone help me as you did. It was a simply wonderful experience and I thank you for the kindness and understanding you extended. When I entered your studio yesterday my heart was racing out of apprehension but when I left I really felt an internal peace. It was as if you and the entire experience were grounding rods. Without being melodramatic (and to quote Harry Chapin), I've got something inside me not what's my life's about. There's my second and "real" self. I now have one person on earth who knows more about me than most anyone else. It is you."


​ I will let you in on a little secret about how I conduct my makeovers. One of my goals, other than making my client look her best using wigs, makeup, and wardrobe, in order to match her exterior appearance with the internal vision of herself , is to create a safe environment where she can drop the "Man Mask" she feels obligated to wear every day and allow her to bring forth that feminine essence she has tucked away deep in the closet.



​ To see my clients drop the "Man Mask" they wear is truly a magical transformative experience. Their bodies slowly relax and melt into a feminine expression. They no longer look and feel like the man who walked into my studio but instead have transformed into a fully feminine individual. Their mannerisms, body posture, and walk is all that of a female. Something that is not learned but natural to them.



​ Only once I witness this that, regardless of how the photos we take during the session come out, I feel the makeover is a success.



​ For many of my clients I am the FIRST person to ever see their femme self in person. I always aim to validate and honor their internal experience and outward female expression. This is an honor I don't hold lightly.  And I make it a point to praise them for the courage they exhibited in coming all the way to my studio in Brooklyn for them to be seen by someone they never met before in person...and sometimes be seen as their femme self for the very first time.  That alone makes my girls a sight to behold.

So next time you see a crossdresser ask yourself if you TRULY see them.  If you truly see them, no matter what the external appearance is, you will see true beauty.