Being Julia

{January 17, 2012}   Never a truer word . . .
Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

In boy mode I’m a HUGE cinema fan and it’s long been a dream to watch a movie as Julia. Well, last week I finally made it come true.

I’d spent much of the day out (as it were) and about made up and en femme in my current “look” – four-inch, black stiletto boots from Dune (how much?!) , black leggings, a peach and black Miss Selfridge dress (how short?!), dark brown wig and my utterly gorgeous New Look purple coat with its extravagant faux fur collar.

The first part of the day (and I may come back to this in more detail at a later date) was taken up visiting the TG support group I’ve discovered in Wolverhampton and going for my first meal out ever as Julia with one of the girls from there. Thanks Lindsay, I really enjoyed it. Amazing how confident I felt.

Then it was back to the jewellery shop that I bought a pair of clip-on earrings from two years ago to re-stock on those (two pairs this time). Not sure if it’s because I look such a fright but the shop manager, Lea, recognised me from last time and we had quite a chat.

I filled her in on the full sorry story of my last couple of years, Dee cheating on me and blaming the cross-dressing (an excuse?), the heartbreak of the split, and then the ultimate betrayal when she told her lover (a former mutual friend) of my “big secret” . . . and him then taunting me about it on Facebook. Oh, and did I mention that I caught her out texting him on a meal out on my birthday? You couldn’t make it up . . .

Anyway, with earrings purchased I decided it was now or never with my movie plan. I’ve already seen the Swedish trilogy of the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo films and now wanted to check out David Fincher’s English-language remake.

So it was off down the M6 to the Showcase cinema at Walsall, arriving at 4pm, which is when the house lights were due to go down . . . all part of my plan to slip into the screening room under cover of darkness. I parked up as near as I could to the entrance and made my way up the steps to the doors. There was a bloke outside having a fag and I just strode past, blurring my vision and deliberately not making eye contact.

The plan was to get to the ticket desk as quickly as possible, make a quick purchase, keep a low profile and head into the screening room ASAP.

That didn’t quite work out . . .

There was a young man on the ticket desk who informed me that they were having problems  with power cuts and did I still want to take the risk and go ahead. After driving all that way I said ‘Yes’.

Then the next problem. The earlier power cuts had knocked out the debit card machine, and my card was all I had on me. I had to try to explain this in a “Julia voice”. Mmmm, I’ll reserve judgement on that . . . I think I need a voice coach.

Anyway, despite my hope to have a low profile I cringed when I heard him say: “I’ll call the duty manager over.” Oh no . . .

A few minutes later the manager arrived, a young woman in her twenties, who took one look at me and didn’t bat an eyelid (neither had the young man, actually). To add to the pressure, a queue was beginning to build behind me (although I hopefully do ‘pass’ from behind!).

Anyway, after unsuccessfully trying to get things rebooted she then used one word that we T-girls who have no idea whether we ever pass or not long to hear.

“Let her in on my complimentary card,” she said.

Now normally I’d have gone “Yippee, a free film!” But what thrilled me so much more was the use of the word “HER”, said utterly without any edge or side or irony.

So, thanking her profusely, I grabbed my ticket and settled down to watch the film for  the next two hours or so. Thoroughly enjoyed it too, although the rape scene is very upsetting.

Now I’d timed this session when i knew the cinema would be quiet but I was also aware that coming aout at around 6.30pm, there would be a few more people around. So it proved to be, as I walked back to the foyer. I figured the best thing to do was just to look as confident as possible, so instead of scurrying along with my head down, I “glided”, chin up towards the exit. Checking out of the corner of my eyes, I honestly didn’t notice any reaction at all from anyone there. That’s a confidence booster.

After that it was time to return home and back into the house under cover of darkness without any of the neighbours seeing me (I’d been brave/foolish enough to leave the house in full Julia mode in daylight and not been spotted. A gamble but I was feeling kinda reckless/confident . . .  a whole new feeling).

Anyway, there is a punchline to this tale.

. . .

A visual one.

. . .

And one that definitely deserves the description “you couldn’t make it up”.

. . .

Here’s my cinema ticket . . .

. . .

. . .

. . .

. . .

Keep scrolling . . .

. . .

. . .

. . .

. . .

It’s worth it!

. . .

. . .

. . .

. . .

Almost there . . .

. . .

. . .

. . .

. . .

. . .

. . .

. . .

. . .


Julia xx


{October 10, 2009}   Off to the office!

I’ve got my whole “office girl” kit now. A purple, rolk neck sweater from George, a lovely black/grey, smart skirt with a split up the back from Tesco and those shoes – the ones I saw in New Look in London and then couldn’t find up here in the Midlands.

And the reason  I couldn’t find them? . . . Looks like they had been withdrawn to be added into the sale . . . where I got them reducied from £25 to £10. Whoopee!

Now I’ll be honest, they are way too high. Much more stiletto even than my boots. But they are gorgeous and I’m keeping them. I can definitely walk a short distance in them but I may have to swap to the boots again for anything incolving more than 100m . . . or get some kitten heels or something lower and maybe a little clunkier (I have got some Mary Janes but they don’t quite look right)

Oh well, we’ll see.

Something struck me the other day. I no longer get sexually excited when I dress up. That used to happen quite a lot.  Now I feel my confidence rising about being outside as Julia the sexual buzz of old has been resplaced by something less tangible but strangely comforting. Does this sound familiar to anyone else?

Oh well, I’ve done my office typing for the morning. Back to Bob mode.

More soon . . . Julia’s going out on Thursday!


{September 18, 2009}   Braving the outskirts

I must have been filled with confidence after last week’s day out as I ventured out again, to a bigger town, although I kept to the outskirts (that’s a very T word, isn’t it?!).

Unfortunately it didn’t go quite as well as last week, and I only had a couple of hours out as I’d got some Bob duties to fill the

The outfit was the same as last week, purple New Look dress, with black tights and boots, along with my latest accessory, a white glass bead necklace from George at Asda.

It’s my least successful eye make-up session for some time and I’m not terribly happy with the wig. It looks great from the front, but the fact I have to put it on in the car and then drive around leaves it rather straggly at the back. It really is too long too ,so I suppose I will have to consider a replacement at some point.

I park up close to a Co-op supermarket on the outskirts of Stafford. There are not too many people around so it’s off to the hole in the wall machine outside first to draw some cash and then a deep breath and into the shop itself to by some wine. There are two women stocking shelves and a teenage lad on the counter. I pick a couple of bottles of red and pay with my debit card. The teenager looks rather startled unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to know where to look. I can’t get my voice right and I realise that the dress’s long sleeve is revealing a tiny bit of manly arm hair – drat.

It’s then back to the car. I find I really enjoy the sensation of simply striding along a road as Julia, each step filling me with confidence and just the sheer enjoyment of being someone else for a while. It strikes me that it’s an extraordinary thing that we do, regardless of whether we actually “pass” or not.

So buoyed with this new-found confidence I head to New Look at an out-off town retail park. I’ve shopped in New Look many times but always in Bob mode. This is the first time I’ve ever dared go in a store this big as Julia but there’e always a first time. There’s something I particularly want to buy, a pair of shiny, black stiletto shoes I saw in a London branch of New Look recently.

I deliberately park a little bit away from the store entrance for two reasons. One is just to enjoy that striding sensation again, the other is to get up some momentum so that I will actually go ahead with it and carry on into the shop! Thirty seconds later I’ve passed through the double doors and am browsing the new ‘new arrivals’ – blouses,  jackets and some cute boot/shoe combos with killer heels. The main shoe display is right at the back and there are maybe six customers in the store and three or four staff. I pass a tall mirror and check myself out. The figure looks great but the posture is awful, I’m a bit round shouldered and slouching, so I suck my stomach in and push my shoulders back – a bit better. But the wig is doing me no favours. Mmmm.

When I get to the shoes there are three women browsing the shelves. Not sure if I frighten them off but soon there’s only me there. But sadly my shoes aren’t there at all. There are loads of alternatives which look great but there’s a particular look I’m after, an office girl effect with black skirt, stilettos and long sleeve high neck jumper. It seems a shame to leave without buying anything but that’s how it goes.

So what next? I really fancy a coffee. Stafford has loads of coffee houses but they’re all in the town centre and I’m not brave enough to tackle that. But there’s a village nearby with a canalside coffee room so I vow to visit that. I’m driving in that direction when I realise that I’ll be passing the cemetery where my Dad is buried and I’m overwhelmed with the urge to visit and say Hi as Julia, to introduce him to the daughter he didn’t know he had. But driving into the cemetery I can see some workman in the row where Dad is buried and I think I’ll stand out a bit too much so I drive on past.

Next I’m struck with another thought. There’d a luxury housing development nearby with a showhome. Why not look round it as Julia, and see what reaction I get from the salesgirl? But when I arrive I discover that the showhome won’t open for another half an hour. Foiled again.

So it’s off to my village coffee house but when I arrive I discover that inbetween where I’d have to park and where the coffee house is there are two or three workmen taking down scaffolding from outside a house. I bottle it again.

And that’s it really. By then I’m running out of time so I abandon my trip and head home, a little  frustrated that today hasn’t had quite the same sparkle as last Tuesday. I suppose they can’t all be magical but I was hoping to catch some of that flavour again.

Back in the house I reapply my make up, making a much better job of it this time and manage to enjoy a further Julia hour catching up with some work on the computer before I have to take it all off and head off elsewhere.

Oh yes, the London visit. The plan had been to spend a couple of days there, giving me the opportunity to pamper myself with a dressing and make-up session in my hotel room before seeing if I dared hit the capital’s streets. Sadly plans had to be changed so it was an entirely male visit for one day only and I never did make it to Camden, which is really annoying as I read afterwards that T-girl blogger Helena Love was in that area on the Saturday and we could have said hello.

Drat, and if you’re reading this, then sorry about that, Helena (Mind you, I wonder what people would have made of the male me striding up to blonde Helena and saying ‘Hello Helena, I’m Julia’?!).

No more J-time for at least another month now but that will give me time to sort out my office girl aquisitions . . . and maybe that new wig.

Till next time.

J  x

{September 8, 2009}   Ring of confidence

I’ve just had the most wonderful day. Julia even made a friend!

But even more incredibly . . . Julia got beeped by a white van man!!! Now, as I’ve said previously, I (like most T-girls) am not gay. That’s not what any of this is about. But it sure was one hell of a confidence boost.

The day starts, as it always does, with a defuzz and foundation application and then a proper eye make-up session – I’ll be leaving the house in shades. As usual I get fully dressed and then cover that with baggy sports trousers and fleece top. With my boots, wig and make-up in a sports bag I don those shades and make a dash for the car. It’s the first day of school today and the street is deserted so off I go to my usual transformation spot out in the countryside.

I’m spooked though when a dog starts barking, getting louder and louder. The mutt and his owner appear in the car park and my hands won’t stop shaking. I’m about half way through my ‘Bob’ to Julia conversion and I don’t know how much he sees. But luckily he’s not there for long.

Finally made up as best I can I step out of the car to pop the sports bag in the boot.

Today I am mostly wearing my black body shaper and the DIY padded panties, a brand new (bargain £12) purple sweater dress from New Look, black tights and my trusty black stiletto boots. It’s a little bit windy so my wig is somewhat out of control, blowing across my face. Maybe I need yet another one, slightly shorter than this one but longer than the first one I bought. We’ll see.

Anyway, I walk around the car park and I feel great. So it’s part one of today’s adventure. I’m off to the jewellery shop when I bought my clip-on earrings last week. I saw a gorgeous chunky pearl-style necklace which will go really well with this dress. The neck of the dress is a tiny bit low and I’ve had to shave the top of my chest,  which Dee won’t be happy with if she spots it – she likes me hairy (I’d love to totally defuzz but her line on this matter is ‘There’s only room for one woman in this family’).

The shop is part of a craft centre attached to a farm and garden centre, quite a tourist attraction but I’m counting on it being quiet at 10am on a cloudy Tuesday. There are a couple of families getting out of their cars as I arrive so I let them move off before I get out and head to the shop.

There’s an open courtyard to negotiate  and with my new Boosted Butt (trademark applied for) I practise a confident stride with a hint of wiggle. Last time I visited there was a chap in the shop, this time the counter is staffed by a young lady (just realised I didn’t say ‘manned’ as Bob would – crikey, I’m even turning into a feminist!).

We say hello and she doesn’t appear to bat an eyelid at my appearance. Unfortunately I can’t see that necklace I was after and so am forced into striking up a conversation. This (apart from the general nerves of being out in public like this) is one of the hardest things. I’ve no idea of how to mimic a convincingly feminine voice – I try for something higher in pitch than normal and a little softer but without mincing – it’s a tough ask.

But that necklace was sold last week and hasn’t been restocked yet. I’m a little downhearted but the shop lady has been great with me so I ask if I can look at rings. There are all sorts there and one silver almost paisley design catches my eye. The assistant even measures my finger to see what size I should choose (note for future reference, it’s a Size S). Don’t quite know how she manages it as my hand is starting to shake quite a bit with nerves. Luckily the ring I like is indeed an S and it slides on beautifully, sparking away alongside my false nails. I am lucky to have very non-blokish hands, with long, slender fingers – ideal for piano playing, except I can’t.

As I finish paying and as she has been so sweet to me I pluck up courage and say: “Thank you ever so much, you’ve been very understanding. How do you think I’m doing?”

She checks me over and replies: “Very good, well done.”

It turns out her name is Lea and she has developed a healthy “anything goes” attitude after living in Holland. Once, she told me, an absolutely beautiful full post-op transexual came into the make-up studio she was working in over there.

My confidence really must be soaring because I hear myself saying: “I hope you don’t mind me asking but how would you feel about giving me a make-up lesson?”

Incredibly she says yes (in fact she genuinely seems delighted that I’ve asked), although she says I’m doing very well already and seems to be impressed by the fact that I’d put mascara on without going totally panda-like. We arrange that I’ll call her about that in a few weeks from now and with that I’m off, back to the car and  heading to the Staffordshire town of Eccleshall.

This is where I spent part of my childhood and although I left 30 years ago I know that it’s a relatively quiet, genteel place and  shouldn’t be full of chavs (my nightmare would be to be spotted and outted by such creatures). I must be feeling brave because I park up right in the middle of the high street, outside the old fire station, step out and gather my nerves as I look in the window of a dress shop. Then I turn and head to where the main shops are.

There are a few people about but nobody shouts or stares. I’m well aware that I’m being noticed – who could ignore a gorgeous brunette in stilettos after all 😉  ?! But that’s fine with me at the moment.

I cross the road and take a look around a small art gallery. The man behind the counter is very polite.

I then see, in the window of a women’s clothes shop over the road the most gorgeous long-sleeved, purple dress. It’s just about exactly what I was looking for before I got the New Look dress I’m wearing now. So into the shop I go and find myself chatting to the shop owner. She asks me what size I am and, finding a size 16 in that design asks if I’d like to try it on. Yes. Me, Julia the tranny, in a very posh clothes shop in Tory-voting Middle England has just been asked if she’d like to try on her new dream dress in the changing room.

As Meg Ryan would say, yes, Yes, YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I do explain that I can’t possibly buy it today but the owner says that’s still fine (did you notice I tried to give her a get-out clause there?). So I’m led to the changing room and left to my own devices when I realise I may have a problem. The wig’s going to have to come off and I’ve left my hairbrush in the car so will have to rearrange it by hand – not at all easy. I almost change my mind but that dress is so nice I can’t resist. So off comes the wig and I swop over the dresses and make a half decent attempt of getting the wig back on. It’ll do . . . just.

Girls, I’ve never had this feeling before. Today is the first day I’ve ever been out in a dress in public at all (it’s always been skirts and jumpers up to now). But this is a DRESS. I find myself stepping back out into the shop to admire myself in the mirror. It looks and feels utterly beautiful, accentuating all ‘my’ curves – I feel like squealing! The owner is still quite unfazed and we even chat about possible accessories.

Now I told you this was a posh frock shop. You’d better believe it, especially when I tell you the dress would have cost me £105. Wow! And I was seriously tempted but somehow managed to resist. Maybe I’ll see it in a charity shop sometime!

Changing back again I say my farewells and head off down the street. I catch sight of myself, top to toe, in a mirror and I think I look great. I sure feel great. I’m aware of a few heads turning. Two men stop their conversation completely as I stride past, head up, one young guy checks out my boots.

And then it happens. Two blokes in a white van drive past and the driver beeps his horn twice. You will let me accept that as a positive gesture won’t you, an automotive wolf whistle? That’s how I’m treating it anyway as I sit here still dressed up to the nines after a record-breaking (for me) six-and-a-half hours as Julia.

I want to stay like this for the rest of the day but junior is due home from school in an hour and so I must make the journey back to Bob-dom. But what a fantastic day Julia has had.

P.S. Lea, if you’re reading this, I could mention the name of the place you work at if you were OK with it. Who knows, you could start attracting a whole new glamorous line of TG customers!

{August 31, 2009}   Here’s one I made earlier

A bit Blue Peter this, but I’m here to extol the virtues of recycling. A bra which I ‘broke’ a couple of weeks back is enjoying a new lease of life . . . as ‘butt pads’ to give me a more feminine bum! All the strapping has been cut off and the padded cups sit inside my knickers and do the job perfectly (and to think I was going to spend £40 on some butt enhancers I saw on the internet).

I’ve just come back from a Julia shopping trip to test them out. I went to a small jewellery shop at a craft centre I’ve visited previously and bought my first earrings – the screw on type. They are three dangly hearts, all sparkly, blue and girlie and they look great on. Wasn’t aware of any strange looks from anyone there and the mature gent who served me was very nice and didn’t flinch!

This was also a test run for a solo trip down to London in a couple of weeks, where I’m determined to hit the street and shops in full Julia mode. On the basis that no-one there knows me I just think, what the hell, it’ll be scary as anything but what a thrill. Today I dressed quite conservatively, bu my screaming inner tranny is insisting on wearing my denim  mini skirt (and I do mean mini) in London. Wearing it now with my black boots.

One more test run next week when I’ll dress up and spend the morning at a small Midlands town I used to live in.

Keep watching this space.

Julia x

et cetera