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Consensus over identity

What is it that people see when they cross ways with me?

I’ve been asking myself this question over and over again for the last few years. In our modern world full of fool’s gold and make belief it’s often quite hard to distinguish the truth from falsehood. It always proved difficult for me to understand the debate of what defines the standards of quality and good taste. Long did I thought that Intelligence and adequate education where the primary merits one had to have to separate true from false, to distinguish good from bad. But apparently I was wrong, it seems that authenticity is defined by that what the majority sees as true and genuine.
It was a way of thinking I wasn’t familiar with and which in modern philosophy goes by the name “truth by consensus”. What this theory roughly boils down to is that it’s the process of taking statements to be true simply because people generally agree upon them.
Not to be mistaken by unanimity, which stands for undivided opinion.
The difference is a subtle yet important one.

Now how does consensus effect everyday life and how can I make it work for me? I wanted to find out because it sounded like something that could make a crossdressers life easier.

When hitting the street as a girl for the first time a few decades ago, seeking acknowledgement in passing was my only objective. Doing my best in fooling unsuspecting passers-by, naïvely I thought that every time I got home without being read, I was seen as female.
How much truth held this thought exactly?
According the consensus theory, getting dressed up through town and not being read would make me a real woman right?
Unfortunately and needless to say, it doesn’t work that way.
Although I do have an outspoken female taste for all good things in life and feel rather offended by female unfriendly behaviour, I’m still born a male.

That isn’t changed by how other see me. It would be different when the people would think unanimously positive about my female appearance. In that case I would despite all my bodily features still be qualified as female, simply because people were all a hundred percent sure and no one would think otherwise.

concensus II

Now before you get lost in my smoke and mirror lockdown it’s important to know that the fundamental reason for my habit is something else than fooling people in making them believe that I’m a woman. I do have rather profound female feelings that I need to express on a regular basis.
Making myself pretty on the outside is the only way for me to reflect what’s going on inside. So looking nice and feminine is as important for me as it is to display my female attitude. It’s the total image that’s giving me the right feeling. Just putting on female clothing can be satisfying to spend an evening at home, but going out requires a lot more effort. I noticed that some transgenders have a different view on this, but I simply prefer to look as convincing as possible before stepping out of the door.

It’s at this “convincing” bit where the principal of consensus comes into play.
In my case, looking convincing is not what I think looks good on me, but that what confirms to what people generally believe a woman should look like. Blending in is the most important value in this consensus. It makes that they at first see a person who in most cases will qualify as female.
For the majority this is apparently enough and they don’t grand you a second look. Their brain isn’t triggered into believing anything other than to see a female person, as long as you look good enough to meet the requirements of the consensus. Mission accomplished.
For the remainder that isn’t so easily misled, it’s important to look the part. Putting in the extra effort generally makes that people don’t take offence and are happy to go with what they see. Passing isn’t an exact science though and that’s what makes crossdressing such an exciting enterprise. Besides that, getting read is part of the consensus right? Otherwise this post would be called “Unanimity over identity”. Sometimes I do get read too, but every single time this happened, I was met with a smile. Of course, there will always be someone who sees what’s going on, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they let you know or that you get into trouble.

Maybe next time you go out, that someone will be me.  But hey…….it takes one to recognise one innit? 😉

x Sophie

 

Cimmerian fadeout

Cimmerian fadeout

Don’t believe what you hear, don’t believe what you see.

Coming out proved a difficult process, it shifted my perspective, made me look at myself in a different light.

“Saw my reflection in a window and didn’t know my own face”

One day I suddenly found myself on the outside again. On the other side of the window. I tried to look inside, but reflections distorted the image. To clear the view I pressed my nose against the glass. Shaded my squint eyes to cover the glare. Piercing the darkness. What was it I was looking for?
As I couldn’t see it from here, how would anybody else do? I had to change my angle of perception. Could I ever find the one thing that explained all what was wrong with me?

I found there isn’t just one eligible thing. Searching the intertubes, it’s easy to get lost in the maze of all theories available. Some deep and profound, another barely scratching the surface. There are a lot of them to be found and though widely varying by nature and background, they rarely tick all the boxes. I personally can’t relate to any of them specifically but most have facets about them I do recognize. Perhaps they’re all true for that matter, or maybe like none of them.

Why do I want to categorize myself so badly? Maybe to accept myself and understand why I am, the way I am? Identification, prove of existence. Don’t we all look for justification to make our lives worth living? We do indeed and so do transgenders. Too many of us are bailing out early because of missing just that.
In search for reasons which I couldn’t see or find, desperation made me turn inwards. Inside, alone in the dark, I felt safe. No one to oblige to and nobody to disappoint.
Years tallied up conveniently and the darkness inside slowly became my friend. I really started to believe I could keep this at bay. Hidden away from family and friends. Two faces and worlds apart. All the time while the outside part of me was playing the tart, the other hid in the shadows and graduately they grew further apart. I wasn’t aware how I was slowly being caught up by the fears and doubts that I was running away from, until the sorrow and loneliness finally got the better of me. Outside fell off his soapbox.

outside2 scale

That day was one like all before, when I suddenly saw it. There it was, on the other side of the glass and for just a brief moment it was staring me straight in the eyes. Chasing the faint glimpse I ran through the door, outside and into the street, just to find it empty. I looked around but he wasn’t there anymore, imagination defeated by reality. I blinked against the bright light, had it been something inside my head all the time?

I shrugged and turned around to walk back inside but found something had changed.

I must have let the door open…………someone put the light back on.

x Sophie

Dress to impress

Dress to impress

As for most crossdressers, being passable was a very important thing for me. Going out in the street dressed as a woman and not being read by the public was my only objective for years.
Seeking acknowledgement in nobody taking notice.
Ironically this great paradox was also my biggest trap.
The image I created was never good enough and in search for perfection I got lost in a maze of indecision. Tinkering endlessly with my image, stumbling over minor details. In the end nothing seemed right or good enough and even an insignificant flaw in make-up or hair was a enough to spark the doubt. No less than catwalk perfect I occasionally dared to leave the house. Walking around the block, late at night in the dark. I needed the perfection for my confidence, blind for the fact that it was just that, what drew the attention.

Sounds familiar?Bitmap in Reservekopie_van_Dunwich beach

Remember, to pass one has to blend in with the crowd in the first place.

It was my better half that got me out of the house after my coming out three years ago. She was a great help in developing my everyday style and showed me how to look and feel feminine in something else than dresses and stiletto’s and to tone down on the makeup and eyeliner.
Over the years I had developed a taste for classy yet seductive dresses and heels, signature tranny stuff she stated. Good for premier parties and red carpets, but definitely no garb one wears in daily life.
Obviously she was right. With her help I found confidence in wearing skinny jeans, shirts, sweaters and footwear with sensible hight heels. She taught me how to blend in and still being feminine, sexy and beautiful.
Nowadays I go out regularly donning the girl next door look, feeling confident and girly. 🙂

X  Sophie