• Stephanie Ashton

Standing On A Shore

Empire of the Sun, Walking on a Dream, 2008


In this blog I will share my thoughts on male to female transition and a number of the factors that feed into the decision to proceed, or not. This is quite a serious and thoughtful piece compared to the silliness I normally share with my dear readers but please be assured, I am in a happy place and just looking to share some ideas. As always, I am not prescribing a course of action or expect everyone to agree with my views. My only intent is to inspire others to consider different viewpoints if you find yourself as pre-occupied with this subject as myself.


If you have read my previous blogs, my origins are not special but possibly a little different to many dressers. I started dressing in my teens and when I moved to Manchester for work, I was adopted by a group of cis gender females who taught me the ways of the force. As a result of this colourful journey, I have no missing teenage years and have essentially gone from puberty to female-flavoured life in one step. I have therefore “grown-up” female in many respects, if not physically, then certainly in my views and thought processes.


And yet for all my good fortune with my starting point, I have still not transitioned. This has prompted many thoughtful people to ask why I have not taken the next step, or for that matter, to doubt if I ever will. These are interesting questions and ones that I have reflected on many times. So, let us explore together my thought process together to understand why I have delayed so far, and why I think the time is right now to transition.


You think I might be transgendered? Oh my word, whatever shall I do !?

First question…should I be dressing at all?

And yet, in some cases the source of pain for a dresser has nothing to do with a desire to be female, but from some other source of hurt in their life. This may include some trauma in an earlier part of the individual’s life or some other missing element in their life. Sadly, a failing marriage is a very common cause of those that dress, but who really should not. In fact, I would go so far as to say, in the company of other dressers on a night out, I can pick out those suffering from a failed marriage or loss of love and intimacy. These individuals have a certain demeanour and I have become a tuned to recognising them.


The typical scenario that seems to play out with these people is that the wife (or ex), who undoubtedly was sexual and attractive at some point, is sadly no longer making the same effort, or is not available emotionally or physically in one sense or another. If the man in the situation is sensitive and is turned on by the visual and sensual aspects of female clothing already, then they may choose to replace the female partner with…guess what…themselves. This is often a subconscious process at the start, but achieves physical reality by wearing females’ clothes which of course is a thrilling experience for nearly everyone who has ever done it. I know some may not like my theories in this area but that is usually because it is too close to home. The truth is, this is a phenomenon I have seen and which dressers I know have openly shared with me as being the truth of their situation.


Rolling back to the main point of this section, my main point is that dressing and transition is not a solution to life’s problems. Dressing and transition do seem to have become factors in the equation of happiness for many of us, but happiness is not the sum of these two variables. Anyone who thinks that dressing and transitioning is the ‘be all and end all’ is really in for a big shock. Indeed, transition may make you a woman, but if you were not happy before starting the process, then it is not likely you will feel any better afterwards. There is a high chance you will simply carry the same source of hurt from once situation to the next, as often happens in life. And this is where counselling plays such an important and valuable role in helping to unlock your own understanding of what is really making you unhappy today, and what is driving your current actions and behaviour.


Nothing gets attention and 1000 likes quicker than a picture of a silicon breast plate...give me a big online hug please!

And yet, in some cases the source of pain for a dresser has nothing to do with a desire to be female, but from some other source of hurt in their life. This may include some trauma in an earlier part of the individual’s life or some other missing element in their life. Sadly, a failing marriage is a very common cause of those that dress, but who really should not. In fact I would go so far as to say, in the company of other dressers on a night out, I can pick out those suffering from a failed marriage or loss of love and intimacy. These individuals have a certain demeanour and I have become a tuned to recognising them.


The typical scenario that seems to play out with these people is that the wife (or ex), who undoubtedly was sexual and attractive at some point, is sadly no longer making the same effort, or is not available emotionally or physically in one sense or another. If the man in the situation is sensitive and is turned on by the visual and sensual aspects of female clothing already, then they may choose to replace the female partner with…guess what…themselves. This is often a subconscious process at the start, but achieves physical reality by wearing females’ clothes which of course is a thrilling experience for nearly everyone who has ever done it. I know some may not like my theories in this area but that is usually because it is too close to home. The truth is, this is a phenomenon I have seen and which dressers I know have openly shared with me as being the truth of their situation.


Going back to the main point of this section, dressing and transition is not a solution to life’s problems. Dressing and transition do seem to have become factors in the equation of happiness for many of us, but happiness is not the sum of these two variables. Anyone who thinks that dressing and transitioning is the ‘be all and end all’ is really in for a big shock. Indeed, transition may make you a woman, but if you were not happy before starting the process, then it is not likely you will feel any better afterwards. There is a high chance you will simply carry the same source of hurt from one situation to the next, as often happens in life. And this is where counselling plays such an important and valuable role in helping to unlock your own understanding of what is really making you unhappy today, and what is driving your current actions and behaviour.


maybe need to think about counselling for my shopping addiction before worrying about anything else!

When it comes to setting a criteria for success, my mental model is that the right time to transition is when you are at peak happiness and life is in good order. With a full tank of happiness, you might just make the difficult and challenging journey through transition. And that is where I find myself today. Hurray!


The people I have the deepest respect for are those that continually challenge if any of this business is a good idea. They do not pursue the singular desire to dress in a selfish manner, and continue to be empathetic towards the views of loved ones and the impact it may have on the lives of their children (if they have any) and close friends. In other cases, dressers need to think about how it challenges their faith, and if it is potentially taking them down dark paths that challenge their fundamental beliefs and views on life.


Over the years I have had many friends who have started and stopped dressing many times as their lives have dictated. Again, I have the deepest respect for these people as they have had sufficient awareness to realise that at different times their personal situations, or the views of people important in their life, have not supported dressing. I have known older dresses who have stopped for health reasons, or the poor health of their partners. I have known folks who have understood for certain that they are transgendered but opted not to proceed as the time has not been right. This has been for a range of factors including consideration for the feelings of wives and girlfriends, the needs of children they may have, or as a result of other stressful life events such as the loss of a close loved one.


And then there are some very wise dressers I have known who have simply concluded that despite knowing they are transgender; they have accepted that that the time for transitioning has passed them by. In addition to the possible realisation that they will never be the woman they want to be, in some cases they have concluded that changing so late on in life would just make one monumental mess of their existing environment, relationships financial security and overall quality of life. Essentially, they have opted to compromise and remain a dresser, accepting an imperfect outcome irrespective of their own selfish interests. These are possibly the best of us in this community as they have accepted an imperfect outcome but one that considers and includes the needs of others in their lives.


Some temporary changes are useful...I never need a hat outside when I have my "hair hat" on...

After all that discussion you may well think I am trying to dodge answering the question at the start of this section. I cannot believe you thought such a thing of me! Okay, my answer to this question is as follow. In my case I am certain I am right to dress. It is a key foundation of how I prefer to present myself and the person I want to be. Most of my life affairs are in order and I am not hurting or damaging anyone else. I do have some concerns about how well I would ultimately pass and how society will respond to me day to day, but I will come onto that subject later.


Regardless of my current happiness with dressing, I am open to the fact that this situation could change, and I may need to stop again if it was the sensible thing to do. Whilst it would give me major dysphoria to stop dressing, I can see situations where it might be required. The ability to navigate life successfully is often less to do with mental or physical capacity, but what our situations will allow us to do at any given time, in any given place. In this respect I am no different. If the Zombie apocalypse happens tomorrow, I will not be worried about my next Morphe make-up order…I will be going for an Arnie Schwarzenegger style Commando make-over, pulling on my urban camo, and going out into the street with a HK416 assault rifle to give the living dead some hell!


Have I been confused about my Gender?


In a word – No. This is definitely not my issue. As I described in my blog Atomic, when I was 4 years old, I saw Blondie on BBCs Top of The Pops and decided right then and there I wanted to be Debbie Harry when I grew up. Brilliant. I couldn’t have just been watching the Old Grey Whistle Test or Not the Nine O’Clock News. No, I had to want to become a member of the opposite sex, not to mention setting my target on one of the hottest female icons of the era. I was never an easy child and, as people who know me in person will confirm, I have not improved in adulthood.


Whilst I make jest of such an important point, I have absolute clarity on my gender alignment or rather, position on the spectrum. I was born a male boy but want to leave this life as a trans female. I know that for many of my dear readers this may sound startling black and white, but I must confess, I have not always had this level of clarity. Indeed, this has been a key reason I have never progressed to transition.


I really cannot decide if I am ready to be a housewife yet...hang on a minute...a what?!

The truth is that until relatively recently, I was quite happy in a state of duality. It may come as a surprise, but it turned out that despite being regarded as a ponce in my youth, I was quite attractive to females and I had many lovely girlfriends. I did! Surprisingly enough, not many of these gorgeous girls were super keen on having a cross dressing partner so I never even raised the subject, mainly because I did not care enough about it to risk losing a partner. As a younger man I was also still interested in many male pursuits, team sports and activities. Whilst I was a good-looking guy who could easily cross over to a good-looking girl, why not just enjoy it all?


However, over the past 3-5 years the sense of duality has diminished. Nowadays I feel like I ‘need’ to become female and it dominates my thoughts day and night. In addition to increasingly finding straight men attractive, my interest in boy pursuits has diminished significantly and my thoughts are increasingly focused on all things feminine. Where once I would have been thinking about manly activities like repairing cars and being with the lads down the boozer, nearly all my run time is now dedicated to dressing projects, culture, fashion, make-up, the environment, creative artistic pursuits including writing and equality for all. How did that happen? Who knows, but the truth is that the boy is little more than a shell now. There is only Steffie now. Heaven help us.


Before moving on from this section it is maybe worth talking about the binary and non-binary options. I am quite clear that I want to be a trans woman so am adopting one of the traditional binary values. Even within myself I recognise that it would be a brilliant outcome if I could return to a happy state of duality, in a non-binary state of mind. However, this idea is sadly not fulfilling enough for me any longer. The desire to be as female as possible now dominates my mind.


For dressers in my generation and older, I think we are less open to non-binary as we feel more comfortable with the idea of being associated with one group or another, for reasons I will discuss in the next section. Certainly, in my case, I did not understand that gender was a spectrum and it was possibly not until 10-15 years ago that I realised gender was not 1 and 0 when the idea started to become fashionable. These ideas as I say do not work for me personally regardless of the knowledge, but I do think it is very positive that the younger generations are open to the non-binary concept and are seeking the freedom to live and experience their life both from a male and female perspective.


Gender confusion? None what so ever. I am female.

Have I delayed transitioning because of mental conditioning or my environment?


In the United Kingdom and large parts of Western Europe there is growing acceptance for transgender people. Yes, I admit there is still a very long way to go in terms of true equality and for example, it is going to be some time before transgender women are more than a novelty addition in the work place to meet diversity and inclusion targets. However, we should not fail to recognise how much progress there has been in our lifetimes when compared with say, how long it took cis gender women to win their rights in society.


So, like many of my transgender friends, these days I can go about freely in society doing most things a cis gender woman might do. We have discovered the joy and knowledge that the majority of society either doesn’t care about us or is generally kind and accepting if you are clearly making an effort to be as female as possible. And yet in many cases, we hold ourselves back from being more open and prouder, even in environments we know will accept it. I am not talking about personal confidence – but trust in society not to react negatively.


For many transgendered people over 30, we originate from a time when it would have been unthinkable to declare ourselves as wanting to dress and live as the opposite sex. The thinking in the communities of our youth were often constrained and less well informed than the world we know today. Presenting yourself outside of the established groups of our youth had the potential to leave you vulnerable to abuse from those fearful of what they did not understand or had been conditioned to accept.


The deeper side of Stephanie...when I want to turn on the water works for dramatic effect, all I need to think about is my hometown...

People today do not have an appreciation for how truly awful the poorer areas of Britain really were in the late 70s and early 80s. It was a time of high unemployment, bleak futures for the young, and only the 4 channels on the ‘tele’ provided a window to a brighter world beyond. In my case, the beaches in my hometown were blackened from long extinct coal mines and toxic foam rolled onto the beach from the nearby chemical plant, adding a certain je ne sais quoi which is hard to forget. When Boromir states in The Lord of the Rings film “…In Mordor the very air is a poisonous gas” the imagery that was conjured in my mind was a Saturday afternoon near the Sellafield nuclear power plant.


Therefore, against this bleak backdrop, the notion that I would go home and tell my already struggling family that I had gender issues was just not on the cards. I had no idea at the time (and still have no idea today) how that conversation would have been received and what would have resulted. Then there was the feeling of isolation and lack of knowledge that I was not the only person who had “something wrong” with them when it came to gender. Many of us were also conditioned through the negative words we heard from the people around us, but also the media of the day that only poked fun at men in dresses.


So, even for myself as a proud transgender person today, I have to accept that I have been shaped and conditioned by my history and even today, carry some of that baggage. So, the answer to this question is that my environment today does not stop me progressing, but the baggage I have carried from my conditioning in childhood has certainly held me back from sharing with my family and friends the truth of myself much earlier than I could have done.


Turned up at parents dressed as Stephanie. It did not go down too well...so I left and went for lunch instead :D

Was it a lack of commitment to being a woman full time?


This is a very interesting question and one I have asked myself many times. It takes next to no commitment to visit a dressing service, pop on a dress and go for a night out. Whilst I have moved beyond that and dress all the time socially, fly dressed, frequent mainstream pub and clubs, shop quite happily in daylight…I am still sensible enough to realise that even this experience bares no real similarity to the commitment required to live full time as a woman. I am a big fan of tough love and this is where I look to the those with the real experience of transitioning to keep me grounded. Popping on a dress and going for a night out once a month has about as much to do with transitioning as visiting a rifle range has to do with going on tour in a major war-zone. You need to be able to cope with the reality under fire.


There has to be a deeper desire and commitment to transitioning beyond just wanting more fun times and the pursuit of vanity. There needs to be the desire to be a woman so badly that you are willing to put up with some hard times. What do I mean? Well, if you intend to transition fully you may well look a mess for years as you get hair transplants, get body hair removed, and take some pain if you want facial surgery and the likes. Taking pain? That automatically rules out most genetic men! But seriously, how will all that work in your real life? Turning up at work looking like Frankenstein's monster with hair transplants and facial surgery. Worst still, if you have passed the point of being able to grow out your hair and cannot get transplants, you may be stuck with hair systems or worst still, doomed to a life of wearing wigs. Personally for me that would probably kill transition right there as I simply cannot cope with wearing long hair wigs in the heat of summer. This is about the only drawback to being a cold blooded Viking.


So, on this point I can definitely confirm that this has been a factor in me stalling to date. Along with the feeling of having no particular objection to my male body (it was the one I was born with and has done okay so far?) it is definitely the case that I have thought long and hard about whether I could do womanhood 24/7. You see, I know myself all too well in this respect. As a Gemini, I get bored with routine and love the rush of new experiences. However, if I transition and womanhood becomes the routine…would I be in danger of growing out of the feeling? Please understand; this is not a question of generic trans anxiety but dealing with the flaws I am aware of in my own character!


Might I get bored of being Stephanie? Not if Pornstar Martinis are involved! Caught on camera ordering 2 at a time to save the waiters shoe leather...

Another serious point I have often considered is what sort of woman will I be? For myself I have always wanted to present myself nicely and have been well turned out. As a woman this will be no different and in fact, if anything, I can see me raising my game even higher being a very girlie girl. However, this does not quite fit with being up to my arms in grease repairing cars, chopping wood, lifting heavy furniture and doing all sorts of other manly tasks. So, would I still do them, or would I fully adopt my new role and use my feminine whiles to get some poor sap to do these things (i.e. a man)? To some this might seem a curious line of thought at this stage, but I am a big believer that the route to success is having a vision of the successful end point. Line up saps…I have some jobs I need you to do for me!


So, for all the reasons above, I personally feel it makes perfect sense that the medical profession to date has insisted on potential transition candidates going through a proper period of time living as a woman to understand if they can truly hack it. Of course, many transgender people do not feel like this and are lobbying for change based on a desire to be able to switch gender more easily. Whilst I should in theory be happy about this point, in truth I am not sure I support it on a principle level. There does seem some logic in having a handbrake on the process to test individuals true resolve, not for the benefit of the establishment, but the long-term happiness of the individual. It stops the change becoming a fashion accessory rather than the result of real need and genuine commitment.


There is one more serious point I would make under the heading of this question. I have often challenged myself if I really want to transition for the right reasons. What do I mean? Well, I think we can agree there is a big aspect of vanity and chasing the fountain of youth when it comes to dressing. Much like a really good affair, dressing provides the same endorphin rush and many of the same highs in terms of being made to feel young and alive, exciting sex, and heaven forbid…maybe even feeling wanted and loved again. I remember Jodie Lynn telling me many moons ago that if you do a good job cross dressing, then as a woman you should be able to look 10 years younger than you do as a man, as a minimum. This idea has always stuck with me and whilst I love the target of looking ten 10 years younger and effect at a dressing service, I am always checking myself that my desire to transition is not just about trying to cheat ageing…something that none of us can do in reality.

I might be old but you aint got no body, no body loves you haha

So, for all the reasons above, I personally feel it makes perfect sense that the medical profession to date has insisted on potential transition candidates going through a proper period of time living as a woman to understand if they can truly hack it. Of course, many transgender people do not feel like this and are lobbying for change based on a desire to be able to switch gender more easily. Whilst I should in theory be happy about this point, in truth I am not sure I support it on a principle level. There does seem some logic in having a handbrake on the process to test individuals true resolve, not for the benefit of the establishment, but the long-term happiness of the individual. It stops the change becoming a fashion accessory rather than the result of real need and genuine commitment.


Have I been concerned what I will look like as a woman?


The only sensible true answer to this question is yes. For myself I have been fortunate in some of my facial features and I have feminine hands and very little body hair for a man. However, I am still 6” tall and whilst this is not so much of a problem is Scandinavia, it makes you stand out in the United Kingdom no matter what anyone says. I am right at the end of readily available nice female shoes, being an EU42, and even when I am at prime fitness, I cannot crush my size to anything below size 14. Of course, with the addition of hormones there is no doubt that breast development and fat redistribution will assist in changing my body shape to the feminine form, but the reality is that I will always be above average size for a women.


I will admit that I recently became quite agitated reading a comments chain on a friends’ post where a silly admirer was saying that my friend was “better looking than 90% of real woman.” Really? What type of women is this guy hanging out with?! Because I can say right now, there is no pre-op no matter how good looking, gets anywhere close to be being as cute or as pretty as any of my past girlfriends. For that matter, they would not get close to any of the genetic girls I could go out and date with right now, were I so inclined. Seriously. And it is this sort of fantastical delusional thinking, expressed in the comment from this admirer, that again encourages some dresser to get carried away with themselves. Yes, the dresser in question may look passable, but what about in real life rather than the 1 in 20 shot that they post online? Do they move, speak and behave like a female? Can they do all those cute little things that drive guys wild? Likely answer – No.

The face I display when reading the comments of fantastists and those without respect. If looks could kill...

But more importantly, this thinking is so completely wrong and irrelevant it is not even funny. The truth is that none of us are in competition. If you want to transition what should be driving you is a desire to live your life as a female, not how good you might look when you transition. Or did I miss something? Yes, of course we all want to look the best we can, but I do worry about some dressers if they think that they are going to be a super model when they are already past 35. Take a trip down real street; you are the age you are, and if you are chasing purely vanity then I would suggest your issue is not about being trans-gendered, but more likely some other mental health issues that needs addressed.


And on vanity? Well, we all suffer from this to some degree given the number of pictures we all post. That said, I do get seriously alarmed and concerned for any dresser who continually modifies their images to the point where the images no longer look like themselves in real life. Yes, I completely understand the odd fit of face softening and use of filters for a quick lift. However, if a transgender person’s idea of their future self is some ridiculously photo shopped image, then they are going to be in for a big disappointment. I worry very much about people getting lost in false images of themselves as it can lead to a massive crash in self-image and depression when the truth of the situation finally dawns on the individual. I know - I have personally witnessed someone crash and burn into a state of depression as a result of this very issue.


So, in summary I too have had concerns about what I will look like but more from the perspective of how well I will pass and fit into society at large. I am sensible and realistic that at age 44 I have no expectation of being a gorgeous model or catwalk celebrity. Do I think I will even look as good as some of my pictures at Boys Will Be Girls with one of the world’s (if not the) best MUA providing the make-over? Possibly not. The happy place I have reached now however, is that I accept that fact and when I transition, I will be authentic and present externally how I feel internally. That is all that matters.


Despite being badly hung over at the Dior exhibition, I had a brilliant time with Maya, Tiffany and Rebecca. This deal is not about vanity, but having a good time with people as authentic as me

Have I stalled over worries about quality of life?


This is the single biggest reason for why I have delayed transitioning, certainly in the last few years. When I start to think about the hard realities of living as a woman full time, I am immediately confronted with a number of very series issues. How will friends respond to me and will they continually mis-gender me because of the past relationship with the boy? Will I be able to maintain a good professional job, without prejudice or being singled out as a novelty comedy figure to make-up diversity and inclusion numbers? Will the whole process have an adverse effect on my health long term? Will I be able to find a normal, intelligent and fit partner who can see past my transgender nature?


When it comes to quality of life, this is a very personal viewpoint depending on what we already have, and our expectations. For myself, I have no concern any more about what anyone thinks of me. When I reached 40, it was as if an angel came and gifted me with the sudden magical blessing of no longer giving a f**k about a whole range of issues that had previously been a cause of anxiety and doubt. I have not used this blessing to be rude or be a bitch, but I realised that I was hung up trying to please so many people, and meet so many objectives, that simply provided no positive return in my life. So, I stopped trying to please others and doing things that did not add value. Then I became happy.


With regards to employment, I am quite comfortable with the idea of transitioning in the workplace and have been for three job interviews as Stephanie. Whilst I have concluded that applying for jobs, effectively as a cross dresser, is not going to be successful it has definitely served to prove my resolve. I am confident now that I will be able to cope with going to a place of work as Steffie and will have no problems strolling into an office in heels, a nice 2 in 1 dress, over-priced coffee in one hand and equally over-priced handbag over the other shoulder.

On my way to interview number 2...wish me luck!

When it comes to health and romance who can tell what the future will hold. My only comment towards this will, sadly, be a bit of a cold shower for some nice friends and fantasists alike. Brace yourself. So, I have known some truly stunning trans girls over the years, both pre and post op, and some of whom are online today and regarded as some of the most beautiful people in our community. Of those, I can think on one hand how many of them are now in a healthy relationship with a decent guy. You see, for all the ridiculous “you are gorgeous” messages online, the sad truth is that it is not easy to find a guy who is prepared to commit to being in a relationship with a transgender woman. The fantastic 1 in 20 picture that we post online can certainly create a fantasy in the head of would be dates, but this is so often dashed with the hard reality of a voice that is too manly, a lack of feminine grace, and unwanted bodily parts coming into view.


Then there is the fact that the would-be lover, if serious, must now be prepared to tell all their loved ones that they are head over heels in love with a dresser or transitioned woman. In summary, for a would-be lover it is all just a bit more difficult and complicated when compared with a dating a cis gender woman. I have been round this loop several times and maybe I have been unlucky, but I suspect it is common for other girls too.


So, to wrap up this section; fear for my quality of life is not holding me back from transitioning any longer. I am realistic about what that life may look like and am comfortable with it. We all must have a source of income and as I have no one else to fall back on, it is essential that I do not train wreck my career. That said, I have been for interviews as Stephanie and have strategically moved in the direction of employers with the most progressive policies on the employment and equal rights of transgender women. I now have confidence I can survive the workplace as a woman, and it is a matter of time before I come out there too. When it comes to partners, I feel happy and complete in my own skin and whilst it would be nice to have someone full time, I do not need someone. In my mind, becoming Steffie takes priority and overrides any other desire for companionship. Once I have sorted my own situation, I will then be in a stronger position to present and win over the right partner.


Very happy just being me

Final remarks


If we could all just have decided from day one what gender we wanted to be, then I would have chosen female. For many years I have had a desire to transition, but I just did not get the overwhelming urge to transition which for me, means that I was not ready. The obvious answer for delaying the transition was that I simply did not want it enough. However, my feelings have definitely continued to swing towards the feminine and with more education and fewer concerns for my quality of life post transition, I really feel I am ready now.


I am clear in my mind that it is a mistake to think transitioning will provide any of us with that the happy ever after Hollywood ending. Simply put, if you think you are unhappy because you are not female then I would challenge this notion. Transitioning may the right reason and bring calmness in one respect, but if the overall goal is to have a content and happy life, this may be impacted if important relationships in your life are lost or damaged, your health or wealth is adversely impacted, or you find yourself alone post transition no matter how successful the outcome might be.


For many the answer might not lie in binary desire to be one group or other, requiring lots of risks to be taken in all aspects of life and health. I personally need to go the full way, but for many the non-binary road may be a better option and were I not already so skewed towards the full female ideal, it is the middle ground I would aim for.


The decision to transition is hard beyond belief and I have seen many teeter on the brink of going for it, year after year. For those that have clarity to proceed I applaud them, but equally have the deepest respect for those that are standing on the shore and continue to question if it is the right decision, given the complexities of their own individual situation. I do not believe it is a matter of commitment for many of us, but one of making the right choice and what level of compromise we are willing to accept, proceeding only when the time is right.


It is important to remain grounded but also happy with who we are on this journey. I try to remember every day that I am lucky to have got as far as I have already, and for the fun times and insight I have already gained in female guise. I have had my eyes opened to the way women are treated by men and I have gained invaluable insight into life from both perspectives, helping me to better a person in so many ways. In the vast history that went before us, it was not until relatively recently I could have walked down a street in western capital city dressed as a woman and not encountered an issue. Fundamentally, I remember every day to be happy for what I have already achieved and to never be resentful or upset for what may/may not be missing. Will I achieve more and be at peace as a woman? I believe so, but if I never achieved it, I have still had one hell of a fun time and many great experiences in heels xx

Keep smiling and remember we are beautiful already without transition. That would just make us EVEN better