A long suppressed vein, or rather, a gusher of emotion splashed out and required thought and consideration. I wanted to attempt to put words to the feelings. In this happy, frightening chaos was Voyages en Rose born on 26 November, 2008. And such a cute pink little thing.
The very first thing I wrote under my newly minted nom de femme went like so:
Petra emerges from within me from time to time. This odd desire to periodically express myself in a feminine form has been with me forever now. It washes in and draws me out. I often swim against the tide. I sometimes let it pull. I don't believe its going away, and so its time for me to court it formally.
This is still true, and I still like the way it reads. It was written as an introductory note, not only for early visitors, but for myself. With the outlines of a feminine persona, and a wobbly authorial voice, I went ahead and created a first post. You are all far, far too young to remember this gem, published under the headline, "Nice Legs, Shame About the Face" :
...This is neither undue flattery or false modesty. I have terrific legs. And I have a face that draws attention for all the wrong reasons while out en femme. As a male face, it works, its serviceable. Not so handsome that guys don’t trust me. Not so ugly that women run away. As a woman’s face though, its just sad.
There are a whole pile of issues big and small. There is too much nose. The shadow is dark. And I feel poorly about my smile. I think this pulls my eyes down. And all the mechanics from that drive through shoulders, tits and ass too with a predictable impact on my gait and passability. But for now back to the face.
I will spare the stories of how badly I have done myself up in the past. I have achieved looks only marginally better than vintage Twisted Sister and Little Orphan Annie. It was time to put myself in the hands of professionals. Here is A Tale of Two Facials. ....
From a years remove, I am surprised at how true this blogs baby steps are to how I express today. I am now perhaps a little more insouciant, and little less coarse, but writing with essentially the same voice.
That voice has expressed in 89,000 words, spread over 112 posts the tiniest fraction of what I have felt, experienced and hoped for. These words have attracted the attention of some 17,000 unique individuals visiting over 26,000 times from 4,202 cities in 122 countries. The amount of time you all have spent here surprises too …. some 42,000 precious minutes have sped past here. This to me is dizzying and gratifying.
I underestimated the strength of our numbers and I overestimated the degree to which I felt my circumstances were unique. Our numbers are strong, and while many cross dressers and transgendered face challenges on the way to expressing and living as we would want, one of those problems is not a lack of company and kinship along the way. And so to you visitors I am deeply, eternally indebted. Nice to have pleasant, like minded people on the path.
Writing is inherently solitary labor. Many writers give voice to the philosophy that the labor is the thing, and that what it causes to happen in the minds of the audience is something that they are not responsible for. Only a handful of great writers and the perfectly medicated can happily sustain that lofty belief. I am neither.
I do have, however one year later a much better understanding of, well, me, and am proud to count myself much richer in friends. These friendships have started often with comments left on posts here. There have been over 200 comments and I am happy to report that I have published all of them (excepting the 1 profanity laced, drunken, abusive and anonymous screed). Insightful and supportive, they are indeed raindrops in the desert. As are the friendships.
These friendships forged here on the Senator Ted Stevens Memorial Intertube Highway (apologies for the obscure reference to non-politico’s and overseas visitors) are what I am most thankful for, vis a vis my journey. I won’t name names, but you know who you are. Thanks for everything, and thanks as well for your own fiercely honest, illuminating, artful and often funny blogging.
A new year begins for Voyages en Rose now, and for me in my continuing embrace of my whole self. Thanks for sharing with me on this road.