Click to view her Flickr page.
Rummaging about in my virtual box of photos I found this, which isn’t all the different from previous snapshots but different enough to serve as a visual complement to some recent thoughts.
Before you read the next few paragraphs, know that I am very happy and healthy and life is looking good. I say this to preempt any concern that I am in denial or otherwise experiencing something unpleasant regarding my state of mind.
January 2024 will be it for Alexandra Forbes, methinks. My plan is to spend a couple of days in a nice hotel in the DC area and snap away like there is no tomorrow. I’ve several outfits never worn and a few I intend to wear again. I may even venture out if I feel up to it. When I feel tired, I’ll bag everything up nicely and donate what I can to Goodwill or an equivalent and toss the makeup.
I still enjoy crossdressing, or at least the idea of it. But the long spans of time between dressing events have revealed that I don’t crave it nearly as much as I did. I still get a buzz when gussied up, especially going out into the wild, but it really isn’t the same anymore. The good news is, while bittersweet, physically parting company with my alter ego will be a relief. Of course, Alex will live on in my cranium, but her exhausting manifestation in the real world will be over. I figure it is best to bow out while ahead and not just end the nearly 20-year run without some sort of celebratory event.
Another reason for this controlled reentry is that social media is not what it used to be. The CD community on Flickr was much more vibrant and interesting years back; during the past few years many folks have moved on to other platforms or just vanished entirely with nary a word. Some of us remain, thankfully, but the traffic has dwindled and a good deal more faceless folks and creepy trolls have entered the holes that formed. My guy self recently reengaged on Facebook, and I already regret it as it serves as a messy, noisy froth of conspiracy theories, pointless rants, and “suggested posts” I just assume ignore.
Having said all that, my Flickr presence isn’t going anywhere and I intend to post photos from my marathon next month for weeks thereafter. I also want to keep in touch with friends and some I admire from a distance.
Now, does that mean an elderly Alexandra will never be seen? Maybe. But I wouldn’t hold my breath 🙂
As I mentioned in the previous post, I’ve decided on a swan song-type of conclusion to the Alex thing in January 2024. This will mark about 18 years since starting this curious adventure, at least in terms of an online presence.
As I also mentioned, I have a slew of outfits I’ve never had a chance to try on, so those will be modeled. I also have a salt-and-pepper wig with a tossed style that I’ve seen on some women I rather like, but not sure how it will appear on me. Silver hair need not be associated with old age, of course; I’ve always been attracted to women in their 50s who have their shit together, professionally and in terms of fashion. I hope I can emulate this look I so admire without coming off as trite or amusing.
It’ll be a busy marathon day or two in some hotel in DC. I do look forward to it, for two reasons. I like the idea of dressing again, at least the end result. But I also look forward to purposefully concluding the physical manifestation of this aspect of myself. I’ve been mentally preparing for it for a few years, in fact, and it will be a relief to move on and end the hiding and lying.
I will confess something to you. I hope that when I put everything on and look at myself in the mirror, I will feel ugly, a man in drag and not doing a good job of it. Recently, when I’ve looked in the mirror, what stares back at me is ok. As a guy, I’m healthy and I think aging well. But I marvel at the gall I have in assuming I can make myself look like an attractive woman. The balding head, wrinkles, hooded eyes, sagging jowls, the dewlap, and so forth add up to a mortifying realization that I likely cannot pull off the Alex thing anymore. I’ve had this feeling before, since about 2015, and each time I do surprise myself. But I am not delusional; I am aware that it is much harder to pull off the look I am aiming for and the results are not nearly what they used to be. The photos you see are curated, of course. They are not modified beyond your typical photographic manipulation, but they represent a tiny fraction of the overall pool. And that pool is not pretty. I say that not to elicit sympathy or false modesty. It inspires in me something a good friend and fellow CD-er once asked me: “Will you be honest and tell me when I can’t do this convincingly anymore? I want to quit while ahead and not look the fool.” How does one answer that? Alas, I’ve been posing that question to myself lately.
Now, if I put on the getup next month and what stares back at me is an attractive, snobbish, chic woman of a certain age who won’t suffer fools, I’m worried things will be complicated going forward. Will I instead exceed expectations? If so, what does that mean for Alex going forward? Perhaps I won’t be so eager to hang up the nylons.
To be honest, I don’t think this result is likely 🙂
Dress: STATE Cardigan: Calvin Klein Boots: Charter Club Hosiery: Tiffany Quinn