The following interview is running on TGForum, another blog for which I write.
Tell Shelley Anne…
An interview with Kandi Robbins
By Shelley Anne Baker
If you are an avid reader of TGForum, you are familiar with contributing editor Kandi Robbins, a straight MTF bi-gendered crossdresser, although she does not necessarily like that label. In her own words, “it serves as a descriptor.”
She is very happily married with two wonderful daughters and quite comfortable in her own skin, frequently volunteering, attending church, and socializing as a woman. According to Kandi, the more people involved in an event or situation, the better. She would much prefer interacting with the world on her own, being out in public as “myself” and meeting new people and making new friends. It is so affirming being accepted, at least so far, everywhere she has gone.
Kandi says she is quite fortunate to get out about three times weekly spending a great deal of time volunteering when dressed. She generally prefers being in mainstream situations. Over the past year, she has become an actress, in five movies to date, one of which was a large scale Netflix production. Kandi is a working model, published in three different magazines, and walking in three fashions shows, including New York Fashion Week. She also performs improv on occasion. Her blog and YouTube channel have received tremendous feedback on both. Kandi invites everyone to come over and visit Kandi’s Land.
TGForum: Is it hot in Cleveland for a crossdresser?
Ms. Robbins: You are asking the wrong girl! I have been out over a thousand times and outside of attending a few events for the CD/TG community, I can count on one hand the number of times I have gone out to a CD or TG specific place. I am and so far, have been, accepted simply as a woman in mainstream society. I have not yet had a single negative experience, putting myself in thousands of locations and situations, in front of tens of thousands of people. I have preached, on numerous platforms and in great detail on my blog, my Rules of the Road. Be smart. Be appropriate. Be confident. Be visible. I shot a series of video seminars on these rules (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC49mgXlvuXvE1DG_gkdvDKg) and soon will be doing getaway weekends on these rules (Kandi’s Land Live!).
TGForum: Let’s set the record “straight,” in your heart and head you are a woman.
Ms. Robbins: Head and heart, a woman. No question. But I will never transition, no interest. While I mentally identify as a woman, I also am very comfortable as a man. My life has a definite packing order – husband, father, friend, athlete and then, and only then, Kandi. I cherish being my wife’s (male) husband and would do nothing to ever change that. I am Dad, the male figure in our adult children’s life. I am an athlete, 100% the result of having accepted myself about eight years ago. I will be running the Boston Marathon in April. I almost never go out as Kandi until that day’s workout is completed.
TGForum: How often do you look back at that day you told your wife (family) about making a life change?
Ms. Robbins: Never. While it certainly charted a wonderful course in my life, I do not dwell in the past. I have been through some things in my life that would crush a person with lesser mental toughness. So, I push through, survive, look for the positive side of life and try to spread kindness. I decided over the past few years to not dwell in negativity and be around negative people. I do not watch the news for that reason. My sole purpose now in life is to help show what is possible and try to give back and be kind to everyone and anyone I come into contact with.
TGForum: Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
Ms. Robbins: Survival. Getting through difficulties, meeting people, and taking the best of each of those people and using that to make myself a little better. Within a one-week period of time, once in Cleveland and once in New York, a woman came up to me as I simply stood there and told me how beautiful I am (yes, they do need their eyes checked). Conversations ensued with multiple hugs and kisses on the cheek. I have witnesses and photographic evidence.
TGForum: You have talked about diet changes, any advice you would like to offer crossdresser community members?
Ms. Robbins: Pretty simple. Love yourself. Once I did that, I easily shed about 35 pounds and became a very competitive runner. Nothing tones one’s body more, especially for a great feminine presentation, than running. I would never offer diet advice as I am not educated in nutrition and only know what works for me. My body, my legs, both frequently complimented, are not God given. I work my tail off; I have run thousands and thousands of miles.
TGForum: I love your bridal photos. Have you considered being a bridal consultant and certified by the Association of Bridal Consultants?
Ms. Robbins: No. The thought never crossed my mind. For many reasons, that sounds like a romantic way to make a living, but the realities of life and business tell me I would not be able to make a living at doing something like this. I have a significant number of talents to offer, but being elderly, I am not well versed at social media, a must these days. I was probably the only model at New York Fashion Week without an Instagram account and I have never laid eyes on Instagram.
TGForum: Is there a golden rule by which you live?
Ms. Robbins: Love yourself and others. Love solves every single problem we face on this planet. Will it ever happen universally? Of course not, but it is undeniable that it is the solution. So, I try to do my best with everyone I come into contact with.
TGForum: Were you always a fan of Marilyn (Monroe)?
Ms. Robbins: If you are referring to my recent Marilyn shoot, no, not really what I would call a fan. I just thought it would be a cool shoot and I do believe I was correct about that. Photos on my blog should prove that.
TGForum: Are you always seeking new ongoing contributors to your blog?
Ms. Robbins: Absolutely. Kandi’s Land is a community of like-minded women. Our purpose is to demonstrate and share about going out and being ourselves and doing so with class and style. Our purpose is to show that we are not alone, there are others that think and feel as we do and that it can be done with thought and meaning. I am not into things like headless photos and shots of only one’s legs or feet. I do not need to see your genetalia. I have my own to reference if need be. To be a contributor you have to be generally positive and uplifting, I will not allow whining about spouses (we have those in DADT situations, but they do not complain about their spouse, only the circumstance), no politics (both sides are self-serving and could not care less about their constituents), and we are a PG-13 blog. My blog gained traction once I brought others into the tent.
TGForum: What is the best way for readers to contact you?
Ms. Robbins: The Contact page on my blog. I always respond to comments and appropriate messages. Cross the line and I will block you, but that rarely happens.
Shelley Anne Baker has been part of the transsexual and transgender community for seven years. Wandering about the California BDSM community, she finally found her stride in making the transition to dresses and hi-heels. Today, her women’s apparel, and shoes outnumbers her male apparel (that she just has to have for certain occasions, but such is life). She has seriously considered HRT, but now feels life has passed her by on that count. She is a professional writer and experienced corporate brand marketing and public relations consultant. For interview consideration and participation email Shelley Anne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want to thank Shelley for having asked me to do this and I also want to say she is considering contributing here to Kandi’s Land! We would love another voice.