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Both of Me

An updated oldie....

[The mysterious and illusive] Sherry sent me a text recently (okay, a few years ago) about how wonderful it was for some new recent friends to accept me as I am, both myself and Kandi. It got me thinking, which is always dangerous.

Doing this, being completely open about both sides of me, introducing people to both sides of me, is nothing new. I have done it numerous times. [I now make a living as two different people.]

Just before the pandemic fell upon us, I worked a Destination Cleveland event. Destination Cleveland uses volunteers as local ambassadors. This was a luncheon at the convention center. We served as wayfinders, pointing people through the matrix of the center to the event. During some down time, I chatted up a fellow volunteer. We discovered we lived about a mile from each other. Peg was great! We talked about running and other sporting activities and she suggested I join their pickleball group. I had never heard of the game and it had become my salvation during the pandemic. It is my little slice of normalcy. She met Kandi initially. She see me frequently as myself. Not an issue.

I was a volunteer for The Arthritis Foundation. I worked many high end, public events for them as Kandi. They have an annual December 5K that I also work. Because I know many runners who attend and run it myself (Kandi is not a runner, she is lazy), I show up and work the event as myself. I simply let them know whenever I work, which one of me will be there. A complete nonissue. I am treated well in either circumstance.

I have worked two Proms to Remember, our Prom for teens battling cancer. [As an aside here, this is the worst thing for me from the pandemic, this amazing, awesome event is not more. It is the single best thing I have ever done outside of family.] While Kandi works the event and attends the frequent organizational meetings and fundraisers, there have been occasions that I could not get dressed, so I attended as myself. No one cares, they are simply happy to have me and my efforts to help.

I have been actively involved with the North Coast Men’s Chorus, again almost always as Kandi. There have been occasions for one reason or the other I could not get dressed, so again, I show up. No one cares, they are simply happy to have me there to help.

Just this past week [as of the day I wrote this a million years ago], I met a couple while enjoying Happy Hour at a favorite establishment. As often happens, I meet a runner and we get to talking. She also happened to be a tennis player and had been a member at the tennis club I belong to (in order to play pickleball) and expressed an interest in the game. I sent a text, got her invited to play in my regular Sunday game and told her to meet me (me, not Kandi) then. We had a great time. She fit in very well and seemed to enjoy herself. No big deal.

I could go on with this list, but my memory fails me at times [more so now that I am elderly and decrepit]. I guess my point here is that if you want to go out in public, then do so. Simple as that. Is it risky? No more than it would be to do anything else in life. I have gotten traffic tickets dressed, been to court dressed, all the while identifying as myself. Nonissues.

No one cares what I am wearing (unless I look really good!) and usually I get more positive feedback than I would otherwise. I explained to some new friends I recently met, Kandi is really a beloved figure; me, not so much. No one pays me any special attention as myself, as Kandi, they are often drawn to me like flies. And THAT pleases me!

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7 Responses

  1. Kandi,
    I thought I could make both sides work for me but it wasn’t to be , going out in male mode just became too painful . The question you pose is do others really care ? I recall just after I moved to my new home town I had to buy some items from Screwfix ( supplying tools hardware etc. in retail and online ) , it was one of my first outings as Teresa everything was fine . A few days later I had to drop in at my sister in law’s to do a couple of jobs ( she’s Ok with Teresa but my brother in law prefers not to see me ) so I popped into Screwfix in male mode to get some odds and ends , the sales lady looked me and said , ” why on earth are you dressed like that , I much prefer the lady ” . I explained about seeing my sister in law , to that she just pulled a face and said , ” that’s her problem !”

    All this is now academic since I’ve now changed my name and gender marker this year .

    Obviously it’s up to the individual and what they’re happy with , and I’m so much happier as Teresa .

  2. Kandi, your confidence and comfort level when you go out is an inspiration to me. I have gained so much confidence going out now, and have had a lot of fun as well.

  3. You’re so right on Kandi. I always enjoy what you share and hope to at the very least be able to someday live the way you do. I’m sure both sides of you are the same wonderful and kind person. But of course female you is going to attract attention. Who wouldn’t be drawn to that? And from my own experiences as a man, my attention is 10 times more likely to be drawn to a woman, especially one wearing dresses or skirts. But that attention is usually wondering how I would look in such an outfit or wishing I could dress that way, so maybe it’s not the same as other guys. I’ve never in my life seen another male and wished I could be dressed like them. I wonder if I could make friends the way you do, dressing as a woman? I really think it’s the person themselves more than the way they dress. And you’re always like a ray of sunshine, at least from my perspective seeing your pictures and knowing you from this site.

    1. Lizzy, I am considerably older than you. As such, I have reached the stage on my life where IDGAF (you can figure it out…). Once you reach that stage, making friends becomes easy because from my perspective, I have nothing to lose. That bodes confidence and people are attracted to confidence. You will get there!

      1. Thank you Kandi, I love the way you put it, yes I know what you mean. I’m in a situation still where I would have a lot to lose if I came out to family and friends so I totally understand what you said. And I should correct what I said about never seeing a male and wanting to dress like them. From a biological standpoint I’ve seen a lot of males and wished I could be dressed like and look like them. Referring to crossdressers and transwomen in this instance, they are women to me and I would love to model myself after so many of them.

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