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CaliWorld (Trademark/Copywrite)

As we have repeatedly said, this is different for each and every one of us.

By Cali

There have been recent posts by the other contributors here on Kandi’s Land [Editorial comment: Trademark/Copywrite] on how deal with this side. I offer a different perceptive.

First, let me say that I am approaching the 30th anniversary of my 39th birthday (Jack Benny reference) and have known about this side since before the age of 9.

Unlike many of the other contributors here on Kandi’s Land, I rarely wear a dress, skirt, or bra in public. Almost only on Halloween. I rarely dress all the way including full makeup at home by myself. Never been a bar or club person and don’t drink much anymore. However, this doesn’t mean Cali is hidden from the world, existing only within the walls of my house.

I always had a few items around that I would hide and bring out when I was alone. I have always love nail polish, bras, and make-up. However, with kids, coaching teams, work, running “daddy’s taxi”, I had very little alone time.

Over 2 decades ago I had a very serious injury that changed how I look at life. It also changed my marriage. I have had other major injuries and surgeries as well. Over the years, doctors have suggested that I wear panties and heels. Now I wear panties, mostly VS thongs. Men’s shoes caused many surgical reconstructions, so I only wear women’s shoes and mostly high heels to reduce hip pain.

About 15 years ago, I couldn’t find the type of top I wanted in the men’s department of several department stores in a large mall. As I was leaving the mall, I saw the top in the women’s department and purchased it. That started my closet’s transition. I divorced my wife over other matters and converted a small room into a walk-in closet in the house I bought. And I bought more (women’s) clothes.

However, I had a dilemma, I have a public professional job, and more people know me than I know. I run into people that remember me all the time, so dressing totally en femme in public has been for only special events. Besides, I rarely drink. I also didn’t want to just dress up to do nothing.

My closet, not me, decided to transition. Many of my tops and almost all my pants have transitioned. I was getting pedicures with color and enjoying the pampering.

I decided to be ME and integrate my girl and boy worlds as much as I could. To embrace life and have fun with it: get my nails colored, wear high heels, etc., even occasional makeup, luv mascara/shadow.

I wear mostly clothes from the women’s section, short shorts, tight jeans, leggings, or bikini bottoms. I have many bodysuits, camis, sleeping tops, jackets, sherpas, etc. And I even have a few dresses and skirts, including a VS LBD that I hope to wear (rock) one day to something like Keystone.

Although I have no plans to transition, my closet already has.

You won’t see me out in public in a dress or skirt, but you might see me in skinny jean, knee high stiletto boots, bodysuit, and sherpa. Instead of dressing up once in a blue moon, I’m dressed every day and loving it. And at home maybe (much) more.

After thought. I have been surprised by how many cis women have come over at meetings just to compare nail color or look at my heels and tell me they wish that they could wear them too.


14 Responses

  1. Cali,
    There’s always so much to say after reading a post like this and I do fully understand your point of view .

    Perhaps it all come down to one word , ” Boundaries ” . How many are yours and how many are set by others ? I apologise if I’m repeating myself and I’m sure you know my story but six years ago I was faced with the same problem , what were my boundaries and what were set by others ? The big question was could I really sustain full time , what did it really entail ? There was only one way to find out which really did mean jumping in at the deep end and hope I wasn’t totally out of my depth . Two points to consider , I was retired from my photography business and I was separated , and subsequently divorced , so I had no disaproving wife and no business contacts to consider .
    You go into some detail with you wardrobe and I admit that was a learning curve for me , everyday is totally different to occasional , I’d decided to enter a woman’s world which meant blending and acceptance . Looking back perhaps the biggest encouragement was not return to male mode , after a few months there was nothing left for me there . Also many of my fears had ebbed away , I’d lost far less than I feared or predicted by others and I was beginning to gain so much more .
    I accept your life is not my life , you choose to live differently to me but consider don’t sell Cali short , you soon fall into the routine of being her even if you have nothing definite planned . If I run short of milk or a stanger calls at my door Teresa is always ready and if not I always have home chores and a garden to tend . Only yesterday I was about to leave for my painting group when my son rang and asked if he could drop in at lunch time . That was an opportune time to tell him I’d officially changed my name , he was OK with it .

    1. Teresa,
      I am happy that you are retired and have decided to live your life as Teresa.
      I am divorced and I plan to work a few more years to max out my retirement. I must since it cost me over $500K of my retirement in my divorce, (new house with higher taxes, …). I work a very public job and am in a leadership position there.
      My boundaries are self-imposed. I know I could transition at work and have very little push back, but I decided years ago that while I like to dress as woman, I did not want to transition into a woman. I’ve never got into the bar scene and hardly drink now, so getting dress and going to a bar has no appeal to me. For now, full en femme is restricted to Halloween and a cis-girlfriend girl time (rare since she moved away). However, if I ever made it out to Keystone or some other event, I would wear
      my LBD and be totally glam out.
      My body, its chemistry, and past injuries have landed me where I am today. And I am happy – that’s what matters.
      I do have more things I would like to do: laser off my facial hair, pierced ears, ….

      1. Cali,
        I must admit I’m not into the ” bar scene ” in fact I hardly if ever attend transgender group meetings now . Life is very normal for me now , so I’m more into socialising with various groups , going for lunch or coffee usually with female friends I’ve met in the various groups . Going for day trips or holidays is really lovely and far more enjoyable as Teresa , The icing on the cake for me is when I receive my new passport , then I can really test the water .

        Transition can be scary but I have no regrets life is now complete for me .

  2. Cali,
    Thank you for sharing some details of your life. We are all different, and you and I are very different.

    I love your style and I bet you look fabulous in tight jeans and 4” heels.

    Keep living your life “your way”.

    As Jack Benny says “Modesty is my best quality”.



    1. Thanks Jocelyn.
      I like my skinny jeans and pants because (1) they show off my calves (2) I want to wear my knee high boots on the outside.
      In the summer, its mostly short shorts with my 4 inch heels…and when I feel playful, with my knee high stilettos.
      The one thing you must do is look good in whatever you wear or do.

  3. Cali your life sounds a bit like mine now
    Most of what I wear also is ladies clothes
    Tops and skinny jeans as well as leggings
    Yes I do have full fem days but much of my days I don’t wear a wig but I do wear makeup and love doing it, just wish I was better at it.
    Yes we all have to find our fit in this life especially when one is bi genderd as we are

    1. Rachael,
      Makeup requires three things (1) correct tools, (2) correct products, and (3) the 3 P’s: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, and more PRACTICE. But practice is fun.
      Many summer days you will find me working in my garden with a bra/corset, sunsuit (skin cancer), bikini bottom, and mascara +.

  4. Hi Cali!
    I totally love your posts! I haven’t worn my stilettos out into the wide world yet, but skinny jeans and boots with four-inch heels? For sure! No one complains, but I do get compliments! I’m still rocking my gorgeous long nails, too — Revlon Red 680 for this week’s mani (for Valentines, of course). And I just added a delicious Kate Spade bag to my daily ensemble.
    So, you go, girl! You’re an inspiration.

    1. Thanks George.
      My fingernails are acrylic with a gel color on top so I get a new set once a month. My toes have a blue glitter. Both mani and pedi last for a full month without any scratchs. I been using a Pink Abalone gel from Nobility for the last few months and get random compliments on them all the time.
      I have been wearing mostly 4 inch heels for 9 years now and have had less than a handful of complaints over that time. Most people are too wrapped up in their worlds (aka phone) to even notice.
      Enjoy your nails and your KS bag.

  5. Cali, I really enjoyed this post particularly as it covers a topic that’s recently been on my mind for a post – the idea that we shouldn’t think in terms of male and female when decide what to wear (not least because worrying about being ‘clocked’ inevitably then consumes us) but just what works for us. Life is far easier when we’re happy to be taken at face value as we no longer need to worry about what people may think.

    Ironically, of course, no one bats an eyelid if a woman wears an outfit sourced entirely from the men’s department and the quicker that we can get to universal tolerance the other way round the better.

    1. Are women who wear completely men’s clothes to be considered crossdressers? Society says no.

      Why is it not the other way around? Of course that sets off the debate trying to define gender specific clothes. I don’t think there is a definition.

      1. It’s an interesting question to ponder, Jocelyn, and I doubt there’s a satisfactory answer. There again, we only need to go back 100 years to see a time where the divide between men and women was clearly defined – in the UK, only women over 30 could vote and even then only if they met certain property ownership criteria and there are plenty of other examples where women were disadvantaged when compared to their male counterparts. So I guess a large part of the answer to the question of inequality that we in particular are victims of now is that, as they played catch up, society in general awarded women concessions that they perceived were already enjoyed by men – something like ‘if men can wear trousers, so can women’. WW2 may also have played a big part as women had to take on jobs historically done by men in the factories and, in so doing, normalised what was once a male dress code for women.

        1. Jocelyn/Amanda,
          This topic of coversation often crops up and no doubt it’s a conversation that’s also occured with your wife . Men have to suffer this stigma that crossdressing is wrong , weird , creepy , a fetish or whatever , women don’t have that problem .
          On occasions I’m the only female wearing a skirt at my painting group , it bothered me for a while but I made the mistake of thinking no one noticed and believe me women do notice . The only comment to my face is I have great legs , I know many women hate their legs and that’s partly why they choose to wear longer skirts or more often trousers or jeans . The idea of layering is often to disguise certain areas of their body which they dislike , most men just let it all hang out !!

          As for makeup ( full ) it now only takes me a few minutes but I still possibly wear slightly more than most women but then I have more to cover up . I don’t aim for perfection as most women don’t on a daily basis but even then I sometimes get the comment, ” Oh, you look glam this morning !”

      2. Jocelyn and Amanda,
        It’s the manufactures are the ones that label the gender of clothes. And decide that men’s fashion must be black, grey, or dark blue. I first switched to ‘women shoes’ only over a dozen years ago after another painful ankle reconstruction. It was men’s shoes that was causing my ankle issues. My ankles have been great ever since. When my urologist suggested I wear women’s panties, I looked around to find what would work for me. I’m a loyal Victoria’s Secret thong angel now.
        Since then I have been buying what I wanted to wear no matter what area of the store it was in. With few exceptions, I wear want I in public and to work. The exceptions are dresses (especially my LBD) and a few tops. The funny thing is that I have had both men and women ask where I found an item I’m wearing. My cheetah sherpa is a touchdown (49er fan) every time I wear it. It was a scary decision to make and I am so glad I did it. It sold out in less that 3 weeks. You have to bold to wear what you want, to be YOU.
        I always loved nail polish and for years wished I could wear it. Then one day when my hand was in a cast I got a pedicure, then another, and another, … Soon I was getting regular pedicures with polish. Damaged fingernails lead to manicures with acrylic which are then covered with gels. One day I decide to get more than a clear gel. Now I can’t imagine life without colored nails 24/7/365.

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