Since my self-acceptance in October 2015, I have been evolving seemingly at hyper-speed.
Let me first explain that this has gone from the loathing and self-hate, where a single item of female clothing may have been what I wore to now a situation where my total and overall presentation is “it” for me. I am sure most of us have had similar experiences. An occurrence in our youth, maybe trying on a sister’s or mother’s item of clothing. It often happens in our formative years and sticks with us, in one form or fashion, for life. It comes and goes but is always lurking in the background. It is manageable and at some point becomes all-consuming. Almost fifty years of my life I was tortured by this, I just didn’t realize it until it changed for me. Never enjoyable, never fun, compulsive, guilt ridden.
During those years, it was bits and pieces that did it for me. Maybe one single item (I’ll leave that to your imagination). Maybe an entire, scattershot outfit, assembled like I was shoplifting in various stores, on a completely hairy body, overweight, dressed only from the neck down at best.
Then I evolved, out of necessity to keep my sanity. You can read about it in the “About” section here so I’ll fast forward from my self-acceptance to my wife’s acceptance of all of this and the genesis of Kandi. Simply creating the persona, figuring out EVERYTHING, how to dress, what looks best on me, makeup, lingerie, where to go, what to do. Basically, I went from a teenage girl to a middle aged woman in about a year. Then I moved into the mature woman I have become and continue to evolve as to who and what I am and who and what I want to become. I did most of this without any help or guidance.
We all evolve. I am a member of a popular CD forum, having commented and shared frequently, also offering comments and support. Some of the things I couldn’t wait to tell someone, anyone, don’t even hold my interest now. Now I hardly check in there anymore and when I do, I try only to comment on things for ladies in the same general situation I am in. Evolution. I used to spend hours online reading different CD related things and now I have my blog as well as Flickr and Facebook pages and beside that, I am interested in where I can interject myself into what are considered “mainstream” activities, like my many charities. Now, satisfaction is derived from a well assembled outfit, the love and acceptance of others and placing myself in situations where someone dressed like me may be unusual, but is completely accepted as “normal”.
I continue to evolve and look forward to becoming more involved with certain charities, participating on committees, assisting with setting up events, being sort of a business woman. I continue trying to find a part time job where I can be Kandi, in the service of others. There are a few others things I am thinking about.
Things have been evolving again for me a bit of late. I am not pressing to get out, I am allowing opportunities to come naturally and accepting small outings. A yoga class. Or just running to the store, dressed but without makeup. I don’t do nothing well, so if I had nothing to do, I always ginned up an outing. Now I am trying to slow things down a bit. My participation in playing pickleball and that sense of community has helped. That has replaced an outing or two.
Coming out of the pandemic (if we ever did or will do so), I remade myself again. I am an actress (five movies under my belt, with a sixth coming soon), have taken improv and performed a bit as well and I am both a print and runway model having walked three shows and you can see here where I have been published. I believe I have identified a modeling agency to work with and continue to find ways to be creative and included. I am very proud that everything I have done has been as a woman, not in a stereotypical “tranny” role, magazine or show.
I guess my greatest satisfaction is representing our community in varied mainstream situations. I’ve seen that type of evolution with some TG friends I met early on. As they progress down their difficult road, the nature of their relationship with me and those they have met along the way changes. Instead of being out dressed, they are out, plain and simple. While not full time, I am getting to just being out, plain and simple and not being out dressed. I continue to try to help a sister whenever possible because I know what it was like for me.
If all goes as planned, I will be on the set today of my sixth movie, my second paid role in a major production. I’ll have something to report soon, I hope!