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She's back (and I could not be more pleased)!

By Maddie Smith

I figured it was about time I renewed my writer’s license before Kandi ejects me from the team! Not that I have been absent from here; I still read every article and happily lurk in the background, occasionally sending Kandi an email. And isn’t she cool; all that she has shared with us from her life is brave and special. I couldn’t be that open.

My absence is primarily due to life getting in the way. Last year was both awesome and just awful. We got smashed by cyclones and flooding events, and if that wasn’t enough, both N and I had massive changes in employment. The bottom line was that Maddie was conspicuously absent.

And that’s ok, it happens sometimes. But what I have realized in the interim is how big the gulf in my distance is on the gender scale between, as an example, Kandi and me, and yet how some things are exactly the same. Like others of you here, for me its all about letting my inner girl out sometimes, with an end game of being able to go out for coffee or shopping and pass (oh no, there’s that word …) by not attracting any attention or questioning. Obviously, I’ll have to keep my mouth shut … I couldn’t do what Kandi and Dee do, it just doesn’t fit with where I am, nor would I be brave enough. (And yet I am exactly like them. I guess we all are in our own way). What I crave is just the chance to occasionally be one of the girls, look like one of the girls without being conspicuously different, share those girl things for a while (because many of them are part of me regardless) then put everything back in the box and build up until the next chance to repeat. If I could do that on demand, I’d be happy. I love the anticipation, the shopping in preparation, the discussions on clothes and makeup, and all the elements that help create the illusion. I recognize the same in others here.

I was mostly working away from home last year, which adds to the problem. So, over the Christmas period I had 2 days I put aside for all day Maddie sessions. It was so good to have her back!

Day two was yesterday. Something happened that first scared the hell out of me, then thrilled me. You may or may not have read an article I wrote previously about the first time I stayed completely in Maddie mode until N came home from work. It was planned for the first time I was happy with my results, and the day had arrived. But, N freaked out when she saw me. The story has a moral to it, but to summarise, she left me that morning but “then I came home to a woman that I could not recognize” (thank you Billy Joel). Yes, I took the compliment, but it was nearly over-and-out to Maddie on day one. Since N found Maddie, encouraged her, and supported her in every way, it was an unexpected reaction. We figured it out over the following days. It was all due to the two extremes. It even made her feel like she was cheating on me. The next time N was part of the creation process, and it was never an issue again. Nothing like sharing a makeover together.

But back to yesterday. When I put my wig on and looked in the mirror, I felt everything N felt that day. And it really did feel like a hammer blow to the head as I saw something of what she saw that day – I didn’t recognise me … I would happily have stepped outside if that had been the plan, with high confidence that very few, if any, would have made me purely on appearance.

Once I realised I’d hit a new benchmark, it was thrilling! But of course, now I want even better still!

Unfortunately, I’m back to lurking mode again and Maddie is boxed up. From next week it will be 12 hour days at a minimum, and there’s a wedding soon! There is stuff to look forward to, such as the makeup trial with our artist, who has become a personal friend, and the only one to see me go from one mode to the other. She is also invited to the wedding. While she’s doing N’s makeup, I might practice gluing on lashes again. There are also little things, such as the fact we get our brows done together now, and I’m also getting my nails done for the wedding, just because I can!

Which all means 2024 is a year to look forward to and savour. And while last year was just crap in so many ways, it was also fantastic, as the two of us spent every minute together we could, and had fun planning the rest of our wedding. I am so lucky to have someone who gives 1000% support to Maddie, or anything else I’m doing. Mind you, she gets exactly the same back!

So, while I might not be commenting often, or writing as much as I would like to, I’ll be right here reading everyone’s exploits, enjoying them too, and recognising what a special group this is. And also being grateful for the special, unique and hard-working Kandi.

So please renew my writer’s license Kandi. I’m not going away any time soon …

Maddie, you are a sister, always will be whether or not you post here. We are all sisters here!


10 Responses

  1. Maddie, nice to see you again and I really enjoyed that post, not least because I can relate to so much of it. The life we lead is a challenging one to say the least but the feelings we get when the planets do align reward us many times over.

    Glad to hear that you got some well earned M-time over the Christmas break – you looked fantastic!!

    1. Thank you for the king comments Amanda. I think we probably have more in common than just driving on the proper side of the road!!!
      It’s a big year this one and the planets have been kind so far. But the real test of alignment will be to see if we were stupid or clever to choose an outside wedding in February …

      1. You may be right about February and weddings, given where you are. We had ours in July – lovely day, nice venue with large grounds so many of the guests decided to go out for a walk between the meal and the evening party at which point the heavens opened and soaked them all!

  2. Maddie,
    Even after all these years I will never forget the moment when I looked in the mirror and saw only Teresa , the man had gone ! It’s a scary and also an exciting moment when you realise I CAN DO THIS !
    It’s lovely for you now N understands and has become more a part of Maddie , it never happened to me and the rest is ( long ) history .
    I hope 2024 is a better year for you , I’m sure most of us will agree when we say the knockbacks don’t come singly , some years are full of crap but aren’t we the lucky ones to have a side to us to have a different , wonderful place .

    1. Totally agree Teresa, we are the lucky ones! The thing is that N discovered this part of me, so was part of it from the start. It was more the case that there are things that happen along the way you just don’t ever envisage …
      And you sure are right – that I Can Do This moment sure is a powerful one!
      Possibly an expensive one too – I told my makeup artist I want a longer course now, not just a couple of hours as they have been. I’m really getting into that side of things as a separate interest, and want to lift it to another level.

  3. Maddie,
    It is great to hear from you. I have wondered what you have been up to, and how you were doing.

    Sorry to hear of your troubles in 2023, but glad to know that 2024 will be much better.

    Stay beautiful both inside and out.


    1. Thanks Jocelyn. Honestly, the troubles really are minor in the big scheme of things. I am very blessed with every part of my life and any problems all add character! That said, this year has started so well; may that continue!

  4. “Obviously, I’ll have to keep my mouth shut … I couldn’t do what Kandi and Dee do, it just doesn’t fit with where I am, nor would I be brave enough.”

    First of all, thanks for the compliment. FWIW, I am currently down under, on the other end of the continent (north versus south) from where I assume you live (I assume one of the two areas in the Qantas name).

    Second, why can’t you? Over my 38 years of coming here, I’ve found Aussies to be accepting, even to Yanks. I don’t pass, but I don’t care, and neither does anyone else I encounter (and I’ve ridden the Melbourne trains and walked the CBD streets, and done a few bits in a bathing cozzy on the beaches). I finally got out after I read about others and asked myself, “why not me”?

    Third, you do have what I don’t, a fully accepting wife. My wife is tolerant, but she makes it clear she’d prefer I didn’t dress and doesn’t really understand why I do. Accept that as a blessing.

    Good luck in 2024, and may Maddie expand her comfort zones.

    1. Hi Dee. The fit with where I am bit was mental state, as opposed to physical location! And I know how precious Americans get when we ask if they are from Canada, so it’s just as well you are such a nice person so you get away with accusing me of being from the other side of the ditch!!!! Our rugby team is way better as you should know by now … Not precious at all …
      I know the whole passing thing is a minefield, but for me that is important. I have so much respect for you and Kandi, as just two examples, living your female side just exactly as you want to. And I guess that was the point I was trying to make – we are all exactly the same yet so different.
      And yes, I have the most amazing fiancé in the world. And in another few weeks I’ll be able to replace the description fiancé with wife!

  5. Maddie,
    The one great thing about Kandi’s Land is we can share stories no matter what continent we live on and how similar our stories are . We share common terms , approving or disaproving , acceptance and yes ” PASSING ” , modern society is so similar the World over .
    Perhaps a word of advice , don’t assume N will always be so supportive , our dressing/transgender needs also raise questions about their womanhood . The common trait we share is we always want more , we push the envelope to find US in that process we may overstep their comfort zone .

    To return to your comment to Dee about passing being important to you , when I took the decision to go fulltime I had to consider what I wanted or perhaps more importantly what I hoped was achieveable . To live as a woman meant to be totally accepted , to truly integrate and hopefully not considered a MIAD ( man in a dress ) . That little flutter of a Union Jack says it’s happened , I took chances and joined social groups and got accepted as female so now I’ve finally made an official name change , it will be so good to travel under a passport that says Teresa with F for female and not M for male .

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