By Amanda J.
Before I start, I’m pleased to report that, at the time of writing at least, I’ve never been caught in the act, so to speak. If you’ve read the first four instalments of this series, you’ll know that I confessed to my wife (‘Mrs A’) several years ago but then, presented with a ‘cease and desist or you’re out’ ultimatum, I agreed to stop, only to start again under the marital radar when the urge to explore my feminine side became overwhelming. As I’ve said previously, I’m not proud of what I’m doing and the guilt plagues me every single day, regardless of how I happen to be dressed. But, as a result, I live under the constant risk of discovery and, given the way that all of this panned out the last time it became a feature in our marriage, I have a strategy rehearsed for what happens if my activities are discovered and this is what I want to talk about today.
Let’s start with the issue that we’re all in denial about. We’re meticulously careful about covering our tracks and know that it’ll never happen to us. We’ll take our secret to the grave and no one will ever find out that we’re rather fond of getting glammed up and indulging our female side. Let me put that myth firmly where it belongs – unless a miracle happens or you do a full and final purge of absolutely everything to do with this side of you, your secret will almost certainly be discovered. A moment of carelessness or distraction will start a chain of events that will culminate in your feminine side becoming known to someone close to you.
‘But how will this happen when I’m so careful?’ you ask. Here are my ‘unlucky thirteen’ ways you can be rumbled – not an exhaustive list by any means (probably 130 ways would be closer to the mark but ‘unlucky one hundred and thirty’ doesn’t really have the same ring about it) but still plenty to think about.
1. You get caught in the act. Sadly, it does happen – you know that everyone else is out at work so there’s zero probability of being caught. Except the wife falls ill at work and a colleague offers to drive her home rather than troubling you to come and pick her up. Or one of the kids breaks the habit of a lifetime and manages to complete the five minute walk home from the bus stop under their own steam rather than phoning ‘Dad’s Taxi’.
2. You forget to log out of your YouTube account and another family member is confronted by an ‘interesting’ list of recommended videos when they access the site to watch something themselves.
3. You do a bit of eBay browsing while logged in and it ‘helpfully’ presents ads related to your search when another family member subsequently visits the site.
4. You get distracted and forget to close a web page showing your female identity so that the next person to use the computer is treated to images of you in all of your feminine finery.
5. You use Photoshop to crop photos before uploading to your Flickr or Facebook accounts but forget to delete them leaving them visible next time someone opens the program and selects file-open. This is particularly effective if you last used the ‘extra large icons’ setting.
6. You have Facebook accounts for both your male and female personas and the Facebook algorithm, which is a lot cleverer than we wish it was, helpfully links the two before sending your female account as a friend suggestion to all of the contacts of your male account.
7. When repacking your ‘stash’ at the end of your session, you miss one item, perhaps because it has either fallen on the floor or got caught up with other things, leaving it ready to be discovered by a wife who doesn’t recognise it as one of her items.
8. In your rush to try on a new purchase, you forget to dispose of the labels or receipts. Imagine your wife’s surprise on her birthday when the expensive Victoria’s Secret lingerie she thought she was getting thanks to finding a carelessly discarded receipt turns out to be an economy five pack of knickers from the local supermarket which seemed like the ideal present for her when you were out panic buying the evening before.
9. The hiding place you have for your stash isn’t as foolproof as you thought it was. Even if the chances of her finding it are one in a million, it’s the one you have to worry about, not the million.
10. Finding yourself at home alone on a sunny day, you decide to take full advantage by sitting out in a nice strappy sundress for an hour or two before realising that the resultant tan lines present clear and long-lasting evidence to anyone who sees you shirtless.
11. You leave traces of eyeliner during the clean-up and the ‘oh, I was just servicing the car and must have rubbed my eyes with my oily hands’ isn’t cutting it. And a special mention for waterproof eyeliner which, paired with an empty pack of makeup wipes is a particularly challenging hurdle in the cleanup.
12. You’re spotted while leaving the house or when out and about with details of a ‘well dressed female visitor’ being fed back to your nearest and dearest by the local curtain twitcher (there’s the similar problem of being recognised from your social media account but that, of course, begs the question as to why the person who recognised you was lurking around trans people online in the first place!).
13. You die.
And, in case you’re wondering, I have sailed extremely close to the wind on several occasions, and not by intention. The waist tie from one of my dresses was on our landing floor for several weeks with us all stepping over it several times a day before I finally realised what it was and swiftly dealt with it. I’ve seen photos of myself pop up as icons in photoshop when my son was standing nearby. I’ve experienced near terror as Mrs. A went on YouTube in Firefox (Amanda’s browser of choice as history has been disabled) to find some music for our Christmas lunch not knowing whether or not ‘Amanda’ was logged in at the time. And probably the jewel in the crown as far as near misses are concerned, I was having a problem with our work email while at home so I phoned our web support for advice. The woman on the helpdesk logged in to my PC remotely but, fortunately, was unable to remote control my PC so asked me to open a Firefox window rather than doing it herself. It was then that I remembered to my horror that Firefox was already open showing my Flickr photostream and had to quickly right click and close it before opening a fresh page.
The truth is, that whilst I have been lucky so far, I’m sure that my luck will run out sometime because no matter how careful I think I am, it only takes a split-second distraction to miss a vital step as I well know. In fact I would say that it’s only down to luck that one of the foregoing hasn’t outed me. Yet. Oh yes, and I haven’t died either.
Have you given any thought to what happens when you die? Will your stash be found as the house is cleared and what will those close to you think? A bag or suitcase full of clothing probably won’t raise many suspicions but add in makeup, shoes in large sizes, wigs and so on and things are looking suspicious. Breast forms and it’s pretty well game over. By definition, of course, it won’t be a problem for you but what about those you’ve left behind? How do you want to be remembered and how do you want what your survivors find to be interpreted? Do you really just want to leave them to draw their own conclusions at a time when you’d hope that all of their thoughts about you were positive?
Of course, biting the bullet and confessing while you’re still alive gets round this problem to a degree but it still may not prepare your loved ones for the extent of your feminine activities. There’s no straightforward answer to this one but the general consensus amongst those I have discussed it with seems to be that a letter included with the stash is a sensible strategy, not least because it also gives you the opportunity to say everything you want to say by way of explanation. What should you include? That’s entirely up to you but referring back to part four of this series – ‘Matrimonial Challenges – Part 4 – Giving It Your Best Shot’ – posted on 7 March should give you some start points if you’re struggling.
But what if the discovery happens while you’re still alive? You have to think on your feet and you have no opportunity to carefully plan how you’re going to deal with your wife’s reaction, whatever that may be. You may be facing a barrage of questions, anger, floods of tears or any of the other myriad reactions that feature in this type of scenario.
Except you do have time to plan. Even if you’ve never considered this before, you’ve got from now until you’re discovered to plan. You may be discovered this time tomorrow but you’ve still got 24 hours more to plan than you would have if you ignored the risk until it was too late. More likely, though, is that you have weeks, months or maybe even years to plan in which case don’t put it out of your mind. Things change, your feminine needs may change, the dynamics in your marriage may change and your plans must evolve in the light of this. Have a script prepared in your mind and rehearse it regularly, tweaking it here & there as your understanding of who you are grows and society’s views of our community change. Everything I said in part 4 remains relevant here and you just need to plan, plan and plan some more for the inevitable.
And inevitable it is. We’re all getting older and with advancing age come undesirable traits. We become absent minded & careless and the truth is that, if your secret hasn’t yet been discovered, it’s as much a reflection of the fact that you’re living on borrowed time as an endorsement of your skills in operating under the radar. But while accepting that eventuality and planning for it won’t put you at any more risk of being discovered than you already are, it may make things somewhat easier for all concerned when the fateful day comes.
Good luck and don’t say I didn’t warn you!
If you want to revisit all of Amanda’s wonderful posts, here you go!!