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The Wisdom of Amanda

Some recent comments for your consideration.

With her permission, I have “written” an Amanda post from recent comments you may have missed.

By Amanda J.


Having lived for nearly nine years under the threat of the marriage ending if I broke my promise to quit and slipped back into CDing, it’s not an easy position to be in by any means. The frustrations mount and when they do finally boil over we’re plunged into the murky world of deception and the guilt that comes with that. My story had a happy ending following my accidental ‘outing’ and my wife telling me that she’d known what I was up to because, as she rightly said, ‘it never goes away’ and agreeing that I could do what I needed to as long as it didn’t involve her in any shape or form.

But that obviously begs the question as to what changed between May 2014, when the ultimatum was issued, and January 2023 when things were finally resolved.

Well, for starters, we were both nine years older and perhaps more tolerant of each other’s foibles. But I think that my wife also came to realise that this could be kept separate from the marriage and yet had a large impact on it insomuch as the way that it impacted my personality and state of mind. For my part, I just tried to be the best husband I could be and uphold the marriage vows I made as best I could.

Do I regret the way I handled this? Absolutely. I concocted all sorts of ‘reasons’ (i.e. excuses) as to why I couldn’t discuss this with my wife and allowed it to become a subject not to be discussed. And this drove a wedge between us as I withdrew, terrified that I’d give the game away at any moment. But the biggest tragedy was that I underestimated my wife, not just over the CDing issue but in terms of her commitment to the marriage as a whole.

Can I now say that my wife is tolerant or supportive? Well, because she has agreed to a DADT arrangement she is giving her blessing for me to do what I need to do but, equally, the fact that it is DADT indicates that having a CDing husband is not high on her wish list. There’s no sure fire formula for integrating this into a marriage because it’s 100% dependent on how the wife feels and the extent to which she can modify any inherently negative views of it. It’s a tough thing for the vast majority of wives to accept but if I’ve learned anything over the last nine years, it’s firstly not to try to rush things and secondly to never lose hope.

3/4/23Protests and Apps

When I started this particular phase of my ‘journey’ back in 2019, it was only because of FaceApp that I had the confidence to stick my head above the parapet on Flickr. I still remember the feeling of joy the first time I took a selfie, gender changed it in FaceApp and then marvelled at the results – recognisable enough for me to know it was me but different enough for me not to have any concerns about posting it on a public forum so I did and gathered some rather nice comments in the process. But then I stepped onto the slippery slope – photos I took of myself during dressing sessions never looked good enough so I’d ‘post-process’ them in FaceApp before posting with even more nice comments. I always disclosed the use of the app on any doctored photos I posted.

But as time went on, some girls would leave a comment along the lines of ‘very nice but the unprocessed original is always better’ and I started feeling a little bit of a fraud; were the compliments for me or for the programmers who wrote the app? The final straw came when I got a comment on one photo along the lines of ‘I’ll never be as pretty as you’. I then stopped posting ‘apped’ photos and uninstalled FaceApp soon afterwards.

Looking back, I see FaceApp and similar apps as an important part of our evolution – a bit like stabilisers when we’re learning to ride a 2 wheeled bike. But, in the same way that the stabilisers come off when we have the confidence and balance to ride the bike without them, there comes a point when we need to stop doctoring photos and work at improving our look the hard way. Although I have now deleted my Flickr account and am no longer active there, I used to find it particularly frustrating when girls would attempt to pass off obviously doctored photos as the real deal but, equally, in the end it’s their photostream and they can post whatever they want in it. I just can’t help thinking that they had far more to offer the community than a collection of AI enhanced images.

2/17/23Finding My Truth Within

A couple of things particularly jumped out. Firstly, isn’t it sad that there is an element of this community (mercifully a minority but a vocal one even so) that finds it difficult to accept those who are ‘less trans’ than they are when they themselves crave, or even demand, acceptance themselves?

Second, was your distinction between the dysphoric group 1 and crossdressing group 2. As a start point, that’s a very good comparison but what I’ve noticed in the past is how it can be difficult to know where one sits. I used to be active on and, from time to time, someone would pop up believing that full medical transition was the answer to all of their issues and yet, even to the casual observer, it was obvious that the feelings of dysphoria they were experiencing were consequences of other, unrelated, issues in their life and transition would have quite possibly catastrophic in their case, not that I think that any of them got even close to being faced with that particular decision. And if I’m honest, I’ve been guilty of that myself in the past but I’ve dealt with it by reminding myself that wishing I was female is not the same thing as wanting to take steps to become one. For some, transition is the right answer but for the rest of us, we just need to unconditionally love who we are and pity those poor souls who have never slipped on a pair of heels, fumbled with the rear fastenings & reverse buttons or just looked in the mirror and thought ‘yessss!’!


18 Responses

  1. It is great to reread some of Amanda’s comments. As I recently told a friend of mine, Amanda’s posts/comments are well written and thought provoking. She is a very special person.

    Thank you.


    1. Sill lurking here Jocelyn and thank you for all your support and kind words! We are all lucky to be part of such a special place and even when things rather blew up in January resulting in immediate and decisive exit from several of the online places I previously frequented, there was never any question that I would quit Kandi’s Land.

      Thanks for your friendship, it’s very much appreciated.

  2. Thank you Amanda for posting your story. I know you have helped others and that’s a good thing.
    Yours Terri

    1. Terri, thank you for saying so. I just want everyone to know that they have a part to play in our community even if their normal life makes it challenging. We all have to start somewhere and as long as we stay positive, we’ll find our ‘sweet spot’. Being in the closet doesn’t preclude full participation in this community as there are many other girls in similar positions only too happy for online companionship.

  3. Amanda ,
    The last section 2/17/23 onwards makes interesting reading . I was once accused on a forum of not being trans enough by a moderator to contribute in their TS section . Of course it hurt and afterwards left me confused by the term ” not trans enough ” . I appreciate we must accept a distinction between those who really do like dressing up even calling it a hobby and those who have GD of various degrees .

    The other problem many of us have is becoming too obsessive , for sometime I considered myself a fraud for not pursuing full transition . At times it’s impossible to see the wood for the trees , we may follow others blindly believing hormones and surgery are the ulimate goal perhaps naively thinking we can become perfect women . To put it bluntly I discovered a great of BS was spoken within our community . The problem is many of us are burried to some extent in the closet , we aren’t free to discover the truth . I discovered there’s no substitute for meeting other transgender people in reality , forums can hide reality . To talk first hand with others on hormones and those who’ve had surgery puts your own life in perspective , I realised they aren’t the utopia we are lead to believe , one set of problems are often replaced by a different set . I no longer feel a fraud because my life has a happy balance without the need for further steps .

    Personally I feel the turning pointing is not so much accepting I’m living as a woman but I’ve stopped living a male lifestyle . When you can finally stop looking over your shoulder in expectation of a reaction , accepting people are not looking at you for the wrong reasons but they are looking because they’re checking you out as a woman . Please believe me after five years it does happen . It’s also important not to look for a reaction on your appearance , a gentle compliment is great , returning in the same manner is sufficient , women do notice even if they haven’t said anything .

    It’s wonderful if you can retain the love of wife or partner after the great reveal but it’s the point when both need to be totally honest with each other . When there are too many compromises , the right decision has to be made , I know it’s a tough call as I had to make it . The greatest fear is what will we lose , I was surprised how supportive people can be , the mistake at first is assuming everyone wants to talk about it . It does intrigue people and they may ask difficult questions so we must be prepared to do our homework and try and give sensible answers . Nowdays the conversation never arises , I hardly consider my transgender situation because I’m not striving anymore .

    1. Teresa, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Categorisation is always dangerous – for example many would look on drag purely as a performing art with its OTT makeup & female parody and perhaps even look at its practitioners with a degree of disdain. And yet a proportion of those we label as ‘drag queens’ go on to successfully fully transition including surgeries. In the end, there are as many flavours of ‘this’ as there are people personally dealing with it or, to put it another way, we’re all individuals and how we deal with this aspect of our lives is as much to do with the environment in which we live as it is to do with the extent to which we feel that our feminine side dominates. Does non-transition mean that we’re not far enough along the continuum to warrant it or does it mean that, because of the path our life has taken, we lose more than we gain by taking that step? Again, there’s no straightforward answer because it depends on the individual.

      The philosophical question, of course, is what does ‘living as a woman’ actually mean? The best definition I can come up with is ‘assumes the identity of, and is accepted by others as, a female’. But even that is flawed because a proportion who choose to live within a female identity will never gain the acceptance of others but does that make them ineligible in some way? Again the answer is that we’re all individuals and have to find what works for us.

      What I’ve learned over the past few years is to listen to every viewpoint presented to me – each one is worth its weight in gold – but to neither judge nor be a slave to those viewpoints. The fact that they may not be appropriate to me does not in any way reflect on their suitability for others or, more importantly, whether or not they’re worthy of a particular label. If the path they take gives them the best possible life, in the end that’s all that matters.

      1. Amanda,
        You make an important point in your second paragraph , acceptance is or can be flawed by a lack of it . Hence my comment about making the tough decision to separate from a wife or partner when you both honestly know the inevitable outcome .
        I agree the term ” living as a woman ” has a loose definition , there are very masculine women and very feminine men . One aspect I had to accept is the male core never leaves us despite the level of transition , I have knowledge and experiences that women don’t have , the trick is being selective with your audience when you recall those moments .

        To me transition has gained a different meaning because I realise it’s as much a mental thing as it is a visible one .I In my mind I’m happier being Teresa , do I conclude that it had already transitioned before I was visibly allowed to ? That’s possibly the question many of us need to ask , in many cases I’m sure the majority would reply YES !

        I have to appreciate your situation , I know you possibly have more unanswered questions than I do because you don’t have the same freedom . In those circumstances we do tail chase , we consider labels and boxes and wonder which one we truly fit into . I found counselling mixed blessings because they have to work within that framework to move forward . It wasn’t until I finally went fulltime that I realised I could place the labels back in their boxes and stack them away because I became ME .

        1. Regarding unanswered questions, it’s quite the opposite in fact. As I’m no longer plagued by the guilt of deception, I can take a far more objective view of the situation than I could when I was constantly wrestling with my conscience. In many respects, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, or in other words, our yearning for things can be far more intense if we feel that we’re denied them. I love the idea that I have a feminine alter-ego that is so far removed from my male side as to be almost unreal. I love the idea that there are elements of my personality that I no longer have to suppress when I set the inner woman free, either physically through CDing or just being her through participation in this and other forums. And I just love being able to transform myself both from the point of view of the end result and from the rituals like applying makeup etc. needed to get there.

          But freed from the chains of guilt, I’m now arriving at a point of equilibrium where my feminine side can be satisfied but I can also appreciate my male side too. Of course, I have occasional thoughts of fantasy – ‘wouldn’t it be good if I could go to work like this?’, ‘which friend should I confide in?’ and that sort of thing but they are soon put back from whence they came, not through fear but because I realise that they’re not something I either want or need in my life as a whole.

          Any life is a compromise and, as a consequence, imperfect. Life also evolves and, by this time next year, I may have changed my outlook. But for now, my twin personas are coexisting well with neither feeling the need to significantly rock the boat.

  4. Dear me, Kandi – that Amanda’s ability to ramble on knows no bounds. Where on earth did you find her?!!

    Seriously, though, I am very touched that you thought my posts/comments are worthy of being presented in this way and it was a lovely surprised when I came for my daily check in at KL. As those who have read my posts will know, I am not like the other contributors here in that ‘Amanda’ is a very private side of me and not out in the community as the rest of you are to a greater or lesser degree. But as I have allowed this side of me to evolve, I have realised that every single one of us can contribute to this community whether it’s you shining like a beacon of inspiration to all who encounter you or the girl taking her first faltering steps who plucks up the courage to put her head above the parapet and ask for help. I seem to have landed somewhere in the middle.

    I don’t know what it is about stilettos & eyeliner but put me anywhere near either and a switch is flipped! In ‘his’ world, writing doesn’t feature to any great extent and yet in ‘hers’ – try to stop me! Maybe that’s a reflection of the lack of other avenues to project my feminine side but whatever it is, I am humbled that others even read what I write, let alone comment on the impact it’s had on them. KL is an amazing place and I can never fully express my gratitude for being given such a wonderful platform from which to live this side of my life.

  5. Not worrying about what people you don’t know (and will never know) think is the key. If you spend your time worrying, you
    will never have time to enjoy your life.
    I use to worry about wearig high heels, hiding them under long pants, etc. High heels helps to relief pain in my hip, so it doesn’t matter what any one thinks. Now, I wear my knee boots on the outide of skinny jeans and don’t worry. I get many compliments on them (I buy very good heels) all the time and just thank the person (both men and women). Women will ask what I’m wearing and where it got them, as Dee found out this meanis “I want a pair.” And I get a lot of “I wish I could wear those.”
    But the thing is, you have to live your life not looking behind you. Let those eye rolls be like water on a duck.

    1. Cali, thanks for sharing your thoughts and wise words!

      Self-acceptance is key – I have to admit that I still have a long way to go but I no longer fight this side of myself and realise that any barriers to progress are ones I put up myself. And often, those who seek to judge others should start by looking in the mirror!

      1. Amanda
        We are often our worst enemy, putting up road blocks. Those first few steps are usually the hardest to over come.

        1. That’s so true, Cali. I think Kandi’s ‘Reasons v Excuses’ post on Jan 30 summed it up well. I used to be world class at making excuses, in all facets of my life, not just this one. In the end, I came to the realisation that, at best excuses hold us back and at worst they actively work against our ability to achieve out goals.

          Living with the trans thingy is far from straightforward but that’s exactly what we have to do – live with it. So we may as well make the best of it because if we don’t, we’ll never get that time back.

  6. Amanda your story certainly can be most anyone of us.
    I know my marriage suffered greatly because of my gender variant.
    It did unfortunately lead to my divorce
    I still go back an wish I had handled things differently
    I miss my marriage
    Thanks for sharing here and yes continue loving your wife and I hope things will continue well for you

    1. Rachael, I’m so sorry to hear how things have turned out for you. The path we tread is not an easy one and it’s tragic that so many spouses cannot look beyond the clothes and really understand the impact that this has on our lives.

      We never know what is just around the corner and perhaps you will soon be able to look forward with hope rather than back with regret.

    2. Rachael,
      Wishing to go back and handle things different will just depress you. You can’t change the past. You need to LEARN FROM IT and MOVE ON. Dwelling in the past will negatively affect all your future relationships. I’m twice divorced, both for things other than gender issues. I try to live my life looking ahead.

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