Patti’s autobiographical stories first is Patti’s Debut from 1976

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  • #132836
    Patricia Sullivan

    Posted this on crossdresser heaven before I found this group but think it would go good here too
    <p style=”text-align: center;”>Patti’s Debut
    This will be an autobiographical account of Patti’s debut in Provincetown and events leading up to. Like decision to go, choosing my name, making reservation, building wardrobe, arrival in Provincetown and 9 days enfemme. Plus some early history of growing up knowing I should have been a girl.
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Chapter One
    Early beginnings
    First let me say I’ve known since way back in grammar school that I was different (transgendered although there was no word for it back then). I can remember going to bed and praying to GOD to change me so I would be a girl when I woke up. The Classic Transgender or Transsexual wish I later found out.
    My first memories of knowing and wanting to be a girl are from when I first started school. I went to a Parochial school so we all had like uniforms. The boys all wore blue pants, white shirts and blue ties. The girls had Blue Skirts, white blouses but they were allowed to wear white, blue or black cardigan sweaters over their blouses. And I always envied their skirts, sweaters and long pretty hair. As we got into upper grades the girls uniform changed to a jumper over their blouse’s but still with the pretty soft cardigans.
    I can remember around the 5th grade being home alone and dressing in my Mom’s clothes because we were about the same size. My sister had neater clothes but she was enough younger and smaller that her stuff wouldn’t fit.
    I also used to dress in the clothes of a neighbor down the street. This lady Toni had 4 kids and her husband had left her. She knew Mom so I used to babysit the kids when she went out. Once the kids were asleep I would have 3 or 4 hours before she came home. So I used to raid her closet and bureau. She had some really nice stuff. I especially used to love her sweaters and skirts. She had some of the nicest cashmere and angora sweaters that went nicely with a number of her skirts.
    This went on through most of high school with Toni’s things as I had outgrown all of Mom’s stuff.
    After high school I went out to work in Nashua, NH. I took a room at the YMCA in Nashua, NH which pretty much caused me to be unable to dress much. Later I shared an apartment but couldn’t keep anything there or have time alone. Then I moved back home and commuted for a while which didn’t help. Later I moved into a rented room in a house in Nashua. I had a lock on the door plus a lock on my wardrobe. So, I was able to acquire some clothes to dress in there but had to be careful as we had a community kitchen & bath.
    After a short time, there I met Fran who would become my first wife. We dated for close to a year then decided to get married and I moved back home to Mom & Dads in Haverhill, Mass. until after the wedding. When I moved home, I did the thing typical to most TG & TS people still in denial. I threw away all my clothes and stuff figuring that my marriage would cure all my desires to dress and be female.
    Well after we had been married a few months the need or desire to dress and feel female came back. Knowing from comments made by my wife about stuff we had seen or heard. I knew she wouldn’t accept my dressing. So, like many others I started a secret stash to wear when I had the chance to be alone for a while.
    The first time I got caught she found a receipt or tag from a grey wool skirt I had bought. I was able to convincingly lie telling her I had picked it up for one of the guys at work to give his wife for her birthday.
    Then a second time my secret stash was found. That’s when the fun started first, she called me at work all upset about what girl the clothes belonged to and was I having an affair with her. I managed to get her calmed down assuring her I wasn’t having an affair and I would answer all her questions when I got home.
    When I got home, I satisfied her that there was no other woman the clothes were mine. Which led to her calling me all the typical dirty names, we never could have a civil conversation about it.
    After being called things like Homo, Queer, Weirdo, Sicko, I agreed to throw everything away and never do it again.
    Well by this time I knew I couldn’t really stop so I threw away a couple of things and snuck away the rest hiding them better. As you can guess I kept on dressing when I had the chance using what I saved plus raiding the wife’s closet to fill out what I needed or liked. When we moved to a slightly larger apartment, I was able to sneak my stash of women’s clothes to the new place. I managed to keep everything hidden and not get caught again until about a year after we had bought and moved into a two-family home we bought and rented out the other floor. We took the second floor and the attic. So now I had both an attic and a basement to hide my stash in.
    And of course, I got caught again. This time she came home early from somewhere. I forget exactly why now. The important thing was she came in and I was fully dressed. Naturally there was much screaming and name calling by her. She left in tears going to her mothers and telling me I better not be dressed like that. Or have any clothes belonging to me in the house when and if she got back. I guess the good thing was none of what I had on was hers. She came home a few hours later but we never could discuss it. Mostly because she wouldn’t talk about it except to call me sick or queer but partly as the only description, I knew was the dictionary definition of transvestite. Which I knew that I wasn’t really but back then in the early to mid 70’s there was very little info to be had and no Internet. From that day forward it was like there was a wall between us and we ended up first separating in June 1976 after 6 yrs. We agreed to going for our divorce in Sept. We had an agreeable separation and divorce. In that we divided things up pretty even and agreeable to both of us with no fighting over whom got what. Fortunately, we had no kids so it was just the 2 of us involved. Our state had no fault divorce so the court and one lawyer were all we needed and that was really just a formality. I signed over my share of the house for about half of the cash we had invested in the house. Plus, I got the car and enough furniture to furnish my apartment. And we remained friends although not as close as we had been naturally.</p>
    Chapter Two
    Commitment and Preparation

    Being single again I had been to the local adult bookstore. About the only place back then to find anything about TV’s, TS’s, or CD’s at least in our not large town. I know as I had been through the local library, and they had not one book anywhere with any reference to TV, TS or CD. Where I stumbled across an ad for a convention of TV’s, CD’s, and TS’s to be held in Provincetown, Mass. on the tip of Cape Cod. There was an ad/article on the front of a newspaper called Female Impersonator or FI for short.
    It listed both a mailing address and a phone number for more information on this convention to be held in Oct just after Columbus Day. I found this in July and debated over doing anything until the first of August. When I telephone and left a message asking for information. I also asked for whoever returned my call to be a little discrete in case I didn’t answer the call as I had an extension on my phone that rang across town at my parents. This was so Mom could take calls and messages during the day for my side business. I got my return call a couple of days later and talked for a while with one of the organizers who was very nice. I gave them my mailing address and committed to going for the first weekend with an option for the rest of the week to be decided after I got there and had a chance to meet people and see how it went.
    I opted for a double room with a roommate/big sister partly for the price discount partly from being new and figuring I might get help with hair and makeup.
    In about a week my packet arrived with all the details. To dress or not was an option but I had already decided when I made my reservation to go enfemme. So, upon receiving my packet I checked to see what I would need for types of clothes. Looking over the schedule I could see that if I stayed for the whole 9 days. There would be two formal dinners requiring gowns, plus a couple of other dinners that would be a little dressy but not formal, plus typical casual stuff during the day. Also, an option for classes on hair and makeup which would include some stretching and aerobics type exercise.
    Well with all of this I decided I should first get fitted for some proper breast forms rather than the balloons full of water or rice and birdseed I had been using. So looking in the phone book I located a couple of places that sold and fitted artificial breasts for mastectomy patients. All in towns a little way away the first two I called were to put it mildly not very receptive to dealing with my type.
    The third one I called was a very sweet older lady. So, we set up an appointment on a Fri afternoon. We set it up late on a Fri afternoon so that I would be the last customer. I would come at 5:00pm and she would lock the door behind me. The only ones there would be her and her sister who came on Fri to do the bookkeeping for her. I would be in a fitting room and her sister would be in the office in back so only Sandra would see me. I arrived about 5 minutes early and she turned out to be in her late 60’s and just as sweet in person as she had seemed on the phone. We went to the private fitting room and talked for a few minutes about what I was looking for or thought I needed. We then started with me stripping to the waist and her measuring around my chest. She then went out and came back with a bra and 3 sets of forms. She had plain foam in a tricot lining, weighted foam in a tricot lining and the latest silicon gel forms. The silicone forms were still quite primitive by today’s standard. Also, the silicon was way out of my budget at that time. We decided on the weighted foam forms in a c-cup based on my size and width of my shoulders as being the most natural looking. After agreeing on the forms and deciding to take the bra she had brought in as it had pockets for the forms. We talked about additional under garments I wanted or needed she brought me some samples to try. A high waist girdle that would pull my waist in a little and also an all-in-one body briefer that pulled your waist in a bit too as well as a couple of more bra’s I might like.
    While I tried these on she went next door to the beauty salon to see if they had any wigs, that she could bring over for me to try as I had mentioned needing to get a wig when we chatted on my arrival. They didn’t have any on hand but could get some if I wanted to come back another time either to her place or set up a private appointment with the salon owner/manager. I thanked her and told her I would call if I didn’t find anything or had trouble finding any. I ended up getting the forms, two bras’, the body briefer and the high waist girdle plus an extra pair of tricot covers to use in bras without the pockets.
    Now I had my breasts and basic under garments it was time to add a couple of things to my wardrobe plus see about finding at least one if not two formal gowns. The basic wardrobe additions wouldn’t be hard as I could pick those up most anywhere, K-Mart, J M Fields or a department store easy enough knowing my sizes. The gowns might be more interesting, and a bit of a problem and they were.
    The first place I called about a gown. Was a place I drove past on my way home; it was a bridal/dress salon. In the window was a pretty mint green gown with white fur trim around neckline, at end of sleeves and around bottom just above hem. There were lights on and cars parked in the lot, so I stopped at a pay phone up the road a little and called the place. I asked about the gown in the window and if they had it in the size I would need. The person who answered the phone sounded like it was a man, he said they did have it in that size, and it was an exclusive design made for them. He asked if my girlfriend would like an appointment to see it and try it on. At this point I told him that the gown was for me for a special event at a convention. He immediately started to call me names, told me they didn’t have my size, wouldn’t sell it to me if they did and would have me arrested if I ever dared to come through the door then slammed the phone down.
    This would be the first of several rejections from places like that. Later at home I started going through the phone book for our town and several other towns not too far away. Then started calling different places being up front about the fact that though I was male the gown would be for me. Then checking to see if it would be a problem for me to try on some gowns or if I might need to make an after-hour appointment. In more cases than expected I was treated well and told to come whenever if they had separate changing rooms or showed a willingness to make a special appointment if not. With the ones I went to I tried my best to come at a time that was convenient to them and would be least likely to be busy so as not to disrupt or cause problems for them. I had found a couple I liked but nothing that was heart stopping and a couple I liked well but were a little more than I was sure I wanted to spend. I had pretty much settled on two but not put deposits or bought yet. One was a mint green close to the color but with out the pretty fur trim of the first place I called. The other was a pastel yellow that I really liked but was a little expensive.

    Then one day after work I was going through the local paper and saw an ad for a place about 2 blocks from the house having a big moving sale. After debating with myself about some place so close I called to see if they had anything in my size and had any problems with my coming in and trying some on. They said yes, they had my size and feel free to come whenever. So, I put on my undergarments took my forms and my wig and went before I lost my courage hoping not to run into anyone I knew.
    This trip turned out to be a highlight of my gown shopping experience. Although when I walked in, I almost turned around and left as there was about 4 girls there a bride and three bridesmaids.
    I didn’t know any of them and they didn’t seem upset when I walked in so I took a chance and stayed. I went into one of the dressing rooms and put in my forms, my wig on and my heels. Then came out and started looking through the rack of gowns in my size section. Found two possible ones and took one to the dressing room to try on. I put it on but couldn’t quite get the zipper all the way up but came out to use the pedestal and mirror. There was only one and I had to wait a couple of minutes as the bride was up there with her gown and they were checking the hem. One of the bridesmaids noticed my zipper and offered to help me, I said sure and thank you. She then asked me to help with hers and commented on how nice the one I had on looked on me. All of us ended up helping each other with zippers and stuff as well as comments good and bad about what we were trying on.
    I even helped with buttons and zipper for the bride one time. I was truly a great experience and an enjoyable couple of hours. We were all just a group of girls looking for gowns running around with gowns half on and half off or in just bras and slips helping each other find something pretty that fits well. I ended up with two nice gowns. Both had gauzy sleeves and lace and gauze at the neck, which covered but made it look like I had real cleavage. Both in pretty shades of green but not the same color and were different enough so that it wouldn’t look like I had the same gown both formal nights. Heck what girl wants to wear the same gown twice where there will be the same people in attendance, the best part both gowns came to a total of $50.00 a real bargain even the length was good and neither needed alterations for length or fit.
    A truly enjoyable experience and a wonderful time with the way I was treated and reacted to by the girls as well as the owner/manager, one of the nicer memories of the whole event. After that I only needed a few extra bras and panties so I would have enough to last the week plus a couple of spares. Actually, if I stayed all the way through I needed for 9 days. I had already picked up a couple of skirts, some tights and a leotard for aerobics as well as sneakers. I had plenty of pantyhose and was not taking any pants except for my male dungarees to drive down in. The only male clothes I had were what I drove down and home in.

    Chapter Three
    After getting a late start I arrived in Provincetown at the Crown & Anchor about 4:00pm instead of the noon I had originally planned. Checked in and got room assignment and schedule of events. Was shown to my room, which was a double but without a roommate yet. Chose my bed and bureau and unpacked my suitcase and hung my gowns and dresses.
    The first event while I was there, was a cocktail get together at a little place down the street I decided as late as it was I wouldn’t change and just go as I was. I went down and mingled meeting several of the group there for the weekend or the whole week most of those I met I can’t remember names of now with a few exceptions. A few I kept loose contact with for a while but eventually lost contact with over the years. One of the big things in the loss of contact was a move to Georgia in 1979 as we moved without an address to use for forwarding mail.
    At the little cocktail party, I met people from all over the country and many different occupations, like most groups some were really nice and a few were a little weird. We had a trucker, a lawyer, an airline pilot, a barber, a chef, a police lieutenant, an accountant, several store clerks, and last but not least a newcomer in the middle of the week that was a hockey player in the NHL. By the time it broke up and we all went back to the hotel to either the Backroom Bar or our rooms. My first roommate had arrived, she was sweet but definitely not passable and no help as a big sister but that was okay.

    The day was kind of a semi free day in that there was nothing really planned except for dinner. I met some of the group from the night before for breakfast/brunch a couple of them were going to look through the local shops and stores that were open and invited me to tag along. It was cute because none of them recognized me as they saw me in drab (dressed as a boy) the night before, but I looked so much different as Patti.
    So off we went shopping five of us, we looked in a number of places and a couple of the girls bought stuff. Then we all went to a little restaurant down the street from the hotel for lunch and coffee. Even though not all of us were passable as they call it, we were all treated quite nicely by shop owners and clerks as well as passersby and especially well by the waitresses and waiters in the restaurant. Overall all those at the convention were treated well everywhere in Provincetown but then half or more of Provincetown was and still is owned by gays. Then after lunch it was more shopping till late afternoon. Then back to our rooms to get ready for dinner. Dinner was a casual sit down dinner with no set places just tables with settings and you kind of sit yourself anywhere. The group of us from shopping plus a couple of others sat together. This long after I don’t recall whom all was at our table. But kind of remember all had an enjoyable dinner and coffee.
    Then it was off to the Back Room Bar which was part of but behind the hotel beside the swimming pool as there was no planned event on Sun night. All had an early night as most of us had some kind of seminar or other activity in the morning.

    I had opted for the class for hair and make up which also included some exercise and some demonstration and work on deportment and speaking. The class was being held every morning from 8:00am till 11:00am. We all had a good time and I think most of us gained lot of knowledge we didn’t have before, We did some exercise which included some Yoga, then a bunch of stuff on choosing and caring for wigs, a bunch of stuff on choosing and applying make up (most of which I’ve forgotten long ago) plus some info and practice on typical stuff, sitting standing, speaking etc. We had a break in the middle of course for coffee and donuts as well as social time.
    Then afternoons were mostly free to shop, sightsee, etc. This afternoon I went shopping with Sandy, Norma and Mary Ann. Didn’t buy anything but had fun looking. Tried on a couple of skirts and sweaters but must watch my pennies so didn’t buy anything.

    Same schedule as Mon did some sightseeing in afternoon. Five of us went out to view what is called the Dunes and the Light House on the end of the Cape.

    Morning was same as rest of week. In the afternoon I helped with preparations for a dinner at the local church for conventioneers and towns people who wanted to join us including some late arrivals to the convention. I volunteered for the crew setting up tables & chairs, including head table and podium. We worked along side many members of the church.
    When time came the meal was served to everyone attending using kind of serving line. There were a couple of options as to what you wanted but everyone picked up their own plates from the window for the kitchen. Other than the head table seating was kind of just pick a seat. Most of us sat in small groups usually with several local people where possible. I met a really sweet little old lady from the church named Charlotte. Gerri and I saw and visited with her when we went to the Faire for the weekend the following year. Unfortunately we lost contact with her when we moved to Ga. in 1979.

    Morning was typical like rest of week. Class then off to downtown with 3 girls from class for a light lunch and some shopping. I promised two of the servers Terri and Robert that I would come back for dinner that night as they would be off Fri and Sat so might not see me again. Two of the other girls Nancy and Winnie were going to come as well but something came up and they had to back out. Don’t remember what it was that had come up after all these years. So, I ended up going by myself as I had promised them to be there. I had a nice dinner, and it wasn’t real busy so we got to visit more than at lunch.                                     Then on the way back to the Crown & Anchor where I was scheduled to help in the back with changes of clothes for the Fashion Show being put on that night. I had the one bad terrifying experience of the week. Walking back to the hotel I had to pass a little park where some of the teenage hooligans hung out. I stayed across the street where there where several small shops. All of which were closed though. Just after I got past the park two of the hooligans came running across the street up behind me. As they ran past calling names one of them snatched my wig off my head and dropped it in the gutter. Fortunately we’d had no rain so it was dry. It scared the shit out of me naturally expecting them to really jump me and beat me up but all they did was to make embarrassing remarks and call me the typical names. The amazing thing is I very calmly picked up the wig and using a store window as a mirror. I put the wig on and straightened it out using a brush out of my purse. Then I calmly headed back on my way to the hotel.                                                                                             When I arrived at the Crown & Anchor the girls could tell something had happened as I was white as a ghost, and they sat me down and got me a drink to calm me down. Then as they drew the story out of me, I started to shake all over. Two of the girls Mary Ellen and Winnie held me until I got settled down a bit. After a few minutes I stopped shaking and went on to help as scheduled. I remember it was neat helping with scarves and accessories plus zipping and buttoning up the girls as they changed outfits. A great time was had by all even with my harrowing episode.

    Exercise class for the last time before heading out for lunch and shopping with the girls. After cutting shopping short it was time to get dressed in a nice evening gown for a Formal Dinner catered by the hotel. After getting all dressed in my gown I went down and had Connie the beautician for the convention fix my wig and do my makeup for the formal dinner. Then off to a nice place down the Cape by bus for a show. Then back to the hotel late for an all-night Pajama Party that just kind of happened as one of the girls on our floor had a really big room and invited half the group staying at the hotel to her room for drinks or coffee.

    Saturday at breakfast we found out that one of the conventioneers plus the local Police had done a sting Fri night just before the big Formal Dinner.
    It seems the cops very quietly set up around the park in hiding. And this convention member walked the same route I did. Of course, she was ready and expecting it. So, when the boys ran up to snatch her wig they got a surprise. Both were knocked on their ass. One got an elbow to the chest taking his breath away and knocking him flat. The other got a nice heavy purse right along side the head almost knocking him unconscious. Seems they learned the hard way not to mess with an NHL hockey player even if he was in a dress. I forget what the male name of the hockey player was as he wasn’t one of the big media celebrity players but do remember he played for Chicago.
    So, there were some very embarrassed teens when their parents had to come to the Police station to pick them up. No charges were pressed but they were put on notice that such things would not be tolerated by either the Police or the merchants. Some of the boy’s pictures made the morning paper and all their names were listed in the article. The article mentioned how neither the Police nor merchants would tolerate harassing tourists of any type in any way.
    There were several booths set up in a room at the hotel with lots of clothes, jewelry, forms and stuff for the conventioneers or people from the town. There were several people from the church dinner who came and even bought some things. Sat was kind of a quiet day with our big final Formal dinner that night. The Hotel had booked in a Female Impersonator Show for us to kind of cap the week off. It was a great show that was sold out to standing room only. It was done in the hotel show bar called the Back Room and spilled over into the pool area behind the bar. It was amazing as there were so many of the town’s people we had met and become friends with. Plus some tourists and town people we had never met. But a great time was had by all.

    Sun morning was late champagne brunch where we saw a good many for the first time in drab (dressed as a boy) and some of them made much prettier girls. A few were downright ugly as boys. LOL

    This event was a turning point for me. I found I was not alone, there were others like me. Some were just Cross dressers some were Transsexuals, some were very nice, some were just plain far out weird. A few had been and were on hormones with their own breasts. What would be called She males today, (a name I hate).
    I learned to accept myself and to like myself. I found time to search deep inside myself and realize and accept that I was a woman in a man’s body. I had found many people willing to accept and treat me as a woman both during my time of getting ready for the Faire and at the Faire.
    I met a number of everyday people, what would be called straight people, I guess. Most of who accepted and welcomed me both as a friend and merchants who were more than willing and glad to have me as a customer all of the above treating me with respect.
    As I had mentioned earlier there were a few who were nasty and called me names but those were in the minority.
    I have always felt it was a very educational and growing time for me. It reinforced and helped me learn about my feelings. As well as that any other woman I thought I might get serious with should know early in the relationship about my cross-dressing if not about my being Transsexual.
    That meant that my wonderful accepting and supportive wife was told on our 1st date about my dressing. I truly expected her to treat me like my ex. Calling me names and running away, to have nothing to do with me ever again instead this wonderful love of my life for the past 32 years. Sat there very calmly, looked at me and said, “So that’s no big deal” We sat for hours talking and holding each other.
    But that’s another story for another time.

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    • #132842


      Thank you for your life story you shared.

      It was moving and touching in many ways.

      Peace and Love,


      Shiloh Rose 🌹

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    • #132837
      Michelle Lawson

      Wow Patricia, that is some story. Keep it up and continue to enjoy the life that is you. It isn’t all roses and butterflies, but it can be interesting and enjoyable along the way. Michelle

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