I am a newcomer to this world, not in existence. As I think back, I’ve always been this way, but it took me a long time to realize it, partly because of upbringing. Texas in the 80s was all about repression, and partly because I was a hardhead, stubborn as the day is long. But 7 months ago began my epiphany (ironically the root of my chosen name) that I was not what I thought I was. This led me to dressing at first, something I’d done sporadically throughout my life, but now it was different. This time my goal was fully dressing, not just trying on whatever target of opportunity clothes I came across. This developed further into makeup and a wig, and two months ago, I joined CDH, using the name I’d wanted to have my whole life, Tiffany Alexis.
My self-discovery began to increase exponentially; I began to suspect that I might be transgender and not merely a crossdresser. I was able to dress a few times in private, and I loved what I saw, which felt like me. It was the me I’d always wished to be. Six weeks ago, I entered a drought. My wife, whom is currently divorcing me (for non gender issues; she’s never suspected tiffany,) had a prolonged time around the house. Then three weeks ago, she announced she was taking the kids to Shreveport for the weekend. I knew that Monday and Tuesday I was going to New Orleans for business. I would finally have my dream, five uninterrupted days to be Tiffany!
The countdown was excruciating, I had not anticipated an event this much since waiting for Christmas as a child. Days passed with the speed of geological epochs as minutes felt like years. But finally, on Friday morning the family car departed, and what I called on CDH the TiffTastic Voyage began. It was tame at the start, immersion in dressing fully and 2-4 makeup practice sessions a day. I lounged by the pool and took a couple hundred pictures. I chatted with y’all; I had a wonderful time.
Saturday night I got the wonderful surprise of being asked to join the chat crew on CDH, which I am flattered, honored, and proud to be a part of the team! One of my photos also got featured, which sure made this girl very happy! Sunday was more femme wonderland, but I had to take pause that evening when the family got home. It had been three straight uninterrupted days as tiffany…pure bliss. I started dreaming en femme at this point. But one scary thing remained…my first time in public as Tiff. This was to be Monday…..I could barely sleep the night before…woke up and was able to leave early Monday morning for the four and a half hour drive to Nola! The whole way down I had butterflies in my stomach…would they all laugh? Would they point and mock? Would I have the courage to do it at all?
Anyone who knows me might think this silly. I have voluntarily gone into natural disasters and horrors many times in my job (ems/rescue/emergency medicine), but this was different. This was baring my naked soul and true self for the first time in 43 years.
I rolled into Nola at 1:30 pm; checked in to the hotel in the French quarter. I had an ace in the hole…two friends, Samantha and Chelsea, from CDH who live there. I met them at an art gallery on Royal Street. Within minutes, I’d purchased a new wig, and within the hour, my first purse and some other goodies. Then after a critical mission to secure iced coffee for Samantha, and a side trip into a store whose temperature was set to “magma,” it was back to the hotel to prepare.
I put on my clothes, breast molds, etc., but at this point I realized Samantha was a couple blocks away at MAC, a makeup store, getting a makeover. I didn’t have any makeup on, but was determined to make it out…so I decided to meet her there. Somehow, I was able to make it out the door and into the elevator, down to the lobby, and then outside! My heart was pounding. I had tunnel vision and was terrified! I began walking in my new heels. Hair kept getting in my face. A homeless guy started heckling me, calling out, “it’s a dude in a wig” a half block down. I kept going, sweating buckets. Another guy said “hey bro nice wig.” I replied, “Thanks dude” and kept walking, reaching the MAC and entering, leaning against the door as if it’d been zombies I was fleeing. But I’d made it! And Samantha was there!
I spent the next two hours learning some makeup skills, which I think will allow me to finally beat the “applies makeup like a drunken toddler” level I’d been stuck on. By now it’s 7:15, and we take an Uber to the bar, because good God I needed a drink. The bar was the Golden Lantern, and I walked in…..and no one laughed. No one seized or pointed. Instead, a bunch of cool people welcomed us, and I had a good stiff drink. A few more followed. I may have even been hit on once or twice, but I was oblivious because I was immersed in being out as Tiffany. I was being myself and everyone was cool. Omg, I was so happy and floating on air because this was what I always dreamed of doing; finally being me!!!
A couple hours later, after using the ladies room for the first time, we departed, heading out to eat at the Mona Lisa, where a man held the door for me. The staff treated Samantha and me the same as the one gg with us (Chelsea). We swapped stories seated at the front of the restaurant in full view of everyone and no one hated on us. Some even congratulated me on my milestone!
Later, we had a nightcap at the Bourbon Street Pub, where the staff and patrons went out of their way to make sure I was treated ladylike. It was late at that point, so it was back to the hotel. On the way I was catcalled a couple times. We talked in the lobby a few minutes, and then parted ways. I went back to my room, closed the door, and wept tears of joy. This was what I’d always wanted. I’ve never been so happy, except for when my kids were born. It felt so right; it felt wonderful.
It had all been made possible by the support of two wonderful friends, Samantha and Chelsea, who truly had my back, and did it solely so that I could be me for the first time ever. I will never forget this you two. You made my dream come true.
I went to bed smiling.
I woke up still wearing the wig and still smiling despite the hangover.