Established in March 2002 by Andrew Maggs Translife has become one of the UK’s leading suppliers to the crossdressing / transgender community by providing a caring and professional service to our clients both old and new. If you are looking to purchase breast forms, wigs, footwear, jewellery, clothing, shapewear or even cosmetics then we are here to assist with a huge array of products at..
My name is Robyn and I am writing this in the hopes that it will inspire all of you to be totally true to yourselves and to live the lives you were meant to live. Sometimes to be truly happy we have to come to some earthshattering realizations of who we are and who we aspire to be. This was certainly the situation I had to face.
I will begin by saying that I am not a youngster ( boo-hoo ) anymore. When I developed my feminine persona, it was prudent to keep it well hidden from those around me. Transgender was not a word that was understood or even used back when I knew I was different. Society, as many of you might recall, was very biased towards the LBGT+ community, especially the “T” word which wasn’t even included in the LGB vernacular. People labelled us “Transvestites, He-She, along with other equally vulgar adjectives. It just wasn’t “normal” for a man to dress like a woman. Even a man with long hair was frowned upon. Queers, faggots, sissies, girly boys were terms I vividly remember. And so it was. I knew who I was and what made me happy but couldn’t act out for fear of the normal reactions from family, friends, and co-workers. I didn’t want to be judged or lose everyone around me. I felt totally isolated on the inside but played the role of the alpha males on the outside so I could fit in. I truly felt that if I was found out, everyone who made up my life would be totally mortified and shun me. This was at a time when there was no Internet, support groups, or even psychologists who specialized in gender-related matters. I had no support and no one to turn to.
As the years went by, I tried to ignore my feelings, thinking there was surely something wrong with me. After all, I was born a man. I was supposed to graduate school, get married, do “guy” things, have kids and on and on. And I did all of those things. I tried to be the man I was raised to be. BUT! And all of you who might be reading this knows what the word “BUT’ means. I was totally playing the role so I could fit in, be accepted and admired. That was the outside me, not the inside me. The inside me found beauty and peace in all things feminine. I never went into a department store without first going to the women’s department so I could look at all the beautiful garments, dresses, skirts, shoes, underclothes, etc. The men’s area was bland and boring, offering the usual suits, shirts, ties, and shoes that I knew I had to wear, but hated!
Then as more time went by, I just had to know what it felt like to have a totally smooth body and put on something feminine. Bought lots of things after that because the feelings I experience when “en femme” brought me so much pleasure and just reinforced the idea that I was someone else on the inside. But, as I’m sure most of you know, it was an isolated experience. A lonely experience because you just didn’t reveal that side of you to anyone. Then my real issues began to set in. I was conflicted and in pain knowing that I couldn’t be who I was meant to be.
I purged and bought and purged and bought and on and on until I knew I needed help. More time went by until the Internet came along and stories of others like myself appeared. Magazines come out and movies and novels featuring so many others who had feelings similar to my own. I discovered venues where members of the LGB community went. Then it was LGBT! YAY! And there were events that got worldwide recognition to celebrate alternative lifestyles. It was a new time, even though so much of the old hatred still lingered. At least I knew I was not alone.
Then came the reckoning! I could no longer find happiness in my current state of mind. My male v. my female. One had to go. I, unlike so many others in our community, could not continue to live dual lives. For me it had to be one or the other. That’s just my reality.
And so I am facing this head-on, taking the bull by the horns, so to speak. I have sought out counselling to address this conflict of souls and have decided in favour of the feminine. I, along with my therapist, have decided that given my history and my issues, it would be better for me going forward to become the woman I truly am. My transition officially begins on Monday, June 27th.
I feel lighter than air! Just to have made this decision has put a smile on my face and a skip in my step. I know the path forward will be fraught with many obstacles, but none could be worse than living the lie that I lived for so long. I am at peace now. I have come out to so many and the reactions have all been so positive and supportive. It just makes me want to cry tears of joy!
I don’t know what impact this narrative may have on anyone else, but I guess I’m hoping that it will give all of you who may be experiencing what I did some hope that you really CAN be the person you were meant to be and live the life you were meant to live. We only have one life to live. I know so many trans individuals who spend so much time wondering why they are the way they are instead of becoming the person they were meant to be. We are the way we are because that’s just who we are. Why spend so much time trying to figure it out. Just live it and be happy!
BE HAPPY AND BE YOURSELF. DON’T LET OTHERS LIVE YOUR LIFE FOR YOU!!!!!
As I approached Brighton station my heart was already beating faster, because for the very first time in my life I was about to visit a professional dressing service. The prospect was thrilling, exciting and absolutely nerve-wracking, especially as I’d promised myself I would venture out en femme, in public that very evening! Hours trawling the net for a great dressing service and weeks spent dreaming of the looks I could maybe achieve, were about to become reality!
Walking through Brighton, the nerves started to kick in and the doubts started to emerge. Was this an absolutely crazy risk? Well, it turned out, that in opting for TransLife, I’d made a fantastic choice. All of my doubts dispersed within seconds of crossing the threshold. Sitting in their beautifully their appointed house, I was soon nattering away with Andy and Krista like old friends.
It’s a real testament to their genuine friendliness and understanding that we somehow got onto the subject of crossdressing without even realising it. Suddenly I was chatting away quite openly about myself and what I was hoping to get from my visit. Andy (aka Sophie) was a great listener, understanding and supportive, but above all, he was an amazing confidence booster!
For the first hour or so it was fantastic just to chat away. I’d never been able to do it before, and its good to talk. Then after our chat, I was shown upstairs to my beautiful B&B bedroom so that I could freshen up and then it was on to the fun part!
As we entered the Translife dressing room I was entranced. There seemed to be a department store’s worth of cosmetics, rows of gorgeous wigs, racks of fabulous dresses, heels of all heights colours and sizes. There were panties, bras, drawers of shapewear and more jewellery than a girl could ever dream of. Everything looked very clean, fresh and well organised. I was thrilled and impressed in equal measure.
Well, the next few hours were just heaven. Andy did an absolutely amazing makeup job. He found the perfect balance between ‘age-appropriate’ and on-the-town gorgeousness! His skilful and subtle contouring had me staring into the mirror in complete disbelief. Then for the wig. We must have tried seven or eight but in the end, we settled for a medium length brunette which we both instantly knew was Vickie.
Andy produced a variety of support garments, silicone hip pads, silicone breasts etc and carefully explained how they were all used.
“I’m not going to oversee this particular part of the process” he grinned and left me to get my shapewear in place. It didn’t take long and soon I was flicking through dresses. I tried on several and feeling as if I was on ‘Say Yes To The Dress’, I enjoyed modelling for Andy and Krista, whose critical eye and honest opinion, in particular, were completely invaluable!
Eventually, we settled on a fabulously classy fitted Herve Leger dress with black and white trimmed panels and from the shoe department, we chose a pair of black heels. A cute bolero top, some simple jewellery and I was good to go. For a while, I paraded up and down the lounge admiring my new femme self in the handily placed full-length mirrors. It seemed that the gorgeous woman looking back at me simply couldn’t stop smiling and for the first time in my life, I had stepped literally into Vickie’s shoes!
At some point, Andy had disappeared into the dressing room, where obviously some sort of magic must have had occurred because the most gorgeous radiant woman emerged!
“OMG – Sophie, You look amazing”, I exclaimed.
“You both look fabulous,” said Krista, “Your cab’s here, now get off the pair of you and have a lovely lovely evening!”.
And did we! I had no time at all to be nervous, and anyway, Sophie is so confident and experienced that I always felt in totally safe hands. She seems to know just about everyone in Brighton. The Restaurant, bars, clubs – we were greeted like old friends wherever we went and people were incredibly friendly, open, intelligent, liberal…. and always massively complimentary! It seems that Brighton’s huge LBGT family means that anyone loosely under the ‘T’ banner will always be completely welcomed.
After a wonderful evening full of fun and laughter we finally jumped in a cab back to Translife, and I retired to my lovely bedroom, still on a high and hardly able to sleep. Next morning I had a leisurely breakfast with Andy and Krista, made sure that every last bit of makeup had been removed and headed home to normality… or could this have been the new normal I wonder?
Translife certainly provides a fantastic one-stop shop for all requirements, at really competitive prices. Their friendliness, understanding and commitment to detail can’t be faulted and I’m already planning my next trip!
Why Crossdressing – or why do you crossdress? Either way, it is a simple question or is it? Well the answer for me is somewhat dependant on when in my life that particular question was asked. In my more formative years which for clarity was probably in my twenties, I had a long list of reasons, most of them sounded quite plausible well to me that was. I would quite proudly list out glib statements like a frightened boy whistling in the dark, hoping for a nod of approval. In truth and with hindsight I was probably seeking acceptance from others when in fact I was neither knowledgeable or mature emotionally enough to grasp the reasons or magnitude of such a simple question. Today (circa 2018) when approached by an enquiring mind I have but one rather simple yet annoying reply to the magic question……. “It’s because I can”.
So Why Crossdressing? Why the hell not!
OK, it’s a little glib, but it is true, even with a high degree of soul searching, research and pure honesty I can not say what drives or compels me to “dress”. I do accept it is a part of my character that allows me to express myself in a different way. As a Fella, I’m 5’ 6” tall nothing special to look at and when I enter a room I don’t exactly make heads turn. However, as Sophie, I’m far more confident, relaxed and outward and heads do have a tendency to turn, hopefully for the right reasons. If you examine that simple statement one might be lead to believe I’m a self-centered, vain individual (probably) and or suffer from a lack self-esteem (don’t we all). Some of those statements might be true, however, the point is that “Sophie” or my alter ego through the mask she provides does allow me to express myself with a lesser risk of rejection. In addition and I’m sure this point strikes a chord with many a fellow dresser Sophie is a great de-stress option. I can forgo the daily pressure of being an Alpha male once I put on my face and slip into a dress. However, it still upsets me that in today’s so-called ever-evolving world that crossdressing or whatever label you wish to attach to it is still something of a taboo.
Why do I say its a taboo? There have been great strides in terms of being Transexual after all not a day goes by when there is not some reference in the Media or the TV to the subject. Believe me, I think its FANTASTIC! and long may it continue. On reflection (author notes that these are his views only) I believe that the “general public” are probably more comfortable with the subject as there are some forms of “scientific” reasoning involved after all if science says its OK who are we to question. Add the fact that there are some highly competent, informative and let’s face it all round lovely people championing the cause (or should that be flight or campaign), the fact remains we have rightly moved onto a more positive perspective. The topic is now mainstream and even covered by the legal system. Moving back to crossdressing….. Sadly there is less of an understanding and still a social stigma attached to it, even being referred to as odd or weird! Unfortunately, there appear to be less positive media examples to offer a balanced view on the subject either. How often have you watched a film or a documentary where the focus is either presented as a fetish, open to ridicule or a villain of the piece? OK, that may be a little harsh but I think you would agree there are very few cases where it is treated in an honest open way. My explanation for this is quite simple because people don’t wish to be presented with the truth as its boring after all who wants to know we are in fact very normal human beings who do what we do because we can! That’s my simple answer to Why Crossdresing in a nutshell.
To be honest, like so many people these days I very rarely have time to sit down and read a book. However, there are always exceptions and this is a case in point. I have seen this book on a couple of occasions all wrapped up in cellophane and wondered what glorious visions and stories yield beneath its lush covers? Well, wonder no more…..A copy duly arrived in the form of a present from my partner (Krista) on the occasion of my ?? birthday!
This can only be described as a must-have coffee table book and a hard to put down version it is too. It is worth pointing out that it is not full of in-depth details and accounts of the development of drag as an art form but more a visual homage to the talent of both the photographer and the queens themselves. There are great quotes and insights as you would expect. The majority well nearly all of the queens in the book are from the States with a few notable exceptions Dusty O of tranny shack London fame for one. I think the book is full of wonderful images and humour that you can truly appreciate. Boy George’s forward sets the tone of the book off very well with his brief well not so brief account of drag, after that you are presented with page after page of visual stimulation. My top ten in no specific order would consist of:
Courtney Act – The pics are not exactly family viewing but artistic!
Cassandra Moore – What a vision
Miss Fame – Always looks stunning!
Jinkx MonsoonCoco De’ Bell
As you work your way through the book you get a sense of the reality and message that some of the Queen’s project, there does not have to be a reason why we do things it is simply enough to say it’s because I can.
My Translife Dressing Service experience by Viktoria Paige
On my arrival, I was offered a drink which I accepted and we sat down and had a chat about what I hoped to gain from the experience. I was extremely happy to leave the whole thing to Sophie. We decided that as I was staying overnight (really well worth doing) she would do my make up first and organise my outfit for our trip out in the evening and then do her own transformation. As I had already ordered a new blonde wig from Translife together with a 5 inch heeled pair of strappy sandals we jointly decided that the makeup would be for a blonde and not my usual auburn.
So with my boy shirt removed, the transformation to Viktoria started. First, the face was sealed with barrier foam (a primer) and then the fun started. The foundation and basic contouring were done and sealed with fixing powder. The eyes were made up the eyebrows redrawn, the contouring completed and the face highlighted to reflect the light the lips were shaped and coloured and finally, the wig fitted. When I saw the outcome of all the hard work that Sophie had put in to create a new look for Viktoria, I could hardly believe it was me that I saw in the mirror. (For a complete view of what was done to produce the look, go to Translife’s website and watch the transformation of Andrew to Sophie) Every bit of care that is taken to make Sophie was taken in the making of Viktoria and some more besides.
Having completed the makeup, an outfit was selected, breast forms inserted into a bra and I went upstairs to change. I had already bought with me my own underwear, stockings and suspenders so I did not have to borrow these items, but if I had needed them they would have been readily provided.
As I have already said earlier I had purchased a pair of 5-inch strappy sandals from Translife and was hoping to wear them on our girly night out, but discretion took hold, and a pair of 2.5 inch heeled court shoes were provided instead and weren’t my feet pleased
Sophie then went and got ready and along with Krista we went out for dinner and then to Legends for the evening.
As I was staying overnight, we all breakfasted early, before I had my make up completely done again. I enjoyed the experience just as much the second time.
As all good things must come to an end, I took my leave of an extremely lovely couple, and drove home “en femme”.
Achieving the female shape is not always as easy as it sounds after all we all have our opinions on what is the best shape/figure to aim for. Typically a male frame is referred to as an inverted triangle where the shoulder width is wider than the hips. The dress size, therefore, is dictated generally by the fact that the dress needs to fit the shoulder/chest area and ends up loose around the hip and bottom. So many people opt for a corset to bring their waist in with the view of achieving a more feminine shape. In reality, this makes you look like a “strangled Y shape” rather than a soft female curvy shape. In our view, it is much better to “add” to the hips to fill out the dress/figure to achieve a more convincing “real” shape. We have a couple of options, The first is to consider a pair of padded panties
This garment has two sets of foam inserts and is available in a range of sizes and garment colours. The combined hip and bottom pads add shape, the only consideration is that for the larger waist sizes we feel the length of the pads is not sufficient and when under reasonably tight clothing you can sometimes appear to have a bump rather than a nice soft blend in appearance. We would not recommend this product if you are considering wearing tight jeans or trousers. However, to aid a medium to loose dress or skirt this is a very economical option. You can remove the hip pads with ease when you need to wash the garment.
It comes as no surprise these days that there is an increasing number of silicone hip and or rear pads available on the market. The advantage of this approach is that they can be shaped and weighted to produce not only the profile but the feel. The silicone hips pads we currently offer at Translife fall into small, medium or large categories, in addition, there are a couple of options when it comes to the shade.
Silicone hip pads
These have an adhesive/tacky backing to them which helps to retain them in position. However, it is our experience that you will need some form of underwear to support them, especially the medium or large pads. Once position they DO provide the additional inches to your hips and blend in perfectly due to their thin tail structure. If you are over 5’6″ in height I would strongly recommend the large version anything less will not give the additional inches you may like/require. Should you wish you can purchase hip and bottom silicone combination (360 pads). Once position correctly they give additional curves in all the correct places. The material of construction is very durable so you can sit down in them without a problem. In summary whilst this may not be a cheap option we believe it is one of the best solutions, however, as with so many things in life this is just an opinion. We have seen quite a few long foam hip pads on the market used by drag queens that are VERY good so ensure you check them out before you make your investment.
For those of you who are a little handy with your arts and crafts, there are loads of great videos on the internet that are very helpful our favourite one can be viewed by following THIS LINK (The wonderful Sugar Love). Failing that you can always purchase a ready crafted pair, currently, our recommendation is by a company who goes by the name PlanetPepper. We hope you found this blog of interest if so please feel free to comment we would love to hear from you.
How to select breast forms – Sounds simple yet for a wide array of reasons it is not always as straight forward as it may sound. There are a vast array of manufactures and styles to consider as well as what is the best shape and size for you. This is a very short video aimed at introducing the two basic shapes (Triangular and Oval) and their respective benefits and feature’s. In addition we cover how to measure and select the correct size breast forms for your frame. You can view all of the available styles we have to offer at Translife by following THIS LINK.
Selecting Silicone Breast Forms - Vimeo
This is just one of the videos we have on our website. To view the full range we currently have on offer follow THIS LINK
Victorias Secret Journey – I’m your stereotypical transgender MTF, if there is such a thing? I have known since before I could speak and demonstrated it too apparently! However I grew up in a good family with strong values and was much loved, I didn’t know nor understand what was going on in my head until a long time later.
I have taken part in a lot of things in my time and excelled at many, with time in the military, awards and trophies for leadership and physical prowess all great indicators of achievement and overcompensating, because I couldn’t be the girl my head kept telling me I was! But don’t get me wrong I am no Caitlyn Jenner – no gold medals for me!
I dressed from an early age and loved every minute of the excitement and “rightness” of those times, but this was always followed by confusion and guilt. I have spent a lot of my time leading others in work and sport, and it has taken me a long time to realise this is my maternal instinct wanting to help and guide those in need.
I have been through a large part of my life feeling that something was missing, sometimes it was just feeling unsettled and sometimes it felt like a person wasn’t there that should have been? Looking back I was living in black and white, whereas now I live in colour every day. Don’t get me wrong my life isn’t perfect, but its way less complicated. As I got older, like so many of us, I explored these feelings and started with a pair of knickers which soon progressed to more underwear, makeup, wigs, heels the “full Monty” as it were, and each addition affirmed those feelings, whilst frustratingly made me need more of the same. I constantly faced the mirror with a feeling of disappointment that I didn’t look right, but excited as I saw glimpses of the real me in there too. I wore nail varnish on my toes and often wore my underwear to work, terrified of getting caught but exhilarated with the achievement of being a little more me!
So I dressed, I accessed the internet and learnt I was not as alone as I thought, I stayed indoors terrified my secret would never be anything more than a dirty secret – as that was what I believed society saw it as. Like so many my knowledge and attempts at being the real me were fumbled at best and I did eventually venture out to BNO at Pink Punters where I spent a whole evening too terrified to speak to anyone other than to order a drink or three as the alcohol helped with the nerves, and I think helped me cope with the walk back on my heels on that long walk back to the Camponile (its only over the road but its a million miles when your feet hurt from your 3 inch heels after a night out).
Things progressed and I realised there were places to go to get a proper makeover, I tried some, who to be honest, were just people who understand and offered a service, and some who just wanted your money, and some where every person going through their door is dressed the same and the same style wigs and makeup. But within these was an Oasis – Translife and of course Andrew Maggs, a lovely warm hearted person, who, whilst runs a business actually cares about you and what you want, he is qualified, not only with certificates but inexperience too as he is one of us. Andrew’s facilities are very warm and inviting, and the greeting you get could not be more friendly, backed up by a knowledge of many years and first-hand experience, funnily enough, I met one of my best trans friends (Gloria) there as she was leaving as I went in, but we didn’t realise as we were both in drab at the time! Anyway, you could not be in safer hands with Andrew and his partner, and I cannot recommend Translife enough, I still use what Andrew taught me as the basis for my day and evening looks , and to me the fact that he is so passionate about sharing and helping is what makes his service so fab! I spent a long day there and buzzed all the way home having bought a few bits of makeup, and a beautiful wig that I couldn’t take my eyes off from the minute I walked in. Andrew still runs his online business as you will know and if I am honest is one of a select few who sells at a great price with no “trans tax” added because of who we are!
As time progressed I realised that I didn’t get a buzz from wearing the clothes, I just felt right when I dressed, I saw a counsellor for a couple of years which really helped me get my head straight and I can say I am trans now and not be ashamed, but still it wasn’t enough.
Then I had an epiphany, oh alright a moment of insight! I was working in a very male-oriented environment when a group of girls came on site, and whilst all the other guys were shouting and wolf whistling, all I could think was “ooh I love her hair, and her shoes and wish I was that little” etc etc, and I realised it wasn’t a subconscious choice it was ingrained so deep in my brain that it was my first thought not my last. I moved for a job from the south coast to Essex, and then the job fell through, so now I needed to let out the woman inside, I had previously worked in Brighton for over 20 years and never really regained the corporate Life desires since, so decided this was the time to actually make it real.
It took me a while but I plucked up the courage to go to the Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) at Charing cross, terrified they would cart me off in a straight jacket in a transit to the nearest loony bin, but “NO!” apparently I am an ideal candidate as I know what I am, and although I had to say it out loud that I wanted to physically become a woman, they could not have been more supportive and totally focused on helping me get to where I need to be. Have no illusions they are part of the NHS so things take time and they are constrained by this, for example, all the mail has to go to the main hospital first and then it comes to their satellite office so quite often goes missing, and believe me it infuriates them more than it will ever upset you. They have financial constraints and physical restrictions like all other businesses, and maybe if they were more transparent would help, but let’s not forget these people have been doing this a long time and until last month because of NHS guidelines and the confidentiality of patients were not allowed to text you with a confirmation of appointment – you had to be told in writing in a letter to your door or picked up when you were there!
So I am officially transgender – Eureka, I am not Mad (well that’s measured by degrees, careful all of you that know me!) YAY! It’s ok to be me!!! All I had to do is tell everyone else, easy stuff by comparison! NOT!! As once that genie is out of the bottle there is no going back, or pretending it’s a joke! There is no part of our journey (whichever trans person you are) that is easy, but we are all on parallel journeys and society is catching up with us slowly. So I get on with it, I tell my mum and my friends, and they were all fab, but not one of them had a clue, but more of them than I expected said “What took you so long I love you no matter what and don’t care, now you can be happy!” But I was/am lucky and know many who have been pushed away by their family and friends. There is no going back, and it’s a hard choice, but for me there was no other way as I am fixing something that’s been broken for a long time. Have no illusions, I am 6ft1 and 14 stone so will never be “petite” or a “skinny mini”, but then I like to think I have a bright mind and definitely a good heart.
I never used to look in the mirror except to shave, and hated to have my picture taken, so even though I had changed my name by deed pole and notified everyone from banks to tax man all the way to car insurance. I had no work and could kick around at home in guys clothes and just say I was full time, so I did two significant things, I started looking at what I could do for work and I had always wanted to Foster so I started chasing that dream! Plus and more importantly for my soul, I decided to make some changes to me that were a little more permanent. Well girls I can tell you that cheap wig you bought when you first worked it out and you laugh at now is no joke, it’s part of the journey. As a guy hair is just there and gets in the way in the shower for drying after sport etc, but as a woman it’s your crowning glory, expect to have bad hair days, expect to not like it but don’t ever trim your own fringe it never works!! So with this in mind I started my research, I visited salons all over London and the UK trying to find someone who got it! I looked for about 6 months, and came across Debbie at Hair in Xs, they have been providing hair systems for over 20 years to cancer victims, Trichotillomania (pulling your own hair out) Alopecia sufferers etc etc and are NHS approved, but more importantly for me they had been looking after trans women for just as long. So after a few false starts elsewhere I went to see Debbie and her team, I went as Vikki, I entered another world, the salon only sees 2 clients at a time, I asked a million questions, I drank tea I chatted with the girls, nothing was too much trouble for the team, and I left from that consultation having booked my hair appointment even though there is no rush, I am not good at waiting once I have decided, and then proceeded to write loads of questions to Debbie by email, one after the other, and again nothing was too much trouble, in fact Debbie does all the Consults herself, and she has forgotten more about the systems then you would ever be able to ask about.
So I get my hair done, feel free to go have a look as my pictures are the top set on the transgender page of the Hair in Xs website, its remarkable how much of a difference it makes, even my mum has said my hair is now my crowning glory. Not bad for a guy with male pattern baldness at the back and some thinning on top, but that’s the beauty of the systems, they are bespoke to your needs, no two are the same, and they can deal with anything unless you are completely bald. I have looked hard and long and I cannot find anyone else in the UK who provides this service. You have to go back every 6 weeks to have it tightened as its attached to your hair, there is no head shaving no glues put on your head, it enables your hair to grow too, I went in with short hair and mine is now down to my shoulders, but I like it longer, plus I can choose straight curly, long short, colour etc, nothing is too much trouble, in fact, I changed my mind three times on the day and still got exactly what I wanted, and it was all just a walk in the park for the team. Watching the process revealed is fascinating and the thought and care that goes into it is amazing. The downside is I wake in the morning with my hair in my eyes some days, but every day starts with a smile now.
So permanent Hair = no going back, daunting at first maybe? Actually it’s the best thing I ever did, it’s given me a huge amount of confidence not least of all as I cannot pretend to anyone anymore, I still love cars and bikes, and especially fixing them but now I have to put my hair up and be a little more careful of my nails, but it’s weird as I am more me than ever, I am just about to start as a Foster Carer, so realising that dream, they know I am trans, and embraced it, there are many children out there who are too and have been kicked out because their parents don’t understand, of course I also have other life experience that is relevant, 2 kids, bereavement, children’s custody court cases etc, so its not just that, but there is a growing need for Trans Foster Carers, and of course it plays into my need to be maternal too!
I play badminton at 2 different clubs every week and Ice or Roller skate a couple of times a week too. I got Breast Augmentation (privately) in July last year, and lower surgery will be end of this year via GIC /NHS, My son, Husky and I live in a little 3 bed bungalow and its all slowly coming together, when I look back it’s been a tough ride and not one I would wish on anyone else (but some of that is job-related), but once I realised it wasn’t a choice I moved forward, and when I look back now I smile as I have a much happier life now. Actually, I think the truth is that I am content with myself now, all of my friends have commented on how much happier I am too. I guess partly because I am no longer trying to prove anything to myself or anyone else! And because of it I am also doing charity work and am organising a big rally at the end of this year for Lady riders only. So if I can do it so can you!
I get out and about in Brighton, Leeds and Manchester amongst others, so if you see me and want to ask any questions, or just share a cuppa and some cake (I love cake!) please don’t hesitate as I am very open and honest about it all but would love to hear your story too!
Sophie’s Bit Having met Debbie and her team I could not endorse her work enough she gives freely and provides a great service we at Translife would recommend her services wholeheartedly. The great news is that she is opening a salon in Brighton as of April 2018 you can pop along for a consultation and see the wonderful work she does for yourself.
I’m a transgender girl, who travels a bit for my work, and almost always I throw in an extra suitcase full of my dresses, makeup and accessories to allow myself to spend the weekend relaxing in my preferred gender of female. I’m not out at work, so it does mean I take both male and female clothes, and often as a result get queries on why I have so many bags with me. I just mention that it is because I like to go clothes shopping or picking up some presents for friends. Seems to do the trick.
Travelling with your girl items is generally not a problem. Most baggage handlers have seen all sorts on xrays, and there is nothing illegal, so it is all very easy. Clearly there are some countries where transgender folk are not as welcome, and I would not do this there, but in all the Western style countries, Latin America and Asia, no problems at all! Only issue I have from time to time is with the bag with my breast forms in being delayed through immigration from time to time, as I guess the gel inside may require a second glance. That can be annoying, as usually I have all my girls stuff in the one bag, so a delayed bag, can mean a missed night out.
I travel to the USA a lot. San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Houston and Dallas are my main destinations. While in Texas in September, my work trip coincided with Dallas Pride, so at the end of the working week I picked up a car and drove up to Dallas. Pride in Dallas may surprise some, as many think of Texas and the South as only being “anti-trans” and “bathroom bans”. Actually, Dallas has the fourth largest LGBT community in the USA, and is very welcoming. It’s other parts of the Southern states that we have to be more careful in.
So I stayed at my usual B&B in Dallas, which is just behind the main LGBT strip of Cedar Springs Road. Think iconic clubs such as JRs, Station 4, and Sue Ellens. It is a compact area, but really comes alive at night, complete with the usual drag shows and entertainment. Speaking of which, if you are going to spend a weekend in Dallas, do try the B&B I stay at, The Daisy Polk Inn. It is a classic 1910 American Southern house, walking distance in high heels to the main clubs, and run by a very trans friendly gay couple. They will spoil you rotten!
Shelley at Dallas Pride
I spent the weekend then at Dallas Pride, enjoying the parade, and soaking up the atmosphere. I dressed at Daisys, makeup, Ubered around town for some shopping and attended the parades and free entertainment during the day, and clubbing at night. All extremely welcoming in that Southern charm way.
It came to Sunday, and after the main parade, I was due to fly back to the UK. I was in such a buoyant mood, that I thought: “Well, why change – how about I fly as I am?” I have never done that from the USA. It concerned me about how border security would be, especially USA TSA (Transport Security Administration), and my passport would say a different gender. What would happen in the body scanner? What if I got a pat down or worse? So, as you do, I asked my friends on Facebook for their advice….. of course it was quite mixed. First there were those saying “Yes girl, go for it”, and then the others saying “Are you mad? Don’t risk it! What about your job etc?” I googled it, and found the TSA had a transgender policy. That and it being Pride weekend, I thought about it, and then concluded, that this was a perfect chance for me to try it out.
So I booked my Uber, touched up my makeup, and headed out to the airport. Nervously waiting to check in, I stood in the queue. I’m 6ft 2, so do stand out as quite tall for a girl, and it is easy to imagine everyone looking at you. And sure, there was a bit of that, but nothing uncomfortable. I held my courage and kept in line. When I got to check-in, there was lovely southern black man who was just gorgeous to me. He welcomed me with a massive smile, addressed me in the right gender, and made sure I was being looked after. He was simply awesome.
Next then, was my deepest fear:TSA, and getting through dressed as female, when my passport says “male”. I was called up to the TSA lady, and she just smiled at me in a genuine fashion, checked my passport, looked at me, and waived me through. No dreaded questioning, or requests to take off my hair or makeup. Through to Xray, and it didn’t beep or blink funny. Before I knew it, I was in the main terminal hall looking for my gate. I have had far worse security clearances as male, as I ever have had as female!
So, trip to the bar, pre-flight sauvignon blanc, and then boarding and settling in to my seat. Fortunately for me, I was flying business, so I did have a little luxury of not having to squeeze in with three other people. The steward came around shortly after take off to ask me what I would like for dinner. Coming up from behind, “Now Mr… ah…Ms…what would you like.” Didn’t miss a beat. He had been reading off the seat allocation, which was clearly in my male gender, so to see a female sitting there, threw him for a second. And even if he had got it wrong, I couldn’t have blamed him for that!
Dinner, Sleep, Breakfast. Overnight flight of 10 hours. Morning time, and I felt the need to touch up my makeup, so off to the toilet to reset it. I did feel sorry for the guy queuing up behind me. I think he got the idea and went to another option. It’s going to take me more than the usual time to simply have a pee to reset things to a place where I felt comfortable. I could have taken it all off, and changed back into male gender. And there was a big part of me very afraid I would not get through the automatic facial recognition gates in the UK with my makeup and hair on. But again I was feeling emboldened from my experience so far, and hell, I was coming home, so they couldn’t exactly throw me out of the country…..
Off the plane then, through to passport control. Do I go with the long queue, or auto gates? I thought that I would go for it. Stood at the camera, scanned my passport, and 3 seconds later the green light and I was through and home! Wow. That was amazing. I guess the facial recognition has to be that good – it had absolutely no issue matching me to my passport – yet many “humans” cannot match male and female modes.
Finally I had a second leg up to Manchester to finish my trip, and went through to transfers. This time, my Mac foundation exploded in the xray! Was really annoying as I had a lot of other makeup in that bag, and it went everywhere. So off to the toilet to wash that off. I can only think it was a pressure thing. Visited the lady at Mac Heathrow, and purchased a new one – showed her my old one, and she said she had never seen that happening.
So what is my conclusion? Well, it was all a very nice experience, and having done it once, I would have no concerns doing it again. Approach it with a positive attitude – the airport staff are well trained in diversity and you have the right to fly how you wish to present. (Perhaps you may struggle in certain fetish gear). Just make sure your ID card matches your ticket (your gender presentation does not need to do so) and you are good to go. Next time for me is to fly back to the USA from UK. Have a lovely 2018 – and go for it.
This is one of our first crossdressing full make-over / instruction video. We have concentrated on providing as much detail as possible and take you through all the basic steps. We have also included details on all the products used throughout the presentation and you will find the majority of them listed below with the links where applicable. The principal objective is to ensure you have the confidence to give it a go for yourself. If you require any further information or have any questions relating to this or any other make-up related issue simply call us on 01273 779467 or email Sophie@translife.uk
Crossdressing full make-over – Link to products used in this video
Listed below are the direct links to the products used during this video presentation.
Section 1 – All the items / Products in this section relate to applying your foundation.