A chance posting on a forum i frequent reminds me of a business – Transformation Ltd – that i’d guess most trans women are all too familiar with…and which most non-trans folk will never have heard of.
Its a place where you can go, as the label sugests, in order to transform. There you can buy clothes, shoes and wigs – as well as some slightly more esoteric paraphernalia such as breast forms and figure-enhancing supplements (not clear whether these are actually hormones, or something else). And you can stop by for “make-overs”.
And, i fear, T Ltd may have contributed to my putting my own transition back by many years.
The problem is: you need to get your head around how in the closet trans was even ten years ago – and also how closely associated it was with sexual exoticity.
When, finally, i was assessed for gender dysphoria, the general diagnosis was “long-term repressed”. Which was sort of true: and i am wary of rewriting my past history; but behind the blokish facade was always something else.
A fascination with gender issues and a fantasy life that returned, time and time again, to metamorphosis. So, now and then, i’d drop into “adult shops” and pick up magazines supposedly dealing with trans stuff…and recoil in horror from the highly sexualised matter presented, with its focus mainly on “forced transformation”, or the “chicks with dicks” end of the spectrum.
Which i won’t condemn: but which was so alien to me that each visit was followed by a total swearing off and a promise to self to be a good little fellow and put aside all that stuff forever. Six months later….
So, too, with Transformation Ltd. I’d visit from time to time: a nervous poking of my nose around the door and…what?
Its hard to get myself back into the mindspace now, but it was a mix of fascination and revulsion. This caricatured feminity…the obsession with red and black shiny stuff, high heels and short skirts…this wasn’t me, couldn’t be me…could it?
At the same time, i remember long pauses in front of the wig array: eyeing up the beautiful flowing locks; a mix of fear and …what i didn’t get at the time…total loss.
I wanted…was desperate for…something. But back in the bad old days, the overlap between trans and kink was a massive, massive obstacle, to understanding.
Its probably why i transitioned so late: why, once i began, i eschewed all hint of artificialness, preferring to look weird than opt for the easy option of wigs and breast forms; and why even now i am sometimes so, so jealous of those transitioning today for whom there is the internet and information and a much clearer picture of what the options are.