Anything in the news lately?
It’s fascinating and bewildering and encouraging and depressing all at once to watch these historical days play out, but I don’t want to write about you-know-what at the moment.
I think for many of us our femme lives are a place of comfort, security, and happiness. As someone who identifies as bi-gender, my life is just as separated as my closet. The boy does all the hard work such as his job and paying bills, but Hannah gets to (or she used to before the pandemic) go shopping, wander around a museum, have dinner with friends, and a million other things the boy is too busy to do. Hannah is a bit of a refuge, in a way. Her world and her life is a place to go to when the boy needs a break from stress and responsibilities. A world of beauty, relaxation, and comfort.
During these unprecedented times (my god, how many times have you heard THAT phrase over the last eight months?) all of our lives have been impacted and changed forever. Earlier this year we would discuss when things would go back to normal, but there is no going back. There probably never was any going back. Now that so much has happened and so much time as passed the days prior to COVID seem like a lifetime ago. Instead we will see what the world will be like when we get to the other side of this virus. I think one of the things that keeps us going is having something to look forward to. It could be a concert, a family event, a holiday, a vacation, or a movie coming out but of course everything has been turned inside-out and it’s impossible to plan anything more than a few days in advance. It’s depressing and unsettling. The things we turned to for comfort and escape aren’t an option anymore.
So what to do we do? We adapt. We evolve. Evolution is caused by stress, by change. We grow, we challenge ourselves. How will our lives and our world be different when “this is all over”, not only as a world but as individuals? It’s not unreasonable to say that life changed overnight despite the virus and its impact spreading gradually and consuming the entire world, country by country. I remember a few months ago when things in the United States were escalating. The first sporting events being cancelled, schools starting to close, infections rising, new cases popping up in different parts of the country… We were forced to rethink our lives. We HAD to adapt. Many of us started to work remote, kids did school online, business changed how they sell everything from food to hand sanitizer. It was shocking not to be able to go to the store and pick up toilet paper or cleaning supplies. The normal everyday things weren’t an option.
Social media thanked the brave nurses and grocery store clerks and all of the essential workers who were helping the rest of the world get through this even if it meant putting their own health and safety at risk. Sadly this has changed as we have moved on from thanking the cashier at the grocery store to yelling at the clerks when they ask you to please wear a mask.
What does this have to do with crossdressing, you may ask?
Many of us have two lives and for those who do, we have two worlds that have been impacted by this changed world. Vacations aren’t an option at the moment, I don’t travel for my job, and I miss going to restaurants. And yes I know this is all superficial compared to those who have gotten sick, lost loved ones, or have lost their jobs because of this. I know that. I am blessed and fortunate. Hannah’s life has been impacted as well, and again, in very superficial and comparably unimportant ways. Both of my lives are adapting and learning to live in this new world. My boy job adapted and I am working differently than I used to. The things the boy used to do are different but he is more or less okay. Dining out at a restaurant has changed to take-out, for example. Again, I know this is small and irrelevant compared to how others have been affected. I get that. I promise I do.
So the boy is more or less okay, but what about her? Hannah’s life has been impacted in a few significant ways. Events and outings with the MN T-Girls have changed and it’s harder to plan events that are safe. Hannah isn’t wandering around a mall anymore looking for a cute dress. These are things that she looked forward to, things that she did when, usually when his life became stressful and hectic. Hannah would step in (or strut in) and take over for a bit. Without Hannah’s comforts, how does she, and all of our femme selves, cope with everything?
Well, I don’t know about you, but clothes are a wonderful source of comfort. Clothes represent my femme side. My femme side is my connection to a world that is more beautiful, calmer than the other world.
In both of my genders, I need things to look forward to. Both of my genders look forward to different things but many of these things aren’t an option at the moment. But I can look forward to a new dress I ordered online. I can look forward to waking up and wearing a cute pair of panties. It’s a way to stay connected to her, even if I am not en femme.
Underdressing has always been a place of refuge, security, and beauty. It’s not that I feel anxious in boy mode, but Hannah is calmer than he is. This is also true when I am in boy mode but wearing leggings and a femme shirt. Taking a shower and shaving my legs and sliding into bed in a new nightgown is just divine.
It’s true that I miss being able to wear a new dress to something other than my own home (for now, anyway), but the point is that we need to take care of our femme selves. I do this by giving her something to look forward to. A new outfit, new lingerie… daydreaming about new adventures when things aren’t as scary and dangerous. It’s important that even in “normal” times (remember those?) we need to acknowledge and care for both sides of us. We still need to do that, but we are probably doing this in different ways.
How do you take care of her when you’re not able to do what you used to do?