But not this post. Not this time. For how and where do I begin in coming out to the lingerie community as Trans?
I am out to many in my life, but jillysfrillies has, until recently, been out on an undisclosed, unaddressed limb.
I read or heard many years ago, that being Trans was not so much about differentiation but about integration. Bringing all aspects of self into the whole, as if the whole were a warm, welcoming party on a cold Winter's night and the aspect of self needed an open door to walk through, to thaw by the fireside for a while and then offered a drink by a smiling hostess.
So-I will start with the birth of jillysfrillies. I was always one for words, the bubbling, fluid way they ran by people, alighting on their minds, their hearts, their souls, touching them and moving on. Like a babbling brook, if a babbling brook could sing, twinkle, laugh and inspire.
Jillysfrillies, then, seemed to sum me up. It was rhythmic, singsong, playful and pretty. Something I hope is replicated in my writing here, if not my physicality.
Back then, I will admit, I was hoping it might become a business for me (although that is yet to happen), but it also served a function for me, allowing me a certain amount of expression in a world where there was precious little. I avoided language that would highlight my identity, reveal all of me, basking, I suppose in the reflected warmth of acceptance. If not the roaring fire I mentioned earlier, then, at least, watching the revellers within from the window.
Was it deceptive? Was I trying on an identity in the same way Id try on lingerie? Or was I allowing the female side of myself some much needed space? Perhaps a bit of both. I worried, if people knew the whole truth, that id be taken for a sleazy pervert, an interloper, a gatecrasher to a party I'd never, ever been invited to.
And yet, my passion and enthusiasm for lingerie as the fabric soul of femininity led to companies asking me to write for them, review for them, blog and write copy for the,. Items, precious gems all, would arrive in the post for me. My writing was appreciated and I felt vindicated, connected, accepted, the door opening.
The Body Positive narrative that grows day by day, lifted by the voices of women coming together to celebrate who they are, both raised and dashed me. Being happy and confident with the body you have or even the body you are planning to have, without anxiety or discrimination, is a wonderful thing and I celebrated with each and every one of you.
It is lingerie that is a cruel reflecting pool after all, lingerie that is at the coalface of this movement, lingerie that reveals. Your deeply held thoughts and feelings are woven into silk and lace, hopes become ribbons, joy becomes nylons and tears become suspender straps, as who we are inside merges organically with the lingerie we dress in. Intimate beliefs of self mixed with the intimate apparel. Wisps of nothingness becoming everything.
What greater need for Body Positivity could there be in this whole beautiful world of lingerie than the difficulties in accepting that one's body and one's lingerie do not match.
Not because of weight or size, but because, fundamentally, my body is not the body of a woman, my torso curveless, my breasts (so important to me) a removable prosthetic.
Not that this is, or ever should be, a competition. But you want to talk about Body Positivity, then spare a thought for me. Not to dismiss anyone's concerns for an instant, but hearing that someone needs to lose a little bit of weight before they feel sexy and desirable again, is a reminder that this is another world away entirely for me. I can honestly say that I can count the number of times in my life that I have felt beautiful on the fingers of one finger.
I am sometimes reminded of The Serenity Prayer, despite the fact that it feels loosely nailed onto the back of the final car on a rickety rollercoaster.
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference"
The future for Trans people, whilst made smoother by the struggles of our sisters and brothers in the wider LGBT movement, is still, I feel, an uncharted, rocky terrain, beset by boulders of misunderstanding, the bovine skulls of myth and prejudice and the cacti of acceptance.
And so, this is my story. I will continue to be passionate about lingerie. And whilst the world needs trans voices in all areas of humanity, I feel that this blogpost may accomplish a dual outcome here, both raising and potentially silencing my voice.
I do not believe I have done myself any favours in the lingerie community. It was the right thing for me and there will be those who commend me for my honesty and congratulate me on my bravery, but, by and large, I have shot myself in my stockinged foot.
Lingerie writing is aspirational and inspirational, evoking feelings, weaving stories and personas. And whilst lingerie exists for all who appreciate it, without fear or favour, which lingerie designer/retailer will now want me to review an item? who will take a gamble on their demographic by having a 6 foot 2 inch biological male evoke feelings for their readers, tell a tale for their visitors? Who wants to sell their intimate underthings on the reccomendations of a husband in a bra, a man in a dress, someone who is not one of us, not welcome at this party?
I could have this wrong of course, and my dream of one day, just once in my life, being photographed as a model, can be kept alive. I might be warmly embraced, stepping ever closer to the fireside of acceptance, but I don't think so. Is the lingerie community ready for me and others like me? I really don't know.
What I do know, now, is that I must prepare to host my own party, walk my own path, even though that path til now has been a path of pain and elusive femininity, sadness and despair and many dark days, in the full glare of the sun
So-whip out your finest lingerie, put on your heels and walk with me if you will