Jan 17 17 10:49 PM

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When I am nervous or unsure of myself I have a knee-jerk tendency toward self-effacing and sometimes tasteless humour - and you may be wondering about the title of my intro article and thinking... what?  I passed over several, arguably more amusing, titles before I realized that this does not have to be a show.  My whole life I have been putting on a show and here I am in mid-life, knowing that I put on this show in order to conceal the real me.  I am pretty sure I know why I do this: I do not trust that people will accept the real me.  I have had enough evidence that people will not accept the real me heaped upon me, but fear not because I still have hope.​

When I was about age 9 or 10 I had my first crossdreaming experience.  I used to dress up (very badly I might add) and inspect myself in the mirror.  Of course I had a much better imagination of what I might look like than the reality reflected back from the mirror.  In addition to my dress up sessions I also used to imagine going out to a store or a doctor (I don’t even remember now) and coming back with a female body – along with a number of shopping bags full of female attire.  This crossdreaming persisted for a number of years as I recall but eventually did come to a halt sometime during puberty. 

Except for periods of time when I would come back to crossdreaming fantasies, I felt no strong desire to crossdress again until my mid-thirties.  I estimate that it was about the year 1998 when I re-discovered myself and began to really explore transgender topics (porn mostly) on the Internet.  Funny enough this happen very shortly after I got my first high speed Internet account.  Going from a 14.4K Baud dial-up account to a near 0.5 Gig (yes that’s right) opened up a whole new world of experiences.  NCSA Mosaic, which would become Netscape Navigator and eventually FireFox, was a new browser application that allowed you to experience the Internet in a graphical interface – as opposed to plain text – which was exciting!  And Internet Search sites like Lycos and Archie allowed you to search for all sorts of obscure material – like stories written by other crossdreamers.  It was not like I was completely new to this sort of literature, you could find such stories in some men’s magazines, but they were very rare and, quite frankly, these stories were meant for straight men – not for a crossdreamer.

The more I read the stories the more I realized that I needed a real-life experience to compliment my imagination and so in about 1999 I found a group of crossdreamers – they had a clubhouse! This group welcomed me, encouraged me and eventually I started going out in public as Bobbi.  I have not put up any photos of that first night out as Bobbi … and I do not think I ever will.  :-P

For the next several years I would go out nearly every weekend as Bobbi.  There was a strong supportive LGBTQ (this term did not exist yet but that was what we were) community where I lived and we all stuck together (for dear life really because that was a fairly red-neck town).  

It was during this time that I experienced the most freedom with my female side.  My partner (wife) was very accepting of  the changes in our lives and even went out with me (which was unusual).  There was only one other couple that actually went out together like we did – naturally we all became friends.  The freedom that I experienced expressed itself in ways that were surprising – even to me.  During this period was the first time I kissed a man, the first time I danced with a man, the first time I noticed a man checking me out (and I felt a sexual thrill from that) and it was the first time I experienced being groped by a man (which did not feel so thrilling – in fact I was scared to death over that incident).  Other negative experiences include being clocked in the ladies restroom and shamed by two catty cis-girls and being spat on by several red-necks while walking into a club.  That latter experience has a happier experience attached to it; once I got into the club I was in a pretty bad mood, my friends went to get drinks and left me alone to stew at the table (and wipe the goo off my leather jacket).  A guy saw me and came over out of the blue to complement me.  He said he had to come over and tell me how pretty I was and I should not look so sad – I told him what had happened and he was quite sympathetic.  This really picked up my mood.  So there you go – a complete range of reactions to a transgender person all in one night from hatred and disgust all the way to admiration and attraction.  Recalling that night still gets me a bit emotional and it was 14 years ago.

We eventually moved away from that town to the big city (Toronto, ON) and I looked for a similar group.  Funny enough, what I found out was that that the LGBTQ community here was not that tight knit.  There was no need for it – you could go out dressed up any way you like and most people would hardly bat an eye. Of course the area of town to party in was Church Street – but you were mostly safe almost anywhere in the downtown.  WOW, what a change.  However, I found that I did not go out that much any more for one simple reason – there was no one to go out with! 

I did eventually find a few crossdreamers about my age and it seemed to work for a while.  Unfortunately, some friction eventually developed between one of my new friends and my wife.  This tension eventually caused me to move away from this group.  I will tell you that I was put off by some of the discussions I had with this person as well.  She was a total believer in the theories of Ray Blanchard and Anne Lawrence and she had a website for trans-people interested in the transsexual experience (from that perspective).  It did not sit well with me but I would spend many fruitless hours debating her on the topic.  As I said – I did eventually move on; that was about 12 years ago.

After that my crossdreaming interest once again went dormant.  I eventually got rid of most of my dresses and wigs, but still kept a few things.  I do not really consider this a purge, but my Bobbi wardrobe went from half our closet space down to a single cardboard box.  And that is where it has remained until today.

Last year I lost my job and 2016 has really been a shit year – so I am still unemployed.  During this time I have had a lot of free time to think, to read and once again to surf the Internet.  Things have changed a lot for crossdreamers since 1998; the available media on the topic is not only wide it is incredibly niche-full.  There are so many sub-genera to TG media now and so many wonderful writers, artists and film-makers that you could never hope to review it all.  That does not stop me from trying however.  

A few weeks ago a stumbled upon Jack Molay’s Crossdreamer site and the first thing that I read from his site was A Creative Crossdreamer Vocabulary, written by Jack.  I found the text interesting not because of the definitions compiled in the work but the opinions expressed by the author on some of the more controversial terms – such as Autogynephilia. Spoilers – I never really liked that definition for transgendered people, it was too simplistic and ran counter to my own personal experiences.

It seems I have cycled back once again and I find I need to reach out to the crossdreamer community, share my thoughts and most likely socialize as Bobbi once again.  

So, I have answered the question of who I am – so how am I?  I still have a love of life and a loving partner to share it. I am doing very well.  

*hugs* Bobbi
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#1 [url]

Jan 18 17 1:04 AM

Welcome to CDL, Bobbi! I am glad to see you here as well. (Bobbi and I have already met over at my blog).

I am sorry to hear about you losing your job. That sucks!  I am glad you have put the time into good use, though.

I have a lot to learn from the way you took your crossdreaming and crossdressing and explored in the LGBTQ community at the time. I guess that helped you come to terms with who you are. Too bad yet another autogynephilia enthusiast ruined some of that experience, but I am glad to  see that for many years you got the support and the friendship you needed and deserved. I know that quite a few younger MTF crossdreamers hesitate to contact the LGBTQA community, out of fear of being "not trans enough". That will normally not be that much of a problem.

Over at crossdreamers you talked a bit about your inner debate about transitioning/not transitioning. Could you say a bit about that here too?

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#2 [url]

Jan 18 17 9:26 PM

Thanks for the warn welcome Jack. :-) I find that the biggest issue for Trans-people dealing with the system is when the process is controlled by doctors who hold ill-conceived ideas about us. In order to navigate that system we end up cooperating and perpetuating those very same ill-conceived ideas (like autogynephilia). With regard to young trans and those feelings of inadequacy - I do understand that feeling! As I mentioned on your crossdreamers blog I have encountered that attitude with people I thought of as friends. I do not mind playing "Dear Bobbi" however for all those little sisters with questions.

With regard to my inner debate about transitioning: that was a tough period in my life. I had been to several doctors at that point, done a great deal of soul-searching and managed to get to the point where I had 2 doctors to sign off on my HRT treatment. Then I had the talk with my partner and I found out how much she had been holding back of her own feelings up until then. She made me understand the impact this would have on her. While she made it clear that she would still be supportive - it was not clear that we could still be a couple. I had more soul-searching to do after that and I think I suffered an emotional breakdown at one point.
This was a direct clash between two worlds for me (1) the transition that I had dreamed about and wish for since I was 9 years old vs (2) a loving 10 year relationship, a life that we had built together. In the balance I chose not to transition and I know now it was the right choice. 14 years later I can report few regrets for that decision, but that doesn't mean I don't still dream about socializing and making love as a woman.

I might have found love again if I had chosen transition - sure it is possible - but looking back at our lives together still makes me somewhat emotional. I do not picture myself with anyone else.

*hugs* Bobbi

Last Edited By: Bobbi Dare Jan 19 17 1:42 PM. Edited 2 times.

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#3 [url]

Jan 19 17 7:05 AM

I find that the biggest issue for Trans-people dealing with the system is when the process is controlled by doctors who hold ill-conceived ideas about us.

This has been a huge problem in many parts of the world, including my own country, Norway. Until recently the main university hospital was the only one to offer hormone therapy and surgery, and since that institution was controlled by conservative traditionalists (in a transgender care context), trans people had to learn the script to get the help they needed (never talk about crossdreaming, dress up feminine, show interest in traditional feminine behavior etc.)

Last year the government changed the rules. Now you may change your gender legally by filling in an online form. No castration is needed. The idea is also to let more hospitals provide this kind of health care.

If I had know what I know now at the age of 20, I would have transitioned. Now the discrepancy between who I have become and who I feel like is so big that I cannot imagine what transitioning would be like. And I know that my wife would have supported me if I decided to go down that road. 

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#4 [url]

Jan 19 17 11:26 AM

When I was back in my 20's/early 30's, when I first found the internet and could talk with (other*) trans people, that was when I would have transisition if I was going to.... back then I got the impression the gate keepers could be a real problem.. I thought things were easier now and there was much more understanding in the 'councillor' community... but I accept many others will have got a different impression, first hand. I'm here to stand corrected...

*I say other like this because I wasn't sure then, even less so now, that I qualify as 'trans'.. The term crossdreamer does define met neatly. I didn't have a relationship to stop me, that a doubt that jsuch a 'weird' thing could ACTUALLY be true about me, and a desire not to shock my family and doubts I could ever be accepted.. all the normal stuff really

Welcome to the Boards and site, Bobbi, thanks for sharing your story

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#7 [url]

Mar 15 17 2:09 AM

Hi Bobby!

Sorry for the late reply, but after reading your introduction it sounds like you would understand how RL can come interfere with one's desire to interact with one's community at times.  For me, it has been due to an especailly tough semester at college.

I must say I found your story very interesting.  I wouldn't have imagined there would be groups of crossdreamers back then.  It is almost mind boggling to me how they would have possibly have found each other without the technology we employ now.

I must also comment on how lucky you are to have such a supportive spouse.  She must be a very special person.  I think you did right by choosing her over any group that would have issues with someone so important to you.

As for Jack's amazing site, I have to agree with you.  I fell in love with his creative crossdreamers vocabulary.  He managed to encapsulate many of my experiences perfectly into his terminology.  

I look forward to interacting with you here on the boards!  Big Hugs back!

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#8 [url]

Mar 29 17 6:35 AM

Vaydra (lost) wrote, "I wouldn't have imagined there would be groups of crossdreamers back then. It is almost mind boggling to me how they would have possibly have found each other without the technology we employ now."
Way back in the stone age we had a site called GeoCities - later purchased by Yahoo. The club had a page on GeoCities and I actually started a blog there for a while - only we did not use the term blog back then.
Here are some of the groups I did either belong to or knew members of:
http://xpressions.org/our-mission/ - started in 1995

And I found this in the web archive Way Back Machine:

I went back and had a look at the photos from the club and found this one
That's my friend Gina and me cuddling for a photo - that photo is bittersweet for me as Gina was in a car accident in 2005 that left her disabled and brain damaged.  I still write her but she was never the same after that accident.  :(

And thank you also - my wife has been very supportive and I am thankful that we found each other cause I don't think anyone else could stand me. :)

It was great chatting with you the other day in the chat room!

*hugs* Bobbi

Last Edited By: Bobbi Dare Mar 29 17 6:46 AM. Edited 1 time.

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