This above all: to thine own self be true. - ShakespeareCall me Vivienne.
I'm getting on for fifty (how did that even happen?!). I'm a heterosexual male crossdresser, partly out of the closet. I'm also a practising doctor (but I read widely in all sorts of things), and I work in a large hospital. I live with my female partner and our kids in the suburbs, where our lives are pretty ordinary.
So foremost, this blog is about me making some sense of crossdressing. It's about resolving the dichotomy between the intellectual part of me, which still thinks that crossdressing is a bit weird, and the emotional part of me, which loves the sensual pleasures of soft fabrics, perfumes and cosmetics.
Secondly, it's a way for me to explore the issues around crossdressing in a scholarly way. I've read a lot about crossdressing as a form of expression, and I am not sure I wholly agree with all of it. I include some points for discussion in this blog. The third purpose of this blog is to enable a conversation: for me the most painful thing about being a closeted crossdresser is not being unable to do it, it's being unable to talk about it.
The third reason for the blog is to put out there an image of crossdressing which is somewhat at odds with the traditional view (which is that it's farcical, grotesque, or perverse). It is possible to be a crossdresser and be educated, compassionate, moral and contribute to society in a positive way.
You won't find fantasy or erotica on this blog. Equally, you won't find criticism or opprobrium, whatever your perspective. Each of us is doing what we need to get by. What you will find is my own opinions and insights, and I hope these will be delivered with honesty and openness. I hope you will feel welcome to add your own! This blog is a work in progress; Vivienne's journey continues, which means that some of the things I have previously written about are no longer quite applicable. Rather than edit the past, I think it's reasonable to leave those articles untouched, as a record of where I have come from.
Bluestocking" to refer to an intellectual or academic woman. See this post for more about Bluestockings in general and this title in particular.
2012 was a watershed year of discovery for me. I put down all of my findings and discoveries about crossdressing in a single blog post. I suppose it's my personal FAQs. If you want to know where I am with respect to crossdressing, and its place in my life, start here, (though it's already somewhat out of date) and for my top 10 posts by their hit count, go here.
2015 was the year I started to tell my close friends and family about Vivienne, and so far their reaction has been amazingly positive and supportive. To everyone: I cannot express how much your acceptance means to me, and I love you all.
2016 was the year I made it out, in public, in daylight, for the first time as Vivienne, and there have been plenty of times since. I don't know exactly what the future will hold, but I am reasonably certain that when I am an old woman, I shall wear purple. I might even end up looking like one of my heroines, the incomparable Dr. Evadne Hinge. But 2016 was also the year my marriage finally ended, after years of agony, and you can find my discussion of that here. Then there was a bit of a lull, before a bit of a renaissance. I have a partner who is very supportive, which is wonderful. And I've been spending a lot more time out in public lately, and I will be publishing that in due course.
If you want to send me email, you can do so at email@example.com , or you can find me on Facebook. There is also an awful lot of my material on Quora, including over 4700 answers which have been viewed over 21 million times.
The material in this blog is my own work (except where attributed). You are not free to copy or circulate my work, unless you explicitly attribute the work to me and include a link to this website.
hi vivienne from your photo you are quite passable.ReplyDelete
as i mentioned in your post on kim h's site the hardest thing sometimes is just getting out of the car. i now keep a classly dressed photo of me when ever i feel the need to explain about " my other self diana"
feel free to contact me as i can put you in touch with a gal from christ church who is out and about and nikki z is very classy and passable. http://www.flickr.com/photos/43532590@N00/
your blog looks great. very informative.
Many thanks for dropping by and posting your kind comments. On a dark and stormy night when everyone is indoors, you're quite right: I am quite passable! But in daylight? Not so sure.
I had a look at your Flickr pictures, and I would be very interested to be in touch with you. Unfortunately I am not registered with Flickr. I have edited the post above to include my email address. I haven't previously done this, as I feared a load of spam turning up. Do please drop me a line.
For what it's worth Vivienne, I never thought your profile pic on Quora was anything but that of an intelligent and sophisticated-looking woman. I don't have the best radar for such things, because quite frankly, it makes no difference to me, whether someone is "vowel deprived" as Samantha Tindall-Paulos puts it, but surely that's a sign of your being "passable". Warmest regards and very best wishes, Anne.Delete
Thanks so much Anne. My Quora picture is genuine, but I chose it to look as good as possible. Unlike (say) Em Chan, I don’t look good without a lot of effort and preparation.Delete
While I regard it as a prized compliment when someone says I look like a woman, that is not as high as when someone says they know I am not a woman and they accept me anyway—a compliment which you have just given me, thereby making my day for 2 days in a row!
Very best wishes in return,
Lol, I think most women generally do whatever they can to ensure that photos show them in their best light, so there's no need to knock points of yourself for that! In fact it might be considered to make yoh more of a woman.Delete
I'm very glad to have made your day twice in a row, though a bit saddened that really I've only afforded you the most basic human respect, that shouldn't be noteworthy at all. You've made my day for compiling that pay on Quora. Thank you so much.
Warmest regards, Anne
Thanks for contacting me. Looks like I could learn a lot from your blog!ReplyDelete
Many thanks for dropping in Georgia! Ditto!Delete
Cool blog, but have to ask why no mention of Rachel Louise, Emma B's best friend?ReplyDelete
It's nothing personal! I just blog about subjects and people who catch my eye.Delete
Yhyh that's cool, you write about who inspires you and you're a big fan of Emma - who isn't right? Just rachel was the first trans I came across on utube and I guess that touched me in some way. Enjoyed your blog.ReplyDelete
I just have to agree with you Vivienne; why are womens clothes much silkier, softer and sensual than men's. I wear a skirt, stockings (never tights) always with a suspender belt. The silkiness of the garment, and the rub of the suspender straps on my thighs and bottom, I could go on. Sometimes I do have the urge to wear a bra and if I do wear it out, usually under a white blouse.ReplyDelete
It is just more sensual, I am now totally converted, and only wear trousers when needed for protocol or it is incredibly cold!
Hi, and thanks for posting. Your perspective is welcome, but I wonder if you would leave some sort of name, so that you can be distinguished from other anonymous posters?Delete
I just wanted to take a moment and thank you for your insightful and well written blog. I really find your perspectives interesting. They actually tend to be similar to my own perspectives. I am a social crossdresser, meaning that I like to crossdress publicly. It is an important aspect of my overall crossdressing experience. And even though I don't necessarily "pass," I think I "present" very well. Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for the great information and I encourage you to keep posting.
Many thanks for posting your delightful comments. I have a list of future topics a mile long, but as usual, family and work commitments mean I don't have as much time to post as I would like. Still, I am hopeful that I will something interesting to say soon!
I hope you have a wonderful 2014.
I really enjoy your blog. it really made me think why. I accepted myself many years ago and I've never looked back but your blog has made me think and question who I am and why I am. I feel even more in tune with myself after absorbing your insightful thoughts. Being two genders has allowed me more insight into the human condition. It has empowered my self confidence and provided me with a positive outlook. For me being a tranny is a gift that I have embraced. By the way I think you look great and passible.
Thanks for your lovely comments. I am still on a journey, but I have been really helped by the many lovely people I have met along the way.
Have a wonderful 2014.
Thanks Vivienne. Nail DertliReplyDelete
Finally, another academic! Makes me a little weepy. Love, love your blog. I've stepped away from crossdressing for the sake of marriage, etc., and it's a sacrifice I'm happy to make. But it is still something I think about often. Hope to be in touch.ReplyDelete
Drop me an email. I would love to hear from you. I am sure we would have much in common!
Interesting blog. I'm amazed at how many intellectual people have this issue.ReplyDelete
Also surprised your web page is the same provider as mine
I am very envious of how open and comfortable you are with your lifestyle. I look forward to meeting you in person some day.
Sorry I don`t have one of the accounts needed to post as me.ReplyDelete
I love the blog Viv. I found it after my wife told me about the story of Treva and Victoria.
I have only been open about myself since 1 week, after my wife of 23years outed me. I am so sorry that you can`t talk to yours.
I look forward to reading more,
All my love babe.
I am delighted that you like the blog. I would be interested to hear a bit more about your story: your wife outed you?
Hi, I just had a chance to read your blog and really enjoyed it. I look forward to delving deeper into your posts.ReplyDelete
Thanks for your dropping by to post your lovely comments.
Vivienne you and I are very much on the same wavelength in that we want to take a more forensic look at our behaviour and try and understand it. I also have been crossdressing since very very young and had no success eliminating it. I now have fully accepted that this is a part of me and consider myself to be more towards the transsexual part of the spectrum. I think this is something one is born with and learns to deal with.ReplyDelete
I have been out of the closet for many many years now and am very comfortable in public. I don't worry about passing as much as about being myself and being comfortable in my own skin which I think is paramount in all this.
I also have a blog: joannabefree.blogspot.ca where I chronicle my thoughts on gender dysphoria...
Thanks for posting Joanna. I have added your blog to my reading list. There is a lot to read, and I will take a while to chew through it.Delete
I am envious of you being out of the closet and getting on with your life.
Why don't you drop me an email? The address is above.
HI Vivienne, I have just stumbled across your blog. Yesterday I was in the car on the way to work, and I turned on the radio to hear a typical breakfast style radio programme with two male and one female announcer. They were allegedly reporting on the "news". The two items I heard (before I had to turn off the programme in disgust) were 1. someone who had won a medal in the Commonwealth games andReplyDelete
celebrated this by pulling down his pants. The remark by the "news"caster was something along the lines of "I'm not racist but......" and then followed by a totally racist comment about what the genitalia of a certain ethnic group would look like. General hilarity ensued on the part of the newsreader sidekicks. 2. a news item about a bunch of travellers who had their flight delayed on the national carrier, and had to wait a couple of days in transit. The remarks were "boo-hoo", what a bunch of whinging complaining idiots, etc. I share this with you because it made me feel very unsafe for having any other opinion or point of difference, I truly despair sometimes that we might ever have a more inclusive society. I do think a blog such as this is valuable to creating community and to feel like one is not alone.
Hi! Thanks for posting your comments.Delete
I think that popular programmes tend to cater for the lowest denominator (or sometimes what they perceive that to be). Sometimes there is a funny take on a particular item of news. I don't honestly see that as a threat, not even to people like me. (And I am sure you are not alone in wincing when you heard the "I'm not racist but" line).
Vivienne I love this response. I have traveled around the internet for years trying to find anyone that can on an intelligent level, talk about crossdressing. Most of the time the conversations fall apart to the "lowest denominator."Delete
Thank you Rachel. I am very happy to have conversations about gender at any time!Delete
Found you in Quora, just out of curiosity checked your blog and found interesting. Keep on blogging and nice to know you !!!ReplyDelete
Thanks Jinesh. Very nice to have you here. Do feel free to comment on anything you read.Delete
Hi Vivienne, I've just discovered your blog too, through your revealing interview with the incomparable Emma B in 2013. She is quite amazing and inspirational (sorry for the predictable description but nothing else will do as far as she is concerned), especially to someone who has recently come to dressing in their later years (over 60). Not so encouraging to read that those in their 40s are contemplating how long they can dress, but it has been the most liberating experience for me. I identify with so much of what you have said, especially not being able to talk about it sensibly and intelligently. After some night excursions I'm now building up to going out in daylight in the near future.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Vanessa
Hi Vanessa. Many thanks for dropping by to post your comments.Delete
I have to say, I started off with a few furtive night-time excursions, but have gradually built up to daylight outings in public, and it's been wonderful. I am amazed how thrilling it is, and how little anyone seems to be troubled by it. Nonetheless, I have a long way to go before I am anywhere near what Emma has achieved!
Hi Vivienne, it is your friend Adrienne/Adrian from Australia again :)ReplyDelete
I just thought I'd drop into your blog to let you know that I auditioned for a musical put on by a local theatre company, and without even asking, I was put into a male role (even though I auditioned for a female one!) The director asked if I minded if I played a male, and I said I didn't. I knew one of the other actresses and she commented that it was unsurprising that I play a male role as I am quite "androgynous, in a good way." All of this is in a rural Australian town, who would've thought people were so open minded. It's quite refreshing.
Had my first rehearsal this week and now I suppose I can say I am an official Drag King. I'm loving it! Keep up the good work on the blog!
Good on you for getting onto the stage as a man. I have often found the theatre to be very forgiving when it comes to those of us who prefer our gender binaries a little blurry, and this goes back at least as far as Shakespeare!
Break a leg!
Hi Vivienne. I wonder if you might be able to help me contact Abigail Austen. I underwent surgery in 1995 (male to female), and have an audio journal on tape that I recorded in the days leading up to the event and immediately afterward. It's very personal, reflecting my innermost (and candid) feelings. Since this was the most traumatic time in my life (which included a particularly nasty bust-up with my parents) the tapes are tinged with raw and powerful emotions, so much so it was 20 years before I could bring myself to listen to them.ReplyDelete
I'm 56 now, but I feel moved to support others in the transgender world by donating the now digitized recordings for the purposes of public education, hoping that Abigail might perhaps be interested in using them in a future project. As I look back in retrospect I feel I need to try and get across to society that the journey of gender reassignment can be among the most painful a person has to ever take in life. If my own struggle can possibly be turned to someone else's good then it's been more than worthwhile. Many thanks, Vivienne, keep up your superb blog which I'll follow now I've discovered you! You look super, too!
Hi Lea. Thanks for reaching out.Delete
If you send me an email (address is above), I will be happy to pass it along to Abigail on your behalf.
I am certain that your tapes provide a powerful and valuable resource to others on the same journey. Why don't you simply post them (or edited versions of them) on YouTube? You could add images of yourself along the journey too.
That would likely provide a way for you to reach out to the widest possible audience with your recollections. You would get all the credit (and people would naturally contact you as the author) and you wouldn't need to rely on someone else to publish your material. That's what I would personally do. It's not as difficult as you might think.
My name is Anuj Agarwal. I'm Founder of Feedspot.
I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog Bluestocking Blue has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 75 Crossdressing Blogs on the web.
I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 75 Crossdressing Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!
Also, you have the honor of displaying the badge on your blog.
Many thanks, Anuj, for this award. I am very flattered and excited.Delete
Your blog is excellent and reveals the long diverse continuum that encompasses all our different versions of CDing. I have posted two comments recently on your End of Days page, and looking at your main blob shows me more about the 'accepting of themselves community', and I say that with admiration and respect. I have always wanted to stop, never wanted to come out, be a woman even part time. I managed to stop after several purges, but only after decades of concealment. It is that concealment that is now destroying my marriage and family life, and which also eats away at my image of who I am, honest and caring in all other areas of my life. Had I come out earlier, who knows....I suspect that my wife would have accepted but not been able to live with it (hence the concealment, from fear of losing all you love, what an irony when you are found out and that is exactly what happens...). I a year free of dressing and feel no urges. I feel liberated, but I did not make the break in time to seal my other self away for ever, and I am now facing my own 'End of Days'. Depression and despair are never far away. Be sure about what is being put at risk by CDing everyone, the excitement and need are addictive and can easily appear as a kind of 'this is just who I am' illusion. For some it really is a case of just being this way, for others - for me - it wasn't, and I am now living both without CDing, and without the world I knew WAS the 'real me'. If I do go back to CDing, it will be what it was before - a relief, a flight into fantasy to numb other pains and relieve a deep loneliness that goes back to childhood. Go well everyone but do think and be careful about real motives and drivers. Call me Rake, if a name is needed.ReplyDelete
I guess this reply follows my other one. Every marriage requires compromise. The compromise you have made, all along, is to deny yourself any expression of your fem side.
I would draw your attention to this post: http://bluestockingblue.blogspot.co.nz/2012/07/wants-and-needs.html where this is addressed.
In addition, I am always willing to include comments about the negative sides, the costs, the drawbacks of crossdressing, in order to maintain a balanced viewpoint, and I hope that others find your comments in this regard to be helpful.
Please keep in touch.
Another amazing reply! I was in deep depression until I found this web site. All of this sharing gives me hope that I am normal and their a possibly millions of people that have the same experience. I really need to open up and post more meaningful replies.ReplyDelete
Thanks for your comment, Rachel.Delete
I enjoy checking the lovelly emma out quite often she is a star no two ways about it cheersReplyDelete