Crossdressing and the Quest for Privacy

Many crossdressers have a lot to lose. Many of us have a marriage, children, careers and a standing in the community that we want to protect. We are very concerned (given society’s general lack of knowledge and understanding about crossdressing and transgender issues) that if we are discovered, we stand to lose some or all of these things. Often we fear losing our families and careers most and are concerned that if our spouses or bosses discover that we are crossdressers we will almost certainly lose these things that we value the most.

For this reason we keep things as private as possible. Sometimes this means we end up keeping secrets from those that we love the most. Sometimes we may end up lying to those people. This can be a very difficult experience and one that adds pressure, strain and stress to our already hard lives.

I am of the opinion that it is better to be honest with people. However I also appreciate that when it comes to something like crossdressing it is very hard to predict how people will react, especially when it relates to a spouse or other close family member (I have heard of otherwise very open and liberal people freaking out when discovering this about their spouse and I have also heard of very conservative and otherwise ‘straight’ people being very accepting). Additionally it is true that once you have ‘rung the bell’ you absolutely cannot ‘un-ring’ it. Once you tell someone you have reached the point of no return. Either they will accept you or they will not. If they do not, they will almost certainly look at you in a different light… This can place intolerable strain on us and our relationships.

For this reason discretion is an absolute necessity. You need to have a very good idea of how your revelation will be received and you need to be comfortable with the consequences of that revelation, whatever they may be. If you are not prepared to accept the worst case scenario, it is probably better to keep quiet. This in turn leads to a serious problem. How do you live your life as you want and need to live it, without causing distress. Additionally how do you live a life of integrity and how do you avoid deception?

If you cannot afford to get caught crossdressing, do not get caught. Make sure you only dress in a safe and secure environment. Always make sure that you pack away all evidence and crucially make sure that all traces are removed. If a spouse finds lingerie, traces of makeup and stray hairs she will certainly think you are having an affair before she thinks you are crossdressing. This will just make life worse.

You therefore need to make sure that all your clothes are stored in a safe and secure place. I would suggest off site storage is best. I know a number of people store their clothes in their offices. This is an idea but remember your office is not yours, it belongs to your employer, so there can be very little expectation of privacy. An employer is entitled to enter a cupboard looking for documents, files etc and in so doing they may discover your stash. It is not unreasonable for them to ask questions. This could result in difficulties at work. Given that a salary is your greatest asset as it enables you to meet all your other goals (financial and otherwise) you really do not want to lose your job. I would therefore advise against storing clothes at work. A better off site solution is a self storage unit of some sorts. However these are often expensive as you end up paying for far more space than you need.

You will then need a place to dress. More often than not the opening and closing times of self storage units may not suit you, especially if you are dressing at night and you then need to find somewhere to store your clothes for a few hours before and after you dress. This complicates your life. You will also need a place to dress and undress and wash. Even if you can dress in your storage unit, finding somewhere to wash will be difficult. Entering and exiting the unit may also be difficult as the staff may not be as tolerant as we would like. You may be able to use your home but you will then be constrained by the movements of the rest of your family and you run the risk of being discovered due to someone returning unexpectedly or you may leave something incriminating out. A better solution is to find a hotel or similar establishment where you can dress, wash etc. But obviously this will add costs and can be tricky as you will need to pay by credit card, register your name etc. And again if your spouse does discover a receipt or credit card bill with a local hotel listed her assumption is not going to be the truth. She will believe you are cheating on her.

I have also heard of people dressing in their cars, driving around late at night, taking risks and not being safe. Not only are you risking your life and safety but you are also risking exposure by doing this. Sadly violent crime, hijacking and other concerns are a very real part of life in South Africa and transgender people are statistically at a greater risk of being victims of these crimes. Not only are you risking harm, you are also risking discovery. I would caution against this approach. It is just not worth becoming a statistic and having your wife find you in the emergency room wearing your stilettos and leather mini skirt!

This is why we have established Priscilla’s Services. We believe our establishment offers you the ability to live your life as you need to, without risking all those things you hold dear. Our core service offering includes storage for your clothes and a safe and well appointed place to dress and wash. All at very reasonable prices. For those of you who cannot risk telling those that you love, please be safe, please keep your privacy and trust us to be discreet. Our facilities have been developed with you in mind. We are here to help.

Karaoke!

We have finalised a date for the planned karaoke evening at Trouble.

The details are as follows:
Wednesday 30 November 7-30 pm to late.
Trouble Bar 4299 Knoppiesdoring Road Randpark Ridge (that is the entrance, but the bar overlooks Beyers Naude). It is a block north of Lifestyle Nursery on Beyers Naude and is thus easily reached from the highway.
Entry fee is R75 which gets you a complimentary drink (on presentation of the ticket) and additional discounts. Contact us for details re tickets.

Priscilla’s staff will of course be available to assist those of you who may need help with shopping, makeup etc before heading out to Trouble. Please book any services you may need.
Please check out our latest newsletter for details regarding membership options as well.

There is a Facebook event that you can take  a look at as well.

In the interests of transparency, please note that access to Trouble is FREE the R75 ticket charge is a fee that is being levied by Priscilla’s, NOT Trouble. This is being done to defray some of the expenses that we at Priscilla’s Services incur when organising these events for you our valued Priscilla’s clients. Frankly if we do not make some money out of these events it is simply not worth our while to organise them and then we all lose. We have therefore charged a smallish fee and are giving value back in an effort to make this financially worthwhile for us and to ensure that we can continue to offer these events that so many of you quite clearly want.
Anyone is welcome to attend the karaoke evening at Trouble (whether a Priscilla’s client or not) and as I noted there is no cover charge at Trouble this is a Priscilla’s fee. So you can attend the karaoke evening as a guest of Priscilla’s and pay or attend on your own and not pay a cent other than the drinks you consume. This is your choice.

So why should you pay the fee, I hear you all ask?
Well, we are offering a complimentary drink as well as additional discounts on the Priscilla’s services you may use going forward which equates to the same value as the cost of the ticket on the evening.  If you would rather not pay the fee, that is your choice, but then you do not get the value that we are creating through the ticketing process.

The ticketing system is also a way of us confirming numbers, seeing that people who say they are attending actually attend and ensuring that this becomes a financially worthwhile exercise for us.

Sorry for the long justification but it seems some people out there think we are trying to extort money from people. This is not our intention at all. We are simply finding ways of making this economically viable for us and meeting the needs of our clients.

Looking forward to seeing you all at Trouble on 30 November.

Report Back: Cocktail Party 22 October

Well, that was fun!
We held our first ever Saturday night event in collaboration with Mantopia on 22 October. After a frenzied final week where a number of people cancelled on us (all due to good reasons that we fully understand) and even more new bookings, we were expecting around 30 people to arrive on the night. Unfortunately a number of people had last minute emergencies and complications and we thus achieved a far lower attendance but it was still an acceptable turnout and we all had fun.

Mantopia is normally used as a venue for gay and bisexual men to get together and they share premises with a BDSM club as well. The venue thus has several rooms with lockable doors that we used as dressing rooms on the night giving our clients a place to get ready in private. You can thus arrive en homme and transform en site before the party, have a fantastic evening en femme and then re-transform before returning home. In many ways, it is ideal for many of us. Of course the venues ‘usual’ function is evident from the various ‘extra’s’ on offer and unfortunately the lighting is on the muted side making makeup application a bit of a challenge but we will be able to fix this going forward. There is a fabulous dance floor in the main ‘club’ section with a number of tables and chairs as well as an excellent bar with a number of very competent barmen. There is also a pool table although we did not use it on the night. The view of the Gauteng skyline from the club is phenomenal although it is not maximised. With some redesign you could really have a fantastic view of the panorama but I understand why they have kept things enclosed.

We had planned on arriving early but as always makeup and getting ready takes longer than expected and we arrived just after 7 pm. Fortunately, T (one of our co-hosts) was already there and showed us around. we set up in one of the rooms. Irene had helped with my make up at home and I was feeling fabulous and we took some photographs whilst we waited for people to arrive.

Irene looked fabulous in her brand new red corset.

After a short wait J and K arrived and then SJ and K arrived followed by N (who came alone) and then SQ and A arrived, having trekked from the West Rand. That was all our guests accounted for and I was glad that they were all there safe and sound. Finally,  J and F (not from Priscilla’s) arrived just after D (another co-host). J went and got changed and emerged in her blonde glory. It is always wonderful to see people transform and to see how much happier they seem when en femme.

It is worth noting that apart from N, T and myself all the other gurls were experiencing their first time out dressed. There was a great deal of nervousness and I am sure a little anxiety. This is to be expected. Your first time out dressed is a time filled with emotions and energies you have never experienced before. You are self-conscious and feel odd… You are simply not used to the clothes you are wearing and often wearing makeup, wigs, heels and unfamiliar fabrics leads to something of a sensory overload.

In any event, we did our very best to make everyone feel comfortable and at home. Irene, T, D and I circulated regularly throughout the evening and having a cash bar on hand helped people relax. It was good to talk to people and everyone realised that they were not alone. There were other people just like them on similar journeys and with similar experiences, expectations and concerns. It was nice to see so many partners out as well. It is always good to have the support of a close friend or romantic partner and as it turns out they had all had a lot of fun helping their other halves dress on the night: having a transgender significant other is certainly not without its benefits it seems.

We did not have a DJ on the night but T and D had a play list on hand and it was nice to be able to talk without too much competition from a DJ who thinks s/he is the most important person in the room and thus plays everything at the maximum volume. Irene and I were in the mood to dance, a little, and so we did, a little… But everyone else was a little shy so we didn’t push it. The dance floor is excellent in that it is a proper sprung wooden floor, not just a piece of concrete cleared of chairs, which is sadly so often the case in many a club these days.

D had provided some very yummy finger eats, including prawns, meat balls, samoosas and other nibbles. I enjoyed my snacks immensely and the bartender was very skilled managing to make a pink drink (I do love my pink drinks) out of entirely non-alcoholic ingredients (I am not able to drink alcohol any more due to my dodgy liver). So, the food and drink were not only delicious but plentiful as well.

We have received some wonderful feedback from various people so far and below are just two of the fantastic comments received:
‘I really enjoyed it and the time flew by so quickly.”
‘ I honestly had such a good time on Saturday, I can’t really see how that could be made better.  Safe environment with like-minded people, I really enjoyed being out.’
After a few drinks some good conversation and more than a few laughs everyone left feeling content and happy.

We have already pencilled in the next Saturday night event (once again at Mantopia) for 17 December and we are also planning a mid-week outing for November (possibly a karaoke evening at Trouble. Anyone interested in Halloween parties should check out both Mantopia and Trouble as both are hosting parties on 29 October. These are not being done in conjunction with Priscilla’s Services but they do loom a lot of fun and there will certainly be a lot of crossdressers and other transgender folk at Trouble’s party. You can get excellent Halloween costumes from Lola Montez. She is very trans friendly, but if you are anxious we could also source something from her on your behalf (just give me a shout as soon as possible). I was there just a few weeks ago and she has a good selection of items in stock including a maid’s outfit, nurse’s outfits etc. We (Priscilla’s) also have a police woman’s outfit in stock (in addition to the usual selection of wigs, shoes etc) should anyone want to hire something and of course Irene is on hand to assist with makeup.

Thank you to everyone who came and who made it such a memorable evening for everyone who was there. We are looking forward to seeing more of you out there soon.

 

 

Reminder Cocktails and Dresses

This is a reminder about the Cocktail Party on 22 October at Mantopia.
The venue opens at 7 pm but the party starts at 8 pm until late.
The venue is at 128 Richards Drive, Allendale Junction, Midrand.
We (Priscilla’s) will be available for makeup/makeovers and help with dressing, either at the venue (there are private rooms for you to dress in) or off site (allowing you to arrive at the club en femme)

Please note that this is at a closed club and it is by invitation only so there is no chance of bumping into anyone who is not themselves a crossdresser/transgender or the partner of a CD/TG person. This means your privacy and security are guaranteed.
This is therefore the perfect opportunity for the shyer members of our community to get out there and socialise with other people.

The entry fee of R250 gets you in and includes the snacks that will be on offer.
Use PS Mantopia to get a 10% discount.
You can pay at the door.
There is a cash bar and dancing may happen. Be warned!

Please feel free to check out the Facebook ‘event’ page that we have created. It would be good to RSVP there as well if you can (privacy etc notwithstanding).

Please remember to pre-book with us if you want to make use of makeup or other services so that we can plan ahead.

We have already received a number of bookings so please let us know if you want to come along and join in the fun.

Looking forward to seeing you all!

Slut Walk

What: Slut Walk Johannesburg (anti rape and sexual assault awareness/protest)
When: Saturday 17 September 2016
Time: 10 am to 1 pm
Where: Pirates Sports Club Greenside
Why: Show solidarity, oppose sexual assault, raise awareness of transgender people
Bring: Donations (see graphic, below)

JhbSlutWalk

16 August: Mid-Week Outing Reprise

On Tuesday 16 August we hosted our second ever outing. After the success of our first midweek outing we decided that we should make these a monthly event. As the appointed day was a Tuesday, we again chose Amuse Cafe in Linden. Dirck and his team were as ever  very welcoming and his arrangements were perfect and spot-on.

Sadly, it seems that these events are doomed to have some kind of medical situation associated with them. Last month, one of our guests found herself in hospital after a motorbike accident, whilst this month it was my turn to be in hospital. This meant that I sadly missed all the fun, but I was able to keep up to speed with some regular reports from those that were able to attend. A big THANK YOU to all of you who braved the cold. I believe it was a fun evening.

We were pleased to offer some of our guests the use of our ‘temporary dressing facility’, where they had their makeup done for them by our very own talented (and now qualified) makeup artist, Irene. The feedback we have received is that our clients were very happy with the results. I can personally recommend her services, but of course I am a little biassed.

Thanks to Stef and Rebbeca for holding the fort and being their usual sparkling selves. (The heels were high and the skirts were short). Thanks also to L who came from far. We were very happy to welcome M and P, who were both out and about in public for the first time. Everyone looked fabulous and we hope you will all join us again soon.

It seems everyone had a lot of fun at Amuse and the planned quiz night did not happen, at least not for our group who had far more interesting things to discuss than answers to trivia! Sadly the evening was over all too soon, despite most of our 8 guests leaving after closing time (always a good sign). We would love to hear from you all with suggestions and thoughts so that we can better meet your needs and hopefully see a few more of you out there next time.

Chelsea Manning’s First TimeOut and About

I just read Chelsea Manning’s first time out and about story.

I was struck how much easier it would have been fir ger had we been there for her…

But still, she did great. And you can too!

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