Worth a Thousand Words
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, here are a thousand
words about pictures!
I was never fond of photography before I began cross-dressing. My
memories had always seemed to be a sufficient record of my past; I saw
no need to immortalize it on film. In retrospect, I suppose I didn't see
any value in recording images of myself or my life as a guy.
Subconsciously I must have known that that was not my authentic self.
When I first started cross-dressing in the late eighties, I downloaded a
lot of "pix" (short for "pictures") from AOL. Groups and personal web
pages were not common on the Internet in those days so I had no way to
learn more about the girls in the pix, much less any way to contact
them. But I loved the pix. How I yearned to be as pretty and passable as
those beauties—an impossible dream it seemed at the time. I was very
jealous of girls who were phototgraphed boldly out in public places; if only
I had the nerve! To this day AOL I keep wondering if I will ever run
into one of those girls in real life, but I never have.
An AOL dream babe
Curiously, I was uninterested in pix of transsexual girls. They're
just like regular girls, I thought. What's the fun in that?
Wasn't that a wonderfully enlightened attitude toward trans women?
Wasn't it a remarkably dense attitude about myself, considering that I
am now a fully transitioned trans woman?
I bought a Polaroid camera, the kind where the pictures develop by
themselves, because I was embarrassed to think of people at a developing
lab looking at my pix. Worse yet, I worried that they would be judged
obscene (even though I never took naked pix) and they would turn them
over to the police or the FBI!
In the millennium year I bought my first digital camera, which I still
have, and I went nuts taking pix. Most were ghastly but every now and
then I would get lucky and get a good one. Mostly I think I was trying
to capture an image that showed me as truly feminine, truly passable, or
truly sexy. When I look back at those old pix now, my reaction is
Yikes! Did I really go out looking like that? And I was surprised
when I got clocked?
A ghastly pic
One reason taking pictures was great was because it was something to do
while dressed. For many years I lacked the courage to go out in public
en femme. I was literally "all dressed up with nowhere to go." Later I
would go out to shopping malls or the movies but after a scary,
thrilling hour or so it was back home to—what? Drinking, of course;
trying on some other outfits, and taking pictures. (And a "happy
ending," if you get my drift.) I started my personal web site and loaded
it up with tons of pictures.
A lucky pic
As cross-dressing came to play a larger and larger part in my life, my
presentation gradually got better and I began to develop the confidence
to go anywhere and do anything en femme. My impossible dream of being
pretty and passable had become my reality. I even had pictures of myself
out in public to prove it. My photo collection was enhanced by
contributions from two of my friends who are professional photographers,
Jamie Faye Fenton and Annemarie St. John. Jamie Faye took my best
picture ever, making me look like a high fashion model in a white vinyl
dress and hat.
Out in public
Eventually, as faithful readers of this column know, I realized that I
was transsexual and I transitioned. As I went through the transition
process, I found that my interest in pix faded away. I suppose that once
I became the woman I had tried to capture in pix, I no longer needed the
validation of the pix themselves. Besides, I can just look in the mirror
any time I want to see her.
My hottest pic
Another reason for my current disinterest in pix is
that I am simply not stimulated visually any more. Maybe this is an
effect of no longer having massive doses of testosterone surging though
my system. Whatever the reason, I am no longer the least bit turned on
pix of myself, pornography, the sight of a locker room full of women in
their bras and bloomers, or of a bunch of naked men...I won't tell you
where I see naked men! My tactile senses now dominate my libido. I've
become foreplay girl.
My best pic ever
These days I find taking pix to be a burden. I have to push myself to
get a new pic a couple of times a year (which I want to do if for no
other reason than to track my progress). Recently I even took
my web site down to
just a single page of pix.
That's only 850 words, but that's all I have to say about taking pix!
—Lannie Rose, 8/2004