Thinking of Reasons To Be Thankful


I feel fortunate.

I get to go OUT enfemme once a week or so. When I am getting all done up and when I go OUT that door, I am having a great time. Why? Because I can cast any of life’s disappointments, worries about the world, all cast aside and just have fun. It kind of seems like the GGs do that when they are dancing. It seems like they are having a good time regardless. As Billie I can let go like that. But this is not about dancing. It is about forgetting about the responsibilities and disappointments of life and just having fun. And like any gal dolled up for a fun day OUT, I get to just have fun.

I feel fortunate.

Between times as Billie I don’t get wistful or the urge does not get to me. I really only think about it the day before for an hour or so as I get the outfits ready and the day I am actually OUT. Some CDers do feel the urge to wear something feminine between times that they can actually be all done up. I hope my efforts running The Grand Illusions and our by bi monthly IN and OUT meetings, our yearly multi day DRAB to FABulous, and our multi day Halloween events help everyone have some fem time and have some fun.

I feel fortunate.

Some of my friends have been CDing since childhood or adolescence. For them it is not only fun but a part of them. Yes it is a part of me too, but for me it is primarily about the fun and the escape from the dull regimented life of a guy. Escape from the responsibilities of being “the guy”. For those who have the real need, I hope I can be of assistance. They are the ones who have paid the debt of guilt and wardrobe purging and suffered the persecution from friends and family. This debt I experienced only since late adulthood, when I was mature enough able to throw off the guilt and shame and self doubt. Those who started very young had to endure through childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. My path has not been easy but it certainly has been way easier than theirs. So when I think about them and also when I see them, I feel a great deal of respect for them and gratitude to them.

DSCN5801I feel fortunate.
A small portion of my Grand Illusions friends have a LOT of “skin in the game”. They are not “just CDers” like me, although they may have hoped that CDing was all that it was. They may have denied their inner self and tried in every way to become what family, church, society, friends, school, media, doctors, counselors, and lovers have all but pounded in to them. They are not the same gender in their minds that they are in their bodies. They are the pioneers like the astronauts were when they went to an unexplored and dangerous place. Because for each of them it is a solitary journey they have been on. Partly because they have had to keep it a secret just to survive. These people I really respect and admire for their courage and travails. If they find some measure of happiness and escape and support via The Grand Illusions then I am thrilled.

I feel fortunate.

Thus far no one has harmed me or anyone else on our Group OUTings. The danger is always not far away and we must be constantly vigilant. Thus far the most “in your face” has come just twice from two women in their mid fifties who were not violent but totally beyond any respectable measure of politeness while they delivered their messages. There have been a couple of homophobic bouncers at a couple of venues and a few times that some homophobe mumbled something. But by far the reaction has been positive. Mostly the positives come from people I meet when OUT, people who are curious yet polite as they ask probing questions about CDing, if I am gay, do I want to be a woman, amazed that I am married, does my SO mind, questions about their son, cousin, nephew, sister, friend, co-worker. And from women who drag us out on the dance floor when we are taking a break to rest our (heeled) feet. These women have been such fun! We have been in bazillion photos with them. Even a few, although the rare exception, group of guys having a bachelor party. More coon for giys with a group of GGS to warm up to us after their GG friends do. So I am thankful to those who are comfortable enough with their own selves that they don’t have to be worried about how we are dressed.

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I am thankful for The Network without which it would be VERY difficult to host The Grand Illusions.

I feel fortunate.

That I am rich beyond my wildest dreams, not in money, but because I live in the United States of America. That I live in West Michigan. That I live in this part of our history. That I am not persecuted for something as simple as not following some Imam or minister, not persecuted for expressing myself in word and dress in a manner that offends someone in power and privilege who can make my life miserable or even take my life. This is on shaky ground what with the religious right wingers pushing back against any progress toward “liberty and justice for all” because it doesn’t fit their dogma. Funny how the religious right wingers don’t see that other religions find theirs to be evil. That other religions consider the Christian as unacceptable and damned.

I feel fortunate.

I know what a tiny bit of a woman’s life is like. I understand the safety concerns because men are predators, even some woman are predators. Safety when I am Billie is a big concern because when wearing a dress, heels, long nails, carrying a purse, I am much less able to defend myself. And appearing as a woman makes the purse snatcher or the thug or the bully see a target like a real woman. So I become a potential victim because they think that they are seeing someone who is weaker. So I have to use extra caution over what a guy would use. So I feel fortunate to have experienced a part of the world and life that somewhere around 97% of the guys will never understand.

DSCN7661I feel fortunate.

The men’s department looks like the sky just before it starts pouring rain, just as you realize that your picnic is going to be a big disappointment. You see gray, black, dark blue, not a bit of color or anything bright. No bright colors allowed, get that bright checked tablecloth off that picnic table because there is GRAY and BLACK about to make your picnic DARK BLUE. Very depressing. The women’s department is not only bright colors but the VARIETY. In cut, fabric, and the amazing differences between pants, shorts, capris, and to the extreme skirts and dresses. And ramp that up to maxi, midi, mini hem lines. And ramp all of that up by the neckline. And support all that on a foundation of flats, kitten, mid, high, stilettoes, and platforms. In wedges, sandals, Mary Janes, pumps, booties, boots. In patent or not, in glitter or rhinestone or sequined. And the colors! OMG the variety. To be able to dress in your mood. Guy clothes can render anyone’s mood somber. That is all they get as a guy. ZZZZZZZZZZZZ As Billie I can be anywhere from happy to ecstatic. I am thankful for the experience of the clothes and shoes and hair and bling and being able through makeup to even make my eyes reflect my mood. Such Fun!

I feel fortunate.

I am thankful that I got to experience a dimension of life that very few people get to see. I have walked through a mall knowing that not a soul can see me. They only see the person I want them to see. I am invisible. They only see Billie. This result of CDing I am most thankful for. Unless you have experienced it you cannot imagine it.

I feel fortunate

I am thankful that the one person in my life who matters the most may finally see that she has always been and always will be the one and ony for me. That I have been and will continue to always be devoted to her. That the person she married is still here, at her service. Just with a tiny bit more depth, in a skirt just a fraction of the week.  And then happily back at it for her.

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I feel fortunate

That I am still having SUCH FUN!


I Have So Much To Be Thankful For!

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2015 11 16


I am still having fun. Maybe not all the people I run in to are totally pleasant. Maybe a small percentage are just plain mean. But I CHOOSE to have some fun. Regardless of the bad people.


Crossdressing isn’t the darling child of every TV sitcom. The entertainment industry, fashion industry, the media may have become bored with the gay population and found a new and titillating story in trans people. So the awareness is raised about trans now. As a side effect the awareness for trans and gay has also found the religious extremists. Much proselytizing by the “righteous” in the more extreme churches. Maybe not considered an extreme organization, the Mormon church just produced a doctrine that says even the children of gay parents will suffer the consequences of their parents lives. Around 2500 people dropped out of that organization as a result. Previously that organization decided that maybe blacks were not so evil after all in the Mormon church’s judgment. Positively medieval to think they weren’t worthy in the first place. The bible does have a passage about punishing to the third and fourth generation. You would think by the second generation that it would be more than enough?


But crossdressing is still fair game for ridicule. Even some of the LGB people are anti TQ.


I am still out here, doing my thing, harming no one, adding a little spice to the world. The self appointed gender police may laugh at me but since I am laughing too, they are really laughing with me. And they may taint my day, but only while directly involved in making their mark. Immediately thereafter I am back to having fun. They are forgotten. Well I tell myself anyway. Truth is it takes a bit of time before the disappointment wears off. Or until I look at the photos Then I can’t help but be happy!


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The Grand Illusions website is at:



2015 11 02

There is a sub shop where we have found the food to be great and the staff absolutely fantastic. All of them know my name, most of them know what I am going to order and how I like my food made. These are really sweet people. Really the salt of the earth. And through rain, wind, snow, hail, and the dread of doom, they show up and smile and wait on customers and make great food. Most WORK for what is probably minimum wages. They are not taking out of the system, they are paying IN to the system.

They DESERVE respect. They are working! In big bold letters, I am swearing too, dangednabbit, THEY DESERVE RESPECT!!! The business will go on just fine if the CEO of that chain resigns or just doesn’t show up. The restaurant will continue to provide great service even if the whole corporate office somewhere in another state doesn’t show up for work. But if just ONE of those people behind that counter does not show up, the corporation takes a hit. Food doesn’t get prepared in a timely manner, a customer may not come back, corporate profits will decrease. The world order gets bad, the Force isn’t with you. You get it.

But some people don’t get it. They don’t get that that person taking the order, the one making the sub, the one running the cash register, THEY are THE MOST IMPORTANT people in the company!!!! NOT THE CEO! Respect the big shot? And don’t respect the person who really is the company?!?!

So the next time you go to McDonalds or a sub shop, or see the gal cleaning the hotel room, remember this: The business loses immediately without them. The CEO? The business can run just fine without her/him.

So anyway I have gotten to know these people at the sub shop. Even as a weird person, a crossdresser, they treat me like a queen. We treat each other like even someone as revered as the CEO could learn about humanity. This is the real deal. Utopia in a fast food place. One of them is about as different from me as possible, yet exactly like me in just about every way. We got here by wildly different routes but we both love, and hurt, and just want some respect and happiness. The most basic human building blocks are the same for everyone. Even though it seems we are so different, in everything that counts to our humanity, we are the same. And we respect each other and treat each other courteously, which is the highest level of human behavior. Any idiot can be disrespectful. It takes some smarts to be civil.

They have regular customers. No surprise there with such good food and staff. Unfortunately one of the regulars, a guy wearing the Christian School jacket, a father, someone who should know better, is RUDE to the staff. He still gets good food. But sans the connection, the hope, the joy, that I get. And sans the pain too. Because one of the staff, the one mentioned previously, was upset. Upset because Mr Disrespectful was unkind, actually RUDE, to her. That is counter to his jacket’s logo and all civilized societies guidelines. Unacceptable. And he is raising his children to be that way to because he acts this way when they are with him.

The gal behind the counter, the “one of them” gal whispered to me as I came in: “My least favorite and most favorite customer are here at the same time.” Do you realize how big a compliment it is for someone making what may be minimum wage, WORKING, tells you that you are their favorite customer? She was fighting back tears as she told me this. This person who is an absolutely sweet gift to the world was hurt by MR Disrespectful, again.

When he left, she came to my table in tears seeking help. I am old enough to be her grandfather. I didn’t have to ask her what was wrong, it flowed out in torrents. I forgot my food, my friends with me, got up, went to her, and wrapped my arms around her and held her while she wept. She is so sweet and so delicate. No, not physically, delicate in her core, where the humanity comes from. His was a crime against everything good.

He can do that because she paid the price for his freedom. She is a US Military Veteran. If it weren’t for people like her, MR Disrespectful would likely be taken before a tribunal, found to be an @$$#0!e and sentenced to labor for minimum wage. Attendance required when he felt good and when he was not. Expected to be there in the wind, rain, snow, hot, cold and even worse….the nice weekends. Serving other Mr Disrespectfuls.

I may not fit in to the “normal” category of the population, but that restaurant was better after I left than when he left. My existence was justified at that moment for that day. Justified by verifiable actions.

This one is for all the people who are WORKING, paying taxes, off the dole, CONTRIBUTING to our society and country. Hip Hip Horray! You are THE GREATEST!!!!!

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