September 26, 2012

Back Again (and review of Edinburgh so far)

I stopped writing partly because I got fed up and partly because I was away and never re-started when I came back. I think the main reason, though, is that I always get to the point where I read things that I’ve written and cringe and am discouraged from writing further. I’m trying again now; I don’t know how long it’ll last, but we’ll see.

I now live in lovely Edinburgh because I’m studying at the University of Edinburgh. C and I are sharing a nice flat (much bigger than we had expected) with high ceilings and big sash windows (we’ll freeze when it gets colder, but we still like it) and lots of space. It’s close to the university, which has the dangerous effect of me leaving the house with too little time to get to my classes, but I haven’t been properly late yet – I just walk fast… It’s a beautiful city, and I’m very happy to be living here with her.

Academic stuff seems to be going well so far; I’ve started learning Swedish, which is exciting (and means I’m taking 3 languages – Swedish, German and Russian). Yesterday I was listening to ABBA songs in Swedish. ABBA’s pretty awesome, but they’re adorable in Swedish! And Sweden’s queer-friendliness makes me happy. (Especially when compared to Russia…)

Freshers’ week wasn’t bad at all, and had some very good bits (as well as some mediocre bits). We successfully avoided Freshers’ Ball by going to Pussy Whipped, which calls itself a ‘queer-feminist festival’. https://www.facebook.com/groups/267565329929858/ We only managed to go to the Saturday night event, which was a little sad as the other parts of it looked like they would have been good, but I’m so glad we went. As soon as we got there we felt that it was right somehow, that this was a space we felt accepted in. We didn’t manage to stay that long as we were tired, but we’ll definitely go to other PW events.

I think our feeling of relief when we turned up was largely to do with the fact that Freshers’ week is all about talking to lots and lots of people you probably have very little in common with – and most of those people will be straight. Talking to so many people, having to come out over and over again and sometimes being met with awkward silences when you explain you’re not living in halls but in a flat with your partner (I don’t think the silences were exactly homophobic, but more because they weren’t expecting me to say that) is exhausting and often quite alienating. It was good to go the BLOGS (the university’s LGBT+ society – except they don’t write the + and I take issue with the name ‘BLOGS’, but that’s for another post) meeting and finally to meet some people like me to whom I could moan about all the heteronormative people I’d had to talk to. I did have a good evening, but at the same time (and this was really confirmed by going to the BLOGS brunch later in the week, which I didn’t enjoy), it didn’t feel like enough; the problem is that BLOGS doesn’t seem to be very ‘queer’ at all. In fact, I’ve only met one person at the society so far who used the word ‘queer’ – she identified herself as queer and explained why she used the word – and it’s making me a bit sad that they don’t seem to think about the world in the same way as I do. I didn’t think like this when I was at school, so maybe if I’d come here straight from school I might have felt differently; I don’t know. Spending a year out of education and meeting lots of  lovely and interesting queer people at SM Dykes and reading lots of things means I’ve had different experiences from most of them and makes me feel like I don’t properly belong. My identity as a queer woman is very important to me and central to my way of looking at the world (I find it hard to understand how it could be otherwise) and the people I want to meet and socialise with are other queer people. (I suppose I’m saying ‘queer’ as opposed to ‘LGBT’ here. It’s partly about self-identification and partly about frameworks for looking at the world, I think.)

When I was thinking about university over the summer I wasn’t sure whether being kinky or queer would be more important for socialising; whether I would feel happiest in a group of mixed (i.e. mostly heterosexual) kinky people, or in a group of non-kinky queers, and what would feel closest to ‘enough’. (I now that queerness is more important than kinkiness – though I think I probably did know that already.) We went to the University FetSoc meeting (they meet weekly in the back room of a pub), and whilst we didn’t have a bad time and it was nice to talk to other kinky people, we didn’t feel particularly happy either. It wasn’t anything that they did or said – they were a friendly group of people who did their best to make us feel welcome – it just felt odd trying to be part of a culture to which we didn’t feel we belonged. The worst parts were when they talked about clubs and we had to say that we weren’t interested in going to them (I especially have no interest in going to mixed clubs on the straight scene), and worst of all was when they would mention being drunk and then playing, a cultural difference between the queer women’s and straight scene that I still fail to get my head around.

I just keep feeling that every new group of people I meet isn’t really right, isn’t enough. I want to be sociable (I’m a talkative extrovert – I need to talk to people or I’d go crazy!) and do new, interesting things, but if things don’t feel right then I don’t see the point in doing them; they’re meant to be enjoyable. I’m sure I will find groups of people with whom I feel like I belong, but it’s frustrating trying and failing at the moment. I wonder if I’m being too ‘picky’, and when my standards for people I want to socialise with became so high. I know it’s not me being picky, just a feeling of ‘otherness’ which means that the spaces in which I feel I belong seem to be few and far between, and I think SM Dykes has definitely spoiled me. I was wondering when it got like this, when I started feeling so alone and like I didn’t belong so much of the time; I think I’ve felt like this for a long, long time, just often without thinking about it as much or in these terms. (I don’t think I felt like that much in 6th form, but I know I did as a child and younger teenager.)

I want to temper the slightly depressing outlook of this post by saying that I have met a few lovely people, and that I’m glad we discovered the existence of Pussy Whipped so quickly on arriving here. (That would be because we were searching frantically for events that we could go to where we’d feel happy rather than awkward and fed up of young-seeming freshers.) I’m happy to be here and studying again, though I’m finding adjusting to studying a little hard, and I hope that my ‘social life’ will improve with time.

P.S. I don’t mean to sound ‘straight-bashing’ in this post; I just don’t often feel accepted in heteronormative environments.

May 23, 2012

Day 4: Any early experiences that, in retrospect, hint at your kinks?

I don’t think I really have any particular experiences. I wasn’t the person who tied up their friends (or vice versa) in play, or did weird kink-related things with barbies, I’m afraid. All I can think of is that I’ve always been naturally caring, and often ‘mothered’ people, particularly children younger than me – but that seems more of a personality thing than a kink thing, though they’re hard to separate. I fell in love with my best friend at school, and I definitely had protective and ‘mummyish’ caring feelings towards her; she was quite childlike, and I think I always felt I had to look after her and wanted to do that. So I suppose that’s some kind of indication of an interest in ageplay.

Another thing which isn’t an experience but again more of a personality thing is the fact that I like to take control and was a very bossy child, and sometimes domineering, too. (Though these aren’t exactly positive things.) I can think of times when I’ve been quite nasty and sadistic in the treatment of others, particularly my sister when growing up, which I’m not proud of. I think that was part of what I found hard about accepting and being happy that I was a sadist: I had to have the ability to separate negative and unfair treatment of people in a non-kink context from being sadistic to my partner and it feeling amazing.

(Now I’m wishing I had some story about twisted plots I made up for my barbies…)

May 16, 2012

Femme thoughts

This is my first post about being (a) femme. I’m sure there will be more after this one, but I’ve been thinking about it quite a bit recently and I wanted to write a post, partly to clarify my thoughts for myself, and have a record of them somewhere. It’s hard to break this down to think and write about it, but I’ll try my best.

“There is more to you than this identity. It makes everything make more sense, and without it you might be lost, but with it you are only ever on one path. You contain more multitudes than that.” ~ Sinclair Sexsmith 

(from Unsolicited advice to a New Butch (AKA the Butch Poem))

Although the post/poem is about being butch, I found it interesting and helpful to read, and that sentence resonated with me. Being femme does make everything make more sense: it felt quite natural when I first assumed this identity. The phrase “without it you might be lost” seems to relate to being femme as finding my place in the world; I would say that ‘kinky femme’ is how I would define myself as queer. (I hope that sentence makes sense. It does to me, but you’re not inside my head.)

Femme is not my gender: I am quite happy with my gender being female, and feel that femme is my way of saying what being a queer woman means to me. Femme is related to my sexuality: I think my femme identity is inseparable from my identification as gay and as a top, sadist and mummy. That is how “there is more to [me] than this [femme] identity”: being femme is a part of the way I define myself, but so are those other things.

I think it’s interesting that I agree that my femme identity makes everything make more sense, because I am comfortable with a lot of traditionally feminine attributes assigned to me because of my gender. (I find talking about things like this quite problematic because I’m uncomfortable (not sure whether uncomfortable is exactly what I mean here) with the idea that certain attributes are inherently feminine and others are inherently masculine; hence the use of ‘traditionally’.) However, I feel somehow ‘other’, and am most comfortable around queer people. I am happy for people to refer to me as queer, though haven’t started using that word to describe myself (yet – I’m not sure whether it feels like the right word yet, though a queer kinky community is certainly a place where I feel at home). This ‘queerness’ is my femmeness and my kinkiness, I think. I don’t feel I fit in with straight women, and didn’t feel I fit with some of the more culturally visible expressions of being a gay woman, and then I found femme, and that felt right.

Dressing to express my femme identity is lots of things: it is a way of telling other people I am femme; it is the way in which I feel most attractive, at ease with my body and confident (sometimes to the point of toppiness and sadistic thoughts, as an illustration of how I feel they’re connected); it is an outward expression of a feeling of hyper-femininity which I feel makes me femme. (That clause is clunky and repetitive and feels unclear – perhaps I’ll manage to refine it in time.)

Noun or adjective? This is something I’ve been thinking about quite a bit. Given how I’ve written the above, it seems to come more naturally to me to use femme as an adjective – it flows better when writing. Using it as a noun isn’t something I’d completely discount, though. ‘A femme’ makes it an identity rather than a way of describing yourself and means you belong to a group comprised of other femmes. It makes it clearer that it’s important to you and integral to your ideas about yourself, in the same way as being a top or a sadist is different to topping or being sadistic. For some reason, it seems easier and more natural to say “I’m a kinky femme” than “I’m a femme”, which is a little odd.

This exploration of femme (because that is what this post is) is ongoing and unfinished, but I wanted to set down some of my thoughts because they’ve been filling my head recently.


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May 15, 2012

Day 3: How did you discover you were kinky?

Through being with my current partner. She’s known she was kinky since before she knew the words to describe it. I spanked her playfully one day when we were out, which got her thinking about whether I’d be interested. She talked to me about it and once I’d started I was hooked… She was very lovely and patient with me and helped me to build my confidence and start to discover what I liked. I found I loved topping and being sadistic, and that the power feeling (not sure how to put this more articulately) I got was amazing! As I’ve said in an earlier post, I did find it hard to come to terms with being a sadist, but, again, she was patient while I figured things out for myself.

I remember we went camping together a little after we’d first talked about it (it was very cold as it was October, but we’re hardy souls) and I tickled her for the first time (I love tickling her, especially as she hates it!) and tortured her poor nipples with my nails, among other things; I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Now, I’m not sure I could be with someone vanilla; I think there would be too much I’d miss. There’s an intimacy that only kink seems to give, and sex is just better that way! It’s pretty amazing that C talked to me about it and discovered I liked it and is still with me.

May 10, 2012

Day 2: List your kinks.

Pain – I’m a sadist; I enjoy inflicting both physical and emotional pain. I like impact play using a cane, crop or belt and pervertibles like wooden spoons and other kitchen utensils (and I’d love to use a hairbrush – sadism mummy-style) and also using my body (pinching, hitting, kicking, biting). I like leaving marks (sadly, my partner doesn’t bruise or mark easily, though someone suggested we use aspirin, so we’re going to try that). I also like playing mind games, saying nasty things, and doing all the things I know will hurt the most – if I’m in that sort of mood.

Ageplay – I’m a mummy, and I have a little girl who can be anything from 4 to about 10. Our relationship is sexual, though that’s not exactly the focus; we play games and are generally silly, I read to her and we enjoy colouring. I think I’d like to do ageplay with other people, too, though never as a mummy, and probably without the sexual component, though this is something I’ve only just started thinking about. I’d quite like to be an auntie or a non-familial role like a babysitter or teacher.

Power and control – I love being in control and feeling powerful; topping often gives me a fantastic ‘power trip’. Wielding an implement makes me feel powerful and I love the feeling of knowing what will really hurt emotionally and then doing it.

Caretaking* – Being a mummy allows me to care for a child and feel needed, trusted and depended upon, which is important to me. I like looking after my partner whether she is little or not; this aspect of the mummy/girl relationship is a way in which we naturally relate to each other. I also find it very satisfying to be nasty and sadistic and then to be caring afterwards.

Other kinks include: candle wax, breath play (including choking), tickling (to the chagrin of my partner – good thing she’s a masochist!), faceslapping, chain (I also love padlocks and keys), making someone cry, inspiring fear (phrasing from a friend), violence, fighting. (I’ve probably missed things, but never mind.)

*EDIT: I’m not really sure whether or not caretaking counts as a kink; it’s hard to tell what does, and since caretaking isn’t related only to what I like kink-wise it makes me wonder whether I should have written it here. I’m going to leave it here, though, because I want to keep the post how it was when I wrote it, and also because it is very important to me.

April 24, 2012

30 Days of Kink – Day 1

I’ve actually done some of this elsewhere, partly with my partner, but I wanted to do it again myself on here because I thought it’d be interesting. There’s some merit in doing things like this more than once, anyway, since your ideas about things change over time, and also it gets you thinking about your kinks and related topics. I won’t link this post to anywhere in particular on the internet, because I’ve seen it in lots of places, and you probably have, too.

Day 1: Dom, sub, switch? Which parts of BDSM interest you? Give us an interesting in-depth definition of what that means to you. Basically define your kinky self for us.

I don’t use the words ‘dom’ or ‘sub’ for me or my partner/potential play partners; I use ‘top’ and ‘bottom’. I’m interested mainly in SM, and not very much in D/s. I can’t say I’d never be interested in it, though it seems quite unlikely. Bondage to me is often a means to an end: if someone’s restrained I can do other things to them more easily! It’s also a way of asserting my control, the bottom might enjoy it and I like using chain a lot; the bondage itself is satisfying for me when using chain and padlocks.

I’m a top. I’m not currently interested in switching (though again I’m not going to say I’d never do it – the excitement of kink is that we can do different things and go on one big kinky adventure), and I feel strongly that I’m a top. I’m a sadist, and I like inflicting both physical and emotional pain using implements, hands and feet and mind games, among other things. I like inspiring fear simply because I find it satisfying somehow, and because it makes me feel powerful (as does hurting someone). I like being able to hurt someone and then care for them afterwards, taking away the pain I’ve caused, and enjoy the paradox of this; I feel that I’m both naturally sadistic and naturally caring.  I like taking the bottom on a journey, and being able to give and partly control that experience. I love to provoke reactions, to prod and poke and see what happens; that’s what makes it interesting for me. I’ve already mentioned that I like to feel powerful; topping makes me feel good because I enjoy the feeling of power and being in control, and the confidence I can feel when topping.

I’m a mummy, with a lovely little girl who I like to play silly games with and love taking care of. I love being a caretaker, and need to feel needed. I can be silly and play ‘girl’ games and use my imagination, which is not only a lot of fun, but also brings me closer to being a child myself, and is in a way a kind of escape. At the same time, I enjoy the responsibility of being a mummy, someone on whom my girl depends, and the kind of unquestioning, mostly unconditional love you get from a child. I’m not often a sadistic mummy, though I can be sometimes, and for us, the mummy/girl relationship is sexual.

I’m a femme. I’m never sure whether to use the noun ‘a femme’ or simply to use femme as an adjective when describing myself, but I think using the noun seems to me more of a description of who I am – my identity – rather than what I’m like. (I need to write a whole post on my thoughts about ‘femme-ness’ and what being (a) femme means to me. I’ll do that at some point.) I think for me, being femme is inseparable from being a top and a sadist. I express my ‘femme-ness’ (for want of a better word) through dressing in a feminine (and sometimes hyper-feminine) way, and particularly like vintage clothes, lipstick (especially red), pearls and heels. Dressing in a femme way usually makes me feel more toppy, too, and think sadistic thoughts – especially if I’m wearing heels and red lipstick. I guess that’s partly why I would describe myself as a sadistic femme top – the three things are interlinked, so I use ‘sadistic’ and ‘femme’ as adjectives describing ‘top’, my ‘role’ (though I’m not sure I like that word, because to me it seems related to a role on stage, and therefore less real than being a top actually feels – if that makes any sense at all).

I think that’s all I have to say for the moment – the days always end up overlapping a bit, anyway.

(Unrelatedly, I feel I should point out the obvious: that commas – including the Oxford kind – are another stylistic tic of mine. I’m rather a fan of semi-colons, too. Basically, punctuation is fantastic.)

April 24, 2012

Femme drag – and shoes!

I recently bought some amazing shoes which I’m calling my drag queen shoes. They’re the highest heels I’ve ever owned; I’m going to have to practise walking in them a bit. They make me very tall! They’re metallic platform heels – I’m not sure exactly how to describe the colour, though. (My partner and I disagree as to the best description for them…) Now I need to buy some big false eyelashes which are excitingly coloured. The only time I’ve worn false eyelashes before is on stage playing a pantomime dame. (I know they’re usually played by men, but there wasn’t anyone they could cast.) I’m going to start looking so that I can wear some at one of the play parties at the SM Dykes conference in June. (Which I’m so so excited about!) I have this idea of an outfit which I want to wear, though I’m not sure I’ll actually wear it at the conference if I haven’t got all the bits. Top hat, black leotard (a dance leotard or similar), tights (coloured ones? fishnets?), ‘drag queen’ shoes (metallic/sequined/glittery) and false eyelashes, and heavy dame/drag queen-type make-up. It’s a kind of femme drag/ringmaster/vaudeville look (in my mind, anyway) which is related to my love of all things stage-related. (That reminds me that I need to look into buying some base – stage foundation – partly because I’d like to own some, and also because my partner has a bit of a fetish for stage make-up.)

I think drag queens are awesome (and somehow some men are just really hot in drag) and I find the idea of women in drag really interesting, too. A ‘high femme’ look (though ‘high femme’ isn’t a word I usually use myself) has things in common with drag, for me anyway, in its attention to detail and exaggerated style. My idea of femme drag is highly stylised, theatrical, flamboyant and colourful: really ‘big’ with shiny things, sequins, lots of colours and patterns and high heels. I’d like to wear stage-type make-up like I wore when I was a dame out for the evening, and maybe a wig, too. It’s just something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. To me, it seems a brave, confident way to dress, and I think it’d make me feel good and somehow like myself to dress like that sometimes. Kink settings (especially play parties) provide a perfect place to do this!

Gosh, that post has a lot of brackets in it! Something of a stylistic tic for me.

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April 2, 2012

Summer, ageplay, and digressive thoughts on kink in general

My partner’s been to some kink events recently and really enjoyed herself, which I’m very glad about, though a little jealous, too. It’s sad that I can’t go to things, but it won’t be that long before I can again. I’m looking forward to that wonderful feeling of acceptance you get when you go to a good event and feel welcome; people will often automatically accept you because they know you’re a dirty pervert too.

I’d been feeling miserable about doing nothing except going to work, and felt the weeks stretching ahead of me, empty of interest, but I’m feeling a lot better now because I’ve been thinking about plans for the summer. I’ve decided I’d like to be an au pair, and so have been on a site which helps au pairs and families to arrange placements. I want to go to Germany or Austria because it’d be really good to practise my German before I go to university. I’ve been talking to various families, and I really hope I manage to get something sorted out, but in the mean time it’s good that it’s cheered me up and given me a sort of project, and also got me doing some German again, because I’ve been writing to families in German. I like looking after and playing with children, and it’s a good way to go abroad for a month or two relatively cheaply, because they provide you with a place to stay, and give you a bit of spending money, so other than trips you might make when you’re there, you only have to pay for travel.

I’ve been thinking about being good with children. I think I always have been, and I’ve always enjoyed being silly and playing imaginative games with them. I often gravitate towards the children in mixed family gatherings, because I don’t get the chance to have fun playing with children very often, and also simply because it’s often more interesting! I think that I’ve got better at looking after actual children through ageplay, and looking after my little girl, funny though that may seem. (Or maybe it doesn’t seem funny; maybe it makes perfect sense.) But I can’t use that to prove that I know how to play with children; I can’t tell anyone, other than kinky people, about it. It’s quite amusing, really.

When I first started doing ageplay, I remember being very upset one evening as I felt that maybe I shouldn’t play with ‘real’ children, because I also did ageplay. I sort of felt that I shouldn’t be allowed. Having done it for a bit longer, I could see that the two were completely separate (other than the fact that I think doing lots of ageplay has made me better with children), and that thinking like that didn’t really make sense. But then I felt unsure about various kinks of mine at the start – which I think is probably quite a common experience – for example that being a sadist made me a bad person, and I found it hard to separate myself from sadists who’ve murdered or tortured people, and this terrified me. Thinking about it more made me realise that whilst I was connected to those people in some way (denying that there is any connection at all between a kinky sadist and someone who’s non-consensually tortured people is, in my opinion, dishonest, and a way of looking at things which lacks depth), kink is different simply because we want to be doing these things to each other; we do them for fun, and when playing, people get mutual satisfaction from a ‘scene’. (Sorry, that word again.)

Back to ageplay after that digression. (I just can’t help it. I talk too much, even when I write.) One of the main reasons that ageplay might mean you’re better at playing with children is that you’re more often trying to think like a child, or join in a child’s games – in the same way as I think parents with young children are more connected to what it feels like to be a child – and like any skill, this improves with practice. I’m not saying I’m amazing and always know what to do, but I think it just comes so naturally to me now.

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February 22, 2012

University Fetish Society

I was looking at the Fetlife group for the universities of the city I’m going to in September (having withdrawn from my previous university last year), just out of interest, and to get a feel for what the ‘scene’ is like. I thought it’s be interesting to look at the make-up of the members, and how they define themselves. As you’d expect, the members of this group are mostly under 35 (you can’t tell with the people who’ve put their age as 91) and it’s male-dominated, but that doesn’t seem unusual either. I think it’s interesting that it seemed that a larger number of people defined themselves as a switch than I might expect in a group with a greater range of ages. This might be partly because younger people might be exploring things more, and therefore might not identify strongly as tops/bottoms, but is probably most likely to reflect the fact that switching seems more common and even expected than it might have done in the past. (This is unscientific – well, all of this is – as I wasn’t around before…) Perhaps the ‘scene’ (I find this word problematic) had a greater attachment and adherence to more rigid roles previously, and people are moving away from that? There also seemed to be quite a few people who identified as ‘kinksters’ or ‘fetishists’, but this again might be related to people being more likely to be new to kink. (Or it could be a new way of looking at kink, I’m not sure.)

The other, more personally relevant thing that I noticed was that none of the women identified as tops/dommes/any other word signifying something similar. The group has about 100 members, around 35 of whom have an ‘F’ by their username.  When I join the group when I go to university, perhaps I’ll be the first who identifies as a top. It makes me feel even luckier to have met some lovely ladies who identify similarly to me, and have been able to talk to them.

Actually, looking back through the members again, there aren’t many people in the whole group who identify as tops etc., probably for the reasons I mentioned above, though I obviously can’t know for sure. People do say that tops are in short supply…

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February 18, 2012

Lacking kinky company

I really miss seeing kinky people, and having a chat and being able to talk about kink. It’s been so long since I’ve been able to, and I’m looking forward so much to when I can again. It will feel amazing to be around people who know I’m C’s Mummy – and don’t mind or think it’s crazy – who I can talk to about how good it feels to make someone feel scared, or the feeling when you’ve just locked the padlock attached to the chain that means your partner can’t get out. To be around people who know I’m kinky, for a start, and don’t have this whole part of who I am hidden from them. I mostly don’t mind that people don’t know – in fact I’m glad that certain people don’t know – but it’s been so long that I’m craving the company of kinky people who want to talk about these things. I’m craving that wonderful feeling of acceptance, of being in a space that feels right, where I feel I belong.

I think that my general lack of social life is unlikely to be helping: mostly I just go to work and then spend time with C when I’m not at work. My drama group’s been having lots of problems, so there haven’t been any rehearsals for ages, and the friends I made at school are all at university, and only back here in the holidays. Now the drama group is doing a show, but I can’t do it. This is because of a clash with a rather major kink event, which is rubbish, but I’d rather go to the kink thing. It’s just funny that I don’t do either for ages, and then I can’t do one of the things because of the other one. I’m planning to go to at least some of the rehearsals, though, just to get out and see people. And it’s been sad that I haven’t been going out much, because I like to dress up and put on make-up, and be ‘femmed-up’, but I never really get a chance to; there’s no point when I’m going to work, since I get changed into my chef’s trousers (one pair of which is a little like pyjamas) and a t-shirt when I get there. I feel more me when I can wear nice clothes and make-up, and heels sometimes. I feel that people don’t really know me unless they’ve seen me dressed how I like to dress, seen how I do femme.

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