Girl To Girl
Interviews With The Glamour Girls
by Barbara <redacted>
Barbara: Welcome, Caren
Caren: Thank you for having me!
Barbara: You have to be one of the most beautiful women when it comes to Glamour photos, tell us your secret.
Caren: Secret, there's no real secret. I just went to Glamour Shots. I never really felt that I was that passable. I always thought I was OK, but they're the ones that made me look that great. They even said that I looked better than most real women that came into the studio!
Actually, I was a Technical Theater major. I had to take a class in makeup, and all I can really remember was how I fought them against my taking that class. Little did I know then how far Caren would go, and that Caren actually needed that class!
Barbara: Caren how long have you been dressing enfemmme? How did you acquire your wardrobe?
Caren: I've been dressing since early childhood at one level or another. I can remember wearing my mom's hose at an early age, and I can remember experimenting with shoes and dresses in my early teens. When I got to college, I slowed down a bit as I was too busy. I really broke out in 1986 just prior to getting married. Since then I have progressed, but only in the last year has Caren really 'come out' so to speak. And since August, she's been like a bat out of hell! Until recently, I did a lot of shopping 'en drab' and mail order. About six weeks ago, I met a fabulous friend, Lisa. In a very short time, we have become very close girlfriends. She works at a larger size woman's clothing store and with her, I have begun to shop as Caren. We have shopped a few times in the past month, and I have a few other places where I go on my own.
Barbara: We all have nightmares of being read when out in public, did this ever happen to you? If so how did you handle it?
Caren: I haven't had a 'nightmare' happen, but have been 'read'. The salon where I get my hair and nails done has had customers that have known my secret, but haven't said anything directly to me. They have commented to my nail artist. Once customer did ask her 'Is that a man or a woman?' Her response was 'What do you think?'. She replied, 'Well, I thing it's a woman, but if it's a man, tell him to take slower and shorter steps.' How about that? Recently, I was out shopping with Lisa at Lane Bryant on Thanksgiving weekend so the mall was very crowded. In Lane Bryant, a girl knew and her mouth almost hit the floor it opened so big. She didn't comment to me, but did tell her friend. Beyond that, while people have 'known', no one has commented. Lisa & I have had dinner out a few times and while we can tell that some customers 'know', no one who has waited on us has treated me like anything but a lady. It's always been 'ladies', 'Ms., and 'Ma'am' (God I hate that one, it makes me feel so old!)
Barbara: What attracted you to Glamour Girls?
Caren: It seemed like a group of very nice, supportive girls. I looked around the 'net', but didn't like some of the other groups as they were restrictive with allowing new members. This would seem to be a form of discrimination, an activity that TG's don't like to begin with, and here this group is doing just that. I would guess that I was looking for support and socializing on the same level as my support group here in Tampa Bay, Starburst.
Barbara: What part of dressing makes you feel the most feminine? With me its fresh shaved legs and hose.
Caren: It depends on my mood, sometimes it's my hair, sometimes hose & heels. But two things really affect my transformation into Caren, and that is hose & heels and a nice french manicure.
Barbara: Is there an outing that stands out the most to you?
Caren: There's really three, all of which were important milestones of my 'coming out/getting out'. The first two were my two Glamour Shots sessions in August. My first outing was my first real daytime, mainstream outing. It was a Monday and early in the morning because I was nervous. But the way I was treated and the comments from the girls made me feel great! They were surprised that I wasn't going to stay in the mall and go shopping. The 2nd session was two weeks later, and I went on a Friday at noon, in a business suit. It was an important milestone because I knew that the mall would be packed as school was still out for summer. No one read me that day, and I walked around the mall a good deal as the studio was running late. I didn't shop, but I did get out. The last achievement was my 2nd day out with Lisa, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We shopped in two of the largest malls in the Tampa Bay area, and then had a very nice dinner. With the exception of the event at Lane Bryant that I mentioned, I had a great time (around five hours of shopping) and a nice dinner that evening. It was a 14 hour day for Caren. Through all these happenings, I discovered that for the most part, most people don't really care how I dress. They may or may not approve, but they are too busy with their own lives to say anything to me.
Barbara: Do you have any advice for new sisters out there?
Caren: Don't be fearful of becoming the woman you want to be. I'm having so much fun and wish that I had done all this ten years ago. I know, "hind sight is 20-20" and it's easy to say how easy it is to get out. I understand, it's hard to take those first steps, but there is help available. First, if you are not a member of a local support group, go and join. Next, do things you are comfortable with. Go get the mail, run to the convenience store make phone calls from a pay phone. We all go through phases like this, but it's a good way to 'test the waters.' Then, as you are ready, move on to your next level. Reach for your own goals and take the steps to achieve what you desire
Barbara: Thanks for being my guest.
Barbara <redacted> is a reporter for the Glamour Girls. If you are a member and would like to setup an interview contact her.