A journey of love, experimentation and gender change

Extract from Sunday, 5th June, 2011

From “Summer 2011 – Chapter 16 – Another holiday, and a revelation”

(While Terri and Marc are at Playa de las Monjas, a nudist beach on La Palma)

So, what makes a woman a woman. It can’t be what she wears, her make up, or her hairstyle. I knew from personal experience and watching television, it was entirely possible for a man to do all those things and look convincing. It isn’t what someone looks like with women’s clothes on and makeup – there were plenty of women who didn’t look the least bit feminine when dressed up, and lots of men who looked a lot better. And I’d met both sorts at Blackpool and other tranny events.

If not the external trappings, then what about the physical? Did a sex change really make a man into a woman? I concluded the answer was ‘no’ again. It didn’t matter how much re-modelling and re-shaping a man might have, it wouldn’t change the fact he’d been born a man. Such a man-turned-woman might insist the surgery had, in fact, made them into a woman … but I wasn’t convinced, even though I was headed in that direction myself. Maybe one of the key defining criteria was the potential for a woman to conceive a baby. It was true many women couldn’t have children … but did that stop them being women? They might feel they weren’t ‘complete’, but it didn’t make them into something else … a man, for example. A physical difference could be part of the answer … but was it everything?.

That left the intangible ‘something’ inside all of us which could be described as soul, being, or self. Though I’d never asked any, I imagine women know deep inside that they are women. They’d probably struggle to pin it down. There could be as many answers as there were women. So, something deep inside, like a watermark, which isn’t there but is … this something tells each of us what we are. What is outside … our physical characteristics and the way we dress, gives other people clues … rightly or wrongly.

I looked inside myself. It wasn’t easy. I didn’t know how, and I didn’t know what I was looking for … not exactly. Perhaps I’d know it when I found it. I lay there in the sun, on the beach, in the Canaries. I tried concentrating, but that only gave me a view of me looking at me. I relaxed … let the sound of the sea and the wind carry me.

I dozed for only a short time, I think, but when I woke, I knew the answer … for myself. Deep down inside there was something which told me, showed me, that I was truly a woman. I couldn’t say what it was, and still can’t. But it was there, and I’d been gradually recognising it over the years.

That didn’t mean my outward appearance, both physically and what I wore, didn’t matter – of course they mattered. But I’d come to recognise it was the woman on the inside, not the man on the outside (what was left of him, anyway) that mattered.

I undid the ties on my bikini bottom, and took it off. Later, when it was time to tan my front, I just turned over. I still put them on when we went down to the water for my next swimming lesson, but while I was just sunbathing, I was happy to be completely naked.

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