Sunday, July 28, 2013

Something's Burning . . .

So not what, a week after saying that I thought I’d pretty much had it with flying pretty, guess what I find myself doing? Yepper, I’m sure that you guessed it . . .
I made several trips the old fashioned way, you know,  dressed like a dude, but it was killing me. I spent each and every trip obsessing about it, envious of the ladies, and feeling sorry for myself. After three or four trips this way, I decided that I’d had enough and so got back onto the horse. 
Given that I’ve been suffering from a fairly serious lack of confidence, I decided to wear one of my favorite outfits that I felt confident in, and so out came a purple top and my black Palazzo pants.

When I parked my Mustang in the airports parking garage, I was gonna stop and take a photo or two of a beat up, wrinkled, old cross dresser in front of it, but as soon I opened the door and the heat came flooding in, I knew that was outta the question. It was so hot that in the brief period it took me to gather my backpack up, I was already feel perspiration forming on my forehead. No way in hell I was gonna stand out there in that kind of heat trying to snap photos. I would have smelled like a goat by the time that I got into the airport!
My confidence got a quick boost when a man stepping off of the elevator as I approached it actually jumped back to it and held it for me as I approached, towing both of my large bags behind me. I thanked him and then made my way to the check in counter at Delta. One of the gentlemen at Delta that has always been remarkably friendly with me greeted me at the counter, and I was amused to see that he had gone entirely bald and apparently chosen to shave his head. I couldn’t  help but grin, knowing that under my wig I was every bit as bald as he.
“So, umm, is it just me, or have we gone a bit shiny up top??” I asked him with a smile, and while patting my own head with my hand.
“Yeah, I finally gave in and went ahead and shaved it!” he replied with an embarrassed smile. He was so clearly embarrassed by my comment that I felt guilty for having made it, but it was too late now! He has been checking me in at Delta for years now and knows exactly who and what I am, so I almost told him that I have the same problem, and wanted to tell him ‘I feel your pain brother!’ but it just seemed wrong so I let it go . . .

I was working at the Purdue University where they are experimenting with rocket propellant and using our equipment in the process. At one point we stepped away from the area where we were working, and when we returned, we both smelled something burning. I made sure that the smell was NOT coming from the FTIR that I had just repaired, and then I started throwing my test equipment and tools back into my box. She just looked at me kind of odd.
“You guys work on rocket fuel here, and now we smell something burning and can’t figure out where it’s coming from? Yeah, I’m getting the hell outta here!” I told her with a wink. Once she started laughing, I figured the joke was over, and started pulling my equipment back outta the box. We never did find out where the burning smell was coming from, but I haven’t seen any news stories about the university going up in flames, so I assume it’s all good . . .

I’ve always been embarrassingly honest in my blogs, telling the good with the bad, the proud with the embarrassing, so I see no point to not telling it exactly as it feels and seems to me these days. On my flight home, I had the overwhelming feeling that those that I encountered knew exactly what I was and were just tolerating me. Very few people bothered to speak with me, and those that did, didn’t seem all that thrilled about it. I don’t know if that is real and accurate, or if it is just in my head, but there you have it. I feel torn between a rock and a hard space when it comes to flying pretty now. On the one hand, I often feel like I am nothing more than a chubby old man wearing a dress these days, but if I don’t fly pretty, I am fairly wracked with depression and envy. Can’t really win with those choices!


  1. So just go ahead and dress, and don't worry about it! You certainly look beautiful. And at least you have the freedom to do it...particularly leaving from or returning to the house dressed. Many of us are so happy for you...

    I just wish I traveled more...nothing I accomplish is as extensive as your travels. But it's the best I can do for now.

    If you haven't seen my most recent adventure, I hope you'll take a minute to check it out on my blog (


    Mandy Sherman, from Maryland...

  2. You have no need to feel self conscious, sweetie. Every photo I've seen of you tells me you will turn heads only in appreciation and not in ridicule. Just carry yourself with pride and conviction (Look who I'm telling this to!) Have fun and enjoy!

  3. Of adventures, and blogs, and cars, and life, and looks, I think you have set an unbeatable level that most of use will only dream of. Whatever the future, please continue writing

  4. Kim -

    I've seen you in person and I've seen your pictures. Even if everyone knew what you were, they were also treating you with respect. My feeling is that the people you've been meeting lately are simply not the talkative kind - as if there are fewer discretionary travelers, and a greater percentage of business travelers who need to maintain a sense of focus before, during, and after their business engagements....

    So my advice is to keep flying pretty, and not worry about what others think....


  5. first of all i loooove those killer shoes in the first photo!
    that photo shows a really pretty gal in a pretty outfit.
    also i think your hair is parted/combed a bit diff. it looks great.

    next don't sell yourself short remember how the heat affected you as you stepped out of the car. it was effecting everyone. the bermudia weather mass that tried to push the weather back west actually stalled the muggy heat wave on the entire east coast,when it cooled a bit then it would drizzle and when it would stop drizzling then the steamy - mugginess would kick in. this would be enough to get anybody a bit grumpy and less friendly.

    hay just be glad you didn't get bit on the face/cheek by a yellow jacket like i did the previous week. they you would be allowed to say you felt ugly ( my eye was swollen shut the next day with my cheek swollen like a grapefruit! there was no way i could find my eyelid to even try to use eye makeup)

    you know the answer to not dressing can only stave it off soooooo long and then wam you have almost no choice but to dress. :-)

    as usual i soooo enjoy reading your log entries.
    so few of us can write in your style ( as if we were right there standing beside you sort of like the ol' radio story tellers like jean Shepard)
    thank you again for sharing.

  6. The others said it all. I will add: "Just do it!" You look very pretty out there. Besides, you don't dress for others. You dress for yourself. Just throw your head back, smile like you know a secret, and strut your stuff!

    I'm pushing 60, fat and wrinkled, full time, and now wear jeans and tee's everywhere I go. It's for MY sanity!

    Your Arkansas friend, Stephanie

  7. Honestly, Kim, I don't see the downside in just being your honest self out there. It takes a lot of courage and integrity to put on the outside how you are feeling on the inside, both physically and mentally. I will be making my first trip by air flying pretty in September when I fly from Las Vegas to Atlanta for Southern Comfort. Will I see you there? We met several years ago when you were in San Bernardino. We went to a club in Riverside to do some Kareoke (sp) and you and my wife and me had dinner at Mimi's the second evening. We also met in San Antonio when you and your wife joined me and my wife for dinner one evening when we were there celebraring our anniversary.

    Be well, Kim, and please keep being honest.


    1. Hi Holly! I have no trouble remembering you my friend!

  8. Kim,

    You look great and your writings add a wonderful element to the on-line community of T folks.

    I would not be put off by reactions from others that seem to trouble you. First, it seems clear that you pass for most of the people most of the time. Second, for those people where you do not pass and are clocked as a guy in a dress most of these people seem to enjoy your company and discourse.

    I sense that you are troubled a bit by a third group of folks who do not really know what you are and/or have no clue how to interact with you. To my knowledge there are no widely distributed guides on how civilians should deal with "T" people.

    It may be a simple lack of comfort on their part. Some young folks are uncomfortable around older folks. Other people do not know how to react when they encounter someone with a body full of ink. Others may be incomfortable when meeting folks of different economic strata or race or religion. For the most part people do not want to be offensive...they just tend to be unsure of themselves in how to act.

    Even if the people you encounter know what you are and are merely being tolerant I say keep on trucking since perhaps next week one of these 'merely tolerant' people will meet me or Stana or Meg or Marian or Sophie or etc. and that person's comfort level may be just a wee bit improved. What if one of the 'merely tolerant' people that you meet is my wife or the wife of another somewhat closeted CD and she merely observes that you are safe and secure and generallly accepted while out and about while dressed. That simple silent encounter can make it easier for my wife to let me go out and about while dressed.

    I am glad that you were back flying the friendly skies and sharing your wonderful adventures and your viewpoints with the rest of us.


    1. Kim, as usual, Pat has anticipated what I would have written (if I was more clever and wrote better).

      It's great to hear that you're back to flying pretty and it's always good to see a new post from you.

      As to the "chubby old man in a dress" - I certainly don't see that and I suspect no one else does. We all have our days when we're a little too tough on ourselves. I do believe you are your toughest critic.

      Thanks for setting such a good example for all of us and for telling us about the good and the bad.

      All the best.


  9. Kim, you are an amazing, beautiful woman, and an inspiration to us all!

    And you are my friend!


    Those who don't speak to you, well they miss out!

  10. What do you do about the ID check. My license has a male picture on it. That is the only reason I haven't dressed when I'm flying.

    1. Nicole, it really doesn't matter. They will look at you pretty hard and then pass you through. I flew that way for years and only once did I get delayed for it. In that case, it was a new TSA inspector and she called over her supervisor. All very polite and professional and I was on my way in less than two minutes. If you are thinking about doing it, make sure you read this post:

  11. Just re-read this post and thought how great you look in the pictures. Love the long skirt and heels. Love the top and pose in the other picture too.