The Notes from The UnderGround News Letter Vol.2 No.3

Ottawa, Canada          March 1990          Vol.2          No.3


Observing the Peoples Reactions

Although my grand ambition in life is to go where I please while wearing my skirts, I have ambivalent feelings toward the 80% or so of the population who is so indifferent to my taste in clothing that they don{t even notice me. has at times made my life quite difficult, so you think these people would at least have the decency to be outraged.

It seems like I went through all that crap for nothing! But then, our imaginations are often our most effective Jailers.

Still, the moment you run into unpleasantness, oh how you wish for indifference! I once went to a play with a friend (a good experience  few rednecks in the thea-tuh) and after the performance we were standing on the street corner waiting  for the traffic light to change when I became aware of a middle aged woman to my left staring at me so intensely I thought she was trying to burn holes into me. The traffic light was taking an eternity to change like they always do on these occasions – and I was starting to get a little uncomfortable, so I turned to her and said, “Hello”. Well you think I’d applied smelling salts to her nose, because she broke out of her stupor so suddenly that she almost reeled off the sidewalk. I guess she realized she was being rude, although I noticed she ouldn’t resist a few more furtive glances when the light finally turned.

People who stare always remind me of an old Bob Hope movie I once saw. He’s dressed up and getting out of his car and theres a crowd of people standing around staring at him and he says: “what’s the matter, never seen a Buick before?” The closest I came to physical violence was at an outdoor restaurant on a summer evening.

Two fellows didnt appreciate our skirts much and were threatening a round of fisticuffs to prove it. Lary and I were being equally insolent to them. It occurred to us that if they did try something, their chances of victory were no better than 50/50 and those odds just werent good enough to face the ignominy of being beaten up by two guys in skirts.



Positive reactions are what we live for though, and the best ones of all come from the women who break into large sunny smiles when they see you. Hard not to fall in love on the spot. And there are many people who, though they dont understand the motivation, still admire your guts for doing what youe doing. Obviously you must be in a certain state of mind to appreciate peoples reactions, but when you feel confident and positive, you can take even more strength from the experience.



My Kingdom for a Purse

Quite often we hear men commenting on how impractical women are when it  comes to their style of fashion. Theyre criticized for wearing high heels and other uncomfortable clothes Just to be fashionable. Ironically few men would admit that it  was they that originally forced these styles on women. Of course, who could be more practical than men? All a man needs is the ever present suit, an item of clothing so boring that it was never given a name. A suit is just called a suit – boring, predictable, nameless. The biggest decision most men have to make when it comes time to dress for the day is whether to wear the blue or the grey one. Since the suit is so standardized, it protects men because they never have to worry about ,showing any of their personal sense of style. This way they need never risk having their egos hurt if someone were to comment negatively about their clothing. But Im rambling, so let me get to one of my greatest pet peeves. what Im really frustrated about is that for some reason the super practical male is not allowed to carry a purse? Originally purses were invented for use by both sexes back when clothing had no pockets.

Nothing bothers me more than having every pocket full of the necessary items I require to have with me daily. Keys, a hairbrush, money, my cheque book, cigarettes, a lighter, Kleenex, business cards, change for the bus, my wallet, some days my bank book, and those folded up pieces of paper I need to remind me of something. Nothing annoys me more than to hear a constant cacophony of rattling change every time I walk somewhere, and I find Im constantly squeezing my hands into my pockets in an often feeble attempt to quiet down this irritating noise. I probably spend at least an hour a day filling and emptying my pockets. when I leave to go somewhere, Ive got to make sure Ive got all of those items placed strategically in various pockets and then I have to make a mental note of where each item is. Often after this Ill end up spending another hour verifying that yes, I did actually put my keys or whatever in my pocket already.

Then theres the problem of which pocket that thing is in. Not to mention the necessity of shifting things around in order to prevent a fatal stabbing from a comb or the messy explosion of a pen. Coming home means another major ritual as I reach into the forty six pockets I have and empty them. Maybe the only reason that men dont wear makeup is that if they did, they then theyd have to find even more room in their pockets to carry their mascara, ‘ eyeliner and eye shadow. what if you go to a store to pick up some little item or what if youre like me and you like to read a book while youre on the bus?

Then youre really stuck. Either you force it into one of your pockets, or you end up using one of your hands to carry it. Suppose you have a sheet of paper to carry, what do you do? well, real men carry all sheets of paper and important documents all folded up into a two inch square in their pockets.

After all the only purse a real man thinks about is the forty million dollar purse some guy is going to win for beating some guys head in a boxing ring. Excuse me while I purse my lips into a big sigh. what do you do if youre wearing tight Jeans that have absolutely no room for anything, or shorts that have those tiny pockets. T-shirts don’t usually have pockets that are very big either, so often I end up having to wear extra clothes just so Ill have pockets. And what about all those clothes that have open pockets that you have to keep checking to make sure that you haven’t lost anything important? It sure is great being a practical male, isnt it? I do own a purse that could pass for a mans, but I dont carry it much. After hearing a few derogatory remarks from passers by, I gave up using it. I can take being called names, but I may as well be fully dressed if I have to put up with it. And if I walked into work carrying my male purse, Im sure the rumors would fly that I must be gay. No truly practical, “normal man would burden himself with such a silly article as a purse. Okay, Ill admit that Im a real purse abuser when Im being “allowed” to use my purse. Im one of those ladies who sometimes has got everything she could possibly need short of an overnight stay in her purse, and often it takes me awhile to find my lipstick or my keys. But so what? I know it’s there? And its still much more convenient to carry a purse.



Travels to Gasp

This is the third and concluding episode of Joanne’s trip to the east coast of Canada. We left Halifax and headed to Gaspe and Perce Rock on the east shore of Quebec on the Atlantic Ocean. we got a motel near Perce Rock after driving almost 450 miles. we were tired and wanted something to eat, so we headed to the closest restaurant.

After we ate, I got my camera to take some pictures of the rock from the pier.  The sun was at the right angle to light up the rock a golden color and it was beautiful to look at. we then headed back to the motel to rest. At the motel I changed into another outfit. I put on my blue dress with a full skirt and a pageboy wig, then touched up my makeup, put on my three inch heels and went for a walk in the town. Then back to the motel where I talked to the people who rented the room beside us. I talked in my most feminine voice possible, the same soft, medium pitch I used when ordering a meal. Anyway, we talked for about a half hour about the rock formations and the other parts of Canada we had enjoyed. The wind was blowing up the bluffs at the edge of the ocean, lifting my dress again and showing my slip. Either the couple did not notice or did not care who they were talking to, but it was enjoyable being accepted as a woman. I got used to eating in places like McDonalds and Swiss Chalet, sitting next to real people and not have them look at you with strange looks. I practiced being inconspicuous by learning to take smaller bites and sipping my drink. I guess the real test at being Joanne was in the Gaspe on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River. A Quebec Provincial Police speed trap in a small village caught me exceeding the speed limit. The officer pulled me over and asked for my drivers license and insurance. I grabbed my purse and gave him the papers; he walked back to his patrol car and proceeded to write up my ticket. He then returned and handed back the papers and the speeding ticket saying in French that my insurance had expired. I told him in a soft voice that I was on holiday and would look into it as soonas possible. Perhaps because the officer was French and my name was English, he didnt realize the name was masculine. Anyway, if my name had been Bob or Peter who knows what would have happened. I just wanted to tell you about my unforgettable three week vacation, living and being accepted as a female and dressing in the clothes I have always wanted to wear. Passing as a woman in public has allowed me to enjoy the beautiful things in life, and being a member of TriEss has let me indulge in my feminine fantasy forever.









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