I got a scanner so I could share these photos with you, on my pages Gorgeous and A Photoshoot. How do I feel about them now?

I had that photoshoot done in 1996, just after first going to the Northern Concord. That is my first wig, and a Gina Bacconi dress I loved- necklines go up and down, but if they were down at the time I had not noticed- and some bridesmaid’s dresses from charity shops, because I liked bridesmaid’s dresses. I followed instructions, but did not fully relax: the messing about with net curtain felt silly. My eyes look watchful to me, now. I wanted to feel I could look like a woman, and I succeeded: I surprised Don just now. This was better than the group photo from the Sibyls. It was 6″x4″, the faces were millimetres across, and I took it into the office and asked various people which they thought were the “real women”. They all said, immediately, correctly, “That one, that one and that one”- a priest and two wives.

I had my photo taken professionally several times until 1999, when I went out twice with the photographer, and she said after I drove her home, “I wanted to make you feel vulnerable like men have made me feel vulnerable”. She had succeeded. Again, I love the look.

The third new page, Photo Fun, is some photos taken mostly from 1996-2002. They meant a lot to me at the time. They are snaps, and I still look feminine enough. I love the one at the end, with the gorgeous bird on my arm, and two in the middle with a wonderful woman. I wanted to show them to you, and I am particularly desperate for comments today as I want to feel and know I am heard and seen.

I was looking at photos of myself, a lot. Many of us did: B had a three film a week habit- go somewhere, take several photos, with little variety in them. I wanted to imagine I could look female, and I imagined that, but needed new photos constantly. Until recently I had four large albums of the best of each shot, and four albums of seconds- that Sunshine photo took a dozen or more attempts- and then this year I threw out most of them, keeping the best.

Doing this, I felt great shame, and I kept doing it. I was conflicted: I wanted to transition, and was terrified to. Now, I look back on those photos and feel


I look at my complexion and see the lines in it, the lines in the forehead, the grey in the hair. Not quite most of my hair yet, and it is an advantage of wearing wigs that it need not show. The shame I felt in my thirties, and the difficulty I have now in trying to know myself and be myself- not unique, I know, yet it feels so much work and I want so much to have done it. The resentment of how I have hidden away and run away and been so frightened. And- then, I could look like that.

Oh, construct something. That is- me. That is who I am, even now. I am beautiful, the whole of me is beautiful, my physical appearance is-


Not to be compared with anything to make me feel bad.

-or Something.

The very beautiful -now- Nicole Cody, with her own particular difficulties, has been wrestling productively with the issue of Looks– and physical abilities, a frightening matter. And Cathy Ulrich is celebrating her Crone-hood.

18 thoughts on “Narcissist?

  1. Clare, you look stunning, a beautiful woman! A gorgeous looking woman is all I see and I love the first portrait best … there is some old-world glamour there and I love that.

    Take Care,


    • Thank you. I want to be seen and experienced and to experience myself as female, and to experience that as OK, as acceptable. I craved reassurance. Thank you for that. And that first shot does have a particular style which I like.


  2. Clare,
    You are so beautiful – inside and out. You have a fantastic smile which reflects that inner beauty and is impossible to fake. You smile with your eyes – it’s lovely to see. Thank you for the mention, here and thank your for the link to Nicole’s post. I loved it!


    • Welcome. I have seen your comments on Pinky’s blog, and am glad to see you here, and to visit yours. Good to know that the strategic route to Empire remains! As for the photos, I love it, as you can see, I love being centre of attention. No point in doing it if you don’t enjoy it.


        • Thank you. You are the perfect gentleman. Getting engaged was not completely wasted for you.

          I saw a T shirt at the weekend- “Not gay as in happy- Queer as in fuck you”, and I found that delightful and exhilerating. In fifty years, being gay will just be a different flavour of being human, and our movement now, on the cusp of persecution to acceptance, creates uniquely gifted people.


  3. Dear Clare

    I do like these pictures, and I am pleased that you suit darker shades, as well as your preferred lighter brown. I love the portrait of you in blond and baby pink. Wow, you have a complexion that can carry such variety. Our feelings change as we grow older – it would be strange if they didn’t – and that is okay.

    You combine strength with grace and beauty.

    xxxx :-))


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