A couple of weeks ago, I spoke on the phone with an old acquaintance, who shares an affinity for the same "pastime" which I (and many of us who blog here) do. Hadn't thought of him much lately...till his call. A little history:
The time frame is a bit hazy - best estimate is nearly 3 years ago. Both of us worked for different employers, but knew each other casually through our jobs. We were at a work-related meeting in our facility, and our common interest came to light quite by accident. He'd been to a Halloween party several days before, and was commenting to a few of us about it, in VERY, VERY bland and generic terms. Others missed (or ignored) his "hints," but my ears perked right up. Subsequently, from his raised eyebrows at my own brief comment (to nobody in particular), that I had my very own sartorial style, the "light went on" for both of us.
The meeting concluded at quitting time, and my acquaintance walked to my office with me, while I shut down my computer and put things away for the night. Once we were alone, he asked if I was "wearing nail enhancements, women's shoes and a women's suit?" How could I answer with anything but "yes" - he'd obviously noticed my shiny acrylic nails, and the fact that my suit coat buttoned the "wrong" way. He told me that he noticed my skimmers when my pantleg moved up as we climbed the stairs, while I was leading the way!
From my archives, here's a picture of how I was dressed that day (minus the lipstick and silver nails, of course):
Very "suitable" for work...notice how invisible my skimmers were, until that pant leg came up.
"Outing myself" to him opened the door for reciprocation. He began to reveal details about his dressing. He gave me some snapshots, in which he was well dressed, recognizable up close but looking very feminine. We talked freely about our dressing, our clothes, and needless to say, lingered for a while, gabbing like a couple of schoolgirls.
From that point on, we spoke by phone every couple months, and enjoyed lunch together in Washington, DC, whenever our schedules coincided - he in drab, and me in my progressively more androgynous clothes...
Since he's still too young to retire, he remains "in the closet" as far as his employer is concerned - a male-dominated occupation. They aren't as liberal as they could be. He still gets "out and about" several times each year, though his girlfriend is not particularly supportive. If you've been following my blog, you already know my own situation...so I won't repeat myself here.
Once I retired, unfortunately our lunches became much tougher to work out....though we've agreed to try to get together at some point "down the road," possibly even to dress. Time will tell how much we can do...