A Day With Claire Black (Janie)
Shoe-shopping with Claire Black (Janie), a cross-dresser/t-girl.
"I have my own idea of what a man is, and I have my idea of what a woman is, and I don't want to mix them. I just find that it feels much more natural to me to be feminine as a girl rather than as a guy.  I'm comfortable with the way I am as a guy, you know? The things that I do as a girl, I don't have a desire to do as a guy. I don't think they fit there." - Claire Black (Janie)
"I hope that people find me attractive. To me, it's more important that someone finds me attractive than someone finds me a woman. You know, there's this so-called 'passing', where you want to pass as a woman so people don't recognize that you're not a woman. I think there's a trade-off sometimes. You can pass as a woman but maybe an unattractive woman. I personally would rather someone say, 'Hmm, I'm not sure if that's a guy or a girl, but damn, that person's attractive.... Why am I attracted to that person?'

But walking down the street.... if I notice people looking, that's when you really have your self-confidence meter on. You have to decide now are they looking at you because you're really attractive, or are they looking at you because you're a freak, right? And that's a hard call sometimes." - Claire Black (Janie)
"I have my own idea of what a man is, and I have my idea of what a woman is, and I don't want to mix them. I just find that it feels much more natural to me to be feminine as a girl rather than as a guy.  I'm comfortable with the way I am as a guy, you know? The things that I do as a girl, I don't have a desire to do as a guy. I don't think they fit there." - Claire Black (Janie)
"I am much more comfortable now (getting out of my house and into my car) but it's still a challenge. It gets a little tiresome, hiding. It kind of weighs on your spirit in some respects. So sometimes I'll just make a run for it, for the car. I don't know how many times people have seen me or not. No one's ever said anything. Nothing's ever changed, so then it doesn't matter, right?

I try not to go places where I know people know me as a guy. But other than that, I just walk around. It's a big enough city that I don't usually run into people. I don't know that many people." - Claire Black (Janie)
"The very first pair of shoes I bought, I bought at a store, I did it on Halloween - or the week before Halloween. That was my cover. It was the kind of place where you could try on the shoes right there. You didn't have to get a salesperson to get them for you. I'm looking around, at the end of the lane somewhere so no one's going to see me, and someone did come. "Can I help you?" I'm like, oh, my god. I must've turned white. I didn't have a girl persona to rely on at that point. My hair was short. I didn't have anything, really. But now... it's easy." - Claire Black (Janie)
"In the beginning, I think just like pretty much every cross-dresser/t-girl I've talked to, it's kind of like you become an adolescent, sex-crazed teenage girl. You dress like a slut. You wear the shortest skirts, the highest heels, and then you start - some of us - start to focus in on the essence of femininity rather than sexuality, and you kind of mature a little bit." - Claire Black (Janie)
"So you try, you waste a lot of money, but eventually, you kind of get an idea of the kind of clothes you should wear, the kind of clothes that you can't wear, and then you start focussing in. You start building a wardrobe. You start buying boring things like t-shirts, which you never think about in the beginning, right? You start understanding that there is a reason to have 7 different black skirts, because they're all completely different. You get an idea of what works for you, and so shopping becomes much easier and much less expensive, and you waste a lot less money. And having a girlfriend who shakes her head sometimes is very helpful." - Claire Black (Janie)
"I have my own name, I have my own personality, I am a girl... It's not just the clothes. I don't behave the same way as a girl as I do as a guy." - Claire Black (Janie)
"I think it's actually easier for men to walk in heels because men have stronger ankles. But you still have to get used to the balance. As a guy, you're kind of, like, forward.  As a girl, everything is different in your posture. It really is back as opposed to forward; everything is in as opposed to out - shoulder blades, elbows, knees. I found a lot of that to be quite natural for me." - Claire Black (Janie)
"I certainly had some doubts in my mind as to whether or not, sexually speaking, I was appreciating what the women were doing from a man's perspective or wanting to do those things myself, have their experience as opposed to... I guess, whether I want to interact with them as a guy that way or to want to have their experience myself." - Claire Black (Janie)
"It was an absolutely amazing feeling, the first time I wore high heels. It's almost like someone's lifting you up and putting you into a vulnerable position... You are put up into a position that's not natural. It was really kind of an interesting feeling. It was arousing. It was exciting. It was different." - Claire Black (Janie)
I saw this girl riding her bike, and I looked at her and I thought, "She's just dressed in a tank top and jeans and those Birkenstock sandals riding a bike somewhere, just in nothing, just whatever. She's gorgeous. She's just so beautiful, and she had to do nothing to be beautiful. It didn't matter what she wore. She was feminine. You knew she was feminine from 10 miles away, and it didn't matter. I thought about how I would look if I dressed like that. I'd look like a dock worker." - Claire Black (Janie)
"I started doing this, I guess, 4 years ago now. I'm still not sure, even today, if this is something that I'm doing or something that I am. It's a really big issue for me, because if it's something that I do, then I have to start asking questions about why I'm doing it. Is it productive? Is it self-destructive? Is it procrastination? Is it guilt? Is it not right? Are you true to yourself? All that kind of stuff. But if it's something that I am, well, that's what I am, and I might as well just stop the pretense of a lot of things. But I don't know that yet. I really don't." - Claire Black (Janie)
"I don't feel trapped in this body... I find that being both sexes is nicer than being just one alone. I think it's special in a special way. In a different way, it's a special thing. A lot of people don't understand it. A lot of people can't handle it. A lot of people don't like it. But for those that do, it's really something unique and special." - Claire Black (Janie)
"I prefer if I can [spend the day as] the person I feel naturally. But sometimes I can't, either because I have obligations as a guy, which is not as hard for me to deal with, or because I don't want to miss an opportunity to go out as a girl when I have the chance. If I force it, I just end up feeling out of sorts." - Claire Black (Janie)
"One of the things about doing this is I just have gotten a completely different appreciation of what women do, what women are, what they go through, all of those things. If I forgot my phone in the car, or I have to feed the meter or something, running out to my car in heels is different than running out to my car not in heels, y'know?" - Claire Black (Janie)
"When I wake up in the morning, it's always an interesting thing for me because I have a big mirror beside my bed, so when I open my eyes, sometimes I see a guy, and sometimes I see a girl. It's a very strange thing, you know?" - Claire Black (Janie)
"I see a spectrum with cross-dressers on one end and transsexuals on the other. I think I'm somewhere in the middle, so I call myself a T-girl. Someone else has said I'm bi-gender. You can put whatever name you want to it, but it's somewhere in between those." - Claire Black (Janie)
"You start to realize that if you don't do something that you are wondering about now, you will never have a chance. It's a very common theme among all the girls I've met who start doing this in their middle age.

Today, I think the younger people are starting a lot more to play with their gender, but that's the generation after me. Among the t-girls that I know, every single one except for me, had thoughts about this when they were a child - either tried on their sister's clothes or mother's clothes, did something for Halloween or whatever, really liked it, thought about it again when they were a teenager, but never really could do it or whatever, for the guilt or pressure, until the middle age. Me, I'm the only one who has never thought, for one second, about doing this my entire life before I actually started doing it at this age." - Claire Black (Janie)
"For the most part, my main blog is about my feelings, you know, things that happen to me, challenges that I have to go through, things, you know, things that I think are what other cross-dressers and trans-girls are interested in. I share my experiences. They can live through them in some respect if they can't do it themselves, learn from my experiences, learn from my successes and my failures and my trials and tribulations, and maybe help me out too. It's kind of therapeutic." - Claire Black (Janie)