Having been singled out and bullied all my life for being effeminate, while I denied it outright from the very beginning, it took a lot of courage to accept that there does live a woman within me. A woman that yearned to come out and breathe! Breathe in the common air. By the time I accepted the truth about myself out loud, I was standing in front of my girlfriend of two years, and now wife, trying to explain it to her, that a part of me wanted to dress and feel beautiful, beautiful like a woman. I am Beard & Bras and this is my story! I began with Buying inexpensive clothes at throwaway prices from Online stores! And it grew, from a baby doll, to shorts, tops and dresses and finally from online shopping to making that dreaded trip to a real store! My wife meanwhile helped me buy my first sports bra! It was a tad tight but gave me a nice shape! Helped me balance out my otherwise manly curves. I’d dress up with whatever I had at home and click photos, but that was it!
It did not feel real, dressing up, clicking pictures of myself and changing back again. I wanted to be seen, stared at, complimented, commented, I wanted to be out, in the same air as you! Dressed up like a woman! I wanted it to feel real! It was the first time I confided into a friend other than my wife. She held my hand figuratively and has been the biggest support ever since. The plan was to attend the Mumbai Pride 2019 dressed up hoping that it would be a safe space to start with, and she was to ease my wife into the idea. As luck would have it that turned out to be a working weekend for me and the big plan got scrapped off even before it began! But that, was the real beginning of it all, finding my two pillars of support, and deciding to go all out there.
2 months later I was standing at my first public outing dressed up! Without the confidence to show up all dressed up, I changed at the venue itself. Nothing elaborate, a cutesy pink T-shirt and booty shorts from Hill Road, Bandra. But back then, that outfit was me. Stating the rebellion of my soul finally breaking out from the shackles of what was considered normal! My overexcited ass had brought me to the venue about half an hour too early, and in that gap, I was the happy eye candy for the serving staff there. A Five month old beard and those booty shorts together, I never intended to pass off as a girl, I wanted to love myself exactly how I saw myself, dressed up like a pretty girl but no wigs and no makeup. Probably a confluence of both my selves.
It was ecstatic! My first ever LGBTQ+ party in Bandra, and I couldn’t stop taking pictures of myself, drinking, and dancing like no tomorrow! My first ever Interaction with the world outside, the wonderful accepting non-judgemental world outside, as my true self! For almost the entire evening, I hogged the full-length mirror at the bar! I still remember the compliments I got, how freely I danced all alone for the first time ever in my life! I was out there and happy.