Hiya again, another post a bit out of the blue…. I’m going to chat about one of my favourite book series and favourite books ever. The Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix consisting of Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen, and some side stories Across The Wall, Clariel, and Goldenhand.

I’m going to focus on the core trilogy starting with Sabriel, I’ll talk a little bit about the books and then talk about what I like about them so much.


The series is set in a divided continent. To the north is the Old Kingdom; a place of magic where the dead can be called to unlife, where there are evil creatures of Free Magic fought back by Charter Mages. To the south is Ancelstierre, a country of roughly industrial era technology where the idea of magic is laughable. Dividing them is The Wall; a magical construct that prevents evil creatures from the Old Kingdom crossing south, and is manned by soldiers of Ancelstierre who prevent any crossing either way. The Wall also acts as a rough barrier for magic where the further south one goes the less potent the power becomes, quickly tailing off. Similarly the further north any Ancelstierrian technology is taken the more likely it is to malfunction, break, and eventually crumble. The more complicated the magic or technology the quicker this breakdown happens.

The story of Sabriel focuses on our heroine of the same name, daughter of someone called the Abhorsen, a kind of “good necromancer” who uses necromantic powers to return the dead to death She has been raised mainly on the southern side of the wall and doesn’t know much about the state of her home country which has fallen to hordes of dead and destabilisation with her father unable to keep up with the new creatures being summoned. Through the book she discovers more about her home country, meets a mysterious beserker, and begins to learn her role in the Old Kingdom that her bloodline dictates.

This is a running theme through the books, as the quote above says, “Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker?”, and it’s echoed throughout the books for different characters.

The second book breaks sharply away from the first; it’s decades later, Sabriel is now a fully fledged Abhorsen, she has a family and the kingdom is beginning to recover from the events of the first book. This book is split between three characters; Lirael, Sameth, and Nicholas.

  • Sameth is Sabriel’s son and as the son of the Abhorsen it is assumed and known that he is the Abhorsen in waiting, something that terrifies him as he has trouble even entering Death.
  • Nicholas, the son of an Ancelstierrian minister and firm believer in the “silly superstitions” of the north who is turned into an unwilling vessel for a great evil.
  • Lirael, ❤, who is a Clayr; a young girl living in a glacier, part of a huge extended family who can see the future in the ice.

I’m going to focus on Lirael who is one of my favourite characters and the reason Lirael is possibly my favourite book of all time.

Lirael is born in the glacier never really knowing her parents. For the Clayr it is typical for a male to be taken briefly for pleasure or for children, but they are not allowed in the Glacier proper. The daughters of the Clayr are all dark-skinned, blond, blue eyed, and in their early years they awaken to the Sight and are able to look into the future. This power is harnessed in groups for the benefit of the kingdom.

In stark contrast to this Lirael is pale, dark haired, brown eyed, and the oldest child to have not awoken to the Sight by some years. She stands out and nobody quite knows what to do with her.

One evening Lirael decides that she can’t cope anymore, that she has no place in the family, and plans to throw herself onto the ice in a romanticised view of a death that would mean something, possibly shock the Clayr into realising how distraught she feels. It’s a very silly view of suicide and very moody-teenager, but it did speak to a part of me that didn’t have the same large friend groups of other people in my school, who didn’t like football or gossip magazines, and did feel out of place.

As she leaves the glacier onto a platform at the very top to throw herself off a pair of dignitaries arrive. She hides and burrows into a snowdrift but is spotted by one of them and the Clayr’s strongest seers haul her out. They ask her what she’s doing there, fearing she was spying on this visit, and when she reveals everything they promise her that they will find something to keep her occupied whilst she waits for her Sight, revealing they too had a very late awakening, later even than Lirael’s, and they were all the more powerful for it.

Cheered by this revelation and the promise of something in the glacier she can help with Lirael begins working in the Library of the Clayr. A twisting corridor of immense proportions with dark secrets and things best left unfound below. She explores, breaks some rules, learns some harsh lessons, and in the meantime she discovers a loyal companion; a Charter Magic dog that is more than it seems.

I could recount the entire book by memory even though it’s been years since I’ve read it, but I’ll skip that, encourage you to read it, and summarise the rest of the books, as spoiler free as possible.

Lirael eventually has to leave the glacier with a mission, she meets up with Sameth and the two of them are thrown by circumstances against a powerful evil fro the dawn of time. They draw in others, face challenges, and learn that the paths they thought were laid before them are not the ones they ultimately must walk. They also learn that what they wanted all along might not be what they needed.


Lirael as a character resonated with me in a lot of ways. She was isolated, felt different to everyone around her, and was surrounded by people who all just seemed to get it, and fit in. Some of this is typical teenager feelings, but part of it is also growing up with Asperger’s Syndrome in a neurotypical world.

Lirael found a light though, a purpose in her job which helped her overcome her troubles, and a close loyal friend who looked after her and in turn she could look after. As a dog person this also really made sense.

Lirael also embodied a lot of characteristics that I wanted to have myself. She was shy and awkward, especially when meeting new people, but when it came to it she was brave, fearless in the face of danger, she was confident and powerful. I do wonder now, knowing what I know, if it was also escapism to put myself in her place. A young nerdy girl, outcast and almost living in a library with her pet dog? That would have been a dream for me.

I did always used to make up further stories in my imagination (something that continues to this day) about new adventures for Lirael as she became a strong Abhorsen in her own right, a powerful slayer of the dead and master of her art. In these stories I always told them from my point of view, putting myself in her shoes.

It helped that the world was fascinating to me. A magic system that was carefully thought out but vague enough it ever felt constraining or overly explained. The magic of the Abhorsen focused on the ability to walk into death and use 7 bells to bind the dead to a purpose. In the Abhorsen’s case the purpose was to walk deeper into death and possibly be ushered on to the true death, but in the case of necromancers it was to walk to life and obey.

Death itself was a really interesting concept for me; death flows like a river of 7 precincts each ending in one of 7 gates. The precincts had the cold river of death flowing through them but were all treacherous in their own way, seeking to trip an unwary traveller and pull them downstream deeper into death. The gates as well were barriers between each precinct but also an obstacle on their own, some were great waterfalls, others whirlpools, and the final gate a single peaceful starry sky.

As I said I highly recommend reading the books, but also please check out this artist by the name of Laura Tolton who has drawn each of the gates; they are simply put beautiful.

The ninth and final gate of death, credit to Laura Tolton.

That’s all I’ve really got this time. I just wanted to share my passion for a series that captured my heart as a teenager and stays with me to this day.

With love,

Sammy

I’m taking a big of a diversion here to talk a out a game I’ve been playing a lot of recently. It is a bit relevant though, promise.

Solitude; seat of the Empire in Skyrim

Skyrim, for those of you who don’t know, is a large scale role playing game (RPG) set in the mythical world of Tamriel. There have been several games set here forming the Elder Scrolls series, named after important magical prophecy Scrolls in the game. Skyrim is the latest main title focusing on the snowy mountains to the north of Tamriel, an area called Skyrim, unsurprisingly.

This game was released 11/11/11 making it over 7 years old now. There’s a bit of a running joke that although it was released on PS3 and Xbox 360 it has since been ported to all consoles, PC twice, Nintendo switch, and just about everything you can buy games on (Skyrim on Samsung Fridge coming 2020).

I originally bought Skyrim on release day, I got a special edition with a statue of the games main bad guy Alduin. I played it a lot after that. I had a main character who I sunk over 300 hours into, doing quest after quest, finishing the story, doing bits of the DLC…. Since then I have accumulated Skyrim on other systems, I own 2 versions on Steam from Humble Bundles, I own a special edition on PS4 as well as my original PS3 version, so why on earth did I get another copy on VR?


I got VR as a birthday present to me from me, using all my birthday funds and a bit more. I’d played VR round a friend’s house but lacked the computer to use something like the Rift or Vive, so I went with the PS VR for the PlayStation I already owned. The first pair of games I got for it were Star Trek Bridge Crew and Playroom. It was brilliant!

When I saw Skyrim was coming to VR I was sceptical and a bit tired of the constant Skyrim re-releases, but I got a chance to try it for a half hour for free so I thought I might as well have a go.

I was pretty impressed with it, it was fun to swing swords around, it didn’t make me nauseous, and it was nice to get back to good old Skyrim.


I’ll mention at this point the problem with mods. Mods are brilliant, the Elder Scrolls community has always been good at making add-ons and changes to the core games. Some are huge enough to be whole games on their own, others just re-texture weapons to look different, some add famous items from fantasy like the One Ring, and then there’s the “all dragons are Thomas the tank engine” mod. Some of the most practical are just massive bug-fixing mods that tidy up all the work Bethesda couldn’t/didn’t do before launch.

Your nightmares made real

The trouble with mods is they’re very easy to get hooked on, installing dozens and dozens, then messing around with them. Once you start it’s hard to not install a few cheat mods to give you infinite health or invincible armour, and pretty soon you’re a Goddess amongst mortals.

That usually takes me an afternoon, then I get bored.

Sadly there are a lot of good mods, I just don’t have the self control to install them and wade through hours of content to get to the new bits.

So when I say it’s nice to get back to good old Skyrim I also mean it’s nice to play the game as it was originally made. No mods, no PC cheats, just Skyrim and the official expansions.


I let it load up and sat through the opening scene as you’re lead through a mountain pass to be executed. It was only at this point I realised just how badly done everyone’s feet were. Horrible pointy things with perfectly triangular arches.

I got to character creation and created a young Bosmer (wood elf) girl, about my height, long brown hair tied back, sleight build, a cute face with piercing violet eyes…. She may have been rendered in 2011 graphics but she was beautiful to me.

Then I got to play as her, it wasn’t a particularly powerful moment because they don’t refer to you as “her” or “she” much. You’re “The Dragonborn” to most people, but every now and then they’ll chuck in a “ma’am” or “sister” and bring a little smile to my face.

The part that really made me pause and realise I was going to get sucked into this game again was standing in one of the first cities and looking around. I caught sight of the Throat of the World, the tallest mountain in the game and important Plot Point later. You really don’t get a scale playing the game normally, but in VR… holy fuck that mountain is big.

The Throat of the World

I’ve been playing it for a few months now, I took a break but am back on it now. I’ve done a lot of the major quest lines; the Thieves, Mages, become Thane of all of the Holds and bought all the houses I can… I’ve explored the Hearthfire DLC to build a house of my own and adopted two children, and married a lovely elf lass who hangs out in my house with my bard, housecarl and children.

I’ve gone for my typical build; bow and arrow. Especially deadly in the VR version where there is no time delay as you draw your bow, meaning you can just pummel people with arrows. I like to sprint up to enemies at full speed and shoot arrows into their heads. Lockpicking is maxed, bow and arrow is maxed, and heavy armour is pretty high because I get shot a lot.

I’m currently murdering my way through the assassins quest whilst also doing the second DLC Dawnguard. I realised I never finished the third DLC when it came out so that’s something I’ll really have to do next, and I’ve not technically completed the story yet so I’ve got plenty to go. And I’ve already sunk over 100 hours in….

And I’m going to keep enjoying my pretty Bosmer, slaughtering her way through the mountains and snow.

With love,

Sammy

It had been a really long day, one of those tough ones where work doesn’t seem to stop and you get home and still have to make dinner. We’d both stayed up later than we should but were in bed cuddling just before we would head off to sleep.

I narrated to my wife, as we sometimes do to each other, “Your husband; he’s had a really long day” or words to that effect.

I paused as soon as I’d said it, and she picked up and said “you just used ‘he’, is that the pronoun you want to use?” and I panicked and said I would rather between us we used ‘she/her’ for the time being. She was accepting of this, but it caught me out… I’d just mis-gendered myself.

At that point more self-doubt hit; was I really trans if I still called myself ‘he’? Was this all just a big mistake again and I was actually just male and confused? It wasn’t a fun loop of thoughts to get caught in.


I did what came natural; research. Surely someone on the internet has had the same experience and I’ll be able to guide my thinking from that?

You may notice a common theme here, that as soon as I become doubtful I rush to find something to back up my point of view. It’s not escaped my notice and I’ll get to that a bit more down below….

Anyway, of course I found lots of stories about people doing exactly the same thing. Some people said they had trouble in their own internal narration not using the wrong pronouns, and some people just said it randomly happened when they were talking.

It boiled down to habit; most of us have been using the wrong pronouns fo r years (if not decades) and that’s a hard habit to break! It’s not easy to suddenly change what you’re referred to as in much the same way changing name is something quite hard to figure out.

I breathed a sigh of relief. Mid-gendering yourself doesn’t mean your not trans anymore.

Then I had a though…. Why was I so worried about it? Surely, as discovered back in the start of this, if I was worried enough to be questioning it then that basically answered my question anyway. In other words if I was worried that this would “prove” I wasn’t a woman that meant I wanted to be a woman.

A more pressing question for me was why I leapt for validation from rando’s on the internet for my internal thinking and processing. What was it that made this the way I decided if what I felt was right or not? And should it? If you’r reading this then you’ve been on the internet long enough to see that some dreadful things come out of it, some truly hateful people with opinions best consigned to history, so should I be trying to weigh my feelings against it?


After a lot of thought I’ve realised it’s not about whether I should or not, but more about if I can stop…. I’m in unfamiliar territory. I’ve got no real bearing to go by for what to do, everything I thought was good and solid isn’t anymore. I’m probably going to keep checking the internet and browsing the more police parts of Reddit to see if people share the same experiences but I’m going to try and stop doing it as a way to validate myself and more for solidarity.

At the end of the day my goal (and new years resolution) is to develop myself in ways that make me happy. Rather than worry if I’m trans, or trans “enough”, I’m going to keep doing the things that appeal to me. If it appeals to someone else who is in a similar situation then great! If not; too bad, it’s about making me happy, not them.

With fierce love,

Sammy

Wow that’s a big question.

So since starting this out I’ve been doing a lot more research and trying to understand and answer that question.


It’s a difficult question to ask, especially when looking at other people’s experiences. One of the biggest themes I’ve seen is that people suddenly realise that they’re not their assigned gender and it all makes sense. For where I am now there’s not as much of a click that my gender is wrong, more of a desire for my gender to be female. I’m not as much unhappy in my body as I am happier as something else.

It turns out this is the difference between Gender Dysphoria and Gender Euphoria. Gender Dysphoria is the feeling that you’re not right in your gender, whereas Euphoria is that you’re happier in a different gender. Judging by how I feel when I wear my dress and my forms (as I sit and write this) I am firmly in the latter group.

One of the articles I read did highlight that a really obvious point is that if you’re asking yourself this question to begin with then you’re probably not 100% happy with your gender. If you were happy with the gender you were assigned at birth (Cisgendered) then you wouldn’t think about being another gender.

The second article (reddit post) I read was really comprehensive. Obviously it’s been written because the /r/asktransgender was flooded with people in the same situation as me asking if they were trans and so someone write a fantastic long post about stuff to consider that might answer your question immediately.

The first point ws simple “nobody can tell you for sure”…. great.

Point 3 was asking about having fantasies about being the other gender, and I realise I have always had this. I’ve often wished I was a girl, wanted to wake up one day and a magic body-swapping spell had taken place, or that there was a pill I could take that would suddenly make me a woman (physiology and all).

Point 10 asked if you feel jealous seeing other people who look like the gender you’re not, and I’m not sure about that one to be honest. I’ve always liked looking at cute and pretty women, has that been out of a sense of desire to have, to be, or both? I’m not sure on that one.

Lastly how do you feel being called the gendered pronouns for the gender you want to be? It makes me happy. It feels right and nice.


The most important theme seems to be that nobody can tell you for sure, but that sometimes you’ll just know, and other times you’ll just wish.

I am a trans woman.

Writing that was surprisingly hard, especially the knowledge that I’m going to schedule this to automatically post in a few weeks and it’ll be out there.

I’m not sure I’ll never change my mind again, that I won’t want to be more masculine, but for now I feel that I am a woman, and I want to be more like that self.

It’s fitting that today is the first of January 2019, a new year and a new start. I’m sitting in my living room whilst my wife plays video games, wearing my dress and panties, with what I’m coming to think of more and more as my breasts, and I feel happy. Happy in a way I didn’t know I wasn’t before.

Let’s see what the new year brings.

With love,

Sammy

Where did we leave off last time then? I believe I owned a dress, some panties, tights, and a satin chemise. Over the course of 2 weeks I slipped into them more than once. It’s lucky it was over the Christmas period where I had time off and spent a whole day in my dress, and another in my pyjamas (having a lazy day) with a pair of panties underneath. I was getting bolder.

The next obvious step was my chest, but I couldn’t really do much with it. My wife, again, leant me a bra. She is many things but small-chested is something she could never be accused of being. It fit me around the chest reasonably, but the cups were sad and empty. We tried socks; pro-tip is don’t try socks. That looked even sadder.

I did some research and found the plethora of options, but boy was it confusing! The best option looked like silicon breast forms, but they were expensive with some looking around £50 each. There were whole chest-forms which were vaguely eerie looking on the mannequins and far more than I was able to spend. There were little gel pads which were mostly advertised at making women’s natural breasts more perky or bigger, which wouldn’t really have helped me.

Eventually I found my way to Oxford’s LGBTQ+ student group and their page of resources for MTF Trans people to use. Amusingly to me at the time they had Marks and Spencers on there. If you’re not from the UK you may not know the reputation M&S has, but “Trans Friendly” wasn’t what came to mind.

What they did have, though, was an avenue I hadn’t considered pursuing, and one that made me feel vaguely guilty. Their range of post-op breast forms and bras. Designed for women who have undergone a mastectomy 1A surgery to remove one or both breasts, often performed on women with breast cancer. these were foam pads and bras with pockets for holding forms. They were also within my price range and came with a wonderful guide of sizing explaining what cup size the Small, Medium, Large, and L-Large would come up as depending on chest size. This was obviously designed so that women could buy the form they needed to match the bra they already used, but for me it let me pick what cup size I wanted based on my existing chest measurement.

I bought a pair, opting for C cup, nothing too big or flashy but definitely noticeable.


Back to waiting. Far from Amazon’s 1 day shipping I had to wait 3 days for them to come! 3 days which fell nicely over the Christmas bank holidays! In the end I spent Christmas out with family and didn’t get a lot of time to dwell or fret, but it was 5 days for them to get back to my house and they arrived the day we returned from visiting relatives.

Again, I felt slightly guilty (theme of the month) that whilst I was saying goodbye to my parents all I could think was “can we hurry this up so I can try on my breasts?”…. not how I thought I’d be ending the year.

Trying on foam breast forms without a bra is tricky. They don’t naturally stick, especially when they’re made of foam and upside down. We returned to my wife’s bra but it was still to big, and only loosely held them in place. Eventually I tried my first dress which was tight enough on the chest it actually held them in place reasonably well, well enough for my wife to take my measurements and determine I was a 38C.

I hit the internet again. I needed a bra now, I had cute panties, I had a gorgeous dress, I had some breasts, just something to tie them all together. I ordered an adorable matching set of very racy lingerie in a burlesque style, tight little bra and hipster brief in red and black with lace and fake string in a crossed pattern. They were cute, sexy, and when they arrived the next day about 2 sizes smaller than me. That was disappointing.


They’d arrived on a Saturday that we both had off, so my wife suggested we go out to try and buy a bra at a shop (Yours, one she has visited in the past).

That was a big surprise, and a big step. Going into the world? Into a shop? With people?!

She rightly pointed out that if we played it safe nobody would care. She was a woman with breasts of her own who had bought bras in there before, nobody would be thinking it was for me, we just go in, have a look, and get outta there. I still wasn’t 100% sold though, but I wanted to do it.


One thing I’d read online was how people’s exploration of their gender changed over time, with people starting saying that they were only expressing their gender in their room, then that evolving into around the house. This then develops into going out at night, when it’s hard to be seen, before finally, potentially, going out in the day.

To me going and buying a bra, even through the medium of my wife, meant two things:

  1. it validated me, it was confirming that this was something I wanted to do and that I would go and do it, and
  2. it was expanding the limits of my bravery.

So that’s what we did. We drove to town, stopped off for lunch, then headed to the busiest part of town that Yours was situated in. Yikes. Clutching my wife’s hand tightly we went in, we quickly separated due to the absolutely tiny gaps between hangers, and she made a beeline for the underwear at the back. I tagged along, hoping to look the disgruntled boyfriend.

When we got there they had maybe 2 shelves of bras, a handful of designs in multiple sizes, and a few pairs of matching panties. Nothing exciting if you were assigned woman at birth, maybe even something annoying or frustrating, but exciting and desirable for me.

We had a look at a few with my wife talking about the benefits and negatives of each type (do I want underwire? Full cup?). I feel embarrassed now that I shushed her because I was worried one of the sales assistants would think it was weird.

I don’t like this about myself, but it’s something that’s been hammered into me to not be weird or out of place. This is something I’d like to work on, I don’t want to be beaten down to not being and presenting as myself. This might be a bigger hurdle than I can tackle now though.

So back to the shop, we settled on one that was a cute full-cup underwired t-shirt bra. It caught my eye being plain colours (beige and black) but was still lacy and had a cute bow on the front. Silly? Maybe, but I wanted it.

At the same time my wife picked up one for herself and took both up to the till while I loitered and tried to look like I wasn’t there to buy a bra. We left, got some more bits, and came home.

I had to try it on immediately, so I rushed upstairs, pulled it on, adjusted the straps, and slipped my forms into it. At that point I looked down again and saw (unsurprisingly) breasts. They weren’t perfect but the bra covered them enough that I couldn’t see the forms, and it was easy enough to suspend my disbelief, and believe they were real and mine.

I’m purposefully avoiding using certain words because I’ve got a post lined up with a lot of knowledge I’ve gained in. I’m trying to write these posts with what was in my mind at the time, so I won’t say “Gender Euphoria” but just say that looking down felt and looked right. I was obsessing over them, running my hands down my side to feel the curve there, looking in the mirror (carefully below the neck only), I was entranced.

I slipped on my dress and it was even better, with my tights on I was passable from the neck down, ignoring my hairy arms. I was delighted with the look, even when I took the dress off and changed back into my old clothes I kept the bra on, wearing it round the house under my t-shirt.

My wife was, I think, slightly perturbed. She certainly wasn’t used to her bearded husband having breasts, but for me it felt so natural and so nice to look down and see.

That’s all I’ve got for this time, the next post I’m going to write is me “now”, after some deep research and a lot of learning. Until then.

With love,

Sammy

The second question my wife asked me when I came out to her was “why are you telling me now?”. To put that question in a little context I was terrified that night and had been promising myself all day that I would tell her, so to stop myself weaseling out of it that’s what I said; “I’ve been promising myself all day I’d tell you this”.


As discussed last time when I now look back on my childhood and early years as an adult I can see a lot of patterns that suggested I wasn’t comfortable with my gender. What was it that finally pushed me to actually consider that gender was the common theme?

I mentioned in my very first post that the reason I’ve chosen Sammy as my username is wholeheartedly lifted from a webcomic called Raan’s Doll (very NSFW), written by Kannel (Patreon link). This webcomic starts with a young gentleman getting in an argument with his girlfriend and progresses to him understanding that he is a she, aided by her girlfriend who discovered she is more than okay with this. They continue to discover themselves with the help of a local trans/crossdressing cosplay scene.

It’s all very sweet and I originally only discovered it through some of Kannel’s *ahem* other art. Kannel is primarily a pornographic artist whose art happens to tick a lot of boxes for me, and by working through their stuff I discovered this comic and it hit a little closer to home than I was expecting.

I had also been playing through Skyrim on VR and had rolled up my previously mentioned cute Bosmer who took down everything with a well-placed arrow. Unbeknown to me then, but clearly apparent now, was that whenever everyone spoke to “me” they were using female pronouns, which felt really right and was one of the reasons I got hooked (again) on Skyrim.

Feeling this tug from Raan’s Doll, questions raised by Skyrim, getting a hint of my past experiences, I was immediately drawn in when Kotaku ran an article on Hardcoded (mildly NSFW).

A Sexy Cyberpunk Dating Sim About (And By) Trans Folk

https://kotaku.com/a-sexy-cyberpunk-dating-sim-about-and-by-trans-folk-1830309223

It sounded pretty good to me:

  • Sexy – I like sexy
  • Cyberpunk – I like cyberpunk
  • Dating Sim – I can take or leave?
  • About (and by) Trans Folk – That’s something I’m thinking about at the moment!! Win!

So I hopped over to the Patreon and had a look at it, downloaded the demo, and started playing. I ripped through it, really enjoying myself. I won’t deny that the game is a thin layer of reasoning over porn but it was also sweet and funny, cute and sexy, but most important genuine.

But it didn’t really help answer any of my personal questions, it was just another great big question hanging over my head, and I already knew I was bisexual so it didn’t uncover any great revelations. It did leave me with a cute android-avatar though…..

My HC from Hardcoded

It’s at this point I started doing research. I wasn’t even really sure what to start Googling and I certainly didn’t want to search for things like “Transsexual”, because that was too big of a step to admit to myself. So I Googled around it, I won’t repeat the searches as I think I Google’d every offensive term one after the other and was confused when I found nothing but porn.

In the end I started finding people talking about how they came to realise they were female not male. Reading these a lot of them worried me even more, a common theme seemed to be that people realised they were Trans, begun working towards their ideal self, faced abuse and bigotry, had loved ones abandon them, and came out stronger because of it. It may be pathetic, but I didn’t want to face those difficulties.


Weeks later I decided enough was enough, I had been dodging the question and doing everything possible to avoid and ignore it. In doing so I managed to make it my only thought at night for 4 weeks running. I decided to (ironically) “man up” and tell my wife, get her feedback, and see what I could do from there.

That picks up just where I started, at “So this Gender thing…. Part 1“. It also makes this the last of the 4 bulk posts I wanted to write. In writing these I’ve already got more ideas which I’ve planned out a little of, so I’ll probably keep writing these as long as I care to, and I’ve scheduled them to post automatically Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for now. I’m not sure if it’ll stick to that. Either way….

With love,

Sammy

The next two posts I’m going to make are based on two questions my wife asked me when I told her I was thinking about my gender. They were “How long have you you been thinking about this?” and “Why did you tell me now?”. I’m going to address each one in a separate post, and they’re mostly the same answers I gave her then but more considered and hopefully better written than incoherent 2am brain-farts.

So the first questions was how long have I been thinking about my gender, and the answer is a bit complicated. At the time I said a few months, but in looking on the internet and reading other people’s stories I’ve realised there’s a lot of similar themes that go back much further.


One of my earliest memories is when I was 8 or 9. I had a cabin bed which had a desk under it and a wardrobe to the side. The way it was laid out meant that if you ducked under the desk and crawled round a little there was an area behind the wardrobe that was out of sight. I remember I had taken one of my younger sisters dresses from a pile of clothes that had been cleaned and needed ironing. It was light blue and made of some sort of lycra/polyester I think?

Anyway, I snuck back into the hidden space late at night once everyone else had gone to sleep and retrieved the dress from where I’d stashed it before pulling it on. I’m not really sure why, or what I was doing, and I don’t remember much else except taking it off and scampering back to be feeling guilty.


I’ve always loved games and there will be many posts in the future about them, but my main love in games has always been escapism. I particularly love fantasy games, something sword and sorcery with lots of magic being thrown around. A close second is a dramatic about-face; hard cyberpunk dystopia games. In both of them I love games with a story, something I can really get my teeth into, and something ideally with choices that matter.

I’ve always tended to pick the female characters. One of my best gaming memories is the time spend with Commander Sheppard, a strong, kind hearted, fiery woman with a soft spot for the colour blue. I had great fun running through all 3 Mass Effects, building up a character from my choices. I don’t know why I picked FemShep to start with other than she looked cool. This, as it unsurprisingly turns out, is something I’ve noticed now as a pattern.

I’ve always loved skyrim as well, I can’t even count how many hours I’ve sunk into it, and I am indeed one of “those people” who owns it on multiple platforms. Not always by choice (I’m almost certain I’ve got 2 copies on PC from Humble Bundles) but sometimes I’m a sucker for a re-release with something new (the VR version blew me away).

Again, in Skyrim, I was a girl. A short willowy wood-elf who was moulded into a deadly beast with a bow and a flailing idiot with a greatsword.

This pattern goes back for as many games as I can remember playing where gender was a choice. I’ve always leaned into the female character. I remember that I’ve often justified it to myself as wanting to tell a more interesting story than “the hero guy does his thing as usual”, especially as some of my favourite fiction does a lot of work with strong female characters that were missing through much of my childhood.

Looking back on it now it’s another tick in a box that suddenly makes a lot more sense in a different way. I did want strong female characters but not just for the narrative, I wanted a strong female character that I could be, who could be the avatar of my ideal self.


I’ve known I was bisexual for a long time now, it’s something that’s not really impacted my life in any particularly earth-shattering way, but it’s something I’ve known about.

I came out to my wife shortly after she came out to me, I was really grateful that she, as my girlfriend at that point (some 7 or 8 years ago?), trusted me to support her and to not go through the stages of bi-anxiety; “Does this mean you’ll start dating girls?”, “Do we need an open relationship now?” and the usual ending point “Can I have a threesome with your friends?”. I like to think at the time I did support her, though I can’t remember my reaction very well, it’s not something I really cared about. She liked me and was with me, I liked her, that was it.

She was much more on-the-ball about it, though. She knew she was bi from a much younger age than I did, I only figured out just after secondary school (16/17 for my overseas readers). I was browsing the internet (and I’m going to add a much more NSFW later around this) when I realised that hey; girls are awesome and guys are awesome too. This revolution for me was less concerning than the one I’m going through because I knew some gay people and I knew a bunch of straight people, and at that point I didn’t know there was a whole specific branch of bigotry associated with being bisexual, so I just got on with things.

I’ve never actually been with a man, romantically or physically, but it’s something I know that I could have done just as easily as be with a woman. Meeting my future-wife and falling utterly in love with her didn’t put a stop on me exploring and figuring things out because I never needed to explore, it just made me not care about “trying the water” because I’d already found the perfect person, regardless of their gender.

Realising I might have something complex going on with my identity as well bought up a lot of questions I encountered about bisexuality only after the fact I had figured myself out. “How do you know?”, “Aren’t you just going through a phase?”, “You’re just doing this for attention!”…. Those last two still hurt to write.

Looking at them now with a more mature eye, the knowledge of how vile people can be and how little it matters, it’s easier again to see a pattern with how I’ve felt and how I feel: I’ve been considering who I am for many years and I probably should have started thinking about it earlier, if I’d had the emotional intelligence back when I first tried on that dress as I do now.


So when my wife asked me “how long have you been thinking about this?” I Said a few months. Turns out that was true, and not so true. I’ve been consciously thinking about it for a few months, but it looks like I’ve been unconsciously thinking about it for years, and only now am I getting a chance to do something about it.

With love,

Sammy

Where were we? Trying on my first ever dress1I’ll talk more about this in a later post coming very soon but this wasn’t quite my first ever dress.….

I’m not sure what I was expecting, if it would be momentous or there’s be thunder/rainbows/choirs? Obviously none of that happened, but it was easy to put on. A single zip running from butt to mid-back, then a pair of lovely dome buttons on the collar that do up really easily. I was shaking so much I appreciated that touch, made it possible for me to get it on by myself after I’d stepped into it.

My wife was there with me, encouraging me to put it on, and my usual habit of grinning like an idiot when I’m nervous came out.

Then it was on.


It felt nice, thick pleated skirt with a bit of weight to it, thin ad breezy top in some sort of faux-silk. It fit perfectly, draping down from my hips and hugging my neck just tight enough, and the chest looked natural lying completely flat. I remember distinctly that it swooshed when I spun around. It flared out from my hips slightly, moving gently with my motion.

It felt right. I looked down and saw it hanging off of me and it looked right. Up until that point I’d not really cared much about what I looked like, I’d never bothered to do anything with my hair other than keep it length 4 all over, and I realised that it was because I didn’t really care. Looking down at myself I realised that this is what I wanted to look like, that I was more happy with myself standing there in a dress with hairy legs and hairy feet, a full beard and a stupid grin, than I’d ever been before.


I talked to my wife after this, sat on the edge of the bed in a dress, not able to stop looking down at it, only just able to stop running my hands over it to appreciate that it was mine and I was wearing it. We talked about what this meant, and again what steps I should take next. She asked if it was something I’d ever want to do outside, I said I don’t know but that I was definitely not there yet. She asked about wigs, makeup, underwear? I was all for all of it, in stages. I hadn’t even thought about wigs.

I immediately went and ordered some panties, pictured below. I started with a lot of thinking on this one; the sites I’d browsed included information on tucking and gaffes, which I’ve still not tried yet, but I thought start simple. They arrived and they were another moment of joy, slipping them on and tucking myself out of the way as best I could, they were nice to wear. I left them on for the rest of the day (spent around the house) under my trousers.

My first panties, cheap and frilly, but so pretty.

My wife suggested I tried on a pair of her tights next, to see what I thought of them. We’re about the same size height-wise, so they fit pretty well. Comfortable, functional at hiding my hair, they were another thing to add to the list.

My tights, garter included

Buying these I got 2 things, a pair that were far from standard wear, and a nightshirt that was far more scandalous than I would have ever considered. My logic (what remained of it) decided that if I wanted to try this girl thing I should really lean into it, and the stuff I was being drawn to was the ultra-effeminate, pink and lace. Practical? No, but then I wasn’t going anywhere in it.

This comes up a lot shorter in the picture, but it feels nice enough I didn’t care

That brings us closer to today. I’ve got a small set of women’s clothes I’ve worn. I love all of them, and they make me feel more comfortable in my own skin than I ever have before.

I’m not sure what this means for me. I know I want to keep going, to keep exploring, but does this mean I’m a woman? I’m certainly not 100% happy with being male, but there’s a lot of spectrum past just “male”.

I’ve decided for this blog to go by Sammy, there’s a reason for this I’ll expand upon later, but I’ve taken it from a webcomic that inspired me to talk to my wife in the first place; Raan’s Doll by Kannel Art (warning, very NSFW). I’ve got a few more things to write about before I get to “now”, so I’ll start working on those next. I’m queuing my posts up as much as possible to be regular, but we’ll see how long that lasts!! Probably just until this buffer runs out, but my new years’ resolution is to do this better than my previous attempts so I can look back on this in a few years time and remember what journey I took. For now though?

With love,

Sammy