▶ Femme name: I am Martini Martaine, though I used to go by Emma Cass earlier in my journey down this long, winding, ever-broadening river. “Martini” actually started as a “boy” nickname and I decided to claim it. Then one of my besties started calling me Martaine. So I just put them together because it sounded good.
▶ Location: I live in Queensland, Australia – where it is too hot and humid to look glamorous at least 6 months of the year. The swimsuit pictures could almost be considered “practical” for this climate. Getting blasted in the face by a stream of cold water for those shots was actually quite pleasant.
▶ How long you have been crossdressing: If this is a sly way to ask my age, I’m not falling for it. But, seriously, I’ve been doing this over 30 years. Started very young.
▶ Say something about your crossdressing experience: Gender is a funny thing. The way we are socialized into it… and out of it. It took me a long time to work around to a place of peace with who I am. Like you, I was dealt odd cards and it’s hard to figure out how to play such a hand. Eventually, the drive to understand the who and how of “me” led me to stoic philosophy and radical self-acceptance. Things crystallized a bit following two events.
First, I decided to get all my body hair lasered off. It was intended as a minor and permanent step towards MTF transitioning. Second, I had a vague brush with death. A fairly gentle motorcycle crash combined with food poisoning left me stranded alone in an empty hospital in northern Vietnam. From the laser I found I didn’t need to transition fully to find more comfort in my own skin – small steps could bring significant peace. The crash was a wake-up call that life is a one-way journey and this gender thing IS part of me. It’s not going away. It should not be repressed. Today, I love myself more than I ever I believed possible.
▶ Reason you crossdress: I could go into some heavy psychology here. Some of it pretty unpleasant. As I grew up, I was subconsciously compelled to crossdress as some sort of escape from my situation. As time went on, it became molded into my psyche. Further, if you believe in digit ratio, I have a highly feminized reading – so perhaps some of this was nature as well as nurture.
Random genetics also gifted me gave me a set of cheekbones, no Adam’s apple and a slim body, by happenstance I also acquired an interest in gender exploration – so, lucky me I suppose! I am grateful for this undeserved fortune.
Anyway, these days, I find that looking glamorous is simply a pleasant indulgence that lets me access parts of humanity that are usually off-limits for males. Indeed, half the story of humanity is held in the society and culture of women. Though I feel I can only be a tourist there, it’s a fascinating place filled with some wonderful – and some awful – humans. So much to explore.
▶ Things you do after dressing up: After dressing up – I untuck, have a shower and go to bed because it’s usually pretty late! Pretty tame, really. In my life, I have virtually no limit on how much freedom I have to dress as I please. Turns out, this usually ends up with me dressing for unisex practicality and comfort. Through summer, I basically live in a sarong. Not technically “female attire” in the places it is traditionally worn, but it is certainly regarded as such by the conservative elements in Australia.
Anyway, the things is, when your gender identity isn’t repressed anymore, you stop caring so much about it. What I am getting at is my life isn’t divided into crossdressing and “normal” anymore. All my clothes are just mixed up in the same drawers, and other than some scandalous stuff, most of them are nothing exciting.
▶ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/martini_martaine/