Section 1: Getting to know the girl.
1: What’s your full name. And why?
Oooh, that’s not an easy one to even start with!
I’ve use a couple different names and they reflect different parts of my feminine personality.
For the most part I use the name Rochelle Williams. The ‘O’ bit I use is down to Facebook being arsey. Rochelle It’s not quite as normal a name as some. A little bit exotic but not too ridiculous. And it is quite feminine too which I like. We’re I to live full time/transition (probably never happen) then I would ditch the surname and use my Mother’s maiden name.
For when I’m feeling a bit more exotic and outrageous I use my ‘drag’ name which is Fi-Fi LeFemme. If I was ever going to be a drag queen that is the name I would use. It has a super feminine side but a bit of masculinity as well. Obviously I have a thing about French names!
2: How long have you been dressing?
Over four decades. And steadily getting closer to five. I first had feminine feelings about the age of 5. And they have never left. If anything they’ve grown much stronger.
3: What’s your super-heroine origin story?
Oh, I’ve no real idea! Despite being a huge geek I really have no clue. Maybe the girly equivalent of the Tooth Fairy decided to anoint me with glitter as one of her own? To be honest for a moment I can squarely lay the blame at my sisters and two very glamorous aunties. All four we’re dancers. So I got to see sequins, tu-tu’s, tap shoes and women wearing a LOT of make-up from a very young age. My Mother was a dressmaker (amongst her huge range of skills) and would make most of the dance outfits my sisters would wear.
And also I can say that the gorgeous actress Alexandra Bastedo was a huge influence on my impressionable young brain. She was definitely my first crush (at 5!) and I would dream of being her.
4: What was the first piece of female clothing you bought, and how scary was it to buy it?
It was three pairs of tights. My Mum would often send me to the shop down the road to get tights for her. Almost always American Tan. Make of that what you will. I bought a pair of the above American Tan (as cover/pretense of buying more tights for my Mum), a black pair and a white pair. It was very scary. I knew that if they asked I would just say that they were for my Mum but the thought of being questioned over it made me feel very queasy. Straight after buying them though I realised that I hadn’t thought it through properly. I still had to get them back into the house unseen! If I remember, I shoved one pair down my underwear and the others down a trouser leg each with my socks pulled right up. I think I was around 11. It was a good number of year’s that passed before I could buy any outerwear. I would borrow my mother’s clothes and makeup for years until I was able to purchase my own.
In my very early 20’s I saved my dole money like crazy and went to Manchester. My parents had gone abroad on holiday and I was house sitting. I had found out about Transformation and another shop called Ethos in the back of Exchange and Mart. Which was a bit of a revelation. The day after they left I caught a bus to Sheffield and the train to Manchester. Then more buses. Both shops were on the same road but about a mile or so apart. Of the two I preferred Ethos. The ladies there were much friendlier and their prices weren’t as terrifying either! In the end I bought a tiny, tarty lycra mini skirt and a pair of opaque stockings from Transformation and a a full set of make-up, nails, underwear, French knickers and my first pair of black patent high heels from Ethos. I was totally skint after that. But for the rest of that week ‘he’ barely made an appearance!
A year or so after that I bought my very first dress from a fetish shop in Sheffield. A lycra LBD which I still own.
5: Tranny, cross-dresser, t-girl or something else? And why?
Labels are for my frocks darling!
I’m not really one for labels as such but I will pretty much answer (here at least, anyway) to being a transvestite, a crossdresser and trans, if someone wants to use those labels. I think on various websites I just use trans person.
If trans is a spectrum then I am definitely on it. And probably more than half way over one end of it as well. My everyday, outward appearing masculinity does a very good job of hiding the woman that lives within me. I will say that ‘Rochelle’ is actually the larger part of ‘me’ and that she does a good job of pretending to be a man. Though the pressure of the enormity of that task does get to her more than she would like.
At home I am expected to do all the usual manly DIY stuff around the house which I can’t stand doing. Mostly because I find it dysphoria triggering and also because I am really crap at it!
6: Where do you see yourself in ten years? Fabulous or drab?
Well I’m not sure. I have had ‘dry’ times in the past but right now is probably the most arid period that I have ever had. Right now I try to take one day at a time because I can just about cope with that. I would love to say fabulous but it is likely to be mostly drab with the occasional foray into the spectacularly fabulous!
The best I could probably hope for is to be Rochelle at least half of the time but as I am thoroughly closeted that is very unlikely. Growing up in the toxically masculine environment of a Northern mining town means that I carry a certain ‘burden’ of guilt around with me for not being ‘manly’ enough. It’s a difficult thing to shift. I wonder if it’s a generational thing? Many younger ‘girls’ I have spoken to don’t seem to have those same feelings.
Section 2: Fashion, fashion, fashion.
7: Dress or separates? And why?
I am mostly a dresses gal. I do own separates but I actually prefer the feel of a dress. It is for me, much more innately feminine and they come in so many wonderful styles!
8: Heels or flats? And why?
Is this rhetorical?
Heels all the way! Again I like that feminine feel that they give. They make your whole stance and gait change. The lowest pair I own are 3 inches and the highest are 6 inches but they have a 1 inch platform. I don’t own as many as I would like due to space issues so I’m very selective over which pairs I purchase.
9: Studs or hoops? For your ears, of course…. And why?
In this case, hoops. But for reasons of fairness I should point out that I much prefer long earrings and dangly chandeliers. My ears aren’t pierced so I wear clip-on, which can make finding hoops and long one’s difficult but not impossible. There is a lovely lady who owns a retro boutique local to me who hunts out original vintage earrings to sell. She is trans friendly and always keeps an eye out for clip ons for me. Did I mention that she’s lovely?
10: Tights or stockings? And why?
Another not easy to answer one! It really depends on what I feel like wearing when I get an opportunity. I do love the feel and innate femininity of stockings and suspenders but sometimes they will show up a bit much under tighter, bodycon dresses so I will wear tights instead. But for pretty much all other outfits and occasions it’s stockings.
11: Taffeta or leather? And why?
Again, not easy to answer. And it’s a femininity thing. I absolutely LOVE the feeling of wearing petticoats and feminine lingerie underneath a gorgeous retro style dress. To be able to express that feminine side of myself is wonderful. However, there are other sides to my femme self that occasionally need to be expressed too. I do have a sexuality which I admit doesn’t show up often but it is there. And that side would definitely be dressing in leather! This side of me isn’t averse to a little bit of kink, I have to admit. So along with the leather, you would have to include PVC and a bit of latex too.
12: Tight bodycon just down to the mid-thigh, or full circle skirt and a petticoat? And why?
Hmmm, I think I partly answered this question above. In an ideal world I would be in dresses every day. If they were retro styled or influenced then that would be a boon. Pretty tea dresses, cute off the shoulder numbers, wiggle dresses, I love them all! But I do love the way a good corset pulls in my waist. I am a sucker for an hourglass figure and I think a bodycon dress shows that off the best.
13: Baby doll nightie or pink satin pyjamas? And why?
Of these choices it would be a cute and provocative baby doll nighty!
But in Rochelle’s ideal world it would be a frothy, frilly, ultra feminine peignoir set with negligee. Complete with very fine stockings and super dainty fluffy mules slippers. Something that I could waft through my boudoir in!
In reality though I don’t wear anything to bed.
Section 3: Gay abandon and naughtiness. Remember you have three ‘bugger off’ cards.
14: A boy, a girl and a t-girl walk into a bar. Who do you make a pass at? And why?
Well, having never been out en-femme (the back garden doesn’t count!) I’m really not sure. I have after many years of inner wrangling realised that I wouldn’t limit myself to just girls, even though I am spoken for. In an ideal world I could or would ask any of them out if I found them attractive and/or funny and interesting. In reality (as far as it goes here) I am likely to be cowering in an alcove somewhere and getting terribly tongue tied if anyone spoke to me!
15: Wine tasting – spit or swallow? And why?
Swallow. It’s a waste of good wine if you don’t.
16: Assuming you don’t mind admirers, a rich one whisks you away and offers you a million ‘whatever currency you use’ to either have extensive facial cosmetic surgery or gender re-assignment. Which would you take, or would you just steal the money and go on a clothing shopping bender?
I’m certain that after a few Internet searches I could find a surgeon and hospital that would do a job lot for a good price! If we take the million in US dollars then I’m sure I could get the face and body to match the mind. So a full body workover with a generous breast enhancement, a cute bubble butt, full vaginoplasty and a lot of feminising face work. And I would hope that they may be able to do something about my receding hairline and bald spot too!
And as I had a generous benefactor I’m sure he would want a little input too. And of course I would probably have to show my gratitude afterwards. And there might be a bit of change left over for a few frocks if I’m lucky.
Section 4: The scent of perfume, a history truth or fib. Remember you have three ‘bugger-off’ cards, unless you answered none of the naughty ones.
17: When you’ve been dressed, which toilet have you used? If you haven’t, which toilet would you use?
I use my own toilet. I’ve never had the courage/opportunity to go out en-femme so right now it’s a moot point.
18: What’s the most embarrassing moment you can share?
When I was in Ethos, one of the ladies there asked me if I had a girlfriend (I didn’t) and stupidly I said that I was on and off seeing a couple of different girls. She knew I was lying and I’m sure my face showed it too. What an idiot!
Oh, and I suppose my mum finding my stash of girly things. I’ll leave that for another time…
19: What’s the most amusing moment you can share?
After my first makeover (anywhere, ever!) at Boys Will Be Girls just over two years ago. I had been there in the morning and had the most amazing and wonderful time. Afterwards I went to a comic convention (which was my cover for going in the first place) and met a few friends and acquaintances. On one of these encounters I was talking to friends when I could feel sweat running from behind my ear and down my neck (it was really hot) so I dug out a tissue and wiped it away. When I looked at it, it had foundation on it!
Trying my best not to show my look of total terror and mortification I hurried as quickly as possible to the nearest toilets to check myself over for any more residue. For 20 minutes! To this day I don’t know if my friends had noticed or not. I’ve seen them several times since and they haven’t said anything. There have been other occasions where things have been more terrifying than amusing but I’ll save them for another time.
20: No guilt, no repercussions – if you could have an intimate night with one celebrity, who would it be and why?
Gosh this isn’t easy either! I have always had a crush on Geena Davis right back from her ‘Earth Girls are Easy’ days but right now I would have to say Stephen Amell. You only have to see him stripped to the waist in Arrow to get where I’m coming from! Just gorgeous! I’m not going to say what would happen but I hope it would leave us both satisfied. I’m not normally so openly a floozy but for him? Sigh…
Section 5: Free form femininity.
In less than 100 words, describe your feminine self.
Hmmm… This might be the hardest part. Hopefully honest, genuine (as I can be right now) and caring. Sexual if not sexy. A work in progress.
In less than 100 words, describe your ultimate femm fantasy
Well, there’s this certain other girl you see… And we have similar (but not the same) tastes and it would be absolutely wonderful if we could have a week (or two!) together to explore our various ideas and fantasies together.
Maybe in a flat in London or a little country cottage somewhere we could be undisturbed…