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89.5 CIUT interview by Jesse Mendes
Sponsored by Take a Walk On The Wildside and Shop Wildside and Acting Like a Girl
89.5 CIUT HOSTED BY JESSE MENDES
WITH GUESTS PADDY ALDRIDGE AND JENNIFER PALLISTER
INNOVATIONS RADIO INTERVIEW ON 89.5 CIUT HOSTED BY JESSE MENDES WITH GUESTS PADDY ALDRIDGE AND JENNIFER PALLISTER.
Jesse: To my great pleasure I connected with Paddy Aldridge who is the owner of Take A Walk On The Wildside a store for crossdressers here in Toronto, which she is going to talk plenty about. She is also a columnist for the ADULT ENTERTAINER and writes a column for HUSTLER MAGAZINE called “Paddy’s Kinky Corner” on sex. And she has brought with her her friend Jennifer Pallister who is a post-operative transsexual woman. So we have a few things to talk about. I will put out a little bit of a warning for anyone who is sensitive out there and who may be uncomfortable with graphic sexual material. You may want to use listener discretion. We are going to go around the map here. I will say about Paddy in the short time that I have known her she is a treat although we may not share sensibilities in all areas or practices for that matter. I think she is wonderful in that she helps people find their pleasure. She also has one of the most exquisite senses of humor that I have ever come across.
Jesse: I have with me much to my delight Paddy Aldridge and Jennifer Pallister who I just met. Thank both of you for coming.
Paddy: I want to thank you for the lovely compliments, Jesse. I’m going to try really hard this show. Honest.
Jesse: That was my pleasure. You were saying that Sachia (who writes a column for EYE MAGAZINE), she tends to get around. I was reading in her last column that she took her clothes off at Buddies In Bad Times (Toronto’s Gay Theatre). Did you catch that?
Paddy: No I missed it, but I will look it up.
Jesse: She looks apologizing for what she calls her ghastly behavior.
Paddy: Well that would be the place to do it.
Jesse: If you are going to take your clothes off without getting carted off (by the police).
Paddy: Roxy and I got married at Buddies.
Jesse: I heard that. You had a double bride wedding.
Paddy: Sky Gilbert was the Maid of Honor. Sonia Mills was in the wedding party and she was so funny because all the wedding party wore French Maid outfits. And of course Sonia wouldn’t wear a dress, but she did for that. Now I tried to give her stockings, a panty girdle and everything. But she insisted on wearing her men’s underwear under the French Maid outfit. So it was hilarious because she had her undershirt showing on top and her big plaid boxer shorts under the skirt. But she was such a good sport.
Jesse: That must have been a trip. One of the myths, I think, and it gets circulated e-mailed widely, about crossdressers is that they are gay. And in fact Roxy was telling me that when he was on the show that most of your clientele men who come to dress as women are heterosexual.
Paddy: Yes and afraid to confront their crossdressing because they are afraid that it might mean that they’re gay. So that they are in denial, denial, and denial until they come crossdressed, meet other crossdressers, and then go “Wow, I’m normal!” Along with the hundreds and hundreds of people who do this.
Jesse: Now you have been doing this for how long?
Paddy: Since 1987. I had my first customer August 1, 1987.
Jesse: Wow! Oh tell me about that.
Paddy: I barely, barely remember. But the phone rang off the hook. Unbelievable.
Jesse: Now we are talking about Take A Walk On The Wildside right. It’s a store for men who want to have the (feminine) experience.
Paddy: It had to be designed in such a way from the very beginning to be a more complete service than just a store. Because what we found was that people were literally coming from all over the world to see the store. So we had to have a place for them to stay. We always had a guest room just so people would come in. Sometimes people would come in for one night. Sometimes they would come in for a week. And now we have regulars. Like nest month we have a jeweler coming in from Belgium for four days. We have a German guy from Deuseldorf who owns a recycling plant coming in for a week. We have our friend Lace who docks aircraft carriers. And I mean they take bridges out to dock some of these huge aircraft carriers. And of course Lace doesn’t do this alone. Lace is the top of a crew of 32 people. And you know the ropes, the lanyards that hold the boat to the dock for these aircraft carriers are like 18” across. It’s like toss me a line. So we have amazing diversity in the people that crossdress.
Jesse: Do you ever get construction workers?
Paddy: Oh sure. Plumbers especially. Do you know any plumbers? I know a lot of plumbers who crossdress.
Jesse: Wow. And they have to hide it, right? Most of the time?
Paddy: Most of the time. A lot of people are lucky enough to come out and tell their family and everybody understands.
Jesse: Do they?
Paddy: Some do and some don’t. And it is a lot easier if they do.
Jesse: And you get a lot of one-timers, right? Men who want to experience it just the once or very occasionally?
Paddy: Yes. But then again you open the closet door and you just go crazy. Your first step is to try on your sister’s clothes at home when you are young. The second step, if you get that far, is to go and crossdress with somebody else and become good looking. Because the first time you put on makeup it’s just like us. The first time we put on makeup we were just teenagers and we were a mess, honey! They are a mess. They go out and they learn how to do it nicely and they look proper and they can go out to bars and dancing and stuff like that. And then their own sexuality may develop. Because if you know they are a hot-looking babe. Well, you know. What happens to hot-looking babes!?
Jesse: Now let’s got through some of the steps here and I know that you have lots of stories up your sleeve. I am very, very curious about what it is like being in your profession and what it’s like to be constantly and being with men over and over again?
Paddy: You have to be so personable. Because some people will walk into the store and they will forget what to say. They just freeze. So sometimes you just have to say, “Well, hi, nice to see you. How did you hear about us”? And then they just go, “I never told anybody about this before (Paddy interjects, crossdress?)”. And they go, “Wow! Oh well it’s like you are the first person I ever told and I can’t believe it!” And I go, “It’s O.K!”. Look at our photo albums. Now that they see that there other people whom crossdress. And they look around the store and it’s almost like pulling teeth. Would you like to have a transformation? “Oh, no I couldn’t! (Paddy: “Are you sure?”) Oh well, maybe”. Make me have a transformation. (Much laughter). Make me have a transformation so I don’t feel guilty.
Jesse: You have a lot of stuff, wigs and fake boobs and garters and dresses and makeup and the works.
Paddy: You think that there’s only one kind of breast forms. There are so many kinds of breast forms. I couldn’t believe it. And it’s like pantyhose. We’ve all worn pantyhose. I thought that pantyhose were pantyhose. We carry so many kinds of pantyhose and stockings you wouldn’t believe it, ‘cause everyone likes a certain kind.
Jesse: Oh yeah. Definitely different breeds of that. How do you deal with, I mean the boobs are easy enough to strap on, but what do you do with, uh, most of the, uh…..
Paddy: The tits just sit in the bra. Then there’s adhesive you can get that sprays on so the tits attach to your body. That’s good for if you want to go without a bra wearing lingerie or if you want to wear a backless dress.
Jesse: Spray them on?
Paddy: Yes, it’s an adhesive used for prosthetics so that they stick to your body (like a weld). It makes you feel more real.
Jesse: Okay, but what about the good old… you know…
Paddy: If you’re talking about what to do with the penis if you’re wearing a tight skirt I’ll tell you what I do. For certain people who have a sense of humor and they come over for their first transformation I pick up a tape gun. It’s used for wrapping packages for shipments by UPS. It’s quite heavy duty. So I bring out this tape gun and pull out a piece of tape and say “Okay, let’s take care of Willie…” then the customer starts to freak…
Jesse: I’m sure he’s hyperventilating…
Paddy: Yes, but then I’ll say, “Just Kidding!”
Jesse: You’ve got to protect those privates, man!
Paddy: Before the show we were talking about some of the experiences I’ve had with customers who try to get their transformations for free for various reasons. Like, we charge $120 ($128.40 all taxes included in Canadian dollars) for a transformation.
Jesse: That’s pretty good.
Paddy: Well, by the time you consider we have to have a whole wardrobe, it’s got to be clean, and it’s got to have a variety of styles as well as sizes…
Jesse: And it takes time.
Paddy: Time to do the makeup, time to change their wardrobe, everything like that. But some people will try to get a transformation for free. Now, I will give it to them for free just because they come up with such a good story.
Jesse: I see.
Paddy: We had a Roman Catholic priest last year that phoned from Detroit and said, “I’m a priest. Some of my parishioners crossdress and I have been counseling them. I somehow feel I can’t quite help them enough until I actually have the experience myself.”
Jesse: Oh no!
Paddy: So I just say, “Come on up and I will be very happy to help you.” You know, I figure this guy. I dressed him. I gave him the works. I put him all in PVC, a tight tight PVC dress, PVC hip boots ….
Jesse: What is PVC?
Paddy: You know that shiny black stuff that you see people wear at fetish nights. Sexy kind of stuff. I dressed him all up and he looked really hot and then I asked, “What do you think”? He said, “This is the one day that I did have to wear black”!
Jesse: Oh, no! (Laughter).
Paddy: Well, why did you not tell me sooner? And he said that it was ok and that he loved it! I said, ”Is God going to like this what I did for you”? He said it was ok and that he would have a talk with Him. Can you believe it and can you believe it? This is a trip. I don’t have to make anything up. You know what I mean?
Jennifer: “He” would appreciate the humor if you dressed him up in the PVC habit.
Paddy: The PVC habit, there we go! Next time he comes, sure. That sounds like the logical thing to make a priest.
Jesse: Now so you think he was a priest for real?
Paddy: He was for real because I e-mailed him at his church several times following.
Jesse: I have to know what it’s like so I can counsel my (parishioners), oh my God!
Paddy: And then we just got e-mailed from a reporter in Minneapolis. He said that I have to write a column about crossdressing. My publisher said that it was very difficult to write a column about something you nothing about. So I said, “Come on up!” That’s my line. If they have a good story? -- Well now I’m going to get a barrage of phone calls from people with really great stories! And I will never make any more money!
Jesse: You have any more stories?
Paddy: The one (story) that was recent was from “The Make A Wish Foundation” in Wisconsin. They contacted me before Christmas, like at the beginning of December because they had somebody who was terminally ill. His wish was to spend a day as a woman. They said, “ I don’t know why he wants to do this (dress as a woman). And this is what they want to do so I said, “Great”! Send him up and we will do it all for free. They can stay over, everything. I began talking to them and e-mailing them regularly and e-mailing the boy who was coming up. He was seventeen. I knew some friends who are filmmakers and I thought this was a really beautiful story. So I contacted him and the filmmakers contacted him. I said, “Do you mind if we make a documentary about this”? He said, “No problem, everything was fine”. Suddenly The Make A Wish Foundation contacted me and said, “Thank you but we don’t have the money for him to come up”. So they said that he wouldn’t be able to come up. But we thank you for your generosity. But we really didn’t think that that was the truth. So the producer and the director both contacted him and we have not heard anything back. I told him right from the beginning that you don’t have to do this. You don’t have to do this. Just come on up. So now we are calling this “The Make A Politically Correct Wish Foundation”. We’ll see what happens anyway. (Much laughter).
Jesse: What has it been like? Do you ever find out that your whole world has opened up since you are taking men through this transformation? You must get unexpected reactions.
Paddy: Yeah. I was telling you about a few of them. One of my earliest customers - and this just kind of shook me. I did a transformation for somebody and who after five hours of changing outfits, and he looked fabulous. Five hours of different looks and changing outfits and I thought he was really happy. He looked at himself in the mirror and just slapped himself in the face so hard.
Jesse: He slapped himself in the face?
Paddy: Slapped himself! Whacked his face!! He started crying. And he said, “Stop doing that”! I said, “What’s the matter. Don’t you like your transformation”? Like I was trying to make a joke because it was a horrible situation. And he just began to hit himself over and over in the face! And he’d say, “Stop that! Stop that! Stop that”! And he was crying and hitting himself. It was like a movie. I only found out a year ago that (and this happened in 1987) he had a split personality. Because one side hated the fact that the other side crossdressed.
Paddy: I swear, I kept thinking, that if I get any more of these I’m quitting this business.
Jesse: Did you hang next to him until he chilled out?
Paddy: I can’t even remember, but it was such a shock. I think he eventually did (chill out). And he did apologize. I guess that the other part of his person suppressed the other part and it came to and actually left.
Jesse: How did you two meet? (Re: Jennifer Pallister)
Paddy: Oh, I just thought of another funny story!
Jesse: Oh, good, good, please!
Paddy: This was hilarious. Like I got all the best ones at the beginning. Well I have really good ones now, but at the beginning I didn’t know anything. So I got a letter in the mail from this woman who, it was a very strange letter, who had a bit of a sense of humor. It was a very funny letter. So she wrote me, “Dear Paddy: I came home with my girlfriends and I found my husband asleep on the couch wearing my panties and a raincoat and I want you, and I’m going to send him to you. I want you to make you to make the transformation so uncomfortable. I want you to do his corsette so tight. I want you to put him in high heels that are too small and force him to walk in them. And I am sending extra money for a bra and breast forms and you make him wear them home on the subway. And I want you to video tape it”. I used to videotape transformations by request. Well, he and I got talking about how uncomfortable I was supposed to make him and we were laughing so much because we were making this video. We were thinking about how much his wife and her friends would enjoy watching it. So I set up the camera at the front door and made him walk across the street by himself and buy a quart of milk. And he could hardly walk (Laughter). Oh, it was just so funny, you know. And of course I sent him home and I never heard from him again.
Jesse: Did you think that she (the wife) just really kind of had a black sense of humor or was she really trying to discourage her husband?
Paddy: Well, no. He was a really kind of a jovial person. He kept laughing and he kept saying that my wife is really going to enjoy this video. She’s just going to love it. And he just kept laughing. It was great! If you are out there and if you were that person, give me a call. I want to get in contact with you.
Jesse: We are back and I am speaking to Paddy Aldridge from Take A Walk On The Wildside and Jennifer Pallister who is a post-operative transsexual woman. How did you two people meet?
Paddy: I forget. I think I may have fallen in love with her because she’s really hot, don’t you think?!
Jennifer Pallister : I’m blushing now. (Much laughter).
Jesse: I thought that you might have met through the store. Did you crossdress at all before you had your physical transformation?
Jennifer Pallister : I don’t know. I guess I did. But think I just dropped in. I was working on a project. I’m a software engineer. And I was working on a project and the project ended and I was completely flat, like completely drained.
Jesse: Oh, I thought like you had no boobs. O.K. (Much laughter).
Jennifer Pallister : To make a long story short, at that time the Internet was new and I needed to get on my computer. And I finally got it up and I looked at the stupid search engine and the first thing I thought about was to search for “transsexual”. And I don’t know where it came from.
Jesse: It just popped into your mind?
Jennifer Pallister : Yeah. And I got a stack of paper out of it. I got about 2” deep. And I started leafing through all this stuff and I found out that it was actually possible to do something about how I feel. Since I was four or five years old or something like that.
Jesse: And how you felt was, sorry?
Jennifer Pallister : I am a woman. I have never been a boy. I didn’t have any way of dealing with it because I didn’t know it was possible. There is so little information out there. After reading all this information I think it was your store (addressing Paddy) that was one the things that was in there. And I did remember visiting your store. The transition support group at the 519 on Friday nights and there was “Meal Trans” (a support group for TG’s and TS’s) and all these things were there. I dropped right into that whole loop. And I think it was a month later that I went on hormones. Two months I had sent my letter to the Clark Institute.
Jesse: Did you apply and give your reasons for wanting to have sexual reassignment surgery?
Jennifer Pallister : Oh, yeah. They put you through a whole gambit of stuff.
Paddy: You see the reason why, you see the Government and OHIP do not pay for sexual reassignment surgery any more. They used to. Now, in order for the Government to do something like basically change your dick into a vagina, they have to be damned sure that they are making the right choice and with the right person. So that is why they put you through so much so that they don’t make a mistake.
Jennifer Pallister : I don’t know about that. Some people are just sure and they get put through this two year Hell which could usually extend into ten years or something like that before they actually approved it back then. Now they don’t even have any teeth to actually get money for the surgery.
Paddy: If you have the money you can go. If you have the money you can go and buy the surgery and buy the breast implants. You can go and have your voice done. You can buy everything without any psychiatric approval.
Jennifer Pallister : Well actually you do have to have two letters from psychiatrists. (Some disagreement), Yes you do and no matter what. And it is kind of crazy because it is a cosmetic surgery. And if you had your face done over you don’t have to get psychiatric reviews to find out if you want to do your face.
Paddy: Oh but there have been some wives who have sued doctors for giving their husbands surgery like in the States they try.
Jennifer Pallister : They are “litigation happy” down there.
Jesse: I was just wondering how to get to more of your stuff, your stories? Say there was a time when I went to one of your gatherings, your parties. I remember all the men I was surrounded with looked at me and said they were very, very curious. “How do you feel? How do you feel”? Oh I’m sorry. They were asking, “What do you think? What do you think? How do we look? How do we look”? I had to keep shaking myself out of my own experience to answer all their questions because I was so consumed with how I felt. I was surprised that it felt very liberating for me. I found that I was more fluid in a way that I had never experienced before. My physical mannerisms changed a little. I felt a little more flamboyant. I felt that I just had a little more permission to express another dimension of my character. So I am curious about your experiences from that angle? Like being a woman, what it’s been like to be around so many men over and over again? Having been witness to men who go through this transformation?
Paddy: When Wildside sort of started there were just so many people. And when we first opened the Canadian Crossdressers Club there were so many people. We had four hundred members. On Saturdays I was doing ten transformations. That is one an hour for tens hours. My first wife and I, see I opened Take A Walk On The Wildside, and then I got legally married to a post-operative transsexual woman. I got special permission and it involved having her have a chromosome test to prove she had XY chromosomes. Women have XX chromosomes. So even though she didn’t have a penis and she had breasts, she still had XY chromosomes. That was one of the deciding details. Besides my lawyer said, “What you’re born as is what you’re born as, so you should be able to legally marry”. Her name was Veronica. But there are lots of combination marriages. This was in 1990 and we were on (the) Phil Donahue (television show) twice and all kinds of things. So Veronica and I ran the whole business, which had overnight guest rooms. It was Saturday night parties and again I was doing ten transformations every Saturday. We were still partying till 5:00 in the morning. We were dead most of the time, dead tired. We had overnight guests. We had twenty-five people every Saturday night partying in the basement. It was just like I couldn’t remember one thing from another.
Jesse: So it was just like one big blur.
Paddy: Yes, but everyone wanted to be transformed.
Jesse: Did people talk to you? What did they tell you?
Paddy: Oh, I did lots of interviews and wrote books and articles and things about the variety of crossdressers. Some people do it once a year. Some people wear the same hair, the same look, so that when they look in the mirror they see that person, their feminine side. And they get to know that person. Some people, every transformation, it is completely different. And they even change their name. We had the head of a corporation come, the head of a sales team. He said, “I want you to dress me as woman and I am going to go and give out the sales awards at my dinner banquet”. And I said, “Do they know“? “No”. Well, I said, “Great, let’s make you look as good as we can”. And the funniest thing was, and he was not a crossdresser. We have done a lot of people who do not crossdress. As soon as he was transformed and everything and he looked in the mirror and he looked fabulous he automatically started to speak like this (in a very high, female falsetto voice) “Thank you very much…I’ll see you tomorrow and I’ll tell you how it went.”
Paddy “So then he said “Bye, see you later!” nobody out of the thousands of people I’ve transformed over the past thirteen years nobody has ever done that. You know just that, just oh well, that’s wonderful you did a great job.
Jesse: yeah like so that’s what women sound like.” really”.
Jesse: you would think that a lot of men would alter their voices quite organically but I guess not huh. Do men talk about having the experience of being a woman a lot. I guess I m curious about you know how that takes shape for them. Like they have the urge to dress as a woman.
Paddy: they do it for lots of different reasons, some to be themselves, some to escape from themselves, some for relaxation, some because their transsexuals it’s a whole bunch of reasons
Jesse: I would imagine that the man who wants to be himself quote unquote would be living in some kind of hell or at lest a constant state of repression if being a man a biological man is never quite himself you know.
Paddy: when crossdressers don’t want to crossdress for whatever reason. They’ll do what is called purging and they will through every thing away. And then you will see them 6 months to a year later and they’ll go “ well you didn’t see me because I purged”. And Ill says well you know we rent lockers. For $10.00 a month you could have put your stuff in a locker instead of having to buy it all over again. But I say its just like if your quitting smoking and you take that pack of cigarettes and you through them away and you say I m not doing it anymore. Only your wardrobe for a crossdresser if you think about it can run into thousands of thousands of dollars
Jesse: Well I guess?
Paddy: A corset is $400.00.
Jesse: $400.00 dollars for a corset!
Paddy: Yes, silicone breast forms are $250.00, shoes could be anywhere from $50.00 to $100.00 a pair.
Jesse: Wow, so if they just come in to just get a makeover then they don’t have to buy any of that stuff they can just rent it.
Paddy: Yes basically their transformed. Like we’ve had some unique people. One time we had a guy come from a camera club. And he says my camera club is going to the art gallery and they’re all going to take pictures, and he said it’s my plan to dress as a woman so they cant tell its me. And am going to take all their pictures. So this is what he did and then at the camera club meeting when they all showed the pictures that they go home and they develop their own film and stuff like that, he went in and showed everyone the pictures that he took and they said, but you weren’t there and he said yes I was. They never knew how he was able to go there and take those pictures.
Paddy : It’s like he was invisible . And then I had another guy come and just say my wife is meeting her lover in a restaurant tonight.
Jesse: Oh nooooo
Paddy: And I want you to make me look not like myself you know I didn’t make him look overly hot, right we just made him look like he would blend into the back ground . and he said that he was going to have diner in that restaurant that my wife is going to have diner in. And god knows what happened honey
Jesse: Oh ok , obviously she didn’t know that he knew.
Paddy: And then I had a surgeon come from Buffalo.
Jesse: a surgeon?
Paddy: Yes. From Buffalo and he said am going to die in 6 months, Transform me this is awful vie waited my whole life am going to die DO IT. He bought $2000.00 dollars worth of stuff and left and lived the last of his life.
Jesse: As well you never know.
Paddy : Right
Jesse: Uh huh, what did he have that he thought he was going to.
Paddy: he had um; he shook a lot so I don’t know what disease it would be that would make you shake a lot, like it would have been impossible for him to do make –up.
Jesse: um hum I’m sure. To get the mascara and stuff gone.
Paddy: Then he couldn’t perform surgery any more obviously.
Jesse: I see, what the most exciting part the crossdressing for men. Yow know is it the make-up, the costume or what,
Paddy: Well now people you see before it used to be just dressing up, but now people are really getting into role-playing. You know now like right next door to me is the Sissy Maid Academy.
Jesse: Sissy Maid Academy?
Paddy: Right, and then you know like when I started take a walk on the Wildside it went along it went along and then I met a wonderful wonderful girl Teri Jean Bedford. Who is Madame DeSade the famous Madame DeSade and we got along really well and so we thought heck - Let’s open up a sissy maid academy we need people to keep our place clean. So a year or a year and a half ago we did, she owns it now and runs it with her daughter Amy. And we have people who came before they used to dress like maids now they want to learn to be a maid. And the Sissy Maid Academy the Milicent Farnsworth Sissy Maid Academy and Charm School can teach you how to be a good maid. And you really need that. Did we have any maids at the party that you came to?
Jesse: I think there was one yeah. I watched you put his fishnets on. That guy with the, it looked like some sort of maid outfit.
Paddy: Oh well no no a sissy maid would be someone that would stand at attention in the corner and wait until they’re needed and curtsy when they come into a room
Jesse: I see they are very specific.
Paddy : Very specific all trained well trained .
Jesse: Well on a smaller scale do men or how much of you time in transforming men do you find is taken by you know showing them you know physically how to move or manners or talking.
Paddy: No I never quite got into that too much because I never had any time. I have a wonderful actor who a couple of actors actually who have given femininity workshops for me David roach and David Bateman who both played woman on stage. And they’ll come in and work with the crossdressers and have them you know. And there are lots of videos out now like about starting ten years ago until about 5 years ago. I produced 10 videos that all have different aspects of helping people to crossdress.
Jesse: Oh can you talk abit about that
Paddy: Oh sure there’s a couple of make-up videos and then there’s a video called Poise and Deportment and that’s the one I did with David Roach .
Paddy: Yes like how to sort of you know be charming.
Paddy: You know nice and stuff like that because if you are a woman and if you’re crossdressed as a woman and somebody sees that you are then decides they want to give you a hard time, its nice to have some kind of knowledge of how to keep your.. you know yourself together. Very pleasantly smile, your grace, just a little smile, you know.
Paddy: Have a nice day (giggles)
Jesse: You’re not necessarily going to punch them out…
Paddy: No.. no, but actually there is a self defense course for crossdressers.
Jesse: Is there really?
Paddy: Yeah! This is being given the third Wednesday of the month at the 519 Church Street Community Center and it’s with a crossdressing group called Expressions and I believe it’s January 17th.
Jesse: So what is it? How to kick the shit out of someone like a Lady?
Paddy: Well, how they’re marketing it… our website is http://www.wildside.org . We have a messageboard on our website, a chatline. It’s the main place in Canada that everybody can access. I won’t say that it’s the main place in the world.. but we have a very busy chatline and messageboard. The website has an online catalogue and a whole lot of information available there. On the messageboard there is a posting for this workshop on January 17th.
Jesse: But back to this workshop – what is it?
Paddy: The funny thing is the person who posted – Laura - said, “Do you want to know how to avoid those unwanted approaches.. etc etc. So I put a posting underneath that said “Well how about those persons that want to ENCOURAGE those approaches!!?” I was just making a joke because I know Laura, but it’s self defence. The first thing you do is - you’ve got high heels on.. take ‘em off and you’ve got a weapon!
Jesse: Uh – huh! (laughs) What’s it like, you’ve had a lot of opportunity, obviously to hang out with men who have already been transformed when they have these gatherings. I would love to be part of that scene a bit more. I’m just wondering what conversation is like. (giggles) I mean these are men that have just met each other, right?
Paddy: Oh one time I had a fine art student from York University - he was a member for 3 or 4 years. He was in his 5th year and he came to a Christmas party. I had transformed somebody at that same Christmas party who was his professor! I didn’t know, and I sat them together at the same table and introduced them to each other.
Jesse: Oh my God! By their real names?
Paddy: No, by femme names. Nobody uses their real names. They all use feminine names.
Paddy: Well..(Laughter) what do you think happened?
Jesse: They eventually figured it out?
Paddy: They figured it out alright! The student came over to me and said, “You know.. that’s my professor” and I said.. “(Ghasp)Oops” . So I went over to him and said “Don’t worry, it’s a party, we’re all here for the same reason, don’t worry at all” and of course that was the Christmas party so nobody was going to school, but… my friend told me when he went back to school in January the professor wouldn’t look him in they eye.
Jesse: Would not look him in the eye.. wonder what happened to his marks after that?
Paddy: I don’t know but he was like that for 3 more months and he was graduating his 5th year of fine arts so…
Jesse: That’s pretty close to some really personal stuff.. I can imagine it would affect the professionalism too.. and it really comes close to home. I guess they’re both afraid that the other might mention something and the word would get out or something like that.. cause most crossdressers are in the closet…
Paddy: Yes mhmm
Jesse: ….and that’s why you have your gatherings
Paddy: Well with more and more coming out and certainly it’s in the movies, it’s on television, it’s on the radio, even! (Laughs) People are finding out about it! I mean they don’t have to feel like they’re completely alone anymore.
Jennifer Pallister : And information is so important, you know.. if I could have known this when I was a child it would have changed my life so much. Better late than never, but.. you kind of resent having to go through your entire life in a role that’s really completely not yours.. yeah it would’ve been nice..so it’s a good age right know I think with all the information that’s happening around with the internet
Jesse: Yeah and the internet certainly is a safe place to be. What about men you transformed.. were there any where it was kind of anticlimactic for them? Not quite what they wanted?
Paddy: Oh sure and you wish you knew that before you went to all the trouble, you know what I mean? You can sit there and do a marvelous marvelous makeup job, really take your time and make the person look fabulous. Then they’ll look in the mirror and say “Great! it looks great … can you take it off now?” If I could only find out because you do a good job because other people are going to see the work that you’ve done, you know like everybody that goes upstairs at a party – not so much now because I brought so many people out of the closet and they are all doing their own stuff now.. but in the old days.. nobody knew how to do anything and I was doing everybody and they were all looking at each other so your work was constantly being judged. But if they just wanted to wash it off once you put it on it would have been a lot less care and trouble.
Jesse: Do you think it was just too frightening - they just couldn’t deal with it?
Paddy: Yeah, I think so. Some do say “I’m not a crossdresser” but… could you ..show me what I’d look like as a woman.
Jesse: Just the once.
Jesse: I’d be surprised – I mean I guess I have questions for any man who would absolutely never ever ever do it once.
Paddy: There’s a lot of men - my Father would never ever ever ever ever ever once do it and he’s says “They’re all queer, Patricia”(laughter) and I go …Dad.. (unison) yeah..
Jesse: He’s pretty straight laced, is he?
Paddy: OH! Unbelievable.
Jesse: Really! Now how did that happen?
Paddy: I don’t know
Jesse: You take after your Mom maybe?
Paddy: Well I was adopted so I don’t think that things like open mindedness and whatever are genetic.
Jesse: Has he adapted to your lifestyle ok?
Paddy: Not at all.
Jesse: Not at all? (laughter)
Paddy: (more laughter) Thank you for asking! Every time I go over he asks “Do you still own that business?” I go yeah Dad, how ya doin’ it’s so good to see ya..
Jesse: How did you know that you wanted to get in to this line of work?
Paddy: It was an accident! I had just graduated from Ryerson in theater and I’d always known the great imposters - they were a drag group. I always knew guys that dressed up. I never knew that there were any heterosexual guys that dressed up.
Jesse: The Great Imposters - they were a drag group?
Paddy : Oh there was a group of four of them, sometimes five. They traveled around the bars. Rusty Ryan would tell jokes and they would all come out and impersonate various females throughout the show miming
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