Sandra Lezinsky's Profile

Sandra from the USA, working in local government administration. My first marriage ended in 1995 due to my cross-dressing, but I am now in a lasting relationship with a new partner, Sarah, who is a post-operative transexual.

What is your name and what is your background?

My name is Sandra Lezinsky. I live in Lincoln and have worked all my life in local government administration. My first marriage ended in 1995 due to my cross-dressing, but I am now in a lasting relationship with a new partner, Sarah, who is a post-operative transexual.

Are you happy to be called a tranny and what does this name mean to you?

I am happy to be called a tranny, and to me it means a transvestite. It is a literal translation of "cross-dresser", though some dictionaries and psychiatrists give the word a sexual connotation. Which just confirms that they don't always get things right!

How old are you and how young were you when you first thought about or actually cross-dressed?

I am 58 and my earliest memory of cross-dressing is when I was about 7. It is just a partial memory, with me standing in the hall of our house, wearing a nice brown dress which belong to my sister, (18 months younger than me), and about to go into the sitting room full of my parents, aunts and uncles. I do not remember what happened when I actually went into that room, but I guess it must have been something unpleasant. It just shows your mind can store good memories and forget bad ones!

Where do you buy your clothes?

Most High Street chains, particularly Marks and Spencer, Dorothy Perkins, Bay Trading Co., Top Shop, Debenhams, and, if I am really tempted, Monsoon. I also look in Envy and New Look. And by very selective browsing in charity shops I can sometimes get great items at bargain prices. I also used to get some from Mail Order, but not so much now. Nowadays I usually do my shopping as Sandra, unless I see something irresistible while I am out in male guise.

What leads you to choose the styles you wear?

I want to have a wardrobe that includes all styles, from tart to respectable, and once bought I will keep an item for several years. I mainly get new clothes if they are in a style that is likely to last, and which are not yet in my wardrobe. I buy clothes that suit women from 20 to 40, but not those for 50 or older!

Do you have one look, or many images?

I believe I'm a chameleon, with a different image depending on the place and circumstances I'm in. But I don't do dowdy. When shopping I will be smart, perhaps too smart, when I'm clubbing it will be low-cut short-skirted items, and when socialising with friends it will be dresses or tops and skirts of various lengths. I will sometimes wear feminine trousers, but not very often.

Is make-up and hair important to you and if so how do you achieve your look?

My make-up usually takes an hour to put on, and I buy a new wig about once a year. While I was still in the closet I used make-up to enjoy the experience of putting it on and then the feel of lipstick on my lips - so I just used lipstick and eye-shadow and that was all. When I came out I followed the "Transformation" advice video on make-up, and then varied it slightly as I saw other videos and read advice columns. I still keep to the same basics, and only add new lipsticks and eye shadows when I see interesting colours.

To what degree do you practice hair removal, and other body feminisation?

I regularly pluck out the darkest hairs on my arms, but I only shave my arms if I am meeting other trannies, and shave my legs if I am going out in daylight. For a weekend event I will have my arms, legs and upper back waxed. I used to wear a girdle with padded hips to change my shape, but often nowadays I will just wear five or six pairs of briefs and thongs.

Who knows you dress?

My present partner, ex-wife, brother and sisters and their partners and children all know as well as some of my many cousins. One sister and her children have been out with Sandra, my other sister has little to do with us because her husband disapproves, and my brother is still on good terms so long as the subject is not mentioned. Work colleagues and other friends do not know. 

How often do you dress and if you go out where to?

On average I will dress one day a week, usually a Saturday or Sunday, but will stay at home. In addition we have tranny friends round to our house once a month, on a Friday evening, and I dress for that. And then occasionally I will take a day's leave midweek and dress, usually going out shopping and perhaps having a coffee and snack in town. Once or twice a year, not as often as we used to, we will go to tranny weekend events like the Beaumont Society meeting at Rotherham or a Transgender Conference. When my partner first came to live with me she did not mind going out with Sandra, but now that Sarah has many friends in the city she fears she would be recognised, and my secret would be known, so she does not come out with me now.  

How much of a sexual turn on is trannying for you?

Not really. Other things turn me on, and if I happen to be dressed at the time that is a co-incidence. When I am not out partying, shopping or chatting, the greatest pleasure I get from my cross-dressing is a great feeling of calm and peace, and I will sometimes lie out on a settee or bed just to enjoy that feeling. I prefer sex with no clothes on.

What's your definition of feminine?

This is a difficult one. My first thought is that it is everything in the world after the nasty, smelly masculine bits have been taken out. But then trannies can enjoy the best of masculinity as well as femininity. We have a lot in common with powerful but feminine women, in contrast to laddish lads and some extreme feminists.

To what degree do you feel gender dysphoric (ie that your brain is feminine)?

To me gender dysphoria is the transsexual feeling that one is a woman trapped in a man's body. I have always known that I have a more sensitive nature, so perhaps a bit feminine, but I do not want to change my gender.

To what degree would you consider permanent hair removal, hormones, surgery?

I do not feel the need to make permanent changes. Except that I might have my ears pierced when I retire.

Why did you choose your transgender name?

I chose my name when I was about 17, ten years after I started dressing and thirty years before I told any other living being about it. It reflects two aspects of my personality, as I see it. I chose "Sandra" for a work colleague I admired, and it had an "English-rose" sound to it. But "Lezinsky" is more romantic, as at the time I had just read of an 18th century Polish prince of that name who became King of Poland but was then deposed, and also read of two pioneer settlers in the American West in the 1880s. That conjures up the image of Bridgette Bardot as a sexy European aristocrat in the Wild West! It might be no coincidence that my star sign is Gemini.

What individual has inspired you most in relation to your TG inclinations?
I'm not sure that any one person inspired me. But what did give me the confidence and the equipment to come out and meet other trannies was the Transformation chain of shops founded by Stephanie Anne Lloyd, which I discovered after joining the Beaumont Society.

Do you feel that you have any choice in your TG thoughts and actions?

The urge to dress will never go away, and cannot be stopped completely, but I feel I can decide where and how often I will dress in order to balance it with the other sides of my life and my relationship.

Have you tried to stop?

When I proposed to my first wife in 1976 I told her about my dressing and she said our relationship could continue if I stopped. Being young and in love I said I would, and I threw everything away. For 18 years I tried to suppress it, and for many years had a long beard and moustache (ala Rasputin), but with an increasing lack of success. Over those years I slowly built up a tiny collection of clothes and shoes that I hid in three plastic bags in our cellar. In the end I had to tell her it had not gone away, she left me a few days later, and I then began to explore the tranny community.

Are your sexual preferences changed by your TG experiences (even temporarily)?

I had considered that I was heterosexual until my wife left, and as I met other trannies and received attention from them I explored my sexuality. After a few months I met my new partner and we have a great heterosexual relationship. 

Have you suffered illness, depression, relationship break ups because of being TG?

As I said above, my dressing led to the break up of my first marriage, but it also led me to my present partner. In health terms I think it has been beneficial, because when dressed I feel much more calm and relaxed. I also think that as Sandra I am more sociable than in my male role.

If you could relive your life without the TG experience would you?

No. My positive experiences as a result of my cross-dressing are more numerous and significant than any negative ones. The worst effect was the loss of my first marriage, but that was balanced by my meeting with Sarah.

How did you get into performing and what have you done?

I am not into performing - anyone who has heard me doing karaoke will know why! But I do enjoy giving talks about the tranny scene to groups such as Samaritans who want to know more about it. I have no qualms about standing up in front of such a group fully dressed, in fact I feel exhilarated because all of the sessions I have done so far have got very positive responses.

What outstanding TG experiences stand out in your mind?

A few crucial events come to mind. One is entering the Transformation shop in London for the first time and discovering an Aladin's cave of wonders. Another is my first weekend dressed in London, starting with a photoshoot, then travelling on the Tube dressed, and finishing with an evening out in Soho to a restaurant and the WayOut Club. And a third is travelling to York University with friends to address a lecture theatre full of delegates to the Samaritans national conference.

What one piece of advice would you give to someone that has just found they are not the only tranny in the world?

Explore the tranny world gradually, and decide how you want to make the most of it. First get to know a few people well, and then let them introduce you to the rest of what is available. You will meet a lot of lovely people.