Ele Nichols was born on October 11th, 1983 in Pine Bluff, AR, but has spent most of his life near Los Angeles, CA. Ele is an Artist, Writer, Fashion Enthusiast & Part-Time Damsel, but always a Gentleman. Currently, Ele is completing his first novel Cohorts, expected to be released early 2014.
I have been a working graphic artist/designer since I was 15 years old. A love for pop culture icons inspired me to illustrate various characters and start my own fan sites dedicated to my interests.
Through the years, I have professionally designed and coded websites, produced independent television programs and worked with a variety of different artists and creatives on various projects.
After 10 years of working as a contractor for hire, I decided to start pursuing my own creative interests once again and created my own style of digital art. After 3 years, I work on my personal projects full-time and have been fortunate enough to connect with my audience through my artwork.
My goal for the future is to keep creating as long as I’m breathing…and then some.
As a child, writing afforded me the ability to escape my reality and create a more appealing one. In time, I would discover a freedom in doing so and use the worlds I created to help me deal with real life problems.
Today, I still write to either create new works of fiction or simply to blog about my life experiences. I no longer use it as a means to escape reality, but rather a way to connect more into it.
Currently, I am working on a story that I’ve been writing for the past year called “Cohorts” and I am looking forward to finishing it up later this year (2013).
2 years ago (late 2010), I decided to come out of the closet…wearing a dress. I am a transgendered person whose personality is part masculine and part feminine.
I have been crossdressing since I was 2 years old. It’s been a difficult struggle in my life, dealing with family, social and religious pressures, but I have managed to muster up enough courage to be who I am.
Today, I am completely open about this aspect of my life. I am a heterosexual man, who likes to express my outward self in a feminine way from time to time…or most of the time, actually.
My hope is that being open about this part of my life will help others, who are currently dealing with these similar issues, find the ability and courage to be themselves and love who they are.
Fashion for me is not solely about seeking admiration from the outside world, but feeling good about the way you represent yourself. When you can get both, it’s definitely a plus.
I grew up in a home where how you represented yourself in the world was important. It wasn’t about approval, but it was about having the outside be a reflection of the inside.
I never really attached to designers or name brands, but I always looked for the styles and things that connected with me. Years of experimenting with different looks and observing all different types of styles helped me develop my eye for fashion.
I love retro/vintage looks from the 50s and 60s. I don’t really follow trends, but I look for things that I feel reflect my own tastes and style. Whether it be my horn-rimmed glasses, a soft sweater or a swing dress, if it has that vintage character I love, then I must have it.
About this Gallery: This is my personal gallery of art that I have created. Most of them are tied into my work on Cohorts, while some are various pieces I created on creative whimsy. Please view and enjoy!
Click a Tab Below to Filter the Gallery.
Cohorts: Timing is Everything
Half the Equation
Eliza ‘Dimes’ Dixon
Bailey Barker AKA The Bowler
Penelope McQuillen (The Secretary)
Crystal Renn / Mad Love
That Creeping Feeling
Cohorts: Hard Lines Pt.1
The Hang Up
Not Quite Eliza ‘Dimes’ Dixon
About this Blog: I like to talk. Talking helps me figure things out and broaden my mind. Sometimes, I can even share something that will benefit others. This is my place to do that. It's a forum for my thoughts and the things I'm passionate about. My sanctuary to let my mind loose and explore new ideas and concepts.
I originally shared this on my Facebook page (Facebook.com/EleNichols & fell free to add me). This was a reply I sent back to a friend who asked about my story. Oh boy, did I reply back to her. I thought it was worth sharing here too. We all have our stories and this is mine.
The simple answer to the question “How long have I felt this way about myself?” is all my life. I didn’t identify things as male or female when I was a child. I was taught the difference later. I was raised in Arkansas in a very remote area with no children. I was creative, inventive and happy with myself. School changed that. There was just something the other kids couldn’t put their finger on with me. I ended up being ostracized and bullied. That was the beginning of a long pattern of me trying to fit in and be something different.
I moved out to California when I was 10, things got worse for me. My only parent was never home and I received even worse treatment out here by my school peers. I recognize now I really suffered from insecurity and a lack of social skills. This all prevented me from getting ahead with my life and only turned me more inward. There were advantages to this because I became a very thoughtful person and tended not to judge people. There were also disadvantages because I retreated from the world and never really dealt with my problems. Continue reading
I’m finding my flow again. It’s been some time since my mind has been free to roam in creative spaces. Further more, I was a bit suffocated in Texas with the way I could present myself to the world. It was a time of no dresses and no overly feminine displays. No one told me I couldn’t do these things there, but I could sense that it was not okay and if I provoked the wrong person, there could be serious consequences for ‘living out loud’ as it were.
It’s not to say that I didn’t express myself in what many would consider to be a feminine manner. I wore skirts, at a modest length of course, usually paired with tights to guarantee everything stayed concealed, but even this small thing garnered negative and unwanted attention. While for the most part it was just dirty looks and whispers, there was one occasion where a man called me a ‘Tranny Slut.’ This incident definitely made me feel concerned for my safety.
I didn’t allow these things to stop me from this small feminine expression I had allowed myself, but instead I retreated from life, instead of standing up to this attitude and discrimination. I felt outnumbered, pure and simple. This was all very new to me. In California, my greatest fears about coming out had to do with friends and family, not so much strangers. In Texas though, the tables turned and I felt as if each day I was under the magnifying glass.
I began to see me life unraveling. I’ve overcome a lot in my life in the last few years, working toward a future where I can be myself and be the person I want to be. I saw all of that coming undone and it really effected me in a negative way. Each day became a fight to preserve my sanity. I knew moving to Texas was going to be a challenge, but I truly had no idea for what I was really in for.
Were my experiences there as bad as some I’ve heard from my friends in Texas or other parts of the country who are dealing with similar things? Not remotely. This was just a taste, but it was bitter. I’m not sure how people in situations such as myself can deal with this on a regular basis, but please know, I admire the hell out of them. It’s probably a tough skin developed over time, but you can’t discount the courage and perseverance that it takes each day to face these obstacles.
In summary, my time in Texas revealed many weaknesses in me. As painful and stressful as it was, it was also essential. I believe ultimately, the experience has made me stronger. I’ve even noticed since I’ve been back here in California that many of the insecurities and doubts about myself that I once had are gone. I can’t spend today or the next wasting time on these primal fears and emotions anymore. I’m in a place now that accepts who I am and encourages the abnormal and the strange. How can I not just embrace that?
The other night, the first time in quite a long stretch, I did fully crossdress again. Not only was it refreshing to do so, but it was liberating. For me, it marked a very special point in my life, like a baptism of sorts. I’ve passed the phase of coming out to people, I’m now in the phase of living my life as the person that I’ve revealed to the world. It’s a strange feeling, but a good one. There are a whole new set of obstacles to tackle, but I’m looking forward to facing them…in a skirt.
In this wrap-up-isode, I answer your questions regarding my life and experiences as a crossdresser.
In this first episode of the podcast, I talk about one of the main POI’s in my life…crossdressing.
I’m going to use this post to talk about my own difficulties with crossdressing.
It’s invigorating and freeing to share the triumphs of overcoming adversity, but it’s difficult to share the struggles that happen in between.
Right now, I’m in an ‘in between’ place.
Being ‘in between’ can refer to numerous things for a crossdresser. Being in a place where you’re not sure whether to embrace it or let it go or whether to hide the fact you crossdress or sharing it with others are a couple of examples of what I’m talking about.
Those stages I’m well beyond though.
The thing I am dealing with at the moment is the battle I’m having with my own mind when I go out dressed up.
I was a rejected kid amongst my peers, so as an adult, I have this automatic mental (mal)function that makes me feel insecure around outside people.
My mind does this thing where I conjure up the thoughts and opinions of people around me. Usually, those thoughts are negative.
The advantage I have over it though is I can recognize when I’m doing it. When it starts to happen, I know that it’s nothing more than a self deprecating thought and I have no ability to read the minds of others.
It also helps when there is no negative reaction to confirm from the person my mind has pinpointed as this phantom voice.
Sometimes though, not often, but occasionally, there is a smirk or a laugh or some other thing that instantly I hone in on.
Suddenly, I feel bare naked. I try to stay calm and hide behind a cart, a counter, a bag or whatever is around me.
Now this hasn’t always been the case, but recently I’ve found myself being in the awkward place where I’m confident one moment and timid the next.
Before this starts to sound like I’m complaining how insensitive people are or how people need to learn how to be accepting of others, I want to state that I’m no fool and knew exactly what I was getting into when I decided to be public about all this.
Crossdressing is not seen as common, which makes it abnormal, at least in the public eye…for now.
With that out of the way, my greatest adversary to my future right now is the same person who has been typing this very post…
Wait, whose that? That’s not me! Why does that lady have my…
Oh. Forgot. Sorry.
Me, me was the answer to that build up.
It’s weird being at war with myself.
To put this into computer speak, the new software wants to install onto the system and upgrade the operating system, while the old software is preventing the new software from finishing installation due to bugs and glitches. The only way to move forward is to uninstall the old software and delete it. Problem is, you no longer have the uninstaller program to do so and the manufacturer who originally made the software, no longer supports that version.
Have I made your head hurt yet?
My pain is now yours
So this ‘in between’ phase for me is overcoming this old version of me who is filled with fear and hasn’t moved on to the other side yet.
To the old version of me, I would like to say,
“GO INTO THE LIGHT!”
Until he finally does, I have a crucifix and some holy water on standby.
I will make it through this. Experience and my past track record say I will.
It is still something I will have to work out over the next year or so.
Plus, moving back to California from Texas will certainly help, but I will talk about that next time.
For a person who spends an inordinate amount of time on the internet, I do seem to keep my presence down to a soft purr. It’s not for a lack of anything to say, I assure you. My mind is swimming with ideas and agendas on a constant basis, but in that lies the problem. By the time I begin to physically hash out one idea, my mind is ready to move on to the next, but unable to because of the jam. So what ends up happening? Nothing, well…almost nothing. I squeak out a few things here or there, but focusing my mind to complete one project at a time is truly taxing.
It’s been suggested to me that I may have the A.D.D. that’s been going around. It’s quite possible, but instead of treating it with medication, I discovered on another method which has really helped me in the last week or so. I don’t recall exactly how I found out about this, but I managed to find some ‘ASMR’ videos (a google search will tell you everything you need to know about it.
To briefly sum up these videos, a person speaks softly or whispers and will talk about some various subject or do a bit of roleplaying (No dice or kinkiness (actually these could be very kinky I guess) involved). The roleplaying scenarios that I’ve seen are usually something with the theme of receiving a massage or a hair cut. At first, the bizarre act that I was watching was strange and comical to me, but after a few moments, I relaxed and could actually feel my scalp being massaged (which was what was happening in the video). It has something to do with muscle memory or familiar brain stimuli. I’m not sure how it exactly works, but it was very relaxing, meditative even.
After the third time of watching the video (yes, 3 whole times), I felt the busyness in my head clear up. It wasn’t empty, but much more serene and focused. It’s this clarity that has lead me to write my first entry in much too long. Not so much to promote this interesting relaxation method I’ve found, but I thought it was worth a share to any of you who may be interested.
Instead of this post becoming about all the things I’m going to do now and some time table that I’m going to adhere to, this is more of an update to say that my desire it to share more and post as often as I have something new to share.
Mainly the things I want to share more about are my passions. Fashion and crossdressing are two things that I don’t write about as often as I should. Through the few posts that I have shared about my unyielding need to possess both sides of the gender identity spectrum, I’ve received numerous emails and comments from many of you with words of support or a desire to hear more. First off, thank you so much you wonderful, beautiful readers and I’m going to make that happen.
Crossdressing to me is an important topic that I still don’t feel has it’s proper place in streams of communication. To the public, it’s still some weirdness that ‘mentally deficient’ people take part in for nefarious reasons. A lot of people look at this kind of thing as the continual disintegration of our society. I strongly object to that and would add that in fact it is the sign of a major progression. Gender roles at one time were large divisions between men and women. Now though, that divide is beginning to be united and instead of there being numerous groups of estranged people, we’re all merging into one massive group. This simple translates to equality.
I’ve got to great lengths to explain why I crossdress, but now I want to focus on helping others accept and embrace it. Because a man puts on a skirt or wears makeup, does that truly devalue them or make them immoral? Explain to me why? Really what the issue is, it’s a matter of threatening the idea of what masculinity is and what it means to be a man. We’re also talking about base animalistic fears that need to be overcome, as we’ve already overcome so much in the past.
So as I’ve touched on here, there is a lot I want to do here and will be keeping diligent to do so. Additionally, I’m starting a podcast at the beginning of the year where I interview people that I feel are contributing something special to society. By the contribution part, I’m not talking about grand gestures, but rather intimate ones that involve people pursuing their passions and sharing them with others. I’m calling it ‘Ele-A-Mental’ at the moment, but we’ll see if that name holds up in the coming days.
Thank you for reading this post and I hope that your week is full of wonderment