I had very troubled teen years. Sure, most teens have their struggles, but I was an emotional wreck who couldn’t fit in socially to save my life and suffered from chronic depression. As a result, my parents sent me to a psychiatrist. It did me good and I leaned a lot about myself. I eventually chose to discontinue therapy after realizing that I was just going to him to complain about my life rather than work through my problems. In more than a decade of therapy, I never told him I was a crossdresser. The whole time, I was in fact in denial about it myself. After all, society frowns heavily on such things.
It took me a long, long time to come to terms with, but I finally accepted the fact that I am indeed a crossdresser. It’s not just what I do, it is who I am. An amazing thing happened as a result – I stopped hating myself. Even more amazing, I learned how to love myself. I can honestly say that I love myself, I love my life and I love being a crossdresser. There’s a lot of room for improvement in my life, but things aren’t so bad. I’ve got a decent job, a loving wife who accepts me as I am (and happens to enjoy my crossdressing very much) and finally found the courage to go online as Gabrielle and interact with other crossdressers.
I’ve met some very interesting crossdressers and become good friends with a few. Unfortunately, I’ve also come across so many crossdressers who are confused about who and what they are. Many of them hate their lives and hate the fact that they feel the need to crossdress. Many more have accepted themselves as they are, but are married to a woman who does not accept their crossdressing. The old “I married a man, not a woman” argument flies frequent and furious in online crossdressing communities. My wife accepts me… why not the wife of every crossdresser? What’s wrong with them? How can I help?
Seeing so much pain in people, fellow crossdressers that I can relate closely to, caused quite an unexpected burst of emotions in me. I wanted to incorporate crossdressing more into my own life and at the same time help other crossdressers find peace and happiness in their own lives. The emotions caused me much stress and difficulty sleeping at night. I decided to go back to my old psychiatrist and discuss an important point that I failed to share before.
There I was back on the couch: this time older, wiser, and with very specific goals in mind. I showed my doctor some photos of Gabrielle to which he said “she’s a very attractive woman”. I thanked him for the compliment and explained that she’s me. He asked me a series of questions to determine my sexuality and where I’m at with things in this aspect of my life. At the end of the session, he determined that I’m heterosexual, not “a woman trapped in a man’s body”, not looking for a sex change, and very comfortable with my crossdressing. He gave me a clean bill of mental health and flat out told me “you’re certainly not crazy”. He also said that we should have a few more sessions to sort out my flood of new emotions, which I agreed. I’ve never been happier in my life and I’m planning on making some big changes. I want to do this right.
My doctor made a very interesting point as the session was coming to a close. I told him that I felt like I had wasted so much of my life forcing myself to be someone I’m not – the “man” society expected me to be. Yes, genetically, I’m male. I love the (real) ladies. But I also love being girly and feminine… only was never allowed to be. This is, word for word, exactly what my doctor told me: “Most crossdressers start out their lives as very normal people… until society has their way with them.”
There are so many confused people out there – crossdressers who hate themselves, hate their lives, and live with women who do not accept them for who they are. They grew up, much like I did, in a society that seems hell bent on forcing people into one of two very specific gender roles based on the sexual organs one is born with. Girls are allowed to be feminine, or not so feminine. Men are pretty much only allowed to be masculine, period. From the time we’re born, these gender roles are taught, enforced and re-enforced over and over. It literally starts when we’re born. The very names we are given are gender specific. I could easily go on with a zillion examples of how society’s gender rules are taught, enforced, and the terrible consequences for not adhering to them.
Why is it we live in a society that sees fit to force people into roles that are not who they are? I’ve heard it said so many times about crossdressers: “You were born a man, why not be what God made you?” Well, that’s the problem. I’m being EXACTLY what God made me – I’m a crossdresser; a man with strong, natural “feminine” preferences and behavioral traits. I first realized this around the age of 3. It was hard-wired into my brain from the start. I sadly spent most of my life trying to be something I’m not – a manly man.
The main point I wanted to make is about what my psychiatrist said. Many people think that crossdressers are mentally sick and/or perverted, deviant freaks. And while some crossdressers probably are, so are many more non-crossdressers. What my doctor, said is very true. He’s a prominent psychiatrist, now in his 60’s, who deals with this issue all the time. How I regret never speaking with him about this when I was so much younger.
We start out very normal… then society does its best to force us into being something we’re not, and teaches us that what we feel inside is wrong. What kind of mind-f*ck is that? Is it any wonder so many crossdressers are so messed up? Is it any wonder that they end up in marriages with unaccepting wives? They probably got married long before they accepted who they are them self. I know I did. In a perfect world, all this stuff would be explained to a perspective wife long before taking the vows. And in a perfect world, society would encourage people to be themselves and not force ridiculous gender rules based only upon sex organs and some archaic, idiotic reasoning that has been handed down from generation to generation without question.
To hell with that crap. I choose to be me. I was never happy trying to be what society expected me to be, but I sure found happiness in being myself. It pains me that I cannot yet move about within society as I would choose to be because it can be dangerous to do so in my neck of the woods. But that’s a story for another day.