Getting Busted and Learning to Hate Myself

crying on bed

It seems like a million years ago and just yesterday at the same time. I was 12 years old and it was undoubtedly the single most traumatic event of my youth. The devastating emotional impact lasted for many years after.

I first realized my desire to dress in women’s clothes at about the age of 3 or 4. I didn’t know what it all meant, but I knew enough to keep it a secret. It’s interesting that even at such a young age, the social taboo of crossdressing was already heavily cemented in my mind. It seems like from the time I was born, I was taught of the need to fit in to the socially accepted norm of the “male gender role” because of my genitals. How else would a 4 year old know to guard this little secret as if his life depended on it?

Unfortunately, I did not guard my secret well enough. One evening, while my parents were out, I took advantage of the opportunity to try on one of my mother’s skirts. I had done this in secret several times throughout my short life. I don’t know how my mother entered the house, walked up the stairs, and opened the door to her bedroom without me hearing a sound. I just remember hearing her voice out of nowhere saying, “What are you doing?” Stunned and terrified, I looked up to find her standing in the doorway just a few feet away.

“I just wanted to see what it felt like to wear a dress.”, I replied. It was really a skirt, but I used the two terms somewhat interchangeably then. With a stern angry look on her face, she told me, “Get it off.”, and then gave me a brief moment of privacy to change.

My parents weren’t supposed to be home for some time yet. There should have been some kind of noise when they entered the house. No, this didn’t just happen… My mind was racing with terrible thoughts while trying to process the reality of the situation and figure out what would take place next. I’m some kind of terrible freak, committed a sin sure to land me in hell, and my mother was probably about to send me there herself.

She came up to my room to talk with me a short while later. I was asked a lot of questions, one of which was had I ever done that before. I lied and told her it was the first time. I pretended to just be curious about what it felt like to wear a skirt and how to sit properly while wearing one, etc. I begged her not to tell my father. I’m not sure if she did or not, but he never mentioned it. I don’t remember the whole conversation we had, but it really made me feel bad about who I was.

I was terribly embarrassed by the incident. I wasn’t sure if she bought my explanation of simple curiosity. I knew what I was… or at least that I liked dressing like a girl. Everything in my world told me that it was wrong to have desires like that. Now my mother knew as well, or so I believed she did after getting busted.

This incident in my life marked the beginning of my downward spiral into the madness, depression, self-loathing and confusion that became my teen years. This was the day I began to really hate myself. I put on women’s clothes, liked it, and my mother witnessed. I believed that the only thing worse than dressing like a girl was the fact that I actually wanted to dress like one. What was wrong with me?

Society has pretty strict rules about this kind of thing. Men/boys have to be masculine, period. Being a “girly-man” is something one should be ashamed of. I wanted to be feminine and pretty, but everything around me indicated that was wrong and that I was a sick person for being this way.

I didn’t know how to deal with the intense embarrassment of getting caught and scolded by my mother. I couldn’t have felt worse about myself. There was no one I could turn to. I didn’t understand why I was this way. I couldn’t erase what happened. I wanted to die. Death was far preferable to living as some kind of terrible, worthless freak that people would surely laugh at, ridicule, and maybe even harm if they knew.

In my later teens I made multiple attempts to kill myself, getting a little closer to success with each try. It landed me in the hospital on a couple of occasions. I almost succeeded that last time. Being a crossdresser, and feeling terrible about it, was at the heart of my own insecurities, low self-esteem, and deep self-hatred. I couldn’t tell anyone though.

It is interesting that as I think back to this time in my life, the memory is still very painful and intense. It causes me to tear up if I recollect for too long. I will forever bear the scares of my suicidal stupidity – reminders of my dark past and how far I’ve come.

My story has a happy ending though. It took a little more than three and a half decades to figure out, but I finally learned how to accept myself as a crossdresser. There is nothing wrong with who I am – the problem lies within the social stigma of being a crossdresser and the way much of society treats us.

It is not a sickness, addiction, compulsion, disorder, or something that requires treatment to overcome. It is, in fact, simply who I am. Just as some people are born left-handed, some men are born with a strong feminine side. Ask any trained psychiatric professional and they will confirm. For whatever reason, society frowns heavily on such things.

When I accepted who and what I am, I stopped hating myself. I even learned how to love myself. I cannot properly describe the beautiful feeling – truly loving who I am. It is something I once believed to be never achievable. I now love being a crossdresser. I’m a girly-man and don’t feel bad about it at all. It is simply who I am and I love being me. I still have to hide my feminine side from most of the world in order to hold down a job, etc. but I’m not ashamed of who I am anymore. God made me this way and I thank Him for it. The dark beast within turned out to be a beautiful gift. I now cherish and celebrate it.

Since embracing who I am, people who know me have noticed that I’m happier and a lot more easy going than I used to be. It surprised me that people noticed the difference and actually mentioned it.

If you’re a crossdresser and currently hate yourself as I once did, I share my personal struggles to let you know there is hope. You’ll never be cured of your desire to crossdress because there is nothing that can cure you of who you are. You can however, be cured of your self-hatred. There is nothing wrong with you or your desire to express yourself and how you feel by crossdressing. The only problem is with anyone who would try to change you or “fix” you and have you become someone that you are not.

If I learned how to accept who I am, then believe me – so can you… when you’re ready. I just hope you don’t take as long as I did to figure it all out. You’ve got a gift. Try to embrace and enjoy it. Anyone who says you’re crazy or would try to change you – they’re the one with the serious problem, not you. There is nothing healthy about trying to change who someone is when there is nothing wrong with them in the first place.

If you’re not a crossdresser, I hope this has somehow opened your eyes to what many of us go through. There is no reason to treat us poorly. We’re not freaks or terrible people. We feel pain just like anyone else. I hope you won’t look down up on me or anyone like me because we choose to be ourselves and embrace life as we are. Try to be open minded. If you know a transgendered person, please try to make them feel welcome in this world. Everyone needs to feel accepted for who they are.

It all seems so senseless to me now. There was no need for me to ever feel so bad about who I was. Why are gender differences treated like some mental disease by most of society? Why aren’t we taught the truth about this when we are young? Why is it such a big secret? Why is being a crossdresser something to make fun of? Who the hell began this way of thinking? Why are kids today still “protected” from such knowledge or taught that it is wrong it is to be this way? What purpose does all of this negative treatment of transgendered people serve?

Perhaps the most important question is how much longer will this continue? Sadly, the world is full of crossdressers who still hate themselves, and needlessly so. How many of them will succeed in their suicide attempts? How much longer will they live a life of personal torment? No one should ever have to suppress who they are in order to be accepted and respected. If someone is an ax murderer, then yes – repression is good. But simply being a crossdresser – what’s the problem, here?

44 thoughts on “Getting Busted and Learning to Hate Myself”

  1. Excellent post. Did your mother ever mention this incident again? I was lucky in that I was never caught, although I did have a few scares. I remember once when my mother came home, she noticed that some of her clothes were on the floor and she asked who had been trying them on. I’ve got a younger sister, so I guess my mother figured that she was the culprit.

    I am sad to hear that you went through those dark times. Thank goodness you got through them all right and now you’re not only happy with who you are, but are able to live your life freely with your wife.

    1. My mother mentioned it about a week later, telling me not to try on her clothes again when she went out with my father. That was the last it was ever brought up specifically.

      A few weeks ago, I was speaking with her (via e-mailing back and forth one afternoon) about my “dark years” and why I as so messed up back then. Without coming out to her (I’ve not talked to her about my cding since that time) or mention anything specific, she told me that she hoped nothing she said or did contributed to my terrible depression and self-hatred. I couldn’t tell if she figured out I’m a cd, knew all along, or was just feeling guilty about how strictly I was raised. I let her know I’m fine now and not to feel guilty about anything. I honestly don’t care if she knows now, but I stopped short of telling her.

      And yes, I’m very happy with who I am and I love my cd life! My dark years are but a memory. My wife is great, accepts me as I am, loves me completely (not just my man-side), and celebrates Gabrielle with me. :)

  2. Awesome article and such powerful writing, Gabrielle. Totally to the max. It is almost exactly like my own experience. I ask the same questions everyday. Your article should be required reading by all as it touches on very poignant issues. I’m so glad that you and your wife have each other to celebrate and share life’s journey together. Cheers !

  3. Thanks, Phyllis. I’m sorry if you had a similar experience.

    I wish there was some kind of way to get everyone to read this. I’ll share what I’ve been through and what I’ve learned and hope it reaches the right eyes.

    I count my blessings when it comes to Mrs. H. She’s very good to me. :) Brought her some flowers today. She gave me a big smile. How I love to see her smile!

  4. This is not an easy path, nor would I ask anyone to follow. It took me decades to give up the fight and that only happened because I was going crazy with chronic anxiety, alcohol abuse, driving my wife insane. In the end, the pain of denial was greater than that of acceptance. However, self-acceptance is a fluctuating phenomena, there are days it still is hard. I come from a heritage of clearly defined gender roles… I tried my best to fit in but it wasn’t meant to be.

  5. I hope in time your self-acceptance is less fluctuating and more constant, Lisa. We all need to feel at peace in our lives. Perhaps once society lightens up on transgendered issues, it will be easier for ALL of us. Until that time comes – understand that you are not alone in your struggles. :)

  6. This is a very well done article. It explains what must have been a very difficult time. As we go through life we interact with other people and hopefully what we say here is helpful to others, those who post and those who just monitor. I did not hide anything from my wife and that is what we need be truthful. You are lucky to have a wonderful understanding wife. Thanks for starting this website. As time goes by it will continue to improve.

  7. Hi Gabriella, I to am a cd and have been dressing for more than 40 years. I too was caught in panties, hose and a dress by my mother and father! I was 12 or 13 at that time. I had 2 sisters and I really liked wearing their clothes, and I would dress up and masturbate…and then the guilt would overcome and I would quickly remove the clothing and return them if I could , or I would wait till the following day. Anyway, what happened was that after I had relieved myself I fell asleep! Thats when the proverbial fan got cover! Long lectures for a week it seem like and my poor dad never got over it. My oldest sister asked me “you have been wearing my clothes for some time now” and I just want to know if you like it? I told her that I did and from that point on, whenever mom and dad left she would dress me up real pretty like and I just loved her to death.
    My other sister found out that my oldest sister was dressing me up and she wanted to play as well. Now she got mad at me one evening and told my Mom I was still dressing!
    Mom asked me if It was true and I told her that I loved to dress up and would not stop! She made me see a counselor and the counselor told her not to worry …that he will grow out of it in time. Almost 40 years later I still dress every Friday evening, Go out in public and have the time of my life.
    My mother finally accepted me as a cd around 16 or 17. Was very supportive of my dressing and before her death in 2006 she gave me a floor length night gown for Christmas! We just gotta love our mothers! My Father swore up and down that I was Queer but I am not. I have 3 children: 28,25 and 5. My eldest daughter Julia and I have double dated several times with me dressed totally ENFEMME. I have only hid my dressing from my 5 year old son. Hope this isn’t to long for you, but I love your site!

    1. Thanks for sharing your story, Debbie. :) I think it’s great that your sisters played dress up with you and that your mother later accepted you. I’m sorry your father never came around. :(

      Double-dating with your daughter en femme sounds like a really great time. It makes me so happy to hear stories of acceptance and support within families. I can tell there is a lot of love in yours. My love to you and your family, Debbie. :)

  8. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us Gabrielle. It makes for a very moving read. Like everyone who has posted comments above, I’m so glad you managed to come through that dark period of your life.

    I am sure there are many of us that can relate in one way or another to the struggles, guilt, anxieties, denial, purges and contemplation (or worse) of self harm that comes with the ‘forced’ repression of such an important aspect of who we are.

    I find it very moving to read accounts of dressers who have been courageous enough to come out the their significant other and have found acceptance and peace in their lives. I applaud you for taking the time to compile such a wonderful site that acts as both a resource for dressers but also as something of a de facto counselling site. I would hope that for young people wrestling with the denials and dilemnas we have all struggled with there is some form of solace or comfort provided by sites such as yours from the assurance that they are not alone, that many have travelled this road before them, and that for most there is a happy resolution at the end of the journey.

    Whilst on a personal front I still continue to struggle with the duality of my personality (with employment, family life etc driven by a very male persona, whilst my dressing accomodates a passive, soft side that is known only to a very select few) I do hope that one day I will muster the courage to come out to a greater extent to some of the people around me.

    Again, thanks for compiling such a wonderful site and for sharing your personal insights with us all.

    1. You’re welcome, Tiffany. :) I didn’t think it possible years ago, but I not only survived it, I have come a long way since those dark years of personal torment and self-loathing. If people could have only seen first-hand how lost I was years ago, they would know that if I can make it, anyone can. The key is to look beyond the confining walls of what is “normal” and “acceptable”, and understand the true realities.

      I’m sorry you still struggle with this aspect of your life. Trust me when I tell you – I completely understand. It’s powerful stuff, that which has been embedded in our minds by the world that surrounds us and by everyone we know. Escaping its dehumanizing, crippling affects is no easy task, and not something anyone can expect to achieve overnight.

      I’ve come a long way and still have a distance to travel. Unlike before however, I see life a lot clearer. I understand who I am and know where I need to grow from here. You will make it too, Tiffany. You are stronger than the garbage that was implanted into your head by our society of gender conformity. You already know you’re stronger, you need only to work through the rest at a pace you’re comfortable with. I find that with each new step I take in my own journey, there is a new sense of freedom and control over my own life. There are dangers in choosing to be oneself in an unaccepting society, but the personal rewards are plentiful and showing the rest of the world that it’s ok to be oneself is priceless. :)

  9. Gabrielle, I want to add my thanks to your list. I just found your site and am very happy I did. This post really hits home for me also. I have been a crossdresser since I was about 6 (a lot of years at this point…lol) and my sister caught me in one of my moms dresses. I said the same thing you did about wanting to see how it felt. I was ashamed and angry and scared then and I still feel some of the self anger/hatred today.

    I am married to a wonderful loving woman who found out by reading a “crib sheet” of points I wanted to cover with a therapist. That was a few years ago and for me it hasn’t gotten much easier…yet…I hope it does.

    I love dressing and feeling pretty, feminine, sexy, (no-one has a clue as to what I’m talking about, huh…lol…jk). This inner thing goes on but it feels good to be able to write about it to you and share it with others.

    Thanks again! I will stop by more often, we can all use a friend like you.


    1. I’m sorry you ended up getting caught, too, Katie. I’m sure it was not easy for you, either. You’re well aware that you are not alone. The need to explore one’s feminine side is very real and shared by many men. There is no need to feel shame or embarrassment about it… even though that is usually our first emotion when being discovered. I’ve become very comfortable with this aspect of my life, and embrace it now. I truly love who I am. I hope that in time, it becomes easier for you to accept as well. I wish you much luck in that respect, Katie. I know you’ll get there, too. :)

  10. Hi there Gabrielle,
    Thank-you so much for your website! I am sorry for the struggles of your youth and am so happy that you are happily married to someone who celebrates you for who you are. I am a Mother and a wife and while my husband does not CD, I have a dear friend who does, I also have a 4 year son who loves to dress up, nail polish & the whole nine yards and why not?!? I came here because I wanted a better understanding of what it feels like from your perspective & to broaden my understanding.
    Take care,

    1. Hi Mandy. I’m glad you found your way to my website, and you’re very welcome. :) It makes me so happy to know that there are mothers out there like you – open minded and more concerned with providing a loving and understanding environment for your child rather than strict conformity. I truly wish I could have had that when I was growing up. I have so much respect and admiration for your approach to parenting. I know your son will grow up in a loving, happy home, without the burden of feeling like some kind of terrible person for simply being who he is. If only more mothers took this approach. Thank you for sharing – you made my day! :)

  11. Hi Mandy. As a transgendered person and a parent of 3 children around that age, I would say don’t come to any conclusions. Enjoy your son as he enjoys playing. It could be one of many factors why he enjoys playing how he does.

    Things may very well change as his socialization does. My oldest from ages 2 to 5 I would have bet money was going to be a Tomboy and always be mixing up with the boys. Part way through Kindergarten she just up and decided she was going to be a girlie-girl. My middle child, at your son’s age, seems to live in a world of rough and tumble femininity… a Disney Warrior Princess, if you will. A perplexing odd combination, but one she is currently comfortable with.

    My advice is just help them find their own way without influencing them to much or allowing others to influence them too much. And as they grow try to help them understand how to be their own person. It is a balancing act to be sure and a road filled with land mines. But as long as you provide a safe and loving environment for your child you are doing the best you can.

    Just make sure to enjoy the ride. Parenting to hard otherwise.

  12. Gabrielle – I am always so surprised as a parent, thinking that everyone must feel/act the same way as I in the care and raising of their children. People are ridiculously old fashioned still, even among people who I would say are more liberal.

    Oh yes Erin, we are not impressing anything upon anyone, for sure – because that would be hypocritical too, as every one, from little to big should be able to express themselves in whatever way they choose and my job (as a recognized power holder in this little guy’s self esteem, which is why this particular post really struck me as a Mother) is to make sure that all of my children are loved for who the unique beings they are. I even hesitate to use terms like “girly” or “masculine” when looking at their behaviours. With my son I just say, WOW, HONEY, you look amazing, I bet you feel special, how nice of your (teenage) sister to spend that time with you” rather than “What a pretty girl you are” or anything like that. If he is doing it when he is a teenager, I will open my closet door and say “help yourself honey” although he may find more loot amongst his sister’s stuff. My husband is the same way, he just smiles and says “You look great!”.

    When I was a kid growing up I was a serious “tomboy”, I wanted to look and act just like my Father. I was his side kick fisherwoman, I could gut and fillet a fish like you would not believe, I probably had stronger arms than most of the boys in my class! anything that had to do with make-up, diets & dresses I felt were better left in the realm of my wicked step Mother, I did not want to be a part of her (what I felt at the time was very vain) kingdom. BUT when my parents went out for an evening I STILL snuck in her closet and tried on her very sexy dresses! To me it was trying out something different, seeing a different side of myself, an elaborate game of dress-up where one is able to give balance to that “masculine” and “feminine” that resides within us all, to be both the observer of beauty and the embodiment of beauty and the empowerment that can come from both of those modes. It is different for everyone, I know, and I really hope I am not stepping on any toes – just explaining my feelings.

    So when I look at my son all gussied up, I see a beautiful little thing who is able to find his balance with beauty and self-expression. Anyone who goes against our “cultural norms” to be true to themselves has my admiration and full understanding. I remember how darn good it felt to pull on down on the brim of my trucker cap and with filthy fish scaled hands help my Father pull in a gorgeous walleye, or how I would smile if some stranger would accidentally call me his son, because at that time it was what I needed, it was my way to connect and make sense of things with my Father, to feel a sense of peace and pride in how I was developing as a growing human being. Why would it not be any different for my son?

    When I came to your site it was mainly to see “what does it feel like?” because I would hesitate to assume that there is some unifying reason to CD, and if there is the closest thing I can think of is that we refuse to be defined, labelled and kept in the tight little ordered boxes that society (in general) feels “safe” being constricted within. This ability to live outside of the box is surely as beautiful as thing as ever can be, as beautiful as dear Gabrielle who runs this website and as beautiful as my 13 year old reflection after having squeezed into my step-Mothers little black dress.

    PS I no longer fish, and my arms have gone to noodles. I am ok with that.

    1. Don’t apologize for what you shared, Mandy. I’m happy that you took the time to share your thoughts and a bit of your life. :) Sometimes it takes me a while to respond.

      I really admire how you and your husband encourage your son in that which makes him happy instead of trying to rediect his focus or shame him in to things that are generally regarded as “normal” by the mainstream. That is a powerful show of love that will truly benefit him as he grows. My parents meant well with me, but I was constantly redirected (in many ways and aspects of life, some necessary and some very damaging). As I said before, I truly wish I could have grown up in the kind of environment you provide for your kids, in terms of the encouragement to follow their own likes and interests.

      I also respect and admire your personal choices to be as you choose, regardless of how feminine or masculine it may be considered by others. One should live life in a way that best suits their own preferences and not in a way that better suits the interests of others.

      In terms of avoiding femimine or masculine classifications with your son, it’s hard to say whether or not that is beneficial. Your reasoning in doing so is certaintly just and admirable. Nature came up with man and woman. Society came up with the concept of what is masculine and what is feminine.

      In girl-mode, I prefer to be addressed in the feminine. That is how I truly feel as Gabrielle, and the feminine terminology is best fitting to how I am as such, even if my physical body is male under my feminime exterior.

      Perhaps asking your son how he feels (when he is expressing mannerisms or behaviors that are generally considered feminine) might be beneficial in understanding his personal feelings and how he might prefer to be seen/addressed at times. Of course that depends entirely on what you find important in terms of using such terminology. Just a resptfully offered,unsolicited thought. :)

      One thing is for certain – your son will not be emotionally bogged down with the senseless and damaging confusion and terribe shame that haunted me for so many years. I hope other mothers are taking notes from your approach! :)

  13. The earliest incident of getting caught I think was when I was a first grader. I had always liked skirts, and seeing my mom in them. I wanted to know how it felt to wear one.
    Well, one day my mom had left a slip on the ground, this on her was small but on me it was LONG.
    Thinking I was doing nothing wrong, I took off my pants, and slid up the slip. I don’t really remember how it felt, but I do recall liking the experience. But then my mom rounded the corner and saw me. She didn’t yell, she didn’t admonish.

    No (and this is clear as day) she began laughing, and then called my Dad’s name as she went back through into the kitchen “we have ourselves a little fruit loop” she said, then she ordered me to come into the kitchen in my skirt.

    I was humiliated by both my mother and father by their laughter. I did not know what “fruit loop”, I could not understand why they were calling me a breakfast cereal. But their laughter was hurtful. I was then told to take the slip off, and put on my pants, and stand in the corner.

    Yea, that was the first time, and possibly a trigger to my despising gender based discrimination. I found it highly unfair that girls could go around with short hair and in pants looking like boys, but I could not wear skirts.

    It was not until MANY year later I started actually wearing skirts…I love them, and think the whole idea of sexual discrimination when it comes to clothing is BS.

    It is a part of me, and has been since I was young. It for me is not necessarily expressing my feminine side, it is my real self that I am expressing.

    clothing discrimination needs to go the way of the Do Do. Like every other form of discrimination.

    1. Thanks for sharing your childhood “getting busted” story, Pythos. I’m sorry you received that kind of treatment from your parents. Whether it is gender expression, feminine expression, or self-expression (all of which are applicable in my case), it is important to be able to present oneself as one feels is natural and/or as one prefers. Clothing discrimination is going the way of the dodo, just not nearly as fast as we’d like. We can always speed things up a tad by choosing to express ourselves publicly and putting forth a positive example of who we are (by “we” I mean each of us as individuals – whether we are expressing our feminine side, or just expressing our personal interest in appearance/style). When the negative stereotypes are extinguished, things will change that much faster.

  14. I think it’s sad that wearing the “wrong” clothing can be so be so unacceptable and cause people to hurt each other. For what?

    The problem I see is that society as a whole is disfunctionally unbalanced toward the masculine side. The concepts of femininity are seen as inferior and generally rejected, even in woman. Men especially must be agressive, competetive and tough to survive. It’s only natural that we are weary from this. Our inner female sides are often completely neglected. But we must strive to find the balance which does not seem to exist in our world.

    I would never criticize a man for wearing a woman’s clothing, although I would challenge us men (including myself) to go deeper. Again, not to be critical, dressing is on the surface. It’s really the inner part of us that needs the attention. I believe that to truly be whole we must ply the deeper waters of our inner feminine souls.

    May we all find our own path toward wholeness.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Greg. :) I agree 100% on society’s unbalanced preference and reward for that which is regarded as masculine (personality traits and general style).

      It’s unclear as to whether or not you’re a crossdresser by your comment, but regardless, I’m happy to hear that you would not criticize a man for wearing woman’s clothing. It would be nice if more people were accepting of difference in others rather than trying to force conformity across the board.

      In terms of exploring one’s whole self, that is sound thinking. I know in time, the day will come when it is encouraged for people to truly explore all that they are (barring harmful attributes) instead of only that which is expected of them based only on genitalia.

  15. Greg, the world needs more people like you.

    I will be honest though, I am quite “whole”. I am me, in whatever I choose to wear.

    Your view on our disbalanced society is one I have been hearing more and more ofter, and it is about time.

    My lady friend and I were talking about how boys are being raised. She stated something I think is hauntingly true. Boys for a long time have been raised to be sociopaths.

    This past holiday season I had to go see the Nutcracker. In the opening part there is a family celebrating Christmas. Look at the presents the girls get. Dolls. What do the boys get? Toy soldiers. The girl’s toys represent life, and love, where as the boys toys represent Death, and order. Now I know the nutcracker is staged in the 1800s, but has anything changed really?

    Really, take a look.

    Football is a violent, violent sport. It is described in terms of battle. It is watched by rabid fans. This is considered wholesome.

    Men wearing skits is deviant.

    Janet Jackson’s breast is “accidentally” flashed on the TV. This causes a huge uproar. Yet nightly on TV we are shown images and scenes of violence.

    We are not only raising boys to be sociopaths, we are raising everyone to be such.

    The only way to stop it, is to call it out. When you see someone acting stupid about someone else, call them out on it. Call them what they are, bigots, or predjudice, or racist.

    There is more that needs to be done, but just lying down and letting people continue this way, is not the answer.

    1. You make very good points, Pythos. We do live in a society that seems to reward sociopathic behavior. It’s a sad state of things. In the wild, it is survival of the fittest. In the “civilized” world, it is survival of the smartest. It will take considerable intelligence to bring about change. It will take considerable strenght to deal with those who will try to prevent change. In one way or another, we will need to fight for what is right. Let us fight intelligently, and let us be strong enough to conquer the challenges that will be involved in the process.

  16. Unlike yourself I did not need to hide my crossdressing. My mother in 1961 decided that there was nothing wrong with boys wearing dresses, and she was not adverse to girls wearing pants. She dressed my brothers (2) and I in dresses. I took them like a duck to water. I actually enjoyred wearing them. IN the summer of 61 I was dressed in a girls yelow party dress w/petticoats. She also put 3 other dresses in my closet. I wore these all summer long. Once school started I was back in pants aand boys shirts, at least while it was in session. I’d come home and immediately change into one of MY dresses, slip and cotton panties. My brothers did not like it and destroyed theirs in several manners from cutting to tearing them, so she quit getting them dresses. I however kept wearing mine and she added constantly to my selections. By the time I was 16 I had a closet full of dresses, no skirts. After she had met someone she said her boyfriend didn’t think I should wear them any longer, so she stopped getting them for me.
    At this point I was on my own. I would usually put on something of my sisters, but eventually started buying my own. I am not gay, I just feel better when dressed. I had myself tested and found out that I am transgendered. To put it simply is that I had a male body, but a female brain. This was part of the diagnosis. I did not play sports (hated them), i did not engage in normal male bonding by hanging out with the guys. I preferred the company of females. I loved cooking, sewing and other feminine pursuits. I had a fascination with dolls and stuffed animals (still do). I own a Barbie Doll with the accessaries. I now wear skirts and skorts out to the parks, shopping and other places. I do not try to pass as female as I do have a male body and surgery is toooooo expensive. I am now 59 yrs of age, so just be yourself.

    1. Thanks for sharing your story, Robert. :) It sounds like your experience was an overall positive one. It’s too bad your mother had a change of heart when you were 16, but you seemed to make the best of it.

      If you’re happy with where you’re life is at now, in terms of femininity, then good for you. Be who you are, and live life as you would choose. :)

  17. Thank you for posting this one. I am sorry to hear of what you, and others, have gone through. But, I am happy to know that you are now who you are…hope that makes sense.

    I was also busted in my youth. I can’t remember many of the specifics…like much of my youth, I can’t consciously recall certain details. However, I do remember being sent to a psychologist. I think the final result was a statement to the effect that I would cease dressing, which thankfully ended the sessions.

    The “statement” by me was of course a lie, or at least a covert suppression until I was on my own and therefore able to purchase my own “stuff” and “dress” in my own home. I still kept it a secret, divulged only to the women that I dated and then only to those that I thought would be accepting. It’s a long story, but suffice it to say that only recently (within the past few years) have I even tried to “go public”. I think that there was a mental “block” on my ability to go out en femme…I never thought I would look, or act in an acceptable and respectful (“passable”) manner.

    That all changed when I met my current GF. She is not only accepting and supportive, she showed me that I could indeed look, and act, as well as I needed to in order to “go out”. Please note that I’m not being egotistical or that I think that I am “all that”. I am very realistic about how I look and act, but I think I am “good enough”, if that makes sense.

    I want to thank Gabrielle for the blog that she maintains here. She has consistently dealt with both the easy and the tough issues in a succinct, understanding, and truthful manner, often from a personal perspective as in this post. Thank you G.

    Take care all,

    Erin K.

    1. Thanks for sharing your own childhood busted experience, Erin. Growing up was difficult enough, but being “different” AND getting busted made it so much harder to deal with life for so many years.

      I’m so happy to hear that you’ve made such good progress in your comfort level and presentation when going out en femme. That’s another tough one to tackle for so many of us. Didn’t take your remarks as “egotistical” at all, btw. I completely understand what you were trying to express. I think I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – you be sure to let your girlfriend know just how awesome she is and how much you love her. She sounds like a really great person and she has my respect and admiration.

      So happy you’ve enjoyed my offerings. It really means a lot to hear that. :) Thank you!

  18. Ah, being caught … the dreaded outing that every young transperson lives in fear of.

    I know I did. Being the youngest of three, I got to watch my older siblings make the mistakes and the consequences they suffered. As it turned out one of my older siblings was a CD … and I remember my mother finding some of his stuff on one of her cleaning expeditions.

    I don’t remember much of what happened over that discovery – other than both of my parents going ballistic. At the wise age of ten or eleven, that was enough to scare me into the closet and slam the door shut behind me. I tried for years to bury how I felt, and kept failing time and again. I’m not proud of how that played in my now-defunct marriage.

    I don’t know if shame came into the picture so much as visceral fear of the consequences of being caught in my case (especially rejection). I spent a huge amount of time later in life finding a way that I could tell my parents about my transition.

    I had no choice but to tell my family what I was doing – and that made the year I went full time a positively harrowing experience! To borrow from Frank Herbert – I faced my fear, I allowed it pass over and through me, and when it passed all that remained is me.

    There’s no doubt in my heart though that I’ve made the right choice in choosing to live my life openly and authentically to myself.

  19. Gabby you rock! It’s been awhile since stopping by when I saw the title I got worried for a second. I’ve been there I know those feelings real well.It took me until my mid thirties before I realizied That I wasn’t alone and began to climb out of that deep hole. So really glad this is a back story.Keep doing what you do so well. Luv Ya your friend Scarlet.

    1. Thanks for your words of support and sharing a bit of your own struggle, Scarlet. Yep, this was just a recollection of my dark times. I love who/what I am now. It was such a waste being confused all those years but at least I woke up and saw the reality. Sadly, many still struggle with the negative stigma and remain confused and depressed.

  20. Great post, Gabrielle. I wish I had read this sooner, but got scared off by the header. I was never caught red-handed, but one of my brothers was. The whole family came home and found him standing in front of a mirror wearing a girdle and a bra. I think my parents were fairly cool about it, at least my father was, but the rest of us (me included) wouldn’t let him live it down. That was before I knew of my own proclivities. I still feel guilty about the teasing we gave him. As it turns out, ALL of us (four boys) displayed similar tendencies! Only my younger brother and I ever talked about it, though. My mother is currently very ill and close to death. I’m getting the sense that when she passes we’re going to be a lot more open with each other about who and what we are, including the way I choose to live my life today.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Suzy. :) Very interesting that you and your brothers all turned out to have feminine tendencies. Be grateful that it was not you that got caught that day. As you discovered in my article, it really messed me up for a long time. I understand your giving your brother a hard time about it as kids. At that age, it’s kind of expected and natural for siblings to give each other a hard time about whatever.

      I’m sorry to hear about your mother. I hope that you are able to share more with your younger brother (and maybe all of them) in the future. If you each have (or suspected to have) some level of trans in common, perhaps discussing with each other might foster a stronger relationship and understanding between all. :)

  21. wish me good luck bros.
    i think i am going to come out. (i am 16)
    dont know how, but i have to do what i have to do. embrace myself, be myself :)

    1. I’m glad you’ve decided to embrace yourself and be yourself, manisa. That’s a healthy move in the right direction. At 16, I was deep in self-denial about who I was, and remained in self-denial for many years after. I had no real understanding of the feelings I had. I certainly hope that you have a good understanding of who you are, should you follow through with your plans to come out. You may face a lot of questions from those you share this with, so be sure you are emotionally prepared, as well as prepared with sound, well thought out answers. If you are presented with questions you are not immediately certain as how to address, I strongly recommend you do not try to. Don’t be afraid to tell people that you need to “give it some thought first” before answering. It’s best to come back with the right answer later than to put forth something that’s less than accurate up front. The last thing you want is for others to get the impression that you’re confused or uncertain of yourself.

      If you are at peace with yourself and ready to share with others, I hope all goes well and it leads to more rewarding life. Best of luck to you, manisa! :)

  22. Hi Gabrielle, I was caught at the age of 12, wearing my mother’s go-go boots. I never heard the end of it until the day she died. After then I started slowly accepting who I was and started to enjoy it, only alone because I didn’t want to upset my wife. Now that we’re almost divorce, it’s much easier now. I have a lady friend now who is understanding about my dressing up, and she encourages me sometimes! Last month she took me for my first pedicure-manicure, and we both got blue polish on our toes! Yes, it’s still there, I haven’t taken it off yet. Thank you for sharing your experiences, I’ll continue to share mine!

    1. Hi Mary, thanks for sharing :). Sorry to hear that you got busted at a young age, too, and that your mother gave you a hard time about it until the end. It’s too bad it had to go down like that. I’m also sorry to hear that your marriage isn’t fairing well (unless you’d be happier apart, that is). At least it sounds like you’re becoming more comfortable with who you are and starting to explore more. It’s good that you have a good friend you can share it with, too. A good friend is priceless! Send her my love for being such a cool friend to you, and be sure to let her know how much you value her presence in your life, too.

  23. this is a very interesting piece fortunately I have not suffered from depression or been outed but I do get a bit frustrated. I didnt realise that I felt this way until I left ome & started living with my female partner and the bedroom was full of makeup and pretty underware and the 1st time I tried her lipstick (without her knowing) a switch clicked inside me and I knew female was better.
    we have since split up and I have gone through 2 periods of building a feminine life and then thought this is wrong and purged however I have been building my current feminine side for over 4 years now and I think I have accepted that this is part of me and that it isnt wrong , the frustration is that I cant get past the front door , round the house ,back yard fine but outside , I think its because I still dont think anyone will accept me as feminine and I dont want my dreams stamped on

  24. I’ve recently started buying my own clothes (I just turned 30 recently, and started a few months before). I think on or both parents know, but act like it’s nothing.

    I learned to crossdress secondhand at about age 6, from my brother getting me to dress up. At age 13 I started borrowing my sister’s clothes. I lived with a great deal of depression for almost 20 years after. Then something shocking happened, I realized that the actual act of crossdressing wasn’t inherently wrong, it was the trying to act like it wasn’t part of my past and my present. Keeping the secret was splitting me off from other people, keeping the secret was creating a mask of apathy (which I now have trouble shedding) over what would be my sensitivity. And worst of all, because I tried to appear opposite of what I was, I grew out a beard to mangy scruffily levels, and sabotaged my own job/social prospects.

    The day I bought my first clothes was the day I resolved to stop hiding, and start facing this separation between people I had. I still get depressed, but now it doesn’t feel like keeping secrets is as much a part of it.

  25. I am a crossdresser, I started out being dressed by my sister, i must have been 3 maybe 4. She is four and a half years older then I. I remember enjoying a little blue dress that she “made” me wear I loved it. A few years later she stopped dressing me in her clothes but started putting her make up on me, I thought I was cute, she may have done that to be mean to me but, I loved it! I loved everything about dressing like a girl. As time passed, I must of been maybe 10, i started borrowing her panties and bras. I loved the way they would feel on me. I would [tuck my penis] to look more “girly”. With in a year or so of wearing her panties, my sister started using something else in her panties. My mom Modess. To be more “girly” i had to use them too. Also having one in my panties helped hold my penis [tucked back]. I still at age 50 use them to hold things in place and to make me feel more like a girl. As I grew older and earned my own money mowing yards I would buy my own maxi-pads. I would get Stay-Free, they would stay in place better. Well, one day my mom found my maxi-pads and a pair of my sisters panties in my drawer. I was scared because I was yelled at and grilled as to why I had these. I didn’t know what to say. So i said I liked how they felt on me. And I did too! Latter on, I don’t remember how much later, a few days or a week, my sister came into my room looking for one of my Stay-Free Maxi-Pads to use. My mother must have told her that I had them. I could have died right there. Why did my mother do that trying to embarrass me like that. I just wanted to be a “girly” boy. No one ever said “Its wrong for me to wear my sisters bra and panties, and i shouldn’t use maxi-pads in my underwear, I was just yelled at for doing it and embarrassed to death. Honestly, that is not the way to deal with a crossdressing child. I was young, I didn’t know. I was in 5th or 6th grade before i learned I wasn’t going to turn into a girl. Which is what i longed for. I thought turning into a girl was like a prize for being a good boy.

  26. i havent read all the comments yet, but i plan to. i just wanted to share this little bit of information

    ” Since embracing who I am, people who know me have noticed that I’m happier and a lot more easy going than I used to be. It surprised me that people noticed the difference and actually mentioned it. ”

    exactly this happend to me as well when i accepted myself for who i am last year.

    also your story made me tear up.
    (Which litterly only happens when im en femme)

    when i was 6 years old i got caught wearing my sisters sun dress… by my sister i had so many thoughts going through my mind but as far as i can remember my mom handled it very well. she said somthing along the lines of “If you like to wear dresses thats ok, it just is not somthing your -SUPOSED- to do”

    im lucky in that regard that my family is so open minded even though i havent come out as a crossdresser yet.

    thankyou for sharing so much of your life.


  27. Thankfully, I was never caught out before I came out. Though I did go through deep and dark depression because of my crossdressing during my teen years [I started at the age of 6.] For a long time I felt like wasn’t a normal person. I felt there was something wrong with me, I loved it when I dressed up but eventually whether it was 10 minutes or 2 hours after, I would look at myself and feel a deep hatred.

    But this hatred always felt forced, like something was telling me I HAD to hate the fact I was a crossdresser, I was always giving myself excuses to STOP myself from doing it again.

    Sometime’s I’d say to myself “Think how [insert name here] would feel if they found out!” planting a seed of fear into my head of being rejected and hated because of my crossdressing.
    Eventually I just gave up trying to stop myself because I knew it would never happen, after that I felt better about it.

    I started to become much more happier because I no longer forced myself to stop or hide away, though I knew to keep it a secret I was thrilled that I found that inner peace with myself.

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