Most of the male cross-dressers I have come to know have been interested in female clothing since they were children. It has been a long journey since they tried on their first pair of woman’s panties. It was something a 6-year male isn’t expected to be interested in, yet the urge to explore woman’s clothing is ever present. Clearly it is an act a young child doesn’t understand, yet the compulsion is apparent. It is also something they don’t understand as this behavior appears to be deeply immersed in their psyche.
They are instinctively attracted to woman’s clothing as they are to playing baseball with their dad. Its just part of who they are and something they don’t think is wrong, until they are caught in the act and reprimanded. The innocence of a child is forgivable, but as they get older and more determined to act out on their need to dress in woman’s clothing, this same act becomes deviate and they are forced to hide their actions.
Children experiment with many things as they explore the world. This is the time to test out their desires. Most of the children outgrow habits that don’t serve them well. Yet, with cross-dressers, their innate desire to dress doesn’t go away, as it increases, as they get closer to puberty. Unable to discuss this need to dress with anyone, for fear of being punished or laughed at, these young cross-dressers live in silence, while trying to contain their desire to dress.
They purge time and time again, date and get married, hoping this urge to wear woman’s clothing will vanish and just be a childhood experiment that goes away with age. Only to find out years later the urge hasn’t diminished when they see a dress in a store they admire and want to try on. The overwhelming need to try it on becomes a driving force in their lives, causing them to question who they really are and why they have this need.
This conflict leads to a silent depression and confusion only fueled with the guilt of wanting to do so. This deeply affects their self-esteem and complicates their lives. Many cross-dressers have to act out on their need to dress and do so in private. This often leads to self-loathing and deviant behavior and causes a silent divide in their marriage because of this secret life they have not shared with their wives.
Because this need to dress has been buried for decades, it becomes an obsessive compulsion. Many times the secret is more powerful than the act. Especially when they have been lying to themselves and their wives about this important part of whom they are and how they fit into society. It is a dual-life they are leading, sometimes in the open with other cross-dressers, yet mostly by themselves. It is a lonely and conflicted life for many who can’t deal with the repercussions of coming out and telling those closest to them about their needing to present as a woman, sometimes.
The terms transvestite, cross-dresser and transgender have all been used for this act. Other terms as dual-gender, gender fluid and bi-gender have surfaced as this community attempts to define itself and help one another be able to better understand who they are. Yet, the men who cross-dress have a long history. This is not a new occurrence for it actually has been an acknowledged act for much longer then transsexuals, who now identify as transgender.
So why is it so difficult for the cross-dressers to feel good about who they are? It’s because it has been a secret act for so long for so many in the CD community. Most have not told their wives prior to marriage and when they finally do, their wives feel betrayed and frightened. They don’t know how far their husband’s will go with their femme side, though most CD’s prefer to maintain their male role, their wives aren’t convinced. This leads to a high incidence of divorce in marriages that most likely had other prior issues, but the cross-dressing becomes the final nail in their marriage.
My belief is there is someone for everyone out there, cross-dressers included. I have heard of many women who really love to have a man in their lives that have a femme side, who appreciates this. For some women, this is very sexy. Unfortunately, many of the current wives who are informed of their husband’s need to dress and express their femme self, won’t stay with them or if they do, they will make their lives miserable. There are very few wives, who can adjust to their husband’s femme side, unless they have a very close and loving marriage.
Divorce is horrible. I have been there, Yet, I was a different person when I married my first husband in my mid-twenties. By the time I reached my mid-thirties, I knew who I was and what I wanted. I just celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary with my second husband, who is my friend, lover and biggest supporter. No one is perfect in life; the key is finding someone who accepts you for who you are not what they want you to be.