Cross-dressers are stepping out more as our society has been introduced to the transgender community. The stereotypes for the transgender community remain embedded in the images, of mostly men, who feel they were born the wrong gender and have a need to live their lives authentically as a woman. This is what we see on television with programs meant to educate and entertain.
Yet, the majority of men who cross-dress are not committed to just one gender as they are men who have a need to present as women, yet don’t necessarily want or can not take the loss to live their lives as a woman. The “woman inside them” must come out, yet for most this means they would have to commit to living as a woman and jeopardizing a life of relationships they have built as a man. It is a monumental risk for them that most will not take.
So many of the cross-dressers I have met are living a dual-life. Many of their wives are not aware that their husband’s are cross-dressers with a fem side. This has been the case in the past and appears to still be the scenario. The internet has opened many doors for them to be able to communicate with other cross-dressers that have helped normalize their desire to dress. This is healthy for them as they now know that they are not alone.
For the others who have leveled with their wives, friends and family, the road to acceptance is still an issue for most. After many years of marriage, they are finally admitting that they have this fem side that needs expression. This fem side is distinctly a different person for most and has an alter ego that can be profoundly confusing for the unsuspecting wife, who now has a “girlfriend” in addition to her husband with whom she is married to both.
And her husband’s fem persona has a name, a woman’s name, which she is expected to address by this name. So no longer does the name Bill work when her husband is presenting as his fem self; it’s Diane. Out of respect and love for her mate, the wife learns to deal with her husband’s fem self, yet it is a challenge and can be quite awkward. It is also a reversal of roles for many couples where her husband is now the female in their marriage. She finds herself talking about shoes like she would with her girlfriend.
For most wives, it is a dramatic shift in their marriage that takes patience, time and open communication to sort through, if they want their marriage to last. It all begins with this relationship and what happens here will impact how they move forward in their lives, either as a couple or separately.
Confusing? It is totally confusing. Yet, it is a fact for cross-dressers and their wives. There are many cross-dressers in the world. It is not a new concept. What once was called a transvestite is now a cross-dresser or some will suggest that they are a transgender woman. What is new is that more of them are coming out and helping us to understand who they are. It is a positive step for all of us.