I have been questioning my gender for more than six months now. At the risk of my family and my marriage, I have taken steps to explore my feminine side. Why take such a great risk?
In the one of the many fights/discussions/arguments I have had with my wife, she has conceded that I could be a crossdresser, but she doesn’t see a reason why I should transition. This has put a lot of strain on my thoughts as to the question of CD vs. TG, which is a big can of worms in the transgender community anyway. I have already made the decision to start taking hormones when they become available to me (presumably in March), and I routinely dress en femme to therapist appointments and support group meetings. But in the end, the question remains, am I simply a crossdresser or do I feel female?
My quandry comes from the fact that unlike a subset of the TG population, I did not know from birth that I felt female—at least not consciously. I always envied girls in dresses and skirts. In high school, I secretly slept in my mom’s old slips and altered an old wedding dress by hand to fit me for a Halloween costume. I sympathized with women and their unique issues. Most of my friends were girls. It was a natural fit. One high school friend once called me a lesbian trapped in a man’s body. At the time, I thought nothing of it. Now, it rings in my head. What did she see that I didn’t?
Over the years, I feel I have suppressed my femininity. I identified as male, but I secretly felt jealous of women. I am envious of the ability to have multiple orgasms in a single session. I want to carry and bear a child despite the 10 months of discomfort and excruciating labor pains at the end. I love the feel of silk and lace against my skin. I want to wear dresses and skirts.
These are all things I wanted before I considered a transition. In the last six months, I have found that I also enjoy shopping for me. I like the feel of my smoothly shaved legs. I appreciate my naturally long eyelashes and long legs; I hate my bushy eyebrows. I want softer, smoother skin and a higher voice. I want these more feminine things I never actively considered in my high school years.
After learning I have at least one child who will be appearing in a film in the future, one of the members of my support group asked me, “So that makes you a stage mom, doesn’t it?” I was taken aback for a second, but then I let those words sink in: Stage mom… Mom… Mom. I like the sound of that.
Much of my initial focus of my questioning has centered on appearance, which started to make me think that maybe I am simply a crossdresser. But the more experiences I get in the world (e.g., sitting at dinner with group members; being called a sister, mother, or one of the girls; and even being asked at a mall kiosk if I want a beauty sample), the more I feel it is more than just wanting to be in a dress that floats around me. That’s why my decision to start HRT is important to me. I want to continue to see how I feel mentally, and what affect estrogen will have on my mind and body. I have received some brush back for considering using HRT as a diagnostic tool (others believe I should be full-time before starting), but I am comfortable in my decision. I am confident I am more than just a crossdresser, so I move forward down the transition path. The feelings are strong enough that I continue to put my family situation and marriage at risk. That scares the hell out of me, but I need to know to be happy with myself.
I would be happy to hear about your experiences and how you came to the conclusion that you are a crossdresser or why you felt you need to fully transition. What affected your decisions? How did you come to “know”? Or are you still working at it?