Crossdresser or Female? The Age Old Question Comes Home

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?

[Update: Did you arrive at this page from an autogynephelia blog? My response]

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?


4 thoughts on “Crossdresser or Female? The Age Old Question Comes Home”

  1. Ive always identified as a crossdresser, despite having some leanings towards wishing I was a girl, or had breasts, or could simply wear feminine things all the time. Now at this point in my life, I understand the gender spectrum. I understand that I am more than a crossdresser but less than a TS. I am simply TG. I am able to meet my needs at will. Without risking my family and friends. If loss of family and friends were not an issue, I might very well take those steps. But whenever i ask myself about the losses; it is too heavy a weight to go past.

    What has your gender therapist said about your diagnosis, and what is their feelings about transition?

    Ever & Always,
    Caden Lane

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am in a similar area where I feel I am more than a crossdresser. I am actively weighing those feelings and questioning how strong my transition desires are. I have always wanted a family, and now I have one, but am I happy?

    I am not sure I can meet my needs, as you say, and most definitely not at will, since my wife is so opposed to the idea. I am still trying to figure out what those needs are. It is a long-term struggle, and the process is slow.

    The loss of my family would be a great weight, but I have a great need to figure out myself, what I need, and what makes me happy & complete. My brain hurts thinking about it so much.

    My therapist supports my decision to go to a transgender clinic and is not getting in my way of beginning hormone therapy, nor is my PCP. My therapist sees my struggle on a daily basis. I really hope HRT can clarify my feelings


  3. We’re very similar I too think I’m a transgender and have a fiancee and 2 small children, when I “told” my partner she said in no small terms that if I went full time I would lose her and the kids. Now I’m really confused and not sure where to go, I’m waiting for my referral to come through to see someone who can help guide me better than my GP. However I’m still not sure where to go I feel I’m being backed into a corner where in order to keep everyone else happy I have to be miserable and trapped as someone I no longer want to be.

    Looking back on what I’ve just said I’m not really sure if that’s helped at all


    Annabelle xx


    1. Annabelle,

      Your coming out to your partner seems very similar to mine, although I did not shout it. Initially, I told her that I was starting to question my gender. I did not outright say I was trans, because I had not really come to that conclusion yet. I was simply beginning to question. But in some senses, I think she may have pushed the issue more than I was ready. Based on her very negative reactions to my statement, I felt the immediate need to figure out what I am because she felt she needed immediate resolution.

      “This is not what I signed up for.”
      “I am not interested in women.”
      “I don’t want to be a lesbian.”
      These are all things I have heard on a repeated basis, and they cut me to the quick. I first started questioning at the end of June/early July. So, I have been at this nearly 8 months, and only within the past week or two have I finally starting receiving some signs of warming. Up until this point, I have zero support from her. Now, I wouldn’t exactly call it support, but at least we can have a conversation about it without yelling (of course, that’s always subject to change without notice).

      The thing that has kept us together to this point is our mutual love for each other, and probably to some extent, our children. If love was non-existent, she would have left immediately back in July. But through the vitriol she has expressed and the pain she feels, we are still together to this point. There are no guarantees or promises, and chances are still incredibly high that my exploration will ultimately lead to our separation, but I cannot deny the feelings I have, and I must figure them out. I can only hope she is willing to ride out the storm.

      The beginning is incredibly difficult. There is no sugar coating it. Be sure to give space when needed. Be honest. Be present, don’t hide, and be the best parent and partner you can. Be respectful of her boundaries are her sensitivities. Effective communication is the key, but it is easier said than done.

      In terms of where to go, I highly recommend seeing a therapist, especially one skilled in gender identity. Not only will this give you a safe haven to share your trans thoughts with someone other than your partner, but it will also give you a sounding board where you can share all of your issues, whether they be trans-related or not. I was very apprehensive about seeing a therapist when I first started. Now, I relish those weekly opportunities. I even dress to my appointments.

      Hope that helps for now. Feel free to write anytime. 🙂


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