30 years ago … a group of boys were looking through a box of hand-me-downs and dared one boy to try on one of the skirts. He wasn’t the first boy to learn how Permission is the Narnian wardrobe into Possibility.

15 years ago … a man got married and inherited a closet full of woman’s clothes that weren’t his. He wasn’t the first husband without Permission. Nor the first to carefully hang his Shame on the hanger with each dress.

One year, that man’s journey wept into this poem.


Wanting to look like all the women,
the ones from the ads,
I shave off
all the stress.
I shimmy into the red and black skirt
that tugs a bit around my hips
and zip me up inside.
Snapping the bra in front of me
and spinning it around into place,
I insert my arms into the straps
and look myself up and down in the mirror.

Getting there.

I button the top,
tight-pressed against the two sides
of my spirit
that I make larger after I’m done buttoning.
‘What if I had surgery?’
I suck in my gut and
turn sideways to view my profile.
I’ve missed the exercise lately.


My face is smooth but blemished,
a light flesh.
I apply changes, improvements, to my femininity,
foundation, new skin, colored lips, shaded eyes
Maybe it will hide what I don’t want seen
but set free what I want to see.
I think I am close
to feeling
what I’ve wanted
to feel.


I only have a few more minutes.
Time is so short.
It’s shameful of me
to be in a hurry,
to want to look like all the other women,
to feel like them,
to feel like me, like them.
Like me.
It’s more than I think.

Downstairs, the garage door grinds open.
I need to un-Cinderella
and put all her clothes away
just as I found them
and wash my face.
If only this me had
a place
to be.
My wife can never
see me
like this.


Because sometimes I’ve gotta get outside myself to see myself. Artistic therapy.

I realized that initially, Hope was all about the clothes and the process. But recently, as I’ve been exploring what my femininity means in me, it has become the magical wardrobe into the other side of myself, the timeless world beside my world that has been there all along.

Zero years ago … I took mysel(ves) into the world to meet each other’s war(drobes), to learn each other, to feel each other, teach each other … kiss each other. My male and female are learning to hug, to freshen their lipstick before throwing the axe. Dancing within and dancing without.

And those famous words “It is not good that man be alone” are never more true than when I don a dress and heels. I no longer want to keep myself to myself by myself for myself. I need them as much as I need me. I see death knocking at the door of life and need my friends there. My wife there. My life there. Because my whole is not whole without them without me.

Now the clothes are “…tight-pressed against the two sides of my spirit that I make larger…” The double meanings and the allusion to the Native American idea of two-spirit help me soar toward embracing both sides of my same self … of squeezing together instead of squeezing out … the tight squeeze on my soul.

The same soul that longs to grow larger.

Exceptional Voice

Into itself.

And more.

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Hope Clark

Married man trying to figure out how to make sense of his feminine self with a loving wife that doesn't want to mess up our lives. Since I was 8 or 9, I've always felt very solidly like a boy, but there's also been a feminine layer to my soul that I was shamed into hiding. But I've always been some kind of mix of male and female ... I just haven't shown you all the feminine layer. I've done a lot of soul searching on it, reading, learning, diving really deep, and my soul doesn't need to transition to be female like many transgender folks, but for my psyche and soul to feel right, it seemed spending a few days a month living as my female self helped a lot. It's like a poison layer builds up inside me when she doesn't get to live, and I am a more vibrant, whole human when she does get to live. I love both gendered expressions of my soul and wouldn't want to lose either one. Lately, merging my masculine and feminine wardrobes in regular life has helped this all even more.

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Erica Inside
Erica Inside (@schnebs)
2 years ago

Thank you, well said 🙂

Danielle Wayne
Trusted Member
Danielle Wayne (@daniellegrl)
2 years ago

Beautifully said. I like you have a wife who knows and said she can accept the femme side and it is something I do in private. but she also does not want anything to mess up our life as we now have it. So I keep Danielle hidden. Hoping someday she becomes more accepting.
Look forward to hearing more of your journey.

Rebecca Williams
Rebecca Williams (@rebecca-williams)
2 years ago

This song keeps me going when I get depressed with life knowing I can’t live the way I want to. If you read the words carefully you will see that it talks about the journey we are taking. I Have a Dream ABBA I have a dream, a song to sing To help me cope with anything If you see the wonder of a fairy tale You can take the future even if you fail I believe in angels Something good in everything I see I believe in angels When I know the time is right for me I’ll cross… Read more »

Terri Anne
Active Member
Terri Anne (@terria67)
2 years ago

Beautifully expressed, Thank you Hope… for sharing… for helping.
– Terri Anne

Gina Angelo
Active Member
Gina Angelo (@ginaangel)
2 years ago

you have quite the talent with words, so beautifully expressed. simple yet powerful, fully capturing what many on this site feel and experience. In my opinion, this is truly a classic for this site


Lori Shane
Lori Shane (@pope3916gmail-com)
2 years ago

Thank you, this is just beautiful

MsKatie (@mskatie)
2 years ago

Hope, you have put into your warm and lovely poetry the experiences of so many of us who feel both exhilerated and shamed by our desires. Thank you

Miss P
Miss P (@insearch)
2 years ago

I very much appreciate your vulnerability and honesty. I have had times as well when I tried on my wife’s lingerie, experienced the thrill of the feel, and then put it all back exactly as it was before. It was an isolated and isolating rush. I am glad that after some therapy I am now wearing lingerie which is my own and that my wife knows about. It is still a challenge for her but I tell her how much I am thankful for her being there for me. It is still early days in this and I do not… Read more »

Carol Clark
2 years ago
Reply to  Miss P

Hi Miss P Hammond. Hope things work out for you and you make many friends. We are in a time we’re its more acceptable, no need to hide away. After all you are still the same loving person you were before she knew. I went over my local pub and told my friends, they said so what and when I showed them some photos they said it was nice to see me looking so happy. By the way the pub is not a posh one. Hugs Carol

Miss P
Miss P (@insearch)
2 years ago
Reply to  Carol Clark

Thank you for responding and your example of showing who you are. I hope all the best continues to be for you.

Andrea Riverview
Andrea Riverview (@cdandrea)
2 years ago

I very much appreciated how you expressed yourself as two sides of the same Spirit. This is exactly how I feel. I Am A Spirit with a Male Aspect and a Female Aspect…
It is my Feminine aspect that I am now bringing into the Light.
It started with Lingerie. Then moved to Feminine Outerwear. Now into Make-Up and Wigs because I like to Look and Feel Pretty.
FINALLY I’ve found some Boots and Shoes in my size (women’s 17). Write me and I’ll share this Fabulous source.
And a little Perfume adds a delightful Aura…

Cara Love
Cara Love (@caralove)
2 years ago

Beautifully written, Hope! I particularly love your poem and it is something I plan to refer back to going forward. Thanks so much for sharing.

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