Are you ashamed of being a crossdresser

Last week I got a resounding response when I touched on the topic of otherwise benign crossdressing websites displaying a warning. Perhaps, not so subtly asking the question – Are we ashamed of crossdressing?

I got a touching response from Michelle via email. She has kindly allowed me to share it with you:

But some of us are not proud of who we are at all.  I for one am VERY conflicted.  I really enjoy dressing up pretty and sometimes it is sexual, but sometimes it is not.  My wife, however, does not tolerate it at all, sexual or not, private or not.  I love my wife dearly, so when I do dress behind her back, I feel extremely guilty.  Sometimes the guilt is because I have been to websites that I should not have been to, and sometimes it is because I have indulged myself sexually (never with another person, just masturbating, but still) and I know that she would not be pleased.  Sometimes I wish that Michelle would just go away and not haunt me anymore.  But then, I am irresistibly drawn to do something later that I will regret.  I feel as though I have no power of myself.  But you are happy with who you are so you probably don’t understand me (and those like me) and I don’t even know why I am telling you all this.

Michelle showed bravery and honesty in sharing this with me. I know first hand the pain, self-loathing and confusion she expresses. The lack of control over your desires, wanting to fulfill your needs and to still love and respect your wife. These are not easy things to grapple with. Many people never have to deal with something so heart wrenching.

Michelle’s email is a beautiful expression of a truth many crossdressers live with, and it touched a chord with me. I thought I’d share my response to her with you, dear reader.

I spent much of my life believing that crossdressing was a curse, or worse – a sin I needed constant forgiveness for. Society and religion had convinced me that I was doing something wrong. If only I had enough will power, or enough faith, or a mastery of my emotional triggers – then I would be free of crossdressing. I was wrong for doing it, and I was weak for continuing. As much as I accomplished in my life I could never conquer crossdressing. I felt powerless, until I realized that I did have the power.

I could not change my desire to crossdress, any more than I could change my height or the color of my eyes. But I could change the meaning it held for me. Up until then I had viewed crossdressing as a cross I must bear, but what if it was truly a blessing? I couldn’t make society accept me, but what if I accepted myself?

With much introspection I asked myself – why should I be ashamed of crossdressing? At this question my mind flooded me with answers, most of which involved some variation of how other people would perceive me. I tend to agonize about what other people think, but crossdress or not, other people have perceptions of me – both positive and negative that I can influence but not control. Should I be ashamed because of what other people may think? For centuries people thought ill of another based on the color of their skin. Does that mean every person of color should feel ashamed? Absolutely not!

It took a long time, but I finally overcame this reason to be ashamed. Yet so many more reasons remained. One kept nagging me – ‘was this the most productive use of my time?’. Were the hours spent perfecting my makeup technique and shopping for clothes well spent? Perhaps not – though the same could be said for hitting a little white ball around with a stick.

The mind is cunning, next it asked, ‘What about your wife Vanessa? Surely your crossdressing must do harm to her, don’t you feel guilty about what you put her through?’ Ahh, well played mind. I do feel guilty about this. For my wife I want to be the man she deserves. I don’t agonize about the perceptions of the nameless stranger on the street, but I do care very deeply about what my wife thinks.

So I took a step back, and took stock of my ‘husbandry’. I crossdress, but I’m more caring and compassionate than most men. I wear makeup, but I treat her as my equal and respect her opinion. I’d rather get a manicure than tinker with a car, but I share my feelings and listen to her do the same. I realized that our relationship to another is more complex than a single issue. How fortunate a couple would be if crossdressing were the only issue to deal with. It doesn’t erase the guilt I feel putting her through this, but it does put it in perspective. Would your wife rather you spend every night drinking in the bar than crossdress? Likely not…

Sex has a unique way of making us feel guilty – we’re conditioned to be ashamed of our bodies almost since birth. In this case, perhaps you feel uncomfortable that your desire to crossdress is partly sexual. Even organizations like Tri-Ess try their best to separate crossdressing from sexuality. This is one I don’t feel qualified to unpack, though having a sex drive and becoming aroused is natural and healthy.

So is crossdressing a blessing? That’s something you get to decide for yourself. Personally, crossdressing has made me a better person. It has also allowed me a unique opportunity to share my acceptance with others. If I can offer just one person comfort and hope, then I’m doubly blessed in getting to share my blessing with others.

You may not be able to control your crossdressing, but you can control what it means to you. Will it mean shame, guilt and heartache? Will it be a part time hobby you indulge in, as harmful as a round of golf? Or will it open up the doors to bless others with compassion and love?

The choice is yours. The only wrong answer is choosing not to decide.

Hugs and blessings,
Vanessa


Dear reader, what do you think? How have you come to terms with your crossdressing? How do you deal with the shame and guilt? Is crossdressing a blessing or a curse?

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Leave a comment and help another in heartache.

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MELONY
MELONY
12 years ago

Hi, i’m ashamed of crossdressing because i cant make myself passable, i try to follow your instructions on applying makeup but i end up looking like bozo the clown, i love dressing pretty and want to go out as a girl, but i look too rediculous, i cant afford surgery, plus my wife would never let me do it. what can i do. yours melony

Racquel Lynn
Racquel Lynn
11 years ago
Reply to  MELONY

Melony, I don’t think I have ever been 100% Passable, although I used to be very passable. As I have gained a few pounds over the years, I have become less passable. The little bit of weight seems to accentuate male features as it makes it harder to accentuate the feminine features. One thing I have learned is that even though hair, make-up, clothes, etc. are an important part of passing, the most important part is your confidence and being comfortable with yourself and accepting who you are. Usually we will feel better when our outfit looks great and our… Read more »

Tracey
Tracey
11 years ago
Reply to  MELONY

Hello Melony, You don’t have to be 100% passable. I have written comments before but I will review. I am a straight female who has an amazing cross dressing friend. She is not 100% passable but she doesn’t care. Honestly I don’t care. We go to Starbucks, Panera, wherever we want and I don’t care. If people have a problem it’s their problem. I say screw em do whatever you want and feel confident and proud. You are not hurting anyone. Don’t get caught up in societies hangups. Be Thankful this Thanksgiving that you know who you are and don’t… Read more »

Carol
Carol
11 years ago
Reply to  Tracey

Thats the spirit Tracey. A lot of crossdressers are afraid to go out because they feel people likely wont like them, but its the other way around. People would love to meet you, and with that confidence, you can go anywhere your heart takes you. You two are a lucky pair. Carol

mia
mia
11 years ago
Reply to  Carol

omg that is horrible.
mierable bastards should be shot……….sorry i get excited. if i cam help ,tell me

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monica
11 years ago
Reply to  MELONY

well dear , you say that when you apply your make up you look like boz0 the clown and you just will not pass as a women. My first time out was in femmme and i thought i was all that. my spouse and i went for a walk at night in the cemetary, i know it sounds pretty weird but it gave me confidence to take me going out femme to the next level. my make up hass gotten better and i cant wait until i can go out again

cherll hunt
cherll hunt
11 years ago
Reply to  MELONY

sister it takes practice but i remember when i was in your shoes hun it was painfull. get on all the makeup sites u can find and go to my pics and look and ill be happy to help u anyway i can.you will find pics of me on date a crossdresser my name is cherll looking forward to hearing from u sis

Pamela Molloy
Pamela Molloy
11 years ago
Reply to  MELONY

Melony, One thing I have found is that there are so many different styles of clothing, and certain types may look better to you when you are wearing them than others. (in terms of you thinking you are passing better). Some fashion websites and even store websites will have articles on-line about the best types of tops, skirts, pants, dresses, etc. to wear for certain body types. And if a certain style appeals to you more than another, then you will probably feel better about yourself as well, feel more feminine, and less self-conscious about how well you are passing… Read more »

Racquel Lynn
Racquel Lynn
11 years ago
Reply to  Pamela Molloy

You’re absolutely correct Pamela. And I love shopping the clearance racks at WalMart and Kmart as well as the Sears Home Essentials stores. Always can find great articles of clothing at amazing low prices. I was shopping WalMart once and found several pieces of clothing that I loved. Didn’t even realize until I got home and decided to try a few of them on that one of the skirts I bought matched perfectly with one of the tops I bought. I wasn’t even trying to match anything, just picked out individual pieces that I liked. So it was a pleasant… Read more »

destiny
destiny
11 years ago
Reply to  MELONY

hi, i am writing to comment that i am a transgender but my wife dont like it but i try to be a husband but i want to be more female ,i have went about 3 weeks without dressing cause she dont like it, any advice. thanks

Racquel Lynn
Racquel Lynn
11 years ago
Reply to  destiny

You need to have a long talk with her and tell her exactly how you feel. Let her know that the feminine side of you is an important part of who you are that you cannot deny yourself. You may want to go to counseling together, find a support group, buy her a book on the subject (True Selves is awsome for both transgendered individuals as well as the people who share their lives, it has lots of great info and explained really well. ) True Selves and other great books for wives of crossdressers, transsexuals, etc. can be found… Read more »

Martina
Martina
12 years ago

In my case I feel that I am pushed into being ashamed. Altough my wife accepts that I am a crossdresser and says she would like to help, I know she does not. I went nearly a whole year this(from October 08 to now)not dressing up once. I did this because everytime I had the urge to dress up I had to surpress it. The rules change everytime. I cannot seem to do anything right. I totally admit that yes, i have gone into website i should not have, but its like a rollercoaster ride. One page leads to another… Read more »

mia
mia
11 years ago
Reply to  Martina

here here baby.

Ragina
Ragina
11 years ago
Reply to  Martina

Dearest Martina, a wize woman once said that no one can make you feel inferior unless you allow them to. That woman was Elenore Rosavelt, admitedly not one of the most atractive First Ladies that this country has ever had and look what all she did. I hope that you are able to get things settled with your wife and your crossdressing. It would be a shame to have to keep the real you stuffed in a hole. Be strong and be patient and love her anyway. Hugs to you, Ragina

Patti
Patti
12 years ago

This is a serious issue for all of us. Most women feel that a husband must take care of his family. How can a husband who dresses up be a husband at the same time with two women being in the house at the same time? It boils down to what the stereotypical norms of society. Men are to be men. Women are to be women. With crossdressing and transgenderism, these lines are seriously blurred and obscured. There is no division between man being a husband and a woman being a wife. It’s a gray area in which there is… Read more »

Lynn Jones
Lynn Jones
12 years ago

Mostly a blessing 🙂 Being a cross-dresser – or a tranny, pick you label – goes deeper than just clothes and make-up. I think it goes to the core of who we are and like it or loathe it, the effects are here to stay. If I wasn’t a tranny, my life may have turned out very differently and I wouldn’t have had the family and friends I do now. Am I ashamed? For 99.% of the time, no: I’m cool over it. Sometimes I have the odd dip into darker times, but doesn’t everyone? 🙂 Melony: Please don’t feel… Read more »

Carol
Carol
11 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa Law

Vanessa, your right not everybody can “pass”, but there are lots of girls that cant pass either. The question is , do you “pass” with yourself. Youll know when you do, and its easy from then on! Love carol

Patti
Patti
12 years ago

The only problem I seem to find when it comes to shoes is a place that actually has my size. That’s a nightmare! I’m like you, Kelly. I don’t care what people think either when I’m out. But, when you do not pass very well, some people take offense to it and confront you. Even though I pass very well when I shave my face as close as possible, my physique sometimes gives me away. Am I ashamed? No. I do know that it is difficult for others who do not pass well, and I feel absolutely horrible for them.… Read more »

mia
mia
11 years ago
Reply to  Patti

wow patty
a pastor? really? i’ve thought about it, but i’m really scared.
however,I have to talk it out. please e-mail me.
love mia

Patti
Patti
11 years ago
Reply to  mia

There are some pastors out there who are willing to help that do not condemn and judge, but you have to research them like you would anything else.

Carol
Carol
11 years ago
Reply to  Patti

My wife teaches at a so called christian college. When she reached out for support, when she was dealing with me getting surgury, they gave instead of support, an ultimatum. Get a divorce, or get fired! Theres your bigots in action. Well We are working this out now, but its been a shock to her, and shes thinking all kinds of crazy stuff. Its a shame people can hurt us in this way, especially when by what they say they are…. Christians….. they prove theyre not. Carol

Racquel Lynn
Racquel Lynn
11 years ago
Reply to  Carol

I like how so many Christians cannot accept the fact that I am both Christian AND Transsexual. Most say I cannot be both because if I were a true Christian I would not feel the desire to dress or be female and just accept myself the way God made me. I love it when they ask the question “don’t you think God knew what he was doing when he created you?” My answer to that is always: “yes I do, and what about Hermaphrodites? they are born with both sets of plumbing. Did God not know what he was doing… Read more »

Petra Bellejambes
Petra Bellejambes
12 years ago

Hey friends. All of us at some time have felt ashamed of something. I think when younger and convinced that the cross dresseing thing is a passing thing (no pun, seriously), feelings of shame are deployed like bug sprary in the effort to suppress what we suspect/hope/need to go away. Well, for many it does not. Once you come to grips with that, often the shame is not about the cross dressing so much, but shame at related behaviours. The shame associated with not being honest and open about something with a wife is a big one. Most of the… Read more »

Ragina
Ragina
11 years ago

Dear Petra, I know that this isn’t the right area, but do you live in the Atlanta area? I’m just down the road from you. Please respond. I went to your site and loved it.

Nicoletje
Nicoletje
12 years ago

Wow, i was so moved by this article… its a little like reading my own story from someone else’s lips. Cross dressing seems to be something that i have always “come back” to…i mean that, no matter how deep i bury the desire to become the woman of my own dreams, she claws her way back up out of the deepest recess of my mind, and she is back stronger and stronger each time. its hard to explain, but it has been the bane of my existence for most of my life, now i think she is one of the… Read more »

Claire
Claire
12 years ago

Do I feel ashamed of dressing up – sometimes, but not as much as I used to, although the times I do I suppose comes from starting to dress (much) later than many others do. Im much more accepting of it now than I was when I started, and it has strengthened my relationshup with my wife. Apologies if this rambles a bit 🙂 I have always been a bit quiet for a man, athough never really had any desire or interest in feminine things and was never very emotional. That all changed about 3 years ago following an illness… Read more »

Sofie
Sofie
12 years ago
Reply to  Claire

Hi again, Last couple of weeks my life made a 90° turn. The trigger was a book I bought : “My husband Betty”. After 20 years of living in conflict with myself I feel that I’m now taking the first steps into self acceptance and it’s an enormous energy boost. I no longer have that sense of shame and guilt after having crossdressed. My wife’s views are also changing. I quoted a lot of passages from the book to my wife and we started talking about all the questions she had. My accepting myself has allowed me to talk more… Read more »

Racquel Lynn
Racquel Lynn
11 years ago
Reply to  Sofie

That is a great book, I have it also. Another really good book (My favorite book on this subject) is “True Selves” By Mildred Brown and Chloe Roundsley. I have read it many, many times and I am not much for reading. I have let a couple of my friends borrow it and I bought a copy just for my Mom. It helps everyone who may be involved or just curious about all degrees of transgenderism. It is great thet your wife is accepting and learning and talking with you about this. That was so very important to me. I… Read more »

Sofie
Sofie
12 years ago

Hi, Just wanted to say to Michelle that she’s not alone. I myself am in the same situation. I also really enjoy dressing up pretty and sometimes it is sexual as well, but sometimes it is not. My wife, also doesn’t tolerate it at all. She thinks that it’s an illness that needs to be cured. I sometimes dress up behind her back, I mostly lie about it until you feel like you have to say something (out of guilt). Websites, seen my share of them but it’s hard to find non sexual ones. Lately I’ve been trying to find… Read more »

Maddy
Maddy
12 years ago
Reply to  Sofie

Hi, I just wanted to add that, as a newbie to this site (and indeed to visiting forums) that I not ashamed of my crossdressing per se, but when it crosses back into the real world the implications of my ‘habit’ really continue to hit home. This happened literally just now, and prompted me to do some reading. I’d received a clothes order yesterday (the internet is wonderful), and was wearing my new outfit while working from home – just a feminine style tee and embroidered cargo trousers. The curtains are mostly closed for privacy as we are overlooked on… Read more »

Racquel Lynn
Racquel Lynn
11 years ago
Reply to  Sofie

You need to accept yourself even if your wife does not. As long as you are not accepting yourself, then you cannot expect her to accept you. You need to stop thinking in terms of “Hoping for a cure”. You are not being honest with yourself. Ask yourself these questions: 1.) how long have I felt this way? 2.) Will I ever be able to stop feeling this way? 3.) How long can I keep hiding how I feel and not being who I feel I really am? 4.) Would I be happier going through life hiding who I am… Read more »

emma williams
emma williams
11 years ago

I realised that I wanted to cross dress during my marriage , it was watching my wife dress I wanted to join in because it looked fun but I didnt pursue it coz I didnt think she would go for it but then the marriage ended so I tried it & loved it but felt bad so threw away the stuff I had bought & didnt do anything for a couple of years but then I saw a little red dress in a shop window & thought I have to have that so I bought it & its grown from… Read more »

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