As I read thru several articles written by the members of the website I realize how much pain so many gals have felt over the years because of their desire to dress in feminine clothing. There are also words of joy, confidence and success by those who have been able to say: “I am what I am and I don’t care what they think.” I realize what a safe haven this site is, a refuge for those born with the desire to dress as their opposite sex and/or those born into the wrong body.

I myself was born a boy to homophobic parents who thought I was mentally handicapped when I got caught dressed as a girl. I love wearing women’s clothes! In my teens, just looking at myself dolled up in the mirror I got a thrill feeling all the Silk and Lace. I used to think how lucky girls were to be able to wear such pretty things while boys got the nothing look. In my 20’s I found myself wanting to be like pretty women, to wear make-up, heels and outfits the way they did. I fantasized about dressing up very sexy and getting all the looks and attention from the guys, while the genetic women looked in envy.

During that time I still used sexual gratification as a way to get my SO of the time to accept my dressing up. This is when my SO also named me Brenda, or affectionately Bren. Yet I was always very afraid my true feelings of wanting to be a girl would be found out. So I kept my real feelings locked tightly deep inside where no one could find out about the real me. By then alcohol and drugs were a part of my life, anything to numb the pain. After a couple of failed relationships I eventually purged Brenda from my life and became a beer drinking, bar fighting, outlaw biker. I was determined I would prove to myself that I was a man. I finally gained my father’s respect and in time I thought I outgrew my desires to dress up.

During this period in my life I met my present SO of 18 yrs. She’s the woman I fell in love with, the one who held my hand when I struggled with addiction. The one who slept in the back of a van in the winter because I screwed up our money. The one who now enjoys my success in business. She is now terminally ill, in fact I ‘m taking her tomorrow to see if she’s a candidate for an organ transplant. We have battled her disease for 10 yrs and I’ve stood in her corner the whole time, always providing emotional & financial support. This experience has brought back the desire for Brenda, not as a means of sexual release, but instead as an expression of the warm, tender, loving and compassionate emotion she so easily shared. I feel a real need to bring Brenda back into my life and wish I felt confident to tell my SO about her. I have worked so hard over the last 18 yrs to change myself, but it always comes back to my feminine desire. Am I a woman in a man’s body? Am I a sissy? I know I love being with women, but I also want to be one. Why? And what a time for Brenda to come knocking on the door. Yet, am I not entitled to fulfillment and happiness before I get too old?

So many questions. I am just so happy that I found this website; if I hadn’t, I don’t know what I would do. Thanks for listening….


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Breanna Leigh

First, my real, legal name is now Breanna Leigh West, I used the name Brenda for many years but decided to change it for a fresh start when I went to court to legally change my name. Unfortunately, the website does not allow us to change our user names so please, accept my apologies if there is any confusion. Now, I knew when I was just 5 years old that I was a girl in a boy's body, but when I told my parents, they did not understand and scolded me for wearing the neighbor girls dress. By the time I was 15 years old, I was fully transforming myself into a girl on a regular basis. I felt much more comfortable presenting as a female and had no male interests and few friends. I would dress up and walk around my neighborhood after dark and eventually, my parents caught me en femme and sent me to a psychiatrist, thinking I was becoming a "Sexual deviate". The psychiatrist was an older man who also had a negative, stereotypical attitude about people like me supporting my parents narrow minded thinking. I was placed on medication and forced into counseling sessions that never went well for me. I was told by my parents that it I continued my behavior I would become a transvestite child molester. What a thing to say to a very confused, young kid with gender issues and not sexual issues!! I knew I liked girls but I was very curious about boy's and often fantasized about them. Eventually I lied to my parents, telling them it was only a phase and that I was cured. It was just what they wanted to hear and I was able to stop the medication and counseling sessions. I learned a lesson, be descrite!!! I bought my first car at 16 and started accumulating a new female wardrobe, keeping it in a box in the trunk of my car. I soon started going to XXX Movie theaters & bookstores where I found that there were men who liked young, cute, feminine CD's like me. Next was gay and CD bars using a fake ID since the drinking age was 18, where I began experimenting with sex with all genders. I moved out of my parents home in Michigan moving to Florida where my cross dressing soon became living full time as a girl. I always had low testosterone levels so I could not grow facial hair until I was about 25. My thick, blond, long, curly hair had grow to my butt and was styled very feminine and my body was small. I easily passed as a girl and loved going to clubs with my then transexual girlfriend who accepted me as I was. We loved wearing tight, short dresses with heels, hitting the dance floor watching all the guys drool over my girlfriend and I. We had a lot of fun and my sexual experimentation became more intense All good things come to an end and we eventually broke up leaving me lonely and broken hearted. So I started hitting straight bars near my house looking for fun and I met a cute guy who showed interest in me. Us trans girls often go with anyone who shows us attention, even when we know we shouldn't!! I ended up going with him to a old house back in the Florida swamps where 3 men beat me to within inches of my life. When the beating ended my skull was cracked open, nose and jaw broken, broken ribs and right arm, my pelvis was cracked and my right lung punctured and collapsed due to a stab wound. They dumped my lifeless body in tall weeds next to the bar making it look like I got jumped leaving the bar. A young couple found me and called the police and I can still remember hearing the cop say, " Dressed like that, he got what he desearved". I spent a couple weeks in the hospital and moved back to my parents house in Michigan where the rule was, no dressing as a girl. I decided during this time to run and put my all into being a tough male so I would never get beat up again. Anger, alcohol, drugs testosterone and steroids fueled my male life. I had purged, cut my hair and started living as a male. I started lifting weights and quickly began injecting testosterone and steroids to build muscle mass. With all the hormones racing thru my body I also became very aggressive and started getting into bar fights often times beating the hell out of some poor guy for no reason. My misery introduced me to heroin and we had an intense relationship for several years. After some time I settled into a comfortable life of shooting dope and alcoholism. I was very big and defined and was recruited to join a local motorcycle club, which I did. . I made a lot of poor decisions during this time in my life not understanding why I felt so miserable I really thought the whole girl thing was behind me, knowing all the time that she was there tugging at me. I eventually met my life partner, Nancy, who turned out to be my Savior Angel!! She Loved me so deeply, never passing judgement on me or placing unreal expectations to be anything but myself. We ended up moving to Arizona for a fresh start where I opened my plumbing business, bought and played for my house and all seemed to be going well for us, until, we found Nancy had terminal liver disease. It was about this time I came across CDH and met some great Marie's who helped me sort out some questions I had for myself regarding my past cross dressing. So I told Nancy about my past and my desire to th again to see if I could again pass as a woman. We went shopping and within two weeks I was going out both with Nancy and by myself. Everything was happening so quickly and I decided I should see a gender therapist to sort things out, and did I !!! I finally came to terms with the fact that my original feeling at age 5 was right, I should have been born a girl. So Much time wasted!!! And I cannot get it back!! All because my parents, and society did not understand what a trans person was when I grew up. But I cannot harbor any anger or resentment, there has been far too much of that already!! What I can say is that I finally found peace within myself And, I now live, work and dress as a girl!!! I never found the act of cross dressing sexually gratifying in itself, looking back, it was an expression of who I was. So, I don't consider myself a cross dresser any longer. I am a pre op transsexual woman who is on HR T and very soon to have breast augmentation to replace my tiny boobs created by hormone therapy I recently lost my life partner, Nancy, who lost her battle to liver cancer in the end. I admit, my heart is broken as she was my complete family and support system, always supporting me to express my authentic self and not live a lie. But this time will pass and a whole new chapter in my life now begins. I know people are afraid of rejection but to hide your cross dressing from your spouse only creates the appearance of deception which brings rejection!! Honesty is the answer ladie's and if someone requires that you live a lie and not fully express yourself, I don't think that is a healthy relationship. People tend to stay in unhealthy relationships out of insecurity and fear, two terrible, very negative emotions to live by, I know!!! So, Now, I live alone with Jasper, my beautiful, little Shih Zue dog in my home and run my plumbing shop and do nails as a woman from my home. I live, work and dress as a woman 24/7, 365 days a year. I am now happy expressing myself, I am pleasant and respectful to others. I am very social, able to speak to anyone and everyone without coming across like a lion. Female hormones have done a lot to "calm me down", but I too played a big part in my transition. Girls, in my experience, Confidence is the key to passing as a female!!, Make up, clothing, your mannerisms and walk are secondary. You Must be confident!! Because someone helped me I volunteer, free of charge to help anyone with any problem they may be facing as trans or CD woman. I have both college and worked as a inpatient therapist and can help with most issues. However, I am not a replacement for a professional gender therapist. I have successfully helped several girls by phone and in person from the site, so don't be shy, just ask.

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Fiona-Ann Moss
Active Member
5 years ago

Ohhh! Bren, i’m glad you came through the other side of your addictions. Bren is part of you, that lovely woman wishing to come out and be noticed. You really have lived a hard life, wishing you and your wife well, thanks for sharing this and I am privileged to have you as a friend 🙂 .

Fee xxx

Bobbi Scott
Bobbi Scott
5 years ago

Hi Bren, What a warm and thoughtful essay. You’ve been through so much, I simply cannot imagine. You have a remarkable strength. Sounds like you met the woman of your dreams. I wish for her only the best. As far as telling your SO. Only you can decide if that would be best for you both. What I do empathize with is your final thought “Yet, am I not entitled to fulfillment and happiness before I get too old?" And if you come to the same decision many of us have, that is yes, I’m getting older and I need… Read more »

Active Member
5 years ago

Bren, it seems like you are now drawing on your more sensitive side with all of these emotions. I think it is only natural to have your femme side becoming stronger. It makes sense to me.
Love your writing.
Hoping things go well for you and your SO.

Genevieve Michelle
5 years ago

Bren, yours is a story of pain, love, devotion and again pain. I believe your feminine side is showing its self because of the emotions you are going through in supporting your partner of many years.
I ask myself the same question you have and when and if the time is right, Brenda will emerge from the pain.
Be strong ad you are being for you, your partner and Brenda.
Lol Genevieve.

skippy1965 Cynthia
Trusted Member
5 years ago

Bren, You have discovered as many of us have that’ no matter how much we try to bury the feelings, they only come back stronger as we get older. I faced different difficulties than you (as I detailed in my counseling article several years back) , but I can certainly empathize with your situation with your SO being in a serious health crisis. I think it is only mturalnthat the Brem side of you-which is likely the par that is responsible for the nurturing caring nature you have-wants to be allowed to express ALL aspects of her. As you and… Read more »

5 years ago

Hi Bren A part of your article struck a chord with me. Recently Barbara came screaming out of me in a way I have never experienced before and I wondered why. This got me to wondering and then it dawned on me: over the last 3 years I was needed to tend to my parents and their end of life. Mom was 88 and a year later Dad went he was 90. I loved them, nurtured them, and cared for them until the time came. After they left me, I was empty, I had no one that needed my loving… Read more »

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