I wanted to share a brief history of where I was and where I’m going.
My journey started around age five, I spent a lot of time with my female cousin. We would always play dress up. I loved it; the joy of being able to try on all her amazing clothes. This went on until I was eight and we moved overseas. I stopped for a while, and then I met one of my cousins in Finland. She and I were about the same age, and I started to dress up again. I was in heaven for a short time. My family continued to travel for another year before coming back home to Australia. The dressing stopped as my parents were having issues. I ended up moving to Tasmania with Mum and my two older brothers; they didn’t know about my dressing. I would go through mum’s makeup and nail polish and experiment with them. I was always happiest when doing this; I love colour.
We moved back to Victoria after two years, and I was really depressed. I started to take some of mum’s clothes. I took her underwear, stockings, and when I could, her dresses. It helped me to feel normal for a short time, before the shame kicked in.
As I got older, I started to buy my own clothes, only to purge them and then buy them again. This went on for years. I meet the love of my life; this was my final purge, or so I thought. We had three amazing children; all was going good, and then bang, I had the need to dress. The trigger was my two older brothers, one had cancer, and the other had an addiction problem. The brother with the drug problem had an overdose, and ten days latter my other brother passed away from his cancer. I was lost; I needed something to comfort me. Without even knowing why, I went to an Opshop (thrift shop). I was drawn to the ladies section where I purchased a body suit. I felt alive for a while, and then the shame kicked back in.
I purchased a few more items, keeping them hid away and secret for a few years. One day, I came home to find my wife with my undergarments. At first she thought I was having an affair, but she soon realized they wear mine. We spoke for hours, lots of crying on both sides and lots of hugs. I did research over the next few weeks and printed some valuable literature for my wife to read. I was suffering from gender dysphoria, so I found a therapist to see. The therapist was great; we worked on so many things.
Life was great…until. My wife felt she needed to talk to someone. She isn’t the best at keeping things to herself. Before I knew it, her inner-circle of friends has been made aware of my situation. This totally stressed me out at first. I didn’t know it at the time, but they are all fantastic.
This led to the next chapter in my life. I now have a full wardrobe of beautiful clothes and undergarments. I under-dress every day and wear makeup most days. Life is great, but I want to tell my Mum, but how? And do I tell my half sister, whom I only meet when I was 18.
Then bang, the latest tragedy hits my life. My mum has a heart attack and passes away quite suddenly. It has been a year since she passed, and a year of contemplating what would have been if I’d come out to her. I wonder if she knew my secret anyway, as most mothers would. I’ve been dressing for as long as I can remember, and surely my mum would have gone through my room when I lived at home. I always had my (not so hidden) female clothes, and I loved dressing up as a child at my cousin’s house…she probably noticed. This past year has been tough. I haven’t had the chance to fully dress due to family reasons. I would love to come out to the world, but I don’t know how my three children would cope. I guess it would be safe to say, “If you think you are in a safe place, then let everyone know and you will feel better.”
The cover picture is my Mum XXTags: accepting yourself