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    • #743540

      Curious if anyone else here feels a sense of guilt around exploring their femininity, whether it be general guilt, specific aspects or scenarios when dressed, and how you deal with it?

      For context, I was a closet dresser for about 20 years. My wife knows and is supportive, I have young kids who don’t know, and I personally identify as gender-fluid. But despite having a supportive spouse and some internal acceptance when it comes to how I identify, I find myself feeling guilty when given the opportunity to go out for a night as Kayla.

      The opportunities don’t come around often, I genuinely want to get out and think about it quite a bit, but when given the chance I have these feelings that I should put my energy into the people around me and that going out as Kayla is fulfilling a selfish desire. Internally I know that isn’t 100% true. Wondering if anyone can relate.

    • #743541
      Leah
      Baroness

      Guilt and shame are 2 of the biggest mental issues we deal with!  We all handle and deal with it differently.  You have to accept who and what you are first an foremost. It will not change nor go away.

      Our minds can be our worst enemy!  We feel we should not be having these thoughts or desires. Let alone want to dress up in ladies clothes, makeup ect.

      It is great you haev a supportive spouse, that is better than most of us have.  Having lots of conversations with her and your feelings will help you out

    • #743542

      Kayla,

      I’ve been crossdressing and exploring my femininity for over 40 years, and I’ve been feeling guilty about it for over 40 years as well.

      For me, I’ll probably always feel guilty about dressing in one way or another. However, rather than fight against it, I’ve kind of learned to accept it. That’s not admitting defeat or anything, or showing some kind of weakness, it’s just being realistic that those feelings tend to show up every now and then.

      Once I recognised that, then I became more comfortable with myself.

      Katie

       

       

      Katie

    • #743543

      Kayla

      I know exactly how you feel. My wife is the only one that knows and supports me. I have only recently admitted to myself that dressing and feeling gender fluid is not something that can control. I feel that guilt and shame as well and speak to a therapist about it. Remember we all have to live our lives as who we are. Only then can we be happy and make others happy

      Shannon

    • #743544

      Kayla,

      I live alone now in a mostly empty house.  My ex is well off financially thanks to me.  I used to feel guilty about cding when I had a family and kept it pretty well hidden.  I no longer feel guilty about it because what I’m wearing or how I’m presenting does not harm anyone.  It is one of a few things left that brings me happiness so I cherish my Kerri time.

    • #743547
      Janet Woodham
      Duchess - Annual

      Hi Kayla,

      We should be good to those we care for, we should also be good to ourselves and that includes dressing.

      Janet

    • #743569
      Fiona Black
      Baroness - Annual

      I agree that fully accepting who you really are is an important way to help lower the level of guilt. Sometimes that guilty feeling is due to a person still feeling deep down that there is something “wrong” with crossdressing.

      And don’t be afraid of dressing and treating yourself to a nice day on occasion. People do it all the time whether it’s playing golf, going to a ballgame or joining a bowling league with friends.  Just don’t let it detract significantly with all the other stuff that you and your wife usually do together.

    • #743624

      I felt guilt and shame. I have come to realize that I am hurting no one. Judge if you need to. I don’t care. I dress in public but nobody knows. If not for my wife and familys feelings I would fully come out.Guilt? Not me.Maybe someday not you either.

    • #743626
      Anonymous

      An interesting thing about the human mind is that we often experience feelings, like guilt, and try to ascribe reasons or causes for the emotion. But often, the supposed reason is not the actual cause of the emotion, its a placeholder in the absence of the real reason.

      I would guess that you are already doing a pretty good job as a partner and as a parent. Occasional outings won’t change that. But perhaps there is an underlying fear that your kids might find out. Perhaps the guilt is really associated with a worry without a specific cause.

      When we say “blank” makes me feel guilty or fearful or happy, that “blank” isn’t making us feel anything. We are choosing to associate “blank” with feeling a certain way.

    • #743642

      Sure, sometimes. It passes. Like anger or fear or any strong negative emotion it’s key to not let it control you. It will subside and you can make the kind of rational assessment other gals have described here.

    • #743660
      Harriette
      Lady

      I have only started crossdressing for less than a year, but one of the feelings that I have not felt is guilt, except maybe over the amount of money spent on clothes recently. But since I haven’t spent a lot of money on clothes throughout my life, not guilty there, either.

    • #743670

      I think every crossdresser has gone through some form of guilt. In the early days I went through it a lot. Always thinking back then and no use of the internet thinking I was the only boy/ young man doing this and that it must be wrong for me to have these urges to dress in my mothers and disinters things when home alone. Now a days after counseling and coming out to my wife and a few others I’ve come to terms with the fact that this is who I am and now embrace it rather then beat myself up for loving what I do.  I’m a crossdresser and proud to say it.

    • #743672
      Roberta Broussard
      Duchess - Annual

      When I was younger and had my 2 daughters at home. I always felt guilty about taking time for myself. I believed that doing so was just too selfish and taking time from them. So, all I did was work and spend time with them.

      I got a lot of pleasure and happy times from those years. However, I slowly came to realize that spending some time on myself was indeed good for me too. I found out that i was a better person and dad when I would have some down time.

    • #743676

      It’s interesting, I think I myself probably experience more of a sense of shame rather than guilt, which is slightly different. I don’t feel guilty about my crossdressing because I don’t feel like there’s anything wrong with it. But, unfortunately, a lot of society doesn’t see it the way that I do, and it goes against long engrained traditional values too. I think that does create an associated sense of shame related to crossdressing for me unfortunately.

      I don’t feel especially guilty about indulging myself in dressing up particularly either, I don’t think it’s a selfish thing to do at all. But, I do feel like I dislike the judgements of others.

      I’m not fully out about my dressing, my partner knows about it and is supportive about it, but I know that other people in my life wouldn’t be as understanding if they knew. I suppose it shouldn’t be a shameful  thing, but I feel like people often treat it that way sadly.

    • #743679

      Would you feel less guilty if you went out for an occasional guy’s night out? Would this be selfish?

      We all need a break sometimes. I’m sure you’ve seen the memes about the stay-at-home mother who tells her husband to watch the children when he comes home so she can relax with a bubble bath or have an occasional girls night out. It’s no different. As long as it is done occasionally, it’s not being selfish. It’s resetting your mood, giving you a change of pace, giving you a mini vacation. We all need to do something to reduce the stress and change the rut of daily life just for our own mental well being.

    • #743704
      Becka
      Lady

      Oh absolutely early on and through my explorations. After dressing I would feel intense guilt, like I had done something really wrong, and the end result would be purging everything I had.

      Well I finally got over that, and realized I was not doing anything wrong. I’m doing what makes e feel good!

      Took a long time, too much time, to figure that out.

      Love and hugs,

      Becka

    • #743720

      I felt guilt and shame most of my life. When I was younger, before the internet, and living in conservative backwaters, I thought I was a freak and the only person in the world who was like this. When I was married to my ex and raising my daughter, anything that wasn’t dad-mode was an indulgence and by that point my crossdressing terrified me, I understood it so little. Years of therapy, a divorce, and a new love all helped to create a space for me to find understanding and acceptance. I never feel guilty now, about anything, and I’ve never been happier.

    • #743723

      I understand the feeling of guilt, but I also believe it is acceptable to be “selfish” and enjoy to the fullest, what makes you most happy. I learned late it my life, it’s an almost impossible task to make everyone in your life, happy. It’s a common instinct to have this as a priority for your family, friends, loved ones, etc. But it’s so hard to execute…and it “drove me crazy”, bending over backwards to do what everyone wanted, for me, for them, like: going to college, or not….deciding on a career they wanted for me, or what I wanted to do….marrying someone they thought I should marry, or someone I choose, or NOT getting married at all….when to start a family, which house to buy, in which neighborhood…”yada, yada, yada”…you get this picture, I hope…???…you end up compromising the effort and in the end, the quality of trying to satisfy “everyone in the room”, normally leads to a less than satisfying outcome. I know this is an extreme example, but I eventually learned, I cannot make others happy, if I, myself, am miserable…and the success to happiness for all, means I need to do want makes ME, happy, and gives ME, the most pleasure, especially at this time in my life, first. A “happy Tiny”, means everyone around me will be happy, too…therefore, the guilt is gone, even though the “secret” is still there for me…it’s a compromise I can life with. (PS: I must clarify my parents were immigrants to the USA and all this happened in the mid-50’s…they were proud and honored to be in a country that provided them the opportunity to be successful and to make a life for their family, here, and those still back where they came from…I don’t blame them for being so ambitious and thinking “they knew what was right for me”…they just did their best with what they knew and learned from being “Americans”…I eventually weeded out “the good things” I learned from them and the examples they shared, and have tried my best to raise my children with the same “strong values”, but to prioritize “happiness in their quality of life choices”, above all else, and that everything else will fall in place, but Dad will also be there to help, too. I want them to “just be YOU” and not what someone else wants you to be…there is NOTHING, not a single thing, wrong with this…!!!)

    • #744138

      A lot of great responses here, thank you!

      A few people mentioned having feelings of shame as well. Through some counseling, reading and research, shame isn’t something that I struggle with anymore. This is part of me, its something I like and not something that I’m ashamed of anymore. I know I’m not hurting anyone.

      After reading through some responses I think my guild come from a few places. Expectations (regardless of who set them), underlying or unspoken reasons such as my intrigue or interest in exploring intimacy as a women (even if that’s not my intention) and the overall draw that my secret or double life has on me. They all kind of work together as one when I’m thinking about my life and my interests now, and compare that to the life I had envisioned when I was younger and starting a family. My interests in dressing and exploring my femininity certainly existed back then, its just something I though I’d grow out of. Wrong!

      Anyway, I’m happy to say that after reading through your responses and feeling more supported,  for the first time in 4 years I had a nice little girls night and got out to a couple bars in 100% Kayla mode Saturday night! I got to be seen as Kayla, had some nice conversations, a few drinks and a little dancing. Not sure when I’ll do it again, but it felt great to get out and I’m glad I did.

      Thanks for helping make it happen!

    • #744268

      It’s funny, as much as I understand that I am doing nothing wrong & even with all the support I get from CDH, at times I still feel like it’s not quite right.  I think it’s due, in part,  to the period of time I was brought up in (60s & 70s). Of course there are many other factors as well. Maybe in one more generation all these negative feeling will have evaporated.

      All I can say for certain is that when I am presenting as female I am very happy.

      Hugs, Liara

      • #744574
        J J
        Lady

        I agree, most of the guilt we feel comes from society. We have been told most of our live’s that boys are this and girls are that and never the twain shall meet. Which of course is utter bunk. While boys tend to be this and girls tend to be that, it is a continuum and a defined difference. We also spend way too much time on why we do this, which in the face of a lack of real answers also leads to guilt. I got over guilt when I stopped trying to figure out why I like to dress and just accepted the fact that I like to dress and that it gives me pleasure.

        I use the hobby analogy often. We like our hobbies, be it stamp collecting, model railroading, woodworking, et cetera, but find no need to understand why we like to do them, we just do them, we enjoy them. I really don’t need to look beyond that for dressing. Now, many people feel the need to dress, but ask a stamp collector to stop collecting and they would ask why should they stop. For many it is a passion and they need to continue, maybe there is a bit of guilt there if they find themselves obsessing over their collection, or spending too much money.

        • #744579
          Angela Wagner
          Managing Ambassador

          JJ, I have never read anything on this site that I agreed with more than what you have just written. Every single point  that you make in this comment resonates with me 100%. Thank you for expressing it so beautifully.

          • #744739
            J J
            Lady

            I am happy you agree. It takes awhile to come to an understanding of one’s self, but life is so much better when one does.

    • #744503

      Totally relate Kayla

      The guilt at not being who we are supposed to be.
      Are we letting those closest to us down by showing femininity. Historically feminine meant weak and vulnerable, less. Masculine was big and strong and in charge. Fortunately those preconceptions are gradually slipping away into history, and gender stereotypes are less to do with how we are perceived. Things like politeness, empathy, friendship are more important than proving you are the masculine alpha.

      In my little corner of the world anyway being yourself, whatever that may be, is perceived as very important and a show of strength of character.

      To quote Shakespeare ‘Unto thine own self be true’.

      Took a long time but I am totally over the guilt now.

      B x

    • #744508
      Michelle Wayne
      Duchess - Annual

      Kayla,
      I love that you are putting this out there for us to respond and think about our feelings. I haven’t felt guilt or shame but I am also not desiring to present in public. At least not yet. We never have control of how others view us but we can have the ability to adjust how we view ourselves. I learned a long time ago that for me, acceptance of not only myself but others too, made my life much more enjoyable and less stressful. When I look in a mirror, I like who I see. Especially the person at the deepest level. I love myself and when I made the choice to do so, I became more capable of loving others. We all have struggles with guilt/shame/many feelings of “lessness”. I just know at the end of the day, I have great value as does everyone. Knowing this overrides the negatives that exist whether real or imagined. Your honesty with yourself and others will allow you to deal with all of your feelings and emotions in a positive, constructive way. Hugs to you! Michelle

    • #744511

      Right off hand without thinking to much about it (I try not to because I get sad), the only guilt I feel is not being me years ago. Instead, he just pushed Rose further into the closet.

      Fear is my biggest concern. Hurting or embarrassing those I love scares me to death. That’s why I accept being a closet dweller. At least for now.

      Rose

    • #744615

      I also felt guilty or regret. I tried purging, but always had the urge to dress. I had a health scare almost 2 years ago and decided i have to live my life, the heck with anyone else. I not telling anyone, but i have decided to start going out enfemme and enjoy the time I have left. No regrets or guilt.

    • #744618

      The guilt I have is not telling my wife about my crossdressing urges before we married.

      While she has been somewhere between tolerant or luke warm supportive I know she

      would not have married me had she known.

    • #744619
      AnnaBeth Black
      Duchess - Annual

      I think the girls have pretty much covered it but I will add my two cents. Being sixty something years old I grew up with guilt and shame as a regular part of my life. Now that I have come out to my wife I refuse to feel guilty anymore. Now there are still some people that I would rather didn’t know about my dressing but I am not going to feel guilty about it. I may feel confused and conflicted about it sometimes but I refused to ever feel guilty again. I am what I am and that’s it, the world can love me or hate me but I can’t change that.

      AnnaBeth

    • #744773

      Guilt and shame are real, as society imposes all sorts of expectations around gender. It can be difficult to rid those feelings that can arise from years of anxiety, conflict, and judgment from others or even from self.

      For my part, over the past few years, I have grown to accept and love who I am, with the support of my partner and example of the younger generation, for whom gender fluidity and identity are freedoms rather than restrictions. Life is too short to feel guilty about what brings me joy, what makes me me.

      It is a journey with different challenges for each of us, but hopefully we each find our sources of strength, support, and understanding too. These forums are wonderful for that. I hope you will find a path to guilt-free living as a gal whenever and whenever you want.

    • #744821

      I would honestly feel a lot less guilty if I weren’t married. It’s when my wife echoes my internalized queerphobia that I feel the most demotivated. If I were single, I would only date women who could accept this side of me, but because I only understood my dressing fairly recently (less than 2 years) I find myself in a 7-year relationship in which my “explorations” into femininity are met with a diminishing in her desire for me — which was never very high in the first place.

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