This topic contains 31 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  Brenda Parkhurst 1 month ago.

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  • #191524

    stephanie plumb
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    I wrote part 1 because my female brain is buzzing with questions. Who am I?  Why am I like this?  I am still seeking answers. My female self identity is still evolving.  A week ago I believed gender identity to be spiritual – now I think differently. We may have a soul, and if so, it accepts whatever gender we are and doesn’t itself confer gender on us.

    What follows is my personal opinion. Part 1 was quotes from research and theories about gender identity, with a smattering of comments from me, to try to explain why we are like we are. But this does not apply to everyone – there are wide variations in the gender spectrum.

    These days the gender revolution means we can simply state”I am female, so that means I can the Ladies Room.” One can declare themselves to be a frog if they wish, but words alone don’t make it so.

    So I am limiting the scope to talk about those of us who are transgenders or transwomen, including crossdressers who declare they have a female side.  Though I do suspect that those who say they are 100% male and only crossdress for pleasure might be in denial. Most of us were born in the second half of the last century at a time when sex was only talked about behind closed doors and gender identity didn’t exist.

    The fact remains that we are AMAB – assigned male at birth – because we have a willy – and our gender identity was chosen for us. It was that simple.  But what else could they do? To all appearances we were boys so it was assumed that we would have a male gender in line with our assigned sex.  The concept of transgender did not arise until the 1980’s.

    So we were raised as boys from day one. We had no choice in this. This was followed by decades of male stereotyping and learned behaviour, parental and social pressure, and education. So we believed we were boys. but deep inside we were not entirely comfortable with this, we were developing female traits at odds with our learned gender identity. The resulting conflict has caused many of us a lot of mental anguish over the years as we grapple with the misalignment between our physical sex and our true gender identity. For decades many have believed there was something wrong with them.

    Social pressure, ignorance and prejudice  have added to this anguish by labelling us as abnormal, deviants,or  perverts. Before the “gender revolution” feminine traits made us cissies, “big girls blouses”, camp, or even “shirt lifters”.  A girl born into a male body was something not understood and not allowed back then.

    But now in the 21st century the truth is now beginning to emerge – that we are normal, that we are not mentally ill  – but probably too late for many of us to make a difference.

    All through our childhood our brains were being rewired more towards our female side, possibly on a sliding scale, and this may account for differences along the gender spectrum.

    The exciting thing is that it is now thought that gender identity is learned behaviour  – which implies it can be changed. How much maleness can be unlearned is unclear, but it seems that gender realignment is possible, by choice for many of us, and for some who are unaware it is happening.

    I repeat:  Your male identity is learned behaviour from the moment of your birth when you were assigned AMAB.  Something I missed in Part 1 is worth noting here. We all began life as embryo’s that could be either sex, which is why men have nipples that serve no practical purpose, and women have a vestigial penis.  (Tempting ,but no comment).  Then our genetic code kicked in and we were steered towards the male sex. Some research cites that fluctuating levels of Testosterone and Oestrogen in the pregnant female results in the BSTc being developed more like a females than a males.

    Transsexuals have a gender identity that is female. They don’t consider themselves as crossdressers. They are female and always were meant to be, and so wear clothes appropriate to their gender.  So if you identify yourself as female you are not really a crossdresser are you? Except in the strictest definition of the word. You are simply wearing the clothes appropriate to your gender.

    And now for something completely different, and in a lighter vein (or is it?) – lets talk about CDH.

    Should it come with a “gender health warning?” I joined in November 2018 and it has turned my life upside down. I thought I was a simple crossdresser.  I had periodic bouts of shame and guilt. I wondered if there was something wrong with me.

    Now I have been liberated and it all makes sense. I now know the neurobiological basis for my true gender identity and 100% believe that gender identity is nature rather than nurture. It is learned behaviour.  (This has got me thinking again… oh no! … I might have do do a part 3 concerning the nature of gender… sorry.)  And so I willingl entered the “pink fog.”

    So, beware!  The “pink fog” may actually be gender reassignment in action!  The more you participate in CDH, the more you learn about transgender issues, the more you practice dressing, and swap stories and ideas, perhaps the more you are learning about your true gender identity, and the more you “think” female.  You may unwittingly be subjecting yourself to a “positive female gender reassignment program.”   So if you think you are a vanilla crossdresser who just dresses for enjoyment, watch out! You may be subconsciously re-educating yourself in line with the structure of your BSTc!

    But if you wish to embrace your female within then congratulations – you are on the path to self-knowledge about your true gender identity.

    Jennifer Swanson’s post “Where are you in the gender spectrum” was very revealing. Perhaps we should revisit it after these posts and see if it has made a difference to our perceived point along the scale. It is interesting how some girls say they are female by choice, as if it is simply a lifestyle thing.

    This post is not all about me. Really it isn’t!   But it is difficult to generalise in the 3rd person, so I will write about how it applies to me. Many of you (or both of you, depending on wether it is read) might recognise your own journey to be similar to mine.

    From a very early age my female self was not allowed to develop, and was constantly overridden by my upbringing. I was too young to be able to analyse the complexities of what I was feeling. Early life was heavily stacked against me feminine nature being allowed to thrive, so it remained semi-dormant. I periodically like to dress in female clothes without knowing why , it’s implications, and the delayed journey I had started on. I knew I wasn’t supposed to, and kept it a hidden part of me. This brought stress, shame, and guilt.

    Falling Testosterone levels and a gradual increase in identity self-awareness “allowed” my feminine nature to begin to assert itself. And joining CDH lifted it into the Stratosphere!  I find myself now a female, unlucky to have been born into a male body,  and groomed by decades of male stereotyping, learned male characteristics and masculine behaviour.  I know in my heart of hearts that I am a transgender woman – the “pink fog” has liberated me from my early conditioning.

    The positive side of this is that I have a kind of dual nature. I am only ME but I know how to behave as either a male or a female. What a gift!  I can act 100% male – I have had a LOT of practice over the decades. But this is changing, rapidly, and I am learning to be female.  In fact I feel less male with every passing week (the “pink fog” effect?).   It is a fascinating existence and I am loving every minute of it. My gender identity has matured – and I have become the woman inside of me.

    Sermon over.

    What do you think of my “pink fog” theory?

    Stephanie P.

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  • #218853
     Brenda Parkhurst 
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    I have 60 plus years practice in being a “man”. It never really fit, I always felt like I was pretending, and it was a lot like speaking a second language where you know the words but had to think in your mother tongue first. I use to think I was just a weird man that needed to try to fit in. As you stated, as the testosterone has waned and my lifelong dalliance with femininity has grown, I finally have found a comfort level and a true identity in the woman I now call Brenda.  I now don’t feel weird, just me. It may well be that I’ve become inured to weirdness as a given, but I don’t think so.

    Although I’ve long held well developed male habits, I almost don’t even have to think about how I behave as a woman. Whether at home or in my limited ventures out, it just seems natural to be a little more polite, to be considerate and accepting of others (and myself), to be more patient, and most importantly, to be at peace. Pink fog or not, I can be, without effort, the person I’ve aways wanted to be. But now that person wears a dress!

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  • #218194
     Tiff Any 
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    Hi Stephanie , I’ve returned to re-read this stimulating piece , mainly because I’ve noticed change in myself. In gender fluid & I crossdress , I’ve always moved around the middle of the spectrum , however I nuw rarely move into the male side , I’m spending more time at the Fri end .

    Previously I’d have short extreme moves to the female end , now I’m having longer , more sustained switches to the female end – just not so extreme . The most recent lasted 5 days , it felt wonderful , fortunately my wife is comfortable with my fluidity & is unpreturbed by the latest feminine action.😊🌹 Tiff

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    • #218196
       stephanie plumb 
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      I have noticed similar changes in myself too.   When I first joined CDH I thought I was just a vanilla cross dresser.  But the “pink fog” and many stimulating posts from others led to me to look at myself anew and I realised I was actually transgender.  My male “side” or alter-ego do not get mentioned at all – they have gone for ever.  I just do not think in the same way as I used too.   I now only think, and I hope, behave in a feminine way, and am much,. much happier than I used to be.  Gone is any feelings of guilt or shame – just  feelings  of joy and contentment that I have found myself at last.  I am just ME, though I still have to act like a man most of the time – which is easy to do with all the practice I have had.

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      • #218511
         Gianna Bonita 
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        I am having a similar experience. What you have explained makes sense to me. Gianna

      • #218450
         Tiff Any 
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        Thanks Stephanie , it’s nice to know that these new feelings/ experiences are shared by others xx Tiff ☺

      • #218197
         Tiff Any 
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        Practice …..I love that ☺☺

  • #217174
     Bettylou Cox 
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    Stephanie,
    This is indeed a fascinating topic, and I found the “pink fog” commentary pertinent to myself. Participating in CDH has led to major changes in how I think, act and talk. Old age, with its lack of work, family or social obligations has set my mind free to roam, and it has roamed over to the femme side of the fence. Now, which is the egg and which is the chicken is impossible to determine; the result is the same.
    I disagree with your statement that ALL male identity is learned behavior, because (1) I was a very poor student of same, and (2) My firstborn son was alpha male, almost from birth, and I didn’t teach him.
    There are, of course, exceptions to every rule, and I think there is much truth in what you had to say. I still can’t imagine living full-time in girl mode, but six months ago, I couldn’t imagine telling anyone I liked women’s clothes, either.

    Bettylou

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    • #217268
       stephanie plumb 
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      I think you have misunderstood me a little.  I didn’t say that ALL male identity is learned behaviour.   In paragraph 4  I said I  was specifically only posting about those of us who identify as transgender, transsexual or cross dressers who declare they have a female side.   But I do believe there are cross dressers who state they do not have a female side,  who may well be in denial.

      If one is assigned AMAB and the brain stem development follows the male blueprint (which ours didn’t),  then of course that person is quite possibly an “alpha male”.   This stimulates the thought about what is maleness, and why are some males more “alpha” than others?   Why are some females more feminine than others?  There seems to be a sliding scale along the gender spectrum for both gender identities. Which is why Jennifer Swanson’s post was so interesting.  Possibly it’s due to hormone levels.  Whatever, the whole topic is fascinating and I never tire of discussing it.  I might bring back a similar poll/post in the future, if I can get the choices right.

      I’m sure glad I’m not an alpha-male, though I did learn to be a male. But the alpha bit?  No, my innate feminine identity stopped me short of attaining that degree of maleness. Thankfully. Otherwise  I would have missed out on so much!

      • #217432
         Tiffany Alexis 
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        Steph…even the alpha thing isn’t attached to the male thing. I’ve known alpha females. One was my professional mentor and role model. She was plenty girly too. I was an alpha male. Turns out I got the male part wrong, but I was good at it. Still a bit of an alpha, I have to be to do my job, which I happen to love. But I am definitely not a guy. I’m typing this wearing a blouse, skinny jeans, ankle bracelet, wrist bracelet, necklace, makeup, wig (growing my hair out) no hair below eyebrows, which are neatly trimmed, cause happy Wednesday, this is what I do every day I’m not at work. And I’m covered in flower and butterfly temp tats, just for funsies. And trans pride colors on my nails. Very little of what was conventionally thought of as male actually is, is my point. I’d rather talk about people, or how pretty something is rather than sports, I love sappy romance, and I think kittens are cute. But I’d rather lead than follow, any day of the week. Just feel my uniform oughtta have curves it it.

        tiff

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        • #217721
           stephanie plumb 
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          Totally with you on this one. We have a lot in common I think.   I was (almost) an alpha male for a time – like you I had to be for my job.  I was also into mountaineering in Switzerland, Austria and the Italian Dolomites, rock climbing and windsurfing, and beer drinking.   I grew a moustache.  So did my younger brother.   We were nicknamed the “Mercury brothers” back then.  And I too got the male part wrong.

          I am typing this wearing a pink A-line skirt, white blouse with little blue flowers, strappy sandals, my short light blonde wig, false lashes, lippy, wrist bracelet, hoop ear rings and my matching black and purple polka dot undies.   If my old climbing club mates could see me now!!!!!  Not exactly the gear for climbing a grade 5  Via Ferrata in the Dolomites!

          I said “almost” alpha male. I was never into team sports. No football, rugby or cricket for me.   And I think of alpha males as those ultra masculine types, whose knuckles are almost trailing on the ground, who believe girls are just for sex, breeding and cooking their meals and housework, whilst they sit scratching their balls, and swilling lager watching the footie with their mates before going to the pub, having no political or any other opinions (except about rival football clubs) etc. etc.     Or maybe they are just slobs.

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        • #217747
           Tiffany Alexis 
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          Yeah, never did the knuckle dragging misogynist thing, never had any patience for crap like that…did play baseball tho, held my own at that.

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      • #217291
         Bettylou Cox 
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        Can’t argue with that, Stephanie; and for a dresser to not have a feminine side does seem a contradiction in terms.
        Hugs,
        Bettylou

      • #217269
         Anonymous
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        Stephanie. I worked through your thought process. On this most recent post and prior. Oh, sweetie, this sounds like a “Letter to the Editor “. Why we are? There are untold physiological processes that take place of which there are theories  – many based on no or minimal facts. Unfortunately, sometimes they become dogma. We have to always appreciate the foundation upon which they are proposed. Wow, enough of that. Had to get my head screwed on before I get it silly again deciding what color panties to wear today! And, yes, love debating theory.

        Thanks for caring

        kate

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  • #217027
     Rozalyne Richards 
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    Hi Stephanie I’m one of those that was AMAB, I started dressing at a young age like a lot of people, i also hid it away feeling shame thinking I was the only one who dressed up, in the 1970’s I got married because I thought it would (cure) me I’m now an old age pensioner and I still like to dress up when I can, in the last 10 to 15 years the desire to Crossdress has grown stronger, i don’t think of myself as a pervert or deviant just a lost soul trying to fit in, thanks for sharing your story with us xxxxx

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  • #216882
     Autumn Valiant 
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    Stephanie thank you for writing both parts of this (as well as many other things). It’s post like this that give me what I need. Thought provoking from an angle that I never would have considered being a manly man. I think what CDH has done for me is allow me to experience feelings I would have pushed aside because that was what I was taught. Men aren’t supposed to wonder what if I’m a woman……  Full time, part time or any time. Or so I thought based on how I was raised. In the last 6-7 weeks I have considered a lifetime of events and choices and non-choices that I would have never strung together without CDH and all you wonderful ladies. Thank you all.  I’m still in the gender blender. I still see myself as a cisgender cross dresser. What I have yet to discover is how I will feel once I dress and make it out in public. I feel I think more feminine but is that just seeing my thoughts more clearly and allowing myself to develope a train of thought that my conditioned manly side would have rejected as inconsequential. Now those thoughts seem very consequential.  I don’t know where I’ll end up but it’s a wild ride and I think I’ll keep riding it until the wheels come off. (too blue fog ?)

     

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    • #217435
       Angela 
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      Autumn, You sound like me. How would things be different now if I had made different choices when I was younger. We were told you have to be a man. Don’t cry, rub some dirt on it. All those manly things we are supposed to do. Like you I have no idea where this is going but definitely want to ride this out. Its exciting being able to share these feelings and thoughts.

  • #214212
     stephanie plumb 
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    Yesterday I resurrected “Gender Identity – part 1”.  So I thought it appropriate to re-post my follow-up  to complete the picture.  How do I feel about it  2 months on?   Exactly the same.

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  • #195720
     Anonymous
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    A lot to digest & assimilate. Well thought out as reflected in accompanying comments. One day, a few years ago, while standing at my bathroom sink (large flat mirror to my front, medicine chest mirror to my right side), I opened the side mirror and a very interesting image took place. As the mirrors must have reflected, I saw many repeat images of myself. I had this epiphany –  one of them was that girl, that woman, in me. Her force has brought me comfort and been at the core of my sensitivity. I’m not a woman who has worn pink hot pants (but I am a bit tempted) but one who embraces that “she”. I dress the part because it has become a visual expression of her. Okay, a little naughty at times ( not often enough?) but always a reflection of my current mood.

    Yes, very well written – thank you!

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  • #195694
     stephanie plumb 
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    Resurrected for Rachel Raven – and for anyone else who might be interested or missed it. Read part 1 first.

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  • #192157
     Laura Lovett 
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    I agree with much that you say, but it’s not a pink fog to me – quite the reverse. It’s like the blue fog is lifting.

    I am so happy with that, it really doesn’t matter where the journey takes me, although I’m not a great traveller, I Want to hurry up and get there!

    So far, no transgender leanings, just a different and more dynamic side of me.

    Love Laura

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  • #191682
     Anonymous
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    Oh Stephanie, not only do i believe in the pink fog theory I became the pink for queen sprinkling fairy dust over the girls at our support group. And not one refused it, totally embracing their femininty. It is who we are, we are excited to know the turht and even more excited to being living the truth. So here Stephanie, pooooooof whooosh a bit of fairy dust for you and it is pink and goes with your beautiful dress.

     

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  • #191658
     Camryn Occasionnel 
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    Stephanie, this is enlightened analysis!

    However, in my case, I am still not convinced that I’m something other than what I was prior to reading Part 1 or Part 2.

    I have always been physically AMAB, and so I have to grudgingly admit that I am 100% male (although far from “macho”) and that I crossdress because it gives me great joy, not because I am a transwoman in denial, or because I have an inner woman struggling to get out. I still believe I am but a simple crossdresser, and flagging testosterone levels have not made that any different.

    Now, as to CDH, I joined a month after you did, and have NOT had my life turned upside down. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a CDH member! Here, I feel part of a wonderful fellowship of CDs, TGs, TSs spread across the LGBTQ/gender spectrum. However, at CDH I read accounts of CDs getting together with other CDs, and that has me thinking that maybe some day, if I can morph into a more presentable CD, I can join their social circle. CDH has changed me in that way.

    And about this “pink fog”/”pink mist” thing: I must admit, I have only the slightest understanding of this state of being, even though it is discussed often in the Forum topics. Either I am immune to its effects, or it is operating on me and I am completely unaware of it.

    These are my humble thoughts on Part 2 of your gender identity dissertation.

    And so I remain…..
    Camryn Occasionnel,
    Simple, plain vanilla crossdresser.

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  • #191626
     Toni Kohls 
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    It’s so interesting. There are times when I wish I was born a woman and it thrills me when I dress. When I look down and see my forms under my shirt I think I should have breasts. And I think I look like a woman even with no makeup on. Sometimes though I’m just fine being a man and I think I look like a man. I think I have a lot of physical features that go either way like I’m both genders at once or that I’m a third gender that can pass as either.

    I’ve kinda given up asking why, at least for now and I’m enjoying being able to explore this other side that I’ve denied myself and thought was a mental health issue. The reason that I thought I was sick is because I’m straight. I’m not attracted to men. If I was attracted to men I think it would be more natural to be feminine and enjoy dressing as a female. But I would love to have a gf and occasionally dress with her. Or at the very least a gg-gal pal.

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  • #191591
     Jazz Fem 
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    OMG I totally agree with you I can only speak for myself I believe we were born this way I couldn’t stop dressing and acting like a girl whenever I was alone when I was a child always had dreams about living as a woman I can remember one day I was working as a electrian I saw a woman walking to the bank were she worked she had a beautiful dress her hair and makeup was flawless she was wearing nylons and heels I just wanted to be her so bad it hurt I wanted to dress like that too back to the Pink fog as I have gotten older and loss of testosterone and meeting all you beautiful ladies that have traveled the same road as myself I want more and more to be Jasmine Jeffries a good and productive woman in society thanks again Stephanie

    • #191595
       Tiff Any 
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      Hi Jasmine , I too ” want to be her ” , understand how you feel in that situation – fortunately my understands that about me

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    • #191594
       Tiff Any 
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      So wonderfully put Stephanie , I can relate to soooo much 😘

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  • #191589
     Melissa 
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    Stephanie,

    After a quick read I agree with many of your statements.  I need to read part 1 and reread part 2 in more detail.  Than you for the insight.  I too have been letting my female side out more and am loving it.  I have suppressed my emotions all of my life and hated it.  I am not sure they are separate from my male side just a very great and valuable addition to make a whole me, whatever that is.

    Melissa

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  • #191562
     Tiffany Alexis 
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    Stephanie, this is spot on. And extremely well written and researched. I’m impressed. Consider submitting this for an article. Pretty sure it’d get published.

    Ive noticed the same effects. When I started, I also would have said I was around 50/50 but nowtimes im somewhere north of 80/20. And that’s in 3 months. Following the law of trends….it’s not surprising to me that I’ve been en femme every moment I’m not at work, the store, or with kids the last 2-3 weeks. The pink fog theory is interesting as well, it explains why it’s just so….wonderful feeling, it’s a positive feedback loop. Yea, I don’t even kind of think I’m a simple cd these days. But I started out as one, at least I thought….

  • #191538
     Anonymous
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    I am in total agreement with your theory, Stephanie! As I mentioned on another post, I DO NOT consider myself to be a crossdresser. I am a transgender woman, and I wear the clothes appropriate for a woman. Like you, CDH has played a “confirming” role in my true identity, and – like you – I’m excited and grateful to feel my learned masculinity slipping away by the week (even by the day).

    Thank you for taking the time to put your theories and thoughts into words…I believe you will be a help and inspiration for a number of girls here on CDH!

    BIG hugs!

    Shawna

    5 users thanked author for this post.
    • #191546
       stephanie plumb 
      Participant
      Registered On: November 17, 2018
      Topics: 71
      Replies: 631
      Has thanked: 685 times
      Been thanked: 1412 times

      It’s great to know i’m not alone! There is at least one other that thinks like me. Yay!  And yes I went to all the trouble … and it did take some time… in the hope it will enlighten and benefit other girls, especially some of the newer ones who come across as a little lost and confused.   Hopefully it may save them years of uncertainty about themselves.   I was going to say “less male with every passing day” rather than week , but I thought I would be a little more conservative. But you are right.  I wonder how may girls  realise the true nature of the “pink fog?”

       

      Stephanie P.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #191596
         Tiff Any 
        Participant
        Registered On: June 1, 2019
        Topics: 0
        Replies: 384
        Has thanked: 803 times
        Been thanked: 544 times

        Hi Stephanie , whether it comes or not I’ll wait for part 3 , whether people agree or disagree I doubt anyone could not enjoy your written word – truly beautifully expressed

        3 users thanked author for this post.

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