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    • #466412
      rebekka moore
      Lady
      Registered On: January 7, 2017
      Topics: 84
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      That was difficult and in some cases it was not.

      In my teens I was fortunate enough to have worked at an awesome opera house. I had access to a lot of “things” in the costume room, where they made/sewed all of the costumes for the season. They had a huge array of stockings, body stockings, tights, etc. anything you can think of and I always had the place to myself, with large dressing rooms and mirrors, so I was able to try on a lot of things and see how they looked.

      Additionally, I was probably the only guy reading (looking at) Cosmo and a host of other female fashion magazines. I got a lot of ideas from those.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #466017
      Deborah Sullivan
      Duchess
      Registered On: February 27, 2020
      Topics: 2
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      In a big city like los angeles there were plenty of alternative newspapers with personal ads and clubs. Yet for me I relied on the GLBT center where the gay clubs catered to drag and had drag shows where cds and queens would meet up. Once you find a few friends they introduced you to their friends.

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    • #465918
      Danielle Anaya
      Lady
      Registered On: January 3, 2020
      Topics: 2
      Replies: 50
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      My first allies were my sister and her best friend. She busted me fully dressed in her clothes one day and was totally cool with it. She told her friend who was also supportive. They worked with me on my makeup, feminine mannerisms, how to walk in heels, and even provided clothing items. We even shopped the thrift stores for outfits they picked out for me. Back then I really had a slender feminine body and I like to show off as much skin as possible. They helped me do that and avoid looking too “slutty” unless I wanted to, and they helped with that as well. hey took me out with them to parties and other functions after getting me ready and constantly coached me in how to act, dress, move and even talk like a girl. They really laid the foundation for building what eventually became the Danielle I am today. It was through socializing with them that I met other “girls” like me, who also shared their experiences and knowledge with me. The internet opened up an even bigger world to me.

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    • #460348
      Randi Layne
      Princess
      Registered On: May 29, 2019
      Topics: 2
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      My experience comes from the late ’50s and early ’60s. The simple answer for me was the alternative press, tabloid press, which catered to alternative lifestyles, at that time two different publications distributed widely and at no cost. Plus, there were some bookstores, not porn shops, that carried various publications which included publications about a variety of life alternatives, like nudism or may be known as “naturalism”. OK, they may have had a black cover over the cover photo at the shop but the titles were visible. Granted, it took a bit of searching but once discovered those sources served my purposes – learning that I was not alone.

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      • #460421
        Bettylou Cox
        Duchess
        Registered On: May 26, 2019
        Topics: 19
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        You’re a lucky girl, Randi. I wallowed along in ignorance, thinking I was “supposed to” have been a girl, and that all the alternative magazines were just porn.
        (I’m also a 50’s girl).

        4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #460342
      Bettylou Cox
      Duchess
      Registered On: May 26, 2019
      Topics: 19
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      Since you ask: I knew nothing, thought I was alone and weird, and kept it suppressed throughout my adult life until about five years ago…until I couldn’t any longer. I stumbled across something on YouTube which showed me I wasn’t unique; and the rest is history. Cheers for the internet and for CDH.

    • #460207
      Martina Aust
      Lady
      Registered On: March 4, 2021
      Topics: 2
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      Its an excellent question Cynthia.  In part it reflects how the internet in just one generation has made such a world wide difference.  Here I sit in Australia talking and sharing with other girls all around the world. Unimaginable just 20 years ago.  When I was younger and prior to the Net I was simple unaware of just how many like minded individuals existed and assumed I was one of very few.  Sad in some ways as it made you feel very isolated and want to simply suppress the urge to express our woman side as you felt you were outside of what was acceptable.  It was also a time of little social tolerance for transgender persons and this again made me keep my feelings to myself.  Despite all that, those limits could never remove the pleasure from cross dressing when i was able to do it and i am grateful for that.  It was always very personal and something that made me feel complete (as it still does).  I wish we did have the internet back then but am glad for the next generation for whom the path will be a little easier.  Now i am here and making up for lost time.  I enjoy the forum and how it creates a community which has meant I know I am definitely one of many thousands and thousands that feel and enjoy the same about cross dressing.   xx and hugs martina.

      6 users thanked author for this post.
    • #460202
      Cynthia Dubois
      Lady
      Registered On: August 17, 2017
      Topics: 13
      Replies: 66
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      100% this is the first forum where I can talk about where I am with myself, ask questions of likeminded people.  This forum has truly helped me explore myself in a very safe way.  I absolutely love that there is no sex chat aspect to this site.  The topics come up but it’s about discussing feelings.  It might sound like a small thing but before I came here I always wore essential frilly uncomfortably sexy panties.  I posted a question and a woman here turned me to Jockey for women.  No joke, it was life changing to feel womanly in panties that are feminine yet comfortable.

      I had to laugh when I read this.  For years I have been wearing pretty much nothing but satin, nylon, and spandex panties.  What a difference it made when I discovered that there was nothing wrong with wearing cotton panties.  The other kinds are great for dates and going out and such, but not really every day wear.  You are so right, nothing beats comfortable (especially breathable) panties.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #460136
      Stephanie Scott
      Lady
      Registered On: February 8, 2021
      Topics: 18
      Replies: 246
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      Cynthia,

      I’m guessing most people like us would say, “there was no such thing.” Never heard of anyone else like me (except when I read the section about transvestites and transsexuals in my parents book, “Everything you wanted to know about sex but we’re afraid to ask.”). I secreted it from their bedroom. So in theory, I knew it existed but only on the outer margins of society where one dare not tread.

      I also remember watching “Second Serve” a movie about transsexual tennis player Renee Richards. I marveled at the idea that one could switch sexes.

      Basically, I’m guessing most of us hid in shame and isolation.

      God bless,
      Steph

    • #460124
      Clara Cross
      Lady
      Registered On: December 7, 2020
      Topics: 9
      Replies: 225
      Has thanked: 649 times
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      Amazing ladies. Just incredible.  Thank you all for your testimonials.  These are the things that help us to better understand ourselves and each other.

      Although I am older in years I feel like a child compared to all of you who have commented and all of your experiences.  Thank you for being the tip of the spear, as it were, even as difficult as it sometimes was. I get more than a little emotional thinking about some of the things that you, my sisters, must have endured. Make no mistake, it’s not just the internet but your personal strength and tenacity that has made it possible for recent arrivals like myself to feel emboldened to express a feminine persona.

      Its posts like this that drew me to CDH in the first place. I so much appreciate the family I’ve found here.

      My very best to you all,

      Clara

       

    • #460113
      Nicole Bellavita
      Lady
      Registered On: February 10, 2021
      Topics: 0
      Replies: 25
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      I started CD’ing in the early 80’s as a kid.  Dressed off and on since then.  The 80’s and 90’s I had literally no one.  No allies, no CD friends.  Pure isolation.  It wasn’t until the internet age that I realized how many like minds there were out there but even then it was kinda gross.  Porn stuff and lurkers/admirers.  The last 4-5 years I have been to some trans conferences and met some great people.  Discovering CDH has been an utter godsend.  Especially now as I finally get honest with myself and begin transition.  Here there are REAL people, and I’ve made REAL friends.  Truly life-saving

    • #460102
      Katie Turn
      Lady
      Registered On: August 3, 2017
      Topics: 16
      Replies: 40
      Has thanked: 198 times
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      100% this is the first forum where I can talk about where I am with myself, ask questions of likeminded people.  This forum has truly helped me explore myself in a very safe way.  I absolutely love that there is no sex chat aspect to this site.  The topics come up but it’s about discussing feelings.  It might sound like a small thing but before I came here I always wore essential frilly uncomfortably sexy panties.  I posted a question and a woman here turned me to Jockey for women.  No joke, it was life changing to feel womanly in panties that are feminine yet comfortable.

      • #460257
        Genevïéve
        Lady
        Registered On: July 28, 2020
        Topics: 26
        Replies: 1041
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        If you want comfort Katie, try some Shadowline panties such as these…

        They are so comfortable, you won’t even realize you have panties on at all…

        There are different styles… do some window shopping… 🙂👍

        Gen ❤

        4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #459742
      Genevïéve
      Lady
      Registered On: July 28, 2020
      Topics: 26
      Replies: 1041
      Has thanked: 9058 times
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      100% in the closet until I found CDH July 2020. Since then, I’ve told my wife and stepdaughter.

      Like many others… I thought I was the only one with such desires…

      Gen ❤

    • #459740
      Birel Galanodel
      Lady
      Registered On: May 3, 2020
      Topics: 9
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      Has thanked: 252 times
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      Sadly, like some of the other replies, my answer is that I just didn’t. I grew up on a farm in the ultra conservative and ultra Catholic Midwest US. So, I lived most of my life in the closet, and actually feeling like I was the only who had these feelings of wanting to express my femininity. Had I grown up in a city that had a gay community, things very well may have turned out differently for me. It wasn’t until the internet came around that I realized that there were others like me. And then when I discovered CDH I found that there was actually a community of people that I could fit in with. All of you girls here are such a life line and an inspiration and hope.

      Birel

    • #459734
      Dawn Wyvern
      Managing Ambassador
      Registered On: February 23, 2019
      Topics: 6
      Replies: 289
      Has thanked: 249 times
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      I have been dressing since the 60’s and about and about since the mid 70’s.

      In those days we only had newspapers which ran agony aunt sections with people such as Claire Rainer or Marjory Proops who used to offer advice to individuals who crossdressed or partners. The main line of recommendation was to call the local ‘Gay’ switchboard (this was long before the LGBT+ days ) and get information there.

      I did this in the 70’s and was put in touch with the Bristol Gay network and then with a lovely local lady who was in the process of transitioning and she took me under her wing, introducing me to the Beaumont Society – a secret British self help group for TV/CD who held regional meetings in peoples houses. from there I found contacts all over the UK.

      I  eventually ended up at London Friend in the mid 80’s, which was a Gay and Lesbian centre in Islington London, where a TV/TS group met 2 nights  a week and where some of the London balls were organised.  We used to go to all the big night clubs and dance the night away as part of the ‘In crowd’ and New romantics with boy george et al !

      There is a lovely book by Christine Burns all about the early days of TG in the UK (I have some contributions to this … ) which is well worth a read if you are interested in TG  history

      Hugs

      Dawn x

    • #459531
      Marie Chandler
      Lady
      Registered On: June 29, 2020
      Topics: 4
      Replies: 33
      Has thanked: 195 times
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      The first time I met other crossdressers was 1996. I was 29 and it was at a Tri-Ess meeting. Tri-Ess was a national organization with chapters all over the county (I think they’re still around, but our Los Angeles chapter is long gone). I’ve been racking my brain trying to remember how I discovered it. Most likely, in a trans magazine. It could have been on the internet, but I know for a fact that I didn’t have a personal computer at that time.

      Shortly after that first Tri-Ess meeting, I started going out dressed to a drag bar called the Queen Mary. It’s long gone, but those were good times!

      7 users thanked author for this post.
      • #459663
        Peggy Sue Williams
        Duchess - Annual
        Registered On: June 26, 2019
        Topics: 13
        Replies: 268
        Has thanked: 981 times
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        Tri-ESS has two chapters left in the U.S., and one is on life support.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #458977
      Stephanie Kennedy
      Princess
      Registered On: March 15, 2019
      Topics: 10
      Replies: 632
      Has thanked: 3921 times
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      Hi Cynthia I began Cding at a very early like so many here. I was fortunate, I grew up with three sisters most of there clothes fit me for some strange reason. I started going out in public at or around 15 or 16. Its much easier to pass when we slight small body frames and long hair on boys was acceptable. I am trying to remember how i came upon two gay bars, one of them was geared more to trans people the other was mostly all gay men. I would love to have photo’s of me back then I had no problem getting the attention of men. I met so many girls like us from different parts of the world. Some of the girls from Asia looked absolutely gorgeous. I met one girl that told me about a hair salon that did hair for CDs, next store over was a place that sold sexy intimates for girls like us. I bought a few items and found a pamphlet for private club for CDs and transsexuals. It was a wonderful private that allowed you to store your clothes  and allowed to do your make up and dress like you always wanted. The bottom line is if you are looking hard enough you will find. Get involved with our community and stop denying who you are as a person. You may not be gay but you still come under the LGBT community flag. There is no reason to be lonely anymore. Making the right decisions is so much easier now. The internet has allowed us to understand we are not alone hopefully that should rid us from that offal feeling of shame that most of us had to deal with when we were younger. Just a little input from a mature life long cross-dresser.

      Luv Stephanie

      9 users thanked author for this post.
    • #458948
      Heather Jameson
      Duchess
      Registered On: April 1, 2019
      Topics: 7
      Replies: 486
      Has thanked: 822 times
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      I was 14 and had my first boyfriend and his cousin who was older introduced to a few back alley clubs where the gay and TS community would meet up to party plus there were a couple of adult theaters that didn’t mind girls like us hanging around as the other patrons enjoyed our company. We met other people and expanded our network of friends and such but it was very hush hush. We didn’t just have to watch for non-lakers but the police also as a lot of us were under age and there were no liquor licenses. I also knew a couple of swingers and they had parties on the weekend which I would hostess at which is a nice way of saying I was a prostitute at these events. They gut busted and took off never to be seen again. Crazy times, I wonder how I’m alive when I think about these nights.

      5 users thanked author for this post.
    • #458947
      Grace Scarlett
      Baroness - Annual
      Registered On: February 16, 2021
      Topics: 51
      Replies: 1093
      Has thanked: 3803 times
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      Hello Cynthia….

      I had never spoken to anyone about my obsession before i literally stumbled across CDH while surfing……( I have no idea what it was doing in the sea, my surfboard ran right into it……….sorry!!!)

      reading all these replies, two things spring immediately to mind….

      What a place we have here and just how lucky we are !!!!

      Grace xx

    • #458945
      Eva Kelly
      Duchess
      Registered On: March 1, 2021
      Topics: 7
      Replies: 201
      Has thanked: 2055 times
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      was that like the magazine transliving

      It was (and still is) more of an adult theme magazine. Every month there was a centerfold, if you know what I mean. It did have interviews and articles. It was my only source of information at the time.

      • This reply was modified 1 month ago by Eva Kelly. Reason: typo
      6 users thanked author for this post.
    • #458935
      rebekka moore
      Lady
      Registered On: January 7, 2017
      Topics: 84
      Replies: 959
      Has thanked: 563 times
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      So far this has been the only place for me.

      In what I’ve searched for everything seems to be geared towards much younger people, and I’m glad they have those resources available to them.

      Where older gals are concerned things seem to take a more sexual and pornographic turn. I may be wrong about that.

      Gives some thought to creating more resources however.

      6 users thanked author for this post.
    • #458774
      Cynthia Dubois
      Lady
      Registered On: August 17, 2017
      Topics: 13
      Replies: 66
      Has thanked: 74 times
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      Wow.  Thanks for all the replies.  I really am in awe of all of you ladies who ventured out into the world back then, even knowing the risks involved.  I think those of us who have always had the internet there forget the danger that was involved in simply just getting to know others back in the analog age.

      I also can’t imagine being so cut off from others.  I’m thankful that we know have the internet to meet others and explore our lifestyle with a lot less risks involved than having to go to go to a store and physically buy a magazine or go to a bar or having to answer an ad in the newspaper.  It’s horrible that so many of you felt so alone, but now we have each other!

    • #458756
      Paula F
      Duchess
      Registered On: August 7, 2019
      Topics: 13
      Replies: 1029
      Has thanked: 13062 times
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      I have been dressing since I was 5.  It was totally secret until right around my 15th Bday.  I met the man I had my first ever crush on, and became his girlfriend.  Vincent had moved to Texas from California, where he had been involved with CD’s out there.

      Long story short, he introduced me to several of his gay and CD friends.  Of course in ’75, there was no local group that outwardly supported any of us here.  Our circles were small and very tight knit, even in the same towns.  Of course there were always rumors about us, most of it negative and almost all of it false.  Information was traded by word of mouth until we had our first couple of adult movie places that allowed more than just str8’s inside.

      The magazines and personals papers followed, until eventually the internet became widespread.  Then we had the gay bars.  Those became the meeting place of choice for a sit down, face to face meeting with a new person.

      It wasn’t always easy to meet new people and you really had to be careful.  For every positive story of success, there was also usually a negative one.  Even some unscrupulous people who would use the ads and papers to draw some of us out, for public humiliation at the least, up to physical assaults at the other end.  Thank goodness those have mostly gone away.  But just like before the net, you need to keep your eyes open for all the online scams, which can be just as dangerous as they used to be.

      Don’t let the bad outweigh the good you will also find in this life.  There  is a huge world to discover and explore as your second self.  Many new friends and supporters, and truth be told, they are out there looking for you, too.

      PaulaF

      • This reply was modified 1 month ago by Paula F.
    • #458755
      Emily Alt
      Duchess - Annual
      Registered On: August 24, 2019
      Topics: 12
      Replies: 523
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      I had zero resources before the Internet.  No friends.  No allies.  Everyone I knew would’ve been repulsed….or worse.  I was too scared to do anything that might out me.  Even though I knew I wasn’t alone, I really was.

    • #458747
      Peggy Sue Williams
      Duchess - Annual
      Registered On: June 26, 2019
      Topics: 13
      Replies: 268
      Has thanked: 981 times
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      Although I had been cross dressing since early childhood in the 1950s, I was not aware of an actual national organization until the 1970s, when I came across an advertisement in Penthouse magazine for Tri-ESS (Society For The Second Self).

      In the early 80s, I made contact with Tri-Ess via U.S. Mail, and they in turn put me in contact with a local chapter close to me in Norfolk, Virginia.  My wife and I were invited to attend their meetings and activities, but I backed out, because I was an active duty U.S. Navy cryptologist at that time and believed I would be placing my security clearance in jeopardy.

      By the 1990s, I had retired from the Navy, and the internet was coming into use, and I contacted Tri-ESS.  This time without fear of losing a security clearance.

    • #458633
      Krista
      Duchess
      Registered On: January 24, 2017
      Topics: 8
      Replies: 531
      Has thanked: 1278 times
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      Hi Cynthia, I’m 66 and like many of the others who’ve responded so far, I thought I was the only one who did this.  Well I did hear about Renee Richards, the tennis playing MTF trans, and was a bit jealous that she managed to do it.  Oh and also Christine Jorgensen.  But this was not common at all and there was a lot of negativity towards it.  I then started to learn about drag queens as there were a few TV shows about them.  And a few movies (Some Like It Hot, Rocky Horror Picture Show), and the TV show Bosum Buddies.  The internet, thankfully, had really opened my eyes.  Not sure if and how my life would have been different if I had the internet when I was much younger.  In terms of a code or anything like that, nope, I had no idea.  Thanks for posting this topic.  All the Best, Hugs, Krista.

    • #458619
      Alice Underwire
      Lady
      Registered On: September 16, 2019
      Topics: 25
      Replies: 2988
      Has thanked: 2612 times
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      Hi Cynthia,

      In the mid 70’s International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE) published a magazine “Tapestry.”  Advertisers were CD and TS friendly and there were member listings/personal ads by state one could send written letters to.  As you said this predates most having a computer on the desk.

      Or one could stop in a local store to pick up gift per se of lingerie or women’s attire.

      Alice

       

    • #458537
      Rozalyne Richards
      Lady
      Registered On: March 10, 2018
      Topics: 0
      Replies: 532
      Has thanked: 971 times
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      Hi Cynthia the short answer is the same as everyone else i didn’t leave the closet, i thought i was the only one who took pleasure in dressing up so hid it away, even now I’m in my 60s and I’m still in the closet to my wife and family x

      Hugs Rozalyne x

    • #458516
      Eva Kelly
      Duchess
      Registered On: March 1, 2021
      Topics: 7
      Replies: 201
      Has thanked: 2055 times
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      Does anyone remember Transformation magazine? I could buy it at the magazine and book shop. For a while, that was where I got all my information. I didn’t have any friends or relatives to talk to about my female feelings. Every month I looked forward to buying the new magazine and reading it cover to cover.

    • #458483
      Kathleen 60454
      Lady
      Registered On: January 8, 2020
      Topics: 44
      Replies: 412
      Has thanked: 2055 times
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      Cynthia,

      I am 76 and I have been dressing  since I was eight. I have been a closeted CD since I was a eight years old I never told anyone until I was 40 yo and came out to my wife which didn’t  go very well for the first 15 years then she finally accepted  my crossdressing.

      Kathleen

       

    • #458482
      Diana Morgan
      Lady
      Registered On: February 22, 2021
      Topics: 7
      Replies: 573
      Has thanked: 4198 times
      Been thanked: 1763 times

      Short answer – I didn’t, there probably were codes and places to meet but naive fellow that I was I just blundered on probably thinking that I was the only one with these desires  – boy how things have changed.

      Diana.

       

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