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  • #388756
    June Holl
    Participant
    Registered On: December 15, 2019
    Topics: 2
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    I know all of us have at one time or another not done something because it goes against social norms.

    WHY?

     

    I have been struggling with this for some time now.

    I have been a male living in a very small conservative community with pierced ears for close to thirty years. It’s who I am. Had long hair for some of that time. Why is it so hard to wear a skirt in public?

    started wearing nail polish full time. No issues, but can’t wear my breast forms because maybe someone might notice my chest sticks out a little more.

    WHY?

    Why are we so hard wired to fit in? To not upset the norm. It’s truly driving me crazy.

    mist days I’m ok with male me, but I also want to be female me. Show others the other me. Be confident in it. Be able to relax and enjoy it.

    I’m not some monster!

    I just want to be.

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    • #393272
      Vanessa ?
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      Registered On: September 26, 2020
      Topics: 5
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      There are definitely some nice things about living in a rural or small-town sort of area — less crowded for one, if I lived in a major city my anxiety related to crowds might be so bad I wouldn’t be able to go out dressed at all.  Rather than only feeling comfortable doing so late at night like I do now.  Also, less traffic and nicer places to go for walks (and scenery in general) are always good.

      But the stuff I said about not fitting in with most people in a rural, conservative sort of area doesn’t come from “the mainstream media”… which I don’t even watch (ever since I’ve been living on my own I haven’t even had TV, even now with my roommate we just use stuff like Netflix/Hulu rather than getting ripped off by the cable/satellite companies, and we get our news from a wide variety of sources rather than relying on one or two TV stations.)

      It comes from my personal experience living in those sorts of areas.  My “blue voting” doesn’t have to move here, it’s been here.  (but seriously why even bring politics into it? nobody said anything about one political party or the other.)

      I’ve literally never lived in a city with population over 6000-ish.  I grew up in southwest Virginia on a road in the middle of the woods, miles from anything classified as even a town much less a city.  Any further out and I’d be on a gravel road rather than paved (there were several such roads branching off from the road I grew up on, actually, and toward the end of our road the pavement sort of gave way to broken-up old pavement covered in a layer of gravel first, and then straight gravel.)

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #393178
      Christina Roberts
      Participant
      Registered On: October 9, 2020
      Topics: 2
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      Amanda, well said and so true, agree with your view points.   Society and media has brainwashed that all must conform to so called rules and stereotype. Its so wrong as life and society should not hurt or encourage hurt but love, respect and understanding. To love another, to be happy with another no matter what gender or colour should be lifes goal, not to condemn, ridicule or intimidate. One day this will be achieved.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #393166
      Sandy Jayson
      Participant
      Registered On: September 29, 2019
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      June, I can understand some of your situation.  I to live in a small town about 1300 and work in a nearby collage town of about 70,000.  I suspect that the neighbor across the street have seen more than I would have liked to (walking from the house to garage fully in fem).  So far no one has said a word face to face.  I to wish I could go out everyday in full fem ( if that’s how I feel ) for the day.  All my best to you and good luck!!

      Sandy

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #393111
      Britney Summers
      Participant
      Registered On: June 6, 2020
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      Rural areas, conservative areas are consistently demonized here.  I blame that on the mainstream media.  Living in a rural area means freedom.  The best part of living rural would be privacy to wear what I want, even outside in most cases ( if you have that kind of property ).  That’s how I want to live.   I would fear for my life in a big city as the crime, rioting is out of control. Friendly advice, Don’t bring your blue voting if you ever move to a rural area or else those same big city problems will follow. I know, not many will be happy with some portions of my comment.  Cross dressers can come from all kinds of areas, so can other lifestyles as well, and that is perfectly fine.

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #392916
      Vanessa ?
      Participant
      Registered On: September 26, 2020
      Topics: 5
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      In my case it’s never about “fitting in.”  I have no desire to fit in.  I’ve never fit in anyway, even in the rare few points in my life where I almost tried to.

      I’ve always been a weird artistic creative nerdy sort of person who doesn’t share many interests with the majority of the population in the rural, religious, redneck-ish sorts of areas I’ve lived — I don’t hunt or fish, I don’t smoke, I don’t find just “getting drunk” to be that great of a time, I don’t like sports, I don’t go to church and don’t really like the concept of organized religion in general (though I do have some beliefs… they just don’t line up perfectly with any particular religion), I don’t particularly care about cars beyond just the basic “does it get me from point A to point B?” sort of thing, and the list goes on.

      It’s more about not wanting to be “caught” by people who aren’t going to react well.  Especially people who know me in guy-mode, and might recognize my face if they happen to see me as Vanessa.

      The scariest part is, I don’t know who those people are.

      I don’t know if, say, my boss at work is someone who’ll be accepting of it if he happened to find out.  I don’t think he’s the kind of person who’d react so badly that I’d lose my job over it (I do have a male coworker who apparently came in with glittery eyeshadow on one day and the boss didn’t even say anything to him about it), but even knowing that, I can’t turn the anxiety off.  I don’t know how one of my friends who I’m currently borrowing a car from would react, which is a scary thought considering that I’m pretty dependent on him still approving of me enough to let me use his car.  I don’t know what my mom’s reaction might be, though I imagine it’ll include a lot of whiny sighs of “oh, [guy name]…” and distressed facial expressions when (if) I ever try to explain it to her.  I don’t know what my dad’s reaction would be, but I can’t imagine it would be good.

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    • #391766
      Abby M
      Participant
      Registered On: October 7, 2020
      Topics: 2
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      I really feel you with your struggle. I feel like I have had to over come mind own mindsets and preconceived notions. I feel a lot of it is taught and reinforced. I work with kids and I have some stickers of Harley Quinn on my water bottle. One girl was asking what I was going to be for Halloween and I didn’t know. She said why not be a boy Harley Quinn? For her it was just socially acceptable that I could show my love for a character I like by dressing as them. I feel that people also mock what they don’t understand and don’t try to educate themselves. Even though I feel like it is a more accepting world, there are still leaps and bonds to go.

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #390069
      Amanda Burton
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      Registered On: January 15, 2020
      Topics: 5
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      The ignorance of others, is the problem we all face.
      We are all brought up to accept what society standards, labels, and laws we have to abide to.
      Black is black and white is white mentality.
      Any deviation was met with fear and punishment. Many were and still are cast a drift by communities, families and friends for being different.
      Our fear of this is why many still hide in the shadows, how sad and what an indictment of humanity that many still treated like lepers.
      As a free person I have the right to me, not somebody’s stereo type.

    • #389324
      ChloeC
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      Registered On: November 5, 2019
      Topics: 8
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      Yes, Phoebe, I should have included religion, as that most likely played a major part in creating community restrictions.  They didn’t understand why the weather changed, the seasons changed, day became night, it must be the ‘gods’ doing and we don’t want to offend them in any way.

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    • #389310
      Phoebe Smyth
      Participant
      Registered On: February 2, 2020
      Topics: 1
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      I mostly agree with You Chloe but I can’t help but make the observation that various religions have also played their role in limiting individualism, sexual exploration and the violation of societal norms.
      Don’t get me wrong here I’m not bashing them. In their own defective way they too are only trying to protect the existence of humanity. Probably also out of some misplaced fear.

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    • #389290
      ChloeC
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      Registered On: November 5, 2019
      Topics: 8
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      Here’s my take on it, and that doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong, it’s just what I’ve observed and read.  If you accept evolution and the species we call homo sapiens starting to come into existence about 3 1/2 million years ago, for the first 3 million 480 thousand of those, we all had to live in very close  and very small communities. Survival of the species was paramount and any member not following the dictates of the community as it foraged around was most likely kicked out and/or left to die.

      The last 10,000 or so years, as things started to change (farming, craftsmanship, etc.) communities got bigger and began to accept some differences but survival was still paramount and that meant men had to make women pregnant and then defend and protect them and infants and children from predators, diseases, neighboring war like clans.  So being sexually different was still not allowed.

      That’s an awful lot of years and human evolution to overcome in just the past 50 or so years. It’s amazing how much humans have overcome, but it’s still scary that lots of those old concepts are still dragged out to separate those that SOME in the group still believe aren’t doing their part.

      In the last 150 years we can also ‘thank’ the Victorians and Edwardians for again trying to impose rigid standards on what is acceptable to be male and be female.  Dramatic changes and improvements in the economic well being of the human race were advancing way too rapidly for those in power, like today.  So all kinds of laws and expectations were not only demanded but codified into very strict laws.

      We’re slowly coming out of all that but not without a lot of gnashing of teeth, wringing of hands, and attempts to re-establish all those antiquated and outdated norms.  It’s coming, but not fast enough for a lot of us, and possibly even not in our lifetime.  We still have to keep that trail open for future people so they can build on what we’re doing here and now.

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    • #389280
      Dana “Jennifer” Banton
      Participant
      Registered On: March 19, 2018
      Topics: 6
      Replies: 52
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      I totally understand your frustration.  I wrote about this in a post awhile back (See link below, and back when I went by Jennifer vs. Dana).  The post is not quite the same as your but along the same lines.  I think we can accept ourselves more than others can since this against society norms, as you say.  And I think that is part of it.  I wish I had answers…that’s for sure.  Chin up honey!  At the very least, we care about you and accept you for who you are.

      Hugs…Dana.

       

      https://www.crossdresserheaven.com/forums/topic/how-do-i-continue-to-live-a-lie-warning-this-is-not-very-uplifting/

       

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    • #389072
      DeeAnn Hopings
      Participant
      Registered On: November 10, 2019
      Topics: 11
      Replies: 576
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      Humans do not like change. We will fight it, given half a chance. It helps to think very carefully about things and consider what would be a relatively low stress way to get you where you want to be…

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #389036
      Bettylou Cox
      Participant
      Registered On: May 26, 2019
      Topics: 16
      Replies: 1422
      Has thanked: 2300 times
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      Hi June,

      Volumes could be written in reply to your question; this is what I have observed:

      Each discrete group within our society formulates its own ideas about what is and is not acceptable, then enforces them with coercion, shaming and threats of expulsion from the group.  Since most of us have a strong “herd instinct”, these methods are largely successful. I (my guy self) was the exception; from age 14, I was determined to go my own way, and have consequently spent most of my life as a “loner” and “outsider”.  But my guy self was also a hermit by nature, so was unfazed by rejection.  My younger daughter once told me she was surprised I ever got married, because I’m such a hermit.  Bettylou, on the other hand, is quite the social butterfly, and eager to please…but only within the greater CD/TG community.  Rather than change myself to conform to society, I found a society which conforms to me.

      Hugs,

      Bettylou

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    • #389019
      Athena Deering
      Participant
      Registered On: September 27, 2020
      Topics: 1
      Replies: 2
      Has thanked: 21 times
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      I know what you mean June. I have always been self conscious about looking or acting too feminine around others, even though I want to look feminine.

      People need to be taught to have a more positive view of femininity, then it would be a lot easier for us to be who we naturally are.

      I hope people learn to accept you for who you are. Good luck June!

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #388985
      Peggy Sue Williams
      Participant
      Registered On: June 26, 2019
      Topics: 10
      Replies: 202
      Has thanked: 778 times
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      June,

      No, you are definitely NOT a monster!  You just happen to probably live in a small North Dakota community where people are comfortable seeing other people who look like themselves.  I know what this is like.   I grew up in a tiny Rhode Island town, poulation 2,000, where everyone was the same and did not like city people.  I rarely ventured out cross dressed and even then, only under very controlled conditions down into the big city.

      Like someone already said, people are afraid of the unknown and don’t like to think out of the box.

      I see girls on here stereotyping other people, and that is dangerous too.  You want to be accepted as a CD?  You are going to have to be an accepting person yourself.  I learn things all the time from people who don’t look or think like me.

      June, perhaps eventually you will be able to relocate to another part of the country, where all people are welcome.  I am so blessed to live in Atlanta, Georgia, the city that is too busy to hate.  And maybe too, our national thinking will continue to evolve for the better.

       

       

       

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    • #388975
      Caroline OBrien
      Participant
      Registered On: April 18, 2020
      Topics: 2
      Replies: 39
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      I grew up in a prison of concern about what people think of me and sadly it continues to this day.

      I’ve never been able to escape this self erected prison despite therapy and never ending “self improvement”.

      I jealously look at those who could give a hoot what people think of them.

      -Caroline

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    • #388888
      Stevie65
      Participant
      Registered On: September 6, 2019
      Topics: 16
      Replies: 99
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      Living in the country and having a few neighbours. It is that fear of being ostracized. The city i would have np going out enfemme. The farm country has a whole different perspective. I dress when i can. Maybe some day it will be normal to see guys wear skirts. Until then we are our own prisoners waiting to break free!!!

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #388856
      Laura Lovett
      Participant
      Registered On: March 26, 2020
      Topics: 7
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      It’s really hard in a small community because everybody is used to you being a particular way – everybody “knows” everybody, and to deviate from the little box you’ve sat in for years makes you alien – one of them, not one of us.

      I moved into a small community out of a large city, and the urge to dress became the strongest it had ever been.

      Fortunately I was not known by many, so was able to go out and about en femme without meeting anyone I knew – and people were surprisingly unjudgemental, considering it’s such a small, conservative village.

      We’ve moved again, but this time are right in the middle of the community, and I don’t dress because of potential repercussions for my family, in our current situation, where my wife doesn’t want the children to know.

      I am hoping that she will change her mind, given the improvements I’ve brought about thanks to being able to dress as openly as I like once a month – albeit 100 miles away!

      Until then, it is fear of being outed, not for myself, but for my family, who haven’t come to terms with it yet.

      Part of me (most of me!) thinks “What’s to come to terms with? It’s only clothing!”, but I understand that it could be a shock or difficult to deal with simply because it’s been hidden for a long time.

      The main thing is to peacefully persist and go at your own speed in the context of those around you.

      Love Laura

       

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    • #388811
      June Holl
      Participant
      Registered On: December 15, 2019
      Topics: 2
      Replies: 3
      Has thanked: 59 times
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      Thanks ladies,

      You are all correct in that it is the fear of the unknown that controls this.

      I guess what got me to post this was thinking back on how I use to strive to go against the grain but this seems so much harder to overcome.

      but it is only myself holding me back.

      Love you all!

      June

      5 users thanked author for this post.
    • #388776
      Patty Phose
      Participant
      Registered On: May 7, 2016
      Topics: 0
      Replies: 1328
      Has thanked: 921 times
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      How come women can wear anything they want but men can’t? I’ve heard that countless times. Who says men can’t wear what ever they want? Well, we’ll get looked at. Don’t women get looked at?

      I think we put restrictions on ourselves to rationalize not doing something we really want to do. In this case dress all femme, go out and live that way. I’ve had fear hold me back and stop me countless times.

      What if someone sees me? What if they laugh? What if someone confronts or assaults me? Women get looked at and judged all the time. And of course, depending on how they dress and where they go, they can bring unwanted attention upon themselves. Well, that’s part of what it may be to be a woman or live like one.

    • #388767
      stephanie plumb
      Participant
      Registered On: November 17, 2018
      Topics: 88
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      What Bianca said.

      Also because we were raised as boys and constantly received subliminal messages from our parents, friends, society, the press  and TV that boys being more feminine is not to be encouraged. Until fairly recently even the medical profession thought it was an illness that could be cured. There are some that still believe this. We were conditioned to believe we are not normal, and at all costs mustn’t show ourselves to the world.

      Self acceptance that you are perfectly normal and entitled to be yourself in public is the key to gaining the confidence to get on with your life. There are some boundaries I suppose, so some secrecy is often required, but there are times when you can get out there and enjoy being the girl you are.

      I go out with my dog 3 or 4 times a week fully en-femme. I have not yet had any bad reactions from others. On the contrary, I often get smiles, otherwise either they don’t see me or they do but don’t care.

      Stephanie

    • #388764
      Kay Anderson
      Participant
      Registered On: June 1, 2020
      Topics: 16
      Replies: 484
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      So many of us grew up worrying about what everyone thought about us. That has often been described as a war between what we want and the worry about others opinions. I grew up trying to fit in a role that wasn’t me. Getting to the point of not caring what others thing can be hard but not impossible. I am making progress but not there yet. It is a fear like Bianca mentioned. We all should be able to walk the path of our own choosing.

      Kay

    • #388763
      Grace Scarlett
      Participant
      Registered On: July 26, 2020
      Topics: 12
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      Has thanked: 1727 times
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      Hi June

      Hoping not to sound too repetitive…there is nothing wrong with us!!….it’s the rest of the world accepting us for who we are ..I cannot put it any better than the wonderful post below from Bianca❤️.       Grace xx

    • #388761
      Bianca Everdene
      Participant
      Registered On: April 11, 2017
      Topics: 14
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      Hi June

      I guess for many it’s pure and simple – fear.

      Fear of the irrational reactions of others.

      Fear of our significant others making knee jerk reactions and assumptions. He must be gay!!!He must want to be a woman!!!Oh the embarrassment!!! What will all the other ‘normal’ people think???

      Fear of ridicule from strangers.

      Fear of being ostracised as being ‘deviant’ in some way.

      Fear of losing friends.

      Fear of the ‘curtain twitchers’ chattering behind closed doors, spreading rumours.

      Just for wanting to be ourselves, doing no harm to others, just wearing what we want to wear, acting how we want to act.

      As with many fears I am sure most people build them up to be more than they really are, and when we do take that terrifying step usually find indifference and apathy.

      Being on this site with so many others with the same thoughts and feelings has been so heartwarming. Especially as the stories of acceptance, positivity and encouragement far outweigh stories of negative experiences.

      We just have to keep chipping away at those fears to demolish them, change society to a more tolerant place for everybody.

      ❤️B

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