Pros and cons. Hesitation.

How do we achieve self acceptance?  And how long does it take?  In my case, that would be sixty plus years — sixty plus years of putting Bobbi into a locked corner and rarely giving her time to be the part of my life.  Bobbi has been purged multiple times in my life and for that I am truly sorry.  She has deserved much more from me.  She has never been allowed to be introduced to anyone in my life or to express openly herself in an accepting and supportive environment.

I began seeking counseling and therapy recently in hopes that speaking with someone in a forthright and honest way would somehow help me achieve self-acceptance, and at least some recognition that Bobbi is part of my life.  It is important when seeking counseling that the therapist understand exactly for what you are seeking counsel.  In my case, I certainly was not seeking to be cured, and this needed to be made clear to my therapist.  Neither was I seeking to go into deep psychoanalysis of my childhood in order to “unearth” the reasons why I am transgendered.  I am sixty-two; what does it matter what the trigger was.  The deep and hidden event which may have contributed to this has no bearing on my coming to terms with Bobbi in my life today.  Maybe there was trigger, or maybe I was this way at birth.  It does not matter; Bobbi is here to stay.

What is important now is giving freedom for Bobbi to be part of who I am.  I would like to grant myself the opportunity to blend both my masculine and feminine beings into one whole and happy person without shame, embarrassment and guilt. So how after a lifetime of denial was I going to do this.  It was with this aim that I began therapy with a local therapist who specializes in transgender issues.

Crossdresser Heaven - Find Your Tribe

At one of my first sessions, my therapist gave me a simple exercise to complete for “homework”.  He asked that I compose a simple list.  What are the cons of my crossdressing, and what are the pros of my crossdressing.  On its surface, the exercise seemed like a very basic and vanilla way to begin one’s self-analysis, but I found it quite useful and helpful once I really drilled into it.

Most of the girls here probably know the list of cons by heart.

  • Secrecy — Secrecy is manifested in both physical  and emotional ways.  The physical arises from the hiding of your bras and panties where not even a police officer looking for illegal drugs would find them.  The emotional being simply in keeping your cross dressing hidden from yourself and the outside world.
  • Guilt — The guilt resulting from secrecy prevents any growth whatsoever in both your life personally and with your significant other.  It creates a false life filled with half truths and equivocation — hardly a healthy dynamic.
  • Fear — Fear is most certainly wrapped up in the equation of cons.  For me, there are the fear of discovery and the fear of rejection from loved ones.  More importantly, there is the fear of actually admitting to myself the truth, “I am transgendered; I am a cross dresser”, and what that truth means to the rest of my life.  That is a lot to swallow and a lot of which to be fearful.

The pros of my crossdressing, however, are a much different story.

  • Honesty — Honesty is looking at yourself in the mirror and knowing in your heart that this is the truth.  It is admitting and accepting who you are.
  • Freedom — Freedom grants the opportunity simply to be the woman you always knew deep inside was a part of you.  It allows you to giving her life after so many years.
  • Joy — Joy is the sheer euphoria and happiness when dressed up.   It is the release from a lifetime of denial.
  • Validation — Validation is knowing that crossdressing brings you so much joy, that the dresses and makeup confirm your deepest suspicions, that you do fall along the transgender spectrum.  There is no doubt anymore.  There will be no questioning.
  • Fun — Everything about feminizing is amazing from shopping for new outfits to spending time on your makeup.  It is a joy.  Surely, something so fulfilling cannot be wrong.

From a personal standpoint, the pros certainly outweigh the cons, which is probably true for many of us.  That, however, is just for us personally.  What about the most important person in our lives, our partners and wives? Coming to terms with oneself is fine, but if you are still hiding your favorite dress under the mattress, then you have not really come to terms,  have you?  Truly, coming to terms must include our partners in life.

Coming out to my partner was the most difficult thing that I have ever done in my life.  It was also the most liberating.  When I came out to my partner, it was the beginning of an exciting, yet challenging, new chapter to our lives.  Someone whom I love now is faced with challenges for which she never signed up.  And for that I am sorry.  Coming out, however, is the healthiest and most honest way to live life, and if she loves you and cares deeply for your happiness, then complete fulfillment is within reach.  A loving and supportive partner completes a circle in your life.  The chance to share your thoughts and desires openly can be the most satisfying and rewarding aspect of your self-acceptance.

Coming to terms with yourself is the first step toward a richer and fuller life.  Putting aside the self doubt and guilt is important to embrace fully your second self and your new life as a whole human being.  My journey like so many others is one of several steps and hurdles of which this piece is just one.  Hopefully, I have provided you with some ideas and tools that will assist you on your journey as I have progressed through my own.  Either way, in closing, I would like to offer my thanks and gratitude for the opportunity to share my thoughts.

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  1. Michelle Gonzales 2 days ago

    Bobbi
    Thanks so much for your article. There were a lot of points I can relate to.

    Happily I came out to me wife several weeks ago. She does not understand my need to be Michelle but she accepts it and loves and supports me.

    xoxo Michelle

  2. Brooke Lynn 4 days ago

    That was so inspiring and it is like you are speaking for me. Wow I am so happy that you put all of stuff we feel into words so accurately. Thank you

  3. Shannon Fox 1 week ago

    What other think is the main reason I have not told bar I few people about my crossdressing I have being doing since I was 13 and I have hid my secret for 8 years now. I just want move out of my families and get my own place then I can dress up whenever I want which will be probably all the time

  4. Trisha Kobichenko 2 weeks ago

    Thank you so much for this post. I came out to my wife several years ago, and she is supportive of my dressing. I do still struggle with guilt and acceptance of who I am. I don’t feel I can come out publicly, although I would love to, due to relationships with children, grandchildren, siblings and friends, who I feel would not accept me as Trisha.

  5. Renee Elysse Stuart 2 weeks ago

    Bobbi, thanks for your insight. We are about the same age and your story mirrors mine well. A year ago I came out to my wife but we still haven’t quite worked out what that means for our relationship. Time will tell, I guess.
    Hugs,
    Renee

  6. Pippi Long 3 weeks ago

    Hi Bobbi , loved your story. spot on like so many of us here .Seems like it takes 50 plus years of living in the closet to finally find who we really are .
    much love !
    Pippi

  7. Bronwyn 3 weeks ago

    Hello Bobbi, i have been a closet dresser for over 30 years. Because of my character i choose to remain in the closet. Family and a few close freinds know about Bronwyn. Because i am a big boofy guy, looking feminine is just too hard. But i do have my long gorgeous nails and earrings, and that will have to do. I do have a lovely wardrobe of clothes, heels, lingerie ect, but rarely wear anything now…..such is life of a cd. Bronwyn

  8. Catie Maye 3 weeks ago

    Hi Bobbi…. It is certainly true that before we can expect others to accept who we are we need to find a way of accepting ourselves. Interesting in recent surveys when crossdressers were asked ‘What impact do you believe cross dressing has on your life?’ The responses were 73% said positive, 19% said no impact and only 8% said negative…and these were from all parts of society. I am, like you, a more mature crossdresser….and it is only in the last 3-4 years that I have found a way to accept who I am…some of that was telling family and friends. In my research very few crossdressers ever find a way of stopping…even when it means losing family and friends…so I guess its an inherent part of our spirit. Catie x

  9. Joni weibley 3 weeks ago

    Bobbi. I feel your pain and your joy I am sixty and my road through life has been about the same. I have just started to except the female side of myself. Excellent article. Good luck to you I hope all goes well.

  10. charlie 3 weeks ago

    Thats soo true and helpful thank you very much.

  11. Kris Valley 3 weeks ago

    Hi Bobbi,
    Thank you for writing such a fantastic article. We are the same age, and it sounds like our lives have been very similar. Big surprise there, right? Early this year I went through this process but not with a therapist. I went through the pros and cons like you did and arrived at the same conclusion. My wife has known about my crossdressing desires since we married 35 years ago, and although she accepted it she really wasn’t fond of it. We had several long talks starting in January in which he told me that I needed to get out and meet other girls like me. As this process went along she underwent an amazing transformation. After I joined the Atlanta chapter of Tri Ess she took me shopping, and she went at it with a determination to find outfits for me that not only fit but were stylish and well put together. I couldn’t believe it. Previously whenever the subject came up it was like she was hearing fingernails on a chalk board. I could almost see her cringe when I brought it up. Now here she is taking me shopping for women’s clothes and makeup, and then giving me instruction as to how to apply the makeup properly. She discusses any aspects of women’s fashion with me just like we would on any other topic. Anyway, thanks again for this wonderful article.
    Kris

  12. Grace Dahling 3 weeks ago

    Wonderful article Bobbi, it is good to see you are finding inner peace and contentment.

  13. Nice article Bobbi. I have gone through a similar thought process about my dressing, and discovered that I like who I am so much better when April is an integral part of my life. Accepting who you are without guilt or shame is a very liberating thing.

    Hugs,
    April

  14. skippy1965(Cynthia) 3 weeks ago

    Bobbi-I’m sure many hare your feelings and I thank you for taking the time to share your story. It may well help someone else “discover” themselves and allow themselves to be who they truly are! Best of luck as you and your SO enjoy your golden years sharing the true essence of who you are!
    Cyn

  15. Krista 3 weeks ago

    Hi Bobbi, Thank You for sharing your thoughts. You have written a lovely article. Just having turned 63 last week, I could very much relate to many of the thoughts you’ve expressed.

    I’m happy that I accepted myself as a crossdresser years ago. I don’t have issues with cons such as secrecy and guilt. I often leave my female clothes and shoes lying around the bedroom. I’d even be more open about it but my wife, who knows, would rather that I keep it under wraps. Though I still have some fears and challenges. I shop for women’s clothing in drab without too much difficulty. But I have yet to shop while dressed in my most feminine attire. However, I am mistaken for female while dressed in drab (or in my androgynous clothes) and without makeup. That makes me feel very happy.

    I like your list of pros and I like your term “transgender spectrum”. We, the members of CDH, are at different spots along the spectrum and moving back and forth along it at different rates of speed. Some are happy being in one spot on the spectrum and not moving; others have a journey along the spectrum and not even sure when and where it will reach a goal.

    Looking forward to future articles that you’ll share. All the Best!
    Hugs, Krista

    • Amanda Patrick 5 hours ago

      Hi Krista,

      Wow I can really relate to the different spots on the Spectrum. Some times I am going along feeling accepting of my self. I have been out a couple of times and shopped for my self in drab in ladies stores even trying something on recently and then the spectrum seems to change and the fears and challenges remerge for awhile and then fade again for awhile longer. I find when my confidence comes back it does feel great to cd again. My wife has known for a long time about my cd ing so I know the full acceptance lies within my self. I am 64 years old my self and know these feelings are not going anywhere permentllaly. The journey continues along the spectrum and I will where it takes me and when.

      Hugs,

      Amanda

  16. Sophie Frenchie 3 weeks ago

    Dear Bobbi, your article is something I can relate to as I am 64 and only during the early part of this year, did I manage to accept who I am. For me it was also about learning to love myself. I had spent a long time loving others, but even then not fully and openly. A combination of not being happy with myself and not being honest with the people closest to me caused me pain and caused confusion in my life. My immediate families suffered too in this process, but I was unaware at the time. I believed that my secret could not harm them if they didn’t know. How wrong I was!
    I am happy to say that my daughter and her mother who I have kept in touch with, both now know about my life. They also both said, that they wished I had told them sooner.
    Anyway, they understand, albeit difficult and more so for my daughter. I am making progress with my daughter who is trying so hard to come to terms with it all. She wrote a song the other day and recorded it for the very first time and sent it to me. It is about my life with my daughter and her love and pain in our history and my life now. So beautiful, yet so sad too.
    I congratulate you on you own achievements and wish you all the happiness in the world
    Sophie xxx

  17. Lindy Roe 3 weeks ago

    Bobbi, I agree completely about being accepted by ourselves. If we can’t say that I am a transgender or crossdresser to ourselves, we can’t expect other people to accept us.

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