No matter how we act upon them, most of us discover our need to embrace a feminine side at an early age. Often times our crossdressing sisters are drawn to girl toys, the activities the girls are doing over the boys, or sometimes in their desire to just wear pink. Simple pleasures, which are so often kept from children for reasons of pointless standards, are denied and the desires repressed. This can take an emotional toll on us as boys, but sometimes the spark burns brighter in its need, in direct opposition to the refusal of those experiences.

This idea has probably been on my mind, on the back burner my whole life, but since my wife’s pregnancy over a year and a half ago, the earliest feelings were reawakened and put into a helpful adult perspective. Last June, we found out we were having a little girl. Slowly, but surely we began shopping for her, receiving gifts, often from people with far narrower ideas on gender than my wife and I. (Note: she does not know of my interest in being feminine, but does not let old-fashioned gender norms dictate her life or mine). While some girls might see these clothes and think, “I remember wanting to wear that as a little boy,” I just see the deeper cultural messages that first made me think, “being a girl must be nice, perhaps better than this.”

I always think of girls in a world of hearts, rainbows, and flowers—pretty things that represent love. So many mornings I am awoken by my baby’s calls and pick her up dressed in those symbols expressing how much her mommy and daddy love her. Boys don’t have that on their sleeves. Over the course of my life, I’ve found how unloved I was as a child.

I was happy with my boy toys and happy in my boy clothes. While I did not find many other boys to connect with prior to university, I found even fewer girls with whom to form good friendships. I always saw the girls embraced for sweetness, softness, affection, and ultimately love. I know that’s not the case, and it’s an even harsher world for girls and women, but the seed had been planted, girls feel more love.

There wasn’t a lot of strict gender reinforcement in my family. I only had one brother, my mom is an only child, and my dad had three brothers. However, it was a harsh environment. I was hardened, cynical, and truly an angry and hateful little boy. I still am as a man, though I have put a lot of effort into combating this. I felt as if a certain something might help down the road, but it was such an early age to have so much darkness inside. The life of a girl seemed so much nicer. I subconsciously recognized how bad my surroundings were. Perhaps, at the age six when I first slipped on that pink skirt that my mother dropped in my costume barrel, I experienced the kind of love I lacked and would continue to lack for many years.

My boyhood was as full of dark colours, angry music, loneliness, and disapproval. All I could see of what girlhood entailed was brightness, love, and most of all joy. Without a sister, the reality of how my parents might have been remains a mystery. What was certain was that I could cut the legs off my red sweatpants. I cut them a little shorter, a little shorter, until oops, I’d cut the crotch out. Now I’m wearing a skirt, and it feels amazing!

Decades later, I’m feeling the need to be a girl again, despite having a very happy manhood. I’m holding it all in, trying to figure out what to do next. As happy as this man is, that girl inside is in a dark place. This is why when I sign off to you, it’s always “hearts and rainbows.” I think it’s what all of us could use. Isn’t that why we’re here?

Hearts and rainbows,



  1. *skippy1965(Cynthia) 5 months ago

    Love the article, Aoife (and what a beautiful name)! I know what you mean about wanting the freedom to be open about our feelings (and that the way some women hurt each other is not with fists but with words). I’ve become much less reserved in my older years as I have let Cyn spread her wings more. I have become a better friend and I hope a better person.

  2. Paula1 5 months ago

    great read thankyou

  3. Gabriela Romani 5 months ago

    Hello Aoife!

    I’m sure that many if not most here will identify with many of the feelings you described so nicely. I certainly do to.

    However, there is something to consider… The grass is not always greener on the other side.

    Women experience many of the feelings of abandonment or “not belonging”, rejection, harshness, bullying, etc. And it usually is coming from other women. Competition for status, mates, money can be equally fierce or even more than among men.

    Most of us, as cross-dressers, only get to experience the feminine side of womanhood. We are not involved in the grinding process of being fully responsible of a family, combined with work, and whatever other expectations are demanded by those around them. We only peek into their world.
    I will leave it at this because I have been working on an article related to this very issue.

    Having said that, I will suggest all to think hard about all of those qualities that we admire in women, and embrace them when interacting with our wives, kids, coworkers and also, those others here in CDH. Here we can express all that and more.

    Gaby ♥

    • Author
      Aoife 5 months ago

      You’re definitely right. I’m disappointed it didn’t come through that I know how hard women and girls have it. My perspective here is mostly on the inner child. I think about how deeply it hurt when my wife couldn’t accept this part of me and I went straight to that deepest, earliest place that remains even as I know the truth. I may feel this way now, but I don’t think as I did as much as the effect of those thoughts remains.

      • Gabriela Romani 5 months ago

        Aoife, ah, the limitations of non-verbal communications! I didn’t mean to imply that you thought that way! Sorry! But we know that more than a few do… dressing up is all fun and games and party time. Just a fantasy, nothing to do with how life for women can be.


  4. Sa·man·tha 5 months ago

    Aiofe, I feel like I can definitely sympathize with what you’re saying here. I grew up in a household where both my parents were distant, in their own way. I understand why they were like that, but there were times it intensely did not feel good. My sister was born when I was seven and I’ve spent my life since watching how differently they treated her versus me. It’s hard to not feel angry or at least frustrated sometimes, even still…I try to work on cleansing myself of that.

    Parenting is kind of a tough balancing act (duh, right?). I’ve come to understand how my father must’ve felt. Mom is a little harder to understand. I was a timid kid and my own son is far more bold than I ever was. Sometimes I catch myself doing the same dumb sh*t with him that my parents did and I regret those moments because I’m well aware of the impression it left on me. But on the flip side I also put a conscious effort into showing him that I’m always here for him when he needs me and he knows that I’ll always jump into the ring and fight for him in ways that my own parents were rarely willing to do.

    Thanks for the article Aoife. Hearts and rainbows to you dear ❤

    • Author
      Aoife 5 months ago

      Thank you! I feel like if I had a sister any feelings that I would have had better parenting as a girl would have vanished and it would be a lot worse to watch what would have happened to a sister of mine than have to live with these feelings.

  5. Ashley Parker 5 months ago

    Oh wow, what an incredibly beautiful article. I think you have found the hearts and rainbows, sister.

  6. Rose Turner 4 months ago

    Don’t worry about not having a sister. They change and be against you. And when you try to come together with her she leaves. Your better off without one. Although, with your sister’s at CDH you have a family. So, why don’t you come and chat?

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