I Am

For much of the last year it has been difficult for me to find time to dress. Life has just gotten in the way. An ever-growing list of family and work responsibilities, on top of all the little time sucks that carve up the day, has made it inconvenient for me to even think about dressing.

I look at my clothes and recall how wearing them makes me feel. Stepping into a pair of heels, fastening on a bra and putting my forms in, and combing a wig is wonderful and peaceful, exciting and calming all at the same time. The amazing feel of a soft blouse, the freedom of a skirt, and the femininity that wearing a pair of silk panties brings—it’s all a special part of me and who I am.

Recently, I was looking at a blouse hanging in my closet; it’s a particular favorite of mine. I haven’t worn it in ages. I haven’t even underdressed – not even a pair of cotton bikini panties under my jeans on a quiet day. There haven’t been many quiet days recently…

Transgender Heaven - Gender Journey

The blouse captivated me; it made me wonder – is this part of me gone? Since my life has changed and my opportunities to dress have radically diminished, am I no longer who I thought I was? Is this just a lull, or have the changes in my life altered what I thought was a core part of my identity?

I realized that I still take the occasional opportunity to visit here, to gaze at female clothes on various store websites, and to think about the possibilities of what I might do to present a more feminine self to the world. How I can improve my posture, soften my voice, and gracefully move within myself. Something is still there inside of me, calling me.

I’ve put a lot of thought into this recently. If I’m not dressing…am I still a crossdresser? How do I truly feel about myself – all of me? How should I present my real self? I’ve passed 60. I’d have thought by now that I would have figured out a lot more about myself and not have to worry so much about all these feelings.

There are clues that have helped me to answer some of my questions. For example, I no longer automatically check the male box on surveys and other forms, especially when there is an option for those of us who are not one or the other. Conversely, I find the myriad of ways that third option is worded to be most amusing. Eventually, we’ll move beyond identifying people by their physical appearance and biological genitalia. Until then, non-gender specific, transgender, non-gendered, non-specified, etc. will have to suffice.

I still want a pair of red flats or low wedges that won’t cost as much as a small house. Not maroon, not pink, not wine – red! I fantasize about going somewhere and spending a week dressed as I feel each day. And, I’ve come to realize something – about myself, and possibly about others like me. It’s not the clothes. It’s not the makeup, or the wig, or the forms, or the padding, or tucking. It’s not any of those things. It’s about who I am. I am both male and female, and I am neither. On a gender spectrum with totally female on one end and totally male on the other, I fall somewhere in the middle. Having a label for it doesn’t really matter.

Let me try to explain. Many times in the past I’ve thought of myself as having two identities. One is Millie – a trying-to-be-confident crossdresser who knows she is as fully female as she can be, except for not having protuberant breasts, a uterus, ovaries, and the related genitalia. The other is the male me – wearing a suit and tie, boxer briefs, being and acting like a typical middle-aged American male. He’s cutting the grass, taking care of his family, being the breadwinner. He has the penis and testicles, facial hair, and sits with his legs wide open—all male.

What I’ve concluded is that I am not, and cannot be, one or the other. All of it is me, regardless of whether I tell you my name is Millicent Teasedale or the one that’s stated on my driver’s license. It’s all me whether I’m wearing boxer briefs, a t-shirt, socks, a white button-down shirt, a suit and tie, and wingtips or when I’m wearing my silk panties and matching bra, a slip, hose, a dress and heels. The clothes don’t matter. The name doesn’t matter.

They are shorthand. They are easy identifiers for those who feel the need to label me. The clothes aren’t me, and neither is the physical body I hang them on. Those are the ways I present myself, but they don’t control me, and they especially don’t define who I am. It’s my choice; sometimes I look like a million other middle-aged American men. Other times, I look like a million other middle-aged American women. (At least, I try to. Some days I’m more successful than other days, but that’s not really important.)

Who I am, what I am, it’s all me. I am a person who enjoys some things, doing some activities, and the person who dislikes other things and activities. I’m a person with beliefs and principles, hopes and dreams, a person who tries their best to live up to the responsibilities life has given them.

Many would try to label me as an M to F crossdresser. I have little interest in transitioning to a female body, although if it happened without conscious effort on my part, I would not be unhappy. I enjoy wearing panties, bras, blouses, skirts, dresses, flats, and pumps. I don’t know if I could do it full time…so I wonder just how far along that gender spectrum I really am.

But again, the clothes, the physical body, they don’t matter. It doesn’t make a difference if I never wear a pair of panties or bra ever again. I will not allow the clothes to define me. It’s not the flesh and bones. They don’t permit me to or prevent me from being who I am.

I am; it’s as simple as that. I don’t need others’ permission, or approval, or anything else to define me and who I am.

I am, and that’s all that matters.

I am…me.

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  1. Author
    Millicent Teasedale 2 weeks ago

    Thank you all for your kind comments and wise observations. We are who we are, not because of how we dress, not because of our genitalia, but because who we are is governed by far more than mere external appearances.

    Again, my thanks

    Millie

  2. Flick Davis 3 weeks ago

    I read this article and it rings so close to my own experience. I am me and being a crossdresser allows me to fulfil myself. As I am well and truly closet bound this is the one place I can join with others who understand the “whole person thing” and will not judge me for it

    Flick

  3. Audrey Clancy 3 weeks ago

    Hello there just thought I’d would say hello I am CD I have a nice black dress I enjoy feeling of being feminine Anyone like to chat

  4. Laura Lemaire 3 weeks ago

    A precious crie to our personal al freedom
    Xoxo
    Laura

  5. PY Marshall 3 weeks ago

    A very well written article, it has parts of us all in the content .Thanks milli PY xx

  6. julieta nava 3 weeks ago

    es increíble , me encanto su escrito, la feliciito esta muy bien

  7. Laura Lovett 3 weeks ago

    Great post.

    Just skimming through the various posts here, it makes me happy that we all share this, yet intriguingly and often subtly diversify in our own unique ways – putting paid to the binary notion of gender in an undeniable way.

    We are.

  8. Rozalyne Richards 3 weeks ago

    Hi millicent i loved your article it’s what a lot of us feel on here, i know i do sometimes i can go a very long time in between my dressing up sessions but the urge is always there, i know that when I’m dressed as Rozalyne all my worries seem to disappear and i seem to be calm and content with my life, i know that when I’m in my man mode i have to act like a man and wear my drab man clothes, if i went to bed as a man and woke up as a woman it wouldn’t bother me at all, we are what we are and we can be who we want to be, i was like everyone else when i was growing up i thought i was the only one who dressed up and i thought i was some sort of a freak how wrong was i, we are not freak’s we are just different but all the same, beautiful people xxxxx hugs Rozalyne x

  9. Susan Robbins 3 weeks ago

    You are a lucky girl my wife knows I dress but want no part of it it is her loss as she would really enjoy me as a girl friend if she ever gave it a try but she is so stubborn won’t even consider it so I just go out and dress with other girls

  10. Natalie Elaine 3 weeks ago

    Great post, I can relate to all you say.

  11. Alicia Gomez 3 weeks ago

    I loved your story Millicent…..I am 42 and have been dressing since I was 16. I find it is taking over my life now and I have to be Alicia every day when I get home from work. My partner knows all about me and thankfully accepts my alter ego, which is just as well because I was having trouble finding hiding places for all my clothes and shoes. She even helps with my make-up. Once I am Alicia all my cares and stresses fade away. I would love to be able to wake up one morning and look in the mirror and see Alicia looking back at me…..Oh what bliss !!!!

  12. Terri 3 weeks ago

    Thank you Millicent for your well written article. I recently turned 70 and my urge to be Terri is stronger than ever. When I think back when I was 12 or 13 and first crossdressed and how alone I felt. I knew right away that this was something I couldn’t tell anybody about. My wife knows for over 35 years and will never understand or accept this part of me. Over the years I have met so many others that are just like me. Thank you again for writing your feelings.

  13. Robyn 3 weeks ago

    Lovely, thoughtful article, Millicent. I identify with 99% of what you say. There was only one sentence, right near the end, that isn’t me. It’s when you said “It doesn’t make a difference if I never wear a pair of panties or bra ever again”. …I’d find that vey difficult! These things don’t define me, but they make me feel me at my most comfortable.

  14. Steph Di Firenze 3 weeks ago

    Milli,
    Your thoughts have been a boon for me. I am also going through a stage in life where there seems little time for me to outwardly be Steph. But as you point out the clothes, and everything else, is just window dressing. The important part is that I accept who I am and that I am truly comfortable with and within myself.

    Steph

  15. *skippy1965(Cynthia) 3 weeks ago

    As one of our early CDH members was fond of saying-labels are for cans! Be yourself-no one else can! Great article, Millicent!
    Cyn

  16. Olivia Livin 3 weeks ago

    Milli, an awesome article, bravo

  17. JaiymeLynne 3 weeks ago

    Millicent,
    Thank you for expressing thoughts I have constantly. It is something for me to know I am not alone in how I feel. But I have been dressing more recently, creating different confusion. as one article here also asked “Am I Transexual?” I suppose it is a journey. I am grateful for this group of ladies for support.
    Thank you for sharing.

  18. Andrea Adlerberg 3 weeks ago

    Thank you for a very thoughtful & perceptive article, Millicent. Many of your thoughts and observations strike a chord within me: being on a spectrum somewhere in between total female and total male; realizing the clothes don’t “make” me who I am; and finally the realization that for quite a variety of reasons a total transition is out of the question for me–but if somehow I effortlessly & magically woke up as a female tomorrow it would be more than OK with me. It is comforting to know there are others wandering the same haunted halls of doubts, questions, and musings. Thank you for sharing.

  19. Millicent….hi my Sister! Great Article by the way, Sweetie……there are a lot of us out here who thinks and act the way you do…….you nare not alone. Crossdressing is not something that is either all or nothing. All of us have times when we go full speed ahead and just as many times we half dress or just wear a pair of panties. Hospital visits are an occasion where we go man dressed or if you are really “there” fully female. A lot of cross dressers come out in their senior years or just prior to. Transgendering is a lengthy and expensive and painful series of operations. One must be young enough to handle it, healthy enough to handle it and financially able to handle it. In these days not very many of us can do that. Do not worry about your waning desires….do not throw out those clothes…….the desire will always be there. How many real girls go around dressed to the nines these days…..apart from hair….it is getting tough to tell what human is male or female!

    If you wish to talk about your apprehensions of who or waht you are…..I am here to listen and advise if need…….don’t be shy….my door is always open…..do come in and chat!

    Hugs and support……..

    Dame Veronica.

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