It’s interesting how long it takes some people to discover what kind of human they are. Some people just seem to know what they want to do at each phase of their life. Take my brother for example: from as far back as I could remember he wanted to be a pilot and fly big planes or fighter jets. Nothing deterred him from reaching his dream of becoming an airline pilot; after years of hard work and several detours, he became a pilot with a major airline. Back problems forced an early retirement, so he didn’t reach the pinnacle but he did fly Boeing 767s before he was forced to quit on disability about 20 years ago.I, on the other hand, wasn’t driven to a career goal, but just fell into engineering after an aborted attempt at Architecture school. But I’m getting a little ahead of myself. I did have a goal in life that I didn’t feel would ever be in reach. As a preschooler, I learned that I wanted to be a girl. My body indicated otherwise, but I felt down deep that I should have been born a girl. Growing up in the late 50s and early 60s in a small town and in a very religious household, telling my three older siblings, or worse my parents, that I was not sure I really should be a boy wasn’t something I felt I could do.So, I secretly dressed in my sisters’ old dance costumes that had been stored in the attic, then later in their clothes left behind when they were at college or moved out, along with some of my mother’s lingerie. I had several close calls but was never caught or found out. In high school and college, I played a lot of intramural sports and enjoyed some of what being a guy offered, but never felt like I fit in at all. I kept people at arm’s length so they wouldn’t get close enough to discover the real me. The crossdressing was very limited during those years, but not at all the feelings of being in the wrong body by some cruel twist of fate.When I dropped out of college, it took a while, but eventually I was able to get my own place near Emory University in Atlanta, GA. I had also fallen in love with a wonderful woman (not from Atlanta) I met by chance and who somehow agreed to marry me 40 years ago. The apartment I had in Atlanta allowed me to fully dress for the first time, including makeup a wig, and heels. But I was still petrified of telling anyone or going out, and I was afraid to shave off any body hair.

I’m ashamed to say I never told my wife about my wanting to express a feminine side or felt like I would make a better woman than the man I was trying so hard to be. Our careers took us to Houston, Texas eventually where I went back to college to get an engineering degree while I was working full-time. I had some opportunities to dress off and on during those years. Fast forward to 2015, when we lived in South Carolina and I had an opportunity to dress nights and weekends for several months when my wife went to help family in her home area in South Louisiana. I tried breast forms and butt/hip padding along with all the other clothes, shapewear, shoes, wig, etc. I was so hooked on transforming myself into a passable woman that it scared me. I abruptly purged everything one night and determined that I couldn’t continue, or I would not be able to stop, even for work or my wife’s sake.

That purge lasted for 6 years. Finally, at the beginning of 2021, I just as abruptly began purchasing everything I had before and then some. We had relocated to the Pittsburgh metro area, and the pandemic forced me to work from home, but my wife was working outside the home and sometimes gone for 12–13 hours. I would get myself dolled up before my workday started and clean everything up before my wife got back home. I knew if she had something that caused her to come home early, there would be no possible way to hide this from her. However, I felt like if she did learn about it, I would at least be able to stop hiding half of myself from her. I realized this time around what I had been denying for so many years. I didn’t know what to call it back then besides crossdressing. I now knew I had been suffering from gender dysphoria for more than 6 decades! I realized whether there was a way to “fix” it or not, I owed it to my wife to come out to her.

We had “the talk” in July 2021, then through discussions and therapy, I had to tell her that I couldn’t remain a part-time closeted crossdresser anymore. The feminine urges were genetic and ingrained and I needed to start HRT and at a minimum socially transition.

We had other issues somewhat unrelated (although I think most of my problems interacting with others stemmed from my discomfort being male) and we will be physically separate this summer. We love each other and she is supportive, however, she needs her own space to figure out what she wants and needs. She isn’t physically attracted to other women so it’s doubtful we’ll cohabitate in future.

We may elect to stay married for some of the financial benefits. As for me, I have come out to almost all of my medical team. I’ve been on spironolactone since late November and estradiol since early March. Even a few months ago, my wife saying she needs to move out would have driven me into a spiral of guilt and depression. While I am not happy with the situation, I know we both need this space and time. I don’t know if it’s the hormones or just personal growth but I am resigned to the changes and just as determined that nothing will interfere with my need to transition.

So, at 66 years of age, I finally know what I want to be when I grow up — a confident, contented transwoman!

Thank you for taking time to read my article and I look forward to hear your responses.

En Femme Style

Sincerely, Brielle

 

 

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Anna Marie Smith
Anna Marie Smith
7 months ago

Brielle,i am new to this Community and felt so touched by your story!!!! Some of us go through life having hidden our true selves only for the mood to overtake us just as it has done with me! At fast approaching 60,i have had no where near the barriers you have faced and i’m only a late developing CD! However,Anna has been inside me for 40+ years but Brielle has been YOU for most of your life! If only i can enjoy a rewarding life like you but for me,it will stop at the dressing and i am happy! Love… Read more »

Tiffiny Smith
Member
7 months ago

Brieille l am 67 and in the same way l have been cross dressing for a long while now but my wife and all my friends do not know about this side of my life as she works and l am now retired.. l do not want to hurt her in any way and would love to tell her about my cross dressing. l want her to know but know she would not understand so keep it hidden.

Tiffiny Smith
Member
7 months ago
Reply to  Brielle Ross

thankyou Brielle

Lissa
Duchess
Member
7 months ago

Hi Brielle. Thanks for putting your story out there, as they say, better late than never, I wish you all the best on your journey and hope you rest at the place you dream of. X

Stephanie Dubois
Duchess
Active Member
7 months ago

I love this Brielle!! Thank you for sharing. It’s amazing to hear such a similar story to what I am going through. Best of luck and much love!

Stef

Trish White
Baroness
Active Member
7 months ago

Hi Bielle, what a wonderful article I loved it. it’s amazing looking back on our youth and asking ourselves what if, should I have, could I have and will I with my time left. For me they are still all unanswered but I am very happy for you. Have a wonderful week.

Love,
Trish

Yael Lyons
Duchess
Active Member
7 months ago

Hi Bri, I am not sure what to say, other than thank you for sharing your story. I have had similar thoughts since I was a young boy. I have been dressing on and off since I was 10. After my 30-year-old daughter passed away 4 years ago my dressing went up another level. I am not sure if it was the stress or realizing that life can change in an instant. I purchased many pairs of heels and dresses and skirts to dress in. Every time I dressed it just seemed right. Of course, my wife tolerates my dressing… Read more »

Yael Lyons
Duchess
Active Member
7 months ago
Reply to  Brielle Ross

Thank you for your comments about my daughter. I thought the same thing when my best friend lost his son. I do not consider myself a strong woman. I put one foot in front of the other each day. I have bad days and not so bad days. My dressing allows me to relax and feel good about myself. With my wife babysitting our granddaughter twice a week it does give me some time to indulge in my feminine side. I so agree with most of your points. My wife and I do love each other. We have a great… Read more »

Jane Mansfield
Active Member
7 months ago

HI brielle, as you say some of us take a lifetime to find our true self. Congratulations on finding Brielle. Wi sh you happiness and also a life where your beautiful spouse will realize what a b eautiful person you are. Cohabitation in some form, or lunch dates, weekends away.
Best wishes
Jane

Kendra Beauford
7 months ago

Hello Brielle, I want to thank you for your words today; you speak volumes, and those words come from the heart! You and I share a lot of similarities, and we were friends when I was on here before. I believe you knew me as Sylvia Lynne. I’m back as my original self, and I hope to make sense of all of this. As you say, know what I want to be, when I grow up. I’m about to turn 64, and I hope I can work this out this time. Keep the faith, sister-friend!

Raquel Smith
Active Member
7 months ago

Brielle, Congratulations on finally knowing what you want to be when you grow up. I’m 58 and still haven’t decided. But seriously, thanks for sharing your journey. I hope the path leads to a happy place where you can keep your SO in your life (It sounds like that’s wage you want). The roots of my crossdressing are very old, as well. The plant just seemed to remain underground, in a dormant state, before it finally sprouted and bloomed in relatively recent times, considering my age. Although, I will say, that my feminine side is not, nor has it ever… Read more »

Brooke
Member
7 months ago

Brielle, You are more brave then me, I am 59 and have been hiding All my life. I want to confront my fears and be a women but have not as of yet. I am very close tho and your story is an inspiration, thanks for the post. Brooke

Brooke
Member
6 months ago
Reply to  Brielle Ross

Brie,

You should be proud of the steps you have taken. I am trying to now, thanks to people like yourself that already have., Hugs and kisses Brooke

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