Is Cross Dressing a choice?

Nayomi is me, another side of me, but me none the less.  Is it a choice?  Did we choose our gender, or to be right or left handed, or the color of our eyes?  No, but what we can choose is how to deal with who we are or who we want to be.  When it comes to choices, choosing to be oneself is the most intelligent and rewarding. Choosing to renounce oneself and live a lie just brings forth unhappiness and discontent.  I understand the challenges of conforming to social standards and the pressures required for us to be discreet but finding a way to share yourself with someone is very important.  This site seems to be a place where that can happen.

I think many myths can be overcome by pointing a partner or significant other to the bits of information and testimonies here.  Things like cross dressers “choose” to dress in women’s clothes and can “choose” to stop.  Well, uhm, we know that ain’t true!  How many have succeeded in the purge?  Sure, it’s easy to stop, I’ve done it many times.  It is impossible to explain the fundamental need to dress and the devastating negative emotional and psychological consequences one can suffer when deprived of their ability to do so.

We know that legally, we’re free to dress as we choose but socially, we pay a huge price for shopping in a “different” section of the store.  Dude, those things are for girls!  The social consequences of cross dressing vary widely.  In places where there are diverse population centers people may accept or more likely ignore our dress and we’re shown respect and even welcomed. In less diverse communities I think we’re viewed as deviant, creepy, or perverted.

Stepping Out Secrets

The challenge is overcoming the fear of the people we know finding out who we are.  The thought of being discovered and outed because of the ridicule, the insults, the horror that will follow, that will destroy our hopes and dreams!  I had to think of what it is I wanted from her, the her that lives inside of me.  I tried to let Nayomi go so many times.  The purge, the urge, the purge, the urge.  I had to accept losing Nayomi was like losing an arm, even if she wasn’t there but I could still feel her. 

Convinced I was crazy and worthless, in my later years I suffered from low self-esteem, constant guilt, debilitating depression and I wanted to die.  I thought of suicide.  I took food as my drug of choice, covered up my pain with acting happy and always cracking jokes.  Over time I realized my demon was a blessing; a gift if you will.  I decided to embrace Nayomi, and I found a great sense of emotional joy and relief.  I have wasted too many years confused or depressed.  It was time.  I decided to speak to my wife. 

I felt like a building had collapsed on my chest.  I could not breath, there was a marble in my throat, my vision blurred.  The anxiety was awful, painful even.  I wanted to stop and run as far as I could.  Quietly I spoke to the love of my life and explained how much I loved her, how even men can have a feminine side and how much I loved the sensation of her girly things so much that I wanted to wear them too.  In a soft timid voice I explained my emotional relief, joy and happiness as Nayomi.  My voice trailed off as I began to sense intense shame as I spoke, but I could not live with myself this way any more.

I find it unbelievably difficult to describe the look on my wife’s face when I spoke to her.  The rise in her chest the wrinkles forming between her eyes.  I could feel the temperature rise.  Finally, she spoke.   She said, “I want to speak to this Nayomi and ask her why she waited so long to speak to me?”  Thus, my life as a couple of three began and my wife, the love of my life, and Nayomi are best friends.

I know I am blessed.  Certainly, I know everyone has unique circumstances.  I think I understand a little about the seclusion and fear that lives inside many of us.  With that, I want my sisters to know that I will always listen and encourage them to think positive and be beautiful, always.   I will share my experiences and try to help them realize that they can be happy even if it is in short periods.  Speaking (or writing) with someone unafraid to accept you and your emotions helps so much more than you realize.  Thank you CDH for the concept of this site.

Remember, there is nothing wrong with feminine self-expression and therefore nothing wrong with cross dressing.  Outsiders don’t understand us, they are misinformed or perhaps not informed at all.  For me cross dressing is not a choice, but clearly a need.  But another need is that I need to know that I am not alone and let my sisters know they are not alone either.

With Love, Nayomi

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  1. georgina fearnley 3 weeks ago

    exactly the way I discovered georgina, sadly a little late in life as I feel I would have gone the whole transition.

  2. T.J. Byron 3 weeks ago

    Nayomi:
    Beautifully said, written. I could totally relate.
    My wife of 35years, calls my other self ” HER “.
    She will comment on my makeup and outfit before I leave to go out. Not interested in going with me anymore.
    Thru CDH, I am lucky to have found a CDing group of like minded FOLKS. I am very pleased to be able to have a valuable destination when I leave home.
    Been out in public since the 1960’s, & now dress 1-2 × / we. Have dressed in all the cities I have lived in around the country.
    No more purge, just the urge. My family doctor is also informed. Never wanted to “transition “, I like being a “guy “just fine. Funny how we all have thresholds.
    LOVED your article, well done.
    T.J.

    • Laura Lovett 3 weeks ago

      TJ – it’s great that you have that arrangement, which I still dream of!

      To me, it IS a choice – my choice. It’s not cross-dressing though, it’s dressing the way I choose.

      The moment a label is put on it, the world becomes separated into us and them. Magical folk in gowns, and muggles.

      Like you, I am happy with the birth gender assignment I have – although I feel somewhat more female than male, it’s all one really. Gender is fluid, not binary. Left-handed people can do stuff with their right hands and vice versa.

      I do recognise a feeling like a need to dress the ways I want to – I would say that this is simply self-expression.

      No artist needs to paint or write music – but the feeling is the same as a need.

      No-one needs to dress a particular way – or even dress at all, unless you’re cold.

      But society has its demands, and we can only change it gently and collaboratively to assist those seen as outsiders or different to fit in.

      Ultimately, of course, we’re all different – and these differences should be celebrated, not treated as a disease until proven otherwise, unless they’re obviously harmful differences like terrorist tendencies, modern-day slavery or suchlike.

      Love is the answer.

  3. Elila 3 weeks ago

    GREAT! article. “Self Acceptance”, ABSOLUTELY!

  4. Helene van der Tee 3 weeks ago

    Nayomi, Thank you for your article. I too have been through that wash cycle of depression, over eating and thoughts of suicide luckily not acting on it. I still live in limbo, I told my wife 20 years ago of my crossdressing but it destroyed her and we have never spoken of it again. I put Helene back in the cast for many years, my love for my wife is greater than the love of myself. I so want to have the conversation that you had with your wife but wouldnt know where to begin. What hasnt helped, is a close friend of my wife is getting divorced, her husband has come out as TG and is going to transition. I have no wish to transition, I am comfortable with my sexuality but my wife will always reference to her friends experience. Sometimes I hate being me, I just want to be simple uncomplicated being.

  5. Patricia Marie Allen 3 weeks ago

    “to thine own self be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

    Hamlet Act 1, scene 3, 78–82

    Truer words were never spoken. Try as we will, keeping “the secret” never really works out in the end. I don’t know how many CD and other trans people I’ve talked to who ended up divorced and maintained it was for other reasons… she never knew the secret. The despair and depression you experience keeping it a secret wears on you and makes you less likely to be lovable.

    That and the feeling the spouse gets, that you are keeping something from them. When they don’t know what the secret is, they imagine much worse scenarios.

    I was fortunate that I was caught early in our marriage by my wife. Though I don’t recommend waiting yo get caught, it worked out well for me. My wife was still a stay at home mother and in no position to be on her own. Her only choice was to learn to live with it or get divorce and move back home with her mother. Since getting out from under that roof was a big consideration in selecting a wedding date (early in our engagement) as any, that wasn’t really an option. It took years for the dust to settle, but now I have a loving wife who accepts that I wear women’s clothes exclusively. In consideration to her, I have a some decidedly masculine cut women’s pants and shirts so she can relax when we’re out and about together.

    But she has no problem with me going out on my own obviously in women’s clothes with make up. Even my oldest girl has been clothes shopping with me. She took the picture found here, https://bigclosetr.us/topshelf/system/files/u49/Park_5.jpg.

    Having a wife who is on board with our trans nature is a great gift.

  6. Leah Princess 3 weeks ago

    Nayomi,
    Thank you for your insight. I am a crossdresser and consider myself to be non-binary. I do not think I could have this conversation with my wife … she is very “old school” and critical.
    So, I do dress and go shopping in another city, I typically do not dress near my home.
    It is encouraging that your wife is accepting.
    Princess Leah

  7. Vanessa Jones 3 weeks ago

    Nayomi,

    I have no words…Thank you!

    Vanessa

  8. Michelle Liefde 4 weeks ago

    Nayomi, Thank you for a beautifully written article that mirrors a lot of my own feelings and I suspect others as have do as well. You captured those emotions when telling your wife so very well And I love the “thus my life as a couple of three began” Again, thank sister!

    Michelle

  9. JaiymeLynne 4 weeks ago

    Nayomi,
    Thank you for your insightful words. I feel the same way. You are blessed to have a supportive partner. I was not so lucky. Things have changed for me, (I will write an article about it soon) and Jaiymelynne now is with me always. I am better for it. She is me and I am her. It is natural and normal now. The hard part is letting the world in on it.
    Thank you again, you are an inspiration,
    Jaiymelynne

  10. Gisela Claudine 4 weeks ago

    Very well written, Nayomi. I congratulate you. It makes us reflect and get into our feelings. I have also stopped crosdressing many times and for long periods, but in the end I can not stop being who I am. Crossdresser life has chosen me. So I enjoy it. Having a good time doing it gives me some freedom.
    We are who we are. Gisela makes part of the whole me. A very important one. Gisela grew up with me. Or rather I grew up simultaneously as Gisela and as my masculine me. It has not been an easy life, but I suspect few are. If some are. Maybe none.
    I learned that I did not have to live with Gisela, but that I am Gisela and I have to live her life. What I may decide is how often I can give her freedom. But it is not even that way.
    I have to conclude that she appears when she needs it and she will continue to appear at her whim. I only accept her and live her. Nothing else matters and I am as happy as I can be.
    Be yourselves. It is the best we can do.
    Thank you very much, Nayomi. For sharing your wisdom.
    Cinnamon kisses,
    Gisela

  11. Jennifer Love 4 weeks ago

    Nayomi, thank you for the article, it had to be said. What a wonderful world it will be when one is allowed to express their feminine side, I see it coming with the new generation, just yesterday I saw a young man with a pink knit cap, loose T and skinny gym pants. I see them now coloring there hair, many times with a cut so much like the girls. I know when I was that age one wouldn’t dare to dress like that, the times they are a changing. Maybe I was just born to early, but we go with what we got, it is what it is. It is difficult to overcome the anxiety of being different, but I do love to be pretty and wear dresses and lingerie.

  12. Zoe2b Jeanette 4 weeks ago

    ❤❤❤

  13. Author
    Nayomi 4 weeks ago

    I thank everyone that left such wonderful comments. I want more than anything that anyone that is struggling with their emotions to try and find some way to reach out either to a significant other, a friend, or a sister here if.

    Please have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    Cheers,
    Nayomi

  14. Leonara 4 weeks ago

    Naomi (what a pretty name)”
    I am very happy for you that your wife is friends with Nayomi…my wife Kathy is still processing my choices (her words) but doesn’t understand my “need” to express my feminine side.
    Your article really hit home for me and to know I am not alone.
    Be well and Happy Thanksgiving,
    Leonara

  15. *skippy1965(Cynthia) 4 weeks ago

    Nayomi-beautifully written and so true! Cyn is and always will be part of who I am-at various times a greater or lesser part but she will always be there! thank you for sharing your story!
    Cyn

  16. Jynelle Daniels 4 weeks ago

    Nayomi, thank you for the insightful and truthfully written article. I am in 100% agreement and, like most or all on this site, can relate to everything you have written. I would forward to more of your written expression.

    For now, well and to all my sister’s, God bless and be who you were born to be!

    Jynelle

  17. Marianne 4 weeks ago

    Dear Nayomi,
    Thank you for explaining your thoughts so nicely.i wish you and your wife a long happy life together.

    Ellen Marianne Tornander

  18. Giselle Reeves 4 weeks ago

    great post Nayomi and to have a support wife is awesome.
    my feeling mirror yours in many ways, i am lucky to have a
    somewhat tolerant wife but her support is nowhere near
    what your is. i know that if i didn’t come out to my wife nearly
    8 years ago i would have taken my own life

  19. Bianca Everdene 4 weeks ago

    Thank you for sharing Nayomi, and so happy for you, overcoming the fear of revealing this part of you to the love of your life, and finding acceptance, wonderful.
    Love
    Bianca

    • PY Marshall 3 weeks ago

      Thank you Nayomi, i did enjoy reading your article.I told my wife as soon as i new i was different and she in turn told her mum. I was one of the lucky ones,they have been a tremendous help to me throughout the rest of my life .We now have my wife’s mother living with us full time some days there are 3 ladies in the house and sometimes their are 2 ladies and a man who fixes things.Very kind wishes to both you and your wife PY xx

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