Living between the man I am and the girl I want to be

Living between the man I am and the woman I want to be

It feels so right. Exercising my feminine grace, sharing my soul with a friend or stranger, working on being beautiful. Becoming a woman seems like the worthiest outcome of my efforts, and whenever I think about the necessary practice and perfection to get there it lights a smile inside my soul.

Yet for all my strong desires to be a woman, I go to work on Monday without a trace of the girl within me. I do not need to suffer the sacrifice so many transsexuals make when they transition. And I wonder, is my desire for womanhood just a fantasy that amuses me in my time away from real life?

My lovely wife has been wonderfully supportive. She’s shown more support than I dreamt I would receive. Yet, she loves me for the man I am, and I know that going further down the path to womanhood would mean that I lose the most precious thing in the world to me – the relationship I have with my wife.

Unleash Your Inner Woman

Somehow, it feels false for me to split my time between being a man and a woman. It feels more whole to be a man on the journey to womanhood. That even though it is slow, each step is deliberate with a well known end goal. To set such a definitive direction would mean so many things, not least of which are many uncomfortable conversations with those I love.

Don’t misunderstand my confusion – I have come to terms with being transgender – I love and accept that part of myself, along with the many other talents and gifts God has blessed me with. Yet I still struggle with how to express it in a fulfilling way. Unless I have a clear path before me, I resist the necessary practice in the feminine ways that would take me closer to being a woman. If being transgender is part time, more of a ‘hobby’ than a lifestyle for me, how can I be fulfilled?

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  1. lisa ann 11 years ago

    when i dress i dont feel i am changing to a woman but being the feminine part of me. i have always felt that i am both gender; I work as a male, my wife is not at all supportive, and when i find time i express the feminine part of me. Not female, just femme. when i am out i feel i am a man who likes to wear tight jeans, wig, heals and a little lipstick. Not that i have some how changed my blood from male to female. God has given me a male body, no amount of surgury could change that and i like what i am, i also like to look different. Looking female some times is just a flavor of me that helps me feel good. You asked for advice, now that you have read how i feel about dressing if you want to read it, here is my advice. “We are creatures of feeling, though we breath air and drink water our true being is in the heart. If our hearts are aching due to a lack of change or to much change we must do all we can to stop that aching and until we have exhausted our selves trying to ease our pain we cannot rest. Some times we are balanced between both wanting change and not wanting change. This is the most difficult aching to stop. it will require acceptance of loss to sway the balance which enables the freedom from that bond. Inner acceptance is the place to search for the answer. Love yourself. Really loving yourself will make the path you wish to take clear, anything less than love will keep you clouded and feeling trapped or empty.” Thats it.

    • Denise 11 years ago

      Vanessa-just be YOU and feel good bout yaself! I sooo understand all the struggles you are facing and have faced-ya sooooo lucky that ya have a wife standing next to you! I’ve been divorced 3 times now and is struggling with my own acceptance now and making my journey into womanhood full time! You are Beautiful, smart, articulate, and a fine person! Be yaself hun!

    • brad 9 years ago

      Hey this is brad, I just wanted to let you know that I understand what you are goin through, I am goin through the same thing, but not with my wife, because I am not married, but my family, they are always saying very rood things to me because I am a man on the outside but in my head and my heart I am a girl, I have felt like this my whole life, but every time I try to show my femenin side, everyone is against me but I don’t let that offend me cuz it is who I am and no one should be able to tell me what I can and can’t do, all of my friends have excepted the fact that they can’t change me, so why can’t my family, or in your case, you may lose your wife, but if she leaves, that means she is not loyal to you, cuz if she really loves you she would help you understand yourself and not be against your decisions. Better yet if she exspects you to do that for her and she don’t do it for you, she is not the right girl for you, she is just a girl that wants to control your life, and your life is your life, you should be able to live it how ever you want to.

  2. Alicia D 11 years ago

    Hey there, probably surprisingly enough to be keeping up to date on your journals is that I’m actually a woman (LOL, born as one), but I wanted to say that while I have no experience with what you’re going through, I think you must be very strong, and I hope you stay true to who you are, whoever that may be. ^_^

    Good luck, sweatheart!

    PS: I love your journal, A+

  3. Lynn Jones 11 years ago

    Vanessa, you raise some interesting questions. I can only comment on what goes on in my head (or heart), it may well be different for others.

    I don’t feel split. I don’t feel there is a difference between ‘him’ or ‘her’. Indeed, I don’t think there is a him/her, there’s just me… sometimes I dress like a woman, but mostly I dress like a guy. I don’t feel like a woman when dressed up, but I do feel ‘connected’ in some way. I’m struggling to describe the feeling properly, but when I dress up or go meet other TG people, it feels like I’ve come home. Everything seems right somehow. It’s not to say that I don’t get that feeling as a guy – it’s just more obvious (perhaps because I recognise it) in the former instances.

    Further to what Lisa Ann had to say: you need to accept yourself for who you are. Release that perhaps there is no her or him, just you. Once you reach balance – and self-acceptance – maybe others will be ready to accept you too. It won’t happen overnight, but one day you’ll release that it’s not all bad being TG, there’s fun to be had too.

    • Joanna Phipps 9 years ago

      I dont feel a split anymore, I have reached a point in my transition that he is a memory and I know that there is no way I can live as him, even if I had to. I am on Hormones, but have not had surgery, even so I still live and work as a woman. In many ways I admire those who can do the double life but it wasnt for me. Gender may be a spectrum and it is up to us with the help of our gender teams to figure out where on the spectrum we fit.

      Love you all

  4. April 11 years ago

    Hi Vanessa,

    I read your postings with great interest. My wife also understands my desire to dress in my girlie clothes, which has made a big difference for me. Never let that go, your wife is your best friend in everything you do. I would love to chat “offline” I’m not keen at this stage to go “public” with my views.

    I may dress as a girlie, but I am a guy, who wants to be a guy, but loves to wear clothes that make me feel so great inside. As my wife says, it brings out the feminine in me

    I would love to chat over email!

  5. Polly 11 years ago

    Well, I’ve been dressing for most of my life, well over 40 years now, starting with a pair of tights I pinched from my cousin ! It’s grown from that to the point where I’ve a bigger wardrobe than my wife.
    I got to work as a male, I go shopping as a male, but there are times when I need to dress as I feel comfortable. Is that ‘being a woman’ or just ‘being comfy’ ?
    I have wigs, make-up, shoes, boots, corsets – in fact I dress better in femme mode than I do for the majority of my time as male. It makes me feel good, thats how I describe it, but I know I’ll never be a female – that’s going a few steps too far for me personally. There are those that want to go for surgery and it’s still a mixed bag, of those who like what they have become, and those who are still unhappy.
    Acceptance is difficult, my wife knows about Polly but does not encourage me. I’d love to spend more time ‘feeling comfy’ but family and other circumstances dictate that as not possible. I have to be content with whatever time I can get to myself these days.
    Had the Internet been around when I was a teen, and I knew then what I know now, I would have tried my best to change role and live/work in the femme clothing I adore. Again, not being a female, but looking like one perhaps?
    We all suffer, in our minds we’re unsure how others see us, do they think we’re perverts but mutter a few words to say ‘I don’t mind how you dress’ just to please us? I’ve tried to give my wife as much information as I can so that she can find out about my ‘condition’ and perhaps understand more about how I feel.I get the feeling she thinks if she does not mention it I’ll forget about it, or not bother her with the subject. Having said that, we have been out where I’ve been dressed fully at T-Girl events, so she’s not afraid of me in that role either.
    We’re all individuals, so there’s no fixed ‘rule’ for how we should handle things. Just do the best we can and have fun when time permits is my way of looking at it.
    Polly in Yorkshire, England

  6. ayman 10 years ago

    hi, im a man and i want to change my body into a woman , i want to make surgery, and habe big nice boobs , nice asse and sweet voice , i need the right place to locate for the job.

  7. Sissysuzyq 10 years ago

    I agree with most everything you have written, as I too have to fear becoming too feminine for my wife’s taste. It’s a hard decision to make, but I think we both know what primevial instinct will win out. We know what we are, and we love ourselves for being us.

    Personally I’ve grown tired of going to work as a true male, because I know I’m not one, nor wish to be. I’ve started feminizing my every day apperance, first by reducing the width of my eyebrows by more than half, and slowly giving them an apealing arch. I’ve always shaved my entire body and will continue, I’ve grown and shaped my fingernails to be more feminine, and apply a soft gloss polish weekly. I’m getting tooo old to hide what I’ve always known mself to be.

    • Vanessa Law 10 years ago

      Hon, that’s wonderful and empowering. You shouldn’t necessarily hide who you are to meet other’s approval. I wax my eyebrows, moisturize and have had laser hair removal. These make me more feminine and happy. At the same time I haven’t gone ‘all the way’ (yet?). There is a balance, sometimes going too far can have unintended consequences. You may not want to lose your job, or your wife by pushing it a bit too far. But may feel constrained if you don’t push your femininity further. Only you can make this choice for yourself.

  8. lilian 10 years ago

    from your words i feel i know you as i know myself. we are all constrained in our own worlds but we must strive to be whole. live life to fulfil your dreams and understand the joy each moment brings.
    peace & love,

  9. Yvonne 10 years ago

    I have been fully dressed as a woman only twice and both times have been after I was married and both times it felt wonderful.
    Do i wish to be a woman? not really, but I really do enjoy looking like one. the clothes feel natural on me and I enjoy putting on make up. I would one day love to go out as a woman but that may never come. My wife is not supportive at all and has at one time commented about divorce if she found out. I do love my wife very much and will not risk our marriage. However! since my wife is unsupportive, I do what I can, so I underdress while at work only. I take a risk doing any type of dressing while at home. But one day I do hope to go out fully dressed and say to the world, “This is who I am”. At work, I told 3 of my fellow workers about me and I get along fine with them. I don’t want to be a woman at 58, but I sure enjoy looking and dressing as one. It gives me a calming affect and it gives me more confidence too.

    • Vanessa Law 10 years ago

      Yvonne, I’m sorry to hear that your wife isn’t supportive It can be hard when those closest to you don’t support your desire to express the feminine. I pray that you find a way to both keep your marriage and express who you are.


      • solostnow 10 years ago

        I feel just the opposite. I am a tomboy most the time but I want to be a man. I dont want to be a lesbian but just man. I workout like a man. I am more boyish but people and my family dont know that I want to be a man. They say I should be more women like and that just kills me. I just cannot tell anyone I know how I feel. I smile and make jokes about it but inside its killing me… I hate wearing the dress when I should be growing a beard and wearing a tie

  10. Joanna Marie Phipps 10 years ago

    I truly understand the feelings you are having and the pain you are going through. I struggled with it for a while and then decided that 50 years of being what I wasn’t (if that made sense)was enough and I had to end the dichotomy once and for all.

    When I finally came out to my wife, I faced exactly what you fear, the accusations, demand for divorce and the near loss of everything I held dear. My GF (my former wife) and I quite amicably share the same house but under different ground rules. I have my own room and live 95% as Joanna, the one place I havent fully transitioned yet is at work. My manager knows, and has since about the week of my diagnosis. She has given me permission to transition on my own time.

    One thing I can tell you, well as it applies to me, is that if you are transgender, dressing will only open the floodgate to your transness. It may well become a poor substitute for what you know has to happen; for example I am on RLE (real life experienc) where I live and as much as possible work as a female. However I have yet to begin hormone therapy, this makes me a crossdresser and untill I get going on HRT I wont begin to feel complete. I have to do this for 2 months, which will be up Aug 12. If you wish to talk further, and in private, contact me on facebook I will give you my personal email.

    • Bellbars 9 years ago

      I want to have a crossdresser as a friend, please connect me with one.

  11. indianarnold 9 years ago

    hi, speaking for the first time in public. it is such a great adrenalin rush when u dress up and take the first step out. I have tried this so many times. when i was young i used to sleep with my sibling sisters , and would wear bra while not telling anybody(obviously) and in midd;le of the night i would wake up and open up my bra hooks and that fear was a great feeling. Now when mu wife is out, i would come back from office and dress up in just bra and a skirt would sit in the balcony around midnight when it just enough dark that no body notices and light a fag. now there is always a chance of getting caught but this feeling is kicking..

    would have loved to dress up 24×7 but then may be the interest wont have been so much as there wouldnt have been any taboo.

  12. Natalie 9 years ago

    Well I did decide to try to express my TG side and right now I am losing everything. I am so confused please pray for so. I want to seek God will.

    • wannabefemale 9 years ago

      dear vanessa,

      i feel the same as you, indeed, i do dress as a woman to fufil some sexual urge but to feel as if i was the woman i was supposed to be. as the days go by i become more and more certain thhat i really am supposed to be a woman, and i hold a dream that one day i will pull down my panties and the penis that is there now has been cut off and a vagina put in its rightful place

    • Joanna M. Phipps 9 years ago

      Dear sweet Natalie
      It is truly a shame that those of us on this road have to risk it all for the sake of who we know we are. I don’t know if you have any groups in your area who could help with this trying and troubling time. If you wish to drop me a line my email is on the main page of my website feel free to contact me off list and we can talk things over.

      I understand the pain, needs and desires of one who is on this road since I am on it as well. Any one who wishes to discuss this in more detail is welcome to join my forums the link is on the main menu of my website.

    • Vanessa Law 9 years ago

      Natalie, I’m so sorry to hear hon. My prayers are with you. I know it can sound trite, but sometimes we go through the valleys so we know how tall we stand when we’re on the mountain top. I know you’ll get to the other side, hang in there love.

      • dorthy 7 years ago

        dear veneasa u got me looking at men at women at work about curves and u r right about half women have curves on tush but alot r strait and guys r harder to tell they wear more hiding clothes

  13. Joanna M. Phipps 9 years ago

    Just a bit of an update. Since I last posted in this thread I have started living 100% as Joanna. I have transitioned at work and the customers are accepting (even if the staff have the pronoun issue). It is truly a great feeling to finally be who I am. I still have several things I need to do but they are on hold pending a move back to Canada next year.

    My advice to anyone who thinks they maybe transsexual is to seek a good gender therapist, or a good therapist that is willing to learn about gender issues and get the process started. The longer you leave this the worse it is likely to become. For those who find that cross dressing is the outlet I am happy for you, for me it opened the flood gates for the underlying issue.

    peace and love

  14. michelle 9 years ago

    Thanks for the wonderful website. I hear you loud and clear. I am 49 years old and have been dressing for the better part of the last 25 yers. Does it make me feel wonderful to see the woman in me in the mirror? is a better way to say it. Are there emotional struggles between love lost if I “keep going” and “self lost” if I don’t? Absolutely. I’ve reached a crossroads in my journey, and realize that michelle is stronger than michael, perhaps a realization I’ve made for the first time in my life. Unlike your situation, I do not have a suporting wife. But i fully understand when you say it is easier to be a man on the journey to womanhood, and although the steps are small they have a direction. I tried that ambiguous approach for a long time, and know what?….it left me wanting, unfulfilled and not liking either the woman OR the man in me. Sorry to go on such a rant here, but I am considering my own “next steps”, and turning the corner to leave behind many aspects of my “manhood” in favor of embracing the woman in me. Not an easy decision, even for an old gurl like me…but one that will define the person I look at in the mirror, in a way that I can be more comfortable with…..Your blogs, site, and inspritation is empowering and thought provoking. Thanks hun.

    • Joyously 27 9 years ago

      Michael 49 years old and you call yourself old nonsense! I was a late beginner at 75..It was a frightful start to buy panties. long nightgown, a robe & waiting in the checkout line
      surprisingly except for me sweating all was well. I could hardly wait to get home and my other self "Joy " was thrilled. Now at 83 I am still in the closet but dress every day..

  15. Joanna Phipps 9 years ago

    Dear Michelle
    You have, indeed, reached a watershed moment. Can anyone here tell you if your are Transsexual, a cross dresser or one of the other branches of the Transgender spectrum?
    Probably not, but that is where a good therapist comes in, they can help with this phase and other phases of the journey. What you are saying about your female side being stronger than the male side is certainly what I found as I allowed myself access to those thoughts and feelings. It felt so right that the diagnosis wasnt a surprise to me; however it sure blindsided my wife.

    To all, if you suspect you maybe transsexual, take this wonderful tool called the Internet and start doing some research, it might help settle in your mind where you think you might fit on the spectrum. First and foremost please see a counselor.

    Lots of Love

    • Pamela Molloy 9 years ago

      When I am home and dressed as Pam I feel more and more like I am being the real me. I don’t feel excited by being Pam, I just feel normal and comfortable but frustrated right now because I need to and want to take the steps to live and work and be a woman (Pam) full time.

  16. Samantha 9 years ago

    I have read the comments and have been researching the internet deeply. I am Transgengender. I have been since my earliest memories and have lived a very unique life and have been blessed with a heart incapable of hate.
    As a child I could not understand why I was being forced to be a boy. All the boys treated me like a girl because I acted like a girl and mentally that is how I perceived myself. I put up with the nick names and the abuse. I would steal my sisters clothes and finally withdrew into myself because of my being different.
    I did find my Lord and my God and He has been with me ever since.
    I am what by His Gloriuos Will what He has made me. I am no longer ashamed of what I cannot control but accept that what I am.
    I will not allow those who do not share this blessing attempt to analyze and promote the ultimate cure all so one can fit into a society of 0/1’s.
    I am a contemplative, Iam male and female and preferring the female have to deal with it. From what I have read and researched God knows I am not alone.
    I have nothing to prove to this world nor do I have to be accepted it by running around in my pretty close and faking a gender that don’t fit the frame. Don’t misunderstand, I love the pretty close, I love to wear bra’s and panties and slips. I would love to wear a dress to work or an evening gown once in a while.
    Have I had enough? Look at the research on the web. Women are scared to death because they feel cheated because of monthly cycles, hot flashes and menapause. Well guess what, been there to a great degree and am doing that less the monthly cycle alnong with urinary tract infections. Doctors say this only happens in women: Figure it out.
    Men fell like they are being feminized. An individual male unless he is born with it would probably have to be under HRT to be feminized.
    To the women of the world if you haven’t had the opportunity to sit around a group of testerone crazed males bragging about there exploits and wanna be’s and what they would do if they had the opportunities with you it’s mostly talk and the majority of it comes from married men.
    Back to the web. This life has an answer of acceptance on the individual basis. I don’t believe there is a major rally for civil rights, look at me world and accept me, I’m a doctor and your sick, Come to my web sight I have all the answers, and on and on and on.
    We are who we are. To many times we get caught up in demanding recognitionby those who want nothing to do with something and will do anything in their power to stop it out of fear, hatred and ideologies of those who want to control either for power, to make a profit or to just get their fifteen minutes of fame.
    I could ramble on a long time but one needs to accept oneself for who the Good Lord has made them and destined them long before it became issue and focus on the Divine Will in the silence of your heart, your soul, your mind and spirit unto His. He will lift the great burdens for fear of man who has no fear of God is no fear at all.

    • Leslee 9 years ago

      What a wonderfully written story about yourself Elizabeth. Too often children are the worst offenders of gender hate. They pass on the problems of society and their upbringing and are biased at a very early age. It would have been nice to have found someone like ourselves when growing up so we wouldn't have had to withdraw so much. I made few friends and kept largely to myself. Even tho I was good at sports I didnt really like them very well. Every story is similar yet so different. Leslee

  17. Elizabeth 9 years ago

    There is a lot of good content here for those of us who study this issue.

    Two profound things happened to me in the last year. One of my friends transitioned to a transsexual and the other is my wife developed breast cancer. My wife is a total blessing to me. Our relationship is wonderfully complex and requires work. My friend traveled alone to another country to complete the transition. I did all I could to support her remotely and she was amazing.

    Both of these allowed me to consider who I am and what I want. It is through life experiences that help us define who we am now, but be clear that it does not guarantee what path the future may hold for you. There is no future contract. I never want to say I have “reached” a decision or learned or experienced all of my feminine self. I feel that way about my masculine self. Why give that up, it is rich and full of cool things as well. I have the ability to experience both genders, with all the stuff that goes with it. That is just amazing. My friend who transitioned, she was compelled to give up her masculine side. I get that too and accept it.

    As my feminine self, I’ve spent all those painful hours standing at the door, wanting to turn the door knob, creating scenarios about all the awful things that might happen. When I finally did, nothing happened. And the few minor things that did, well, women experience similar things all the time and it goes with the gender. Get that I still have not fully integrated my feminine self into my masculine life and so what. Not everyone will ever know everything about me. Nothing unusual about that. I still have fear and I still create scenarios. The only difference is I just let that happen and still enjoy myself.

    The questions arises is how to be happy now, live in this moment, and accept the future is not certain. We cannot tell what even the next hour holds for you, why waste so much time worrying about it. My wife getting cancer showed me every moment is precious. It is at this moment I find language and my ability to communicate limiting. It is at this moment that I start to analyze if saying this is real. All of this just serves to pull me out of the moment. That’s what I’d like to get past. I wonder how many other cross dressers find this true?

    My friend just completed her first visit to the gynecologist. That really was fun to discuss and great for her. I’m OK with not experiencing that, but I loved that we shared it like a couple of girls. For now, I know I am not interested in fully transitioning. However I am interested in being a woman. I see the conflict as someone else implying that to be a women, it requires having the physical journey as well. I just don’t have to accept that. God made me this way and I’m good with that. We need to accept ourselves as we are, wherever we are along the continuum of life, live in the moment at full throttle, replace all that fear with joy, and smile more. For sure, being a woman has taught me to smile more.

  18. Joanna Marie Phipps 9 years ago

    Accepting myself for who and what I am required that I accepted myself as a woman. I spent most of my life trying to do what society expected of a male, marry, raise kids, work and what have you. All it got me was depressed, angry, misdiagnosed as all kinds of things, ready to either check out of life or into a mental hospital.

    Since diagnosis and being in transition the only meds I take on a regular basis are my AntiAndrogen, Estrogen and multivitamin; all of the rest I have been able to drop. I am happier, easier to get along with, more loving, more considerate and more willing to talk. I no longer have to do the male thing of solving all of the issues presented, I intuitively understand when my wife is just blowing off steam, I just sit and offer comments but not solutions.

    For me transition is about the physical journey, my mind and soul have been female for as long as I can remember. The journey for me is to accept that, and gradually bring my body into line with what my mind is.

  19. Bobbie 9 years ago

    I also feel a strong desires to exercising my feminine sided. I also wonder, is my desire for womanhood just a fantasy that amuses me in my time away from real life? For the longest time I wonder if someting was wrong with me. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone.

  20. Melissa 9 years ago

    When I read your feelings, it reflects very much the same feelings I have. I am married to a woman who is not supportive of Melissa but knows about her. I think many times if I didn’t have her, my kids and a couple of granddaughters, I’d definitely be living 100% as the woman I desire so much in my heart and mind to be. If I were to go down the road of being more feminine, I would for sure lose the most wonderful woman in my life. In some ways I like being the man I am outwardly but then there are times when I wish God would just change me while I’m sleeping and that would be that. I really love it when I get the chance to be Melissa on the outside as well as on the inside. It just feels so right!! Why does it have to be so complicated and such a struggle??

    • Joanna M. Phipps 9 years ago

      Dear Melissa
      Sad, but true, that is the price we pay to be who we are. If you can go through life, living and working as a man and cross dressing when and how you can then great. Unfortunately for me that wasn’t going to work. I knew when I started that the only end point that was tolerable for to be as completely female as I could possibly be.

      This was going to mean that I had to be willing to put at risk all of the relationships that I held dear, yes right up to and including employment. At the time, like you, I had a few kids but they were all adults and I knew that I could try to explain the reasons for my needing to do this. I could do a much better job now but then I only had basic information. As it turned out my daughters split 50-50 one is totally accepting and the other isn’t and may never be. My mother isn’t all that accepting, but my brother (who just happens to be Gay) is.

      Although we are still married, my relationship with my wife is complex to say the least. On some level the marriage still exists but we are more best friends than spouses. I guess in many ways it didn’t help that one that I now identify as Lesbian, this is another fairly common occurance, that one in transition goes from straight male to gay female, but the sexuality of transsexuals is as all over the map as the sexuality of nontranssexuals.

      I hope you can find peace with your choice in life, but one word of warning: if it turns out that you are transsexual (95% of transsexuals are undiagnosed) then the pressure from your female side to let her live her live will eventually get to the point that you will be forced by your body to do something about it. If you want to discuss this more contact me via my website, my name forms the link.

      Best regards

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