When I was young, I loved Deborah Harry. I thought it was just a crush, but realized not only did I find her attractive, but I looked closely at what she wore. It was the way she moved and how the clothes moved with her; I was mesmerized. Not having the words for what I was feeling, and yet instinctively knowing it would not be acceptable in my little part of the world, was frustrating. I had already stood out for being different. I was that shy kid who wanted nothing more than to go unnoticed.

The age of 11 was the first time I tried on a dress, pantyhose, and bra. I’d waited for my family to go out. It was amazing! I was hooked. We had a storage area in our garage where my mom kept some of her old clothes. I dressed whenever I was alone, and it made me feel euphoric. I became braver and would dress in the house while they were out. How could I not love the feel of the clothes on me that I “borrowed” from my mom. But the guilt was there for secretly trying on her things and feeling that this was not considered a normal boy’s behavior. Then again, I was never a normal boy.

Finally the day came and I got caught by my parents. I forget why they’d left me home alone, probably something to do with my younger sibling. They came home much earlier than expected. I had no place to hide in our small house. I was fully dressed, even borrowed a necklace and ring. For some reason, I thought if I stayed still they would not see me, alas they did.

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I was beyond embarrassed. They placed me in therapy believing that I’d been acting out because of a loss in the family. It seemed like a good enough reason to me, anything to help me escape how horrible I felt. Like many others, there was an arousal and confused feelings about my identity, but I internalized the guilt and agreed that it had just been me acting out and nothing more. I forced it deep down inside and worked hard at denying it.

I was out of work for a long time five and half years ago. I went to counseling. Between the two, I became introspective about my life. One day during a session, I blurted out to the therapist that I had crossdressed a few times as a child. I did not go deeper into details, instead, I talked about it as if I was talking about having dinner or how’d I slept. It was something for him to know, but we didn’t need to explore it further; or so I thought.

As I left that session, I started thinking about all those small moments from my past, like going shopping with my girlfriend and the thrill it gave me helping her pick out things, or seeing a pretty outfit on someone, either on TV or in real life. I masked it as more of an attraction to the wearer and not the outfit. I could never have admitted that I was being envious; that wasn’t something allowed.

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I finally admitted to myself that I wanted to dress again. After a little time, I told my wife. We’ve been together for 18 years and married for 12 of those. We’ve had our ups and down, but have always found a way to make it through. I told her about my earlier crossdressing and how those feeling had returned.

Since telling her, I have taken time to think, and to make sure that I don’t push her into accepting anything. Luckily, she has been growing with me as I figure out and learn more about Michelle. I have promised to be open and honest with my wife. She is my rock and my ally in this life; how could I not.

I never thought that my life would change so much again as when I finally accepted what I’d kept deeply buried for so long as well as being able to share it with the love of my life. As things progressed, I found CDH, joined, despite my fears at beginning this new chapter. And what an amazing chapter it’s turning out to be. I could not have envisioned that from May of last year until now that I would become an active member, an ambassador, or post pictures and make a whole new set of friends and family.

I smile every time Michelle comes out. I feel happier when I look in the mirror and see her. I can only say that…

Michelle, I see you!

Every morning as I begin my day, I see you. 

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I know that you are there even without the clothes, wig, makeup etc.

I smile and say thank you!

Thank you for knowing that I never meant to keep you so hidden away,

That I was too afraid and embarrassed to accept you as part of me.

Instead of being angry, you give comfort and compassion.

I thought you were a memory of a childhood full of awkward and uneasy times.

You gently remind me that you were never truly as far away as I thought.

You guided me unconsciously to be gentle, forgiving, caring, loving.

When I needed to cry or be joyous, you nudged me to both.

Now I have accepted that you are part of who I am, you have given me strength.

You gave me the courage to reach out first to our wife and then to find a community

To help learn how to be and guide us to a better we.

You helped strengthen the bond with our wife. 

She accepts you and willing to have you in our life.

So again I say I see you!  And I never will pretend again that I don’t.

Much love and hugs!




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Michelle Liefde

When I was young , I loved Deborah Harry. I thought it was just a crush, but realized not only did I find her attractive but what she would wear. When I was 11, I first tried on a dress, pantyhose and bra. I had waited for my family to go out and finally decided to try. We had a storage area in our garage where my mom had some of her old clothes. I would go out there a much as I could. Eventually, I was found out. I buried this part of myself for over 30 years. I spent that time being happy, sad and repressed. Then about 2-3 years ago, I finally admitted to myself that I wanted to try again. After a little time, I told my wife and luckily she has been growing with me as I figure learn more about Michelle. I smile everytime Michelle comes out. I feel happier when I look in the mirror and see her.
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skippy1965 Cynthia
Trusted Member
skippy1965 Cynthia (@skippy1965)
1 year ago

What a beautiful story of discovery and acceptance. It took me 35 years or so to truly see the Cyn in the mirror and accept that she was the biggest part of who I am. I wrote this last year that is in a similar vein.. https://www.crossdresserheaven.com/forums/topic/as-i-look-into-the-nmirror/ . Knowing and loving and accepting ourselves is crucial before we can hope to have others accept us. Thanks for sharing this wonderful piece with us and I can’t wait to read more from you!

Paige Turner (NJ)
1 year ago

Great article! It brings up so many similarities to my own life.
Hugs and Love!

eleanor holborn
Managing Ambassador
eleanor holborn (@ladyelly2957)
1 year ago

Fantastic hun a real insight

April (Pacific Princess)
Active Member
1 year ago

Great article Michelle! Except for never getting “discovered” by my parents, your story sounds similar to mine. I love being able to express a side of me that had been kept hidden for so long. I look forward to reading more from you.


Gwenn Liefde
Active Member
Gwenn Liefde (@apaixono)
1 year ago

Dear Michelle,
I love you and want you to be always yourself, as you have always encouranged me to be myself. I just want for both of us to be happy, and I can’t deny you something that does. I’m only sorry you felt you had to surpress this most of your life. I’m glad you eventually told me.


Shirley Lacross
Shirley Lacross (@shirleyla)
1 year ago

Beautiful story Michelle. Acceptance of who one is, especially if that includes something out of the ‘ordinary’, is a hard won victory when it happens. I am so happy for you and take inspiration for my own journey.

Thanks for sharing this.


Fiona-Ann Moss
Active Member
Fiona-Ann Moss (@fiona06)
1 year ago

Hi Michelle 🙂 . What a really nice story. Many parts of it, i can relate to, unfortunately others, i so wish i had!! i suppose i started off later with my crossdressing, but i think i’m catching up with the lost time i wasted! how lovely to hear of your wife being so very supportive. Michelle, you are a truly wonderful member on our team and of course for CDH in general. Thankyou so much for sharing your story, if anything, it was enlightening and to me, a comfort too, knowing you had similar feelings as a child to… Read more »

Olivia Faye Marie
Active Member
Olivia Faye Marie (@cdreluctant)
1 year ago

We all are at our best when we accept the fact that we carry our feminine selves everywhere. its then that we can draw strength from them.

Olivia Faye Marie
Active Member
Olivia Faye Marie (@cdreluctant)
1 year ago

it helps doesn’t it? I’ve been learning to let olivia be a part of who I am no matter what. I feel stronger through that.

Olivia Livin
Active Member
Olivia Livin (@ohlivialivin)
1 year ago

Thank you Michelle for a wonderfully written story. Being honest and continually communicative with the right partner can in itself be lifechanging, so thank you to Gwenn as well.

Active Member
Gabriela Romani
1 year ago

Thank you for writing this Article Michelle. It is awesome!!

The part that I loved is…
“Every morning as I begin my day, I see you.
I know that you are there even without the clothes, wig, makeup etc.”

Because we are who we are regardless of what we wear or what others may be able to see.


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