Like most of us here, somewhere under the surface of my glossy smile, there has run a slimy layer of shame. How did it get there? I didn’t put it there! I was be born and shoved into the world with this thing that some folks have gleefully labeled as wrong, sick, bad, perverted and the list goes on…

As a prissy little boy growing up in a very military 1960’s family, the idea of expressing this pretty factor was absolutely forbidden. Oh, it was there, and I knew it, but don’t let it show whatever you do!

I remember coming home one day from school, after seeing a few of my guy friends, of which there were very few in truth. I hung out with the girls much more than the guys, who were starting to wear a single stud earring in their left ears. My dad said, “No son of mine will wear a GD earring; not while he’s under my roof he won’t!” I’d felt the sting of his military belt, so I knew he meant business.

This thin, slimy layer of shame began as a spec, but then spread like a fungus in the shadows of my mind. It fed on the comments I would hear daily, such as, “he probably squats to pee” or “look there goes one of them limp-wristed queers;” and ” I’m glad you’re not like that son.” But I knew I was. I worked hard at not being prissy. I made sure I crossed my legs in a manly way and did my best to never let my pinky finger stick out, although now and then it would, and it never went unnoticed by some members of my tribe.

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Along with this slimy layer of shame growing under my skin, there began a second layer of gooey stuff; guilt. Guilt? Yep, because deep down I knew that every day I was lying to everyone around me. I would wear my mask and smile through the hurtful comments that ripped my soul like the jagged edge of a badly opened soup can. I knew I was a pretender, a fraud, and a faker. I was acting how they wanted me to act instead of being true to my own nature, and it was killing me.

There is a difference between guilt and shame—a big difference. Guilt is; I have made a mistake. I have done something that according to the rules of that time was considered wrong. Remember, rules change to reflect the now. When I’ve made mistakes, I can go back, apologize, and make it right in most cases. This relieves me of the feelings of guilt. Guilt is I have made a mistake, and I can fix it, but shame?

Shame is; I AM the mistake. I am somehow flawed and defective. I am the mistake and there is no way to fix that. Or is there?

Over the course of this incredible journey, this play we call life, I have discovered some truths, which have changed a few of the beliefs I was programmed to adhere to—beliefs such as I am flawed and defective.

First, I began scraping off the guilt layer by simply telling the truth about me. I am a prissy, cute person. I can choose to dress in cameo gear and cut my hair to fit in with the other sheep or I can “Be” who I choose to “Be”.

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Okay, guilt gone, I no longer am living a lie to fit in; dishonoring my own true nature to please other’s expectations. Whew, that took a few years to scrape off, that stuff’s thick!

Now the shame.

The shame has taken more time to remove, and yet, it has come off much easier than I expected—seems like slime scrapes off easier than gooey stuff after all.

How do we get rid of the shame? Well, the key to learning anything is through repetition. You know what company uses the big yellow letter “M” as their logo simply because you have seen it thousands of times. The same is true for the shame-based beliefs we have about ourselves.

I began looking into my own eyes in the mirror. Every day, even to this day, I spend just a few minutes to look into my own eyes and give my mind a new message. All of those messages of being wrong, sick, bad, etc were not my fault, but they are my responsibility. I, at some level, way back then, accepted those messages as truth, but they are not true and never have been. I can change them right here, right now!

The messages I now feed my mind every day are: I am perfectly okay just as I am or I love you for being exactly who you are! Like the blue rose in the tulip patch, no big fuss, no screaming and ranting, no force needed, just a presence in the garden.

This week, remind yourself to choose you by taking just a couple of minutes, a few times each day, to look into any mirror or reflective surface you walk by. Say something nice to you, “I love you just as you are (insert the name you choose here,)” and then smile big knowing that THAT is the truth. No more guilt, no more shame, just the beginnings of a self-love that will continue to grow magically, as long as you continue to do this simple thing every day, on your own behalf. If we want others to accept and love us, we must first practice doing that for ourselves.

Ping, in time, the reset button clicks, and the new message of self acceptance takes hold in your mind and over time, it chokes out the green slime of shame and replaces it with something magical and as beautiful as you truly are.

Thank you for reading my beautiful friends, and thank you for being exactly—who you are!


n huggles



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Dropping out of high school I began touring in the Canadian country music scene at age 17; clubs and soft seat venues, drummer/vocalist for 22 years. After 4 suicide attempts and heavy cocaine etc addiction issues, i decided to learn Self-Acceptance as apposed to self-hatred. I became a student of the Universe and an Instructor of Life Skills at a local College while operating a Private Coaching Practice. Currently, I am rebuilding the Life Coaching practice after a couple years of more personal work well under way. I am also creating online opportunities that will serve our world community…and our world in understanding how the learned life skills of Intentionally and Consciously Creating an Amazing Life have filled my life with Passion, Purpose and Prosperity and they can for you as well... Namaste'

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Active Member
4 years ago

Thank you. So much difficulty. Accepting my own dressing has really given me a lot of issues with self-worth. They were always there, but I suppose I had an easier time liking my own compromised self than accepting what has been missing all that time. Likewise, all the memories get dredged up of what made me not able to express my femininity. For those of us whose reasons are more complicated than the threat of corporal punishment, the reversal is just as complicated… and then you end up loving yourself less for overthinking so much…

Abby Miller
4 years ago

I really like your article. I have struggled with my feminine side all my life. My shame was never external, but internal. Shame because I was not into baseball like other boys. Shame over how wonderful my sister’s clothes made me feel. So much so that I’ve spent the last 20yrs in hyper-masculine careers. Law Enforcement, Military, Oilfield. And none of it has made me whole. Only recently have I started to embrace my feminine side and it is so rewarding! Thanks for sharing.


Peggy Sue Williams
Famed Member
4 years ago

Thank you Char, for sharing your story and experiences, a very familiar story, for so many of us. Growing up in the 50s & 60s, everything was so rigidly binary. This is pink, and that is blue, and there is no in between, no never, not for my son. Part of my journey led to masculine pursuits, then alcoholism. 22 years in the macho US Navy, which led to alcoholism. Today, I cross dress, two or three days a week, completely out in public, So many people know me as Peggy Sue, as well as my male self. I am… Read more »

4 years ago

Thank you Char for a great lesson in acceptance. One has to accept herself before she can expect others to accept her. I always knew of my nature but made life choices based on the circumstances of the time. My only choice now is to be the woman I know I am inside.

skippy1965 Cynthia
Trusted Member
4 years ago

Chat-as always you hit the nail on the head. It is only ourselves who can allow shame to keep us from being true to ourselves and only ourselves that c make the decision to embrace who we are. I’m not ALL the way there but I’m a lot closer than I was four years ago when I joined the site. More folks know about Cyn and even those who don’t KNOW do know “something’s” different about me. Cyn peeks through even while in stealth mode and is much more confident being out in full Cyn mode. Thanks for the inspiration… Read more »

Diane McG
4 years ago

Parents don’t understand the pain they put their nonconformist kids through. Took men 70 years to find out there is nothing to be ashamed about. It really is selfish to force your child to avoid shaming you. Maybe we should call it child abuse.

Tammy William
Tammy William
4 years ago

Thank you for writing this. At 59 I am still struggling with the guilt and shame, growing up in a very conservative god fearing family. I would be going straight to hell for even to feel the way I do. As a new member, I find that ladies like you here are an inspiration.

Jennifer McCrennaugh
4 years ago

Thank you. Your words ring so very true. But it is hard advice to follow when you have built an entire life (and other innocent lives) around the mask of other’s expectations.

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