Origin Stories: How to Tell Yours on CDH

Here at Crossdresser Heaven (CDH), we want to help you empower yourself by sharing your story.  CDH exists in part to give a platform for people who have never really shared their story before and to be able to share it with a site-wide focus – whether on your profile page, in our Forums, or even just sharing bits and pieces in chat.

Empowering those who have (on one level or another) felt that they do not correspond completely with the gender they were assigned at birth, is a big part of why we are here on this site. We work to support and empower each other on our journey towards realizing the person we truly are.  This goal has always been a focal point of why we exist,

The dilemma our team of editors often face when it comes to articles that tell a member’s origin story, is that we must walk a fine line between helping members tell their story, while also making them engaging to read. In this way, articles differ from forums. In forums, the goal is interaction, by sharing pieces of our life story, talking about our experiences, by revealing the latest addition to our closet, and hopefully by conversing with other members about it.

Makeup Magic

CDH does want to showcase your origin stories, and we really do not enjoy telling a member that their stories do not quite fulfill the essential elements for articles. When we advise a member that their piece would work better as a post in Forums, it is not meant as an insult or rejection. Everything has its place on CDH (well, everything within our rules and terms of service has a place on CDH), and your origin story has a place here. It just might not be in articles.

What we truly want in an article is something that stands out, a hook, an alternative viewpoint, or an exploration of something deeper than a serial description of events. We will work with you on better ways to tell your story and we might ask you to focus on something that we think merits more exploration in your article. What we want to do is help you tell your story in a way that will engage the reader and perhaps broaden their understanding of our similarities, but also our differences. Since the articles are often the first thing that a visitor will see, your story might connect with someone looking for people who understand.

We want you to think deep, to get real, and to genuinely explore why certain experiences impacted you. There is a tendency to tell one’s story as a laundry list of “this happened and then that happened.” This is a good way to journal about your story because it provides a foundation for deeper exploration. Journal the events in your life and from that you will find something about you that jumps out and would make a good foundation for an article.

For example, we once published an article from a member that was extremely fond of dangling earrings. She wrote about one afternoon, when she met with a client and forgot to take off her earrings. She wrote a very engaging story that was about nothing more than the dramatic build up of tension, as we wondered, “How will the client react?” In the end, after realizing she was wearing them, fearing that the client would laugh or ridicule her, it ended with a simple statement from the client about liking the earrings.

An experience like that can lead to an engaging story. For many, this story would seem like no big deal, but for our members, it was a anecdote about the anxiety and suspense that can arise from “forgetting to go completely drab” in a situation where you would not normally dress. It was an experience the author related as one that led to greater comfort in being herself.

One of the things I have noticed in my two years as an Ambassador on this site, being involved with articles much of that time, is that people are often afraid to stand out. We come to CDH seeking acceptance and a place of belonging. Often, the only people in our members’ life who accept and understand them are other members on this site. We are, for many, a lifeline on days when the rest of the world has turned them away for being who they are.

It is human nature to want to fit in and conform. Being accepted into a tribe has long been part of the human survival instinct. As a result, many people try to tell their story in a way they think will lead to acceptance. However, we want you to tell YOUR story, as you saw it, felt it, experienced it.

No member is the same as any other. No person is exactly the same as another. Our experiences help shape who we are, and exploring those experiences and being proud to be your own person is more important than conforming to anyone’s expectations of what a crossdresser or transgender person is supposed to be like.

We want your articles. We want the stories from your journey that were dramatic, life changing, or provided you with a moment of clarity. Articles aren’t really long enough to tell your whole life story. I recommend you journal privately the details of your life’s journey in respect to your gender identification and find the magic nuggets of gold that appear as you do so.

Help us to help you tell your story effectively and in a way that engages readers. I believe you can do it because I believe in you.

 

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  1. Ummm, Have you been told how amazing you are lately! Well you ARE!!! heeheehee
    Juuus sayin dear,
    thaaaankyou for being exactly who you are!!

    Namaste’
    n huggles always
    Char 😉

  2. Michelle Love 2 months ago

    Dear Cap’n Di,
    I just read your article and all I can say is Thank You! My journey in life is taking a monumental change these days. I will take the time and tell my story from the soul. I am screaming from inside to be who I am.. I will get there. Gina has been an inspiration to me along with this article

  3. Author

    I have now been taken to a secure facility to protect myself during this revolution against my tyranny. Please leave a message after the beep and one of our representatives will be with you at some point.

    Love ya all and I want you to be able to share your stories with the world.

    I’ve been writing since I was five years old. As a painfully shy and socially awkward child, I learned to communicate through writing. It was less terrifying than speaking to people. Alas, after some years, I became certain I was better than I was and I would not accept criticism, not even constructive criticism, because I wanted to tell my story my way.

    What I learned was I could still tell my story my way, but I had to learn to tell it in a way that registered with readers. I wrote about events as a series of one thing leading to another, all direct cause and effect, with nothing more than that. There was no real emotion, no depth, and no meaning other than “this happened and then that happened.” I’d learned to string pretty words together well. I did not yet understand how to connect with readers and did not consider this to be important until people stopped wanting to read my stories.

    All I am saying is we grow together, we learn from each other, and we are out there on a frontier. Dressing, questioning your gender identity, exploring various avenues, this is very emotionally taxing stuff. It drains us. It isolates us. It makes us feel like aliens. We wonder if we’re just crazy. We feel like we should be ashamed, so we hide it until we can’t any longer. All that has deep meaning that anyone who has struggled to “fit in” can identify with.

    Being able to connect with your readers is like a magic trick. There is no formula, but I’ve written a lot of stuff in my life that was just pretty words strung together. I’ve also written stuff that I thought really “got it” and those pieces are special to me.

  4. Sasha Mccleod 2 months ago

    It’s all good, I’m over it.
    I stand behind what I said. I believe everyone has that right to express themselves, be it written or visual.

    It’s their life they are sharing and it is important to not only the writer or artist, but to others who can relate to the writing or visual and what they are trying to convey to the rest of the community.

    They themselves put trust and faith in understanding and accepting community. How do you think they should feel? People have feelings and that’s a similar trait we all share. That’s being human.

  5. Bridget Kennedy 2 months ago

    I have a fairly interesting story to tell but where is it that I post it or submit it?

  6. Hello Dionysus!. I enjoyed reading your article. It is quite obvious that you have had training or perhaps studied journalism. Most people have not. I notice in to-days media, all kinds of misspellings and grammatical errors. I know that my daughter was not taught history, English nor proper sentence/paragraph composing. Her children are being taught subjects based on the lowest common denominator in the class…..a great tragedy. In the older eras….these subjects were highly enforced by the gentry.

    Personally, I believe that a site like this is for regular folk with the foibles and minor errors that they make. We come from the uneducated to the highest scholars…each with their own story. It is what makes us human and understandable to others mostly from all sources. Yes, there is a time and place for proper correctness, if I may use that phrase. Many people in very high positions are the worst for article or story telling. Part of my public training was attending Toastmasters International. The most important item that I learned there was…..do try to speak to people and write articles in a fashion that all the people can understand or “when in Rome do as the Romans do”. No point in speaking/writing High English if your audience is not Aristocracy.

    Just my two cents worth………I mean no offence to anyone. What I know was picked up as a “Roads Scholar”. That means I learned most of what I know from life “on the road”.

    Dame Veronica

  7. Sasha Mccleod 2 months ago

    “No member is the same as any other. No person is exactly the same as another. ”

    I wrote about mine, and I was told “it’s to similar.” With a seriously lengthy excuse.

    I dont think we should be told how to tell our stories. It’s our thoughts and feelings and we should be able to share our experiences without an editorial hurdle.

    Just my thought on the subject.

    • Sasha Mccleod 2 months ago

      “When we advise a member that their piece would work better as a post in Forums, it is not meant as an insult or rejection. ”

      Yet it is. That’s selective journalism. You seem to overlook that insult and rejection “shouldn’t hurt” as it was explained to me in a very long, prefab excuse. Guess what? It did.

      Just because it doesn’t meet your standards that dosent make it any less important to the writer.

      You want patrons to support your site, yet you selectively support what you deem worthy as a “Good read”.
      I personally wont support a site that did not support me. Im only here for the friends I made.

      • Hi Sasha! Sweetie………please do not give up on writing your stories……even Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald has more work rejected than accepted. It took Shakespeare quite a while before he was accepted.

        Give it another try or two….for me.

        Dame Veronica

      • Author

        I’m terribly sorry about your experience, Sasha, and it is not my intent to tell people how to tell their stories. What I seek to do is help people to tell their stories more effectively in a way that readers can relate to as well as take something from.

        There are, of course, very similar stories. We share many commonalities in our experience, and sometimes these pieces do tend to blend together. I want to avoid that, to have pieces that grab a reader’s attention and hold it. If you watch a film or read a book, you want to be pulled in, to be immersed in that world, and to have an experience with it you can both relate to and find inspiration from.

        There are many ways in which we share our stories. With friends, family, talking to someone you just met, in a letter… but when it comes to articles, we do look for something that will have its own unique voice that captures a reader. Often, this does require more than a retelling of events but of the impact it had on you and on others.

        I don’t know specifically when it comes to your piece, but I give my staff instructions to try to work with people on telling their story more effectively. And I also emphasize that every story matters. Every story does matter. I want people to be able to tell theirs. I also want their readers to find something special in it.

        And that is, of course, subjective. There is no clear way around that. We are human.

        I hope you will submit something in the near future. Your story matters.

  8. English Rose 2 months ago

    Very well written (LOL).

  9. Gina Angelo 2 months ago

    thanks for writing this piece Capn, I think it will help others understand the editing/publishing process

    Gina

  10. Cap – you and Jane were the only ones who gave Cy a run for her money in verbiage 🙂

    April

  11. *skippy1965(Cynthia) 2 months ago

    Well said Cap’n!
    Cyn

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