Recently, I have had some time to work on deferred projects. It occurred to me that I still want to continue to grow in my understanding of my CD propensity and to know where it will take me as I grow older. I have had this proclivity for as long as I can remember and have been engaging in some kind of crossdressing for sixty years.

As I was reviewing some old material the other day, I came across an essay that was authored by a CD blogger named Gabrielle Hermosa in 2009. I remember reading some of her stuff several years back and thinking it was pretty savvy. I even found some of my own comments on her website from 2012. I wondered where she had gone and what had developed in her life as a crossdresser.

What I found was that she now has apparently gone full-time, living and working as a woman. I neither know nor care whether there have been any physical changes. I do not believe it is that important. She can, in my opinion, declare herself a woman if she chooses.

Apparently, sometime after I had lost track of her, (I actually moved to a new city with my last employment) she had a crisis and began a new direction with her life. Some of her material just prior to that time indicated that she had come to a good place in her life with an understanding wife. It looked to me that she was going to continue to identify as a crossdresser and proceed to interact with the gender community in that role. Her recent material seems to indicate that things have changed. I have not yet found an explanation regarding what happened, but what happened is less relevant than that her situation did change.

I do not know if she and her wife are still together, but her new persona made me wonder about what had happened to yet another person in the transgender community, Helen Boyd (author of “My Husband Betty”). I recalled that by her second book, Betty had begun a more significant transition. So, I looked for updates on Helen (actually Gail Kramer). I found an interview from 2013 conducted by Vivienne Marcus, a New Zealander TG blogger. The most significant part of the interview is that Betty did transition to living fully as a woman. And, Helen’s primary regret is that she is no longer married to a crossdresser. She is now married to a woman.

  • Marcus:  But my question to you is this: has your acceptance of Betty ever led to problems? Have you been the subject of hostility for your views?
  • Boyd:  Of course! Plenty of wives of crossdressers think I’m a pain in the ass. Which, yeah, I am. But I do like to explain that as much as I was an accepting, even enthusiastic, spouse, I had a very hard time with Betty’s transition. Still do. I think the second book hinted at exactly what kinds of issues I would have, but you have to read between the lines to find them.

When I examine what Helen Boyd has shared and place it beside what seems to have developed in Gabrielle’s life, I wondered whether too much acceptance allows for too much exploration and ultimately too much desire for COMPLETE femininity. Helen indicates that the loss of masculinity from her crossdressing husband is a source of pain to her. Helen’s poignant candor makes me realize that one of the most compelling attributes of my crossdressing is that it is “masquerade.” And, while I often fantasize about being out and about passing as women, I rely on my ability to retreat to my masculine sanctuary where I am myself.

In our lives, many of us adopt alternate personas around our careers. We are policemen (women), nurses, doctors, firefighters, you-have-it. If we are fortunate enough to retire and pursue other endeavors, we often come back to the person we were born to be. I spent more than thirty years in government – all of it as a man. I was, however, even before I began that career, a crossdresser. The world defined me for a lifetime as something I became to earn a living. I did good things during that lifetime and I believe I changed some lives for the better. Now, many years away from that career, I have redefined myself. I am again the person I was before those years. My crossdressing is a respite in my retirement.

I came across another individual whose internet presence I found in the 1990s – Renee Reyes.  I can remember so many of her old pictures, although she looks quite different now.  She too has transitioned – living as a woman. Although she does not go into it, she appears to have had breast enhancement. I don’t consider this a big deal, although it certainly alters options. I think I would enjoy having feminine breasts, but it would take me further, irrevocably, than I care to venture. Her experience seems to ratify the experiences of the two other former crossdressers I’ve mentioned. It makes me believe that we can be playing a more dangerous game than many of us realize. Those who have explored the terrain and remained truly crossdressers might have a different perspective. But for me, this feminine thing is pretty compelling.

Some time ago, I read some items written by Dee Levy, author of “The Cross Dresser’s Wife – Our Secret Lives.”  She seemed very angry and, I believe, had an unrealistic set of expectations regarding honesty. I think most of us (CDs) are as honest as we can be considering our somewhat ridiculous preoccupation. I do remember, nonetheless, that some of her assertions revolved around a supposition that crossdressing might lead to further exploration that might in turn lead someone to choose to become or choose to live as a woman – sort of like a progressive addiction. I thought this preposterous when I read it because I did not see myself wanting to leave behind my masculinity. In retrospect, she may have had some wisdom about the phenomenon.

Yesterday, I had a wonderful morning and early afternoon working on bill payments, laundry, and other home related tasks. In the morning, a new pair of red patent-leather, peep toe heels had arrived in the mail. I had not expected them to arrive this early. I ordered them from a website I had not previously used and they were incredibly inexpensive. Turned out they are very nicely made. If there is one clothing item that I have been consistently drawn to, it is high heels. I quickly pulled out a red sequined Lycra skirt, sun toned panty hose, and a cream sleeveless top and I was dressed for work. I initially wore no bra or breast inserts, since my foundation undergarments push the flesh of my chest to a somewhat credible breast look. Later, I added a bra and the inserts to give it a better look.

Another day has past and I’m back at this note. On Wednesday, I was buoyed by the new shoes and the outfit I had chosen. I stayed on task for several hours with occasional looks in the mirror to affirm my enjoyment. Although I wore no makeup and have not shaved my body, my shape might have been convincing had I chosen to “go out.” That said, I felt so comfortable, confident, and competent moving around in this attire, I would have been willing to be Falecia for the rest of the day – in the world. If my acceptance in this role was even moderate, I could get comfortable. Would my ability to present as a woman without negative discrimination move me along the gender continuum? I think it would.

Unlike many of your readers, I do not have a CD support group and my wife has not seen me dressed for quite a while. She doesn’t really like it, although she knows that I still dress frequently. So, although I have not been rejected, so to speak, I am truly not accepted. I go out dressed androgynously, but have not presented as fully feminine for eons. I would if I could and I know that I would enjoy it. Is this a part of who I am? Yes. Is it all of who I am? No. What am I getting at? If I did face the challenge of going out publicly and it worked out OK, I believe that this feminine part of me might draw me further than I can go without giving up some pretty significant aspects of my life as husband and father.

For now, I’ll have my moments!

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While I am a septuagenarian, I am fit and trim because of regular exercise and moderate eating. With wig and light makeup, I might pull off a reasonable looking 50s matron of sorts. Generally speaking, however, I most commonly go out-and-about wearing women’s jeans (either low-rise or high waisted), tunics or cropped tops, and women’s boots or sandals with at least a 3 inch heel or wedge. I do this, presenting as a man. I am confident in this sort of attire, and, although it may break the norms, I’m not trying to fool anyone. Somewhat surprisingly, I have had only positive comments from both men and women. Granted that most people do not comment at all and many stare with puzzlement or discomfort. Nonetheless, many women will comment, “I like your outfit,” or “you look great.” Some men have said, “that boot thing’s working for you,” or “nice jeans!” I literally always leave the house with some tension and almost always return with relieved anxiety. If my wife was more comfortable with this androgyny, I would likely dress this way most of the time. Falecia

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20 Comments
  1. Olivia Livin 4 weeks ago

    Bravo Falecia on an wonderful article.
    I have pondered many times the possible effects, both positive and negative surrounding the unrestricted acceptance you mention. It may be one of those things we only think would be wonderful. My gf and I have an extrordinary relationship with honest communication and a huge amount of respect for each other. This relatively new direction in my life has had a large impact on many personal aspects, less self concious about my body, more assertive, freer with expression, I now love to dance or just move to music and am even more accepting/curious about sexuality as it relates to my femm persona. We as a couple have had extensive talks relating to all of this, she understandably has real concerns and conditions regarding some of it. I am truly blessed to have her in my life and the thought of messing it up and losing her because of selfish desires, scares me, as it should. This I feel helps keep me grounded and moving forward at a realistic and reasonable pace that I fully deep down appreciate. I truly believe we all need some kind of BALANCE and control in our lives, it could so easily go off the rails. I too will enjoy my moments.
    Affirmation of these thoughts serves as a good reminder…..Thank you!
    Olivia LIVIN

    • anne-marie 2 weeks ago

      Yes Olivia. I totally agree with you when you say we all need some balance and control in our lives. Its perhaps all to easy to go wild and then live to regret the consequences

      Take care Olivia.
      Annie.

  2. Olivia Livin 4 weeks ago

    As to the media review portion, while I do enjoy reading, at this time of year its a stretch to even sit and catch up on CDH. I’ll keep those titles in mind for the chillier season, thanks for the intro to them.

  3. Alicia C 4 weeks ago

    Enjoy your journey, however it goes. I like getting fancied up, taking that time and effort. Totally not a thing in M mode. I”m just sad you can’t like do some weird thing every morning and just pick which one you want to be for the day. Life is so short, its sad to be limited, so have as many interesting experiences as you can.

  4. At age 74 and cross-dressing since I was 9, I’ve been down the road you describe. As I got older, the need to cross-dress, express my femininity in my outer wear grew stronger.

    Starting at about age 40, under-dressing, wearing women’s underwear under my male clothing became a regular occurrence. progressing to including a bra with modest inserts by the time I was 50.

    My wife was kind of along for the ride. When she objected, I would tone it back a notch for a time before pushing the limit again. I started buying clothes off the woman’s rack that were butch enough for people to not notice and accept me as the male they had always known. This concerned my wife, so I was careful to allow her to approve each item before I wore it with her in attendance while out and about.

    This continued until I have now replaced all of my men’s clothes including my shoes. As a result I dress full time. I have also amassed a feminine wardrobe that is larger than my wife’s.

    I retired two years ago and now that my wife is post menopausal, she has agreed to my going on HRT, two years now. While up until I went on HRT I’d have denied that I’d ever do so.

    For decades, I told myself I was just a cross-dresser and very much male. About five years ago, I began to refer to myself as a feminine male. I have for years determined that physical sex is male and female, while gender is masculine and feminine, so referring to myself as a feminine male did nothing to diminish my opinion of myself as male. It only recognized that internally I had a strong feminine component. Well, to paraphrase the CBers of the 70s, my feminine side is wall to wall and tree top tall.

    Two years ago, when I started HRT, I finally felt the need to push my body chemistry toward the feminine side. I have to say that aside from a diminish libido and propensity to be a bit more emotional, likely to tear up in at a touching moment, not much has changed. I’ll admit that I had hope for some breast development because I wear C cup breast inserts full time, even when presenting masculine, and I’m tired of it. I really want a bust line that doesn’t go away when I take off my bra, but alas, at my age, it’s only minimal.

    As a matter of practicality, while at some time in the future I might seek breast augmentation, SRS isn’t in the cards. If you’re never going to own a car, it doesn’t make sense to build a garage.

    Now to your question. Did the ability to indulge myself make me want to take this cross-dressing farther than I might have had I be required to stay more in the closet? Perhaps, but the other question is, if I had been required to stay more in the closet, would I have been able to cope with life a well as I have, or would I have been visited by the depression and anxiety I’ve avoided that so many of my sister speak of in their lives.

    I believe the latter. By indulging and pushing the envelope and indoctrinating my wife to go along has allowed me to cope with gender dysphoria in a calm smooth fashion through my life. I’ve never felt the transition or die syndrome so many other trans folk experience. Yet my feminine nature has grown stronger and I’ve given it outlet to match it’s strength while seeing to it my family hasn’t been pushed beyond their limit along the way. It’s been a fine line to walk, but the only thing I’d change would be to start the journey sooner. But I believe the journey was necessary.

    The real difference between me and many of my trans acquaintances is that there was never an abrupt change in lifestyle. My changes came incrementally. Had I realized as I turned twenty that I wasn’t “just a cross-dresser” and started that journey sooner, yes, my life would have been different. I may not have married the woman I did, because while she’s able to accept me as I am now, when I met her when she was 19 an I was 21, she probably wouldn’t have chosen to take the journey with me.

    That would have been a shame, because, marrying her gave me two daughter and two grandchildren that delight me no end. So maybe it’s best thing worked out the way they did.

    • anne-marie 2 weeks ago

      Patricia.

      I loved your comments here. Just a few of my observations.

      You said

      “I have for years determined that physical sex is male and female, while gender is masculine and feminine, so referring to myself as a feminine male did nothing to diminish my opinion of myself as male. It only recognized that internally I had a strong feminine component.”

      I totally agree with this and you expressed it so well. To me our sex is set and actually not fully changeable. Sure, we can take hormones and have surgery to make some changes but we cannot 100% change female to male , male to female – not yet at least though I wish this could be done, I’d be near the front of the que. Gender on the other hand is much more fluid and amenable to change so referring to yourself as a feminine male makes total sense to me and indeed, I concur to this with regard to myself.

      You said

      “I have now replaced all of my men’s clothes including my shoes. As a result I dress full time. I have also amassed a feminine wardrobe that is larger than my wife’s. ”

      Yes!
      Whilst I am a singleton I can say that buying femme style clothes is a compulsion to meand I have a mountain of clothes. I could probably wear a different femme style outfit every day for a year and still have some to spare lol.

      You said

      “Two years ago, when I started HRT, I finally felt the need to push my body chemistry toward the feminine side. I have to say that aside from a diminish libido and propensity to be a bit more emotional, likely to tear up in at a touching moment, not much has changed. I’ll admit that I had hope for some breast development because I wear C cup breast inserts full time, even when presenting masculine, and I’m tired of it. I really want a bust line that doesn’t go away when I take off my bra, but alas, at my age, it’s only minimal. ”

      Perhaps because I am a little younger than you the HRT did have some effect pn.me. seemed like every move I made brought my attention to my developing bust and it was painful!!! As for my mood, I thought I was developing BPaD (Bi Polor). To be frank, the experience freaked me out and I decided to have a break – regretting that now though.

      I do feel that having somebody to walk by our side and provide support is a massive help to us (thoughnonly my observations as I have walked this path alone) Depression – including morbid ideation – and anxiety have so many components and triggers be they biological, psychological and/or social.

      Thanks again for your insightful, comments. I really enjoyed reading them.

      Take care Patricia.
      Annie.

  5. anne-marie 2 weeks ago

    Falecia.

    Thanks for a great article (and I love those red shoes)

    I have wondered in myself about the possibility that this bittersweet dressing activity that we share may be a slippery slope that can lead otherwise common or garden cross dressers towards ever irresistible desires for increased levels of femininity and ultimately transition to full blown womanhood. And who knows if we venture down that particular ‘rabbit hole’ if our end destination would be what we anticipated or if we would be faced with a lifetime of pain, anguish and regret?

    I know for myself that the more I indulge myself in dressing, the more I crave for greater levels of femininity. I would say that I could bery easily slip to fully transitioning to female and then live what remains of my life as a woman. This would however be rather problematic for me given my towering 6’3 1/2″ height. Paws that your average orangutan would be proud of, UK size 9 hoofs and very male knees (not to mention a face like a leg of lamb lol).

    Irrespective of the above, the more I indulge myself in dressing, the more I want to become female. So yes a very dangerous game indeed.

    In respect of being identified by what one does to earn a crust. I absolutely hate this. I am so much more than my job (mental health professional). Many of my clients refer to themselves as ‘bi polor’ or a ‘schizophrenic’ No! they may have these conditions but they are so much more than the condition and have so much they can offer but for a stupid label or pigeon hole assigned th them. The same goes for us. We indulge to varying levels in dressing behaviour but are so much more than cross dressers or any of the other labels used to identify a type of behaviour.

    BTW, did I say I really loovvve those red shoes.

    Take good care Falecia.
    Annie.

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