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!