Finally having joined the CDH community, I’d like to share some of my thoughts that have helped me on my journey.

Only very recently, I have reached a peaceful acceptance of who I am and all the parts that make me what I am, one of which is the feminine part, Joanna. She will not go away, and why should she?

Where was the seed planted?

Was it inside our very being when we were created or were there trigger points in our lives that set us on a path to who we’ve become?

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Those are a few of the questions that have been floating around in my head for years, sometimes forefront in my mind and sometimes lurking in the dark recesses, only to resurface every time I succumbed to the lure of getting dressed as a woman.

I’d like to point out that these are recollections of a very small boy, a small boy who wasn’t educated about “the birds and the bees,” and without a single inclination of anything being sexual; way too early for any of that silly stuff!

I’ve always loved women’s clothing; from as far back as I can remember. I have loved dresses, skirts, delicate lace, underwear, and the shoes; the way they felt, the way in which they moved slightly obsessed me in ways that you can imagine.

The first memory that I recall is from watching my mother getting dressed. I was fascinated with her tights. This is something that has definitely stayed with me; that feeling of wearing a pair of tights is the single most important thing in making me feel feminine. From that first time I stole a pair to try on to the pair of expensive Wolford satin touch that I’m wearing today, they epitomize my personal feeling of femininity, and it all stems from these early memories.

Pantyhose is for women; right? Not men!

Social conditioning kicks in!

The next outstanding memory was of a much-loved Aunty. She was an immaculately dressed woman of substance and with a keen eye for fashion. She ran a very well-appointed lady’s clothing shop back in the day. Her shoes and handbags were always of the highest quality, and they always seemed exquisitely to match her lovely outfits.

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Don’t lose sight of the fact that I’m talking about a very young child here. Sundays were the day my much loved Aunty would visit for lunch, and as routine, we would “spend a penny together.” when you’re a small child, you get taken to the toilet until you are proficient enough to go by yourself.

Good; I hope you get the picture. It’s here where another outstanding memory was etched into this small boy’s crossdressing lifeline. The glimpses of Auntie’s undergarments were fascinating, a girdle with garters and stockings. As her dress was being pulled back down and straightened was mind-boggling looking back, but that seed was planted then; I’m 100% sure of it.

A love of those items was put there, in that boy’s mind, and has continued ever since.

The boy grew into a man and those wonderful thoughts of, “I’d like to wear that” has never diminished. Even now, when seeing a woman in a nice outfit, it still creates the mindset of, “I’d like to wear that” or ”I wonder how I’d look in that!”

So in this story, I believe the seeds were planted by two much-loved, strong, and wonderful female role models in my life. And an overwhelming desire to emulate them; to be as feminine as they were in all their loveliness. Times have changed, and various experiments with different types of underwear and not-so-ladylike variations have surfaced and sunk over the years, along with the purges of guilt and “I’m never doing this again!” I’m sure we all go through similar at some point or another.

As mentioned at the start of this, Joanna and I seem to have come to the point where we’re at peace with my male half and female half. She won’t go away! Why should she? She is me; I am her.

There’s no end to this journey, but if you’ve asked yourself the question, “Where did all this come from?” maybe it was a seed that had been planted many years ago. The important thing is to let that seed grow and flourish.

Something beautiful will grow from it 🌸


Love & Hugs Joanna xxx

(that small boy)

En Femme Style

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Sasha Bennett
24 days ago

@Joanna Berry When I was younger I spent all of my time playing with the local girls, never with the boys. I didn’t like the whole rough & tumble of boylife. The girls didn’t have a problem including me in their games & it was just fun. Clothes didn’t even come into the picture until years later & to this day I still think they are less important than my mental self image. 
Having said that I love a nice dress as much as the next girl 😏 

Caroline Davidson
Active Member
23 days ago

@joannaberry  I can so relate to your story Jo. I too was lured into the world of femininity by tights, and they have remained one of the most important aspects of my dressing experience. From as long ago as I can remember, I used to look longingly at the pictures of the tights for sale in my mum’s mail order catalogues, wishing I could wear them and not understanding why. As I got older from the age of about 5 or 6, I began ‘borrowing’ her tights and trying them on, enjoying the sensations they gave me. Naturally, as I… Read more »

Patty Williams
Active Member
21 days ago

Hi Joanna Thank you so much for sharing some of how your journey started ,I love hearing about what takes that small amount of femininity deep inside us and turns it in to a strong desire to have a woman side or even go further .Great article.🤗

Fiona Finlay
Active Member
19 days ago

A lovely article Joanna.  It got me thinking (this being a slow process!) but it was my reply to Allie’s ‘Head Age’ thread that finally tripped some memories, which have pointed me at some possible answers to the questions posed in this thread. I remember back when I was a kid of around 10-11 with my first point & shoot camera in 110 format.  You’d get your photos back from the developing lab in a printed envelope, the one I remember pictured a girl lying on the beach on her side, up on one elbow, in a red one-piece costume. … Read more »

Ellie Davis
Managing Ambassador
Active Member
19 days ago
Reply to  Fiona Finlay

I hadn’t twigged the ‘Fiona Finlay’ / ‘Fiona Finally’ thing.
I love it  🙂
Ellie x

Fiona Finlay
Active Member
19 days ago
Reply to  Ellie Davis

@Ellie Davis I love playing with words, it’s just what I do 🙂  The surname came first, after I’d settled on Fiona, and shunted my original choice of Janice to be my middle name.  I realised it just had to start with F to suit the letters in the registration of my now-deceased Volvo convertible.  Having chosen the first such surname I liked the sound of as part of my full name, I then saw my profile name in it.  I hadn’t even put on makeup for the first time by that point.  I really wasn’t thinking about any long-awaited… Read more »

Lucy Bancroft
Active Member
18 days ago

@joannaberry  Hi Joanna, I’m fairly late to the party on this, but this is a lovely article. It certainly resonates with me. Like you, I was fascinated by ladies clothing long before I was old enough for it to be considered remotely sexual.  I’m definitely with you on the love for tights. Trying a pair of my Mums in my very early teens is where it all started for me, and slipping into a pair is still one of the best feelings ever. The “I’d love to wear that”, and the “I wonder where she got that from” thoughts still occur… Read more »

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