Born in 1962, my journey began around five years of age when my stepmother dressed me in panties, bra, and a dress to go trick or treating. I didn’t particularly want to but I wanted to go out with my brothers and sisters so I gave in and put them on. As the night went by I felt very comfortable wearing those clothes. Something clicked inside my mind as I began to realize something was wrong but could not figure it out. When I got back home that night I lay in bed thinking, wondering if I should have been born a girl.
From that time I experimented, trying on my sister’s clothes when she wasn’t around and each time I did it felt to me that my thinking was right, that I was the wrong gender. My mind was in turmoil because I didn’t know what to do; I was a girl in a boy’s body. There was no-one I could talk to, so I decided to keep this secret to myself because I was afraid everyone would laugh and torment me. I didn’t want that.
Time went by, days turned to weeks and the weeks to years. In 1988 I married for the first time but I didn’t say a word about the deep, dark secret I carried. Our first child, a boy, was born the following year and things went on. A daughter arrived in 1990 but life was taking a toll on me. More and more I wanted to dress as a woman but knew that I could not because of the children. The result of the inner turmoil was that I ended up in a psychiatric hospital for three days. Although I talked with doctors and counsellors I never gave up my secret. All I told them about was my childhood.
Upon my release I returned home to an empty house because my wife had gone out of town for a friend’s wedding. She was due to be gone for the whole week and so with the house to myself I let loose bringing out my bras, panties and a dress.
Even though my wife didn’t know about my crossdressing things between us were falling apart. She told me that she was pregnant with our third child but though I tried my best to do what was right, things didn’t work out and a divorce followed soon after the birth of our second daughter. A couple of years later I found someone else and married again. We joined a carnival and then spent two years travelling around the US with it before returning to North Carolina to be near my wife’s family.
One night, after my wife and I talked about fantasies, I decided that it was time to let Stephenie out of the closet so I told her my secret. She was quite shocked but she accepted, so well that she said we needed to tell the others in the carnival. The next morning we let everybody at the carnival know about Stephenie. We even gave her a party after work to celebrate her coming out. From then on I didn’t look back, Stephenie was out and I didn’t care who knew.
After we returned to North Carolina we tried to keep Stephenie a secret but I got caught and the word was out. They tolerated it for a while but eventually we moved. Sadly, after seventeen years together we divorced. For the next few years I had occasional girlfriends but was always searching for the right one. Finally, in 2011 I found her and from the outset I didn’t keep any secrets. We were very happy together for five years before tragedy struck and she died from congestive heart failure. Alone, heartbroken and grieving I turned to friends but they let me down..
Moving on with my life was all I could do and one day a nurse from my health care service gave me some advice about support groups. Although I was sceptical at first I went online and there I found Crossdresser Heaven. It has turned out to be more than I’d ever dreamed of. CDH has become the family I didn’t know I had. The tears still come sometimes but mostly now they are tears of joy for the happiness I have found. Thank you so much CDH.