I suppose there are many of us who feel a need to tell someone, but the repercussions can be disastrous to relationships, friendships, and even work.

We live in a more tolerant society now, where acceptance is better. However, there is still a stigma attached with some media coverage, giving a high degree of negativity to the T.G. community. We know there are risks in doing what we do, and reactions can vary. So, knowing all of this, why would I want to tell someone?

It came to the time when I wanted to tell, as in I couldn’t keep this secret any longer, and I hoped it would be helpful going forward. I needed to choose the person carefully and be aware that there would be risks, too. Over the years, I had questions from my Mum, sisters, and friends who asked why I didn’t marry and other questions. After all, I was in my thirties and still single. I was at a stage where I settled in my mind that I wanted to dress and develop further, so needed to tell. I decided my mother should be first. When I was a child, she occasionally dressed me up in fancy dress. It was harmless fun, and we enjoyed it.

So, one day, over twenty-odd years ago, Mum was reading a paper and showed me an article about a transvestite. She was interested, so I took the opportunity to discuss it. She wasn’t negative at all. Here was the opportunity. I came out with it! “I liked wearing women’s clothes.” There was a silence and an incredulous look. She asked what I meant. I explained everything, followed by a discussion about various aspects of my life. In the end, she simply said, “Well, it doesn’t do any harm, does it?”  From that point, it was our secret, and she said she would help buy clothes and be willing to see me dressed. We also decided on my name as I asked her what she would have called me if I’d been born a girl. My father was never told, but alas, he passed soon after, and I could dress at the house. I started to go out and about dressed.

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After about a year, I told my siblings by doing a mail shot, explaining it all to each of them. Inside the envelope was a sealed envelope with images of Angela. Each one replied within days on the phone. There was an element of shock at reading the revelation, but after talking about it, they had no issues. They gave their love and support, although the eldest sister was unsure. But after a while, she came around to accepting.

They and my mother hadn’t an inclination that I was a crossdresser despite all the dressing when I was younger. The next step outwards was to tell my friends. Again, it was a case of who I wanted to tell and why. In the meantime, I was found out.

I was dressing at home a lot, and one evening while dressed indoors, waiting for a friend of mine to arrive for dinner, the doorbell rang. It was a bit early for my guest. I opened the door. To my amazement, there stood a neighbour! I was dumbfounded, and looking at me, asked if the male was in. She was a lovely lady who did alterations, and holding in her arms were some work trousers she had completed for me.

I ushered her in and when in the lounge she looked around and asked again. I just stuttered and said, “It is me.” She looked at me and said, “Well, you look nice,” and gave me my trousers. I asked if she was okay, and she just stated there were no issues. She asked if it would be alright to tell another neighbour, and that was fine by me. It led to me telling other neighbours around me, and it all worked out fine, and I could get out more. New neighbours have either not realised or just accepted me as I am.

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I had a relationship after this, and we lived in separate homes in different towns. She would visit and stay sometimes, and then one day while she was over, I went out, but on returning she seemed a bit cold towards me. I couldn’t figure her out. We had dinner, and she left as planned. The next day, she came up and said that we needed to talk. Explaining what had happened, she told me how she had gone into a wardrobe to get a hanger and saw the woman’s clothing hanging there—clothes which I had not thought of hiding. Obviously, she thought I was with another woman, so I came clean. I showed her my photos. Although shocked, she stayed so we could discuss how it would work. She had two young children, and it was clear this was a thing I couldn’t stop doing. We ended the relationship. She kept it a secret from friends, and we are still friends to this day, seeing each other regularly.

After breaking up, a joint friend of ours didn’t understand the reason given for ending our relationship. She was perceptive and knew there was something deeper. I am grateful to my ex for not giving the reason. She happened to be the wife of an old friend of mine, and we’ve known each other for years. She would often pry as to the reasons for the breakup; it wasn’t malicious but the way she was. Eventually, I said I would tell her the reason sometime when she was over my way; we’d have a coffee and chat. She called and arranged it for the next day.

I then wondered how I would tell her, or if I should show her photos. I decided I would dress and see where it went. Well, she arrived, the doorbell went, and I opened it wearing a white blouse, black skirt, court shoes, makeup, and wig. She stepped back as her brain did a cartwheel. Once she’d gathered herself, she came in and sat down, studying me without saying a word. I just said that this was the reason we split. She sat back and said she knew there was something but would never have guessed the reason would be this. A couple of cups of coffee later, she had become settled and understood, saying she would not tell a soul, including her partner, who might not take the news well.

I had another relationship where I told all early on; it ended there and then. Anyone that knew said that I was right to do it and have been supportive. It is hard emotionally, but I don’t look back as I believe it was right too. After this, I decided I should avoid relationships going forward as I wanted to continue with dressing to see where it would go.




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Marian Andersen
Active Member
8 months ago

Angela, so very interesting and well presented. Remember though, relations are a two way street, and although you may not be actively looking for someone, they can come along and find you! I’m looking forward to Part 2!

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