The picture above is the first one I have submitted to this forum without any alterations. On the previous two, I used a SnapChat feminization filter that made me look younger and prettier than I actually am. I used it for two reasons: I liked the way it made me look, and my wife asked me not to go public with my real image.
We’ve been married more than 41 years. To my shame and sorrow, I did not tell her about Moira. Instead, we played out the game so many of us have had to play. Inevitably, she found my girl things and confronted me. Her first question: “Is there another woman?” Realizing I had no choice, I told her the truth: I am a crossdresser. Every person reading this can predict the next two questions: “Are you gay?” and “Do you want to become a woman?” My answer to both was, “no.” Since then we have talked about Moira quite a lot, and now my wife accepts this part of me. She buys me scarves and lotions. Last week, we went to the thrift store together. She bought a pair of boots, a pair of jeans, a skirt and a top – all for herself. I (in guy mode) got a cute top with a pink floral pattern over a navy background. The clerk didn’t blink.
My wife has clearly expressed her honest feelings about Moira. She would prefer not to see me in girl mode. She doesn’t want our family—or anybody not connected with the CD community, for that matter—to know about this side of me. I can (and do) go out in public, but not in our town. When I go out, I may not wear my wig until I’ve driven well away from our neighborhood. And so on. I accept these rules because she has accepted me. All of me. I consider this a good bargain and I honor it.
The other times I have posted photos here I received flattering comments about my appearance. I tried to respond to all of them individually, making it clear the images of me they mention do not show the reality of my actual appearance. One person even challenged a memory I related about a certain event in our national past. “You can’t possibly be old enough to remember that,” she said. “Well yes, I can,” I replied, because, again, I used a filter for that image. When I told my wife about these interactions, she asked, “Why don’t you put up a picture of the real you? I don’t care if a crossdressers’ forum sees you.”
So here you go.
I do NOT want anybody thinking I see myself, or my marriage, as exemplary. But I would like to lift up one thing for your consideration. Over the course of our time together, my wife and I have gone from me hiding Moira from her, to the big reveal and the feelings of betrayal it created in her, to begrudging acceptance, to support and even permission to explore Moira’s identity. How did this happen? Honest communication. And more honest communication.
If you have not already started down this path with your significant other, I encourage you to try doing so. The reward is likely worth the risk.