I came to Crossdresser Heaven seeking answers and a connection with other like-minded individuals.  And I found that and more.  In the few months that I have been a member, I have met and chatted with people from all over the world and from varied backgrounds.  I have questioned my motives and looked deep into who I am.  For the first time, I now believe that I am capable of looking at who and where I am in my life for the first time and to be happy.

I struggled for a while with my sexuality when I first started fully dressing in my early twenties.  At the time, I had assumed that I must be gay or bisexual; why else would I want to dress as a woman.  I have memories of wanting to dress up with my sisters and indeed dressing in their clothes when I was around six years old.   I was told that I wasn’t to do that because boys didn’t play dress up.  That was when I started to dress in secret.  I spent the first few years just wearing my sisters’ underwear or a skirt when I had the time.  Later when I got too big for their clothes, I started to wear my mother’s clothes.

In those years, I assumed that I was just different from what I was supposed to be and left it at that.  When I was old enough to understand the labels that were put upon people with “different lifestyles”, I started to wonder if those labels were meant for me too.  I saw how those who were different were treated and vowed to hide my secret further, and later I tried to stop.  But that was, of course, futile – may as well try to hold back the tide.  The confusion of puberty and my internal conflicts just seemed to throw fuel on the fire.  I started seeing my dressing as a sexual thing.  During my infrequent and short periods of dressing, I engaged in what all boys did followed by immediate regret or embarrassment and hurriedly changed.  Of course, this would only increase the ambiguity and deepened the struggle.

As I got older, this drive became attached to the clothing, and for the next ten years, I assumed it was a fetish and left it there.  After three years of being married (and not dressing at all), however, I shared my “fetish” with my wife and surprisingly she accepted it as such.  We shopped for some clothing and underwear, and for a short while, it was just fun.  Then the opportunity came up actually to dress and made up as a woman arose.  There was a fetish boutique opened up near me that catered to crossdressers.  My wife suggested that I give it a try.  I fought against the suggestion because I thought about the sexuality of it and how it was a private thing for me, but in the end, I said yes.

I sat there as the stylists dressed me in these fabulous clothes.  They picked out an outfit without me seeing the results (no mirrors) while my wife watched quietly.  They applied a wig and make up and had me stand and walk into the next room where a full length mirror hung.  I just stood there and stared at the woman staring back at me.  In the background, my wife was staring too.  I stayed dressed for about thirty minutes while we enjoyed a cup of tea before I changed back to the male me and we left.  It was a few days later that my wife suggested that she did not like me dressing anymore and would prefer me not to do it.  I was free to do it privately, but it was a “don’t ask don’t tell arrangement”.  This would be the status quo for the next twenty-three years.

They say crisis brings out the best and worst in us all, and that could not be more true in my case.  When I separated from my wife, I fell apart.  My world crashed down around me, and I wanted to hide, and become someone else.  Thus I became Sarah for the first time.  I used Sarah as an escape from my life.  I dressed as often as I could and I found the sexual desires that I had always associated with dressing had waned.  I started to have clarity about who I was and what it was I wanted.  I wanted to experience all of me and not hide it anymore.  The time apart gave me that opportunity and I fully fell into the role of Sarah while I was alone to the point where I considered that maybe this was the life for me.

When my wife and I decided to give things another go, I put those ideas behind me, but never fully let them go.  I left my female clothing hanging in the wardrobe for my wife to see and continued to dress in private.  I explained to my wife that I was going neither to lie to her nor to hide it.  I agreed not to force it onto her and she agreed to let me dress as I wish when she is not home.  She has even started to talk about it on a few occasions.  Wisely, I have kept things short and sweet – not jumping in feet first and scaring her.  Things have improved with our relationship and we have a better understanding of our needs now.

Then I found this place. Crossdresser Heaven is a boon from the gods, but also created a new set of questions for me.  It, however, gave me a place where I could ask these new questions and have them answered by others who were like me.  At first, I found myself drawn to this place like an addict.  I found its refuge and acceptance to be addictive, and I wanted to stay here as much as possible.  The conversations in the chat room were light, friendly, and at times informative.  The private chats and personal messages gave me strength and helped me to figure out what and who I am.

For the first month or so, I used Sarah as a way of remaining anonymous here and as a label to put on the “silly feminine feelings” that I should not have.  By putting those feelings on her, I was able to remain separate from it all, but really I was just dodging the real issue.  I now see Sarah as an extension of me, or rather a part of me.  I needed to let the idea of us become just me.  That is what we are really.  There is no we, just me, and I am now ready to accept all that it entails.  Sarah’s thoughts and desires are just my own, and no mater how I try to say otherwise, it is not true.  Maybe I am bisexual or bicurious, and there is nothing wrong with either label.  I started out thinking I was just a crossdresser, but now I see that it is just another ill-fitting label.  A more fitting label would be Transgender.  And although I have no intentions of transitioning now or in the future, it is a better fit.

There I’ve said it.  I am Sarah; I am a man who likes to dress as a woman.  I have fantasies, and for the sake of society and its need to compartmentalize us, I am best fitted to the transgender box.   So after all that, what has changed — well, nothing really.  I am still married to the woman whom I love, and I still have questions.  But now, I am privileged to have a lot of friends like me on whom I can lean if I need support.

So there, I have a new label that fits with expectations of the world around me.  I may perhaps have a better label than that.  I am Me; I always was and will continue to be me.  The clothes which I wear do not define me.  I am unique — I don’t fit in boxes or categories.   All of us in the world are all different, even though we are categorized as fitting certain labels.

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  1. Profile photo of Cloughie Dunn
    Cloughie Dunn 1 month ago

    Wonderful article. So wonderful to see others being “Me” for themselves. I understand and appreciate that some CD’s do see there is a distinction, but some of us don’t. The boutique experience must have been amazing and I wish for you it had been a different outcome.

    My femme name is very close to my real middle name on purpose, because I never really felt like there were two me’s. My wife struggles understanding how that can be, so we went down the path of having a name to distinguish when I needed to be femme for her sake. My lifelong nickname is androgynous and we tried using forms of it to distinguish, but we often had communications issues. I played around with made up names and nothing ever made sense to me, feeling so foreign. So I made a small tweak to my middle name (that I never liked) and Cloughie came out.

  2. Profile photo of Dara lepek
    Dara lepek 2 months ago

    That was very well written , Ive been struggling since i was a teen . I have always been afraid to be who i am on the inside a project it on the outside but society has pushed me in that box .

  3. Profile photo of Terrim
    Terrim 2 months ago

    Great article. I can relate to so much of what you said. My wife has known about Terri for over 30 yrs. She doesn’t want to see her, but I hang some of my clothes in our community closet. Life is about balance for me.
    Huggs Terri

  4. Profile photo of Louise Willis
    Louise Willis 2 months ago

    Sarah you are a brace woman and I really identify with your story. My wife found my loathes last year and she really struggles with it. She does not want to see me dressed and she does not want the clothes in the house. Meanwhile she does not mind if I wear silky boxer shorts, slightly metrosexual clothes and does not mind if I moisturise and shave my legs. So occasionally I can find a brief 30mins to be Louise, but i have not had a proper dress up and been able to do my makeup in over a year. I love being femme, it feels sexy and I do feel aroused when dressed up. So I am experiencing a complex situation. My wife knows but cannot accept. I hope time will heal and help. Thanks for your article.

  5. Profile photo of Ilona
    Ilona 2 months ago

    Thanks Sarah. I can see many parallels with my own life. I had an interview today and recommended Crossdresser Heaven to the interviewer for the way the members talk about various situations with so much understanding. I have wondered why I like cross-dressing and am now trying to take opportunities to cross-dress outside my home, for example in today’s interview. I ask people if I can wear a dress or skirt, but I’ve only had one rejection – from someone in charge of a mindfulness class. I still feel anxious at first when I enter a room cross-dressed and I’ve had some odd looks, but have not faced abuse, so far.
    Unlike you, I didn’t think I may be gay or bisexual, but I have a low sex drive and haven’t been successful with girlfriends; the desire to cross-dress has been in the back of my mind and I think I was too scared of rejection. I have been more open with friends lately and some have been supportive. I only have on sister and I dressed up in some of her clothes, mostly without her knowing, although she had a smaller build and it was easier putting on dresses than removing them; I still have that problem with tight dresses. When I lived with my family, I couldn’t lock the door of my room, so I sat in my bed with a skirt or dress hidden under the bedclothes; luckily nobody asked me to get out of bed. I also wore my mother’s clothes. I was worried then, as I only tended to read about transvestism in psychiatry books as an abnormal form of psychology that could be cured.

    Like you, I kept my feelings hidden, especially in a time when people with gay and similar lifestyles were discriminated against and ridiculed by the media; some films and television programmes got cheap laughs by getting a burly man to wear a dress. I’ve rarely considered dressing as a sexual thing, but I did get embarrassed and worried if I could get caught and what would happen. I think my father would have disowned me.

    I have never been married and I have never been paid enough to afford children, so perhaps that is just as well, as I live by myself and spend practically all my time her cross-dressed. I like having a few close female friends who understand, but, outside my flat, I tend to cross-dress mostly in Trans and LGBT groups and this has enabled me to increase my social life. I have dressed in stores and find this enjoyable, although I liked it best when I visited a store with a friend from work and she chose items and commented on whether they fitted or not. She also tried to choose items that were more affordable, while some shop assistants have chosen items that were much more expensive than some other items that may have fitted and looked just as good.

    It is about 7 weeks since I ‘came out’ to hospital staff and have been more open with others. It is still a fairly new adventure and I am still self-conscious about things, but I am trying to be braver. I try not to force my dressing on to friends and have yet to show myself wearing a dress or skirt in front of a friend who had not seen me like this before I went into hospital. I have found Crossdresser Heaven to be very caring and non-judgmental and I have recommended it to people in Trans and LGBT groups.

    I wish you all the best in your big adventure.

  6. Profile photo of Ilona
    Ilona 2 months ago

    Thanks Sarah. I can see many parallels with my own life. I had an interview today and recommended Crossdresser Heaven to the interviewer for the way the members talk about various situations with so much understanding. I have looked into why I like cross-dressing and am now trying to take opportunities to cross-dress outside my home, for example in today’s interview. I ask people if I can wear a dress or skirt, but I’ve only had one rejection – from someone in charge of a mindfulness class. I still feel anxious at first when I enter a room cross-dressed and I’ve had some odd looks, but have not faced abuse, so far.

    Unlike you, I didn’t think I may be gay or bisexual, but I have a low sex drive and haven’t been successful with girlfriends; the desire to cross-dress has been in the back of my mind and I think I was too scared of rejection. I have been more open with friends lately and some have been supportive. I only have on sister and I dressed up in some of her clothes, mostly without her knowing, although she had a smaller build and it was easier putting on dresses than removing them; I still have that problem with tight dresses. When I lived with my family, I couldn’t lock the door of my room, so I sat in my bed with my a skirt or dress hidden under the bedclothes luckily nobody asked me to get out of bed. I also wore my mother’s clothes. I was worried then, as I only tended to read about transvestism in psychiatry books as an abnormal form of psychology that could be cured.

    Like you, I kept my feelings hidden, especially in a time when people with gay and similar lifestyles were discriminated against and ridiculed by the media; some films and television programmes got cheap laughs by getting a burly man to wear a dress. I’ve rarely considered dressing as a sexual thing, but I did get embarrassed and worried if I could get caught and what would happen. I think my father would have disowned me.

    I have never been married and I have never been paid enough to afford children, so perhaps that is just as well, as I live by myself and spend practically all my time her cross-dressed. I like having a few close female friends who understand, but, outside my flat, I tend to cross-dress mostly in Trans and LGBT groups and this has enabled me to increase my social life. I have dressed in stores and find this enjoyable, although I liked it best when I visited a store with a friend from work and she chose items and commented on whether they fitted or not. She also tried to choose items that were more affordable, while some shop assistants have chosen items that were much more expensive than some other items that may have fitted and looked just as good.

    It is about 7 weeks since I ‘came out’ to hospital staff and have been more open with others. It is still a fairly new adventure and I am still self-conscious about things, but I am trying to be braver. I try not to force my dressing on to friends and have yet to show myself wearing a dress or skirt in front of a friend who had not seen me like this before I went into hospital. I have found Crossdresser Heaven to be very caring and non-judgmental and I have recommended it to people in Trans and LGBT groups.

    I wish you all the best in your big adventure.

  7. Profile photo of Susanna Monroe
    Susanna Monroe 2 months ago

    Wonderful words wisely written. So much of this rings true with me too. Thank you!

  8. Profile photo of Katie Jean (wicked boston girl)

    Sarah,

    excellent article hun. I have struggled with labels and names for a long time. I am glad to hear you are finding who you are

  9. Profile photo of April (Pacific Princess)

    Well told Sarah. So much going on in our heads from so young an age. So many societal “slots” we are supposed to fit in to. Man = “this”. Woman = “that”. Interesting how our genitals are supposed to define everything we are or can be. I am glad you have found your way past the labels to finding and accepting who YOU are. A great telling of a story I am sure many (if not most) of us can relate to.

    Hugs,
    April

  10. Profile photo of Sasha
    Sasha 2 months ago

    It’s a terrific article Sarah. Thank you that you share your story with us.
    Hugs, Sasha

  11. Profile photo of Vera Jane Gonsalves
    Vera Jane Gonsalves 2 months ago

    Thank you Sarah…. a very nice article. So happy to hear you say you enjoy your time on CDH.
    Vera Jane

  12. sathisaheli 2 months ago

    i share the feelings expressed and feel I AM ONE WITH THEM AND ALSO SECRETELY CROSS DRESS AND ENJOY BEING ONE AND GIVES GRATIFICATION IN ABUNDANCE AND THIS ARTICLE BOOS THE MORALE SO THAT I CAN CROSSDRESS FOR LONGER TIME AND FEEL RELAXED PRIVATELY.

  13. Petrasweetheart5569 2 months ago

    Thank You, Sara, I Know the feeling I too am separated from my wife and live alone. And exploring Petra option to explore beyond the closet walls. To go out and meet like minded C.D. and see where things lead to. If Sara has any suggestion, Petra would greatly appreciate. an Email reply. Thank You. Love Petra.

  14. Jackie Nicole 2 months ago

    I am always somewhat amazed in just how many of us tell he same story regarding our dressing and feelings.I would bet that if we all sat down and wrote our beginnings down and once collected, there would be a huge amount of them that would sound like they were written by the same person. I am a bit more only in that if I could have I would have transitioned then. It’s too late now so I am destined to walk in two sets of footprints. always looking back into those with the tiny heel prints and wishing, dreaming. Jackie Nicole

  15. Profile photo of Krista
    Krista 2 months ago

    Thanks so much for your terrific article Sarah. I really enjoyed reading it. So many similarities with my journey (and I assume with other members as well). You really hit a home run with me when you talked about the waning of sexual desires when dressing. Getting up every morning, putting on a bra, panties and leggings are now just part of my morning routine. Then taking the dog for a walk and saying Hi to passersby. I’ve been mistaken three times in the last month as female (and that’s with no makeup or earrings). I enjoy their mistake and never correct them. So yup, nothing sexual about doing chores in the kitchen while dressed en femme. I’ve never worried about labels. Like you say, I am Me!
    Hugs, Krista

  16. Profile photo of skippy1965(Cynthia)
    skippy1965(Cynthia) 2 months ago

    Did someone say peanut butter? 🙂 Sorry Jane distracted me for a moment! LOL great article-we share similarities and differ in other ways but I thin you nailed it on the head when you said” it wasn’t we but me” and then declared “I am Sarah” (I’m partial to that name since my daughter shares it! ) and all that entails. I have realized that Cyn is who I am and now he question is whether I need to live full time in the female role -whether transitioning physically or just dressing 24/7-or is it sufficient to have a greater amount of time out in the world while continuing to present as male at work. That decision is something I’ll need to face soon enough as my hair grows out and I continue on my journey of gender exploration.

    Thank you for sharing your story and I hope you continue to find your way to live as you feel inside.

    Cyn

  17. Profile photo of JaneS
    JaneS 2 months ago

    The problem with labels is that not everyone has the same definition of a ‘product’. That is especially so when we consider that Crossdresser Heaven membership spans the globe. Someone in the US might open their pantry, and view a jar of condiment labelled ‘Strawberry Jelly’. Elsewhere, someone else might open their cupboard and view a jar with the same contents, yet that label says ‘Strawberry Jam’. Peanut butter, peanut paste. Cantaloupe, rockmelon. Crossdresser, transvestite. The same, or different?

    I see the term ‘transgender’ as encompassing all those who defy the gender binary. Long ago I realised that I am more than “just a crossdresser” yet I too have no plans to transition. Indeed, I enjoy existing in that in-between world and do not want to be solely one gender or the other.

    Sarah you applied the only label that is valid – “Me”. We all have a right to discover and nurture that ‘me’ within us. Those close to us might not always understand but that ‘me’ has always been there. It’s usually only when the butterfly is allowed to emerge from the chrysalis that people notice.

    Thank you for a wonderful, thought-provoking article. Continue to embrace who you are and encourage your wife to feel comfortable with discussion. She might perhaps come to see that Sarah isn’t her competition but is, instead, her friend.

    Jane

  18. Profile photo of Samantha  G.....
    Samantha G..... 2 months ago

    Great article Sarah, thanks for sharing your story.
    Hugs..

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