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.