I thought I’d figured out who I was and where in the world I fit in. But with one question in Crossdresser Heaven’s chat room, I started to wonder if I was mistaken.
If I don’t go out dressed in public does that make me less than a proper crossdresser? Am I really just playing dress up at home? Am I nothing more than just a fetishist with an excessive liking of women’s clothing?
What makes a person a “proper” crossdresser?
I used to think that I fit the bill. I believed that I was more than just someone that likes to wear the clothing of the opposite sex. My feelings when I’m dressed are greater than just the erotic turn on that I’d associate with a basic fetish. I felt grounded and centered within myself when I became Sarah. That’s not something I can honestly say I feel when I’m going about my day as the male me. To me I feel “right” when I’m “playing dress up”; in fact I’d suggest that I’m actually playing “dress-up” as the male, playing a part that I’m expected to fill.
I wrote a while back about not needing labels because I wasn’t in need of one. I’m Me and that’s all the label I needed. And that still holds true.
But I also feel the need to belong.
To fit in.
To be accepted.
And I honestly believed until one question that I had found that with Crossdresser Heaven. I felt that for the first time I was surrounded by people who “got me”. Who spoke my language and were kindred spirits. Sure, like any group there are people who are more adventurous and outgoing, while others are more modest and reserved. I didn’t judge or question my commitment because I know that my own circumstances make me less than outgoing. I’m not “out there doing it”, but rather I’m closeted. Stuck at home in a small community surrounded by people that in one way or another have an impact on my ability to live and survive here.
I’d love to be able to experience the highs of going out with friends and being accepted as one of the crowd. Being one of the “girls”, but sadly it’s unlikely unless something dramatic happens in my part of the world.
But that’s okay. I know that life has its limitations and although Id love to do more, I can’t. I’ve accepted those limitations as being part of my life. It’s the same as the limitations I have had placed upon me by my wife. Her tacit acceptance comes at a price and doesn’t include support of my “playing dress up”. I love her and it’s important that I not do anything to upset her. Even to the point where I’ve let a small part of me go for now and maybe forever. I grab every opportunity to be Sarah that I can and I love the feeling of calm and oneness that drops over me. But I’m also, on those fleeting occasions, well aware of the time approaching when I will have to “put her away.”
I also wonder if this is how my wife sees my dressing. I’ve tried to explain, but she just gets this look that says the conversation is over and I’m better off walking away. Maybe the tacit support is just her tolerating me until I “come to my senses” and move on from this silly fetish. I hope it’s not, but if someone within the crossdressing fraternity, a sister, can think like that, then it’s not a stretch to think my wife won’t feel the same.
If I’m not willing to push forward and demand that I have time as Sarah and also that society accepts me as such, am I just a wannabe? Playing at a part privately and living off the hardships of those brave enough to actually get out there and live it. Am I just pretending to be part of the “in crowd” and never actually putting in the effort to help “push the team forward”? I had to stay away from the site for a while because I was so upset that others might think that way about me. It really upset me to think that I may not belong after all.
I honestly believed that in my own little way I was an equal of my sisters here, but maybe I wasn’t. Maybe all my inane chatter about shoes and lingerie and clothes was all just a game I was playing without realizing.
Am I out of my depth and I should return to the fetish pool with all the other try hard wannabes?
After a few hours spent steaming while I avoided the chatroom, I’ve come to the conclusion that the question was loaded and meant to do nothing more than elevate some while lowering others. A setting of hierarchy within the crossdressing world if you like. My legitimacy can’t be judged by someone who doesn’t know me. My claim or theirs in fact to being a real cross-dresser isn’t something that can be judged by anyone but oneself.
These thoughts of not being proper, or somehow less than others are of course wrong. There are no “proper” crossdressers or sub classes. We are all the same. We are all more than just people with an avatar who chat about silly things. Yes, some may never venture out of their homes. Some may never in fact ever venture out of the closet within their homes, while others are living out in society bravely walking where some of us can only dream.
I believe that we truly are joined in more than just a desire to wear clothes. When I’m not dressed I still feel Sarah within me. I honestly believe that she is a part of me and that I need to embrace her to feel like I am real.
So perhaps to some, I am playing dress up and maybe they will look at me like a child pretending to be a grown up and smile. Is that a reflection of who I am or rather an insight into who they are? Maybe to the hardcore group out there, we few closeted ladies are just silly men playing. However, to us, it’s not a game. We feel trapped, but our life choices and locations mean that our desire to get out there has to be curbed. But we are not any less or diminished because of that. Our inner lights don’t burn as bright as some, but they still burn.
Perhaps I’m just too thin-skinned and need a stiff drink while sitting outside in the moonlight, laughing at the preposterous people around the world who, like me, dare to judge.
So does my old label still fit?
I believe it does. I’m still Me and I truly believe that I belong with my friends at CDH, just as many of you belong here too.