I have noticed that when I write I tend to be contemplative, as in always wondering why. It could be any topic that has my interest, and it’s no different with my dressing. I’m wondering the why exactly for not feeling fulfilled when presenting in my birth gender only. What causes the desire, or should I say compulsion, to dress?

Because it is a compulsion. Make no mistake. And so I revisit and analyze and try to understand this part of me.

Why as a young child did I find my mom’s makeup so fascinating? Why did I sometimes imagine myself as a girl? I didn’t often dress, and on the rare occasions when I did, I made sure I was absolutely alone. My fear of being caught was so great that I was actually able to go very long stretches without dressing at all.

As an adult, I went years without dressing, to my ultimate detriment. Let’s just say I was tired of life. Oh, I had my reasons—a wife, kids, parents who probably wouldn’t be very supportive (I loved you dad – but I’m talking about you.) But still, along with other factors it ultimately brought me to a point where I no longer wanted to go on. So why do we dress? Or go even further?

I think a lot of it has to do with the stereotypes men are supposed to live up to. We are not supposed to show our feelings, express emotion – be human. When I was younger, I was tormented by the feeling that I just wasn’t living up to the masculine ideal. I was an emotional, introverted, shy boy, who wanted to express my feelings, but felt as if I couldn’t. It wouldn’t be “manly” to do so. I was not macho. I liked reading and learning. I liked school. I went out for cross country just to say that I participated in a sport. I loved girls (women), but I wasn’t even on their radar. Nerdy guys don’t really cut it in high school.

But I never lost my love of things feminine—makeup especially. I loved the thought of being someone else; someone who could be who they were. Show emotion. Show feelings. Be the empathetic soul I felt I was. In other words, be more feminine.

And…I knew that wasn’t allowed. If I wanted to express my emotions it defined not only my gender but my sexuality. And that, I think, is a real problem. I love women, but I would love to be one, too. Society defines us as girls or boys, women or men, gay or straight; with or without emotion. There is no gray area.

So I come back to the why. Why do I (we) dress? I have my thoughts. Ultimately, I may never know the whole answer. And yet, that is not what is really important. I just know that it is a part of me, and what is important is that I embrace who I am every day! To know that I can express my feelings, that I can be emotional, and that I can let the feminine (woman in me) out. Let her be expressed in the loving way I look at my children, or in my interactions with others on a daily basis – to show appreciation for the effort they put into their appearance or the care they show their spouse or children. Show my admiration in how they interact with others.

That is a true benefit of femininity; the ability to interact and empathize with other people. How much better would society be if men were allowed the same privilege?

But we aren’t. And yet – that is the essence of April.

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April (Pacific Princess)

I'm not transitioning at the present, but I have been crossdressing since about the age of 7, and took a 30+ year hiatus from dressing while I was busy with family. I started dressing again a little over a year ago, and I finally like who I am, although I'm not quite sure who that is yet. I only dress once a week or so, but I'm a bit of a perfectionist and love going “all out” when I do. I guess I'm kind of a late bloomer (re-bloomer?), and I don't know where this journey is going, but I plan on enjoying the ride!

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Connie Malone
Lady
Member
Connie Malone (@conniedee)
28 days ago

I stopped asking myself “Why?” a long time ago. Actually, I had spent much more time coming up with reasons why I shouldn’t have been doing “it”(my “it” may differ from yours). Basically, asking why was more applicable to what I was doing, and, when I realized that it was much more a matter of who I was than what, the ultimate question (and answer) was “Why not?” 😉

Rozalyne Richards
Lady
Active Member
Rozalyne Richards (@leahroy)
28 days ago

Hi April i can relate to your story as mine is about the same as yours, I was never a sporty sort of person when i was young, I was more of a mummy’s boy because i was always in and out of hospital with one childhood illness after another, i suppose that all said and done I ended up more feminine than manly because of my mother, it’s not that I’m complaining i suppose it’s who i am, it’s something that never leaves you once you have been bitten with the desire to cross dress it’s in your blood… Read more »

Bettylou Cox
Duchess
Active Member
Bettylou Cox (@bunnymom)
28 days ago

HI April, Wonderful story, and I bet it will ring bells for many of us, myself for sure. I had only my dad for family, and no female relatives to emulate, but like you, I was a nerd. Liked to read, loved school and wanted to learn everything about everything. No interest in sports; I liked girls, but had no girlfriends at all. Like you, I’m always asking “why?”, and I think you answered why we dress (or much of it) in your last paragraph. We have an extra portion of empathy, and an emotional need to express it….but doing… Read more »

Camryn Occasionnel
Duchess
Active Member
Camryn Occasionnel (@camryn)
28 days ago

April, although I never contemplated crossdressing at an early age as you did, much of your story rings true with me. My childhood and young adulthood were spend trying to measure up to the other males in my life. It was a losing battle. I would never achieve the long-sought after “machoness” that would forever escape me. Still, I have no idea WHY I turned to crossdressing. Hundreds of wimpy, failed males like me never became crossdressers. Why me? I just know that now, in the twilight of my years, CDing has become a “must-do” part of my life, and… Read more »

Tammy Rof
Lady
Member
Tammy Rof (@cdtammy)
27 days ago

Camryn you are as good a crossdresser as you feel comfortable being or what takes your edge off there is no good or bad.

Camryn Occasionnel
Duchess
Active Member
Camryn Occasionnel (@camryn)
27 days ago
Reply to  Tammy Rof

Thanks for your words, Tammy. Now all I need to do is convince myself!

Stephanie Kennedy
Princess
Active Member
Stephanie Kennedy (@qtestephy)
28 days ago

Hi April I enjoyed your reading your article. I too have spent countless hours trying to figure out why i have those feelings and as you said compulsion. I have read so many theories. It gets so confusing. There are those who are still trying to convince the courts that Gender identity and born sex are separate .They should be treated separate. I am very comfortable with saying I identify with the female Gender. I want to look like and feel like a woman. I think most cis woman do also. That is how we learn to be a woman.… Read more »

Lisa Fox
Duchess
Active Member
Lisa Fox (@lisafox)
27 days ago

Hi April, very nice article and it rings true to me as well. I have spent countless hours debating in my head about nature versus nurture. I played sports to be “accepted”, only to be ridiculed more often and had to let it role off my shoulders to fit in. I hated it, and internally feared almost all of it. Raised part of my childhood by a single Mom and so on…but like you, only to resolve myself to I will never know why.

Alicia C
Baroness
Active Member
Alicia C (@aliciacd500)
27 days ago

The why part varies for all of us. There is no one single reason why, and I don’t really care anymore. Its about what is right for you, your personality, your sexuality and where you find fulfilled in expressing and experiencing those things. If there is anything in common, its usually around why did we wait to express our inner true selves for so long – insert usual list of answers. Be comforted in being confident to finally express yourself finally because the why part isn’t what defines us.

skippy1965 Cynthia
Ambassador
Trusted Member
skippy1965 Cynthia (@skippy1965)
24 days ago

Bingo April! “Ultimately, I may never know the whole answer. And yet, that is not what is really important. I just know that it is a part of me, and what is important is that I embrace who I am every day! ” That says it exactly. While it would be great to know the exact reason why, the most important thing is to be ourselves. As long as what we do and how we live doesn’t harm others, it is not their decision as to how we live. Thanks for sharing your story(which of course sounds very familiar to… Read more »

skippy1965 Cynthia
Ambassador
Trusted Member
skippy1965 Cynthia (@skippy1965)
18 days ago

Just be sure to wait til the monuments and Zoo and Smithsonian open up again 🙂

Trisha Kobichenko
Lady
Member
Trisha Kobichenko (@trishakobichenko)
21 days ago

Thank you April, reading this is like reading a review of me. Hugs

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