In addition, the Internet furnishes names and locations of monthly club meetings taking place monthly, or whenever, in most cities. Such meetings may be of cross dressers in only one spectrum of the community, such as those in pre-op CD transitioning, or the meetings may be all inclusive from the occasional dresser to the transsexual. Annual conventions from coast to coast and cruises that include members of the entire community are offered on the web. These meets usually include the SO (Significant Other) – male or female, wife or girl-friend — wonderful ways to bring closet dressers out of seclusion and give them confidence. Hundreds of web sites that heretofore catered to genetic females (GGs) now include larger sized garments or items specifically designed for CD consumers in their advertising. Examples include Victorian-styled lace-up corsets custom fitted to male dimensions that include training corsets to be worn 24/7 until their $300 to $600 purchase arrives; shapewear manufacturers offer special hip and butt pads individually or as part of girdles along with breast pad inserts. Other suppliers provide realistic plastic clitoris and vagina strap-ons —- the good ones are expensive. In make-up the MAC and Dermablend brands stand out. The MAC counters in department stores or in their own Mall stores now have established a reputation for not only attracting GGs but a high percentage of CDs who are greeted by friendly sales persons happy to provide make-overs, how-to instructions and, of course,to sell their products. The Dermablend concealers apparantly are among the most effective in hiding beard growth. That is not to say that every makeup brand do not have their CD followers both online and in stores. With that said, most cross dressers first learn their make-up skills through the help of accepting sisters, girl-friends or wives.
The commercial development of the Internet in the 1970s set millions of CDs free. For the first time cross dressers discovered to their amazement and relief that there were many others out there who were also dressing! No longer alone and mired in guilt and identity confusion, those with computers hastened to explore and share the experiences of others. If the right (Not the pornographic kind) web sites were found they quickly became online friends with CDs of all ages, from countries around the world, of many religious persuasions as well as atheists, and from all economic and educational levels. Keep in mind the many variations of transgendered males from part-time to full time – 24/7, from heterosexuals to those in the process of transitioning to the female gender. Each such variance found commonality – those experiencing similar journeys, interests and problems – so, naturally, bonding occurs not only online but frequently in person at regional meets and annual conventions — a whole new world!
In addition, the once lonely and isolated individuals found themselves deluged by every conceivable service creating web sites catering to cross dressers of every spectrum. What clothes to wear from lingerie to wedding dresses, from lady’s jeans to business skirts and jackets; wigs of artificail or human hair, makeup brands and how to apply; perfume and nail polish — all the myriad aspects needed to look and feel like a woman were unlocked for the seeker. Sources became available from make-overs to photo-shoots. There were already sites on the Internet catering to FABs (females at birth) and as time past every major retail chain in every category of apparel and footwear created sites to answer the demand of e-commerce (From 1% to 18% in 2012 and still growing). The CD old enough to buy their own clothes for the first time were and are usually too timid (scared, if you will) to venture into the woman’s sections of a store — more of that fear to be discussed later, so buying online becomes the ideal private method to acquire clothes while still at the stage too fearful to go directly to brick & mortar stores. The retailers advertising their products online quickly realized the growing demand by CDs and added sizes, especially in footwear, and specialty foundations such as hip and butt pad girdles. True, many genetic female also sought specialty items, but this market found themselves catering to CDs as well. We have even seen online companies specializing in hosiery, lingerie and shapewear attend CD national meetings (Diva-Vegas for one) to model and have personal fitting sessions for the attendees. The heterosexual to the pre-op transsexual also found a trasure trove of information ranging from medical issues to how to walk as a female without appearing effeminate — helping to enable them to find where in the transgender spectrum was the place where they might fit in. The reader can only imagine the weight lifted from those who, heretofore, thought they were a one of a kind freak of nature — I was among them.