Post No. 70 First, let me set the stage — the few years leading up to these last disastrous twelve months: I had been bothered with Irritable Bowl Syndrome – not uncommon – for some sixty years with usually an annual … Continue reading
[This realization was brought home to me around November of 2014 when, looking back on the events it was like an unexpected water slide — helpless to change the course of my demise because, simply put, I didn’t really know what was happening or its significance as related to my final days on earth.]
My situation at that time: Now all alone, I had three burial locations from which to choose (Lucky me.): The family plot in Flushing, New York still had room left in it. Now contains my grandparents, mother, father, uncles Jack and Lester and brother Mort along with memorial inscriptions for cousins Stanley and Jerry (All included in my memoir). Since first visiting eighty years ago, Long Island’s jammed highways and a multitude of cemeteries now congest the Queen’s landscape and no longer allow what was once a rural environment of birds, small animals and trees. I often visualized the inhabitants must be buried standing up in order to have room for so many. Smog now obliterates the distant skyline of Manhattan. Yes, I would be with family members but I felt crowded just visiting. Foolish I know.
The second location was in New Jersey at the plot that now interred my two aunts, their spouses and Howard, cousin Renee’s departed husband. Recently I had placed a reserve order on two of the remaining sites. In this manner, after agreeing to grow old together, Renee and I, this would be the spot for us to take the eternal ride in each other’s company. Of course that wasn’t to be with Renee developing Alzheimer’s and her youngest son drowned in insatiable greed., I decided to transfer my reserved site at Renee’s family cemetery to the eldest son for, after all, his father and grandparents were buried there and with Renee in a nursing facility it was no longer feasible for me to keep it. As fate would have it within months of my transferring the plot to the eldest son he died at 68 of cancer.
So, my location of choice were the two plots, maintained by Lutherans no less, that I had bought in an untrammeled landscape on the mainland opposite my last home in Washington state, Camano Island. Vera had wished that, despite our divorce, she still wanted to be buried here, the spot we had both picked out. Instead her nieces decided to cremate their mother, Mary, aunt Grace and Vera together in an unofficial Cree ceremony of their own making. They then pocketed the proceeds of her insurance and half of what we collected in 52 years of wandering. So now I have an empty space next to mine in an untrodden countryside ─ with mountains looming behind my head and the Pacific Ocean at my feet. Oh yes, the stars I sorely missed. Since moving to Florida, the moon, an occasional planet and maybe Orion, just after a thunder storm had scoured the sky clear enough of humidity, were all I could see of God’s heavens. Silly perhaps but the day’s scenery and the night’s blanket of billions of stars would be mine to cherish as God’s gift to me.
The dilemma: with a military funeral and, hopefully, a “missing plane” flyby overhead, I would feel silly dressed in an evening gown. After all I wouldn’t be around to explain my antics to the Veterans Administration doctors or the funeral home in Washington receiving my remains. Just accepting the fact, sadly, that there are still too many lacking knowledge and acceptance of the TG community.
Okay, here I am a few months from 91 with my annual VA medical check-ups still indicating no obvious symptoms of impending demise and an apartment full of mostly female clothes. What to do? If I ditch everything now I could look forward to months or years feeling miserable and frustrated that I can no longer be Julie having my hair or nails done, shopping at department stores for lingerie or mingling at the supermarket. With my brother and cousins all passed, this past year has been mine to do what I knowingly or subconsciously wished for. Do I dump everything now or hope that I will be blessed with a heads-up warning from my Maker? Sounds familiar? Further thoughts on my personal dilemma in post 73.
Continued with Post 70
Post No. 68
Ready For Bed
The following posts, starting with this one, No. 68 – are a year late in posting. They should, in their own way, explain the tardiness of this author, Julie. The fact that I’m able to write means that I have avoided entering one of death’s doors — at least for now. Being a CD in one of the many variations that it manifests itself during 91 years of living makes this subject very relevant – morbid yes, but inescapable.
Before recounting my personal experience when, surprisingly, I wasn’t really aware that I might be entering one of these doors that would end my mortal journey, let’s review the “end game”.Two VA ER nurses contributed their experiences on this subject:
Instant death, the most obvious exit door. Here we have no say at all. An 18-wheeler falls off a bridge onto our car; a stray bullet meant for another; we happened to select a commercial airline where on this one day the copilot decides to end his life — you get the idea. Well maybe we do have some say if, for example we are en fem on that day, on that trip. Whoa, not so fast. “When I’m dead I no longer care”— heard that one more than once and maybe it is your honest opinion, maybe IF you are single with no close family. Or is that comment just an excuse for delaying, for vacillating? Do you have close or distant family and business associates that might attend your funeral, none of whom know of your CD inclinations? Don’t care? Really? For those who live a secret life wouldn’t that mean that our CD proclivities are presently confined to that one room or apartment? Revelations do affect those close to us. Does it matter? You know that as well as I. So yes, we don’t know whether this will be our destined doorway — and if it is — how old will we be? At that time will I have a family just growing up or having already left the nest? Obviously we can’t answer any of those questions but when is the decision time to plan or ignore? The planning options are very limited — confine your inclinations within restricted locations and time and still there are no assurances that the grim reaper doesn’t find your secret places. If you have a spouse or partner should you not prepare for an abrupt departure? Decide now what the arrangements should be regarding a funeral home and burial ─ how should that still living person dress your remains? Dispose of your clothing? Talk about it now and plan your final departure. “I don’t want to talk about it” isn’t facing up to the inevitable.
The impending doom door — your doctor summons up his most serious demeanor to announce you have a terminal condition. You have only weeks to live, give or take two years or so — doctors have predicted wrong before. If there is a spouse or partner on the scene you may arrange for clothing to be donated to a charity and the rest dumped. If single at this critical time the chances are that your appointed executor hasn’t the slightest clue what you are all about — time to tell them? Hopefully you are physically able to dispose of your years’ collecting precious belongings while there is still time. Or perhaps you have arranged with supportive family members to bury you dressed drab or en fem. If you haven’t, now is the time to do so. CDs often request a closed casket from the get go if they opt to leave this earth dressed in their finest regalia. Burial preparations differ with various religions so consideration and instructions are required to follow or ignore. Each situation is unique. Take comfort that this door at least allows you time to act ─ God’s Will has made up your mind for you, no stalling
For all practical purposes the last two doors can be combined for they only differ in urgency. In the first part of this group you have, say, a heart ailment or some other malady that will likely do you in down the road a bit, could be years, but in the meantime life is good. Children have left the nest and your SO is in fairly good health. She also allows you to indulge in CDing either in an acceptance mode or supportive. Still there is no guarantee that new health issues don’t change the forecast. So the same decisions must be determined as previously discussed, i.e., who knows? Who should know? What will be the burial arrangements?
The final door, or second in this illustration, finds you in good health with no hint of when you will leave this world. So you have the best excuse to put off thinking about a subject that you MUST eventually face. Point? Since we don’t know which door will open and when — should we not now have a game plan before one of these doors does open?
Two other events are often encountered: Wife, rightly, believes that there is no longer a need for a large house and senior communities would be less work and, often, cheaper. Sure , but you would probably lose that little secret that you and spouse have shared all these years. Another scenario — you are alone and doctor suggests assisted living or whatever else you call it. Are you willing to trade a nice apartment or home for a bedroom and shared bathroom? Do you know how close to that exit door you really are? Frightening only if you put off determining a future course of action.
This realization was brought home to me around November of 2014 when, looking back on the events, it was like an unexpected water slide — helpless to change the course of my demise because, simply put, I didn’t really know what was happening or its significance as related to my final days on earth.
Continued with Post 69
Post No. 66 is the second half of the preceding post, number 65. We continue with samplings illustrating the wide diversity in feelings, behavior and the raison d’etre voiced by CDs for being what they are — each with their own opinion.
“I dress because I like the comfort, the fashion, the styles and the feel but I have no desire to be a woman.”
Noted that an equal number prefer the restrictive feel of corset, bra or pencil skirt rather than the comfort.
“I do not feel complete without firm support and figure sculpturing. I love the feel of thi-hi hosiery anchored by six stocking snaps.”
“I want to be dressed as a woman, hopefully mistaken for one but I do not want to remain one. I really do not know about my feminine side and really do not care”.
“I dress to let the feminine side run rampant through my closet. While doing so I like beautiful clothes.”
“I want to give full expression to both my masculine and feminine attributes; to soften the harsher aspects of my masculine side; to be all I can be.”
“I’m never the woman I can be without foundation, powder, concealer, rouge, lipstick, eyeliner, mascara, eye-shadow and brow powder. I always feel and look years younger and really fell naked without my makeup. And finally, a good perfume brings out my femininity. Of course, my toe and fingernail color must match my lipstick. Then I’m ready to pass. Must be careful to wear subdued makeup during the day, when shopping or I won’t blend in. Only then am I me”
“Every three weeks I have a manicure and pedi. My gal is sure to try new colors on my toes. It’s the highlight of the week.”
“I sometimes shop drab but usually en femme in stores that know me and, though all chains are happy to take my money, certain stores are friendlier. It took years to summon the courage to ask to use the lady’s fitting room and even longer to have the ultimate high — to be fitted with the proper size bra or girdle. Now, I understand, most of the major chains provide courses to their sales people on the proper approach and, “for God’s sake, don’t be rude!” The highlight of a shopping spree is when a GG asks me what color nail polish I’m wearing or where did I get those earrings.”
“I’ve learned early on that if I present myself with self-confidence, poise, a smile and a half-way female-pitched voice — I can go and do anything a proper GG can.”
One CD likes to vacation on the Jersey shore while en femme. His day starts with a five mile jog before going to the beach in a bathing suit to acquire a tan. His one complaint is often repeated by others shopping at Malls: “I pass to everyone except teen-age girls. Somehow they invariably start giggling. How they are able to “read” me I’ve no idea.”
“The sound of my heels on concrete and pulling on sheer hosiery over newly shaved legs are my turn ons.”
“CDing gives me considerable satisfaction of that side of me that brings on sweetness, delicacy, feminine behavior, love of colors and fashion trends. Takes me into a lovelier world.”
“When I see a beautiful woman wearing a lovely dress I’m envious of her outfit first — I want to be able to wear it. My attraction to have her in bed is a distant second.”
“I started between 5 and 6 so it wasn’t sexual. Became a sexual turn-on in my teens but not so much since then. Never thought of being with a man because I like everything about a woman too much.”
While the following excerpts from e-mails offer additional motivations, the “Why” for a single conclusive, definitive explanation will remain elusive forever – this writer’s considered opinion.
“Long story short! I decided I’m not hurting anyone so why not make myself happy?”
“I’m not sure I’ll ever know OR if it even matters.”
“My wife said that she finds my taste in music harder to understand than my want/need to wear women’s clothes. So I finally got over the ‘why’ and think of it like everything else.”
“The only answer I can come up with is: I’m just being the true me! If you can’t be true to yourself then who can you be true to?”
Your best course of action is to embrace who you are and celebrate that to the greatest extent possible in your situation.”
“I’ve kept a comfortable income flow my whole life, put a kid through college, crushed anxiety and depression, overcame stuttering and, believe it or not, enjoyed a lot of cross dressing. That’s all there is to it.
“You might as well try to figure out why you like the color red. Just accept yourself and enjoy.”
And lastly passages from the nom de plume “Lorileah” (from crossdressers.com) on this subject:
“There are those who look at things the way they are and ask why…I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” Robert F. Kennedy
“Is there something there that is pathological? No. Is there something there that will make you a worse person? No. Is there something there that will lead to ruin? Yes if you fret and worry it will consume you.” Reference: More often read this observation of pending disaster among those in transition rather than those in CDing.
They are just clothes. They don’t have magic power. You don’t step into oblivion by donning a dress. You like it; it harms no one, just do it. When the end is near you can be happy or you can be sad because you decided to follow the crowd and not your heart.”
Note: As briefly mentioned previously there is a new breed called “Metro-men”. They often wear clear polish on well-trimmed nails, skin moisturizer with skin-tone foundation, lip gloss, well dressed and no paunch. The difference, basically, is that they do not wear clothes that a CD might; other than bikini or nylon shorts or thongs often made for men, but you must have a slim figure to handle it. Metro-men may also get permanent waves to keep their hair in the style desired. From a sex or gender stand point there is not enough research to label them as other than well groomed men.
Readers may well wonder at what point does a man who has achieved the goal of usually passing (to his own mirror or to others) ever crosses over into the bi-sexual arena or, possibly, he was actually gay but not aware of his orientation until turned on by cross dressing. No, doesn’t work that way. Because one has achieved a high level of proficiency in their presentation doesn’t automatically change one’s gender – you have to have been born that way.
Some CDs mention that when deep in the Pink Fog they may have fantasies of being held in the arms of a strong male. After all, the purpose of dressings, for most, is the desire to appear or feel as female as possible. So naturally when one is accepted or passes in public by GGs and men, the next progression would be to be hit on and then date a male. Nevertheless, when reality sets in we know that 80 to 90% find that acting on that fantasy is repugnant or revolting to the point of mental anguish (Never doubting their born identity).
When one reads comments such as: “Have dated men as a girl for years and love it.” OR
“I want to be loved, feel loved by a man.” — We have entered into that, roughly, 10% of cross dressers who are not heterosexual. They fall into one of the categories discussed earlier in this chapter. In fact they very likely had an unbalance, such as in chromosomes, since pre-birth but were not aware of it until cross dressing brought submerged emotions to the surface. .
Have we discovered a single genetic, hormonal, chromosome, or environmental influence that is responsible for “straight” CDs? The answer is no we haven’t. But what we have found is that there are a number of answers that are equally correct. Excuse the comparison but to make the analogy a statistical one – after huge expenditures in money and talent we now know that there are many cures to cancer just as there are many types of cancer. So we also know that there are many variations in cross dressing and at least as many correct causations.
Environmentally we should include among the possible correct answers a dominant mother who becomes the role model to the baby boy, but since such influences have caused many other dysfunctional outcomes we can only list it as just one more out of dozens of possible causes.
We know there is no “cure” waiting for a gay person (Verified by the AMA.) despite those quacks, and governors,who insist there is. A gay individual may be aware of his orientation early in life or not until having fathered five children; while a CD’s “trigger may happen while a child but the propensity to be a CD may remain suppressed for years until they eventually surface. Meanwhile a spouse or GF, relatives and friends must put up with an irritable, grouchy and often insensitive individual without a clue what is really troubling him.
To once more stress our present insignificance along mankind’s time span — in the context of our dressing habits — we can draw upon Africa, the birthplace of civilization. There remain tribes where only the male members celebrate peace or conflict by wearing the body, face and headdress decorations once ritualized by their ancestors a thousand years ago. Likely they were imitating nature where the male bird flaunts gorgeous colors while the female is drab; or perhaps the male lion with the great mane and the female with no distinguishing markings. No, Mother Nature has always been far ahead of we CDers. In prior millenniums the reigning pharaohs of Egypt wore eyeliner and makeup. Flash forward to European and Oriental noblemen and higher hierarchy in our history wearing the finest of garments and in some countries wigs as well. It was, obviously, a mark of their social standings. Now suddenly, in the present miniscule period along civilization’s time span, clothing takes on an onerous specious connotation not previously associated with its wearing — a sexual stamp condemning a segment of our population. What judge set these artificial standards?
Obviously our present society has become disoriented. Let’s not perpetuate this artifice!
Evaluate our fellow humans based on their good works and not superficialities. Just my humble opinion.
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Blog No. 65
This section is a compendium of comments and stories from heterosexual, bi and gay cross dressers that will, I hope, convey to the reader how very diverse are the reasons and feelings that transported them into a compulsion that has no single answer or explanation but many paths — all valid for particular individuals — none right or wrong. Though the feelings may be strong and compelling, the “Why” remains elusive. Comments on the “Why?” are mostly found in these next two blogs.
But first let’s look at the two most diverse factors of all — how many hours a month are they able to enjoy their penchants and how extensive are their wardrobes?
For years I had a misconception that now, through the shining light of facts has brought home to me the huge variation in diversity, the multiplicity disclosed within the cross dressing community to the point where many don’t want to be identified as CDs — I’m referring to the actual time in any given month spent dressed completely with accessories or only underdressed, wearing just one feminine article (or several). Regardless of the degree that one dresses — one is still a CD — not bad or good. In 2014 this writer was corresponding with, based on her picture and comments, a bright, attractive, well dressed and nicely made-up young CD. Months later I came to find out that in an average month she spends no more than five hours indulging. The only details I cared to garner was that his wife was permanently restricted to bed and the government was paying him to be her aide. Have no idea how she was able to produce such a nice transformation with what appears to be so little practice. Further investigation revealed that many CDs whom I had “assumed” from their extensive and knowledgeable writings to be very close to full time actually spent less than twenty hours a month in cross dressing. Other variations further illustrate the disparity in my previous conceptions: The “compromise or boundaries set by one wife allows for no more than one night a month while another couple go golfing at resorts and take cruises as two sisters might do. We have discussed such paucity of permitted boundaries before in such marriages — in that when the compromise is really a surrender — too strict — the marriage will most likely fail in the long run. Some other obvious reasons for such limited time en femme includes living at home with objecting parents; presently serving in military, lives in a hostile country and similar circumstances.
For “middle” experiences it is not that unusual for a CD to be a traveling technician or salesman working for the manufacturer or distributor of a unique product. He may need to visit customers all over the US or the world whom he has never met before. With such freedom he usually travels en femme. With airport security normally trained to fully accept such travelers this writer finds it another experience to add to one’s bucket list. The customary action is to revert to drab, if at all, only during the time spent with the client. Frequently we also find in this group those who are able to spend half or more time en femme to be retired with supportive spouses or to be widowers.
At the far end are usually those who have, or are transitioning by hormones, sexual adjustment surgery, augmentation surgery or simply a mental attitude shift suffices. Indeed they no longer consider themselves as CDs but rather as members of the opposite gender. So for the sake of the subject being considered, the majority of those living 24/7 are no longer considered as CDs. If I were to graph hours spent per CD in the femme world I would venture more of a straight downward line starting with the least frequent practitioners being the majority and concluding by those mixing mascara with the transitioners.
Now let’s muddy the waters a bit: There are millions of males who have worn panties and thongs for most of their adult lives. Prompted by curiosity most never have the trigger pulled on their psyche, never become CDs but find these garments both comfortable and attractive to their mates. We also know that most CDs start their journey visiting their mother’s or sister’s hose or panties. Nevertheless underdressing starts at this point and may never progress beyond limited indulgence – garment underdressing thereby skewing the statistics to make it appear that most CDs are partially en femme all day, every day — up to the reader to accept either definition.
Closely correlated is the depth of owned wardrobe ranging from one pair of panties hidden in a shoe box to packed walk-in closets, from no shoes at all to hundreds – enough to make Mrs. Marcos or a fetish collector blush. Stands to reason that frequent time en femme increases the desire to wear and display a greater number of fashion presentations. So frequency of time spent en femme and the extent of wardrobe accumulated far outweigh the number of variations in behavior patterns. What do we mean by “behavior patterns”? As described more fully elsewhere in our blogs one fellow likes to present wearing a full beard while another gets a professional wax every three weeks – examples of two behavior patterns.
As promised we will now offer a small sampling of this diverse community found under the umbrella of cross dressing. Many of the quotes came from one of the best web sites (“Crossdressing.com) reflecting the thoughts of this community. That site is not confined only to the hetero majority; however it does strictly regulate/censors a forum that includes all sexual orientations eventhough I have selected comments by mostly heterosexual CDs as that group is the focus of this chapter. Rather than providing their entire texts I will encapsulate for easier reading:
Featured in the third group above is a father in his 50s who works as a technician that requires him to travel by plane almost every week to various cities in the Midwest. He travels en femme. The boarding inspectors, check his male IDs, know him as a frequent flyer and pass him with a nod and smile — no problem. After checking in to his motel he may eat, take in a movie or shop. In the morning he has transformed to drab, makes his business visits and, upon finishing his work, reverts back to en femme. From time to time he has taken his wife and two teenage girls with him. This routine has been happily carried out for years without incident. There are more frequent flyer CDs out there than one might imagine.
Single male trained to become a cosmetician while en femme along with 35 other girls (GGs) in the class. Today she makes good money with no intention to transition or desire to date men.
Another frequently goes out en femme and only associates with women. Has had sex with a few and considers himself as a lesbian (Feels like a woman and enjoys only women sexually.). Still trying to figure this one out.
Youngest of seven siblings — rest girls. Rather poor family so all clothing was eventually handed down for him to wear. In his teenage years he played varsity football and was popular with the school girls. At age twenty-two while holding down a job and living alone the Pink Fog hit. Never looked back he has been a CD ever since.
“Strange world where we want to be girls, or some reasonable facsimile, but we don’t want men in that equation.” — quote from one but not the usual view point.
Some boys and young men grow up, as does the rest of the population, short, thin or skinny. Those that become CDs find this as a physical advantage in the desire to “pass” either in the closet or out in public view. Most of these CDs won’t develop soft breast tissue until later years when their pecs turn from muscle to flab. In the meantime bras need be filled out by inserts or other recently introduced methods to create cleavage and boobs. Often CDs will purchase sizes B and C cup inserts in order to make their clothes fit better. Certainly it is easier to pass en femme when breasts are apparent to the passer-by. Though the reasoning seems clear to the CD community there are those who are still confused. Their comments are usually: “If the reasons are to be comfortable and enjoy the feel of feminine fabric then why do you need bra inserts?” Simply: most CDs want to appear as women to complete their persona just as makeup helps create the allusion. For this reason a 40-D cup is appropriate for a heavy-set tall CD but inappropriate for a thin man to wear. Most are still hetero men — nothing has changed.
Handsome man was told by wife that he could be a beautiful woman. With her support and his willingness they are happily married and best of girlfriends. Not known whether this particular couple have children.
Truck driver drives regularly cross country en femme until reaching truck-stops where he reverts to underdressing.
By age 5 a future CD started playing “dress up” and “house” with older sister. By puberty he was trying on mother’s lingerie, especially open-bottom corsets of yesteryear, hosiery and shoes. Have read dozens with this or similar scenario’s..
Mother wanted a daughter. As a result baby was brought up as a girl. One would think that he would eventually wish to transition but he became a heterosexual CD instead. Proving, perhaps, that external influence can “trigger” but not necessarily into a transsexual without other factors, previously discussed, being present.
“For a long time I lacked self-esteem and doubted my worth — totally negative feelings. I was depressed. I had to escape. Now I feel so much better about myself and so much more comfortable being whom I am. In addition, as I grow older when dressed I look 10 years younger than I am.”
“Lost job, family and then my desire to fully transition while still in pre-op stage. Needless waste of all the good things I had in my life. If I had only known sooner that I did, from time to time, enjoy being a man tinkering with my car, watching car racing and such. Still, I love fashion as well as being feminine. Why can’t I enjoy both worlds?”
From a GG: “My spouse is so much more attentive, compassionate and tender. He gets pleasure dressing and our love-life is even better. It’s a win-win deal.”
Was a slender boy — the smallest in his class. Picked on by the bigger boys; had to constantly bear taunting and bullying. His self-esteem remained low until he became old enough to buy his own clothes. He found tranquility and peace dressed as a woman. Though his wife and children in later years were his treasure, as a closet CD he was able to take refuge from the stress of everyday living.
“Being treated as a lady meant I passed’; being dined and going to a movie were great, but that’s as far as I would ever go.” My bi-contributor insists that these protestors are really gays in denial. Probably true most of the time
“I liked the attention of being picked up as a lady but no further.” Comment on last quote maybe applies here too.
The theme of Blog 65 continues in blog number 66.
Hope you enjoy reading these blogs as much as I enjoy sending them to
you. As soon as my memoir went to press it became quickly apparent
that the chapter, MYTHS, FALLACIES AND MOST THERAPISTS
WITHOUT A CLUE, would be deluged with revisions, corrections and
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What can I say to explain that my next blog, Number 65, is not ready?
Perhaps to say that both my Winzip and Adobe software – all paid for – went down at same time over the last weekend of the month? Well that’s not a satisfactory excuse for me or my readers. More to the point I have been in in and out of the VA ER these past few weeks with spine maladies that originally started in a WWII bomber crash in England but only recently began to cause spasm problems whenever seated (Like in front of a PC).
I will “Overcome” as the good Dr. King may have said so please bear with me – excuses were never in my lexicon. Good Lord willing Blog 65 will be out before the Holidays. Which does give me a great opportunity to wish everyone a healthy New Year – whenever that happens to arrive for you – as one’s health is our most prized possession, believe it!
Julie and Julian
Blog N0 64
Blog number 57 included the following; so to avoid confusion and to make it easier for the reader to pick up the subject of Blog 64 we have copied over the first paragraphs (See below).
“There are those influenced by childhood experiences, through either mother or sister, that encouraged feelings already instilled before birth. “Instilled” in this context refers to influences created by chromosome imbalance, genetics, Harry Benjamin’s Syndrome, the body’s chemistry, wired by imprinting or by one of the other theories and hypotheses that might apply. By puberty they were already bi-sexual/gay and cross-dressing expressed what they soon found to be their true identities — identities not readily acceptable in the outside world. Some among this segment consider themselves as curious and experimenters. They feel more comfortable labeling themselves as gender-curious, gender-fluid, bi-curious or similar appellations. They may be far more attracted to the female body for their entire lives but still enjoy the occasional male with male experience. Some number may gradually find that their interest for a female has waned or never was strong — they, of course, are no longer considered “bi”. The majority of BIs are somewhere in the middle attraction-to-female wise. Further comment in order: A recent post discussed the CDs who vehemently denied being homosexual until the urge to try, one time to be that total woman at least once — and similar reasons. ReineD, our in-house GG, points out that these folks were always gay admitted or not. As a result, as acknowledged by this writer, the percentage now to be covered, albeit briefly, is in reality closer to 20% of the CD population.
A tip of the hat to the many who find that quoting percentages, labeling and generally putting our broad community into specific boxes is upsetting, unnecessary, unwarranted and not very scientific. Is it necessary? No more so than is the study of archeology and demographics valuable in enabling us to better understand our world today. Unearthing our family roots has taken on revived popularity in mid-2014, Why? I dare say that it’s probably human nature to know how one fits into the grand scheme of the billions of creatures whirling around this globe. With that intent in mind those who wish to be left alone to live life in the manner they chose with whatever happiness encountered should not be hindered or burdened in that pursuit by our feeble attempt to sort out our odd actions..
This post, (Blog No.64,) will briefly present, with some overlap, the theories, hypothesis and professional opinions of those who venture to explain the “whys” of our behavior, albeit varied.
In addition to those described above there are: cross dressers who live and work 24/7 as women — the majority of “straight” CDs, not happy with being lumped together with this life-style, prefer to assign the Latin word “transvestite” to this group; bi-sexual — those who have little or no compunction to having sex with either gender, though many in that group don’t consider themselves as homosexual for they are equally or more attracted to women; transgendered, or gender dysphoria — are unhappy with the gender identity given them at birth but live inside society’s patterns but as the other gender. This group and part of the group called “transsexual” might be born with chromosome imbalance. Chromosomes are groups of genes composed of DNA and proteins that are located within the nucleus of our cells. One such pair determines sex. The male sperm cell contains an X, Y or both. Fertilizing the female egg the result might be XX, or female and XY as male.
However a whole host of internal body or external factors sometimes cause mutations. For example, a XXYY in males would cause some or all of these characteristics: small testicles, enlarged breasts or high pitched voices. Imagine the havoc in that youngster’s psyche as he grows up.
Perhaps 1 to 2% of births present a dilemma to both the parents and attending physician — born with the female’s internal sexual and reproductive parts but with male external genitals. Those present at such a birth don’t have the ability to determine whether the baby’s mind is inclined towards male or female. The decision by the doctor may easily cause a male to later wish to revert to the female role and change the genitals to the labia, clitoris, vulva and vagina of the female. In 2010 an extreme example made the news with the father, over several years, giving Caesarean birth to three babies with his female organs and then turning the babies over to his wife to nurse (Yes, he still had his male parts.).
What is Harry Benjamin’s Syndrome? It is a congenital intersex condition that develops before birth (1 in 500) involving the differentiation between male and female. A girl with this Syndrome would have a female’s brain sex but her genitals would appear male — reverse with males. Fortunately, countries like the Netherlands have been able to recognize and start corrective treatment before puberty. It is a physiological condition and not psychiatric; it is not “transsexual” but a brain relationship with gender that, to this day, confuses the medical community when they don’t have quality diagnosis. Thus it is not a mental disorder but the result of a fetal abnormality impossible to identify before birth. Before leaving Dr. Benjamin — should mention his controversial scale dealing with the entire spectrum. He also tries to merge the Kinsey scale into this work. According to Benjamin the least intense level are those who “Get occasional kick out of dressing — in masturbation fantasies mainly.” This writer gets thrown by his indicating that the individual may be hetero or gay. At the other end of this scale – labeled Kinsey 6 – “dressing gives insufficient relief as does psychotherapy, conversion operation necessary as self-mutilation or suicide are the only alternatives”.
In a recent blog we offered a promising explanation to the question what causes a small segment of the male population to react to the trigger theory. Though still a hypothesis in summary it goes like this:
This biological model says that cross-dressers have their brain hard-wired to interpret cross-dressing as actual contact with a female. When they feminize themselves their brain goes into action and releases a host of neurotransmitters, dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, etc. which produce the sensations of well-being, comfort, pleasure, sexual gratification and bonding. It affects the reward centers of the brain, instant gratification, and thus it mimics the addiction response. It cannot be “cured” because you cannot stop your brain from releasing neurotransmitters.
So exactly how does this small percentage of the male population get their brains wired this way??? The answer goes back to synaptogenesis and neural pruning. There are certain critical periods in brain development when your brain creates a myriad of neural connections. In fact, you have the most synaptic connections when you are 12 months old. Then through the learning process, these connections are either reinforced or pruned.
So too the terms: “Androgyny” and “Hermaphrodite” are physiological or behavioral ambigenders that pertain to this chapter on cross dressing only slightly as those males afflicted are but a small segment of the community and are not considered cross dressers. Nevertheless, we have come to learn that the now old cliché, “a female trapped in a man’s body” in so many cases can be a reality. So the transsexual group may or may not be created solely by physical miscues at birth. In fact, as previously discussed, one may consider themselves as being a TS without having any physical abnormalities.
Only 1 to 2% of all the groups mentioned earlier ever elect reconstructive surgery. Add perhaps another 1% who would like to but can’t afford it. The percentage remains small for another reason: responsible doctors doing reassignment surgery require would-be transitioners to live 24/7 as a female for a full year to make certain of their determination to transition. Hormone regimen usually is started at this time to build up estrogen levels. Some decide during this period to keep their genitals because being male has its advantages or that becoming a female requires too much daily bothersome upkeep (makeup, clothing and household chores among other time-consuming chores) along with physical concerns that are not encountered by males.
That small percent in the transgender and transsexual groups who wish to keep their genatilia sometimes opt for breast augmentatation as a mental and physical compromise. The public audience at an “All Men Girlie Show” night club may see a few in this group who have turned to movies and night clubs to earn a living — and generally this audience comes away with the impression: “Freaks” or “She-males”, without an inkling of the tortuous trail bringing them to public display. A chapter has already been presented concerning female impersonators in the entertainment industry — no relationship.
We have covered the non-heterosexual segment of our community with a broad brush for good reason — we aren’t qualified to delve further into complicated medical dissertations nor would it further our objective to bring to you all available information pertaining to the world of cross dressing as it is brought to our attention.
Hope you enjoy reading these blogs as much as I enjoy sending them to you. As soon as my memoir went to press it became quickly apparent that the chapter, MYTHS, FALLACIES AND MOST THERAPISTS WITHOUT A CLUE, would be deluged with revisions, corrections and new information on this complex subject — thus a series of ongoing blogs were born! Now it is my hope, once this project is mostly completed, to bind these blogs into a single new book!
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Walks the Walk – Post No. 63
Some of the readers have asked whether the author not only talks the talk but also walks the walk? I assume they mean going out and about rather than only in “closet” or underdressing. I certainly don’t want to denigrate either as I spent close to eighty years in a rather stealthy manner doing both before jumping in with both feet within these past few months in 2014. Thought I would devote this post to first summarizing the events chronicled in my memoir in far greater detail and then fast forward to this most exciting but not previously recorded period. I believe that at the end of this post the reader can easily see why I was able to make this passage seem so easy — simple, no one left to displease.
I’m a believer in the trigger theory (described elsewhere in these posts) in that a small percentage of the population respond in such a manner from a certain stimulus causing the onset of our dressing inclinationa It was the Marcy Hotel on Mirror Lake in the Adirondacks — A five-year-old, I was alone in my mother’s room. A curious brat I found and tried on her brassiere — nothing more. How on earth can I remember that incident eighty-four years ago? Seven years later after taking part in a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta at school I decided to keep the long black stockings provided for my role as it felt so good. Then the very familiar route that most CDs have traveled – frequent visits to mother’s, or it could be a sister’s, dresser drawers while they were elsewhere. During this teenage period only once did I venture outside the confines of our home while dressed – with a 16-year-old’s driver’s permit, the family car and a dark night in the country. That would have to suffice for seventy-three years! My memoir recounts the expensive pink fog reaction upon renting my first very own apartment as a Frosh at the University of Pennsylvania and a similar buying spree when first occupying a Montreal small apartment. For many the CD experience takes a multitude of turns during this period in their lives in an effort towards attaining a level of transformation sufficient to embolden a trip beyond that menacing front door.
Well, why did I and a host of others delay or never did “test the waters”? There are many valid answers. I left home – first in the military – in the 1940s and married in 1957. So what? Consider, and my story is not unique, that I was alone in the universe, some sort of pervert. Not until the 1970s with the advent of the Internet did I find out that there were millions like me out there (Already covered). To leave home en femme during that period was flaunting death. Next: A few months after marriage I revealed. That was the last spousal discussion in 52 years! Call it a form of DADT – don’t ask don’t tell. Never dressed at home but did underdress partially for work and with bra when on very frequent business trips. Went to great lengths too. Examples: While living in New Jersey before heading for the Newark Airport – took tunnel to 42nd Street Bus Terminal, and retrieved my stash from a locker. On other occasions rented a motel room for an hour in order to underdress before making my flight.
Call it compromise, boundaries or a frank talk between loving partners but the ingredients are key to decision making: family, friends, church and employer as to whether the CD will be seen in public or not. For these reasons or circumstances it is determined whether an individual is able to leave that confining closet early on or never. Please don’t mix in decision making with the needs of those that must take the transition road whether the whole nine yards is required or hormones and electrolysis will suffice.
Rightly or wrongly – only time will tell as it was during the housing disaster — divorced my wife after 52 years! Joined my widowed favorite cousin in 2009 in order to write my Second Edition. Told her everything before moving East. She was fine with it at home as long as I agreed not to go out dressed. Then a heartbreaker: within three years dementia took her away from her sons and I was recognized no longer.
So now in my 89th year of life with spine and neck — initially damaged in a World War II bomber crash — now deteriorated to constant spasms and restricted locomotion, I am hardly the candidate for Miss America. Oh yes, ties to family and friends totally decimated through the grim reaper and that strange malady that causes annual Christmas cards to just wilt away.
All the above explains why the author waited until age 89 to open that door —- circumstances sisters, circumstances.
With that said, it still took the intervention of another to push me out. A sister CD happens to transform fishing vessels from smaller to larger ones. His rather technical work requires to be based some four hours up the Florida coast from where I live, while his/her family live several hours south of me. As a result we had met several times on his way south. She knew that my circumstances (that word again) had changed in that my cousin was now in a northern home for Alzheimer’s, my only brother had recently passed, my management consulting business, what’s left of it, can now be handled through electronic means, and long term friends had either died or that annual Christmas card just stopped coming. That left my (too many) V.A. docs and nurses with an intimate knowledge of the internal workings of a disabled WWII veteran — my remaining anchor to reality. I had no further excuse not to promise that the time was now — get out that door! And that is how I reached this place in this post.
Now I had a good reason for stalling as after all a lady can’t be seen in public without a nice watch, a matching handbag, a few rings and suitable jewelry — well, you get the idea. My own hair, thanks to genes from my mom, was beautifully (As told by many.) curly, long and silver; so off to the nearest salon. I knew that this was going to take all my courage so a rainy day should help. For my first outing I wore lady-cut jeans and a tank top. Had read that the more flesh shown the more feminine an older woman looks. Being a rainy day I wore a rain coat that covered my upper body — gave me more confidence. Operator prepared me for a shampoo — now what to do? Due to my injury I can’t bend my neck back far enough to keep the water from running down my back. I told her but she instructed me again to “lean back more”. I had the words half out of my mouth: : “My neck is busted from a bomber crash in England so that’s the best I can do”; but then I caught myself. What would she think of that creature in the chair? So I sat there while she cheerily poured water down my back. After done washing I moved to another chair with one stupid little towel — bra and tank top thoroughly soaked. And what was she doing? Moping the puddle below where I was seated — not a glance my way!. After blowing and styling my hair the tab was $50 plus the $10 tip that should have been one buck if I had wanted to make a scene. Had she made me? Probably. Once past that hurdle with a buoyed confidence, shopping at supermarket and drugstores were easier. Was regularly referred to as Ma’am. Actually, older women and older men begin to blend in appearance as the hormones equalize. With exceptions, being bent over in posture and using a cane is common for both. And so are the jowls and facial hair. Even the voice begins to sound alike. Have to learn to walk better though. Normally I still use too much make-up but confidence should help reduce that.
One other incident too funny to pass: Went shopping for costume jewelry at Macy’s. With my historically bad gut I had to go — second floor up escalator no less. Restroom was packed; usually use the family room or the handicap stall but no such luck. Wearing a skirt, and carrying a bundle as well, found one stall available and five occupied. As the Brits are wont to say “Will have a go at it”. so I pulled down my panties, rolled down my panty-hose, folded my girdle in half and began the squatting motion — seeking the seat. No seat, so further down I went until my legs gave way and seat met cheeks. Startled, I gave out with a loud and deep “huff” heard clearly throughout the bathroom! Couldn’t stop now so did what nature demanded and pushed my way in most dainty fashion to the nearest mirror. Then my compact fell on the inlaid stone floor. Yep, I now walk the walk – believe me.
Must mention the hair in the picture – felt a fleeting femininity with my own hair and new style.
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Post # 60 Before leaving the previous twin subjects of Internet CD clubs and the eventual awakening of probably another 4 to 5% of the CD community who, up to now, continued to vehemently proclaim
(see Post 59) I
the reader to a
gal for which I have considerable respect. A GG (Genetic Girl) who fell in love with a CD with more than the usual issues — she managed to overcome all obstacles sufficiently to have a fruitful relationship. Not satisfied with merely accepting her own experiences as gospel she researched the field and made it a point to meet and learn from every layer of the transsexual segment. Wanting to remain nameless, here is her very objective take on the so-called late awakening Bi and gay CDs:
“I agree that transsexuality is a state of mind although it is difficult to estimate the percentage that are male- attracted transsexuals or crossdressers. I dare say that quite a large number say they are attracted and fantasize about encounters only to be turned off by the very real experience of being two male-bodied individuals having sex together. If this is what one defines loosely as being “bi curious” (hetero with homosexual fantasies), then I’d say there is a large percentage of our membership (CD) who fit this mold, whether they consider themselves to be transsexual, transgender, crossdresser, or any other label.
I would tend to agree with your guesstimate (Post #59) … if we are to pick a number, the 20% male-attraction within the trans population seems reasonable based on the number of threads and response we’ve had on this topic, compared to the 5% of the normal population who are homosexual or bi.
Are many members misleading their wives if they tell them they are hetero without divulging their homosexual fantasies? I think so. But I do not consider an attraction as a CD (or TG, TS, etc) to a male in fantasy as homosexuality or bi-ness. I rather think it is autogynephelia. The attraction is more to the idea of the self as a sexually enticing woman, and what better foil to use for this fantasy than a male. This is why so many of our members prefer to keep it as a fantasy and they do not actually go out to pursue the actual experience.
Last, you mention latent homosexuality. I don’t know that it is possible to be turned off by men throughout adolescence and a large part of adulthood, and then discover an attraction. I rather think the attraction was always there but never acted upon.”
Note that this last sentence is probably colored by her own experience as having been born female; nevertheless the observation is valid for many more CDs than would like to admit to it.
A calming word to the spouse or GF who is already on edge after the great “Reveal”, on purpose or accidentally. The possibility that your BF is actually Bi or Gay has been offered objectively and realistically as being a few percentage points higher than previously estimated but your chances for a great relationship still far outweigh, percentage-wise, the downside.
Blog No. 62
This blog is the continuation of memories that overflowed from Blog No, 61:
I think there are many common traits of transgendered people. Examples: “I grew up very shy and introverted. Did not date until college. Did not experience an orgasm til my second year of college. Lost my virginity at 23 with my present wife. Since I wasn’t actively dressing, that didn’t directly affect any of this.” In biology it is very hard to change just one thing. I think whatever ultimately causes our brains to be trans also affects many of our personality traits.
Through no fault of my own, I was sexually precocious. By the time I was 13 I’d done lots of sexual stuff but not penis-in-vagina (PIV) sex. The first time for me was when I was 13. The girl was 16. We were both patients in a mental hospital on an experimental co-ed unit. We snuck into a empty room and somehow accomplished the deed despite the fear of getting caught. It was awful. PIV sex has always been my least favorite kind. I seem to lack the instinct for it. To top it off, she felt so guilty she confessed the whole thing to the staff. Because I was the male, it was deemed to be all my fault!!!! I was exiled back to the boys only unit. The staff was angry at me for ruining their little co-ed experiment. What did they think was going to happen?
After I got out of there, I had lots of sex but never when I was not “under the influence.” I needed drugs and alcohol to be around people especially girls and I had quite a different personality when I was using. By my late teens my addiction problems progressed so that I couldn’t function any more. So I remained involuntarily celibate until I sobered up when I was 24. The first time I had sex after sobriety was the second time I ever had sex sober. Despite all this, I’ve always had somewhat low libido at least compared to the women I’ve been with. A lot of that has to do with the kind of sex I was getting. I didn’t really like the male role and fantasized about being the female. I don’t really blame anybody.
I never had a real sexual encounter until I was married at age 25. My approach to girls and dating was rather haphazard. I think that my desire to crossdress crippled any relationship
Well I’m in my mid 30’s and still a virgin. I have not really been noticed much, I am shy and introverted to the point that I have never gone on a date or even asked a girl out. I think my crossdressing plays a small part in that I am always hiding a large part of me and that I think there is no women that would love all of me. It may happen one day, but it won’t happen if I don’t get out there. So in the end my shyness and being introverted is the largest cause.
I was physically a late bloomer, and really naive about sex. Looking back, I see that there were times in high school and college when I could have lost my virginity, but for whatever reason it didn’t happen — either the girl wasn’t right, or whatever. It wasn’t until grad school that it happened, and then a couple of times with the first girl I got serious about. It wasn’t until I met my life-mate and soul-mate there that it became right — and good, and stayed that way.
I have no idea if my CD’ing or TG was involved. I don’t know about others of you, but I had guys hit on me in both high school and college (my CD was totally in the closet) and if I was naive about sex with girls, I had no idea what gay sex was about — at least until my best friend once asked me to “do him”. I didn’t (and still am totally heterosexual). I am convinced that I was born TG, and maybe folks picked on up that — even if I had no idea about transgender at the time (but I knew I loved to get into my mother’s things).
I’d like to think that sex for me just had to be with the right person.
I was painfully shy and picked on frequently in high school, and college was a religious time for me so I remained celibate until I got married. We were both virgins and woefully inexperienced and the honeymoon was disastrous from a sexual point of view. I don’t think we ever made much progress forward in the 19 years we were together. Once every two months was a real accomplishment. When I met my girlfriend (present, live-in girlfriend) we both realized we had something special: an openness and frankness that neither of us had ever had before. I think the this-is-sex-and-this-is-how-we-do-it nature of my marriage precluded experimentation and exploration, to the detriment of that marriage. Thus, with my current girlfriend it was only natural I was able to let LeeAnne come out from under wraps, given the accepting and accommodating nature of our relationship. As I have said to my gf many times, “where were you 30 years ago?” :)
My SO told me that he was hugely shy with girls all through high school. He felt all tongue-tied around them. He also was intellectually endowed (a math and physics nerd and I say this in the nicest way), and it took longer for his social skills to develop. He told me that he never thought a girl would be interested in him, to the point where this caused him a great deal of stress his Freshman year of college. He didn’t start dating until several years into college. I don’t know if CDing was a factor. (Submitted by a GG)
Until I first experienced sex (I was 18, my interest in CDing had barely started) I never had much interest in it. I didn’t even really understand… self-pleasuring, shall we say, until my late teens. I think I always had quite a childish view of dating and sex up until then, I wanted a girlfriend but more for the company and comfort of it all. I don’t really know why I was this way, maybe I just matured a bit slow.
I am 60, and still a virgin. My older sister, is 65, and a virgin. I had a few chances to go all the way , but stopped short, because of morals, fear of getting someone pregnant, and guilt. I did not date until 27, and sadly, she died of drugs. Certainly have had great frustration, anger, and feeling cursed at times, but did date quite a bit in my 30’s, but no sex , and just handshakes, hugs, and a few pecks on the face. I have had a number of older men friends, who also are virgins , and old now. There are more than most think. I know a lot of GG’s don’t need a man anymore, are sick of male attention constantly aimed at them. A lot of men are frustrated, because they are rejected so much. It is awful, that a few get violent toward women, though. No excuse for that. Some men snap. I know that one reason I dress in women’s clothes, is too feel like there is a lady on me, next to me, and I can be a lady for a few hours at a time. Being on disability, low income, I have almost quit hoping for a SO or wife.
I never had the opportunity to crossdress and always wonder why I didn’t have the desire to chase girls but to be honest neither guys were interesting to me. Till the time I was on my late 30’s and put on some women clothes that I had found and discovered the key to my sexuality….I love masculine guys.
My TGism had nothing to do with it. It was my upbringing…and the fact the girls wouldn’t date me
I don’t think I would blame anything in particular. Mom was and is certainly strong willed. I would have to say that I was a fairly typical teen. Chased girls as long as I can remember, caught a few. Lost “it” at 15 with a 17 yr old. I was basically unsupervised by a parent for most of my teenage years, mom worked and dad was not in the picture. I continued to crossdress as a teen, even when in relationships. Borrowed a few items from girlfriends over the years (purged those items ages ago). I Married in my early 20’s, and I have been happy in my Marriage. I am certain that therapist could make a killing off of my issues looking for a reason why I enjoy crossdressing, but I am content to accept it.
Was kind of vindicated to see one category with a 50% edge over the others. And that was the group who related of their shyness and being introverted. They agreed that their social skills developed later (late bloomers) but only a few ventured to explain it. Several voiced the common answer often noted that they had low self-esteem, believed that they were the only CD in the world (Before the Internet), or thought, sometimes in truth, that they were physically, personality-wise or mentally unappealing to GGs of their age group. Thus, if one disliked themselves why on earth would a GG be attracted?
A sub-group of the above tied in second place, but in all honesty their CD journeys had totally different beginnings for, whether they were aware early on or later, they were dealt a different hand through genetic or hormone unbalance or by the H. Benjamin syndrome. For some physically they may have discovered that their statue was smaller or that their male attributes were not what might be called the norm. Gravitating to the female world in play and garb most did eventually marry, though generally of short duration. A few in this group found that they were gay or Bi early on or they were young men before they could accept their orientation. This entire group must be excluded from the basic purpose of this thread simply because their dilemma was pre-ordained so should not be considered to provide reasons for their social experiences as teenagers or young adults that were shy or laid back in nature or had already accepted who they really were.
The last group to tie for second were those who reported that they were not apparently hindered by cross dressing inclinations, may not have even known that these tendencies existed until later in life and were sexually and socially very active teenagers.
Finally, to reply to several questions: Referring back to the majority group above and going back to the 1940s, CDs were indeed alone. As frequently noted we were alone in the universe and thought ourselves as some sort of perverts. You can, I’m sure, see why we had such a poor opinion of our own worth. An example: I had a crush on a blond Swedish gal in school. For every Christmas I would leave a nice gift for her on the doorstep of her parent’s home without even a card identifying the sender. She was on a pedestal for years to come. That may appear to be at odds with those gals I did date but avoided anything beyond a peck on their cheeks. To sum up, I believe there is a common denominator for most — we were very confused and usually unable to articulate our feelings.
Finally, for these last two blogs the author wishes to single out the largest website of its kind, www,crossdressers.com/forum to thank. The assembling of crucial information is greatly expedited because of their resources.