Our heart’s desires come out after midnight.
When my wife and I were learning more about my gender identity, we would have these amazing, vulnerable conversations late at night (and often early into the morning) about how I felt, how she felt, and, well, about clothes and makeup. These talks were often accompanied by a bottle or two of wine. My wife was the first person who I really opened up to. I came out to others previously but my wife and I really dug deep into how I felt and what I wanted. Her questions and patience and honesty really helped me to feel safe when it came to discussing what it is simple and complicated at the same time.
But that’s my wife. She makes everyone feel safe and important. After a lifetime of living with my feelings and desires I was tired of keeping this inside. I was tired of keeping secrets. It was a relief, and still is, to talk with her. Wine can help, but I think what really allowed me to open up to her and challenge myself was having these conversations after a long day. As my day progresses, I lose my filter and tend to say what I am thinking or feeling. I don’t have the bandwidth (if you will) to blow off a difficult question. I lose my defenses and i just become really honest with myself and ultimately, became honest with her.
No, I never lied about this side of me. I came out to her while we were dating and talked about I loved lingerie, and told her that was where it ended. Of course, looking at who I am now it’s hard to believe that all of THIS was just about panties, but that is how I understood it. Besides those rare occasions I bought a dress (that would ultimately end up quickly getting purged) I never really wore anything beyond bras and panties and heels at that point.
Of course, these talks were not just about me. She had feelings and thoughts about this side of me as well. These late conversations were just as necessary for her as they were significant for me. We were honest with ourselves and with each other after midnight in a different way. I think we reveal what we want, how we feel, and who we are at the end of a long day. Again, the wine helped.
But these days I don’t drink and can barely stay awake after 10pm, but I digress.
I get a lot of emails at night. My website traffic is surprisingly high after I fall asleep. I get more comments on my Flickr page and DMs on Twitter than I expected. Whenever I read an email that was sent at three in the morning I am always surprised that anyone is still awake at that time. Again, I am not as young as I used to be and forget that I used to be able to stay up that late. A lot of the emails that I get at this time of night tend to be very very honest. They can be very long and it’s not uncommon for the spelling to get a little careless as the email goes on. I suspect the writer is probably having a drink which is fueling their courage to be honest about themselves or to help them send an email to someone they can relate to. The sender will talk about how they’ve always wanted to wear panties but never were brave enough. How they want to be honest with their wife but just are afraid of her reaction. I imagine these messages are being sent long after their partners are asleep and they are going online and looking at sites they normally wouldn’t during the day.
Again, wine helps. Well, maybe not help, but it can cause someone to act without thinking, without restraint, but that is not always a good thing.
I usually respond to these emails and offer resources if they ask, or answer questions, or send links that I think would be helpful, whether it is for a gender therapist or where to find size 14 stilettos. Sometimes I get a reply but if I do, it’s not uncommon for them to tell me to never contact them again and they have purged and they are no longer a crossdresser. Good luck with that. My guess is that they immediately regretted sending the email and want to pretend it never happened.
And that’s fine. You do you.
If you are reading this post on your phone while your wife is sleeping soundly next to you, I want you to know that there is nothing wrong with you. This is who you are, this is who we are. You can’t change what you want, this will not go away. That might help you feel better, it might not. You can choose to listen to this side of you, and what you decide to do is your choice. But whether you accept this side of you, or pretend it doesn’t exist, please know that it is okay to be who you are. It is a complicated life, your gender identity may or may not make anything easier, it is what it is.
On a similar but possibly lighter note, I am surprised at how many DMs I get on Twitter with a photo of a dude’s penis asking “u up?”.
I’m probably not awake, but even if I was, my god, go away.