This is just how I’m wired. I was born this way.
The point is I don’t think there is a reason I am who I am. I am not who I am because of some unaddressed childhood trauma, my gender identity has nothing to do with my relationship with either of my parents. I have reflected on who I am, and why I am, ever since I wanted to wear lipstick and heels. There’s no answer beyond this is just who I am. I know it’s not an exact comparison, there’s probably no reason why I like pop music instead of country, either.
About ten years ago I started to see a psychiatrist. I was in a very dark place in my life and I had made a career move that I felt was the wrong choice after I made the change. I went from one career that I was doing well in, to another that I struggled with a long time. The change in careers more or less spiraled into depression and anxiety. This was around the time I had started to really move beyond simply lingerie and into who I am today. So, there was a lot going on in my head. Over the year or so that I saw her, I started to feel better. Slowly and gradually. My new job was turning around and my confidence went up, my anxiety went down (at least a little), and I had become more secure in my gender identities. Of course, it would take much longer for me to balance my gender identities but I think I do a good job with that these days.
When I started to see my psychiatrist, I knew that THIS would come up. It would have to. In fact, I wanted to. I wanted to discuss this side of me with someone who was smarter than I was, someone with a different perspective and experience when it came to gender and crossdressing. I didn’t think I was repressing anything, I didn’t think I was in denial about anything, I didn’t think I needed help understanding who I was. But that was the point of discussing it, in a way. What if I was wrong?
As I made progress with my depression and anxiety, I brought all of this up with her. It didn’t faze her, she had no visible reaction to it, but that’s kind of the point of a psychiatrist, to not freak out. Her job is to make people safe in opening up and talking about what was on their mind. Of course, she had no personal connection to me. My crossdressing and gender identity impacts my wife and family, but had no impact on her so of course she will have a somewhat detached response. I looked forward to discussing this because although I didn’t think there was a reason I was who I was, I wanted to see if perhaps I was wrong.
We discussed this a lot and in depth. I was not the first boy who wore girl clothes that she worked with, and I wasn’t the last, either. She said there really isn’t any reason why someone dresses or is who they are. It is what it is, she said. She asked a few key questions, she challenged me on a few things. We discussed my wife’s reaction to this, how it impacted our relationship, and how it made me feel and how it made my wife feel. In the end, there was no new revelation or answers and this actually comforted me. It meant that I was correct in how I felt and how some things just don’t have a reason. Yay for not having unaddressed trauma and for not being in denial!
Although I haven’t stopped permanently wondering why I am who I am, I think about it less often. I mean, there is no answer. If I, as the crossdresser, don’t know why I am who I am, and if psychology doesn’t have a reason, then it is what it is. As important it is for us to be understood, we need to accept that there’s only so far this side of us can go when it comes to understanding. My wife understands that this is who I am, she understands I wear what I wear, but she doesn’t understand it. And that’s not on her, I feel the same way. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say she and I accept it (it is what it is) but neither of us really understand it. And that’s just fine.
Although understanding this side of us isn’t possible, what is possible is to make sure people don’t misunderstand who we are. It’s easier for me to tell you who I am not instead of who I am. I am not a drag queen, I am not a fetishist, I am not aroused by this side of myself. This is not a kink, this is not a sexual thing.
It might be for you, and if it is, you go girl, but it’s not for me. And no judgement, promise.
I am on Twitter, Flickr, and of course my own website. I know it’s a lot, sometimes I am tired of myself, too. Regardless, posting photos and being on social media can open oneself up to comments and opinions. The majority of comments are generally positive, complimentary, and “harmless”. Some are more sexual than I am comfortable with, however.
And look, I understand that this is a fetish for some of us (in terms of wearing what we wear). And I understand that someone like us IS a fetish for others. Some men aren’t attracted to other men, but if that man is wearing stockings and panties, well, then it’s a different story.
Other than blocking or going in stealth mode or having a private account, there isn’t much one can do to isolate themselves on social media. Unwanted comments and followers will always come through. And I don’t need anyone else to understand who I am or why I am who I am, but it’s important to me that people know that this is not a kink for me. My gender identity is not a fetish. Yes, I wear leather or other clothes that ARE fetishy, but it’s not because being en femme is a kink. If someone is aroused by my gender identity, well, I really can’t do anything about that. If someone sends me a message saying they love t-girls, well, it comes with the
territory unfortunately. I wish I wasn’t fetishized but I know girls like us are. People can think and feel and be turned on by whatever they want but I hope that although I don’t expect someone else to understand me, I hope they at least acknowledge that my gender identity isn’t my fetish. It might be yours, but who I am is nothing as trivial.
At the same time, I don’t lose any sleep worrying about how others see me, or think about me.
I know it’s grandiose to call one’s identity sacred, but it is. I mean, it’s all we have.