Every year the MN T-Girls book a photo shoot for one of our monthly events. This is one of the many events that I really look forward to. Not only for myself but it’s super fun watching the other t-girls get their pictures taken. I love seeing the outfits that the girls pick out. This upcoming Saturday will be the shoot and I am deciding which outfits to wear for it. I have a pretty extensive wardrobe and as I go through all my pretty dresses I am reminded how fortunate and blessed I am to have the life that I do. My wardrobe is a result of having a supportive wife but it’s also grown due to not having purged in a loooong time.
As I choose my outfits for the shoot, I can’t help thinking about certain dresses that I used to own but were tossed out on the (many) times I purged over the years. In remembering these instances it is always with a little pang of regret and annoyance. “Why did I throw anything out?” I think to myself. But the truth is I know why I threw it out. We all know why we’ve purged.
Crossdressing has been a part of my life as far back as I can remember. I can’t remember not wanting to wear dresses and makeup and especially lingerie. Growing up I never was able to resist trying on something beautiful if I had the chance. I was, in a sense, always at peace with this side of myself although who I was created an enormous amount of fear and anxiety. What I mean is that I was never confused about who I was. I never thought there was something wrong with me. I always knew that what I wanted to wear wasn’t “normal” or common but I didn’t think it was something to be ashamed of. Yes, I knew it was something to keep to myself but only because I knew others wouldn’t understand. And I knew I couldn’t help someone else understand it, I couldn’t understand it myself. But that didn’t stop me. It still doesn’t.
I was probably in my teens when I realized that crossdressing was going to be a part of who I was for the rest of my life. I knew I wasn’t going to outgrow it, it wasn’t a phase. This was my accepting who I was. It would be years before I would embrace it, but that’s another story. It would be a few more years, not until I was twenty years old and living in my first apartment that I first bought my own clothes, specifically lingerie. It was the first time that I had panties and bras that were one hundred percent my own. I could wear them whenever I wanted, I didn’t have to put them back when I was finished trying them on. They were mine mine mine. And I loved it.
But it also filled me with anxiety and fear. Living alone in a studio apartment meant that were someone else to find my lingerie it would be unquestionably mine. I couldn’t say that my clothes were my sister’s that somehow got mixed up with my own. I was, and still am, terrified of being found out. So, after a few days of my new bra and panty set hidden away in my closet, I would purge. Crossdressing was my secret and I thought about beautiful clothes ALL THE TIME but unless someone could read my mind my secret was safe. But having a bra in your drawer was physical evidence of my gender identity. So, into the trash they went time and time again.
But we all know how this goes. The pattern begins again. It might be years before we would buy panties again, it might take only a week. There was even a time I went back to the trash to retrieve a pair of stilettos I regretted tossing earlier that day. The point is that we can’t change who we are, or what we want to wear. Like the realization I had in my teenage years, most of us learn to accept this side of us. Accepting who we are doesn’t make it any easier, but it’s important to acknowledge that a) this side of us isn’t going away and b) there’s absolutely nothing wrong with who we are.
We purge for different reasons. Some of us purge because we are convinced that we have outgrown this side of us. We think (and try to tell ourselves) that it was a phase and have moved on with our lives. For me personally I don’t think I ever felt that way. So, why did I purge? I tossed my wardrobe and heels for two main reasons. At first I threw away my clothes because I was scared to death of being found out. My girlfriend at the time had a key to my apartment and the fear of her letting herself into my place and snooping around was too much anxiety for me to handle. Not that she was the type of person to do that, but we all know how paranoid this side of us can make us. I instantly go to the worst-case scenario about anything. In most aspects of my life this isn’t healthy AT ALL but I like to think my paranoia about being caught has prevented that from happening.
The second reason I purged was me thinking that I could, well, stop crossdressing. I knew I was who I was and that I wasn’t ever going to change, but I honestly thought I could stop. I naively thought if I didn’t own panties that it wouldn’;t be possible for me to wear them and therefore I wouldn’t stop thinking about it. Sure, I might WANT to wear lingerie but if I didn’t own any I couldn’t do so. I would also resist buying anything. Ever.
Again, I realize how naive I was. Well, I was also optimistic perhaps? I knew that this side of me wasn’t going to be easy to understand when it came to relationships and I knew I wanted to eventually get married and share my life with someone. The optimism came from me thinking that I could simply stop. I was a crossdresser that didn’t crossdress. I didn’t. I couldn’t.
But we all know how that goes.
The day before I moved in with the girl I would be lucky enough to marry I tossed everything once again. Heels, lingerie, stockings, as well as one or two dresses that I purchased. I wasn’t wearing a lot of “real clothes” at the time but I did have a couple of dresses that I thought were cute. I came out to her about a year before we moved in together so she knew about who I was and what I liked to wear. I wasn’t hiding anything from her but again, I was convinced I could stop. It felt like it would be easy.
Again, I was naive. I didn’t appreciate how important and indeed, crucial, my gender identity was. I didn’t realize how panties and everything represented this significant part of me. I was as much of a crossdresser as I was right-handed. I couldn’t stop. I shouldn’t. I was born this way.
It’s been fifteen years since I last purged. It’s the longest by far that I have gone without doing so. But I still remember how it felt whenever I did. It often felt like a relief, to be honest. Especially when I purged out of fear. I probably bought dozens of bras and panty sets in the year or so I had my first apartment, the apartment where my girlfriend at the time had a key. Any relief I felt was short-lived. It wouldn’t take long for regret to set in. I would get frustrated when I realized I threw away a pair of stilettos that cost $80 or a super cute panty. If I wasn’t purging out of fear I was purging because I thought that I would stop crossdressing if I didn’t have clothes to crossdress in. This type of purging was common when I was in a relationship. There was a fear I was going to be outed which could end the relationship I was in.
It would be years and it would take countless purging (some small, some rather large) until I realized that it was pointless. No matter how many times I threw away my panties it wouldn’t take long for me to wander over to the lingerie section of a store and start shopping again. Eventually I realized that this (expensive) pattern would repeat for the rest of my life. I did my final purge the day before I moved in with my girlfriend, the girl I would be fortunate enough to marry. I came out to her before we even discussed living together and although I knew I would always want to crossdress, I really and sincerely wanted to try to stop one more time. Again, it wouldn’t be long until I ordered new panties from xdress.com. Afterwards I told her about my new purchase and we began a unique aspect of a relationship that many of us have navigated through: bringing crossdressing into a shared life. Confusion, questions, frustrations, and eventually acceptance of who I am..
My gender identity has evolved over the course of my entire life, especially in the last ten years. Although I identify as transgender, and more specifically as bi-gender, I am always, always crossdressing. It might be panties under my boy clothes, leggings when I work from home, or a nightgown when I sleep. It’s a great comfort to have femme clothes in my closet. It’s an indescribable relief to know that my purging days are over. The guilt and fear that comes from having stockings or a dress in my closet is gone. Those feelings have been replaced with peace and gratitude. Peace coming from no longer feeling anxiety about what is in my wardrobe. The gratitude is towards my wife for her years of patience and the energy she has put into understanding and accepting her husband’s gender identity.
4 thoughts on “The Purge”
Hannah, Thanks for your comments on “The Purge.” I have been crossdressing for about six years; I am 72 yo. During that time, I have purged my dresses, skirts, etc. about three times, but I still went back to purchasing more clothes. I finally decided never to purge again and enjoy dressing as a woman. Even on “boy clothes” day, I usually wear panties underneath. Bobbie Bella
Yes, for me purges (which grew ever more expensive over time) were driven by fear of discovery, fear of rejection and the mistaken hope that I might be able to overcome this character flaw through force of will. Needless to say, I never did find sufficient willpower to make a permanent change. One might suppose that was because I really did not want to change…or that cross dressing is an indelible part of me and simply cannot be changed.
I’ve never purged, ever. And hearing stories like yours, I know how fortunate I have been. It’s probably related to having come out to my future wife within the first month or two of us going together, and her accepting me for being me. I also know how fortunate I was to have met her, and become life partners together. But there is also a thought in my mind that fortune can be something you can create, or at least cultivate, by your own decisions and actions.
For those of you that are newer in your trans life, I believe coming out to a potential partner earlier is better. If it goes well, great. If not, it wouldn’t have been better later. In either case, you get to move on sooner rather than later. And of course, accept yourself. Until you do, it’s hard to have someone else accept you. You don’t have to understand yourself, if that is even possible, but accepting yourself can be done at any time and makes a world of improvement.
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Over the many years Laurie has really never came to point of really purging. Even in the Navy i made a effort of renting a storage space for her things. As my marriage progressed the hidden clothes became a problem as I became more possessive and invested in my collection. Finally telling my wife resulted in my own closet and a more open usage of the collection. She never really came to accept my dressing and as the marriage fell apart for other reasons I had to move everything to yet another storage space. She threatened to tell all my friends in the divorce and actually did reveal me to several of her girlfriends. Two of the gals came to me overjoyed. One had a husband who openly dressed and they often went out together. The other wanted to see Laurie. I did not do that. When reuniting with my HS sweetheart I told her right off. She had me ship a collection of things to her home on the other coast. When I arrived the clothes were laid out in two piles. One she said was so silly, out of date or just ugly and hooker like was on the way to Goodwill. Some of the other would be saved but as she said it all will be gone soon. I was devastated thinking that part of me was to be discarded, yes purged. That evening I discovered she had purchased the most lovely night gown and matching robe for me. That was 19 years ago! Yes nearly everything that I had from back then is gone. I especially miss the shirtwaist dresses kind of like Donna Reed would wear. Now my closet is way more than half Laurie’s things. I am able to be her anytime, emphatically ONLY at home! I’m 74 now and she is insisting that it is time for another change – to pare down the collection and “retire” many of the things that todays women no longer wear. It saddens me to see nearly every lady looking so much like there is nothing but sweatshirts and yoga pants in their closet. I’m not ready for that purge yet!
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