What will likely never ever ever ever change is how risky it is to come out to someone.
Whether it is nervously coming out to someone who we are dating or coming out to every work colleague that we have, there’s never ever ever ever going to be a guarantee it will go smoothly or without repercussions.
In those examples we run the risk of a relationship ending or being ostracized by our entire office, to name a few depressing scenarios. Even just one rude person at work can make a job completely unbearable.
But sometimes coming out can go better than we could have possibly expected or imagined or hoped, but today I’m writing about when things go wrong, or when things just kind of go, well, nowhere.
It took me months to work up the courage to come out to someone for the first time. I was dating a girl and we were living together when we had The Talk. Of course, I should have come out before we signed the lease but… well, I didn’t. I thought I could live in denial for the rest of my life. Not in denial of being a crossdresser, but I thought I could… resist it. I thought I could stop.
I couldn’t. I can’t.
This was about 25 years ago. Although it doesn’t necessarily always feel like it, the world has become a little more enlightened since then when it pertains to gender identity. At the time ‘transvestite’ was commonly used to describe someone like us, but thankfully that antiquated term has mostly left our vernacular.
I decided to come out for three reasons.
The first reason was that I thought she would be… safe to come out to. She was very progressive, especially considering the time, and she spoke openly about her gender non-conforming and LGBTQIA+ friends in a very loving and caring way.
The second was I felt that she should know. If we were going to be in a committed relationship and continue to live with each other, then she deserved to know, she needed to know everything, especially once I realized I was unable to resist the thoughts and daydreams of wearing pretty things.
And finally, I had hoped that by coming out I would be “allowed” to wear what I wanted to wear. At this time in my gender adventure (genderventure?) I was only wearing lingerie and I didn’t have much interest in “real” clothes.
Obviously *that* has changed. Oh, time makes fools of us all.
When we come out to someone, it’s usually for a reason. Sometimes that reason is being upfront and honest with them, especially if that person is (or will be) our significant other. They need to know who we are. I don’t think someone can deny this side of them or resist what our hearts want for very long. And we shouldn’t NEED to, but let’s face it, sometimes we HAVE to.
Your perspective may vary, but I don’t think coming out to our significant others should have the “goal” of being allowed to wear panties or whatever. I mean, it’d be nice to be able to do so, but that shouldn’t be the primary reason or the expectation when it comes to coming out to our partners.
We should come out to them because they deserve to know. They need to be able to make the choice of whether or not this side of us is a deal-breaker. And if it is, that’s okay. They are allowed to make that decision. This side of us, gender identity, are Very Big Deals. It’s not fair to expect someone to go on this journey with us without them knowing what they are (potentially) in for.
But I digress. Let’s flashback to 25 years ago when I had this fateful conversation. I was prepared for the worst, I was hoping for the best. I was ready, come what may.
But… the revelation landed with a thud. No tears, no excitement, just a few questions and a request from her to never ever ever ever bring it up again. She didn’t want to talk about it. Not then, not ever. She thanked me for telling her but that was where she wanted the conversation to end.
And that was her right.
I expected… more drama? Tears? I hoped for more… well, we all know what I had hoped for. I wasn’t prepared for the nothing that had happened. I was a little taken aback by her less than supportive reaction, especially considering her love and acceptance of her LGBTQIA+ friends, but as time has passed I have realized that when the someone that is coming out is your boyfriend, your brother, your son, processing and absorbing and reacting to this, well, it’s… not easy, no matter how supportive and accepting you are of the LGBTQIA+ community.
This doesn’t make someone a hypocrite. How someone reacts to our coming out is sometimes connected to how we are related to them. I came out to a roommate and she honestly couldn’t care what I wore as long as I paid my share of the rent. I don’t fault this girl for not accepting me. This side of us is a lot to ask from someone that we are in a committed relationship with.
I do remember feeling a little let down and depressed after this talk. I was surprised that it had such an abrupt end. I felt a little ashamed that there was a part of me that she didn’t want to talk about. I was disappointed that we weren’t on the way to the mall to buy panties.
However, I also remember feeling that although it didn’t go very well, it could have gone much, much worse. She could have ended the relationship at that moment, she could have asked to leave the apartment. In a way, I was fortunate that this wasn’t the deal-breaker that it could have been.
It is always a risk to come out, and I felt like a dodged a lot of bullets that night. The risk… well, it wasn’t worth it, if that makes sense. But as I said, it could have been worse. Of course, the relationship would eventually end and both of us are happy that it did.
I also remember thinking that I would never do *that* again. I decided I would never come out to anyone again. My crossdressing would remain a secret, no matter what.
Spoiler alert, I obviously would come out to others and for the most part they have all gone fairly well or at least uneventful.
These days I’m glad I didn’t keep this side of me a secret. I have a wonderful life.
I thought about alllll this the other day when I started to think about how many girls like us, how many crossdressers, have had this talk with someone where it didn’t go well. I thought that I can’t be the only one who told myself that I would never come out to anyone ever again.
As I said, I have come out to others in my life since that night, but what about those of us who have had this talk go poorly, made the same decision I did, and stuck with it? Thinking about that made me a little sad. It’s stressful and exhausting to keep something like this inside. This side of us, although it may be a secret, it’s not a shameful one.
What I want to say is that if you’ve had this talk and decided to never have it again, you can come out here. If you want, comment below. Comment anonymously. Comment “I am a crossdressers.” “I want to do drag”. “I wear panties.” “I’m in the wrong body.” Anything you wish. Anything and anyone you are. Sit next to me, at least virtually, and tell me who you are.
5 thoughts on “You Can Sit Next To Me”
Good commentary on “The Talk”. More people need to have this type of conversation. I have been what most would consider trans- or bi-gender all my life. Currently, I am on MTF GAHT because I choose to live as only female now – all due to my own coming out,
When I saw George Floyd dying with someone’s knee on his neck, I came out to everyone: wife, work, family, store employees where we shop and so on. I realized that I could have been Floyd just because of who I am. I chose to be me and screw the rest of the world!
My attitude immediately became I don’t care what anyone thinks with the exception of, perhaps, my wife. But I was also prepared to start living alone. So, the world knows now and I have received nothing but glowing acceptance from everyone except my best friend. I sent him a picture of the real me and his response was “I don’t understand what has happened.” He, too, is coming around and carries on a conversation via text every time our favorite football team is playing. What started to bring him around? I just told him “I decided to switch teams” 🙂 🙂 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hi, Hannah. I love your writing and always find interesting information and often very relatable stories, much as I did today.
I was like you and never intended to reveal the inner me – is that me the real me or just another facet of the total me? Then my wife discovered my undisclosed secret, many years after I should have brought it out, and while it didn’t end our relationship, it definitely changed it. She does her best to ignore the fact of my underdressing, but is not encouraging. I don’t wear any feminine outerwear, so we manage to tiptoe around my other self/side.
Like you, I find myself able to accept and function quite well in both my male and female identities (the female side almost always kept internal), but I do occasionally long for what might have been if as a younger person I had fully accepted my other self and dove headlong into a life as a woman.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Very nice article. In my case i am single . My Kathleen part is now since one year sometimes there let us say. I am single but only last week i came out to my mother about my partial woman part. It was a difficult conversation and still is, but with time it will evolutie with her. We speak and dat together but the heavy load i carried with me the last months was unbearable for me.niw since i said it to the first relative. I am much at ease.
I love your writing. In my case I had the talk two years ago with my wife of 25 plus years. She has a job where she would leave for months in the summer. Vanessa would flourish. Life changed . seemed as though I would get caught. I brought up the around thanksgiving the conversation, as why is it that society accepts a girl who want to wear frumpy clothing , but if a man wants to wear tights its wrong. I started shaving my chest lower. I started shaving my legs. Somehow I knew get caught.
I went to Macy bought a cardigan sweater that was slightly feminine. Thankfully we found a therapist who supported crossdresser lifestyle.
The catalyst that sparked the conversation. Fast forward two years , i spent Christmas totally as vanessa, Christmas dinner, traveling to and from eating dinner out with members of the family. I dress regularly n the weekend.I love being me I am grateful for her that accepts me as me
I’ve had THE conversation end in a thud and after a couple of years the relationship itself ended. Since that time I have come out to friends and family members but never again to someone I had or hoped to have an intimate relationship with. Its kinda sad to deny this part of myself in that context.