Although we likely felt this way, and possibly still do, we have never been alone.
When I was younger and trying on my sister’s dresses, I felt like I was the only boy in the world who wanted to wear pretty things. When I was a little older I learned the word ‘crossdresser’ and the world opened up. Not only were there others like me, there were *so* many of us that there was a word for those like myself.
As I grew up and my gender adventure progressed, I identified in a more nuanced way. I was in college when I first searched the word ‘crossdresser’ online. I was stunned by how sexually charged and fetishy the word seemed to be. Dresses, lingerie… none of this was erotic to me. I wasn’t wearing what I wore for arousal. I felt like I was the only one who dressed the way I did because it just… felt right. Again, I thought I was alone. I was a crossdresser, but I wasn’t dressing for sexual reasons.
When I started blogging, I wanted to celebrate this side of us. Crossdressing was fun! It wasn’t necessarily sexual. I wasn’t conflicted about who I was or what I wanted. It wasn’t long until I heard from others like myself and how this this side of them was just that… another side of them. They were at peace with their gender identity, with what they wore, with what they wanted to wear. They loved this side of them. It didn’t cause anxiety, it made them feel happy. I felt less alone.
For a while.
When I started to gravitate from identifying as a crossdresser to identifying as transgender, I felt alone again. I used to think that someone who was transgender was someone who was transitioning or living fulltime. I didn’t feel that these were the right steps for me. When I shared this feeling online and with other t-girls, I learned that the T word didn’t necessarily always mean hormones or surgery. I started to know others like me.
I understand this side of us can be lonely, but we are not alone in this. Crossdressers and non-binary people have been around FOR-EVER. No matter how much legislation is written, we will ALWAYS exist.
I knew I wasn’t alone when I heard the word ‘crossdresser’. When did you know you weren’t alone? I’d love to read about your experiences in the comments, so… please comment!
4 thoughts on “Never Alone”
I think I was in my teens when I realized I was not alone in doing this. It did make me feel good and more normal when I became aware of this. I have often wondered why, but I do know it is fun, and for me, sexual as well. Looking in the mirror and seeing myself as a feminine person is a turn on, not only sexual though. I feel like a different person, a female version of myself, and it is a good feeling. I do not want to be a woman, but I do wonder what it would be like if I could temporarily change into one for, let’s say, a few days. So I suppose this makes me also bi-gender? What do you think, Hannah?
I think the first time I remember knowing there may be others was when I say a story in my moms magazine about the tennis player Rene Richards it got me wondering that I too had feelings of being a girl
It took many years to understand it all and yes those first many years when I was finally able to put on a pair of panties it got me aroused but I didn’t fully get that.
Was it because it was taboo or what I still wasn’t sure so for a while it became that for me until I understood this wasn’t about sex but about who I was, a feminine guy or as I now know a transgender person who is feminine
I was six or seven when I first had the urge to put on a dress. I was envious of the boys in grade school who got to dress up as girls for Halloween. I got my chance in 8th grade, going out in my sister’s clothes.
When did I realize there were others like me? I was a debater in high school (pre internet days), so we would go to libraries at local colleges to do research. While there, I would look for books on crossdressing or transvestism, and there were usually a couple. It was then I realized there WERE others like me, and that wanting to dress was just a part of me, and I was ok with it. No guilt or shame.
Because of blogs like Hannah’s Gotta, I finally got the courage (lost the fear) to go out a little over five years ago. That gave me a chance to meet others like me AND to meet people who like me for doing this. It is SO much fun to put on a cute and/or sexy outfit and go out. I always anticipate my next chance to get out.
Like Rach, it was hearing of Renee Richards. Probably around 1974, give or take my memory, that I saw a very short note in Time magazine that talked about her. It was my “I’m not the only one” moment.