If there’s anything I’ve learned after over ten years of blogging (do they still call it that anymore??) about crossdressing/transfeminity it’s that we all have so much in common. Most of us “got started” very young when we became enamored with anything from pretty dresses to lingerie to makeup. Many of us didn’t feel quite right doing “boy things” or bristled at the idea of BOY clothes or GIRL clothes.
We have shared experiences when it comes to what makes us happy. The joy of wearing panties for the first time. The excitement of finding heels that fit. The exhilaration of our reflections after our first makeover. The feeling of conquering all fears when we step out of the house en femme for the first time… or the thousandth.
We have also felt less desirable emotions. The crushing dysphoria when we don’t look as cute as we would like. Feeling we are “too male” to be pretty. The shame we are told to feel when we do or wear anything that is considered feminine.
Buuuut something we don’t talk about much is the… well, bad things that some of us do.
And I am not innocent by any means.
When I look back at the early years of when my wife and I were both discovering the depth of my gender identity I made a lot of decisions that were selfish and not completely thought through. I may have been lost in the Pink Fog or affected by a different kind of fog but the point is that I wasn’t always making the right choices.
What do I mean? Back then I spoke endlessly about clothes and makeup. All of THIS was overwhelming as it was but I didn’t pick up, or I ignored my wife’s cues when she needed a break from her husband babbling about high heels. I kept suggesting she and I go out dressed despite her telling me that she wasn’t ready for that.
I felt a little powerless when it came to the hold that my femme side had on me. It was overwhelming for my wife but it was also overwhelming for me as well. All of these desires and longings came rushing out, like a dam breaking and I just couldn’t find the balance of how THIS would fit into my life, my marriage.
This side of is complicated and multi-faceted and touches on all aspects of our lives and it’s easy to connect the dots as to how this revelation (not only to our partners but to ourselves as well) impacts EVERYTHING.
Having any sort of non-cisgender identity is hard enough as it is for our partners but we often put them through stress and fears as we try to navigate these strange new waters. My wife wondered (to say the least) if I was going to transition. Despite me telling her otherwise it was hard for her to believe this at the rate I was going. Discovering who you are is a journey but from her perspective this part of my journey wasn’t a slow, steady wandering… it was going a million miles an hour.
Nothing I said or did eased her concerns or fears. It took time. It took conversation. It required me to stop drinking. It took counseling. It took self-reflection. I “calmed down” over time. I made friends with other t-girls and found support, even if it was just a friend to go shoe shopping with. I LISTENED to my wife. And I committed to doing the things that she needed from her partner, her husband… from Hannah.
Accepting your own gender identity isn’t necessarily easy. Marriage takes effort. Both of these things together?? Buckle up.
I am fortunate she stuck by me. After all, THIS wasn’t what she signed up for. I think some people are afraid of what would happen if their partner had an affair… but not many people speculate on what their life would be impacted by their partner coming out as anything other than cis of straight.
Earlier this year I wrote the longest article in the history of the internet (obviously I am exaggerating) and it has generated a lot of emails… mostly from partners of crossdressers.
I mentioned above how much we have in common when it comes to what we wear or how similar our journeys are… but these emails have reminded me how similar the journeys of our partners are.
My journey wasn’t completely easy but it has had so many amazing moments. Photo shoots, finding THE dress, going out en femme…
My wife’s journey? Stress. Fear. Apprehension. Annoyance. Anger. Exhaustion. Confusion. This was, this is HER journey. A journey she did not plan for or expect or want to have.
My journey brought happiness and stilettos. Her journey had few bright spots.
This side of us impacts our spouses and significant others in many of the same ways. Our partners wonder if they themselves aren’t pretty or feminine enough. The same fears of us wanting to transition. The same lack of trust that this revelation came bring.
What has surprised me the most over the years of exchanging emails with partners of crossdressers is that *most* are actually fine with their man wearing panties. They may not understand but they get that this side of us isn’t going away.
But it’s the other things that this side of us brings that causes the most stress… anger… fear… annoyance… among other things.
My husband only wants to be the girl in the bedroom
My husband keeps asking me to go out en femme with him but I am not ready
My husband lied
My husband spent money on clothes when it was needed to make the car payment
My husband is posting photos of himself online when we agreed on not doing that
And so on.
None of these things are about crossdressing ITSELF. It’s about the other things we are prone to do.
I am not calling anyone out. Again, I am not innocent and I think it’s important that we acknowledge what our partners experience. It’s easy to be selfish and neglect our partner’s fears and insecurities and thoughts.
God knows I know this.