Karen E. Williams
November 2, 2008
"I have been cross-dressing all of my life but have always lived in the closet…no one knows my secret. My wife has been out of town the past two weeks so I have been cross-dressing all the time. As I was wishing that there was somehow a way that I could participate in a more normal environment while dressed and surfing the Internet I discovered your web site. I also discovered the convention each May in Port Angeles. I guess my greatest question is how do you get started…begin…I have never ventured outside dressed up and only expect the worst of experiences if I do…How can I get around some of these anxieties? Words of wisdom?????"
Here is my response:
1. Be honest with yourself - is this something that you really want to do? I mean, do you really want to take the next step? Crossdressing at home has it's advantages. No one else has to know about it. If you want to take the next step, it will mean opening yourself up a little. Think about that real carefully. If you are ready to do that, go to number 2.
2. Accept yourself as a crossdresser - This sounds simple but it is not. Do you really identify as a crossdresser. Or is that someone else but not you? I know this is hard. You probably feel guilty. It will take a while to remove the guilt but that is your goal. Think about this in depth. Why do you feel guilty. Is there something basically wrong with crossdressing. Maybe you have some gay tendencies and you can't accept that. Or maybe you don't have some gay tendencies and you don't want others to think that you do. Maybe you don't know why you feel guilty but putting on women's clothes just feels wrong. Why is that? Maybe you got caught when you were younger and just haven't worked through those issues. This is the time to think about that and try to resolve those issues. Are you ready to be honest with the world now? It might get dicey. You might have to tell some people if you want to step out the door. If you are really ready for that, go to step 3. Otherwise, keep thinking about this.
3. Telling others - This is the hard one. But if you have done steps 1 and 2 and really felt like you are ready to move on. Here it is. I know that there are some people who do crossdress in public but do not tell their wives. However, I think they have gone down the wrong path. It leads to a dead end. These people slink around and are highly restricted in what they do. They also never can release themselves from guilt. You need to decide which path you will take here. The one of truth or the one of guilt. I suggest that you take the path of truth. It is more painful for everyone involved but it eventually leads to freedom. I, of course, don't know about how you answered the question of whether you want a gay relationship outside your marriage. If you really don't, then, things will be much easier. If you do, then, you have more concerns than just wanting to crossdress. You have decisions about whether you want to stay in your marriage. I am afraid that I can't help you there. You might want to take that deadend and be happy about that. If you don't have any gay asperations, you need to think about telling your wife about the crossdressing. She will think you are gay. You can honestly answer that you are not. She is asking this question because she believes that you will leave her. She will also think that she is a lesbian. If she is not a lesbian, you being a crossdresser does not make her one. If you have now told your wife, you are now ready to step out the door.
4. Stepping out the door - Stepping out the door is scary. Yea, you have worked through a lot of stuff in the steps above but going out the door brings those fears all back again. You need help! I don't know where you live but most large cities have a group(s) that help the transgendered (T) community. Sometimes the group is like Ingersol or PGS in Seattle. It will help those who want to fully transition. Groups like the Emerald City in Seattle are for socializing. I would suggest a group like The Emerald City for now. You can always do something different later. By being with others like you, you will gradually learn how to go out in public. It the group in your area is like The Emerald City, we have a private meeting place for you for the fist meetings. Private in that you meet other T people but don't have to do it at a bar in public. I know that some organizations don't have this luxury.
Oh, and here is a picture that I liked of myself with a friends baby from July of 2008
I received the following email today. I have changed the name and places to protect this person. I wanted to use this to express part of how I feel.
My name is Sally I was googling transgender issues and I
came across your site. I am from Florida..
I wanted to send you a note thanking you for your site and
your courage. It's really great to see a TG persons site that is tasteful and
just really shows them off to be just a real person.
I have been TG all of my life, I'm married and have on
child. I'm 35 and I'm also straight.As you are well aware being Tg is about one
of the hardest things imaginable. You seem so well adjusted.
How do you do it. How have you managed to explore your feminine side and not turn into a side show. I ask this respectfully of course. I am just begining to really explore my feminine side, if for no other reason than just to let out what has been trapped and stifled for so long. I have no plans to transition and I am happily married.
Thanks again for your site.
for writing. Thanks for the complements on my site. I started out in public when
I was just a few years older than you. I have always felt female but I am not
going to give up a great and wonderful relationship with my wife just so I can
be full time. I know that others have other feelings about that. I have seen so
many give up families over this. Honestly, I feel like a woman except for
sexually. A lot of people don't understand that but that is the way I feel. When
I see people doing a lot of so-called "hot" or sexy things on their
website, I chalk it up to a lot of testosterone. I don't think that there is
anything wrong with it. It is just the way they are. I teach classes at the UofW
in Seattle, Highline and other schools. We draw a line on the board and call it
the transgendered spectrum. It has fetishistic transvestites on the left end
with run of the mill crossdressers in the middle and transsexuals on the right
end. If you consider that a fetishistic transvestites is one who gets sexual
satisfaction from wearing clothes of the other gender and a transsexual is just
in the wrong body with the line between the two just being shadings of each as
you move from one side to the other, you realize that a lot of people who have
"sexy" sites just are on the left end of the transgendered spectrum.
The people on the right end are not so out on websites because they really don't
find it necessary to advertise. They just want to be themselves. I find myself
close to being a TS but want to stay in my marriage. So, I think that my site
reflect that in some way. I have a website because I am so involved with the
transgendered community through the Emerald City and Esprit.
January 17th, 2005
I have been going out consistently once or twice a week. Last week we went to Ray's Boathouse on Shilshole bay. It is just west of Ballard (part of Seattle) on Puget Sound. We met in the bar. There was about 20 of us. One of the girls has decided that we should have a chapter of the Red Hat Society. Our meetings will be the second Thursday of each month. A lady was sitting next to us that night with her daughter who must of been early 20s. She stopped by on her way out and gave us a great complement. She said that the problem with next week would be that we would probably not be there. Apparently she had enjoyed our presence. After that I went the EC officers meeting. We discussed important stuff. Like a plan for the Red and White party next month. After that I met some other girls from Rays at Bad Alberts and saw Annieville play blues like a lot of Thursday nights. She always invites us to go to the Eagles after Bad Alberts. I usually don't go because I have to work the next day. But this last Friday, I took off. So, I stayed up until Late O'clock.
We are again planning for Esprit. Wow, are we going to have fun this year. Look though the website at http://www.espritconf.com/ On the left side find "Events" and "After school party." Click on that and follow the links at the bottom of each page. It is going to be a very fun filled week.
This is a picture from New Years Eve, 2004
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