One of the most beautiful t-girls on Instagram and on the planet is the stunning Elodie. I’ve been following her online for a while now and I am instantly struck by not only how jaw-dropping gorgeous she is, but also by how often she hits the town.
True, a t-girl out in the real world isn’t that uncommon but considering she lives in Russia, it’s quite remarkable. Russia isn’t the easiest place in the world to be transgender and it’s even a crime to drive if you are transgender.
I’ve been wanting to spotlight Elodie for a while now, not only because she’s amazing but because I believe she is an inspiration to every t-girl who wants to experience life as who they really are.
I asked Elodie what it’s like to be a t-girl in Russia…
“Russia is so far the greatest place I ever lived in. Russia is a former communist country where spies were everywhere so people [are] afraid to have any kind of reactions.
There is no friendly place in the world. [It’s the] same…everywhere!
What is different is the way you see yourself and present yourself 😉 ”
You can follow Elodie on Instagram and on her own website.
T-Girl Spotlight – Natassia Crystal
Tassia is one of those girls who just makes your jaw drop. Not only does she have an amazing sense of style, she also has the most incredible shoe collection on the planet. I’ve been following her on Instagram for a while and I finally plucked up the courage to send her a message and I am so glad I did. I really loved getting to know her and I know you will too!
So… hi there Hannah and all of you lovely blog readers!
I’m Natassia Crystal, Tassia for short (but I also listen to Nat or Natas). Over the last few months, I’ve gotten to know Hannah a bit through the CD forum, Flickr and Instagram… and I want to thank her for giving me this opportunity to say something about myself. I’m sure there will be some similarities and differences with the other stories you’ve read in this section. 🙂
When I was young
For those of you who know me already, you know that above all other things… I love high heels! And my fascination for them started when I was 3-4 years old when I first consciously noticed my mom’s high heeled ankle-strap pumps in my parents’ bedroom. I know it was that early, because my sister wasn’t born yet and we were still living in the house where I lived from age 0-4. So yeah… really early!
Looking back at my youth, I can say I was a relatively naive kid, but even at that young age… I knew that as a boy, wanting to wear heels was not a ‘normal’ thing. So I kept really quiet about this. Up until the age of 11, I thought I was the only one in the world who wanted to do this. During this period, I vividly remember being both excited and jealous if I saw men dress as women. Whether it would be on TV (actors, comedians, etc.) or in real life (e.g. the boys at my school who had to dress up as girls for the annual play). I was secretly wishing I could be in their place.
Still, I believed I was the only one who really wanted to dress like a girl for no particular reason. For the others, I believed it was because they ‘had’ to… either because it was part of the actor’s/comedian’s job… or because the teacher gave the school boys those specific parts.
This all changed when one morning my elementary school teacher decided to give a small talk about gays and lesbians after one of my classmates used a gay slur (mind you, this was 1987, so this happened a lot). While my teacher was talking about how certain people could be gay or lesbian… she suddenly also started talking about transvestites and transsexuals.
As soon as those words came out of her mouth… my heart stopped! First of all, I realized I was not alone! Secondly, I now knew the word that described me! Ever since that moment, I regularly went to several public libraries in my city… searching for books on T-related topics: transvestitism/crossdressing, drag queens, make-up, whatever. There wasn’t much and sometimes I didn’t find anything new for months, but slowly I had a list of books that I would regularly get.
Now, as far as actually dressing up, I didn’t do much. I lived in a small house with my parents and siblings, and there was no way I could get my own clothes/shoes/make-up. During the brief period I had my mom’s shoe size, I’d wear her heels during the rare moments I was home alone.
While I had a great time during my high school years, I knew I had to wait until I graduated high school, apply to a university in another city and move out of the house before I could do something with my feelings and desires. Fortunately, we got connected to the Internet in 1993, so I did start looking for resources and shops.
The student years: the birth of Natassia and the break
During my first year at uni (1995), I started using the fact that I lived on the other side of the country and the anonymity that it provided. I looked for places where I could buy second-hand dresses and shoes. I ordered online books about make-up from JoAnn Roberts (Art & Illusion). My first time wearing that dress and heels, it made so much sense!
During my second year, I had a girlfriend and I confided in her that I was a crossdresser. Not only was she cool with it, she also encouraged me to experiment and learn more about dressing and make-up. February 6th, 1997 will always be etched in my memory as the day that I dressed up completely with proper make-up and accessories. That was when I also decided on the name Natassia Crystal. During the two years my girlfriend and I were together (we split up for totally non-crossdressing-related reasons), I evolved so much. My wardrobe increased, my make-up skills improved even though my make-up products were still of crappy quality and I took my first steps outside the door. And I started telling close friends about Tassia.
Unfortunately, studying Physics was hard and time-consuming. I didn’t have many opportunities to dress up. This didn’t improve after I graduated, because I was working a lot of part-time jobs while trying to find a real job. It wasn’t until I found PhD researcher position when things finally changed for the better. You see, doing a PhD in the Netherlands actually pays fairly well compared to other countries, comparable to what an engineer would make. Thus I had money!
In 2006, I told a very good female friend about Tassia. As she knew a lot about proper make-up products and application, I gave her a figurative blank check and she went out and bought quality stuff. It was then that I fully realized the look I could achieve! Tassia was brought out of the winter sleep and I knew she was here to stay forever!
It was also the time when I started posting my stuff online on a regular basis. I had been posting some pics to Dutch forums in the previous years, but by then I found Flickr and YouTube. For me, it was a way to show myself to the world and get feedback on how I looked. It also enabled me to get in touch with like-minded girls… some of whom are still good friends today! 🙂
In the mean-time, I was still in the process of telling my friends and select family members about Tassia, which had a couple of advantages. First of all, it gave me a lot of mental rest. I finally could stop hiding my feminine stuff in my apartment, I didn’t have to keep my computer/browser clean and I didn’t have to lie about going to social T-gatherings.
Secondly, by telling my female friends, I suddenly had a lot of shopping friends. And having the honest (sometimes brutally) opinions of my friends also helped me a lot in developing and fine-tuning my style and fashion sense.
And thirdly, a couple of my friends have been so supportive, they are part of the group of people who regularly help me with my photos and videos!
It’s 2015 now and since 2006, a lot has happened! I got my PhD in Physics/Electrical Engineering, I’m working in both academia and industry. Besides that, I’m doing creative stuff like working on my photography and music. And because my jobs pay quite decently, I’m also able to travel around the world.
With respect to Tassia, she is now an almost 40 year old woman with her own sense of fashion and style. I’d like to think that this style is characterized by sexy chic, but always tasteful… well most of the time, LOL! I love figure-hugging dresses, short skirts, skinny jeans and high heels! I get my inspiration from other girls from both the t-community and the ‘regular’ fashion blog scene.
In the last few years, I’m both blessed and humbled by the fact that apparently a lot of people are following my on-line shenanigans. My Flickr-stream and YouTube channel both have over 6K subscribers and my fashion blog gets over 10K views a month. Perhaps not much compared to others out there, but a couple of years ago… I would never have dreamed of this kind of reach. 🙂
Because of this, I have been able to build up a trust with a lot of fellow t-girls and I’ve been so lucky to meet many of them in various countries!
What a lot of people always seem to want to know: what do you consider yourself? The answers is that after all these years, I’ve concluded that I’m a 50/50 boy/girl person. It’s easier to say crossdresser under the transgender umbrella. I feel comfortable in my own body, I like doing certain typical boy things, I like doing certain typical girl things. I don’t feel the need to start hormones nor do I want to transition.
The follow-up question usually is: are you straight/gay/bi? And here the answer is that I’ve never felt attracted to masculinity. I’m attracted to a combination of femininity, humor, intelligence, musicality and being sporty… and as far as I’m concerned those are the only things that matter.
So what’s in store? What are my plans? Well, apart from world domination, I’d like to make serious progress on the following things (though they are not set in stone… it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind whenever she sees fit):
- Getting fully out of the closet. I still have to tell my parents and after that, there are no barriers as far as I’m concerned. I can start coming out at work and, in general, do more public stuff.
- I’m in the process of getting my facial and body hair permanently removed. I still have to get a couple of more treatments for my upper lip and chin hair area. And probably one more treatment for my legs. No more shaving will be so awesome! 🙂
- Getting braces for my teeth. Actually, my jawbone is too small to hold all my teeth, so my teeth are already overlapping each other.
- Getting a nose job. Yep, there is a reason there are not that many profile shots of me. I’m happy with a lot of aspects of my body, but the side view of my nose is just not that pretty/feminine and as soon as I’m fully out, I will be getting one. Vanity!!
- I want to make my fashion blog look a bit more professional with lots of cool photos.
- I want to make a couple of mini movies with crossdressing related themes. I’m sure a couple of you are familiar with the “Female Bank Robber” movies produced by Alena Mnsk (I think she retired completely).
- Another thing I want to do as soon as I’m fully out is start doing vlogs and transformation videos. I love seeing the transformation magic when others do it!
- Travelling all over the Netherlands, Europe and the world and meeting like-minded girls.
- Find an accepting partner who loves me for who I am and what I do, not despite those things.
- Buy Christian Louboutins! 😛
As you can tell, I never had any issues with being a t-girl. As soon as I knew I wasn’t the only one in the world, I was quite down-to-earth about it. For me, that is one of the main things I like to project to everyone around me: I’m having fun with this!
Are there sometimes struggles? Sure! Do I sometimes think that my life would have been less complicated if I weren’t a t-girl? I’m not gonna lie, I have had those thoughts. Would I have saved a lot of money if I hadn’t bought over 100 pairs of shoes? Definitely!
But a certain famous philosopher/sailor has said: “I am what I am.” and that I happily accept that.
Thank you for reading all the way to end! Lots of hugs and kisses,
T-Girl Spotlight – Katie Amor
Katie Amor is definitely my t-sister. She was one of the first t-girls I really became friends with. We were able to relate to each on a lot of levels…we’re both close to the same age, both married to amazing women and we’re both really tall. I think you’ll find Katie is not only gorgeous but also really an interesting t-girl.
Hello fellow Hannah blog readers, I’m Katie Amor, a long time follower of Hannah’s blog, and now contributor!! Recently, Hannah asked me if I would like to write a little post for her new T-Girl Spotlight, maybe writing a little bit about having a supportive wife, and of course I said “Yes!! I’d love to share my experience!”
I guess it would help to give a little background before writing about my relationship with my wife. Like many T-Girls, my feminine feelings started to manifest themselves when I was quite young, maybe 8-10 years old. I remember sneaking into my parents closet and loving the materials my mom’s skirts were made of, trying on her heels, and running my fingers through the silk shirts she had.
In my early teens I remember having the same reoccurring dream. In this dream I happen to find a magic lamp, where the magic genie appeared as I rub it to grant me three wishes. The first and most important wish I had was the ability to snap my fingers to transform between my male and female self at will. I still think about this reoccurring dream because I take it as my subconscious telling me that I was somewhere in the middle of the gender spectrum. I wanted to have the ability to jump from male to female and back again. The wish was never to transform for good.
As I entered high school and college, things went downhill. I was shy, introverted, with low self-esteem, and some depression. When all that came together my weight ballooned as I ate my emotions. By the time I got to my freshman and sophomore years in college, my feminine identity was in the back of my mind, rarely making its way to the surface, and never having expressed these feelings to anyone.
It was at this time that something wonderful happened. I met my future wife. Our relationship moved quickly as I could tell early on that this amazing woman was someone who I pictured being with for a long time. Early on, Katie did make a single appearance. The first Halloween we spent together, I worked up the courage to tell her that I thought it might be fun to dress up as a woman. I told her that was a fantasy I had, as up to this point I thought what I was feeling was more of a fetish. She was totally cool with it. We went to a thrift shop, got a cheap dress, wig, and stockings. Very simple and totally ridiculous, especially since I was sporting a goatee at the time. After that Halloween, my feminine side faded deep into the recesses of my mind as I was struggling through college.
We got married soon after I graduated, with plans to attend graduate school. Moving to another state, away from family and friends was really hard on us. My wife was struggling to find a good job, dealing with anxiety and OCD, and I was stressed out with school. This again didn’t help out mentally or physically, as my weight gain was starting to take its toll. But through all this, we had each other’s back, supporting each other the best we could.
The three years I spend in grad school were not the best. Mentally, physically, I was in rough shape, wanting to be a better version of myself. During those three yeas, Katie never really came to mind; I thought it was a phase that had passed.
Our world changed for the better as we moved to Memphis, where I found a job I love, and my wife was taking her turn to go to school to achieve her goals (as she had supported mine in grad school). I worked on myself, lowering my stress level, focusing on healthier habits and before long I was loosing a ton of weight and gaining self-esteems and respect for myself. My wife was able to achieve her education goals, get a rewarding job, and get a hold of her anxiety and OCD. With these positive life changes, improvements both mentally and physically, my feminine side reemerged from my depths.
Everything started when my wife wanted to take a strip-to-fit exercise class, where you learn pole-dancing techniques as you sweat off the pounds. As part of the class my wife wanted to buy some stripper heels, and when I helped her do some shopping on Amazon, things started to click. I saw that I could find heels in a large size and I brought up the idea of ordering two pairs of sexy heels, one for her and one for me. She was totally down for it as she knew I had a thing for heels, and on top of that she is a very open minded person.
As soon as the heels arrived at our doorstep, I was thinking of what I could do next. The next time we were at Wal-Mart, I told her that I was thinking of buying some stockings to go with the heels, maybe some fishnets. She was fine with this idea and we bought what I needed. Before I knew it, I had ordered a couple of more heels and a dress I thought was cute (looking back now, it was not, but hey…you’ve got to start somewhere).
Things started to advance quickly. I expressed to my wife my desire to see the feminine version of myself, so I bought a cheap wig, and then my wife gave me a big surprise. Up till this point I was very open and honest with her. I never hid anything from her. I didn’t have a secret drawer or box full of woman’s clothes. This is because I can’t hide something this important from someone I love so much. The identity we develop overtime, even if it’s a rediscovered identity, is something that is so important to share with those close to us we love. Hiding something so basic does no one any good in the long run.
So anyways, back to the surprise that my wife gave me. Even though I was very open and honest with my wife, and she was accepting and supportive, I still wasn’t entirely sure about it. One day, maybe a couple of months in, I came home after work to find that my wife had bought me a whole bunch of store brand makeup and brushes. I was over the moon with joy that she did that for me. She picked out colors she thought would look good on me, and helped me out with the basic techniques I needed.
In the months to come, things kept developing. Since this aspect of my life is so personal, I wanted to do many of the things on my own. I didn’t want to burden my wife, having her pick out clothes for me, doing my makeup, or fixing my hair. If this was part of my overall healthier lifestyle, I wanted to do things on my own, with the support of my wife. I learned all there was about makeup through YouTube videos and books. I started to look through magazines to get ideas on what styles might work for me, which Pinterest also helped a lot. I think taking initiative to learn these basics, doing the work and practice really helped.
During this early time I also knew that my wife still needed her husband, and I wanted to be there for her. She had goals she wanted to achieve, and stressful times to deal with. I made sure that Katie didn’t take up this important time in our relationship. I didn’t want to obsess about Katie and loose focus on my wife’s needs. I wanted to keep a healthy balance. At the same time, however, we had a great time sharing Katie together, even when I wasn’t dressed up. We shared our passion for makeup as we expanded our collections and helped each other out with using new products and techniques.
Fast forward a few years and things are going great. Our relationship is stronger since Katie has come into our lives, and we’ve achieved many of the goals we wanted to achieve as a couple. I know that my wife appreciates that I was so open and honest, as that is fundamental in a relationship, and having the balance in our support of each other’s goals has helped each of us at different times.
The next chapter in our relationship, now that we have good jobs, and a house, is to think about starting a family, which I worry about sometimes being a crossdresser. Since we have this open and honest relationship, my wife has told me that she’s not at all worried about being open with our kid (or kids) about Katie, which makes my worry melt away.
When people ask me about having a supportive wife and any advice surrounding this topic, I sometimes don’t know what to say. All relationships are different and in different stages, so there is no single set of rules that works for all situations. That being said, open and honest communication has to be considered, as it is essential to build trust. Having a balanced approach can certainly help, not to get too carried away and to help remember that there are always two in a relationship, and each have goals and aspirations.
As I said, there are no set of rules that is guaranteed to help, there are however so many stories from others out there in our community. I hope that my story along with that of Hannah’s can give some idea of what a supportive relationship can look like and how that could be applied to others.
Much love to all,
Detty is the newest girl for T-Girl Spotlight!
Detty identifies as a crossdresser who lives in Switzerland. She runs the really amazing website Femidity, a website that has a purpose is to support crossdressers who would like to spend time en femme, but have no possibility at home or who are not confident or passable enough to dress in public. This includes tall people (like myself) where the nice feminine illusion is harder to achieve, and also people who are only beginning to experiment with their female looks.
I think you’ll agree that not only is Detty gorgeous, but her website as well. It’s full of great conversations as well as fashion, shopping and make up tips. Detty is confident with who she is and how she identifies.
I’ve exchanged quite a few emails with her and I’ve always been struck by how smart and sophisticated and confident she is. I asked if she wouldn’t mind writing up a short introduction and then answering a few questions.
Thank you Detty!
My name is Detty Berta. I am a married father and a crossdresser in my mid-30s. I live and work for long years now in Switzerland, heart of Europe, but I grew up in Eastern Europe. I have been dressing on and off and to more or to less extent all my life. I am regularly dressing since about a year or so, and I also took this time to come up with a complete look for Detty, which I can fully produce myself in reasonable time and in hopefully acceptable quality. When I do not have a chance to dress I write and publish on my website http://femidity.ch. It is aiming to become a lively and colourful magazine for crossdresser and trans people. There are blog kind entries, feelings, reviews, tips and tricks and a lot of philosophy about crossdressing. My aim is to show how normal crossdressing is and in how many ways it can integrate into daily life, and I try to add a twist and a bit of self-irony as spice to my posts.
Thank you Hannah for this interview and for the chance to introduce myself on your website.
There are many terms that girls like us identify with. How do you identify? Has this changed over the years?
I am one of those who have no problem with the word crossdresser and I identify with that term. In my definition the crossdresser wants to express a feminine part of male personality by creating a sophisticated and natural female look, which could qualify for the everyday looks of a genetic girl. The crossdresser is aiming to create a flawless image of a genuine woman without exaggeration or over emphasis of any trait associated with the female gender. Dressing in this category is not one to one associated with arousal or seeking of sexual pleasure. I am not saying there is no sexual element to it, but it is certainly not primary.
Earlier, because I got to know the word crossdresser fairly late when the internet broadly penetrated the Eastern part of Europe, I thought of myself as a transvestite, which I do not do anymore. If I see a very nicely created ultra-feminine look, which does not relate to how women usually present themselves in real life, I would call the person a transvestite or a fetishist, and not a crossdresser.
How out are you to the people in your life?
Now this is a recent and significant change. For most of my life I was hiding this side of my personality. It took me 35 years to realize that needed to change. My wife did know actually from very close to when we went steady in high school, but no one else. Approximately a year back from now I came out to a very close male friend. He understood and had no problems with it. It was a great relief after so long time of silence and separation of thoughts and minds. Quite schizophrenic really, but I had this stable public image of being and only being a “normal” guy for decades. The outing catalysed a lot and the last year was wonderful. I have outed to a handful of individuals (and via them the spouses), but from only to the closest and very much selected individuals. I am open with my beautician, which is also very rewarding. So far I got only acceptance back, some even kind of found it cool. It did deepen all of these relationships and being able to talk about it outside my partnership helped me also a lot to relate to crossdressing.
I am also totally out to the world via http://femidity.ch. I launched the website in November 2014, which I could have not done without doing the first two outings. I remember second time I was dead nervous. Anyway the website is very personal and extrovert. Not because people can relate my male identity to Detty, but it still shows me as a crossdressing person to a very great depth.
Is there much difference between you and your male persona?
My wife would probably say I as a woman am just as a man. She would mean goal oriented, a stayer who will keep regularly investing and expecting results in exchange. I am also creative regardless which side is at work. I drew a lot earlier times, mainly cartoons, which I do not do now. But instead I really enjoy working with photography and images. My site is quite vivid and colourful. Both personas share a deep affection towards color. My male shirt and tie philosophy is I simply stay away from white and light blue shirts, they are totally dull and boring, not worth buying. I experiment with shirt and tie color combinations, pushing the limits, and anything not eye catching and extraordinary I do not buy or wear. My style of writing is the same. I write like spoken language is. The sentences are rolling, sometimes not respecting all the rules. Aaaand sentences do start with “and” or “but”, and there is not always an “and” before the last element of a list.
So we are quite Siamese with Detty, which made me realized, it is not a fetish, but my female part is emerging. I also can be more feminine in my male roles, do not need to repress or divide. But I am far from having got to know her fully, obviously spent more time with my male self until lately.
I’d be interested to know a little more about you in terms of the early days. At what point did you realize this wasn’t simply a phase?
There was no realization, unless the realization of a young boy, just coming fully to his senses, that this thing will just not be accepted. One of my very first memories, could have been between three and five relate to desires to dress. Actually to paint my nails. I do not have any remembrance of conflicts or somebody forbidding me to have such unearthly thoughts, but the implied gender code with a bit of Church and religion blended in did the work and I kept my desires for myself. And was trying not to get into trouble when I could not resist.
Later on I got into the habit of buying one-two feminine items, use them for a while, but keep them hidden, then purge. The purging cycle went on through my teens. I was (am) very tall, so at some point I even gave up on ever finding right size shoes and clothes. But hurray, the internet came and I suddenly found everything. I also realized I am not even a bit special with my crossdressing and that people in the happier parts of the world have been dealing with dressing for decades.
What do you think is the hardest about being trans?
Society and this nonsense binary, sex equals gender and gender equals sexual orientation schema. It is shocking to see even now in 2015 how much disruptive rejection can be received upon any and even the slightest deviation. Dysphoria of gender dysphoria. There are more advanced and tolerant parts of the world and there are a lot of places, where this “thing” would simply not fly. I am also lucky living now and not being born a century ago, because most probably suppression and denial would have been the only choice I could make. And I hope the fun just starts here and now and that in a decade from now gender will not be a topic any more, we will just be people and do what we like and in the clothes we like.
I know many crossdressers do get into disruptive situations in their lives, losing marriages, family and friends. I always wonder how this totally harmless desire can cause such uncertainty and many times rejection with anger in some people when they are confronted with it.
What is the best?
A crossdresser is more than just a man. Is more sensitive, sees and reacts to a broader part of the spectrum the world has to offer, and understands society better, including women. I have a very genuine own way to express myself also as a woman. The natural and liberating feeling it gives makes me a better person, a better father, a better husband, even a better employee. I hope someday crossdressing will be celebrated as a talent, like if you are good in arts or playing an instrument. I would love to be some day referred to as a talented and successful male professional, as well as a classy and very sophisticated woman.
One of my goals with the MN T-Girls was to show the world that transgirls and crossdressers do exist and we are normal, friendly people. Another goal was to help t-girls find the courage to get out of the house and to do all the things we ever dreamed of. Before I was ready, I longed to visit a museum or have a coffee at a cafe. Today these things are so normal to me that I can’t imagine ever going back. I thought if there was a support/social group more of us would be ready to take a chance and to see the world. Safety in numbers, perhaps. And I think on some levels the MN T-Girls succeeds with both of these goals.
I think the biggest success of the group is a member named Dani. In some ways, I consider her to be the first “graduate” of the MN T-Girls. When I first met her via email, she was nervous about going out but very excited. Like many of us, she thought going out in a group would make the experience a lot easier. She attended the June, 2014 MN T-Girls outing and has never looked back. We went to a museum on that particular outing. I never would’ve had the courage to visit a crowded museum on my first time out, but Dani did and had a wonderful time.
Since then, Dani has been out more times than I have and her life has completely changed. Not only has her life has changed in terms of confidence in going out, but also in terms of family support and her introducing Dani to her friends. Dani has gone from a very shy girl who never left the house to being out to almost everyone in her life in less than a year.
I asked Dani if she’d be willing to write a little something about herself and describe her coming out story to her family and she contributed an amazing feature.
I hope you enjoy reading about Dani!
My Life and My Experiences Being a Crossdresser
By: Dani (Formerly Stacy)
Helloooooo patrons and readers of Miss Hannah’s MN T-Girls blog! I hope you are all doing well and having a wonderful day and/or night depending upon the hour in which you read this! First of all, I’m going to address my name change. For those of you who have met me at previous outings, you may remember me as Stacy. I have recently decided to go by Dani while dressed as my given name is Daniel. There will be a bit more about this later on :).
Alright, so! A while back Hannah and I were talking via email and she had asked me if I would be interested in writing about myself and my experiences for her blog. I felt very honored that she asked me to do that as I have a huge amount of respect for her and what she is doing to help people like us get out and find acceptance. I owe a lot to her as I honestly feel I may not be where I am today had I not reached out to her, and I thought that if my story could help anyone else out there, even just one person, I couldn’t say no.
So let’s begin with a bit of information about me. I am 29 years old, I will turn 30 (ewwww) in September (2015), and I have been crossdressing since about as far as I can remember. Throughout the years, especially my darkest ones, I have tried to pinpoint the exact moment I first felt the urge to wear my mom’s bra and dress in order to understand why I do what I do, but I have thus far not succeeded. My earliest memory, I believe I was right around 10 years old, perhaps a year or two younger, I had seen one of my mom’s bras left in the laundry hamper along with a dress and I really, really wanted to wear them. I did, and so began my life as a boy who liked to dress up as a girl. From what I have gathered from many other crossdressers and transgendered individuals I have spoken to, my story seems to be nearly identical to all of theirs. And every one I have spoken to has also been at a loss as to why they feel what they feel. When I was at my lowest, discovering this bit of information was a tremendous relief as I had learned that I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t a “freak.” Thus began my transformation into the person I am today.
But let’s talk about those darker years. Well, actually, let’s talk about right after that first time I wore my mom’s dress. After I wore them, I became intensely ashamed that I had enjoyed it. “You’re a boy,” I told myself, and dresses are for girls. I tucked the dress back into the hamper and put some of my clothes on top of it so it would look like there was a reason for things to be out of place (even at that age I had suspected there would be “hell to pay” if I had been caught). Though ashamed I was, it didn’t take long for that urge to wear something girly to come back. From the time of that first experiment to about when I was nineteen, crossdressing was something I did somewhat regularly, but only when the coast was clear. On days I had the house to myself, which didn’t become too frequent until I was about fourteen, I would sneak into my parents’ room and find bras, panties and any clothes that would fit me, which was a small selection as I’ve always been a big person and my mom has an average build. When I was younger, crossdressing had more of a sexual nature to it. I would often find myself aroused when doing it. Looking back, I don’t think it was arousal because of wearing the clothes, but more for the excitement of actually being able to give in to the urges I had been pushing back for days or even weeks at a time. As I said, this had gone on for a number of years. I struggled with the urges, but at the time I simply chalked it up to it being a sexual thing and didn’t feel it was a big deal, even though deep down I knew that wasn’t true. Between the ages of 19 and 24 my crossdressing had diminished greatly. The urges were still there but they were significantly less frequent and nowhere near as strong. I feel this was mostly due to me being in college and having a very active social life. During most of those years, I was either in class or spending time with my friends nearly every day. I spent nearly no time at home, so while the urges were there, I had no time to act on them so they kind of just went away little by little.
Enter Adulthood. I was twenty-four, recently laid off and unemployed. I spent nearly nine months without a job. This led to long days without anyone in the house but me. All of a sudden, seemingly out of nowhere, I wanted to dress up like a girl again. And with very little to stop me, I started again. I had put on a fair amount of weight over the previous five years, so I had even less to work with within my mom’s wardrobe than previous years. I found this to be very frustrating. This is when I decided to actually go out and buy my own stuff. Now, this was in the era of the internet, but as I lived with my parents, I was paranoid that they would know what I ordered if the package had arrived when I wasn’t home. So, deciding that the internet wasn’t an option, I waited until 1 A.M. and went to Wal-Mart. Luckily, the lingerie was right across the aisle from the men’s clothing section, so I was able to scope out from a distance what I might want to buy. I estimated a band size based on how short my mom’s bras were on me. When the coast was clear I briskly walked through, grabbed a bra, went around the corner and snagged some panties without looking (turned out it was a thong, not exactly what I had wanted, but beggars can’t be choosers!) and made haste towards the checkouts. But, oh crap! Who do I see at the only open register? My friend *Bill (name changed for privacy) and another one of his friends. “Don’t see me, don’t see me, don’t see me,” I repeated in my head. But did they leave without seeing me? Of course not. Had I been there simply buying Mountain Dew for a late night session of World of Warcraft, my presence would have been completely unknown to them. But not this night. Not the night I’m holding an overly girly bra (it was bright pink, with the cutest purple polka dots you’ve ever seen in your life!) and a lacy purple thong. So I stand there in the men’s section, eye contact in full force with Bill, my secret almost blown. I happened to be standing next to a rack with shirts so I quickly stand practically inside the damn thing to conceal my lady goods. They walk over to me and in a last ditch effort to avoid being suspicious, I put on an act that would be worthy of an Oscar. I looked up to the ceiling, mumbling to myself and acted like I was high as a kite. I figured if they thought I was stoned out of my mind, it would explain why I was standing so close to the shirt rack. I’m happy to report that the ploy worked. Bill immediately asks if I’m high (sucker), to which I acted paranoid in response. “Of course not, man! I’m just really tired…” “Yeah, okay,” he responds. He and his friend have a good laugh, we say our goodbyes and they leave. I almost bailed on my quest for a bra of my own, but I had come this far. I quickly scanned the store and searched for any other acquaintances, and after seeing no one I go up to the cashier and plop my stuff on the conveyor. I complete the transaction without saying a word and without eye contact. I did it, and I couldn’t believe I had done it. It’s only a shame I don’t still have that bra.
After nine months of unemployment, I finally caught a break and landed a temp job at 3M and had favorable results for a full time interview, which got me into the hiring pool. Fast forward a year, I’ve been working full time at 3M for about five months, I’m twenty-five, and ready to get out on my own. I found an apartment, moved all my stuff in, and was enjoying life on my own finally. But this is where things began to get bad. The next four years are the hardest years I’ve ever had to endure, if only I was prepared back then.
Being on my own gave me so much freedom. So I’ll give you one guess what came a bigger part of my life. If you guessed crossdressing, then you win! I went crazy my first few months alone. I found a few sites that had plus sized lingerie and clothing, I bought several bras, panties, stockings, a skirt and a couple camis. It was exciting, but that excitement was soon followed by the shame spiral. I felt disgusted in what I did. I was a freak. A pervert. I was alone. Doubts about myself and who I was started to form. After being devastatingly led on and then rejected by a girl I was head over heels for, feelings of inadequacy arose. I felt like I wasn’t man enough for her, like that’s why she rejected me. Even though I did everything I could to hide my feminine side from the outside world, I still felt like I was a failure as a man, and that she saw that. I began to question my sexuality. “You like to dress in women’s clothing, you must be gay,” is a thought that frequently ran through my head. Thing was, I wasn’t attracted to men. I had zero desire to be intimate with one. But then again, why on earth would I want to dress in girl’s clothes? Only gay guys do that, right? I was lost and I saw no light at the end of the tunnel. So I decided to stop crossdressing. I put the stuff in a box in my closet and elected to forget about it. But that didn’t do any good, I didn’t feel whole. And things only got worse when my friend Angie moved in with me for about a year (Angie has given me her permission to include her name and conversations we have had for this article). She had moved back to Minnesota from Missouri and needed a place to stay. I genuinely enjoyed having her at my place, her children were with her and they were a blast to have around as well. But what made things tough was having all of her clothes out in plain view. Her and our mutual friend Kristi (Kristi has also given me her permission to use her name and conversations we had for this piece) would frequently get together, do makeovers and have photo shoots while I was at work or otherwise away. I would come home to bras, cute clothes and makeup all over the place. It was like putting a recovering drug attic into a crack house and telling them to not pay attention. It was rough. This struggle went on for almost four years. Four years of struggling with my sexuality, with who I was as a person, and feeling like I was going to be alone for the rest of my life
Alright, it’s 2014, and I am nearing the end of my rope. The past couple years I had become smitten with this girl that I worked with. Super cute, funny, smart as hell, and just lots of fun to be around. But I never worked up the nerve to ask her out and she started dating someone else. The feelings of solitude and inadequacy I had already been feeling got worse. And I mean real bad. I was on the verge of doing something drastic, and looking back on it now, how close I actually was to killing myself, it scares me to death. To think I would have thrown away what ultimately became something wonderful breaks my heart. It breaks my heart because I know that there are many people like me who have not yet seen the light at the end of the tunnel. And I can only hope that even just one of those people see my story, and see how great things turned out for me so that they can know that there is hope and that life is worth living even if things look dark right now.
So here’s where my story begins to become brighter. After becoming dangerously close to doing something irreversible, I decided it was time to seek help. I was too embarrassed to tell anyone I knew and couldn’t afford a therapist (nor did I even know how to begin looking for one), so I turned to the internet. After a Google search I found http://www.crossdressers.com. I spent about a month just browsing the forums, reading about people like me, and slowly I began to accept that I wasn’t the only one who was dealing with this. Hope started to sprout inside me. It was actually going to that forum that made me want to take my crossdressing further. Up to this point, I had only ever just worn the clothes. I never wore makeup or anything. In fact, I had facial hair pretty much my entire life. I didn’t much care for facial hair, but being that I felt like less of a man, I felt I needed to be as manly as possible and have facial hair. So in my research I came across http://www.crossdresser.com. This site specializes in making clothes specifically for crossdressers, but what I was in search of was a good wig and makeup. I found a nice starting makeup kit and a cute wig and after a little hesitation, I clicked on “Submit Order” and set it in motion. After I received my items I quickly tried everything on and was amazed at how happy it had made me. I discovered that my makeup kit didn’t have everything I needed, so I made a trip to the grocery store with self checkout and grabbed what I was missing. And so then I joined the forum, made my introductions, and started to feel better about myself knowing that I had people to talk to.
Not long after I joined the forum I had come across a thread about local support groups. Someone had posted wondering how to find one and another had suggested a Google search. I did a search of my own and one of the first entries was Hanna’s blog. I read through it, saw the stories from past outings and looked at the photos, and I realized then how badly I wanted to get out into the world as Stacy (when I joined the forum I chose the name Stacy because I had always liked that name). It took me about a month but I finally summoned the courage to get in touch with her. We emailed back and forth a few times, getting acquainted and she added me to her mailing list. It wasn’t until June that I had actually went out “en femme” for the first time. The outing was to meet at a coffee shop then go to the Art Museum in Minneapolis. I was unable to make it to the coffee shop, but went to the Art Museum. I wore a blue dress (which I now find to be ugly and I can’t believe I wore it out!), denim jacket, tights and sandal wedges. It was a rainy, dreary day, so I thought that maybe, just maybe there wouldn’t be that many people at the museum. There were more than I expected, but overall not too many. The entire drive there (I live about an hour and fifteen minutes from Minneapolis) I considered turning back. I even came close to leaving and chickening out after I had arrived and parked. But I took a deep breath, brought up my courage, and went for it. The walk from the ramp to the museum was nerve-racking, I felt like everyone was staring even though nobody even noticed. I met Hannah outside, and she was so friendly and welcoming. We talked a bit going inside but I was scared half to death and nervous so I barely said anything. I was only in the museum for perhaps half an hour, but it was so liberating to be out and about as a girl for the first time and slowly I became more comfortable with it. When the group parted ways, I returned to my vehicle and started the trip back home. I was exploding with positive emotion for the first time in years. I smiled the whole way back, and it had been a long time since I smiled and meant it.
Okay, so things are getting better. But for a brief period, things got not-so-good again. I had gone on one more of Hannah’s group’s outings (the Ulta outing, for those of you who were there, you know how awesome this was), I had been active on the crossdressing forum as well as the crossdressing subreddit (www.reddit.com/r/crossdressing), and while I was becoming more at peace with who I was as a person, I still felt this gaping hole in my life. I was still lonely. By this time, I had moved in with my brother into our grandmother’s house to take care of it after she moved to a retirement apartment complex. So I was still under careful guard not to get caught dressing and due to that still had some difficulty coping with what I did. And so even though I had found a great system of support on the internet, I had felt like I was living a double life and that was getting harder and harder to deal with. So I started to entertain the thought of coming out. I had read a few coming out experiences from the forum, some good and some bad, and carefully read everyone’s advice on the subject. I had decided that Angie was going to be the first person I told. She was my best friend, and I knew she was open minded, I figured if anyone would be accepting of my feminine side, it would be her. Through texts we had talked, and I had eluded to me struggling with something personal, but then when I was about to tell her I chickened out and told her I wasn’t ready to talk about it. A couple weeks later I wanted to take another run at it. I texted her on break that I wanted to talk to her about something important when I got home. I almost didn’t go through with it again, but I told her. I was too scared to tell her over the phone so I sent her a massively long text. I told her much of what I have written here (albeit shorter). What she sent me made me burst into tears:
“Dude… Dan I am so proud of you!!! I can’t imagine how hard it was for you to come out and tell me all that. I don’t think it’s weird AT ALL. I actually think it’s awesome :)”
I was beyond relieved that she took it so well, and it was at this moment when I thought to myself that I was going to be okay after all. I was no longer alone. A couple weeks later she and I got together and I got dressed up in front of her, then a week later we went shopping together. Man, that was awesome! The whole time we were shopping I was in this state of euphoric disbelief, I was actually out shopping with a real person! And she made me feel so comfortable being out like that. With her help I eventually came out to Kristi as well. We told her we had a surprise for her and drove to the cities to meet her. When we arrived I popped out dolled up and she just looked at me kind of stunned.
“Did I miss something?”
“This is the surprise, sometimes I dress like this.”
“Oh, okay! Let’s go inside!”
And just like that, two of my best friends had been told my secret and accepted me with open arms without even the slightest hesitation. For a while, Angie and Kristi were the only two people I had confided in. Even though things had went so well, I was still afraid of what others would think. But with their love and support I eventually gathered the courage to tell more people. A few weeks after Christmas, I told my closest guy friend, my brother and my parents. All of them were very accepting and supportive. My friend told me that we were friends no matter what, and it didn’t make the slightest difference to him what clothes I liked to wear. My family all said they loved me and wanted me to be happy. It was a moment I had always wanted to experience and up to it I never thought I would get to. Telling my family was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but it was also the best thing I’ve ever done. I now live in complete freedom. Freedom to be who I want to be, when I want to be it. I don’t have to hide who I am from anyone and there is no feeling quite like it.
After experiencing all this freedom, the part of me that felt like I was two different people slowly started to fade away. At first, when I was Stacy, I acted somewhat differently. I had this… Persona. When I was Dan, I avoided letting my feminine side out. But now that nearly everyone knows about it, I haven’t felt the need to separate the two. If I’m in guy mode and I see a pretty dress, I’ll say it’s pretty, and if I’m in girl mode, I still talk about all the same things I enjoy while I’m Dan. Slowly but surely my two “halves” become a whole and I got rid of Stacy. I use Dani while out in public just for the sake of using a girl’s name, but my friends still call me Dan and it doesn’t bother me.
I’m going to close my piece with some advice to you. If you’re like the old me; alone, scared, or confused, please, please, PLEASE know that things can and WILL get better! No matter how you feel, remember that you are not alone. You are not a freak, you are not weird, and you most definitely do not deserve to be an outcast. I urge you to actively seek out support like I did. I realize it can be scary, and I know that not everyone will be as fortunate as I was, but you don’t have to live your life in hiding. You deserve to be who you want to be and nobody has the right to tell you otherwise. And if anyone reading this is thinking about coming out themselves, I will say to you to be completely honest and 100% open with whomever you are coming out to. Tell them how it makes you feel, tell them that it makes you happy. Because you deserve to be happy. We all do. If you ever need someone to talk to, whether it’s about concerns with coming out, or even to just talk about cute dresses and makeup, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me!
Take care and smile wide, because you’re beautiful!