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Okay Kandi, Your Turn On The Couch!

Since I do not have a therapist, you get to do the job!

What I am about to discuss is only my belief.  It is not anything scientific and it is my belief from personal experience. Why do I crossdress (although I believe I have graduated to transgendered, but it was an evolution and another topic for another post)? 

This theory of mine has nothing to do with being born transgendered.  I believe that those that are transgendered are born that way.  Much like someone is born gay, left handed, tall, athletic, highly intelligent, etc…  I believe crossdressing is a learned behavior and happens early in our lives.  I have rarely read about someone becoming a crossdresser in their adulthood (although it does happen).  Most stories talk about trying on a sister’s clothing or a mother’s clothing in our youth.  Now please understand my analogy here, I am NOT equating these two things, but it demonstrates my point.  If you are abused as a child, odds are good that you will grow up to be an abuser.  You process those experiences differently with a child’s mind.  If you get abused as an adult, you probably have the ability to defend yourself in some fashion and can make a conscious decision that this is behavior you do not wish to engage in.

Look we all know how much fun it is crossdressing when we have the ability to do so freely.  I contend that if you injected every male with a truth serum and dressed them, a significant percentage would enjoy the experience.  So as a child, if we are exposed to crossdressing, it becomes hard wired into us, before we have the societal guidelines drilled into us that boys do this and girls do that.  My very first memory is as a five year old, behind my neighbor’s garage (two neighborhood girls, I even remember their names, Denise and Lisa), putting on a dress.  I can still feel the fabric and know the color of the dress. Ask me what I did yesterday and you would probably get a blank stare.

That instant Kandi was born although she took almost 50 years to make her debut.  From then on it was that urge, sneaking into the basement to try on a bra that was in the wash or wearing that dress that was on the pile for donation.  During high school I had a paper route in the early morning.  Of course, it was impossible to get anyone to cover the route, so I never joined my family for vacations.  That meant being home alone for a few days at a time, which meant trying on a whole bunch of things.

Also contributing to these urges, I am sure, was the fact that I was the oldest, first born son.  Then in successive years my parents had three girls.  I am sure somewhere along the way subconsciously I felt like girls got all the attention.  Three sisters, no brother.  Two daughters, no son.  Living with women for the significant majority of my life.  That means I almost always had easy access to women’s clothing.

Make any sense?  That is why I wince when I see any scenario where a young boy is dressed as a girl.  If it’s his choice, God bless him, probably transgendered.  If not, you just may have created another crossdresser.  There were three periods in my life where I did not live with women: college, about a year after college and one other time.  Near as I can remember, I never had these urges during those periods in my life. That year after college, living alone, pulling down an impressive $12,000 a year (in todays dollars that is nothing, then it was still marginally above the poverty level), I had all the time and space to indulge my urges, but they were dormant.

I lived by myself when I finally landed my first job. I know for a fact, no CDing. Never crossed my mind, never thought about it. I believe that from the second half of 1979 (yeah, some of us dinosaurs roamed the Earth back then) until around mid 1986, these feeling were gone. Gone but not forgotten! But it all came rushing back and in about 2014, took over my life. A blessing? Absolutely. A curse? No question. This is so many different great and deplorable (thanks for the word Hillary!) things. Life, if you understand it, please let me know.

I have now, I believe as I have written here often, morphed from CD to TG. It was an evolutionary process. Why? For me, I cannot deny that all that goes with what I do, how I dress, how I frequently present myself, is not simply a “hobby”. Not an hour of any day goes by that something connected with being TG without at least a moment thinking about it. When will I go out next? What will I wear? Wow, I love that dress! Even briefly adjusting what I am wearing while being undressed. I cannot remember the last pair (why are they called a “pair”?) of men’s underwear I wore. Has to have been at least eight years.

Okay, time is up Doctor.  I’ll pay on my way out.

I believe that was $0.05, correct? Here is my insurance card.

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16 Responses

  1. Oooooo, Kandi! Now that was a post and a half!

    Now, I’m going to disagree with you about the question of whether being a CDer is inborn or, for want of a better word, ‘learned’! As you’re lying on the couch in Dr Amanda’s office, my first question to you is why your experience with Denise & Lisa remains so memorable? Seeing how you are now, it makes complete sense but that then begs the question as to what happened before D&L which caused that day to be so pivotal? We can take the opposite view and say that the two things are completely unconnected which would give a little more weight to your point of view that it’s nurture rather than nature which causes us to be the way we are. But then, of course, you’ve admitted that Kandi the CDer has morphed into Kandi the TGer and there’s a significant body of evidence to support that being inborn!

    So if being TG is inborn, then we have to question whether CDers are on the same or a different continuum. We can, and usually do, distance ourselves from the fetish CDers but, again, the question as to why that particular group is the way it is is a valid question. But moving back to the rest of us, there’s plenty of circumstantial evidence to suggest that we are on a continuum with some hovering perilously close to the tipping point and wondering what we would do if we didn’t have all of the responsibilities etc. in our male lives to consider.

    Perhaps the unifying answer here is that, whilst we’re not born CDers, the anatomy of our brains (or in simple terms, the wiring diagram of our brains) puts all of the necessary things in place for that predisposition to be triggered and emerge later in life.

    Anyway, whatever the reality is and, in particular, whether Denise and Lisa are the mad scientists who turned a normal 5 year old into the Kandi we know and love today or whether they just used the proverbial female intuition to uncover what was already there, who cares?!! Everyone who knows you has a lot to thank Denise and Lisa for and the fact that the real Kandi has been found and uncovered is really all that matters.

    1. Amanda,
      I knew you would make a great and meaningful comment to Kandi’s post. Compared to my simple comment, see below, you have performed a good analysis of her situation.

      Is your couch still open for me?


      1. Jocelyn, my couch is always available (which possibly says something about the standard of my advice resulting in a lack of people clamouring for it!)!

        Your support and kund words are always appreciated!

    2. The basis for my assumptions are this, I do not have gender dysphoria. I frankly enjoy my male side, I am not uncomfortable in my day-to-day life. There’s just this other thing…. The true answer is we don;t know and we are all very, very different! Thanks Mr. A!

  2. Kandi,
    I think that overthinking things will cause confusion. Or maybe I am just too stupid to understand anything.

    I just accept people for who they are, or at least how they present themselves. I’m naive, but happy in my ignorance.

    When I see Kandi, and meet her face-to-face, I see a beautiful person. I see a woman. I don’t know if she is CD or TG, but I really like her. (I also don’t know why I am speaking about you in the third person). Kandi, I am so impressed with you. Any labels are not necessary. You are simply a great friend.

    When I have to describe myself, I say I am on the TG spectrum. I know I am not a CD. It has taken me decades to realize this about me. I don’t need, or want, a doctor to analyze me, I’m very happy just being “me”.

    Take care wonderful friend, whatever you are!


    1. For me, overthinking = content! Believe me, without this blog, which I love dearly, I wouldn’t have quite as many such thoughts!

  3. There is no doubt I have gone over in my mind for many years why am I this person who sees a dress or skirt or cute shorts and think I really like those and want to wear them
    Or when I put on my makeup I’m quite happy
    Yet the days I’m in full male mode are fine and I only do so for family I’m still wanting to be the real me.
    Like you Kandi I fought hard to think there is no way I should do this but eventually I knew it wasn’t going anywhere and finally accepted I’m trans, and as weeks and years go by I’ve finally felt like that is ok.
    Unfortunately with the current political environment I’m not sure where things are going for those of us in the community

    Also happy pride month to all

  4. Kandi,
    Thank you for the thought-provoking post it takes me back to a conversation I had with myself many times in the past. I believe there is an event that we experience at some point in our lives that alters your course in life. In my case I think it was an event that happened when I was very young and have no memory of. So how do I know it happened? I found an old picture of me dressed in a ballerina costume at probably 3 or 4 years old which my mother told me was my aunts’ idea. My aunt was very beautiful and glamorous she could double for Grace Kelly. Whenever she visited us or we her she was always dressed in dress or suit with heels and hosiery which I loved.

    My dressing started around age 5 or 6 with no goal in mind just enjoying the feel and look of things. As I evolved and started to focus on my personal style it was influenced by my aunt’s along with the women I was attracted to. I think aunty gave me my start although she would never know it.

    I the early days when I first found out I was not alone and was a Transvestite there was very little information on us other than Christine Jorgensen, so I figured it’s something that comes over you as you age. Once I found out there were so many other variations of men who wear dresses, I knew I was just a crossdresser.

    I am very comfortable out and about dressed but it does not dominate my life and I would never do it every day. I am a compartmentalized person and it’s all or nothing, so I never wear anything feminine under my male clothes. If I end up in the ER wearing women’s panties it will be under dress, heels, hose etc. I always dress to impress, and the ER would not be an exception. I would not wear golf clothes to work or work clothes to play golf.

    There are many Las Vegas adventures that I go on and never dress during the day because it does not interest me. I can shop or do anything I want in guy mode other than trying on women’s clothes. I dress for the occasion. I am much more interested in and organize my day for what I really enjoy which is the process of getting ready for the evening.

    So that my theory of Micki’s evolution and it’s my aunt’s fault. Thanks, aunty, for your inspiration I’m having a great time!

    1. Micki, Thank you for sharing. The conclusion I can draw is this is really something different for each and every one of us. I am so happy with the tremendous feedback and I am honored to know so many of you.

  5. Hi Kandi, I wish I had more time here to share my thoughts but I will cut and paste an article I wrote many years ago and posted in a couple of places that have now disappeared. In summary, in my opinion, we are also born CD and I do not think that you evolve to transgender from it; but that is my point of view as someone who was never forced to wear a dress but has memories of impulsively trying fem clothes, as early as 3 years old. I have crossdressed ever since and although went through a phase of confusion, in which I thought I might be transsexual, when confronted with it I realized I was only a man who gets a thrill from transforming himself, the best he can, into how a woman looks.

    Here is the cut and paste just as it was posted then:

    Who am I?

    In this realm, I am Ana Cristina García or Cristy as my friends call me. “I am a happily married heterosexual cross-dresser”. This is the sentence that is present in all of my Internet profiles. I could not think of a sentence that better describes me both as the regular male that I am most of the time, and the feminine identity I assume when playing the role of a female who calls herself Cristy. Let’s parse the sentence starting from the end to the beginning to further understand what it means:

    • I am a cross-dresser (CD) because I am a male who enjoys dressing as a female
    • I am heterosexual because I am attracted exclusively to females regardless of how I present myself
    • I am happily married because I have been married and faithful for 22 years to the most wonderful woman

    I will now try to expand on those three adjectives that describe me so well as an individual and as objectively as possible.

    A cross-dresser is someone who wears clothes intended to be worn by the opposite gender. This practice is more evident in men who wear women’s clothes than the other way around since women have more freedom to wear male clothes. As a matter of fact, some experts in the gender identity field argue that there are no female to male cross-dressers. Hereinafter, when I refer to cross-dressing it will be regarding a male wearing female clothes.

    I could get into a long discussion on all the types of men who cross-dress, ranging from transsexuals to fetishists but I’d rather stick to heterosexual men. This takes us to the second key word in my description. A person is heterosexual if he or she is attracted only to people of the opposite gender. I am a male who is attracted exclusively to females. This is the part that is harder to understand for those who do not share this peculiar condition. How can an otherwise completely “normal” male be interested in taking the appearance and adopting the mannerisms of a female without being homosexual or transsexual? I have no idea and to the best of my knowledge, nobody knows. It is believed that, much like transsexuals, we are born like this and there are more of us than anyone can possibly imagine. The estimates I have found vary, but on the average it is believed that around 5% of the male population are heterosexual cross-dressers. Some are quite open about it but most keep it to themselves and even try to repress it. However, with the resurgence of the Internet and, more recently, the social networks, many of us have found the means to share this important yet very private part of ourselves, with other people like us. At first we were limited to a few portals and networks that were aimed exclusively at the TG community. From there, we have created our own communities in almost every social network and digital-media sharing sites. Digital photography has allowed us to share our feminine persona without having to go through the embarrassment of taking film for development and prints. This has also been fundamental for the growth of our virtual community. Every year the number of TGs in general and CDs in particular coming out on-line increases exponentially.

    Granted that there are different degrees in this practice that range from the occasional cross-dresser to those who cross-dress all the time, I will argue that the most important characteristics that define a heterosexual CD are:

    • The desire or need to wear women’s clothes has always been a part of us with different degrees of intensity and completeness, from early childhood and all the way into senility.

    • When we wear female clothes, and especially during adolescence and young adulthood, we are sexually aroused. For many of us, our first arousal happened while wearing women’s clothes. This tends to diminish and even disappear, as we get older. A similar excitement occurs when we see a convincing male to female transformation performed by other person without that implying a sexual attraction to the person performing the transformation.

    • We are not satisfied with just wearing some garments and need to do it as complete as possible. In the early stages we manage with what we can get but the ultimate purpose is to look as passable as a woman as possible and even go out. In my case, today, it is either all the way or it is a waste of time.

    • We are not attracted to other men. Some are confused by the arousal produced when seeing a male convincingly appearing as a woman but in my opinion, it is the transformation and not the person, who produces this reaction. I wrote something about this theory some time ago in the blog I used to write on the demised Yahoo 360. I will try to address this topic in a future article here. The case is that the typical heterosexual CD will be attracted to women and not men. In our male role we are mostly regular Joes who do not give any signs of being effeminate.

    • Whenever we repress dressing we suffer great discomfort and even depression.

    I will leave it there for now and hopefully we can later discuss similarities and differences with other conditions within the gender identity spectrum, as part of future articles.

    Even when I am looking my best as Cristy, I am always aware that I am a man pretending to pass for a woman. Passing in public is the best reward I can get and is my ultimate goal. I achieve this by looking, acting and sounding the part. Through many years of practice and careful attention to how women dress, act and talk, I have been able to come up with this character that I enjoy playing and take for a test into the real world whenever possible; which is not often. This does not mean that I want to be a woman or that I “feel” like a woman when dressed. I think the most accurate description is that I, a male, assume the role of a woman when I am dressed and made up to look like one. The male brain is always making sure that “the woman” acts accordingly. This takes a great deal of concentration and, arguably, I tend to be less attentive as Cristy because my brain is mostly occupied with playing the role that corresponds to the appearance I am presenting. This could very well be another topic for further discussion in another article but, in conclusion, I am a heterosexual male.

    I have been happily married for 22 years to an extraordinary woman. She is my soul mate and I am loyal and faithful to her. She knew about my cross-dressing since we were only friends and has been understanding and supportive throughout our marriage. We have a twenty-four-old daughter and a nineteen-year-old son. Our daughter knows and was cool with it but asked not to see me dressed and I respect her wish. Most of my wife’s family and my family know but we keep this part of me very private and despite the wide coverage I have on many places on the Internet, most people around me would not even suspect because my male persona is that of a quite masculine guy without being the “macho” type. Having the support of my wife has been fundamental for my well being and to accepting myself for who I am. I do not dress too often and the original idea was for me to dress once a month. However, arranging for me to have opportunities to dress has become more and more complex as the children grow up. I might dress a couple of times in a month and then go up to seven moths without dressing and I am cool with that. My Internet activity helps in coping with the long droughts as I interact with transgendered friends. I am a happy person who is at peace with his inner self.

    I guess that this is as much as I can say about “who I am” as a heterosexual cross-dresser. I felt the need to start with an explanation for those who might not have clear what being a hetero CD means. My intention for sharing all this information is to help those who are still confused, in learning to understand and accept themselves and hopefully find a way of dealing with and incorporating their dressing in their lives and pursue a happy and fulfilling life. If one other person finds this helpful and inspiring then it would have been worth the effort. Please feel free to participate in this forum because my intention is not to impose my view but to let us identify commonalities and differences in our individual experiences. You can also send me email to

    Let’s make this a live forum!

    1. Cristy…Wow!

      I may run this comment as it’s own separate post.

      I think all this underscores one thing I know for certain: Why am I this way? No clue!

      Thank you all for sharing like this!!

  6. Kandi – One thing I was wondering, how old were Denise and Lisa then?

    Interesting concept. Are cross dressing and transgender nurture or nature? Or is one nurture and the other nature?
    I think that they are both nature, but nurture can play a role.
    In my case, I don’t remember anybody dressing me in girl’s clothes. I just had this innate interest in many things female as long as I can remember.

    1. We were just a bunch of neighborhood kids.

      We have certainly demonstrated the complete way this is all so different for all of us and so similar in many aspects.

      Thanks Cali!

  7. Kandi,

    My thinking on the subject of crossdressing versus being transgendered is this – being transgendered means you like to present yourself as opposite of the gender you were assigned at birth. To me, if you are a crossdresser, you are trans and are somewhere on the trans spectrum. We may refer to ourselves as CD’s (as I usually do) but, IMVHO, we’re all trans. I’m thinking this topic is a good one for a future article.


    1. We could literally get 100 different opinions, angles, experiences, views on all of this. But we do know, we all care for each other, as I do you Fi!

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