By Cristy Garcia
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So far I have expressed my opinion about the sexual arousal component in cross-dressing and how it slows down with time and about that sense of shame and guilt that comes after one returns to reality. Since this is not a story of my life but rather a description of experiences, sensations and conclusions, I do not intend to keep a chronological order in my exposition even though at times it happens that way. In this third part I would like to address the need to perform a complete transformation, the need to share the secret with someone and the need to go out dressed as a girl.
Another characteristic that I identify as a part of being a heterosexual CD, and that distinguishes us from most fetishists, is that we seek a complete and convincing transformation that would allow us to “pass” for a woman in day-to-day situations and in public. Once again this is a complex issue not only because it is not easy to understand why we feel this hard to control urges but also because we put our privacy and integrity at risk and yet we need to do it. Over the almost 12 years that I have been on the Internet, I have discussed the topic with hundreds of friends that I think fit the heterosexual CD stereotype and each of them agree in that they seek the best and most complete transformation possible and when they feel they have achieved it, they feel tempted to go out arguably in seek of validation or to put the transformation to the test.
I vividly recall that, even with an incomplete transformation because I did not have a wig, when I looked at myself in the mirror, I saw a girl that looked not bad and I wanted to take her out into the real world so that “she” could experience it. I have no idea of how many times I had to keep myself from taking that big step until one time, and many others followed, I lost control and took that first step out and the risks involved. Fortunately, and I do mean fortunately, I never had inconveniences that would have put my secret out in the open. Those first furtive outings happened when I was left home alone because all my family had gone away on trips and I would go out dressed at night. I was in my teens and often I would find arguments to not go to the trips and stay home with the intention of dressing as much as I could. That mixture of thrill and danger made my heart pound so hard and produced an unbelievable sense of excitement. I knew there was a lot at risk and yet there was nothing I could do to keep me from doing it and feel great about it. I recall that once out and concentrated in playing the role that suited my appearance, there was no erection and the focus changed to not being discovered. In a sense, the sexual arousal was replaced by that particular thrill that only being out dressed as a girl can produce on us. I have always sustained that I do not intend to “feel” or “think” like a woman when I cross-dress since I am always aware that I am a man playing a role by assuming the appearance and mannerisms commonly associated to a woman. In this sense, my masculine brain is mostly focused on me moving and talking as a woman would and keeping the man as hidden as possible and concentrated in piloting Cristy. In future discussions I will talk about this other theory I have and the effect it has on me but for now let’s stay on the risks that we take when in seek of that validation that seems so important to most of us.
As a testimony of the risks we are willing to take, I recall one time in which I went out dressed, made up and without a wig driving my car, which was very easy to recognize. I did it late at night and did not get off the car at any time but it was risky and still the impulse was stronger than reason. In my defense I will say that I took my car because I did not go out from my house but from my grandmother’s house, which I was sitting. I did not go out too many times during adolescence but each time I did, the pounding on the heart as I left or returned and the excitement throughout the adventure were indescribable and did not compare to anything else I had ever experienced!
Another way in which we are willing to take chances in search of validation or acceptance is by revealing our secret to someone we trust or even reveal ourselves to them dressed. We dream about it and carefully review the list of people we trust to select one. We assume that that person will be understanding and supportive and will tell us that we look divine and very feminine but, understandably so, their reaction is that of shock and disbelief; at least at first. After the shock, typical questions like Are you gay?, Do you like men?, Do you want to become a woman? and many others that those of us who have gone through that know well.
Without getting into details, in my case, I always trusted my secret to women because I felt they would be more receptive and that was generally the case. Each time I came out to someone by showing her photos, video or even appearing as Cristy, I was hoping for her to tell me that I looked gorgeous and that Miss Universe had nothing on me.
Regardless of her opinion, in the end, what I was looking for was for someone with whom I could talk about and share this facet of my self. In most cases, the confidence and trust did not last long. Even with my wife, who knew about it since we were only friends, I can’t talk about it all of the time because I don’t want my being a CD to be a burden in our relationship. Needless to say that my wife knows all there is to know about Cristy; from the online activities to being the first one who sees my photos and even when I plan to go out, which is not often. We need to understand that only those who meet us for the first time in the feminine role, will rather be with the girl than with the boy and we can’t expect the same from those who have known us as men all the time and have come to love and respect us that way. It is easy for a person who does not know about the issue, and this is the case of most people, to loose respect or admiration for us. My daughter was 19 when my wife and I told her about me being a CD and she said that she respected and admired me the same but asked to never see me as Cristy and that has been the case.
With the Internet gaining interest and an ever-growing TG community in all social networks, that need to reveal the secret to someone diminishes since we have the means to be in touch and share our thoughts with people who are like us and can understand better than anyone else. However, the need to be accepted by those we love and those who are close to us remains. There is also the need to have someone with whom we can go out dressed and if it can be a genetic woman even better, as it will help us look more genuine in public.
It seems contradictory that we are willing to trust such a private secret that even us can’t fully understand or took a long time to comprehend, with other people who, in some cases, might not be too close to us. How can we explain this? I have no idea but, as I argued, it might be the need to not feel alone and have some one with whom we can vent our thoughts, the need of someone who can objectively tell us how we look and what we need to improve in our quest to look feminine enough to pass or simply someone who our feminine persona can call a friend. I could argue that it is the same circumstances that lead us to venture out while dressed. Out of all this possibilities, I am inclined to think that it is the seek of validation and confirmation that we are doing a good job, what moves us to take this chances.
Once again, let me make clear that I am presenting my arguments from a heterosexual CD point of view. You could argue that fetishist also expose themselves but in their case, for what I know, they are seeking public humiliation and not understanding. I am aware that there is a lot of room for discussion here and maybe I will talk more about this in the future.
To be continued…
Thank you for your thoughtful reflections and introspection. So much resonates with me. The drive to be seen to validate our presentation is so strong. I have admired your beauty and style for years I appreciate your added sharing and insights
I am glad you can relate to my thoughts, Tiffany. It reinforces the idea that it is in our wiring and not a learned treat.
Cristy, once again I see a lot of my own thoughts articulated in your post – perhaps the commonality indicates that we’re all more normal than we give ourselves credit for, just a different type of normal to the normal normal!
I was particularly interested to read your thoughts on disclosure to others as it has been an issue on my mind too. At present, only one person has properly met ‘Amanda’ and that’s Cindy at BWBG who did my makeover last year (my wife also asked me to dress in front of her once but it didn’t go well and had very unwanted consequences). In many respects, being able to open up about this side of myself to her was a more profound experience than seeing the miracle she performed on my appearance. Since that time, I have felt an intensifying desire to talk about it to others but the challenge is in finding someone that can be trusted to be discrete with the knowledge without having to demand it of them (which effectively rules out anyone who knows my wife). What I do suspect is that telling one person wouldn’t be enough because we crave acceptance and I guess that it’s an awful lot easier second time around.
I completely agree with your points about seeking the best and most complete transformation possible. I was once a serial abuser of FaceApp (in fact you and I exchanged views about it on Flickr a year or two ago) because my own transformation skills were not particularly good at the time. I’ve not touched that app for the last couple of years but as I’ve got to grips with applying makeup, I’ve found that I’m no longer interested in CDing without it. Whether that’s vanity or an intrinsic part of my self-acceptance, I don’t know but being able to look in the mirror, smile and say ‘yesss!’ is the reward for all of the frustrations and challenges that this brings.
Amanda, I don’t know if you have attended a conference or any other gathering with fellow TGirls, but spending a few days as a girl with likeminded and understanding sisters, is as fulfilling as revealing our secret to others. Since I started attending events and conferences (once a year and my only chance to dress), I have no longer felt the need to share Cristy with other people.
Regarding not dressing without makeup, I agree with you in that there is a point in which we either go the whole nine yards or rather not spend time in just wearing a piece of feminine garment.
What a great article, so we’ll written and very accurate. I too started going out in public when I was in my late teens for the very reasons you so beautifully articulated from the arousal and excitement of dressing to watching the boy turn into a beautiful girl as I applied my make up. And then leaving the safe confines of my house to mingle with the general public and desperately wanting to have my presentation as a girl and my femininity confirmed.
What wasn’t available in my teen years was the internet and cell phones. So being a CD in a small town was, for all of us, a very lonely and stressful existence. Back then there were no kindred souls to talk to, no forums of like minded people to express the multitude of emotions that ran through our heads on a continuous basis. We were all alone. It wasn’t until my early twenties I found out there were other people like me and that I wasn’t the only one.
I guess I’m fortunate that in my early seventies I am still able to pass as a female and look much younger than I am. In one of the sites I’m on there is an over 50 group I joined and posted some pictures of myself and got a comment saying “Are you sure you’re over 50?” It does make up a little bit how things were like for us CD’s back in 60’s.
I’m really looking forward to more of your articles Cristi and would love to catch up on your previous ones. Where could I find them?
Thank you Cristy for telling your story. We all have our own stories of how we deal with our femme side. I’m 74 and have seen how our community has changed for the better in my opinion. I remember feeling so alone. Knowing that there are many like myself was a life changing event. Thank you again.
Nothing like finding your Tribe, Terri 🙂
Thank you for your comment, Trish. If you have read the previous articles in this series, you know that I too had to fly solo for many years, thinking that I was the only one in the world. The Internet has made things easier for us to share experiences and at the same time has spared confusion and frustration to younger TGirls. However, in doing so, it has also made it look easier to transition and a new confusion, maybe more dangerous than before, has appeared. In this sense, I think that many CDs decide to transition only to regret it, sooner or later. We shall see and hope that this is not the case.
Another wonderful, thought-provoking article by Cristy. I love my time alone crossdressing, but I (currently) have no intention of telling my gf about it. Sometimes it makes me sad that I am not willing to share with her that part of me that brings me such joy, so perhaps one day I’ll be able to muster the courage. A more realistic possibility, and a happy medium perhaps, is telling her about my preference for panties and pantyhose…with the hope that I could begin to wear these items on a regular basis around the house and not just when I’m alone.
This article certainly provided much “food for thought” while trying to determine how much to disclose to my special someone. Thank you! Looking forward to the next installments!
Elise, revealing our secret to a significant other is always a risk. On the one side we know that the anxiety and sense fo betrayal will disappear but on the other the risk of loosing our loved one is often a price we do not want to take. I have always thought that when two people love each other, we are willing to compromise. Our problem as hetero CDs is that it is not easy to explain why, an otherwise masculine and regular man, is in such need to adopt a feminine appearance at times. Sometimes our wife or girlfriend will give clues as she reacts when seeing TGirls or CDs on television or magazines. We can get hints as if the chance is worth taking. I am not suggesting you tell her but if she learns by accident, the consequences are usually worse than when you tell her. So if you do not tell her then take all the precautions to not be discovered.
Thank you for your reply! I also saw your note in your reply to Fiona and it has given me a lot to think about regarding telling my gf about my femulating. In my deepest fantasies, I see it as something that would enjoy doing together, two women occasionally spending moments of our lives together. More realistically, I like to think of her being accepting of my enjoyment of certain feminine articles of clothing, and not minding that I may want to wear pretty panties, sleep in silky nightgowns, or lounge around the house in pantyhose or tights, etc.
But I believe in my heart of heart that she would be understanding and sympathetic to my desire to CD, but not wish to see it. And since I do not want to impact or ruin such a loving long-term relationship, I struggle with how to proceed…as I’m sure many of us do. And why I’m once again grateful for this community:)
Elise, I am also a contributor here and, in the context of disclosure to your significant other, please could I direct you to a series of five posts I did earlier in the year under the heading of ‘Matrimonial Challenges’ – you can get to them via the link in my section on the contributors page.
I carried the secret through 22 years of marriage until, thinking I had been discovered, I confessed all. It did not go well and what I’d spectacularly failed to take account of was my wife’s feeling that she’d been deceived. It blew any trust she had for me out of the water and it took a long time for any semblence of normality to return to our relationship. In fact, I would say that it’s never properly recovered. Only you can decide whether to tell your girlfriend and, if so, when but the reality is that the longer you leave it, the harder it will become. As I think you realise, the hard truth is that disclosure could end your relationship but, if that is going to happen, it’s better when you have no real ties to each other than when you have a family, mortgage and possibly, as in my case, a shared business that is the sole source of income for the family. I’m now in my 60s but every belief I’ve ever had that I’ve been cured or can tough it out for the sake of the relationship has turned out to be without foundation.
Eight years ago, I promised to cease & desist to preserve our marriage but it was ultimately a promise I could not keep. Every single day, I deceive my wife, whether it’s by occasionally CDing or my daily logging on to forums like this one where I contribute under my female persona. It’s emotionally crushing but, for the reasons I set out in the aforementioned ‘Matrimonial Challenges’ posts, I’m not prepared to emotionally destroy my wife just to ease my own conscience.
On a positive note, there’s always the chance that your girlfriend will either be fine with the whole thing or will agree to an acceptable compromise but until you have that conversation, you’ll never know.
Hi Amanda, Thank you for your honest and open reply. I’ve thought about it frequently as it relates to my relationship. I dream that my best case scenario would be that my gf would understand and accept my pantyhose obsession and have no problem with me lounging around in my finest nylon legwear. But in my heart, I know that most likely would not happen. She’s very loving and compassionate, but as many others in our situation have confessed, I imagine she would accept it but not want to see it.
And if she did accept and “allow” it, I’m afraid i would not be satisfied with only wearing pantyhose. We currently live separately and I have frequent chances to wear bra and panties, heels and skirts. I like to think that i could give that all up when we inevitably move in together, but we all know how that turns out. As such, I look forward to reading your articles about navigating these concerns in a relationship! Have a wonderful day:)
Just catching up on your series. After a long life of wrestling with what I am, I remain somewhat cautious about draw precise distinctions among the many people who cross dress or to indulge too much in theorizing. My thought about sexual aspects of cross dressing is a pretty simple observation. Many of us can trace the roots of our interest in women’s clothing to early childhood, long before the onset of puberty and awareness of sexuality, and tend to persist even after adult relationships have taken the place of those adolescent expressions. Persist and for some of us, expand into a desire to fully present ourselves as women.
One could argue that as we get older and perhaps libido diminishes a bit, that cross dressing becomes another means of obtaining that endorphin rush. Or one may feel that it is, finally, the desire for free expression of a gender identity that has been long suppressed. Perhaps, as Forest Gump said, “maybe its both”. Both for some of us, at least.
I think that each person is unique and, although often we can fit in certain definitions, we still keep an individual distinction. In my writings I try to tell my experiences and personal conclusions, knowing that some will identify with them and others will not. Having said this, I do strongly believe that the need to crossdress is different depending for transsexuals, fetishists and crossdressers, among others.
Cristy Thank you for you thoughts on the TG spectrum I could not agree more. We are twins when it comes to our cross dressing adventures and life style. Years to come out and still to a very few but my wife did know before our marriage. Like you my desire is to pass as a women for a few hours or maybe day or two after that I am done untill the next time. But I sure do get a kick out of my Sallee time
Indeed, Sallee. The way I look at my time as Cristy, is like a hobby that I get to practice whenever possible, provided that I get to do it completely and not just partially or for a short period of time.
I think so many relate to your story and I’ve found that those of us rather just a CD or even one as myself who’s transgender gender fluid our stories intersect
The feeling of being feminine from this male body and brain is just something nobody can relate to unless you truly have experienced it.
I’ve tried to explain it but even I have no idea to this day why being the girl or trans person appeals to me but it’s just who I am, it did take many years of not liking myself before I just accepted this was a part of me and it would never go away even though I tried a few times to let it go.
Thanks for continuing to share
Hard to explain yet so enjoyable and fulfilling! It must me in our hardwiring…
I always enjoy reading your articles. With regards to CD’s often telling others about their dressing, I think for some it is a very big relief to get such a big secret “off their chests” and to be honest about themselves with someone else. Additionally, encountering acceptance & understanding from someone you’ve told may also help alleviate the guilt many CD’s feel about their cross dressing.
Agreed, Fiona. One important piece of advice I forgot to mention both in the article and in my response to Elise is that we must be cautious as not to get carried away when we find acceptance or tolerance. The fact that our wife, girlfriend or friend accept this part of us, does not mean that they love it. They accept if because they love us or care about us but it does not mean that they will ever prefer to be with the girl than with the man. Often we think that when we tell a friend and she shows interest and even says that we look good and passable, that means that she will always be thrilled to see us transformed.
You are 100% correct that even though friends may accept us they may not wish to see us dressed. In fact I just recently told two new friends, who I met as Fiona, that whenever we get together in the future if they would prefer to see me in drab rather than dressed that it was perfectly okay with me. My desire to dress is not as important as my desire to have a comfortable relationship with these new friends.
Looking back I see VALIDATION as the big one . Initially we maybe buried in the closet but so many like myself need to break out ( I called it solitary confinement ) . Once we take that step we use any means to seek a reaction , in some cases we play safe a tell wives or partners but as we all know once the words are spoken there’s no going back . So we may look for an alternative , often it’s a SA or possibly a work colleague . Ana makes a good point about finding a social group , for me that was when the door finally opened and Teresa came into being , I will never forget the first time I stepped out in a full ball gown to attend a dinner/dance organised by my local trans group . All my fears had gone , it just felt so right , to a point it may have been sexual only because my outfit did look glamourous .
I have mixed feelings about full makeovers , I admit the first time I did a decent job on my makeup and popped a wig on I was stunned to see the man had disappeared , that was the point when I realised what could be achieved . That is the important point to learn but it’s not actually the real world , we must also consider very few women have full makeovers . At times it proved to be a big mistake , as a professional photographer I saw first hand how badly some makeovers were when taking pictures of brides , bridesmaids and other female members . Too much is as bad if not worse than too little . To walk down the street after a full makeover can be a teeltale to your true identity as can inappropriate clothes or shoes . I know we sometimes want to shout it from the rooftops but also consider how many are really interested . Sometimes it’s more flattering not to get a compliment because you have been accepted in the role you really desire .