By Trish White
Editorial note: Trish originally wrote this story for CDH (where I am persona non grata for speaking true) and she wished to share it with all of you, so any references are to the CDH page and nothing else here.
My post is directed to the ‘the mature Crossdresser’. In one of the sites I joined I read a lot of the posts, comments, and bios of a lot of the girls on this particular site and there was one unifying theme coming from mature CD’s. That theme was, in almost all cases, the increasingly strong desire to dress and dress often. And that is what I am finding in my own journey as I tip toe into my 70’s. I honestly don’t know the reason for sure. In my case is it trying to make up for the years Trish was denied? Or maybe it’s coming to terms with the fact that our own mortality is getting closer and we better get in as much femme time as possible? Or our drop in testosterone levels and increase in estrogen? Or a combination of all of these?
When I was in my late teens I started dressing as Trish and going out on a fairly regular basis. My job had me going to Vancouver twice a month. On those occasions I would travel to Vancouver dressed as Trish. Then undress and change clothes at a rest stop. Then off to the site, take care of business, redress as Trish and drive back home. On the occasions I had overnighters, which were my favourites, I would dress as Trish in the hotel and then go out shopping, site seeing and later a drink or two at a bar. I was lucky that I passed easily as a girl and never had any issues. This went on into my mid 40’s.
Then when our two boys started participating in competitive sports it severely curtailed my ability to dress for over 15 years. There was hockey in the winter and Lacrosse in the summer so my feminine indulgences were reduced to occasionally shaving my legs and wearing feminine undergarments. Additionally, my prolonged hiatus from dressing was accompanied with a lot weight gain. Which meant none of my gorgeous wardrobe would fit anymore. Since nothing fit it was all given to charity. The one and only purge in my life. Since that time our boys have grown and I lost 68 lbs. and worked hard at getting back into Trish shape. Then I rebuilt my wardrobe which put my old purged one to shame.
At this stage in my life I even considered trying female hormones, something I never would have considered in my younger days. I wasn’t thinking of transitioning as much as with aging, I wanted softer skin, less hair growth and a more girlish figure. Ultimately I decided against it because of the increased risk of stroke or heart failure, both of which increase with age. Another thing I found in what I read in the various posts was our reluctance to go out in public as our female selves fades considerably as we get older. We no longer care about what people may or may not think. We’re more concerned about doing what make us happy and whole.
So my question is, have any of the girls out there experienced any of this, has the desire to dress increased with age and if so why? Or has the desire to dress remain unchanged by ‘maturity’. Let me know girls, I am very curious about your feelings and look forward to your comments.
Love you all, be safe and take care,
I absolutely agree with your assessment! I had no CD experiences as a child or teen, and other than some brief experiments with some of my wife’s garments in my early 30s my desire BEGAN as I grew older. I finally became an active crossdresser at age 69, dressing fully, developing a wardrobe, taking photos and even adventuring outside, all of which I enjoy immensely and have been quite a positive revelation to my overall psyche. I experience no regret over time lost, as for me one of the many upsides to all of this has been my lack of the guilt/shame conundrum which has plagued so many of us for years. For me, that points to the lessening of inhibition that you suggest here. I cant address my diminished testosterone as a factor, but I do know that CDing seems to fill a void in my psychological well being, as I have not felt this good or fulfilled in years, maybe ever. No way I’m turning back now!
Thanks for your comment. I’m finding there are quite a few girls who didn’t start crossdressing until their later years. This actually was quite surprising to me. I’ve told many girls including my wife that I was born a crossdresser and it has always been an inherent part of me. The desire for me goes as far back as I can remember and that was quite a while ago. You’re the second girl who’s nixed my testosterone theory. But on the other hand I just put those ideas out there for discussion since there’s never been a real study about this phenomenon. But so far in the answers I’ve received in just about every case the desire to dress has increased as we age.
Trish, to answer your final question – yes, absolutely. There are portentially several underlying reasons – reduced testosterone, a feeling that time is running out, finally being able to give up the fight and come to terms with it, a reaction to physical ageing of oneself or even a reaction to the physical ageing of one’s spouse.
We, of course, have spent the majority of our lives without the internet and all of the benefits and opportunities that is has brought to people like us and, now that we have that particular window on the world, we have been able to capitalise on what it has enabled – both the easy acquisition of clothes & accessories and bringing us into contact with others. I look at what you, Kandi and the other girls here do with absolute wonder; I know that many of the activities undertaken are outside what I would define as my own comfort zone but seeing the joy & acceptance you all experience has underlined to me that I have nothing to fear.
Finally, I think our own evolution is an important consideration. A decade ago, I could not have contemplated being seen in public. I had zero makeup skills and would have just looked like the proverbial ‘bloke in a dress’. I’m still a long way of perfection but as my abilities are now more or less acceptable, the urge to be ‘me’ in the outside world has got a lot more intense.
Good morning Amanda,
It’s so good to hear from you again and so soon. You brought up one point that I never even thought of and that is the internet and how it has helped so many of us realize that we are not alone and that there are other girls out there like us that we can talk to who understand. The other thing you wrote that I liked was that seeing other girls out in public having fun and enjoying themselves has helped you deal with the fears of exposing your feminine side to the public that you had. And as Kandi has said to me, more than once, this is what Kandi’s Land is all about. I sincerely hope you are out in public in the not too distant future. I can tell you that the first time is the worst.
I’d been dressing and going out since I was 15 although not as openly as I did in my late teens, early twenties. The first time out I was terrified but I had to do it and every time someone looked my way I immediately thought I’d been clocked. But with each and every outing after that it became easier and I was less intimidated and also realized that the men and women who looked at me were doing so because I presented as a pretty girl, not a boy in women’s clothes. Thanks for your reply Amanda and please stay in touch.
I began dressing in my mid 30s. I did that for five years, always going out into nearby towns. Then guilt caused the great purge.
I started seeing many TG/CDers on the internet in 2019 and the urge came rushing back. I restocked my wardrobe, shoes, wig and makeup and proceeded to show the world my true self. My reincarnation was at age 69 and I am a happy trans woman now at age 72.
I think all your suggestions on why apply to me.
Great post Trish.
Thanks for your reply. Guilt certainly caused us girls a lot of money with every purge. Thankfully I only did it once but it involved a fairly good sized wardrobe. I’m glad to hear where you’re at mentally now. There’s not a lot of positives to growing older but caring more about how we feel and less about what everyone else thinks is definitely one of the positive. You and I are really sisters being born in 1950. It was a good year wasn’t it.
1950 was a great year.
You and I sisters, you bet, and both Canucks.
I have discussed this topic separately (my personal journey), so I will comment first by commending you for honoring who you are now. We can’t ask more than that of anyone. But, I wish to add that I absolutely do not believe there is any correlation between low T and being a TG or CD person. T levels decline for all men as they age, yet the number of CD men remains extremely small. There was a study where CDers were given T to “cure” them, and it didn’t work. Being CD/TG is innate in some mysterious way. Finally, speaking personally, my T levels are actually higher than a normal male at my age — go figure! In the end, there are no simplistic answers. I am saying that as someone who looked for answers for over 50 years and finally decided it was a fool’s errand for me, because all I was doing was looking for a reason being TG was not my fault. If anyone can find a recent medical study that contradicts my thinking, feel free to share.
I am so glad almost everyone here is able to go out at least sometimes — we all know those feelings of joy are very real!
Thank you for your reply, I agree totally with what you said in that low testosterone could be the cause for being a CD or Transgender woman. What the article is about is the seemingly large number of CD’s whose desires to cross dress more often as they age could be cause by low testosterone levels and higher estrogen levels than we had when we were younger. Any CD our age long ago found out that there is cause nor cure for our gift. And the same applies to transgendered women. I know because back in the day I went to a psychiatrist which did nothing as well as going to a psychologist for months under going electric aversion therapy which faired no better. The only reason I continued going was because it was in Vancouver and I knew that once the visit was over I could dress up and go out on the town that night.
The need to dress never went away , I called it a gut feeling , something I needed but for a while I couldn’t explain . My theory is we go in twenty year cycles , the first twenty years life is a mystery as we grow and find ourselves . The next twenty years are filled with marriage , home building and kids . If you check out many stories you will find they hit a crisis in their forties ,for most we take stock and look back and wonder what lies ahead . It’s also the time many take the decision to come out and find themselves to try and finally understand what the dressing really means . Usually our circumstances still restrict us from taking the plunge as we still have kids to educate and continue with earning a living . We tend to soldier on for the next twenty years and then it hits most if us big time in our sixties , we know time is running out , we must decide what the truth is and try and go with it . This is why some start dressing more and usually take their first step out the door into the RW .
Many of us have been married for 40+ years by then , we usually have our kids off our hands , it’s often a time when some realise their marrige isn’t going anywhere , after all those years you’ve drifted apart . It’s no one’s fault , so for some like me we have to finally decide we must make that change and be us , it also may give your partner/wife the freedom to take stock of their own lives and possibly free them of the burden of our transgender needs .
I’m not a downer on marriage but it should be an equal partnership , very often one will be making all the compromises possibly because of the guilt of dressing . Sometimes you need to be realistic and question why you stay in a relationship that isn’t working any more . you have done your best as a husband and father but you must also consider yourself , your happiness is just as important as the family you gave so much to . My ex-wife told our children not to turn their backs on me because I had given so much for them , it’s good to say they didn’t need to be told that .
Thanks so much for your reply. I thought a lot about your comment about the 20 year cycle and whether it applied to me or not. My experiences for the most part agree with what you wrote with the exception of coming out. I came out to my wife before we were married. I just couldn’t bring the secret of my crossdressing into our marriage and it gave her the choice of staying with me or leaving. A few years after I came out to her, with my blessing, she told both her sisters and their spouses about Trish. After that when our boys were old enough to understand I came out to them as well. That was almost as hard as when I came out to my wife but by then people, especially the younger ones, were far more accepting now than when you and I were younger. Both boys accepted me and they both told me afterwards….”Dad, we love you, and this is not a big deal”. Having everyone I cared about know about Trish was a huge load off my mind as well as my wife’s as she was the one keeping my secret from our boys.
As far as the effects we have on a marriage go our wives finding out about our ‘hobby’ is a huge shock to most of them and something they will take along time to over come. Some never do. My wife and I have been married for 47 years and it is only in the past two years she has come to terms with my crossdressing and has become somewhat accepting and is getting more accepting as our lives carry on. The game changer here was Kandi’s Land and ‘an open letter to our wives’ that Kandi wrote. It literally save our marriage and me. I don’t know if you read it but if you haven’t do. We discussed some of the posts I’ve read and received about wives that become fully supportive including one I wrote and read to her. She is adamant that she does not want to meet Trish. And as I wrote, just her acceptance meant the world to me and I told her so and I’m truly blessed with that. And one day if she does become supportive I will be ecstatic. I’m sorry to read that you and your wife are divorced but as you say, sometimes that’s the only way out for both people.
Enough of that time running out stuff Teresa! I’m early in block 4 and since each block has become progressively better I reckon block 5 should be awesome!!!
Sadly, sometimes you just have to toughen right up and make the hard decisions. I’ve done it twice. (You’ve done it at least once so will clearly be able to relate to this). While both were with relationships, the trauma involved is the same as changing to live your true self, although I guess if you are changing a relationship because of the need to dress that is twice the trauma. The first time for me, which isn’t appropriate to detail here, cost me everything. Unfortunately it was a decision that had to be made. The second was a few years ago when I found ‘the one’. And I wasn’t even looking; it was just an incredible series of events that crossed our paths. That first hard decision made the second one easier to navigate. I have ended up as the happiest person in the whole world. I know that because no one could possibly be happier than I have been the last few years. Only equally happy. It scares the hell out of me to think what could have been lost had we both not been brave enough to take the risk. Actually there was no risk, we both knew.
As you will see over the next few weeks from some articles I’ve written Kandi, without that change there would be no Maddie.
To quote Dr G’s article from a week ago, if someone finds their “trans truth inside”, and it is telling you a change is needed, then maybe you just have to do that. One thing I learnt from my two major changes – you find out who your real friends are …
I wake up every morning so grateful that we both had the guts to make those big calls. The thought of never experiencing what I have right now is too much to contemplate.
I have been dressing since I was around 13. This was the 80’s, all pre-internet. I thought I was the only one. I enjoyed it and didn’t know why. But it also brought shame and guilt. I repressed my dressing. Never asked why. But when I retired and had more time to contemplate things without life getting in the way I soon accepted myself, my crossdressing and my femininity that was at my core. I think later in life we begin to not care what others think and just want to live our best life. I now dress feminine every day at home and hope to eventually go out in the world when my skills get better.
Thank you for your reply. I think who were pre-internet we felt the way the same way you did. There was nothing out there to say other wise. I was at a seminar one time and one of the venues was public speaking and how most people literally would rather die than speak to an audience. It’s the same thing with crossdressing and one of the things the guy said in his presentation was “isn’t it interesting that when we were younger we would walk into a room full of people we immediately wonder what they thought of us.
As we get older and smarter we walk into the same room full of people and think to ourselves what do I think about the people here. I hope you’ll make it to Kelowna in April.
Try not to look for perfection , we can overdo how we think we should look . Take a look at women around your age , you’ll find you will be able to slot in and live a fairly normal life . OK I’ve been full time now for 5 years , the hardest part was toning my look down , very few women have perfect makeup and hair , most wear trousers or jeans with Tshirts . The skill is not so much the look but more the way you behave as a woman . As long as we tip the balance towards female we should be accepted , truthfully I have very few problems , I go to art classes and attend National Trust meetings .
I was a closeted, lifelong, lingerie-only cross dresser. Nobody knew about this other side of me and I went through a number of purges due to guilt and embarrassment. My wife passed away in November 2021 and about six months later my thoughts returned to cross dressing. However my desire to dress quickly morphed into wanting to dress fully and go out in public en femme which I did eight months ago. I am very close to you in age and whether it’s lower testosterone/increased effect of estrogen I am not sure but I rapidly became so comfortable with my new self that I now live 90% of my life as Fiona. I definitely have a sense of wanting to make up for lost time and wanting to live my new life to the fullest because I am not getting any younger. I am doing what makes me happy and am not overly concerned what others may think.
Thanks for your reply and comments. I think one of the biggest thoughts that increase our desire to dress is exactly what you wrote ‘having a sense of wanting to make up for lost time’. It is sooo true. It’s true too that one of the perks of aging is we care less and less of what people think about us and more about what we think of ourselves because at the end of the day that is all that really matters. Some one told me the following a long time ago…….”I think we got everything backwards as to how life should be lived. What should happen is that we are born old live our lives and die as an orgasm”. I love that idea. Can you imagine thinking about things the way you do know but looking and feeling like you did in your 20’s, 30’s and 40’s? Hmmmmmm.
don’t buy declining testosterone since many I know (including me) have had these feelings since age 4 when T was yet to be in play. The strong urges were there then
I’m with you there. My wife and I were talking about this post last night and she said to me “you have an obsession with cross dressing.” So I told her it was not an obsession, it is something that is a part of me and has been since I was born. It is what makes me who I am. She didn’t disagree. Although, I, myself, feel the desires and frequency to dress has increased from when I was in my late teens, and twenties. Thanks for commenting Emily.
The desire has always been there since I was about 7 years old. It’s still there.
What changed? Why now?
For me, it was reading about others going out dressed on forums and blogs like Hannah’s and Stana’s. My question morphed from Why Now to Why Not Me?
Also, society changed. Places like Sephora made it known that TG folks like me were welcome. If they were willing to give me a makeover–and they were–why shouldn’t I go in for one (I’ve now had three, but the second gave me the basics and the products to give me confidence I could do my own makeup). Nordstrom had the reputation of being TG friendly (and I found out first hand they are–at multiple stores).
Combine that with YOLO and I had less at risk as I aged (comfortably retired, so job issues were NOT an issue), and it all came together. I popped out of the cocoon, found fun and supportive people instead of torches and pitchforks, and never looked back.
My Sunday posts are a combo of “look at me” and (I hope) readers seeing my posts and thinking, if she can get out, I can too.
Boy has society ever changed and for the better. The town I live in used to be red neck central back in the 60’s and still is to a point now. But a girl friend and I have a girls day, usually every Wednesday and we go to the Mall, Costco, Ricki’s, Cleo’s…all over the place and have never had an issue. At the end of the day we go to a regular pub and have happy hour and there are cis girls and guys we’ve gotten to know that are totally accepting. It really is a wonderful feeling now compared to back in the 60’s when anything could happen.
I’ve always said that we never know what goes on behind other people’s front doors , we aren’t the only people to have this need . Some of those ” red necks ” could easily been underdressed in some pretty underwear !
Many of the retail shops have realised the market for CDers and the trans communtiy , money is money ! I’ve never had a single problem with SAs , most have had training in dealing with us .
That is so very true Teresa. I’m glad I was born when I was . It was a much simpler time , but must admit that the internet was a saviour for me and I’m sure countless others. But most importantly this generations acceptance of people ‘a bit different’ is absolutely huge to us in the TG community. Thanks for your reply girl.
I have definitely experienced a growth in my desire to present and live as a woman over the last couple decades. My biography, from early childhood through middle age is a familiar story. Snitching panties and panty hose from a sister or girlfriend, and later, wearing my wife’s underthings (with her knowledge). But I did not venture beyond underdressing until I entered my 50s. Til that point, I honestly believed that it was impossible for me to present completely as a woman, given my physical stature. I was certain I would look ludicrous and my pride would not permit that.
Something changed in my 50s. Maybe it was a second marriage, and physical relocation for work that put us many miles away from relatives and old acquaintances. Maybe it was the discoveries via the Internet that there were people like me who still managed to dress presentable. For whatever reason, I began to seriously entertain the notion of dressing completely. Opportunities expanded as I began working more from home and my second wife began traveling for work.
At any rate, it wasn’t long before I assembled my first outfit. I learned some rudimentary make up skills, looking in the mirror, I remember thinking, “I can do this!”.
I was finally past the fear of looking absurd. Before long, I had stepped out the front door, gotten my first makeover, and took the massive step of going to a wig shop to be fitted. An expanding wardrobe, shareware and some cheap breast forms, and going out and coming out to some neighbors, friends and colleagues soon followed in short order.
All of this took place in my mid-late 50s. I can’t say why I suddenly bloomed, At least not with any certainty. Maybe it was because I at last had the unfettered opportunity to experiment. Maybe the need grew stronger over time, while the mental and societal barriers weakened, and finally overcame the resistance. Maybe there was some element of boredom and loneliness in my everyday life, particularly with my (then) wife traveling on a weekly basis.
In any case, about fifteen years have passed since I first had that “I can do this” moment. I have had my ups and downs in terms of self acceptance, but at 70, my desire to express this part of myself continues on an upward arc, and living alone, I find far more opportunity to be myself at home and out in the fairly rural community where I now reside.
That ended up a lot longer that I intended! In short summary, yes, my desire to live as a woman has increased with age 😉