The most important thing I needed to know as a child is God loves me and accepts me just as I am. God always hears me no matter how BAD I think I am or others perceive me. Simply looking and talking to Him like a friend is never sin, no matter what my present condition may seem. He is always approachable, but outside of Jesus, sin truly separates us from Him.
The second most important thing is that I am responsible and accountable for my own actions. With that in mind, I listened to what my elders told me and then made my own decisions. No matter how well intentioned (and that is important) no mortal (including father, mother, president, and clergy) knows how it all works well enough to guarantee my survival on earth or in eternal life.
The third most important thing is that other societies, including Christian societies, honor things differently than my family, community and church. Some societies give honor those who are constructively different; especially those allowing the many shades of gender. There are Native American stories and history which greatly help children understand the different perspectives relative to gender. Some societies approach the creation with much more than just a binary view.
Nothing was more important than those things and some came very late in my life. Just you attempting to circumvent that in a child's life is most Jesus like, THANKS!
Wow! Kath Randall seems to have about covered it all. When I was young I would have LOVED to know that there were real, honest to goodness decent people out there who had the same needs I did.
I would have loved to be told I was neither sick, nor perverted, nor evil, nor despicable for being this way. Heck, I would have loved to have known that a year ago!
I would have loved to know that God doesn't seem to care what we happen to like to wear as long as we stay faithful to Him when wearing it.
I would have loved to know that there were people in the world who support this and understand it and that I needn't be ashamed.
I would have loved to know the explanations of the various Biblical verses that have been used to condemn us. I would have loved to know that God can have a plan for us that actually REQUIRE that we be the way we are.
I would have loved have had the web to find out some of the answers I'm only finding out now. God Bless,
Why can't I play with dolls?
I want to be a nun. I can't? How come?
Why do the girls always get to go first?
I wonder what would happen if I told my parents that I would rather be a girl?
I suppose the questions that were the most profound, were the ones that I never thought to ask as a child. I didn't have enough life experience to know what the "real" questions were. The real questions (that I did not ask) were:
1. Why do I feel such shame when I play dress up?
2. Why is the act of putting on clothes of the opposite gender so alluring?
3. Why do those clothes make me feel so good, so alive, and so at peace?
4. Why do the other boys never pick me for sports/games, even when I have shown that I can indeed play?
5. Why am I so small, but still feel comfortable with my body? And why do others think this is a deficit?
6. Why do I tend to be more comfortable with female relationships?
7. Why does my mere existence upset some of the other boys?
8. Why do gay people assume I am gay? - What do I send out into the universe, to make them think so?
The first question would have been, why wasn't I born a girl? Following this I would have liked to know why I felt like a female was living inside of me which created a constant struggle between my boy side and my girl side. There was no one to talk to about it. I had to sneak around and hide my secret. I felt isolated. Often times even when I was in a group I would feel a separation from the others. There was no possible way for me to become a "blended" person. It was one sex or the other. During my childhood men who wore dresses were called Queers, or fags, and were ridiculed and demeaned. Why was I in this situation and dilemma with no possible way out, except death? Which I often considered.
All I wanted was just to be one of the girls. To look like them, dress like them, sound like them, feel like them. It was like I was trapped in the wrong body with no way out. Why? I am thankful, that at least for part of my life, I live in a world which seems to be coming more aware and maybe even more tolerant of alternative ways to live. At least for part of my life I will be able to be that "blended", but whole person. At least for part of my life I can shed the guilt, the fear, the depression, and freely express both my male and female sides out in the world around me. I love looking and feeling like a woman. The more I accept and get in touch with her, the more settled, joyful, and complete I become. Since I found Tri Ess, the sisterhood of people like me, I have felt a great relief in being able to say, Hi, I'm --- and Cheryl Anne. I'm a crossdresser, a good person, and proud of it. My dear sisters,
When my mother was dying six years ago, she asked me if I was OK. I lied. I wish now that I had told her the truth and asked her what I was like as a child; why she and my dad felt it so necessary to cure me of my femininity; to let her know that she didn't fail me - nothing she could have done would have changed who I was then, and am today.
And ... I still want to know, despite all of the advice I've received from Friends and professionals over the years ... why.
I would have liked to have known that I am normal. I do fit in with a minority of males. I would have liked to known for my wifeís sake that crossdressing does not go away. I wish there were more non fiction books on the subject. Lynn Tanaka
It is late and I am tired so this I hope will not ramble too much. As a child I wanted much of the same things that I want now. This is to be accepted for what I am without the society forcing me back into the "proper" perspective and if I did not change then I was strange and useless to society. I wanted a safe place where I could dress up and people who would treat me the same in whatever mode I came in that day without judgment, criticism or being made fun of. I wanted to be able to do many of the same things that the other boys and girls were doing and have the right to change from sports to the latest fashions without having to be careful of what I say do or act. I wanted someone to compliment me on my outfit one minute or my skill of putting on make up and the next to say that I was a good athlete playing a male sport. I guess the easiest way to say it is that I wanted acceptance for who I am, what I know, the job that I do, not that I fit the perspective of what society thinks. At times I feel I am still looking for these same things and if not for the communication with others like me, depression and abuse of alcohol could have been a real problem. I admit that I am more of a lurker than a e-mailer but you ladies will never know how important your communications are with someone who canít dress up much and even rarer go out en femme. Thank you one and all.
More than anything else, I think when I was growing up I would like to have known how to contact another t* kid that was the same age as I was. And I mean not just another young person, but someone who was the same grade in school that I was that I could truly relate to. Role models are fine, but sometimes you need to be able to talk to someone that is going through the same problems in life at the same time as yourself.
When I was in high school I dated a girl for awhile who had a younger brother that she said often liked to wear her clothes around the house. Once when we were talking on the phone, I heard her ask him where he had left her stockings and garter belt, so I believe she was telling me the truth about him. However, he was a freshman and I was a junior. He delighted in making trouble for me and his sister. I would really like to have been able to talk to him about crossdressing, but I had my secret life to protect. Also, I really couldn't stand the guy. Besides, it wasn't cool for junior guys to have anything to do with freshmen guys. His sister and I eventually broke up and in the years after high school I never saw or heard from either of them again. After all these years I still wonder what happened to him.
So far like all my other sisters I would have wanted the Big Question answered. That would be. "Am I the only one out there who is not gay but still likes to dress as a girl?" I had seen lots of magazines with gay men dressed as woman and transsexuals also. But I knew I was straight. I like girls but I also liked playing as a girl. I didn't like boys except to play ball and other games. There where more little girls on my block when I grew up then boys. We all played hide and seek together, kickball, etc. But I also played with the girls without other boys around. I felt more like them. It wasn't till 1988 that I saw the Donahue Show with Virginia on it. I was 37 then, married with a daughter and I finally found out that I was not alone out there. Now I'm 52 and been a member (of what?) since then. Malissa
What would I have wanted to know?
What would I have wanted to know as a wife of a crossdresser? I guess I would have wanted to know that there are many more differences in people than just the color of their skin. I was raised in a small, very racially integrated town in Ohio. The town was integrated long before it became fashionable/politically correct to be integrated. Even as far back as my mother's school days in the 1930's. My "nursery buddy" when I was born was a male black boy and we shared birthdays all through school! My first big shock that people were NOT all alike arose when, in high school, four of us were selected to go to a neighboring town to compete in a high scholastic competition. Four of us included two males, and two females; three Caucasian students, and one Negroid. Between sessions in the morning and the afternoon, we went into town to get lunch. After sitting for nearly an hour, a kindly waitress finally informed us that we would never be served in that town as long as the black student was with us. I was shocked! This rocked my world as nothing I have ever encountered.
My next shock happened many years later when my soon-to-be-husband informed me that he was a crossdresser. I shouldn't say I was shocked, for I really had no idea of what this was, or what its impact would be on me for years. All I knew was that he enjoyed wearing nylons and heels upon occasion in the privacy of our home. No big deal. I freely admit that lazy weekend mornings will find me still in my nightgown at noon, or even before supper on some evenings. We all have our individual preferences. But I had no idea of the impact this was to make on my life. It was many, many "pre-internet" years before I learned to believe him when he told me there were millions more just like him that enjoyed wearing female attire. For the first few years, I was convinced it was just his "ploy" to try to make me more comfortable with the situation. It was many years of self-learning, introspection, and finally, nearly 20 years later, a short encounter with a very gifted gender therapist before I truly learned what "crossdressing" was all about. I was finally introduced to the term "Trans-gender"...and suddenly I knew something about MYSELF that I had never known or understood. For all my life, my closest friends, my choice in work peers, my career decisions and wishes, were all directed to the "male world." I functioned better with male peers at work. I actively sought out work situations where I was the only female in a male dominated career. These were the years when the only career choices for women that were accepted from an economic or political perspective were nursing and teaching. I wanted to be an engineer. Women were not respected, nor even accepted, in the male dominated engineering world. So, I became the teacher, (Heidelberg's contribution to my life) and continued working in the engineering world to fund my college efforts. Twenty years later, I was able to move from teaching to my true "first love" and take my place alongside my engineering, Trans-gendered, crossdressing husband. It was only when I finally understood what the crossdressing was all about that I recognized that I AM TRANS-GENDERED, TOO! I longed to be accepted and respected in a field where women were forbidden. I longed, and received, the highest compliment in my career life when my supervisor referred to me as "one of the guys" in an engineering department in a 100% male dominated career choice...and then rapidly apologized all over himself for calling me that! I suddenly knew about myself, I was a blend of male and female genders, with emphasis on the male. And I suddenly understood why my husband of all those years longingly wished to just be "one of the girls."
I wish that I had been told when I was very young, that there is a gender continuum, and no one is 100% male or female...and THAT IS OK. I wish that I had realized that the discrimination I witnessed in that little cafe spreads much further than just skin color. I wish that when I absolutely KNEW I wanted to be an engineer, that I had done more than work summers and holidays as an engineer, only to fund my Heidelberg education to become a teacher. I wish that I had understood my husband better for all those frustrating years it took for me to just "get it." I wish that I had become more active as a teacher in identifying my students who undoubtedly were as transgendered as I was! I taught Junior High Science and Social Studies. I always thought it strange that I was the only female in either department! Now I know. Today I am standing straight beside by crossdressing, engineering husband, We are in business together...at last. I am active in spreading the word, PROUDLY, that gender and sex are totally different issues. For I am a wife of a transgendered husband....make that a "transgendered wife" who finally understands what she never understood about herself.