My Friend, My
Having a Cross-Dressing
Unbeknownst to me, he
was testing me – since he had vowed that any woman he might consider
getting more serious with would have to accept him, and this meant the
total package, cross-dressing and all.
“Connect the dots, Judy,” he said, “I’m a cross-dresser.”
“OK, so what does THAT mean,” I asked, intrigued that this person
that I had met on an airplane on a business trip six months ago was
promising to be very interesting.
“It means that I occasionally dress up like a girl,” he said.
I knew that he had dressed up as a girl for Halloween, because he
had told me this during our first dinner “date.” I had replied that my
son, who is gay, had also done this when he was in college.
Unbeknownst to me, he was testing me – since he had vowed that any
woman he might consider getting more serious with would have to accept
him, and this meant the total package, cross-dressing and all. I, too,
was also testing him, because I had vowed likewise not to pursue a
relationship without acceptance of my gay son. Those bridges crossed,
we had hit it off so well that I had made plans to go out of state to
visit him. The above revelation came during a phone conversation
within the first week of our meeting, after my plane tickets had been
bought but before I had actually visited.
So, what DOES it mean to be a cross-dresser? I don’t know, because
I have no desire to dress up like a guy. But I can tell you what it is
like to be around one.
First of all, my friend
is a guy, a 100% guy – he looks like a guy, he acts like a guy. As he
says, he looks like a linebacker but when he puts the girl stuff on,
he has the bumps in all the right places.
First of all, my friend is a guy, a 100% guy – he looks like a guy,
he acts like a guy. As he says, he looks like a linebacker but when he
puts the girl stuff on, he has the bumps in all the right places. When
he first met me, he kept talking about the “girl” in him. He meant
that he had feminine aspects within his genetic structure. He is
highly intuitive, caring, and sensitive. He is very thoughtful not to
do anything to either offend me or hurt my feelings. He is expressly
unique compared to the other men I have met in my life.
He acts like a guy – not only watches football, but understands and
follows the game. He drives his car assertively. He takes the
initiative in the real world where he has to on a daily basis. Except
he also puts on pumps with 3” heels as bedroom slippers sometimes, for
“practice” he explains. Sometimes he gets into his “June Cleaver”
outfit and cleans his house. When he gets all dressed up in his girl
clothes, he looks pretty darn nice and surprisingly convincing.
A few months ago we both dressed up and went to a lesbian bar in
the area – we were two “lipstick lesbians.” I discovered that I do
admire his looks when he is dressed up, but what I really like is the
He told me that he has
known that he liked to put on girl clothes since he was four years
old, and he thinks that maybe his parents suspected something.
He told me that he has known that he liked to put on girl clothes
since he was four years old, and he thinks that maybe his parents
suspected something. When he was young, they accused him of making off
with his visiting aunt’s shoes. He denied taking the shoes, although
their overall suspicions were correct. He only “came out” about ten
years ago. He also said that he came out with a vengeance, buying a
lot of clothes, shoes and accessories and getting heavily involved
with a whole host of cross-dressing support groups. He prefers the
tailored look, wearing mostly suits (girl suits with the skirt and
jacket). I tease him about that – I tell him that he needs to buy some
more sultry slinky party clothes, because I am sure that he would be
able to pull this look off too. He is able to walk, sit and carry
himself as quite the elegant lady.
He says he still explores within himself why he likes to dress up;
it seems to be something innate, just like it was when my oldest son
told me, when he was sixteen years old, that he had realized he was
gay since he was thirteen years old. My child was dealing with sexual
identity; my friend is dealing with gender identity. And there is a
big big difference between the two. In sexual identity you realize
that you are attracted to a member of the same sex; in gender identity
you realize that you have attributes of the opposite sex, and
sometimes like to dress accordingly.
He says he still
explores within himself why he likes to dress up; it seems to be
something innate, just like it was when my oldest son told me, when he
was sixteen years old, that he had realized he was gay since he was
thirteen years old.
We both dressed up at Halloween (as two women) and went to the
local stores together. That was more fun – some people thought he was
a girl (genetic girl), others looked at him a little strangely, but
accepted the fact that it was Halloween after all. He also has all the
explanations down pat – when people ask him who helps him get dressed,
he says that he has help from his women friends. In actuality he knows
how to put the concealer and the makeup on all by himself, and does a
pretty good job of it.
He told me that he recently went to a Christmas party dressed as a
girl at the invitation of the hostess. He said it was interesting to
see how threatened some of the men were – some wouldn’t talk with him,
some appeared very nervous, and one even tried to pick a fight. The
women there, on the other hand, thought it was neat. Why is that a guy
comfortable enough with himself who “dares” to be different is
threatening to some men?
In how many relationships do you distinguish between the “girl
clothes” and the “boy clothes?” And when we talk on the phone,
sometimes he will tell me that he is sitting there in his girl
clothes. I usually can’t tell from tone of voice anything different. I
did ask him once why he doesn’t speak as a woman, and he said that he
was afraid of losing himself, his guy self, if he did.
I wouldn’t trade my
friend for anything. His cross-dressing has enhanced himself and
brought out new ways of looking at people. I truly love looking at the
world through his eyes.
I wouldn’t trade my friend for anything. His cross-dressing has
enhanced himself and brought out new ways of looking at people. I
truly love looking at the world through his eyes. He understands
prejudice and hostility, because he has been there. He takes great
care to not “be out” in his job, knowing that the people in the world
today still don’t understand and accept differences. But because he
understands this, he goes out of his way to accept all types of
people, which makes him a even more accepting, caring individual. If
it takes cross-dressers to lead the way in this arena, let there be
more of them!
(This article was
published in the PFLAG Denver newsletter. Judy and her boy
friend have now joined us in Tucson.)