Coming Out

The whole question of whether to come out of the closet as a crossdresser, and to what degree, is a tough one. I was looking at some profiles in a Fetlife Group recently and was struck by how many of the photos avoided showing the face, which struck me as mildly depressing. And if you’re on Fetlife you’ve probably seen CDs who periodically delete all their pictures or shut down their profiles after being online for a while, and it just suggests so much ambivalence and self-doubt. I don’t want to sound like I’m wagging my finger at anyone, as I totally get what being in the closet is like; I was there myself for many many years and was so scared of letting anyone know. And yes, for many CDs the likely price to pay is just too high, so it sometimes makes sense to stay closeted.

But I do think being in the closet does take a toll on one’s psyche. It certainly did for me. I’ve always had a slightly depressive tendency to begin with and have always had this dislike of being secretive about things, but being a crossdresser I of course learned at an early age that it makes sense to be secretive. I did find, though, when I finally came out, first about my dressing and years later about being bisexual, that it did help lessen a weight that I’d been carrying around inside, and I don’t think I really knew how stressful my situation had been until it started to improve somewhat. It’s not perfect and I still struggle at times and have moments of doubt but things are so much better now than they were then.

And of course no one is ever totally out of the closet. It’s an ongoing process. With the majority of people that I meet day to day it would just be weird and creepy to insist on telling them about my fetishes and my sex life. But with the people in my life who matter it just feels better to not carry around this big secret (without going into the unnecessary details!), and at this point pretty much everyone in my immediate family and social circle knows what I do so it really doesn’t feel like that big a deal anymore. That’s the thing: when you keep something secret it just seems way more significant than it often really is.

But as I said earlier, how much to reveal is a decision that each person has to make, and for many the price is very high. I have two or three friends who could possibly end up divorced or homeless if they came out about being CDs (or trans – a whole other topic there) so it would be crazy for me to assume they should reveal themselves. But it does feel good to get things out in the open, or at least to keep things less hidden, even if it’s only revealing yourself to a few close people.

I think the unhappiest emails I get are from guys who tell me they plan never to tell anyone in their immediate circle, including their wives. I can understand the impulse but I think living like that would just be too hard and depressing for me. In most cases, yeah, their wives will probably be very pissed off and hurt and confused, even humiliated, and some of those marriages would end in divorce, but you just know one or two of those wives have their own secret dominatrix fantasies and it could have been a match made in heaven if only someone had opened their mouth! I actually know a couple cases just like that so I’m not just joking. But it is a tough decision, and personal.

In the long run, the more of us who are out the better it is for all of us because when someone realizes that they actually know a crossdresser it does slowly change attitudes. For most people in society what we do is so outside the norm that they don’t even consider the idea of males who like to dress as women; it’s not even on their radar. So the more visible that CDs and trans people are, the better – and certainly trans women and men have made far more progress than CDs have, just by the fact of the visible lives that they have to live to be true to themselves. In the end I only hope anyone who struggles with this question can find some peace of mind whatever they decide to do and whatever best fits their situation. But I’d also say, if you can come out, do so. Good luck to us all.

8 thoughts on “Coming Out”

  1. Here, here, Sandra, i totally agree. My spouse hates my dressing, but i feel so much better knowing that it’s out in the open. At some point i’ll let my kids know. i haven’t decided if my mother will know or not……..

  2. Hi Sandra,
    I found your latest item in the blog most interesting. I am a very mature (age wise that is) cross dresser and simply stated ‘been there done that’. Hoever, I am now the secretary of an organisation in Toronto Ont. Called Xpressions. Our main purpose is to help cross dressers who are struggling with themselves and others in their effort to “come out.’
    We are just a social group that holds get togethers, monthly dinners and events like our upcoming 3 day Xmas Gala. We provide support, companionship, guidance on how to comport like a woman, info and talks on wigs, makeup and clothing etc. Most important of all we provide good times fun and commaraderie. If a member starts on the journy toward transition we offer limited advice and try to steer them toward the profesional help they need. There are many hitches on the way but we try to solve them as we go.Generally it seems to work as we have been around for nearly 20 years and we hope to continue. if you would like more information about us our web site is Or you can get me at the posted web site.

  3. Hi Sandra

    Your opinion is very interesting. I really think that the good feeling you feel after à coming out comes from the fact that you are closer to what you are. Feeling in peace and in harmony with yourself at first. And released to show to your close who you really are, as if the woman that lives inside you gets a reality for other people … I know this feeling when it happens to me to dress up and spend sometimes good Time with à close girlfriend, without judgement, and with open mind… It’s so good to be yourself…


  4. Hi Sandra, I totally agree with what you are saying, I’ve been a closet Bi-CD for years, indeed I started underwear & nylon wearing at an early age.
    When I was 14 I used to go to the local shops & buy garments, & if any awkward questions were asked, I used to say something they were for my Mum or Sister.
    When i got home, i had to be extremely careful about where i used to store my clothes, but i was lucky, i was the only one who could get into the loft space, so i hid my early outfits up there.
    It was a little awkward for a few years, as i was rarely alone in the house, so until i was in my late teens, the best i could manage was nylons, panties & sometimes bra under my other clothes, indeed, my first time, i was seduced by a guy, i was wearing bra & pantyhose under my top & jeans.
    I didn’t even have any footwear until i was 19, when i bought a pair of size 8 knee high boots with a stiletto heel, they were second hand at a jumble sale, but had the advantage of being worn & stretched a little. I was a size 9, but my feet were quite supple then, so wearing a stretched size 8 wasn’t too bad, i just couldn’t wear them for too long!
    I only wore a full outfit for the first time, when i went clubbing for my 20th, to a nightclub near my home town, where on previous occasions i had learned that there was a Gay element, which included, much to my enlightenment, a CD/TV scene, & it was there i went clubbing for the first time dressed.
    But i’ve had at least three major episodes in my life where i have tried to deny Rachel & got rid of everything, only to find that Rachel isn’t too easy to put away & have found myself perusing the supermarkets for nylons to wear under my jeans or just around the house, i always seem to start out again with pantyhose.
    I have, unfortunately, never been able to come out to my Family, lovely as some of them are, there is an entrenched vein of homophobia amongst them, so the only people who know about Rachel are some close friends & other CD’s that i’ve met over the years. & Sandra, lol!
    The pressure of keeping my Bi-CD sexuality a secret had been enormous over the years, but time is a great easer, & these days I am much more comfortable with who i am, besides, in my own house nowadays, Rachel is free to do as she wishes.
    As for bondage, well, it was only after a date with another CD a few years ago, going back to hers & basically trying out restraint, i realised that i liked it, especially while dressed, & it was then i was introduced to Tranniesintrouble, & i’ve been a regular visitor ever since, & Sandra, you have been a great inspiration to me for many years, & may i say, you look as stunning as ever.


  5. Hi Sandra

    I came out to my girlfriend a week or so ago. We were together in bed when suddenly I just blurted it out. She knew I had a history of dressing up when I was much younger, but I had assured her that it had been many years since I had worn women’s clothing, which was a lie. I actually felt worse living a half truth than in full denial, and so I told her the whole story. She has always told me how attractive she finds my strongly masculine personality and yet she has been incredibly accepting and supportive of my choice. I cannot help dressing up, I have gone through many cycles of buying or finding clothing, dressing up, then disposing of the clothing and swearing myself off it for good. It never works. My girlfriend recently went away for a week, during which time I dressed in stockings, a pencil skirt and blouse almost every moment I was at home. I even shaved my legs. During my confession to my girlfriend she reached down and ran her hands over the stubbly growth on my shins. It was the most nerve racking moment of my life and the sense of relief I felt when she kissed me and hugged me afterwards was indescribable.

    I would encourage all CD/TV types to live openly and honestly. If a partner of friend cannot accept that part of your personality then they are not worth the time. There is nothing unnatural about the act of cross dressing. I find that is my outlet for feelings of vulnerability and fear that I cannot easily express as a hot blooded man. Without cross dressing the bouts of depression and self doubt that I have experienced all my life would have been so much worse. Now that I have come out to the person I love I feel so much less fear than I did before.

    It isn’t wrong, it’s who we are.

  6. Thanks to everyone, Lesley, Kaydi, Pauline, Paddy, Rachel and Will, for all the nice comments and for sharing your thoughts and experiences…I wish you all the best with your girlfriend, Will. It sounds like she’s quite receptive and understanding…So many of us struggle with finding that right balance in living openly and honestly…

  7. I am one of the CDs you posted about, having recently made my Fetlife profile inactive and nuking my AFF profile. The reason I did had nothing to do with shame or self-doubt. I took my profiles down because of stalkers and obnoxious people who can’t take no for an answer. I joined these sites to talk to and possibly meet some like-minded people. Most of the messages I got were from people that were a) Thousands of miles away b) obsessed with esoteric fetishes that I don’t share but that they wanted me to discuss with them ad nauseum c) expecting me to be on-call 24/7 for hours-long sex chat with them and expecting me to act out their fetishes and fantasies that I had zero interest in or d) persistently requesting pictures of my genitals. After blocking a dozen profiles I thought “why bother” and just stopped going to those sites.

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