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Looking In From the Other Side

I found this question posted in a forum in another website (turned out to be mainly a site for mothers to give and get advice).

"I caught my 14 year old son wearing his sisters clothes. He was wearing her dress, bra, panties, and heels. What should I do? Is this normal? Should I get him help?"

Most of the answers, (and there were a ton, it was a very hot topic), suggested sending the son to a councilor. I thought that was wrong. So, I posted the following answer and reasons. (I wondered why this was such a popular topic among mothers and then I realized; just like practically every crossdresser has been caught by his mother, many mothers, no doubt, have had to face the exact same situation from the opposite side.) So, here’s what I had to say …

Let’s start with a riddle.

Question: Why is it that there has never been a cure for crossdressing?

Answer: Because, we don’t want to be cured!

No, counseling is the wrong move. Professional don’t consider crossdressing to be either an illness or even socially inappropriate anymore, anyway.

Try just talking to him. Keep in mind he is also very confused, has no idea why he is doing what he is doing, and is very filed with guilt, shame and self loathing. The first goal should be simply to dispel all of these negative feelings! They are ill conceived and not helping anyone. There is no need, then, to either endorse, or condemn the crossdressing. All is that is important is that he be made to feel unashamed, normal, natural and self appreciative.

The strict binary concepts of gender (in all its infinite expressions) is nowhere so bound, suppressed or prejudiced as in our dress codes. These codes, however, are adult concepts based on harsh and unnecessary social prejudices. Children do not naturally conform to them because they are not natural. Just like racism and other forms of bigotry, it is some that has to be taught in order to take hold.

The best studies that exist seem to suggest at least 15% of all males crossdress regularly. That at least 70% have done it at least once and over 90% have seriously considered it, or wanted to do it. Therefore, less that 10% of all males have never had the desire. So, why are we denigrating the 90% and trying to put them into counseling?

Just as their is a spectrum between female and male with very few absolutes, there is also a wide and complex spectrum within crossdressing. Everything from an object fetish to a full blown transsexual. If you just catching your 14 year old dressing for the first time, odds are he is not a transsexual. Transsexuals will usually begin much earlier telling you that they want to be the gender other than that in which they were assigned at the instance of birth. Crossdressers are actually far more complicated. Because the practice is so taboo, there has been very little light shed on it.

One version, just my own, although I have to credit ever ounce of it to various women, goes like this. First, some boys are simply blessed with a far too sensitive intellect and artistic instinct to be satisfied within the limits of a male only presentation. The female presentation, however, offers the outlets for the deeper expressions of art and intellect. This does not meant that they are effeminate, or gay. (Please, by now everyone should understand that gender, i.e. crossdressing, and sexual attraction, i.e. gay, are two totally separate things and that almost all crossdressers just happen to be heterosexual.) The second factor is sexism. Conscientiously, or subconscientiously, the world is unforgivingly sexist toward women. Therefore, to crossdress, to chose the female outward identity over the male, (to seek the lesser over the greater), is counter advantageous and therefore, insane. Not to mention, also it sticks a big sharp pin in the male ego and presumptions of superiority. (This, incidentally is the source of the shame associated with crossdressing. And, frankly, it is not the crossdresser who needs counseling, it the people who condemn him that really need it.) Third and finally, is the concept of femmespace. This is something very natural to women. It is both the freedom of self expression, the self actualization of one’s true identity, and sometimes the sanctuary of a female-only physical, and emotional, environment. What a crossdresser is doing is simply acting upon the intellect and art, and either overcoming the sexism or being forced irresistibly past it, to find and experience his femmespace.

Really, what choice does is a 14 year old boy given but to hide and raid his sister’s things? He is way too terrified to ask for his own things and most parents, including the most open minded and understanding of mothers, are very unlikely to furnish him with any other opportunities.

So now you caught him! Imagine what he is feeling. Confusion, shame, guilt, humiliation, self despair. Is this what you want? Is putting him in counseling really going to make him think any better of himself?

Question: Why is it that there has never been a cure for crossdressing?

Answer: Because there is nothing wrong with it !!!

If it’s not broken, it doesn’t need to be fixed.

Should you go out and start buying him dresses and lingerie? No. Should you treat him like he’s abnormal? No. Just talk to him. Let him figure things out on his own. No matter what, do not plant the seeds of self doubt and self loathing. You’ve come to a fork in the road. Which path do you want to take, censure or understanding? It’s strictly your fork, and this is the only issue. He has no choice between two paths, his course is already confirmed (counseling, or not). The only issue left is how are you going to make him feel about himself.

Finally, please be fair and considerate to your daughter as well. If your son is obviously going to keep crossdressing she probably doesn’t appreciate him taking her things. Now, at this point it’s appropriate to but him some special gifts.

And as far as your own feelings, which are equally important, try to just exhale and relax. Nothing is going to change, or be better because you stressed over it! Everything, you’ll eventually see, is perfectly okay.

Thank you.

CherrySissy CherrySissy 46-50, T 9 Responses Aug 9, 2009

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Not all males have or had to sneak around to crossdress. I am not gay, but I do dress. I am transgendered. I have conflicting feelings, although most are feminine. Growing up I was more like a girl, then a boy. I would get upset easily and cry. I loved dolls, the only boy toy that I liked was electric trains. I was never agressive, but could defend myself from bullies (martial arts). So you ask what has this got to do with dressing? Well, my mother knew I was different from most boys. She actually got me started into crossdressing. She went out and got me dresses and skirts from my aunt who had 2 daughters. I was allowed to dress at home and could only go out if she took me, which happened occasionally. I was also allowed to babysit her friends children. One of her friends would only allow me to babysit while dressed, she even bought me a couple of party dresses. If some remember girls party dresses from the early to mid 60s were very elaborate. My mother encouraged my dressing. I was probably the only boy with 14-to-16 dresses and 10-to-15 skirts hanging in his closet. Believe it or not, I grew up to be a very responsible adult. I even spent 4 years in the navy, after which I went into law enforcement with a local police department. I have a college degree and have counseled troubled kids, even some who were gender dysphoric.<br />
The urge to dress never goes away. currently I still dress and go out. I am 60 yrs old and in excellent physical health ( 6' tall, 135 lbs). I do not drink alcohol of any type (beer or booze). The preceding info was only to show why I can go out dressed, as most guys by the time they're my age have beer bellies, bald and smoke like a factory chimney. When I go out dressed I am appropriately dressed and have even received compliments on what I am wearing from women in the stores. Guys don't give each other compliments for some stupid macho reason. So guys continue to dress, just don't go looking like a prostitute. Make sure you keep your dignity up above all else.

I was probably about 14 before I realised my cross dressing did not mean I was gay. I just kind of worked out one day that I had no ambition to be with a guy and also realised that I was attracted to girls' underwear as well as the girls who wear them so this meant I was hetero. I think I was a bit slow and naive, because it took me so long to figure it out! Tehehe

Well thought out, and I personally don't have any wish to play w/ a male toy (or real thing) at all. I only like women's company, and acceptance only, but would love to have sex with an accepting feminine woman, while I'm in Lingerie too. (I can't come without wearing panties, at least.) Would be fun to go shopping w/ a genetic woman (or two) while in full drag too! <br />
(I think I'm sexually a "Lipstick Lesbian" trapped in a guys body. (But like my guy side too & never giving up 24/7)

Yes....Here here Cherry. Your answer is excellent and I hope the kid's mum read it.<br />
You mentioned about there not being a good understanding of cross dressing. I agree...it's taken me years to figure out why I do it. I don't identify as a woman, and I am str8. The best I can come up with is that it is about forbidden fruit....just physically wearing clothes that I'm not supposed to wear. Probably more to it than that but that's my best guess about my own reasons....oh, plus the idea of looking at my pantied bottom in the mirror, and imagining it's (another) girl flashing herself at me.<br />
Cheers

I wish i could express my thoughts like that Cherry. You are wonderful

That was a wonderful and well reasoned response.Thankyou x

Thanks both n8Brasil and NaturalAnd Healthy for your comments and opinions. I think the issues of feminine self identity and hetero or homosexuality are important ones. <br />
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Keep in mind, the original post was on a webdsite group for advice to Mothers. The main thing I wanted them to undrestand was just because they catch junior in sister's pretties does not automatically make him gay. <br />
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To me, gay is someone who is male, identifies as male, presents as male and has both an emotional and sexual attraction to other masculine persons. <br />
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Since I hardly identify as male, and never when I'm dressed, I don't see how anything you might desire, or do, after that point makes you gay. And let's face it, gay men are not attracted to us. If you want to be appreciated at a gay bar, make sure it's a lesbian bar. No, I'm not in denial about being gay just because I dress up, I'm in denial about being male.<br />
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As far as blow jobs and penatration, what's that got to do with being gay? I love both giving blow jobs and recieving penatration but I am not at all into men. I love ultra feminine transsexuals however and one deals with what has at hand physically. I also think it is only natural to dream of, and feel the urges, to exprience sex as a female. Even if your dream partner happens to be male, he is not going to be gay, and neither are you. It's just going to be a girl-boy thing with you being the girl. <br />
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I think my main point, simply said, is that putting on girl's clothes says nothing about who you desire sexually, but only who you prefer, or enjoy, seeing yourself as. Anything you might, or might not, do sexually thereafter is little more than an extension of your own self presentation and just some thing else you are wearing and expriencing in a sense.

I think it would be fair to say that most crossdressers IDENTIFY as heterosexual. That said, I think MOST of us have at least WONDERED what it would be like to be "the girl" in a sexual relationship.<br />
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Mmmm...I WONDER about THAT ALL THE TIME! ;)

I think this is a very good response...<br />
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The statement "almost all crossdressers just happen to be heterosexual" is probably the weakest part of the argument. Reading the EP sections there is a range of sexualities, transgender...homosexual...bisexual...oral (blow jobs no penetration)...heterosexual. This appears to be independent of dressing preferences.<br />
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Thanks