A Classic Dilemma: Do I Tell or Not?
by Kathy Hamilton
The very nature of being part of a greatly misunderstood minority makes most of us very secretive.
As we all know, crossdressers and other T people have long lagged behind the other “letters” in the acronym LGB (years behind in fact). Even now, despite the recent amazing advancement in awareness of T issues nationally and internationally, the general public, by and large, simply does not understand crossdressers.
I know I’ve said this before but it’s not altogether surprising really, given that many of us don’t truly understand ourselves!
Now, as we all know it’s about gender and not sexuality but the typical man or woman in the population at large simply doesn’t get it. A gay man can dress in a tee shirt and chinos or he can wear a smart three-piece, double-breasted business suit—but either way it’s often hard to detect that he’s gay. A lesbian woman can have a masculine style haircut and wear denim and a plaid shirt or she can don a pretty flowing dress—and, again, it can be hard to discern that she is gay.
But a crossdresser…? Most crossdressers I know, when attired in one of their Suddenly Fem dresses or wearing a set of slinky Suddenly Fem underwear and wig, look “180 degrees” different from what they look like in their male attire. Add in a change of mannerisms, walk and even speech—and you can see why the public doesn't know what to make of us! Labels such as being gay or assumptions that we all want to transition to be a woman are immediately levied at us.
Right, so now we’ve agreed that crossdressers are different to most others. We also agree that we need to be furtive, secretive and, above all, cautious—especially as there are still some people around who often take offence at what we do. No matter that crossdressing physically harms no one, there are those who will look to cause us injury or even worse.
But the point is, do I continue keep my secret?
Well, let’s have a look at some of the groups of people nearest and dearest to us:
Spouses:Especially for those married crossdressers—and if you believe oft-quoted statistics that almost all crossdressers are heterosexual males with spouses—keeping their dressing a secret can be painful and highly fraught. To make time to dress and to keep hidden “stashes” away from prying eyes often needs the skills and organisational abilities of a military operation. The omnipresent risks of getting caught or discovered or forgetting to take off all of your makeup or nail polish can be very stressful.
So, do I tell?