Monday, December 10, 2007

The Cyber Closet

I don't have any statistics. But I think we can safely say that most dressers are somewhat closeted. If not totally closeted. The truth is, even some of my most "out" friends still haven't told their closest friends or family members about their t-lives. And personally, I don't think there's anything wrong with that. We're all on our own paths to feminization. We all have our own personal boundaries and comfort levels. Some of us will go further than others. Some will go all the way to SRS. But odds are that most of us will stay right here where we feel safe - right here in the closet.

And hey, the closet isn't so bad. (There are some pretty cool shoes in here.) And just think how much better we have it than our sisters in the past. Just a few years ago, before the internet became widely used, most crossdressers suffered alone. They had no one to confide in. No one to swap feminization tips with. No one to share the emotional highs and lows of being a T. The closet was a pretty lonely place back then. And very dark.

Then the internet came along and it was like someone switched on a big bright light in the closet. Emboldened by anonymity, crossdressers, trannies, and femme freaks of every kind flocked to the chat sites. They chatted about clothes and make-up and dating and style. They compared notes on everything from politics to movies to sports. They found they could order clothes and accessories on-line. (And then they could chat about their new outfits.) They found they could secretly explore their lusts and fetishes. (And then they could chat about their dates.) But most importantly, they found that they weren't alone!

I remember when I first logged on as a girl. I think it was in the year 2000. I sat quietly in chat rooms and barely spoke. I spent hours studying profiles and photos - marveling at the other girls. The clothes. The makeup. The shoes! Back then, I was amazed that some girls showed their faces. I tried at first, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

I was one of the (many) girls who wouldn't show her face. And I wasn't alone. If there's one thing we crossdressers are really good at, it's taking photos that don't show our faces. We've got that down to an art. Photos of bodies with no heads. Photos of nice long legs and sexy high heels. Photos of cute butts. Photos of ugly butts. We'll show anything to avoid showing our faces.

Now part of that was for reasons of privacy. But for me, part of that was also because I sucked at doing makeup. Even when my makeup looked good in the mirror, some how, it didn't translate to the camera. So most of my early pix have my hair falling down over my face. Kind of sexy. Kind of mysterious. But mostly there to hide another botched make-up job. (BTW... the second thing we crossdressers are really good at, after hiding our faces, is using Photoshop - but that's a topic for another day.)

Fortunately, there were other girls out there who were not so shy. They showed their faces. The showed their bodies. Some even listed their hometowns!

Were these chicks crazy?! Thankfully, yes they were. A little crazy and a little bold. And maybe just a little tired of going it alone. I've kept in touch with some of the first girls I met online. And every once in a while, when I'm feeling sentimental, I shoot them an email and thank them (yet again) for being a friend to me when I was a newbie. For liking me when I felt unlikable. For accepting me when I had assumed that my behavior and desires were totally unacceptable.

Some people say you can't make real friends on the internet. But that's okay by me, because the friends I've made online are absolutely unreal. In all the best ways. They're kind and considerate. They're helpful. They applauded my new pix… even when my new pix weren't that good. They invited me out. Although until recently, I never accepted their invitations. In short, they treated me with respect. And unfortunately, that's not something most of us T-Girls are going to find a lot of out in the real world. (Heck, I even met the person who hired me to write this column online!)

Maybe I'll never be totally out. Maybe I'll never tell my co-workers and relatives about my girlie side. And maybe I'll never truly leave the closet. But at least now I'll never be alone. Because, thanks to the internet, my once lonely closet now has a lounge. And the lounge has seating for millions. Best of all. So does yours.

Take care out there.
Be safe. Be smart. Be sexy.


Anonymous said...

Ok, now I'm starting to feel like I'm worshiping at the altar of CiCi... and perhaps that's because it's true.

This is a great post. It really, really resonated with me. I'm only just coming out in the online community, and I have to say that girls like you have been a huge inspiration and source of support and I thank you very, very much. You rock.


BlackLaceTanya said...

WOW!! When I read this it was as if the article was directed at me personally.
I know I'd love to have a GG to share my femme side with so I wouldn't have to stay "closeted" so much, but realize those gals are far and few between. So, I'll have to keep my little "secret" to myself...and share it with a few other T-girls.
The internet is such a powerful tool for T-girl peace-of-mind. I never realized how many T-girls were out there until I started surfing around. I know that I'm not alone and most of us are in the same boat in terms of keeping our femme side under wraps.
In the meantime, if I can go out to T-girl friendly clubs here and there I'll be happy. If an accepting GG comes into my life, that'll be great too. Otherwise I'll stay around the house and stay in the closet.
Best wishes to all my T-girl sisters out there...Tanya

Jay said...

I am so pleased to find this blog and be privileged enough to read what others think, feel and struggle with as we find ourselves moving inexorably through our transformation. For me, my transformation began in my twenties and I found myself unable or unwilling to really come to grips with it. I found no support and was painfully unaware of the resources available to me in the 50's and 60's and by the 70's rolled around I had come to a place that I felt that it was going to be my lot in life to simply know this woman living inside and not let anyone else know. Today, as I approach my 60's like a freight train, I will not wait any longer and Julianna has made her debut and what a pleasant and exciting experience. I am pleased beyond measure to find this blog and I will surely be a regular visitor. Come visit my blog also if you would and please leave comments if you do visit. Jay

Suddenlyfem said...

Hey Julianna,
Tell us your blog and we can link up for better exposure and sharing of thoughts and ideas!

Jay said...

HI CiCI and moderator at Suddenly Fem.

My blog is at:

Please come visit. I have become a regular visitor here and would welcome visitors at our blog.

Tanya I can say that it is truly a gift of the Gods and Godesses to have a woman in my life that acknowledges and accepts me fully for all that I am. Her acceptance has given me the strength be a lot more public with who I am. If things had been different for me when I was in high school (what an awful experience that was 4'11" 85 pounds and admittedly effeminate sp?).

If any of you would care to chat or exchange emails personally please leave me an email in my blog comment section. I promise to delete the address portion of your comment (not before writingit down) before I accept the comment and post it.

Thank you all. Peace be with each of you all and with all of us.


Anonymous said...

Before the internet, I did not know what my problem was. I loved to cross-dress, but I felt so guilty about it. I truly felt I was a freak and off the mental mainline.

Once I discovered the internet, and all the others out there like me, I started to feel more comfortable with myself. As a result, I started dressing again. Oh, the comfort of being dressed as a woman!

I was still feeling guilty and confused, but this led to me seeking counseling. There, I was able to find my true self. Now the internet is not just a place where I can pretend to be a girl, but a wondrous place where I have found others struggling like me. I've also found some true friends, though in cyber space, they are caring and offer great suggestions and support and are never critical.

Without my internet friends, I would not be as comfortable with myself and who I am. It may be nothing but 'ether' but you can find friends on the internet!

missty said...

i love wearing womens clothing and i also find myself intrested in the modles on the suddenly fem web site i dream about being with one and it gets me all exsited i wish i knew if one of them or even any one felt the same way i do

Brian said...

I am a 33 yr old "girl" getting ready to take the first steps to real womanhood,scared to death,glad I found this site. getting my first therapy session soon. I live in a rural redneck area in N.H. I have taken transfemme for about a year and need to go farther. It makes me glad to Know I am not alone. Will post more soon. Luvs.

CiCi said...

best of luck to you. i know it's not easy. and btw... rural NH is beautiful, i've been there. let me know how it's going, k?

terrilee7721 said...

Hi cici, what kind of emotional/mood changes and physiological changes can I expect if I start therapy. I already cry when I watch sleepless in seattle,,omg I so need a big sister!!! but somewhere in my heart of hearts I know this is so right! hug's and kittens..

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Leo Tardis said...

Thanks for writing that. It expresses what so many of us feel. I only just started accepting that this was who I am around Easter time last year. I had gone through a cross dressing phase many years earlier but I thought I'd beaten it, got it out of my system. Turns out, I was wrong. I'm a girl, at least on the inside. I'm terrified of coming out to everyone I know. The only people that know are family and my psychiatrist. However, I want to be the girl who has been locked inside me for my entire life, so I'm going to have to start coming out soon. The more time I spend in female mode, the harder it is to go back to being a man, or rather, pretending to be a man. I'm far from passable, I'm overweight and I'm over 30, but I'm working on those first 2 and while transitioning is harder the older one starts, I have high hopes that my femme future will bring the happiness I feel when I'm in "girl mode" to my everyday life. I know that there will be challenges, but with the internet, some of those challenges won't be as bad as they would have been. It's because of the internet transgender community that I have been able to get this far, and my journey is only just beginning.

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