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Crossdressing, Love and Acceptance

by Twitchy on March 18, 2014

Channel surfing late Thursday night, I happened upon an interesting story on The Feed, SBS about members of the formerly secret club, The Seahorse Society.

The first interview I caught was with a lovely lady named Ophelia, who has quite a unique job: she helps men cross-dress. Ninety clients trust Ophelia with their secret and visit periodically for a styling session, use of her extensive wardrobe and perhaps an evening out with her as moral support and chaperone.

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Surprisingly, most of these clients are heterosexual married men. Men who are not interested in having a sex change, in other men, or even in other women- only (for whatever reason) in cross dressing. Most of them keep it a fiercely guarded secret for fear of what it would do to their families and marriages.

Two fellas whose need to bring the cross-dressing home, meant telling their wives. This is where the story took a fascinating turn for me. It wasn’t the cross-dressing itself, or even why (though I can only imagine how problematic at home it would be). It was that their need to explore this side of themselves completely became so important as to lead them to take the risk of outing themselves.

One of the wives, Sandra, eventually took it in her stride. She is Peter’s second wife, the first having left because of the cross-dressing. Sandra decided the problem was not as bad as other things husbands could be doing. She realised she’d gained a new best friend in “Susan” and was not prepared to lose Peter over it. She’s now found herself the go-to wife when someone finds out their husband wants to dress as a woman.

The second wife who spoke- Belinda- could only live with Leon and not Alyce, so she left. She is heartbroken and upset she couldn’t accept it but is still friends with both Leon and Alyce.

Not only was I surprised to learn how common this hetero cross-dressing situation is, I was taken in by the reactions of the loved ones. (I can’t imagine what it would be like or how I would react.) But take away the specifics, be it anything (preferably not illegal or) meant to hurt anyone. Something important enough that needs to be explored, engaged in or indulged. If it is something that confronts, or pushes the boundaries of society’s or one’s relationship expectations- how will it be managed? Sometimes love and understanding will, and sometimes it won’t, be enough.

This is not about “rights” or “wrongs”. It’s made me look at how and what we need to do to be who we really are, what matters to us and what we can live with. Bravery and deep consideration of what’s important. And that’s what really got me thinking.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle January 11, 2017 at 5:09 am

My wife was aware of my crossdressing before we married. She does not participate or encourage me in any way. I keep my body and legs smooth shaven; and would love for my wife to encourage, even better, order me to wear sheer nylons on a regular basis for her inspection, seeing as I keep my legs so feminine. She could even tease me about my crossdressing, calling me her feminine, “bitch husband”. Thus; I would enjoy being cuckold by my wife’s dominant nature. Too bad she doesn’t read any cuckold websites. Also; I’ve always had thoughts and fantasies of my wife openly flirting with other men, and having a personal, intimate relationship with another man. I’ve had these thoughts and feelings since before we were married, but never told her, as I didn’t want her to think I didn’t love her, and didn’t think she could be open-minded or accepting enough to include them in our marriage. Maybe too little; too late.

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Penny March 25, 2014 at 2:27 am

I’ve known about my husband’s cross dressing for just over two years. He told me after 28 years together. Adapting has been an absolute roller-coaster and it hasn’t been an easy time, but we’re still together and love one another. Blogging helped me sort out my feelings. Everyone’s experience is different, but for anyone interested here’s a link to my blog:

http://livingwiththeotherwoman.blogspot.co.uk/

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Twitchy March 25, 2014 at 9:10 am

Wow, what a time for you both. I’m so glad to hear he trusted you and you have together managed to find a way. Thank you so much for commenting, Penny. I will definitely check out your link.

Lara @ This Charming Mum March 23, 2014 at 10:14 pm

Great post. Some of those documentaries seem really geared towards ‘shock value’ whilst others just give a fascinating insight into other ways of living. I reckon every single one of us has our quirks, our secrets, our strange ways of being true to ourselves – just different manifestations. Sounds like it was handled in an interesting way in this show.

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kaz - melting moments March 21, 2014 at 9:37 pm

This is so interesting. Wish I’d seen it :)

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Robyn (Mrs D) March 21, 2014 at 4:55 pm

I couldn’t agree more!! I know its not quite the same thing but when my Master J has dressed up in his sisters tutu’s and wings – I’ve always said that there is “no prejudice in my house”. However I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at this post!!

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Beck March 21, 2014 at 2:50 pm

It’s hard to know how you would react unless you were put in that position yourself. I am sure there are a lot of people who are ‘exploring’ another aspect of themselves and is not sure how to tell their partner.

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Pinky Poinker March 21, 2014 at 2:16 pm

I think the only thing that would worry me is that the husband may decide he wants to permanently remain as ‘Alice’. There wouldn’t be enough room in my wardrobe for all of our shoes!

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Tegan March 19, 2014 at 2:56 pm

I watched a show on ABC2 last year about cross dressing and transgendered people. It was really interesting as there was a mix of people who were out and proud, as well as those who were unsure about telling people in their life. One of the man-woman in the series, with support of those on the show (they had a week long meet up every couple of weeks where they could talk with people going through the same thing) told his mother and her reaction was so simple. She looked at him and said, well duh, I’ve known for years, I am your mother after all and the relief on his face was beautiful.

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Twitchy March 19, 2014 at 3:21 pm

Oh that is gorgeous. One of the bittersweet things about coming ‘out’ with anything deeply personal is that the supporters and detractors unexpectedly show their true colours.

Bec @ The Plumbette March 18, 2014 at 9:18 pm

Ive come across a cross dresser when I was doing my plumbing apprenticeship. It was an electrician who dressed as a woman. He told me that my story inspired him and at the time all I could do was smile and say thank you. It’s not up to us to judge, but be polite and accepting.

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EssentiallyJess March 18, 2014 at 9:09 pm

I read an article in a magazine about a similar thing not long ago, and the wife learned to accept it, though she really struggled. Honestly I think I would too. It must be so hard for everyone in that kind of situation, and certainly compassion is much more necessary than judgement.

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Janet aka Middle Aged Mama March 18, 2014 at 6:08 pm

This is not an issue I’ve personally ever come across, although there was a cross-dressing client that I used to serve when I worked in the library. I really felt for them because of all the giggles and stares. I don’t know the whys and hows, I just wish we could all be more accepting.

Visiting today from #teamIBOT xxx

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Twitchy March 18, 2014 at 7:41 pm

Only recently I saw a middle aged man in a wig and stuffed bra at the check out. It seemed a tad incongruous and it did make me wonder what it was all about. I guess it was my lack of experience that led me to compare that he was not like most cross-dressers that may or may not actually be transexuals. What this is seems to be pretty much just blokes in skirts- I’m learning!

Becc March 18, 2014 at 4:08 pm

It is interesting isn’t it. My first thought is who cares, but I guess it goes further than the clothes and the partners may or may not be able to accept that. I can’t imagine that I would turn my back on someone I loved who wanted to cross dress, but then there is a big difference between imagining and reality I guess.

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Sam Stone @ A Life on Venus March 18, 2014 at 3:55 pm

This is something to get you thinking. I love The Feed, it has some great sections. I am not sure how i would react at all, but I am not sure how I would react to anything until it happens to me.

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Lisa@RandomActsOfZen March 18, 2014 at 1:46 pm

I can’t imagine how I’d feel, but hope that I would be able to grasp the situation and deal with it . When I really think about it, if no one is being hurt in any way, how would I not be able to deal with it?
I guess we all have our own level of tolerance and “tipping point”. xx

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Jody at Six Little Hearts March 18, 2014 at 1:29 pm

What a fascinating subject! I love documentaries like that one that present challenging views.

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Eleise @ A Very Blended Family March 18, 2014 at 1:17 pm

I actually have a business associate who cross dresses and at first it was kind of a shock but it also made sense why he is so open and understanding. It must be hard to be judged for your thoughts, and really who wouldn’t want to put on some heels and lippy and feel fab!

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Mr Twitchy March 18, 2014 at 7:33 pm

Most Men !!!

Twitchy March 18, 2014 at 7:34 pm

Speaking for himself..! But yes, I hear you :)

Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me March 18, 2014 at 11:11 am

Yes I bet it was quite a big deal for those ‘wives to stand by their ‘wo’man’ – it’s hard to say what I’d do, but I’d like to think I could accept whatever decision my husband made, I think it would be a lot easier to live with than finding out he was cheating on me. I’ve often said our marriage would be over if he did, but who knows, I hope I never do x

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Camilla March 18, 2014 at 10:44 am

Until this post, I had never thought about how I’d feel being the partner of a cross dresser. Not that I think my partner is interested in that, but if he was, I guess I’d have to cross that bridge when I came to it. I’d like to think I’d be open minded and okay with it, but there’s a niggly little bit of doubt still in there.

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Renee March 18, 2014 at 7:00 am

I’m not sure how I would react either. I would definitely try to understand why he was doing this and the reasons behind it. Sounds like an interesting doco. I wish I saw it.

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Twitchy March 18, 2014 at 7:47 am

You see the 14 minute story via this above link :)

fairydust March 18, 2014 at 5:25 am

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. ~ Dr. Seuss

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Twitchy March 18, 2014 at 10:42 am

He was SO full of wise words, that Dr Seuss. How wonderful “Oh The Places You’ll Go” is! xx

Jen March 18, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Fairydust just nailed it with that Dr Seuss quote! That man’s a genius…

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