I was asked recently by a wife of a crossdresser how I came to understand that I was a crossdresser. I was asked if it was “who I was” or “what I do”? My initial answer was to say that crossdressing is an inherent part of me and it is who I am! But upon closer inspection, I could see that that the question was a wonderful exercise to think through. I was intrigued by the prospect of investigating if there were additional layers of the onion to peel back.
I do believe, still, that crossdressing is who I am. I came to it, not as a fetish, but as a pre-adolescent who had a fascination for my mother’s undergarments. Eventually, I worked up the courage to peek into my mother’s dresser drawers and handle the slips, girdles and other undergarments that lay within. I went into her closet and tried on her too-big black pumps. And so started my development and journey that led me to be Savannah, the spirit I am today.
But, that doesn’t mean that the opposite doesn’t ring true, as well. Did I continue to pursue a life of feminine crossdressing because each episode compounded on top of the previous episode – a la positive reinforcement? Is the fact that I successfully “do” crossdress support the idea that I think I “am” a crossdresser? If I was chastised for the act of crossdressing early on, would I have steered away to other – more masculine – pursuits? My thought is that I would probably be just a more secretive about the truth of who I am.
For me, crossdressing isn’t something I can “take or leave”. It is an ingrained expression that would fester under the surface if I did not have a positive and safe outlet to express it. Some may dress simply to enhance their sexual experiences, getting a thrill out of the act. I enjoy the feminine artistry of it – the make-up, clothing, mannerisms, and demeanor of the feminine side.
I believe you have to become comfortable with who you are. And the only way to become comfortable is to walk a mile in those heels, put a run into a never-worn pair of pantyhose, and agonize over how acceptable an outfit or makeup is. You have to “do” something in order to “become” it. Practice and perseverance are demanded in order to rightly represent the person one is.
So? is crossdressing someone I “am” or something I “do”? In my case, I “do” it in order to better “be” it!