I wrote the following this morning in response to one of my follower’s comments on another blog I wrote earlier. Pat had commented that her spouse was concerned about family friends learning that Pat dresses, and how it may impact their perceptions of her as a man and husband. I am of course paraphrasing here. I genuinely liked my response, and felt compelled to repost it here. I have indeed made some content and contextual changes, but the full meaning is still here.
Shallow is merely a perception. If they perceive that everything you have done and accomplished as a man and husband, is somehow hollow or shallow, simply for the fact you express yourself in a contrary way than they expect, who is really shallow? By dressing, and expressing our inner feminine, we are being truer and increasingly more authentic to whom we really are. We may hide behind closed doors, or four walls, or that dimly lit bistro we sneak to in order to get out while dressed; but we do that out of the stigmas that society clings to like a Southerner clings to their guns.
Society still insists on seeing gender as a binary, they still feel that to step outside of a societal norm is somehow wrong. Yet on the weekend, they attire themselves in Harley Davidson attire, and bike around town like they are a rebel without a cause, emulating a portion of society that rebels against societal norms. They pick and choose which norms are good and bad, I ask why do they get to choose? Is there a mysterious commission like the NFL commission, which makes these rulings? If there is a Commissioner, I’d like to petition the Commission for Alternate Gender days, or at least Satin Saturdays.
Society’s mis-perception of who you are cannot be your problem. Any mis-perception is due in part to their narrow, albeit shallow views, thereby forcing you to diminish your light, put on a façade, and live a sort of lie. I simply wonder what secrets or private matters they hide behind closed doors that they worry about being judged over. The façade they thrust on you is not your fault. It is based solely on their expectations society has, a false construct which does not allow for the flexibility the human mind and body need to be whole or complete. Does your dressing affect your parenting or you being a good husband? In most cases; no it does not. But yet we struggle against those perceptions and expectations that society feels are justified. Society, like the government, seems to have this nagging ability to thrust its expectations on us, and call it right.
I think most spouses or significant others worry about others people perceptions; what would the Garden Club or PTO think if they knew. Who can blame them from worrying, it is a mantle we carry on our broad shoulders, day in day out, for a majority of our lives. We have simply learned to live with it. Meanwhile our spouses or SOs have this side of us thrust upon them, and are told that a condition of loving us is; loving or tolerating our feminine aspect. But unlike us, they have the benefit of choosing to shoulder it. And some still do, for better or worse in some cases. In other cases, it becomes a Don’t Ask/ Don’t Tell relationship with massive conditions placed upon us the dresser, and we are told to be thankful that they are making concessions, while we must again compromise who we are. Who is compromising in that situation? And yet in other relationships, the spouse sets about simply trying to change the person they married into the image of the person they wanted to marry to begin with. Men in general suffer that indignity, never quite living up to this unknown expectation of what her perfect is; having no way to ever live up to that expectation. Throw crossdressing into the mix, and suddenly her prince charming has turned into a frog, “this just won’t do.” And the polishing begins. What is wrong I ask you, with loving a person “in toto?” Why can we not Love that person, take the good with the bad, just as they are? Why can we not find ways to embrace the bad with the good? Why can we not overlook the bad, and super emphasize the good? Why does something innocuous and not dangerous have to even be thought of as bad? It is that pesky societal construct.
Many years ago, I knew another crossdresser on-line, the crossdresser’s wife had been very liberal throughout her life; helping with whatever cause dujour she happened upon that needed her help. At the time my friend came out to her about their crossdressing, she happened to be on several Gay/Lesbian/Transgender committees. She was also bi-sexual. Oddly enough, she was no longer a proponent once it crowded her own little construct, and it impacted her personally. My friend never saw it coming; she had convinced herself her spouse would understand and support her. It is a shame that people can flip-flop so casually once things impact them personally. But the argument her spouse used was that she had mislead and lied to her for years. My friend argued relentlessly, that she had no way of knowing how she would respond, that her intent was not to mislead or lie. That she lived in fear of being ridiculed, unaccepted, rejected. Her spouse’s responses justified those fears. Yet she never saw that is exactly what had happened. She was too close to see that her reactions were exactly why her husband had been fearful to tell the truth, until he had thought he had perceived an opening and possible acceptance in the groups that she backed. They eventually divorced.
As for me, I’ve vowed to Love my girlfriend, in every way, good with the bad. Bad habits, good habits. I Love her as she is. I Love her despite any thoughts, misgivings, concerns or worries she has about my dressing. I vow to help her understand if she is willing. I vow to communicate and keep those communication channels open. I also vow to give her space when she reaches a point where it is all too much to absorb. It is my sincere hope that with this all enduring Love, that she is able to Love me in toto, and maybe find a way to find an endearing, even platonic love for Caden.
All I’ve ever wanted from life has been to be happy. There are extravagant things that would make me happy, simple things that make me happy and feminine things which make me happy. I strive to find the balance of all those things to find my happy place. That’s all any of us can do.
Ever & Always,
A much happier Caden Lane