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Thread: What is actually known about the urge to crossdress?

  1. #1
    male lesbian girlygirly's Avatar
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    What is actually known about the urge to crossdress?

    I think I have too many questions about crossdressing to actually be fully content and happy about it, but that hasn't really been enough of a reason for me to ever purge or stop. Instead, I have slowly purged all my male clothing over the last ten years.

    I don't want to ruffle any feathers or troll, and I have looked for a sticky thread on this. I do understand that for many this is the elephant in the room and that discussing it generally causes mayhem, but one of the main reasons I came here was for answers, and many of my questions tend to cast me as a denier.

    Crossdressing has changed the way I live my life at times, and I still live my life 99% closeted, while wearing only female clothing, and admitting little to almost everyone who knows me. It is the best compromise I can come up with, leaving myself as the only person I really have to answer to. I realize the compulsion, and don't see why being "normal" isn't a more easy choice. I also believe it is really a choice in the end, as much as some may insist that isn't true. I have no problem toning it down when I really have to, I just don't like to. To me, that still leaves me making a choice, or perhaps just clinging to a hope that I have one.

    For me, there are enough things that happened to me as a child to make me think crossdressing could be some sort of programmed behavior which resulted from playing doctor and dress up games with girls when I was very young, but it also started for me at a young enough age for me to understand it can be a genetic trait, along with my fascination in everything which is girly.

    How does this all happen to us? Is the "gay gene" the same as the "crossdressing gene"?

    I don't understand this genetic thing at all, somebody's got some splainin' to do before it genuinely makes sense to me! Is crossdressing an extension of what some might call "denial of gayness", or is it a separate genetic trait altogether?

    What is actually known and scientifically proven about crossdressing, and why are we always lumped in with the gay community? That tends to make crossdressing seem like an act which is motivated more by sexual needs, rather than an actual life path that we can't seem to avoid taking at some point. Are the two that closely related? I have no problem staying away from men, there is no emotional attraction to men as a potential partner for me, but I am totally lost in tighty whiteys! I haven't worn anything but girl undies for years. I am much happier dressed like a girl, the girlier the better, but at the same time I would be mortified if I were caught in a dress. The compulsion and basic instinct to dress like a girl is unexplainable for me, but there are also limits to how far I can go and still feel comfortable.

    If it isn't going to turn into a big fight I would be interested to see what anyone has to say about it. I realize this all has probably been said before in a different thread, but I'm sure there are many here who have researched this extensively, as well. If it one of those things that can only be debated, then quarreled over, just delete my post. I won't be offended.

  2. #2
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    Great question! Scientific evidence is pointing at genetic/biological/ hormonal issues during the pregnancy. Our brain is supposedly hardwired this way.

  3. #3
    Aspiring Member prettytoes's Avatar
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    You hit the nail right on the head for me. I am also far more comfortable in feminine clothing, and I only wear women's panties. I have no natural breasts, but I feel uncomfortable if I exercise without a sports bra on. I would much prefer to wear a mini skirt when it's hot over shorts, I sleep in nighties and pink PJ's, and my toenails are always polished. And, like you, I would be deeply horrified if any of my friends saw me as I really want to be dressed.
    When I am wearing feminine clothes, I feel very at-ease and comfortable...it just feels right.
    I will never know for sure, but I have my suspicions that my father also cross-dressed. There were a few things I look back at, knowing what I know now, that have lead me to believe this. This leads me to believe that it is genetic, and can carry over from one generation to the next.
    I have 2 daughters, and I know that they like wearing women's clothes! lol
    Life's too short to not be enjoyed! Live each day to the fullest!

  4. #4
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    There is nothing wrong with wanting to know why is the way they are, I question that as well and just about everything in life; to paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, "Question everything with boldness", and that is what I do in life. It is one thing if one wastes away their life just questioning why they are TV/TS, but it is a good thing, a healthy thing, to want to know and understand why. I don't believe anything "just happens", there is a cause and effect for everything. It is just unfortunate this question is such a complex and multifaceted one, and there is still so much research to do.

  5. #5
    Tis the Season Kate Simmons's Avatar
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    The main driver for all of this is about deep feelings involving who(not what) we are. We need to identify and honestly address those feelings to be at peace with ourselves and who we are.
    Second star to the right and straight on till morning

  6. #6
    Joanie sterling12's Avatar
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    You, (and everyone else) may want to know The "Why" Answers, but it's not going to happen! You may come up with A Theory for yourself, but you will never know for sure. The Spectrum is filled with individuals who became transgendered under many different circumstances. As The saying goes: "We're all Sisters, but no two of us are alike!" Sexual? Probably so for some of us, but many started dressing at age four or five, way too early for that to be The Reason. Emulating Mommy? Maybe, but a lot of us didn't exactly have glamorous mothers, nor an absent father....so, why do we often worship Glamor? Biological? Maybe for some, but I know a lot of CD's And TS Gurls who started dressing in their forties and fifties. If it's a biological thing during gestation, how could it be dormant for so long? And, The Reasons, and circumstances; and the counter-arguments could go on and on.

    Eventually, you will quit worrying about The "Why." Then, if you have good sense, you can start to address the idea of accepting ALL of yourself! If you just think about it, spending your emotions, and effort on Accepting Self would make a lot more sense. That's something you can change! Speculating trying to find an "Excuse?" for The Why of Transgendered Existence is only frustrating and pointless.

    Your going to continue to do it. That is, continuing to Think about The Why Question, at least in passing thoughts. But most of us with experience have learned the ultimate truth; "Why waste your time speculating, you can't change anything about The Circumstances." "Only change you can make is about your feelings Today."

    Peace and Love, Joanie

  7. #7
    Gold Member DonnaT's Avatar
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    We may never know for sure, but genes and hormones are the most likely suspects.

    One of my ideas is, think about those who are Intersex. A result of differences in genes and/or their reactions to hormones.

    If nearly the whole body (including the brain) can be altered (think CAIS) because of the genes and hormones, or if ones genitalia can be altered, why not the brain alone?
    DonnaT

  8. #8
    Junior Member muzzy's Avatar
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    the urge to make love,the urge to do the wrong thing...we all have urges and some put them into play xoxo

  9. #9
    GG ReineD's Avatar
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    No one knows why you are the way you are, but there is a growing body of evidence that it is nature vs. nurture. In other words, it is a part of your hard-wiring, whether it is some gene or as the result of hormones or other chemicals you received while in utero.

    Quote Originally Posted by girlygirly View Post
    why are we always lumped in with the gay community?
    It's my understanding that the L,G,B,T, & Qs are lumped together because members of these subgroups depart from the hetero/binary gender norms. In other words, anyone who is same-sex attracted, or who does not identify with their birth sex 100%, or who engages in behaviors associated with the opposite sex, has been historically considered "different" and has been stigmatized in most (but not all) of our cultures. Because of this, the repressed minorities who fall under these subgroups have banded together to fight for their rights at the same time as there have been recent (the last century) advances in medical and psychological research to help society understand that a departure from the binary/hetero norm is, well, quite normal. lol

    The association or the "lumping together" isn't there to infer that transgenders are gay, even though there are transgenders as well as cisgenders who are gay. It is well known that sexual preference is distinct from gender identity within members of the LGBTQ community.

    Quote Originally Posted by girlygirly View Post
    That tends to make crossdressing seem like an act which is motivated more by sexual needs, rather than an actual life path that we can't seem to avoid taking at some point. Are the two that closely related?
    The CDing is sexual for some people and not for others and no one knows why this is. There are different subgroups under the transgender umbrella.

    Quote Originally Posted by girlygirly View Post
    I have no problem staying away from men, there is no emotional attraction to men as a potential partner for me, but I am totally lost in tighty whiteys! I haven't worn anything but girl undies for years.
    You should have a look at this thread that is up to 70 responses already:
    http://www.crossdressers.com/forums/...ill-like-women

    The overwhelming majority of the CDers who responded also are not attracted to men. You're not alone.

    Quote Originally Posted by girlygirly View Post
    I am much happier dressed like a girl, the girlier the better, but at the same time I would be mortified if I were caught in a dress. The compulsion and basic instinct to dress like a girl is unexplainable for me, but there are also limits to how far I can go and still feel comfortable.
    It's one thing to stop at a level that reflects who you are inside, or to come to a realization that we do live in a society that still stigmatizes CDers and so you wish to do what you can to protect your job, but if you don't feel comfortable wearing a dress for fear of what even strangers may think, you might seek counseling? (... if you would like to go out fully dressed even in the next town over but feel you can't, for example)

    Do you identify as a crossdresser or a transsexual? If you do not know, you might also wish to get gender counseling.

    Quote Originally Posted by girlygirly View Post
    If it isn't going to turn into a big fight I would be interested to see what anyone has to say about it. I realize this all has probably been said before in a different thread, but I'm sure there are many here who have researched this extensively, as well. If it one of those things that can only be debated, then quarreled over, just delete my post. I won't be offended.
    I honestly don't see anything in your post for anyone to fight over. You're wondering why you are the way you are and you're saying that you wish to present female while not being attracted to men. You're actually just like a huge chunk of people here.
    Reine

  10. #10
    Lexi for a while... sometimes_miss's Avatar
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    This has all been hashed over many times, but the search function here doesn't work very well. So, once again, here we go. You'll find a variety of opinions, here are some of mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by girlygirly View Post
    I also believe it is really a choice in the end
    Yes, we choose whether to 'give in' to the desire to dress as girls. We do not get to choose whether we want to.

    For me, there are enough things that happened to me as a child to make me think crossdressing could be some sort of programmed behavior
    Yes, it could.

    but it also started for me at a young enough age for me to understand it can be a genetic trait
    there are genetic/hormonal influences going on at that age that can influence your gender identity, but they are not 100% effective in detemining that.

    along with my fascination in everything which is girly.
    That is something that occurs when you accept and try to accomodate the feminine feelings you have. (though for those of us who started getting into female attire and behavior later in life, it often overwhelms us when we're older after many years of suppressing the desires).

    How does this all happen to us? Is the "gay gene" the same as the "crossdressing gene"?
    No such thing.

    I don't understand this genetic thing at all, somebody's got some splainin' to do before it genuinely makes sense to me!
    See above. Genes can determine when and if certain hormones are generated, which influence how you feel.

    Is crossdressing an extension of what some might call "denial of gayness"
    Due to the way our society looks down on homosexuality, many people will deny that they have any homosexual feelings at all. So you will find a huge percentage that separate their female behavior from themselves, often creating a separate persona for those feelings.

    What is actually known and scientifically proven about crossdressing
    Not much. There are no controlled experiments done on human beings (no ethical ones, anyway) to determine all the genetic theories, and all the behavioral theories are developed from observation. When you add in the huge number of closeted folks and those who answer incorrectly due to subconsciously repressing their own feelings, the percentages quoted in any study are libel to be far off reality.

    and why are we always lumped in with the gay community?
    Because we dress in a way meant to sexually attract men. It's that simple.

    That tends to make crossdressing seem like an act which is motivated more by sexual needs
    Yes and no. One thing that most people ignore is the need for physical touch, affection, which is a separate need from sex. But men are so driven by testosterone that we usually don't get to the 'affection withdrawal only' state. We want sex all the time, so we usually confuse the two needs.

    I haven't worn anything but girl undies for years. I am much happier dressed like a girl, the girlier the better, but at the same time I would be mortified if I were caught in a dress. The compulsion and basic instinct to dress like a girl is unexplainable for me, but there are also limits to how far I can go and still feel comfortable.
    How far you can go as far as being dressed, made up, nail polish, wig or hair style as a girl, etc. as a female, or how far such as going out in public?

    You're going to get a whole lot of information here. Be careful, and try to use it all to figure out how it all applies (or doesn't) to you. I will no longer debate with others what it all means, or whether other people (or myself) are right or wrong about all this, it's a waste of time because it goes nowhere.

    I sent you a PM with more info.

    good luck.
    My life is just one long extended game of dress up. But am I a guy dressing up as a girl, or a girl dressing up as a guy? My TG biography at: http://www.crossdressers.com/forums/...=1#post1490601 however, the beginning actually starts at post #53 there. I cannot fix the link to show the starting post.

  11. #11
    Silver Member noeleena's Avatar
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    Hi,

    This wont answer your ? the way you would like ,yet this is a part of what happens to us. or for some ,

    Im interesexed or androgyny,

    is some times used to refer to those with out gender specific physical sexual characteristis or sexual orientation or gender identity or some combination of these , such people can be physically & Psychologically anywhere between the two sexes .

    the way we are wired or programed thats long before birth, our hormones & a host of other details inside of us dictate whats going on or what will happen .

    Can one be taught to be one way or the other , may be for a short time yet long term no as has been proved you can not ....make ..... a boy be a girl or a girl be a boy .

    For my self i was born with what makes me who i am a female / woman who is different ,

    Not a put on or make belive or trained to be even i did not ask to be a boy or a girl , im just both or a mix of both . & to really understand . i dont know what its like to be a boy or a girl in a way that says im one or the other..i cant seperate ether of them .

    If i was asked whats it like to be a boy i really have no idear & a girl the same yet im both ,

    thats my conflict , yes iv learned iv seen i just cant put my hands on as it were & say im one or the other in a way that many people can,

    A greater part of my self is female & a lesser part is male yet iv tossed that around & ill never really know,

    Im just accepted as a female / woman in my own right, im liveing as i should & with out ? .

    So being intersexed does have disadvantages & advantages, i belive i have the best part. any way thats this kid, & im happy the way i am & pretty much have been for allmost all of my life,

    ...noeleena...

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    Such a refreshing and thought provoking thread.
    You raise some very real questions, but for the most part they are unanswerable. There are certainly no answers that would apply to all the members here.

    I pretty much accepted myself a couple of years ago. However, I will still question and reanalyze myself and my actions from time to time. That's a part of me that covers all aspects of my life, not just being girly. I constantly reassess most everything I do.
    Most importantly, I accepted the fact that these feelings are most definitely part of me and they are not going away. That's where you should channel your energies.

    It's good that you question yourself but try not to dwell on it. Accept the fact that there are just no easy answers for some areas of life. Enjoy your time on this planet and just leave it that way. There are far too many things that upset and wreck our lives without seeking out answers to why something makes us happy.

  13. #13
    NE Wisconsin CD cdtara's Avatar
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    Thats a great question. I always wondered what pushed me to try something on that first time. Now I just accepted I love the way it feels and the way I feel when I have fem stuff on.

  14. #14
    Miss Conception Karren Hutton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marleena View Post
    Great question! Scientific evidence is pointing at genetic/biological/ hormonal issues during the pregnancy. Our brain is supposedly hardwired this way.
    Studys show that 80% of all scientific evidence is made up!

    No one knows for sure and even if you did know it wouldn't change a thing. You would still do it? So tormenting over it and searching for "why" is a large waste of time.... Imho. Life's too short as it is... Accept it for what it is and move on... I did and my life got so much more fun!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karren Hutton View Post
    Studys show that 80% of all scientific evidence is made up!

    No one knows for sure and even if you did know it wouldn't change a thing. You would still do it? So tormenting over it and searching for "why" is a large waste of time.... Imho. Life's too short as it is... Accept it for what it is and move on... I did and my life got so much more fun!!
    I like your attitude Karren! I wanna grow up to be just like you.

  16. #16
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    Hi Girly, I think that there are as many answers as there are Crossdressers.

    I can explain it to you, But I can't comprehend it for you !

    If at first you don't succeed, Then Skydiving isn't for you.

    Be careful what you wish for, Once you ring a bell , you just can't Un-Ring it !! !!

  17. #17
    Silver Member darla_g's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karren Hutton View Post
    Studys show that 80% of all scientific evidence is made up!

    No one knows for sure and even if you did know it wouldn't change a thing. You would still do it? So tormenting over it and searching for "why" is a large waste of time.... Imho. Life's too short as it is... Accept it for what it is and move on... I did and my life got so much more fun!!
    This is entirely true! I spent my first year trying to figure it all out and get to the reason why. After much reflection I decided it just doesn't matter. I do what I do and that's it. No apologies, no explanations, and no need for therapy. There is nothing to be fixed.

    Now if for some reason you think your behaviors are causing you harm or negative consequences then you may need to do something. For example if somehow your need to dress caused you to miss work and get fired.

  18. #18
    Senior Age Member sissystephanie's Avatar
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    I do not have any type of a medical degree, but I have been crossdressing longer than many of you have been alive. During all those years I have spent a lot of time studying CD'ing and have learned a lot. The question that was asked is "What is known about the urgre to crossdress?" The truth is that very little is known about that. The major problem is many crossdressers don't really have an "urge" to dress. They dress for any number of reasons, but there is no real "urge" to do so! I dress simply because I like the fit, feel, and look of feminine clothes. But there is no real "urge" to do so. If I don't want to do so, I don't. My late wife supported me totally, and liked to see me in feminine clothing. My 2 children know that I CD, but don't want to see me dressed! So they never will! I was born a man, and still remain one. But obviously there is something in my body which makes my feminine side stronger than other peoples. I do not believe that it is in my head, because a persons head (their mental processes) is developed by him or her! MTF crossdressers are born as men, and unless they have surgery will always be a man, no matter what clothing they have on or how they feel about themselves. As I have said before, clothing does not make a woman. Only God or a good surgeon can do that!
    Stephanie

    Lady on the outside, but man underneath!

  19. #19
    Member Aylineira's Avatar
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    I know how you feel girlygirly. I actually had a lot of the similar questions you had. Ultimately for every question I had, I had to go out and figure it all out myself.

    Now this is what I came up for myself and this is in no reflection to how others feel.

    My grandfather was also a crossdresser. I remember when I was young because he would put on an odd wig and wore a dress whenever he rode his bicycle around. After doing much research here and on many other sites, I have concluded that genetics may play a role in why we get interested in crossdressing.

    As we all know there is a large spectrum of degrees of crossdressing behavior. Some only want to wear the panties and some want to go all the way. This is probably the most well known truth but I just wanted to reiterate.

    I once thought as well that perhaps crossdressing was a "denial of gayness". Therefore I had to actually go out and see for myself if I was really gay (Sigh.. yes..I know I know...being gay is not learned..but I was really confused and had to know!). I tried an online relationship with a man who thought I was a woman. Even at the onset of the relationship, I could not help but feel my revulsion every time we spoke on slightly more personal topics (and believe me, he was actually quite a gentleman and a good guy). I broke it off after a few "dates". Later on I would accidentally find a GG girlfriend in the same forums and I felt like it was right. Even those around me that knew me as a girl in the forums always felt like I was holding back something until I got together with her.

    Unfortunately society loves to categorize everything to make themselves feel better and therefore we are clumped in with the gay community.

    What I have learned is to be happy with myself. Now instead of purging, I leave all of my stuff alone and put it away until the next wave of urges come. I've come to realize that I love being a man as well. I've also come to the realization that I love dressing up in a nice suit and tie while in male mode.

    I think you have yet to shed societal views of what being a crossdresser means and find out for yourself what it means to you.

  20. #20
    Member Acastina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by girlygirly View Post
    Crossdressing has changed the way I live my life at times, and I still live my life 99% closeted, while wearing only female clothing, and admitting little to almost everyone who knows me. It is the best compromise I can come up with, leaving myself as the only person I really have to answer to. I realize the compulsion, and don't see why being "normal" isn't a more easy choice. I also believe it is really a choice in the end, as much as some may insist that isn't true. I have no problem toning it down when I really have to, I just don't like to. To me, that still leaves me making a choice, or perhaps just clinging to a hope that I have one.
    I think this confuses being able to rationally and pragmatically manage your day-to-day life with being able to "choose" not to want to cross-dress. It's compulsive behavior (yes, I know, not OCD, but compulsive in the sense of not being resistable), but anyone not relegated to a fantasy worldview realizes that there are times and places in which discretion is the better part of indulgence. On those occasions, we more or less deny ourselves what we would otherwise do and want to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by girlygirly View Post
    For me, there are enough things that happened to me as a child to make me think crossdressing could be some sort of programmed behavior which resulted from playing doctor and dress up games with girls when I was very young, but it also started for me at a young enough age for me to understand it can be a genetic trait, along with my fascination in everything which is girly.
    The empirical case for causation by conditioning is almost purely anecdotal. There are CDs of all stripes who have no history at all of being encouraged or trained at an early age, and some whose mothers (or other significants) did act out what is often recounted as a preference for having had a daughter instead of a son. I'm not aware of any rigorous study of such cases vis--vis males who might have been subjected to such conditioning but do not cross-dress. Suffice to say that the classic Freudian model of strong mothers and weak or absent fathers has been thoroughly discredited empirically.

    Quote Originally Posted by girlygirly View Post
    How does this all happen to us? Is the "gay gene" the same as the "crossdressing gene"?

    I don't understand this genetic thing at all, somebody's got some splainin' to do before it genuinely makes sense to me! Is crossdressing an extension of what some might call "denial of gayness", or is it a separate genetic trait altogether?

    What is actually known and scientifically proven about crossdressing, and why are we always lumped in with the gay community? That tends to make crossdressing seem like an act which is motivated more by sexual needs, rather than an actual life path that we can't seem to avoid taking at some point. Are the two that closely related? I have no problem staying away from men, there is no emotional attraction to men as a potential partner for me, but I am totally lost in tighty whiteys! I haven't worn anything but girl undies for years. I am much happier dressed like a girl, the girlier the better, but at the same time I would be mortified if I were caught in a dress. The compulsion and basic instinct to dress like a girl is unexplainable for me, but there are also limits to how far I can go and still feel comfortable.
    As Marleena succinctly replied: "Great question! Scientific evidence is pointing at genetic/biological/ hormonal issues during the pregnancy. Our brain is supposedly hardwired this way."

    That's an excellent one-liner summary of the findings of a considerable body of evidence that hormonal anomalies in the first few weeks of pregnancy can "mis-wire" neural connections in the developing fetal brain so as to result in transgendered behaviors in the resulting child (whether they manifest overtly early or later in life). There are brain centers that control sexual response, and it is believed that there are similar centers for one's sense of being male or female (gender identity). It's the complexity of the human brain that allows for so many variations, the profusion of which baffles those who need simple answers and unambiguous labels. "Transgender", for example, was long regarded as a subset of homosexual behaviors, whereas a more modern view is that all behaviors that transgress gender norms fall more comfortably under "transgender" as an inclusive umbrella term; I'm of that view, but it's largely semantics.

    We are this way, for all of our individual differences, because we were programmed by nature to be different. I'm fine with nature's diversity, not so much with intolerant social views.

  21. #21
    Jersey Girl out and about Cheryl T's Avatar
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    What is actually known about the urge to crossdress.....

    It doesn't go away....
    Can you see the REAL Me?

  22. #22
    male lesbian girlygirly's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the great responses!

    I agree with much of what has been said, although I realize it doesn't always mesh together so smoothly. I would like to see someone in the scientific world come up with clearer proof of a genetic link before I am willing to embrace that fully.

    I've personally come to believe this, most of all:

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheryl T View Post
    What is actually known about the urge to crossdress.....

    It doesn't go away....
    I'm one of those people who never stops looking for the one answer that expains it all clearly. I don't know if it exists, though.

  23. #23
    Aspiring Member Ally 2112's Avatar
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    I also agree !.It doesn't go away but 1 good thing is i have stopped worrying about why and more on self accepptance and truly enjoying this aspect of who i am .It is not always sunshine and roses but i do the best i can with what i have
    I have a hubcap diamond star halo

  24. #24
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    Posts
    13,380

    Exclamation Can u handle "THE TRUTH"?

    1. This one is for u conspiratorial folks!
    I drank tap water from all around the world until the girls starting insisting on bottled water when I was about 50. THAT is when I FIRST became interested in dressing!
    I can't mention the brand!

    2. Every older straight man wants to date pretty young women. But, MOST can't afford to, or don't wish to deal with the attractive, head strong one's issues!
    So, if they r able, THEY become that pretty young woman themselves!
    Problem solved!

    3. No, I don't think even the BEST of u can handle No. 3!
    It's so easy to get caught up in your dressing. And, so difficult to explain your "compulsion" to those who don't.

  25. #25
    Full-Time Duality NathalieX66's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Northeast U.S.A
    Posts
    3,955
    More and more, I find the urge to not dress like a guy.

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