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Thread: Personal LGBT Exposure - Positive or Negative?

  1. #26
    Member Lori Ann Westlake's Avatar
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    Hi Charlotte,

    This is a very good thread you started, touching on important issues.

    I do agree with your counselor that it would be a positive step for you to explore contact with the LGBT community. It seems to me that you're presently pursuing a very negative course of self-suppression. What you seem to be saying is that you're having some difficulty with self-acceptance--which we nearly all do! Yet as long as you continue to reject or disparage that "feminine" part of yourself, by avoiding contact with others who would encourage you to validate and accept her, at least it keeps you in sympathy with your wife's feelings of disapproval, and discourages you from taking any further step to explore and express your feminine personality, which might (possibly) widen the rift between yourself and your wife.

    Unfortunately that course of action is bound to be stressful, erosive to the personality, and self-destructive in the long run. At best it only delays the inevitable. As time goes on, you are bound to experience more and more inner conflict with yourself, until the feminine side of your personality forces herself to the surface and precipitates an explosive crisis--including a "blowup" with your wife. Even if that doesn't happen, you're going to continue being miserable for years in the meantime with all the inner stress. You're bound to discover your "real self" anyway some day, so why put it off?

    Self-acceptance is a positive thing because it ends the inner conflict and leaves you feeling at peace with yourself. While it's a state of mind we can only achieve "by ourselves," it is certainly encouraged by acceptance from others. Now I was lucky, as I've said here before, and while I was already on the path to self-acceptance of my crossdressing, it was helped further by my wife's acceptance. I recognize that not everyone here has had that luxury, as you don't. But acceptance from good friends, whether in the LGBT community or elsewhere, can certainly be just as helpful, as others have testified.

    What I think is more important is a misunderstanding of emotional consequences, almost a turning of reality on its head. You seem to think lack of self-acceptance, a lingering disapproval of your feminine self, puts you in harmony with your wife's feelings toward that part of you. I beg to differ. Underneath, I think it puts you in conflict with your wife--between your unacknowledged feminine self and her disapproval, just like the conflict between your feminine self and the other troubled, unresolved, disapproving part of yourself.

    Here Stephanie raised a vital point. As long as you continue to feel desperately dependent on your wife for approval that she can not or will not give, you are bound to resent her for failing to fulfill some of your deepest emotional needs. If you turn instead to others in a supportive community for this approval, at a single stroke you free yourself from this dependence. You get your needs fulfilled elsewhere, and you cease to have any reason to resent your wife, on that score at least.

    Suppose for instance that you loved fishing, and your wife showed no interest in it. If you got on well together in every other way, would it make any sense to resent her because she didn't share your love of fishing? No, you'd find some good fishing buddies, go off with them and have a good time, and feel happy afterwards.

    You may still have difficulties with your wife in practical terms over your crossdressing, but at least you will feel at peace with yourself and with "who you are." This is important because people who are not at peace with themselves are more prone to vent their frustrations on others or on the world at large. A feeling of inner peace allows us to be more understanding and tolerant of others. Even if you wife still "has problems" with your gender identity, coming from a happier place within yourself will help you feel more forgiving toward her.

    I don't believe you ever need fear that mixing with the LGBT community would somehow "radicalize" you and lead you to hate anyone, including your wife, the way a few extremists do, spewing hate of their own against the mainstream of normal society. I myself have examined plenty of political positions taken by others, and aren't we all capable of making distinctions? "That seems right to me," "That I disagree with, though they do have a fair argument"--and "That's just plain bonkers!" You are not a leaf blown in the wind by other people's feelings and opinions. You are yourself, with a personality you probably have not fully discovered yet, but I'm sure it does not include "hatred" of the wife you married out of genuine love, just because of a few other people's hangups.

    If mixing with the LGBT community helps you feel happier within yourself, go for it! Better still, I hope you get your wife involved with that counselor to help you sort out any conflict between the two of you.
    Last edited by Lori Ann Westlake; 04-28-2021 at 04:13 PM.

  2. #27
    Fun Member Natalie5004's Avatar
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    Charlotte, My wife is exactly like yours. We are both in the same situation. But mine knows where my clothes are, she counted them last week.
    We are still in love and have a great life. I will not "present" to her per her wishes. Having clear boundaries will work I hope for you. It works for me.

  3. #28
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    Charoltte I got that impression from your post. What the heck did you mean if you engage in more activities with the community you may come to resent your wife? So, if you go out and join a support group that is not enough? Is it necessary to want to hang your clothing in the closet and sit in feminine attire? If she says that's alright, how will that really affect her? Not you, her? You indicated if that were to come to fruition you may come to resent her because there is obviously more to come. "Take it slow." "Nudge her along." I believe all the GG's on this site have expressed their opinion; level with a wife as to your ultimate goal. Let it all out. Don't leave a wife wondering what's next.

    No, my posting is not similar to your comments. I came to the conclusion decades ago that my wife has a valid point and I accept her stance and her values. She told me to go do my thing, but, leave her out. As she once said to me, "Go ahead and go fishing, but, don't bring it home and expect me to clean it!" My wife and I resolved our issues a long time ago. Both of us did not get all we wished for. But, we're not stewing in our own juices about it, either.

  4. #29
    Member CharlotteCD's Avatar
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    I think I made it clear in the original post - if you hang around with like-minded people they will tell you it's fine to be trans and my wife is the one with the problem. You are a combination of the 5 people you are exposed to the most after all.

  5. #30
    Silver Member Sometimes Steffi's Avatar
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    Hmm. You're hanging around with like-minded people here. And I think that we would tell you that it's OK to be trans. But, your wife is not the one with the problem. My wife is DADT. She has not seen me dressed and she has not seen any of my clothes, except for a stray pantie or bra a couple of times. We have talked and set boundaries. She doesn't want to see me "dressed", because "she can never 'un-see' that." She doesn't want the neighbors to see me "dressed". She doesn't want me to tell my adult daughter and she doesn't want me to let her find out "accidentally". However, she does let me go out with "the girls" and she let's me go to CD/TG conventions for several consecutive days.

    If your looking for permission to not get involved with the LGBT community, you have my permission. If you're looking for an "excuse" to tell your therapist, don't use me as an excuse. I went to therapy for years to accept myself. I occasionally went "dressed", depending on logistics. Therapy is supposed to be a "judgement-free zone". Assuming yours is, you can tell your therapist that you're not comfortable interacting with the LGBT community. She should accept that, but will probably ask you, "Why?' It's not really because she wants to know, it's because she wants you to understand why.

    As for your wife, "It is what it is", as they say. I've read a lot of stories from girls here. Some wives eventually came around; some didn't. My wife hasn't after almost 20 years. I don't expect that she ever will. There are also many stories of wives that accepted; then they didn't. YMMV.
    Last edited by Sometimes Steffi; 04-30-2021 at 12:38 AM.
    Hi, I'm Steffi and I'm a crossdresser... And I accept and celebrate both sides of me. Or, maybe I'm gender fluid.

  6. #31
    Member CharlotteCD's Avatar
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    Yes, I am hanging with like-minded people here, and there are a lot of people who encourage behaviours that my wife wouldn't like, and I don't act upon.

    I'm clearly not making any of my posts clearly, because 90% of my posts lead to responses that are reading between the lines or creating scenarios that simply don't exist.

  7. #32
    Another fine dress AngelaYVR's Avatar
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    Perhaps, at the very least, being around people who (presumably) accept you will help take the edge off a little with regard to your wife. Do not begrudge yourself a little calm water in between the storms.

  8. #33
    Member Lori Ann Westlake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlotteCD View Post
    ...if you hang around with like-minded people they will tell you it's fine to be trans...
    I'm sure they will, but what's so bad about self-acceptance?

    Quote Originally Posted by CharlotteCD View Post
    ...and my wife is the one with the problem.
    How can you know that, Charlotte, if you've had "zero LGBT exposure" apart from forums and whatnot.

    I suspect the reality is that some will call your wife a "problem person," but some won't.

    Quote Originally Posted by CharlotteCD View Post
    You are a combination of the 5 people you are exposed to the most after all.
    That may very well be true, but it doesn't explain why we came to be exposed to those five people in the first place. In itself it doesn't tell us how cause and effect operate. It seems to suggest we're passive victims of the people around us, helpless to resist their influence over us. In reality that's not true. By and large, especially in a social setting, we choose or gravitate toward those people who are congenial or helpful to us, and avoid those who are not. So if you encounter people in a community who keep running your wife down, when this is not helpful to you, not in harmony with your wishes and values, you'll avoid them and gravitate toward those with a more constructive attitude.

  9. #34
    Senior Member mbmeen12's Avatar
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    therefore making me resent my Wife more for her stance of not wanting me to dress, and being uncomfortable with my transgender feelings.

    Your already there i.e. resenting .....It just has not surfaced yet..
    Escapism isn't necessarily bad, but is definitely unhealthy in the long term. While helpful in the short term, things will degrade over time. At some point, the escapee will have to face the issue. Things simply blowing over isn't really going to happen in many situations.

  10. #35
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    Charlotte,
    I feel you hit the crux of the problem , she has to deal with people you may chose to mix with whose behaviour your wife wouldn't like . So what is the bad behaviour she fears so much ? I agree they prefer not to lose the man she married but my counter argument to that is she was not the woman I originally married either . Being trans and living a life more as a female doesn't take away the abilities and qualities you once had , it actually broadens your scope because you become a much more rounded person .

    May I ask if that's the only thing she has strong feelings about ? The reason I'm asking is aside from my gender issues my wife didn't really like my art or my arty friends , she didn't like my choice of music , declaring it " Rubbish ! I could continue .

    I look back and realise my dressing was possibly the excuse she was looking for to end our marriage , I admit we were both relieved when we finally decided it was the best course of action . After the children have flown the nest sometimes you find there is a black hole that will never be filled .

    To mix with other trans people or members of the LGBTQ community is no bad thing , for me it helped guide me to my own needs and identity , I knew which roads I prefer not to travel down and certain people I didn't need or want in my life, in the process I met some lovely people and found good friends . It's also worth considering that about 25% of my social groups are attended by wives and partners and most do enjoy it .
    Last edited by Teresa; 04-29-2021 at 05:27 AM.

  11. #36
    Senior Member Ceera's Avatar
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    I think Sara Charles hit the nail on the head. You’re already in an ‘echo chamber’, but much of what it echoes back to you is misinformation. Meeting other people in the LGBTQ community should be a good thing, both for you, and for your wife.

    I remember my early experiences, after I started to ‘accept my feminine side’ and started going out in public as a woman.

    Going to LGBT bars and nightclubs was something of an eye opener. Growing up, the only gay guy I knew before I became an adult was also the one who first exposed me personally to what gay sex was like. I did not have any other experiences to compare it to. As I grew older and left home, I met a few gay or bisexual guys in the military, but we did not really socialize or interact on that level. So the LGBTQ community, and what it was like as real people, remained largely just something I had read about. Especially the Trans or crossdresser part. I did not meet and get to talk to an actual transgender person until I was in my 40’s. I was over 50 when I started going out in public, and I thought that LGBT bars that held drag shows would be a safe and accepting place to venture out in public. I knew I was bi, but I had been living a strictly straight, monogamous life for decades, while I was married. I did not come out until after my wife died, in part out of fear that it would hurt our marriage.

    Going to LGBT venues, as well as going to transgender support group meetings, showed me that I was not alone, and showed me both similarities and differences between myself and those I met. The LGBT community did indeed accept my being there. But I found I had little in common with the drag queens, and not that much in common with the people who identified as ‘crossdressers’ either. Rather, it was the lesbian community that immediately saw me as ‘one of their own’, and wholeheartedly welcomed me - years before I determined that I actually needed to fully transition to female. But none of them directed my choices. Rather, they gave me a factual basis to make my own choices from.

    The trans and non-binary support groups included some meetings strictly for people who identified as trans or non-binary, and others open to spouses, other family, friends and allies. Once again, it gave me factual information to base my own decisions on. Not assumptions made by people who had never lived the life experiences of an LGBTQ person, but direct, first hand responses from people who had lived it - both the good parts and the horrifically bad parts.

    I feel, if I had found these LGBT sources and support groups while my wife was still alive, we might have, together, found a way to cope with both our needs, and remain strong as a couple. We certainly could not have done so with the lack of accurate information that we had to work with before that.
    Last edited by Ceera; 04-29-2021 at 05:25 AM.

  12. #37
    Member Lori Ann Westlake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teresa View Post
    May I ask if that's the only thing she has strong feelings about ? The reason I'm asking is aside from my gender issues my wife didn't really like my art or my arty friends , she didn't like my choice of music , declaring it " Rubbish ! I could continue .
    Ah-HA, Teresa! A vital point, one the Doc mentioned recently on another thread. How strong was the marriage in the first place? How much did the partners really have in common? How much did they share and harmonize with another? Interests, values, background, likes and dislikes, sense of humor, attitudes to politics or religion, outlook, "world view," life goals, everything? And along with that, how much did their needs and strengths complement one another's in ways that also bonded them together in mutual support? How close are the partners to being true "soul mates"? Or do they (at worst) veer more toward being mere "room mates"? Not to mention that there are worse things than being "room mates," when two partners only tolerate one another and are at loggerheads much of the time.

    I myself have been lucky, because my wife and I always shared a great deal in terms of interests, values and so forth. We even did the same job for the same company for many years, so we had a lot to share there too (including socially with friends we worked with), and we?ve enjoyed doing many things with one another. We both enjoy various kinds of music, from rock to medieval to classical. We ?take an interest" in each other's interests, even if they aren't always the same, or more specific to one of us than the other. Sometimes I go to certain shows and buy something I'd bring back home, but my wife is always interested to hear what I have to tell her about its history, design and so forth. Similarly, she might go shopping on her own and bring back a load of Christmas presents for her ("our") nephews and nieces. clothes, toys and whatnot, but we both enjoy the ?show and tell" that follows.

    I'm tempted to go further and suggest that if there is harmony between a wife and a husband who has certain feminine tendencies, the wife?s appreciation of her husband's "feminine side," whether overt or covert, may be part of what bonds them together. In other marriages it may be the opposite, an underlying bone of contention. I recall hearing of one wife for instance who was frustrated because her husband was ?not enough of a tiger? in the bedroom. Though unlike yourself, I never had to face the issue, I imagine that had I been transgender, my wife and I would probably have transcended the issue. Since others have mentioned old Will Shakespeare here recently, I can't help thinking of his Sonnet CXVI, which famously begins:

    Let me not to the marriage of true minds
    Admit impediments. Love is not love
    Which alters when it alteration finds...

    Going to that "fishing" analogy that both Stephanie and I have spoken of, there are varying degrees of ?acceptance" of fishing by a partner. At best, it may be something both partners enjoy together, which my wife and I have done, though I'm not a "fishing nut." On one notable occasion we took my mother out fishing, something she?d never done before at 75 years of age, and remarked that it was "so relaxing!? Even the fact that she fell into the St. Lawrence River at Gananoque, where we were fishing at the time, did not spoil her day!

    Of course, a man may go fishing on his own if his wife isn?t so keen, but that's OK as long as his wife doesn?t mind. (Either partner may do the same.) As long as he brings fish home for her to enjoy with him, perhaps with a nice bottle of white wine, As long as he doesn?t necessarily expect her to clean the fish, as Stephanie pointed out. And as long as his hobby doesn?t take too much time away from his wife. Any hobby can do that. We?ve all heard the phrase "golf widow,? for instance.

    But if his wife has some objection to fishing "on principle?--she doesn't appreciate the way of Nature and condemns it as "predatory? for instance--or if she hates his "fishing buddies" for whatever reason--that's a different matter and signals a fundamental rift of attitude between the couple. Then they?re not just "coexisting? peacefully side by side, but set in opposition to one another,

    It wouldn't be a problem if your wife simply had no interest in art, but was willing to enjoy the company of your "arty" friends. But she actively disliked them. The same with music, pouring scorn on your taste as "rubbish." Unless it?s genuinely good-humored "joshing," and seen as such, . very few marriages can withstand contempt by one partner for another. So it seems to me as if your wife was a "problem," irrespective of any issues with crossdressing, which I?m very sorry to hear. It sounds as if the two of you had enough in common to be friends, but sadly, not enough to be "soul mates? or true ?life partners.?

    Obviously I don't know how Charlotte stands in this respect, but the foundations of a marriage, and its potential for lifelong survival as a good marriage should, are always questions worth examining.

  13. #38
    Senior Member TheHiddenMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlotteCD View Post
    I think I made it clear in the original post - if you hang around with like-minded people they will tell you it's fine to be trans and my wife is the one with the problem. You are a combination of the 5 people you are exposed to the most after all.
    You asked for the opinion of the members of the forum.

    Almost unanimously, they disagree with you, in pretty strong language and terms.

    You got an answer you didn't want to hear and by all appearances you are ignoring those answers--and the advice of your therapist--and sticking to your prior opinions. Good luck with that.

  14. #39
    Member CharlotteCD's Avatar
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    You're making assumptions that i've ignored my therapist. You're making assumptions that i'm ignoring the answers.

    No, not everybody is against my opinion. There are however the same voices repeating THEIR opinion. What you'll actually find if you read the comments back is that only Teresa has spoken about the relationship element, which is the actual point of this subject. Everybody else has just said that it's good to experience the LGBT community and get acceptance of yourself. That's a different point.

    Considering in the time between that appointment and my original post I joined my workplace Pride community, that's a funny way of me ignoring others and sticking with my prior opinions.

    Clearly you don't understand that I have put this question out there not because I am 100% sure of an opinion. I put this question out there because logic suggests that the more comfortable you get with something, the harder you'll find it when you can no longer be comfortable with it.

    Imagine being gay and living in the middle east for 20 years, then spending a year in San Fran. How would you feel after that year when you go back to living in the middle east and being opressed?

    THAT is the comparison, hence my question as to if this is a good idea or not. I've been in two minds, hence asking.
    Last edited by CharlotteCD; 04-30-2021 at 02:19 AM.

  15. #40
    Aspiring Member SaraLin's Avatar
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    Using your "gay in the middle east" comparison, I think I can now see what you're really talking about - and my thoughts are that the choices would be:

    Refuse to allow yourself the opportunity to be the real you at all (don't go to SF) - and continue to be quietly unhappy.

    Take the trip, enjoy every moment, and at least have the memory to look back on. Or who knows? maybe you'll decide that it's not what you expected after all.

    Take the trip. Don't go back. Stay where you can be yourself. Why volunteer to be oppressed?

    Go back, but become a crusader and fight for your right to be who you are.

    Go back and pretend to be OK with the oppression, but seek out a community of like-minded folks.

    Which one you choose is entirely up to you, of course. I just wish you the best on whatever you decide. And remember - you have a whole cheering section here to offer support.


    (Personally, when it comes to my gender/dressing/whatever you call it, I've tried most of these paths - except that I always seem to get pulled back.)

  16. #41
    Silver Member Rogina B's Avatar
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    Charlotte....It is your nice wife and your life ! Most of us are older and in a different stage of homelife than yours. I understand your wife is upset with your ever increasing gender issues and sees the community as a playground for you. Her life plans are being threatened so you can't expect her to support your exploratory expansion. "How others do it" doesn't apply here. And it doesn't seem that your wife is likely to want to discuss what you may have learned from a fieldtrip so your frustrations will probably ramp up !
    It SURE is my hair ! I have the receipt and the box it came in !

  17. #42
    Senior Member GretchenM's Avatar
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    Perhaps you need to talk to your counselor about bringing your wife into the process. There seems to be an angry storm developing where you and your wife are not engaging in effective communication about some basic perspectives you both have that have never really been brought out into the open. Perhaps the problem is not you and not her, but the problem is both of you failing to understand each other's perspectives, needs and desires, thereby engaging in a kind of covert cold war. This can sometimes come from basing communication on too many facts and not enough sharing of feelings.

    There is an effective technique in marriage therapy where the couple discusses issues in terms of how a particular behavior pattern makes the other one feel without resorting to presenting facts and figures as in a debate and not accusing each other of anything. Trying to prove this point or that point using objective information doesn't really work if the issue is primarily an emotional issue involving hurt feelings. That often ends up creating accusations that are often not true.

    Relationships are often far too complex to reduce it all down to a single or a handful of issues that if solved will make everything fine. When we get defensive, irrespective of who engages in defensive counter "punches," finding solutions becomes very difficult because defensiveness creates a combative environment that hurts feelings far more than intellect. I sense there is more to this than just your needs to express your gender. Perhaps there is an undertow current that comes from maybe the accumulation of prior hurts and resentments that neither of you are resolving effectively.

    I suggest you talk to your counselor about getting your wife involved in your therapy and expand the issues far beyond the matter of your gender and into the much deeper and more fundamental ways you two interact. It may be a matter of you both doing something wrong in your interactions and that needs to be addressed in such a way that you collaborate in resolving deep issues without placing blame or engaging in opinions, one-upmanship and other interactions that produce defensive interactions.

  18. #43
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    Charlotte,
    I feel the important point is you aren't alone , you have the help and support of your counsellor and hopefully most try and support you on the forum , it's up to you how much support you feel you get from the LGBTQ community . I'm still a little on the fence over how supportive they may prove but if it enables you to find new friends they are your new friends but not your wife's so I guess you need to tread carefully .

    I do realise how much you feel you're stuck on the fence because I've been there and lived it and we both know you can't remain there for ever . It becomes more painful and eventually you have to bite the bullet and make the decision which way you're going go , compromises are only short term solutions .

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlotteCD View Post
    I think I made it clear in the original post - if you hang around with like-minded people they will tell you it's fine to be trans and my wife is the one with the problem. You are a combination of the 5 people you are exposed to the most after all.
    One problem with the trans community is that it can be such an echo chamber. No matter what you want or how you feel, elements of the trans community will mindlessly echo it back and never challenge anything. I know people who ended up making decisions they later regret because of the overwhelming affirmation and lack of balance or challenge to their desires. Any important decision should be looked at rationally, and the pros and cons should be considered.
    Last edited by Vickie_CDTV; 04-30-2021 at 06:48 PM.

  20. #45
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    I suppose if I was gay and I spent a year in San Francisco, instead of going back to my home of oppression, I'd over stay my visa and never return to the land of oppression.

  21. #46
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    Everyone seems bent on throwing in their 2 cents on how to make your marriage work, Charlotte.

    But, I don't feel I know enuff about u and your wife and your situation to weigh in with an informed opinion.

    After being married and divorced once, and experiencing a hand full of long time girlfriends, I believe whatever 2 people work out that helps them stay together as a couple is ok and nobody else's business!

    I've also learned from this site that a who lot of people stay in unloving, no sex, relationships simply for conveniency!
    U can't keep doing the same things over and over and expect to enjoy life to the max. When u try new things, even if they r out of your comfort zone, u may experience new excitement and growth that u never expected.

    Challenge yourself and pursue your passions! When your life clock runs out, you'll have few or NO REGRETS!

  22. #47
    Silver Member Pumped's Avatar
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    My wife has worked with a couple gay men. We were invited to they home for a party and did go. Nice guys, conservative. The one guy you would never guess, the other guy is defiantly more fem, wears makeup, does his hair, nicely dress all the times. Nice guys.

    I shave my head, ride a Harley, very conservative. One day at work I walked by the counter and one guy I work with was visiting with a customer I know. I stopped to visit and their conversation stopped abruptly and you could tell they were a bit nervous. I asked what was going on? And they hesitated, then the customer said they were talking about a gay customer and figured I would have issues with it, you know, shaved head, Harley equals skinhead conservative. I told them you might be surprised! They started talking a bit more about the guy without mentioning names and I said, "Oh, you are talking about Mike! Nice guy." They both looked at me surprised and said, "You know?" I said, "How could you miss it!" They were surprised that I didn't have any issues with the guy. I told them I know straight guys that are A-holes that I dislike. Mike being gay doesn't even show on my radar.

    I don't have issues with gays unless they are the radical, flaming, in your face gay. I don't like radical conservatives either!

    I jokingly tell people "I hate everyone equally, until they prove other wise!"
    Last edited by char GG; 05-03-2021 at 05:21 AM. Reason: per rules/no reference to weapons

  23. #48
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    Kind of dragging it back to cross dressers, I find it somewhat akin to the life of gays and lesbians. I met at a dear friends funeral his stepson's husband. Neither one would be identified as a stereotypical gay man. I also have a professional friend and have met her wife. Again, no stereotypical giveaways, if there are any to begin with. In the case of the lesbian she did go through life living the charade of marriage to a man and having a child. The gay couple; gay relationships from the beginning. That's the rub when it comes to a heterosexual cross dressing man. It's the mixing or rejection of societal norms. If you're not married it relatively easy to lead a double life. Not so much when married to a woman or even married to a man who has stereotypical expectations.

    The issue is, how do you drag along a partner who rejects cross dressing in her husband? I think it is relatively easy for people with same sex interests to find someone these days. Not so much in the past. And, sometimes, as with my lesbian friend and her wife it took a lot of soul searching to break the societal mold and go her true way. It's a tough choice.

    I made a somewhat intentional flippant comment at #45. I would also say, if the gay man fully enjoyed in San Francisco and returned to an oppressive country, what are his true choices. He could try to fly under the radar with like minded men and risk what ever the consequences may be. In some countries that could be execution. The difference is what happens if the gay man has a not-so-like minded wife? That where the analogy falls short. Can you really drag someone along for the ride? And, should you? Sometimes you cannot have your cake and eat it too.

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