Saturday, 12 February 2011

Dad

    It was a Sunday morning in 1975 or early 1976. I was about five years old and I was sitting on my bedroom floor wearing one of my older sister's cast-off party dresses. I honestly can't remember what I was doing, probably just normal playing, whatever a five-year-old did back in the mid 1970s. My sisters were nowhere to be seen, probably out in the garden playing Cowboys and Indians in those far-off days when children playing at persecuting indigenous minorities with toy guns was considered acceptable fare. I wouldn't have been with them because at that point the age and gender differences between us were starting to become more marked and they were beginning to tolerate rather than include their younger brother. I guess my parents would have been outside too, or maybe my mother was downstairs. Either way I was alone and safe from interruption, free to be a little girl for a while.
     I guess most junior cross-dressers will have a similar story to what happened next, my father came upstairs unexpectedly, it seemed I was required for some reason. Horror of horrors, there was no time to change so there I was, discovered in girl mode. Crap. Surprisingly the expected censure never materialised. I think he took it as my simply playing some kind of roleplay game, so he played along with it, delivered my summons and went back downstairs. My young age probably helped, I suspect had I been discovered as a fifteen-year-old the circumstances might have been a little different.
    I quickly changed into my little boy clothes and went downstairs. Nothing was said, but for me everything had changed. I was convinced from then on that my parents Knew Everything and so started a lifetime of concealment and suppression that culminated in my becoming a suicidal thirty-something.
    It came as a great shock to me last May when I had the Long Chat with my mother and found that they didn't have a clue. That Sunday morning which had been such a significant event for me had evidently slipped unnoticed into the ether and my bloke act helped my my physical appearance had evidently been of Oscar-winning proportions.
     In all of this the one person with whom I have never discussed any of it is my father. He knows of course because my mother has talked to him about it, but me? Somehow I don't know where to start. I know he'd be embarrassed as hell, and I'm certain I would be too. I'm afraid I find talking to women a lot easier than I do talking to men, at least on anything other than "safe" bloke subjects.
    I guess I don't *have* to talk to him if there is no need. An acquaintance recently had a deathbed reconciliation with her father, at least I am fortunate in my parents that there is no estrangement so I won't forever regret not having "that" chat.
     I just feel some regret that I don't feel able to, that's all.

10 comments:

  1. I've had a few discussions with my dad. Generally we go for a walk and have a chat along the way. Or it's at night when making drinks to take to bed (well he makes the drinks, whether it's here or at their place, I just watch, get in the way and chat with him).

    I think that he just wants to make sure I am OK.

    It's a shame that you can't have that chat, hopefully you will feel able to in the future.

    Stace

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  2. Even on bloke subjects I struggle sometimes to communicate with my Dad. It's even hard to communicate verbally our love for each other. I would love to be able to tell both my parents but at the moment it's not possible. I guess for me, most of the time, I feel it's a conversation better left unsaid - I wish for me though I could be honest. As much to apologise for the helll that my growing up brought them.

    As for being caught wearing something +1 on that. Nothing was said to me either.

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  3. You brought up a rather relevant point there Jenny. Mentioning that you had received the due(?) comment on being caught in the act so to speak, it brought to mind my own situation when I was similarly caught at around three years of age wearing my moms stockings. It wasn't so much being caught that was important but more of the verbal chastisement itself. Being told as a child that certain things were not acceptable behaviour only serves to put the child into hiding away their thoughts and they remain in that closet for quite some time. If only parents would engage their brains before opening their mouths, it might stop their children having to live out a lie.
    I got along very well with my parents, especially my dad. I think I was closer to him than I was to my mom. I never did come out to them although I did get caught as a teenager having in my possesion a bag full of female clothing and shoes. From that day forth I am sure they knew something was going on with me. I suppose I should have come clean then but being the coward I was I remained in the closet. They must have thought everything was ok after I got married and had two children. How little did they know!

    Shirley Anne xxx

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  4. In my case I was never actually caught but when I was about 15 my father found a womans swim suit that I had hidden in a cupboard in the bathroom that contained a water tank. This had been one of my mothers cast offs that I had 'saved' for my own use. Although nothing was said I knew that my parents must have worked out how the swim suit got there and that pushed me further into the closet. I wonder if every Tgirl has a similar story?

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  5. Dear Jenny,

    I only came out to my father a few months ago. I was terrified, I could not get the words out at first. I expected fireworks.

    He had no idea and was extremely accepting. I had never been "caught" but had some close calls.

    Maybe it is time to make that leap of faith?

    Hugs,

    April

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  6. I was never caught cross dressing when I was a child, but when I was four years old, two teenage girls were looking after me for my mother one afternoon. They were painting their nails, and to my delight, they painted mine too. When one of the girls brought me home, I ran up to my mother to show her my pretty red nails. She did not share my joy. She yelled at the girl, then angrily jerked me up the stairs to the bathroom, where she promptly removed my nail polish, telling me that nail polish was for girls only, and that boys who wore nail polish were sissies. I got the message loud and clear, and made sure to keep my true nature hidden from then on. When my parents finally did discovere that I was secretly cross dressing when I was 17, they totally freaked out, made me feel like I was a pervert. They hauled off to an Army psychiatrist, who also made me feel like a pervert, and wanted to treat me with aversion therapy. All that did was drive deep into the closet.

    Melissa XX

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  7. I've always had an uncomfortable relationship with both my parents, but particularly with my Dad. I've never been able to develop anything very close, unlike my two younger brothers & sister. I'm considering having the talk with them all sometime within the next couple of months, starting with my parents of course. Despite my not expecting the more loving relationship I would prefer to be the outcome, I so much long to be finally be fully honest with them.

    I was "caught" at the age of 13. My Mother found in my bedroom a girl's swimsuit that I had aquired, and of course wanted to know why I had it. Unable to dredge up any rational thought during that moment of embarrassment I told the truth, that I had been trying it on. My Mother had me visit the family doctor for a talk, which resulted in my clamming up about the subject, and ensuring for the next few decades no one would ever again suspect anything was amiss with me oh no. I'm sure at the time my Mother must have talked it over with Dad but I never heard one word from either about what happened.

    Take care,
    Mikalya

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  8. I wish to heck I'd had the chance to talk things through with my father. Not necessarily in the great long touchy-feely sort of way; even a bit of inarticulate shared space with the chance to communicate acceptance would have been nice, and some sort of closure. Could you drag your father off to climb a mountain, or something?

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  9. Never did get caught and I spent so much time in my mother's and sister's closets when my age was in the single digits.

    As far as your discussion with your father...well if you're not transitioning and you still present as male when around him, why bother telling him if it would just upset him.

    My father went to his grave not knowing. Then, again, I think HE was trans (he has all the signs), so I guess I will go to my grave never knowing for sure.

    Calie xxx

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  10. Morning everyone, thanks for your comments.

    I seem to have touched a common thread here, haven't I. I should make it clear that he knows all about it because my mother has told him, but like me finds it a bit embarrassing as a conversational topic. I'm reminded of a Simpsons sequence in which Abe embarrasses Homer by talking loudly about the fact that he had sex when he was younger.

    My dad is a man of few words, unlike me, and fewer hobbies or pursuits. I share with him the joy in tinkering with old machinery and an appreciation of the countryside, but not so many other things. I wish I could get him to climb a mountain with me!

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