Way back in February of this long, fast year, in a moment of insouciance I coined a phrase, cobbling together a ritual from my lapsed Catholic past, and my cross dressing habits of the present. The result, The Stations of the Cross Dresser was intended to identify a good handful of big moments, moments to mark and celebrate, and then, catch ones breath and move on the next inevitable and unavoidable challenge. These “stations” or milestones in the journey ranged from the easy and, I suppose, universal events like underdressing or making a purchase while in drab mode, all the way to the challenging, and not universal. Events like using a public restroom, and finally, sharing your life fully with ones spouse.
Sharing the truth with my wife was something that I had not done when I drafted my glib gamut of girly daring-do. The requirement weighed very heavily on my mind though. It took a full 46 years of living for me to fully accept it for myself. How can somebody else, who believes she knows you fully, and loves you nonetheless manage to not be shattered at the introduction of this new reality?
I neatly forestalled the urgency of sharing my truth by putting the truth telling at the very bottom of the list, Station # 14. I put some pretty daunting obstacles in front of me, knowing at least at some sub-conscious level that I was buying some breathing room. One by one though, I passed my stations, genuflected and moved more or less gracefully on to the next: make-up counters, wig salons, fitting rooms and the lot. I was beginning to run out of runway.
More importantly, I realized that the burdens of privacy and deceit that I was carrying with me always was getting in the way of my wife and I enjoying the full measure of joy that we carried together into our marriage over 14 years ago. Joy we deserve to have today, and hope to have for many more magical years ahead.
And so the moment came.
In 1972, legendary American Sportscaster Jim McKay advised his global audience of the horrifying news of a botched rescue mission in Munich and the violent death of the 9 remaining Israeli Olympic athletes/hostages with, what was to me then, and still is now a movingly simple and profound quote he attributed to his father:
“Rarely are our worst fears or greatest dreams realized”
I am happy beyond words to report that my worst fears were not realized. It is rather closer to the truth to suggest in fact that my greatest dreams have been realized. Those dreams have less to do with cross dressing than they have to do with things that are more important to me: respect, honesty, trust, openness, fidelity and happiness.
Having now cleared the air of the biggest impediment in my life to having those necessary things, I have a feeling of lightness, hope and joy that is difficult to describe in a single blog post, even for this wordy old thing.
As to my wife’s reaction, she is an idealist, and a highly liberal person. Without understating the difficulties, awkward moments, and adjustments that lay ahead of us, one quote stands out:
“I get to wear pants. I don’t see why men wearing a skirt should be such a big deal”.
Hard to argue that sort of logic I suppose. There is logic though, and then there is the fully attenuated, live-nerve-ending emotional world we live in. Figuring out how we will share our full selves with one another will be an ongoing challenge, difficult for all couples, and perhaps more difficult when a non-standard gender expression tendency is alive within the couples lives.
I did not arrive at the discussion with any bargaining chips or a list of personal requirements. I felt that my long dishonesty had traded any leverage I had away. I was honest about my belief that my cross dressing is something that is integral to me, that it reveals a part of my self that enables my view of the world and my place in it to be more complete, full and satisfying. So, how we share and what we share --- well that is all still yet to be determined.
I did not say this in so many words, but think that I inferred that the person revealed when I am able to access these feminine parts of my whole is a good person. A kind person. A sensitive person. Some of the fetters of deeply inbred, highly evolved masculinity often get in the way of a guys ability to express those beautiful and loving dimensions. I hope to be able to more freely tap into those senses and express them for my benefit, for the benefit of my wife, and for the benefit of everyone I am privileged to meet and interact with.
I do not believe that being able to tap into those qualities will unalterably change the “natural” and always easily expressed dimensions of my nearly full-time guy self. I am comfortable in pants, literally and figuratively. I have enjoyed many successes in this life. The vast majority of them as a guy untroubled by wardrobe conflict or a deeper wrestling match with my true nature.
The biggest success of my many successes though was winning the heart of my beautiful wife in the first magical place. That success was matched for me this weekend by being granted an opportunity to love fully, and to be loved fully by, that same wonderful person.
As I am.