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I’ve noticed that many, if not a majority of us are “in the closet”. I do hate that expression; it’s very American and probably simplifies and diminishes our real feelings. I struggle to think of a better word however so I’ll stick to a description of what a closet is for me…..
It is behind a stone door that is invisible to all but me. It is in my house, in my workplace, in my car as I drive, in any place that I exist. I suppose therefore it is in me?
The stone door is so heavy. I slows me and obscures my view. It distracts me to think constantly about why it is so heavy, why it is seemingly impossible to open, and whether its nature is created by others or is innate in me. Is it simply made of stone? Or is made of others prejudice, my fear, or my conscience?
For me the inescapable truth however is that I’m behind it! And worse, I can’t move nor open it. I can sometimes push it ajar and through the crack I see the light of an honest and open life. I look behind me; I see and feel a cool darkness. I hear the sound of voices. They are the voices of those I love and respect, those that love and respect me. There are also the voices of those that may feel less about me.
I know that if I push the stone door further the light will come flooding in and reveal me to all. Those that I love will inevitably fade into the darkness and disappear, emerging into another light elsewhere, without me. Those that remain will eventually force past me, through the stone door, and into a world that is superficial without those I love. I will remain alone
For me, that is the reality of the “closet”. Mine is driven by conscience.
I know this is a bit deep but please take time to reply with your thoughts.
It seems that for many, being in the “closet” is about deception, secrecy, white lies, and real lies, hiding our clothes, hiding our identities, and hiding ourselves.
That's not for me. I find it difficult to deal with. My conscience is continually challenged.
I remember when I finally came out to my first wife, ( we were already getting divorced anyway - complicated story), I was surprised she was more annoyed about the deception that had been going on, & less bothered about the dressing up. As much as we may look like women, just shows I for one will never fully think like one.
My conscience certainly drains my mental energy sometimes, especially when I get clumsy leaving stuff around & have to come up with some explanation. My present wife knows of my cross-dressing Rocky Horror themed past, so she always presumes I've been sorting my old outfits (which I do still have). She has even seen a few rare photos from the 80's when I dressed up at sci fi conventions - she was particularly unimpressed.
Biggest issue for me is my young son. I usually dress up when my wife is on her night shift, but my son is still upstairs asleep. Now he is older I'm getting more uneasy about this. I would come out if he saw me. I wouldn't want to put him in the position of having to keep my secret. I'll just have to take the consequences.
For this reason I know sometime in the near future I'm probably going to have to take my crossdressing 'off-site' by booking into a hotel on the pre-text of staying with friends. And so the deception expands.
All I think is that there are guys out there doing alot worse things behind their wifes/partners backs than other crossdressing. I'm not having affairs, I don't drink, gamble, disappear for days/weeks, or slap my wife around. I even enjoy doing all the ironing.
I suppose that deception is my main cause for concern and ravaged conscience.
I don't think it's a feminine or a masculine thing though. I guess that most of us started cross dressing when we were quite young. Probably before we met our partners and wives. I can fully understand your ex, feeling more deceived about your secrecy than shocked at your cross dressing. I would feel exactly the same. I don't think the reaction is gender based, more so trust based.
It would be so much easier if we were able to explain why we are what we are. Trouble is we can't!
Oh, in case yfou think my comments are a little patronising, like you I base them on real experience. Similar to your own. I must admit however that ironing never was my strong point - I hate it!