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One of my early memories is the noise of my mother’s stiletto heels when walking to the shops. I found it intriguing and in a way still find that sound pleasurable today. I can’t remember my age when I first tried a piece of female clothing. I think the interest was there from single digit age when playing dressing up, but what if anything came of it I can’t recall. By the age of 13/14 or so I was trying on some of my mother’s clothes when alone in the house. It was accompanied by feelings that this was wrong and must remain a secret. I found it very nice and there was a sexual excitement element involved as well. All the time the guilt and doubt grew because this was not ‘normal’ and must be kept secret. You have a feeling of not being ‘quite right’.

I left school at 18 having attained one ‘A’ level. Motorbikes and pubs seemed more attractive than studying! I had a girlfriend whom I nearly confided in about my dressing desire, but in the end didn’t. Then after some casual work I joined the Police Force. I married at the young age of 21. With hindsight it was a mistake for other reasons. I didn’t tell my wife about my secret side. It was still a shrouded subject, no internet, and the only thing that hinted at a bigger world was Transformation shop adverts in the papers and Exchange and Mart. Inevitably she came home early one day and caught me in some women’s underwear I had bought. Major panic. Shame, embarrassment and all the emotions. She didn’t understand it. How could she? She felt betrayed and lied to, and effectively she was. I was told to go to the doctor and ‘get some pills to make me stop.’ I didn’t go because I knew that wasn’t the answer. She did not like the idea one bit. Although we stayed together for another 10 years and had three children before I realised that our marriage was not at all right.

I purged all my female clothes and I left home fearing what my traditional parents would say. Actually they were surprised that I had stuck it so long! I was also worried that my ex-wife might use my transvestism as a weapon. Thankfully she never did, one decision I can commend her for. I had a new partner, but before I moved in with her I told her about my transvestism. It was the hardest, most terrifying thing I have ever done. She was non-judgemental but made it clear she wanted no part of it and would rather I didn’t do it. Such was my love for her that I promised not to dress. I wanted to honour that promise, but as I now know the desire comes back. And it did.....

So the circle repeats and I buy more clothes, wigs and make-up. I find it relaxing and a means of escape from everyday worries. I can be someone else for a few hours. Seven years go by before my second marriage hits problems. We had lost touch with each other emotionally. We part for a few months, then when we are having a meeting to talk through our differences and clear the air I tell her that I have been dressing again. To cut a long story short we both went separately to see a counsellor. I was nervous about going, I am man and a policeman as well, and we don’t do councillors! But I was also in a mess emotionally, so I did go and this helped enormously. My wife was able to come to terms with some of her own issues and I was able to understand what made me tick. The guilt and shame of being a transvestite was exposed and expunged. I was allowed to be proud of myself, and to value the positive attributes that being a transvestite gave me. It’s only a part of me but it’s important. I do think that if it wasn’t there it would make life simpler, but it is, and I will embrace it. I know I can’t take it out of my brain. It’s not a bad thing, it just is.

I’ve come a long way. To be writing this is evidence of that.

Through the internet I have expanded my friendships into the wider community. Sexual meetings do not really appeal to me other than in fantasy erotic land. I have absolutely no desire to have a sex change. I still dress mainly at home, although I have been adventurous on occasions but I still fear wider exposure. The world can be a cruel place for those who reveal their true selves. It is changing slowly however, so we’ll see.

I am still married to my second wife; our mutual understanding is stronger than ever. She still doesn’t wish to see it directly but she accepts it’s part of me and we can share a joke about it. She is one of the few close people who know. For me, in this world as it is, that’s the way I will keep it. I am in my 28th year as a police officer and although that profession has come light years on from the 80’s when I joined it is not part of my work and I don’t see why it should be.

That’s the way my TV glove fits me.

Sarah G.

  © Sarah G for Transpartners 2008