Online Community & Support Groups

I’ve gotten a few requests now from people to join CDOD, which is, unfortunately, closed to new members.
Here are a few other options if you’re looking for online support or community.
For SOs of MTF CDs only:
CrossDressers’ Wives and SO Support (CD-WSOS)
Support for Wives and Significant Others of CrossDressers (SFWaSOCDs)
For SOs of MTFs or FTMs:
TG Partners
Crossdresser and SO Support and Community:
A Crossdresser’s Secret Garden
and of course there’s the new group I’ve started, as a forum to discuss the topics I’ve brought up in the book:
My Husband Betty Discussion Group

Trans*Am party 1/25

For those of you who couldn’t make last night’s book party at the Corner Bookstore, which was a smashing success, there is another party this Sunday night. It’s called Trans*Am – produced by Ethan Carter, and open to trannnies, genderqueers, and supporters.
What: Trans*Am
Where: Meow Mix, 269 East Houston @ Suffolk
When: Sunday, January 25th
Doors open at 9pm, with tunes by DJ HiFi Hillary, hosted by Carolyn, and featuring readings by Evie, Sydney, Carolyn, Tennessee, and yours truly!
There’ll be contests to give away a few free copies of MHB.
For more information

Gidget

I received the sad news today that one of the women I interviewed for the book – one half of one of the couples profiled in Chapter 4 – died recently. I’ve been sad and stunned since getting the news. I only ever knew her as Gidget, and her emails were always a joy to receive – full of enthusiasm & capriciousness, common sense & humor. She taught Special Ed. She was a lovely, magnanimous, generous person. It’s killing me that she never got to hold a final copy of the book in her hands.
Her words appear in various parts of the book, but I did profile her & her husband, so I wanted to put her “In Her Own Words” section up here, in her memory:
I think the bottom line is that you must both be in love to come across and meet the other person half way—as you give up part of what you wanted, for part of him, and he does the same for you—I wasn’t the one hundred percent accepting person that he wanted, but he loves me and accepted less from me—also, I did the same for him, as I got myself to take a risk and see and view him as a female—it freaked me out when I first saw it about 20 years ago, but now—it took him being very slow about showing things to me—he first wore a black cotton dress to bed with me, and I imagined this as a black cotton t-shirt and thought “this isn’t too bad!!”—then he wore panty hose, which felt funny to me and I kept getting these lesbian dreams from those things—LOL!!—anyways, it took time—
Pretty soon, he progressed with one more item—I call this “taking baby steps” and that is how I learned to accept everything even now—it had to be done very slowly and at my comfort zone—after all, as I explained to him, he had many years of getting up to this level, and I had no years seeing this kind of thing—he had to go slowly for me to go there with him—
Also, I told him to imagine me without makeup (HORRORS!!!) and with my hair cut in a crew cut style—(I would look awful for sure!!)—and then smoking a cigar and wearing a western cowboy look—and then I asked him if he could picture me like that and I told him I needed him to have sex with me like that, what would he think?? He was honest and replied he wouldn’t like me that way—so I asked him, �Why not? I’m still the same girl underneath,� as he used to say to me the same thing—he would always wear his femme outfits and tell me, �Why don’t you just love me? I’m still the same guy underneath.� Hee-hee—that took care of that!!! He finally saw how I was viewing things—you have to spell it out for them—they think just because they accept themselves dressed as females, that we shouldn’t have problems with it, as they see it as no big deal—
However, they do know that MOST women would have problems looking at a man dressed that way—and that is why they hide it from us—they know what the reaction would be–
Another thing, you asked what quality I have that helped me? I have to say, I think having a sense of humor—I laugh at this at times, and he does too—and we both can feel at ease that way—-if you take it too seriously, you get depressed—
Also, he helped me accept him as he was as I could see that he came to bed the first few times looking forlorn and depressed and ashamed very badly—and I felt sorry for him—and knew that he had told me he wanted someone his whole life to accept him as he was, but didn’t get it—and I knew he meant it, so I wanted to please him as he was trying to please me by doing things I wanted him to do—such as the dishes, wash the floors, etc.—and that made me want to give up something for him as well—-
I know that if he had told me the truth back then, I would have hightailed it out of dodge for sure—I certainly wasn’t raised to have sex with a kink in it—and I associated this as something very forbidden, weird, and bad—
Anyways, my husband and I are very much in love now, we don’t fight anymore, and we reconnected to each other in just two months with the marriage counselor—we always were best of friends, but got a little sidetracked, I believe, due to the crossdressing issues—first of all, I did not understand when I was younger how important this issue was to my husband—and he did not understand that he needed to negotiate and teach me how to tolerate him this way—now he understands my side, and I understand his—and we respect each other on this issue—.)
Gidget, the world will miss you – I have no doubt. Wherever you are, thank you for your kindess & help, your thoughtfulness and humor.
To Gidget’s husband: she ROCKED. My condolences to you on your loss of such a fantastic woman, wife, and mother.
Anyone who knew her who visits here is welcome to leave a comment.

Thanksgiving Trans*Am

After you all finish eating with friends and family, and the femme in your is dying to get out, check out Sunday night’s Trans*Am, hosted by Ethan Carter – it’s Ladies’ Night, and only a $3 cover for T-girls!
from the flyer: Are you Trans-amorous? Then come show your love! A party for trans folks, gender queers and supporters!
Further information can be found at Ethan Carter’s site
To all, a happy Thanksgiving!

Brooklyn & Beyond

Last night, my husband and I got to meet two other married CDs who live near us. One came with his wife, and the other promised his wife would make our next gathering.
I don’t know if I can explain how satisfying it is to meet others who live nearby. There is a whole different feeling of companionship – and for lack of a better word, regularness – about meeting other couples face to face.
We are all expecting to invite others we know, and are already planning our next meeting.
That said, I would love to provide a space for others to meet people in their local area, and I think the message boards at this site might be the perfect venue. So please, use this forum to find others in your area:
Local Gatherings Message Board

How To Tell Your Wife

I was recently asked by a CD how he should tell his wife on a mailing list I’m on, & since this is definitely one my most “Frequently Asked Questions” I thought I’d post the ’10 Guidelines For Telling Your Wife or Girlfriend” here. It always makes me so happy to know a CD wants to tell his wife. I know the urge is a little bit selfish on the part of the CDer, but it’s also a great sign of the respect & love he has for his wife.
After that, there is no simple answer. There is no guarantee she’ll deal well with the new info, or accept you. That said, I still think it’s worth it.
The things I’ve learned in doing the research are that:
1) The sooner a man tells his wife the better. Before marriage is best, but still – the sooner the better.
2) Know what your CDing means to you, so you can talk to her about it in some intelligent, sensitive way. If after you tell her, every answer afterward is “I don’t know” she’ll freak out. Be prepared for the ‘Are you gay?’ and ‘Do you want to be a woman?’ questions, & don’t get upset when she asks them.
3) Does she know gay & lesbian people? Any close friends or family members? Does she have any firsthand experience of discrimination or feeling ‘different’? How does she feel about being a woman, herself (ie is she a feminist, traditionally feminine, tomboyish, etc?) But keep in mind her general open-mindedness or political liberalness might go right out the window on this issue.
4) I’d recommend not hitting her with all of it at once – that is, tell her a story about yourself as a kid, putting on your mom’s nylons or whatever your first childhood experience was. Make sure you bring this up in a quiet time between you, conversationally, & you give her time to tell some childhood stories of her own. (In general, the ‘announcement’ method isn’t very good, it has to be more of a conversation, as unconfrontational as it can be.) Or, you can say you’ve been thinking about doing some female character for Halloween (please not a hooker or slut! Wonder Woman, an Amazon, some cool woman or heroine is usually better!) & see how she reacts. If she wants to play Charlie Chaplin to your Louise Brooks… you know she can ‘play’.
That doesn’t mean you can stop there. She needs to know the whole of it. I’m just saying it might be a good conversation starter. Eventually you will have to explain why you didn’t tell her sooner, apologize for not having done so, and be clear that you understand you screwed up.
5) This one’s personal: letting your fear & vulnerability about how scared you are of her acceptance worked like a charm in our case! All women differ, though – sometimes a woman might freak out if you come off as too feminine, or ‘soft’ – it depends on her. If she thinks it’s great you can cry at sad movies, then she might appreciate how much it means to you/hard hard it is for you to tell her. Not in a ‘woe is me’ kind of way – but just so she knows you’re sharing something about yourself that you wouldn’t trust most people to know.
6) After you tell her, don’t bring it up again until SHE does. In the meantime, read some books about women (not glamor magazines, biographies of famous women, or gender theory, or whatever. I just read “Am I A Woman?” by Cynthia Eller & recommend that.)
7) If she is accepting, make sure it’s fun for her and not all about you! Let her take the lead in figuring out how it can be. That is, if you suggest she be Charlie Chaplin for Halloween, she’ll just feel bad – but if she decides to, it might be totally empowering for her! Alternately, I’ve now heard of three happy younger couples who all went, for their first Halloween together, as “starlets.” You both get to glam up & feel sexy –
8) If she’s freaked out by it, drop the subject & wait wait wait to bring it up again. Don’t wait forever, but do give her time to sort out her own emotions about it. Be sensitive – if she seems like she needs to talk, ask her if she wants to. But don’t start the conversation with “So have you made up your mind about my crossdressing?” but more with something like “Do you have any questions?” Don’t assume crossdressing is what she wants to talk about. She may be wanting to discuss your little problem with leaving your dirty clothes outside the hamper.
9) Know your wife, make sure you keep up all the other romantic things you do for/with her. Bring her flowers, buy her gifts, & be less inhibited about telling her how much she means to you. Don’t lay it on too thick – just tell her how you feel about her, honestly. You CDs are all romantics, imho, so let it out!! Re-emphasize your non-CD life together, even if she is totally accepting! (as I like to put it, I don’t mind having a girlfriend, too, but I still always want my husband!)
10) Listen until your ears bleed. You have “known” a CD all your life – but this is probably the first time she’s met one! So it will take her time to get the idea wrapped around her head. In fact, when you first tell her, what you’re telling her may not even ‘register’ at some level. She won’t have any idea in the beginning that this is a permanent thing. Expect phases of anger, sadness, fury,disappointment. Try to remember that if you, as a CD, sometimes wish you weren’t a CD, she’ll have similar feelings.
P.S. If the husband needs to stay in the closet, so that she can’t tell anyone either, make sure she knows there are other wives of CDs who she can get to know & let off some steam with.

Yahoo! group

I thought perhaps some of you might prefer a mailing list instead of message boards, like myself, so I set up a Yahoo! group
Join the mailing list here!
My idea is that the group will be focused on issues and ideas I bring up in the book, but mostly it’ll be moderated as a serious discussion group – not for makeup tips or a dating service. Before the book is out, I’ll use it as a way of communicating updates, etc.

9/11: To The Wives and Partners

In honor of the families and friends of those mourning a loved one today, and especially for the wives and girlfriends and partners who lost someone, this sonnet by Edna St. Vincent Millay:
Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the time;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side,
And last year’s leaves are smoke in every lane;
But last year’s bitter love must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughs abide.
There are a hundred places where I fear
To go, – so with his memory they brim.
And entering with relief some quiet place
Where never fell his foot or shone his face
I say, “There is no memory of him here!”
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.