Evolution in the Trans Life

Did you know you were transgender when you started crossdressing? Or did you simply find a rationalized unexplainable pleasure in wearing garments that were typically women’s clothes; so, you crossdressed. You were a crossdresser, right?  You were a man that for whatever reason found wearing women’s clothing quite . . . . (you fill in the blank)

There was no way that you were transgender, but now something is. . .  different?  You reason in your head, ” Maybe. . .  but . . . . no, not me. I just enjoy wearing women’s clothes.”  And yet undeniably within your mind, there is “tossing it around” happening. You know it, but vaguely. At this point, you  either don’t know what “it” is or you are afraid of being honest about “it.” Moving from being a crossdresser to understanding that you are transgender is not inevitable, yet often the two have a connection.

I crossdressed when I was younger. It was normally an erotic experience and usually somewhat disheartening. Disheartening because I knew eventually I had to take off all the clothes and go back to my male world. Erotic because it was the means I was able to recover something “good” out of the deep disappointment of having to go back. Dressing was so pleasurable, so natural, and yet something was incomplete, something was missing. I knew it, but I did not know what “it” was


However, upon reflection, I realize that I came to understand “it” rather quickly. In those days (early 70s; I was a young teen then) there was no generally recognized term or vocabulary to explain or define “it”. As best I remember “it” was defined in this way, “I want to be a girl.” Over time, I came to realize I just didn’t want to dress as a girl (woman), but I truly wanted to be one. Dressing alone couldn’t achieve that for me, thus the disappointment.

The next leg of my journey came as a result of a magazine article (yes a real paper and ink periodical). It was the early 70s. In our home, we received Life & Look Magazine. In one of them, a particular issue had a feature story about transsexuals, (this was the vocabulary of the day.) The headline on the cover announced the feature story, causing an emotional tsunami within me. I just had to read it!

In the article, I met Sally (I believe that was her name) and her fiancé. Sally was interviewed dressed in her bridal gown preparing for her wedding. Sally was a fully transitioned transsexual woman soon to be a bride and wife. She was young and exquisitely beautiful. She was living her life exactly as I dreamed to live my own.

I devoured the article. I cried. “Oh God,” I said, “This is me!” Finally, I knew what the “it” was.  Crossdressing never fully satisfied me because I was more than a crossdresser. My “it”  was that I was a transexual. And in Sally, I recognized that there was a means whereby I, a teenage boy could successfully become a girl. This understanding delighted me, yet it still plagued me because, at that time, I was still understanding myself to be a man who wanted to be a woman. This desire ran deeply cross-grain to my sincere Biblically Christian faith.

Upon understanding that I “could be turned into a girl,” I ran from rather than to that reality. This running away indeed occupied the great majority of my life, and certainly was the source of much mental and emotional anguish. Forty-eight year’s worth is my estimate.

Even the best runners finally tire, and I did too. Yet those years weren’t wasted, rather they were invested in understanding this condition, which eventually became properly named as gender dysphoria. With an understanding and explanation that I could be at peace with in light of my fundamental Christian faith, which I was determined not to abandon. I finally admitted and ultimately embraced my reality. I am not simply a man, a male. I am transgender.

Furthermore, I finally concluded: OK, just say it, “I am a woman.” Now I understand and readily embrace that despite all outward evidence, I am a woman at my soul level. I am not simply a man with a strong feminine side, rather I am a woman who is deeply feminine and longs for the world to know me as such.

That’s where I am now. I am not currently transitioning in the accepted normal sense of the formal process. Yet, I am transitioning. How I understand and accept myself certainly is progressing away from the old, “I am a man wanting to be a woman” concept. Considering transition as a possibility rather than an impossibility is a step on the transition journey, yes? Actively engaging in the unseen but customary feminine self-care routines in preparation for a possible transition is a “transition” for me. For those who are on the formal transition pathway or who are now living your own womanhood full-time, were these not steps you may have taken prior to your formal coming out?

I am not sure if I will fully transition, but I am much more open to the idea of a part-time life as my feminine self. I believe full-time would create  tremendous upheavals for many; so much “collateral damage.” I am not ready to do that to them. Yet, I wonder, “Is it not possible that by becoming Charlene full time I would be providing for them an opportunity of personal growth? Would not my non-traditional womanhood require their own growth if they chose to accept me as a woman? In my transition to my authentic feminine self would I then not be doing something for them rather than to them?” So many things that need to be sorted out, but one is finally settled, I am a woman.

My transition may not be to full-time womanhood, but maybe it will. I don’t know at this time. Certainly, in a vacuum, I would do so, but at my age, there are so many lives that are closely intertwined with mine. My transition would affect them as well. Perhaps in a positive way, perhaps not. At this time I have made a conscious decision not to force that choice on them.

The point is that understanding and embracing yourself as trans is a process, a journey as so many call it. I am currently 68. I have been consciously on this journey for 63 years. I don’t regret not transitioning earlier. I don’t regret taking all this time to figure it out.

But what I am concerned about is the possible regret that will come if I choose to remain closeted rather than introduce Charlene to the world at large. I am not a man who wants to be a woman, no, I am a woman who simply wants to be. Imagine coming to the end knowing that very few if any actually ever knew the real you.


I hope this helps. May you, the reader, be blessed in your journey of self-discovery.


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Charlene K

Hi, In 2023 I turned 68. Very little has changed over the years. I realized at 5 years old that I deeply longed to be a girl. Like so many of us in my age bracket cross gender expression was taboo so my authentic self was closeted away. Today i understand myself to be a tras woman, albeit even at this time in my life non transitioning. Years of inner struggle have brought to me the conclusion that I am a woman. "Trans" is but an adjective I use to describe my unique womanhood. I am also a strong born again Bible believing Christian. To be sure that is a conundrum; a Christian man with deeply held faith beliefs who has concluded that at his core level he is a she, a woman. I am also returning to the site. I left in an attempt to "flee" the reality of myself. Silly me to be sure. This is who I am. I am here for support while I do my best to live without transitioning, which as much as I would love to just seems to disruptive to so many others I love.

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Carla Moss
Carla Moss(@sweetlipps12)
5 months ago

Charlene, I love seeing accounts like yours. Why? because I see so much of what you have written as I see myself. I came out to my wife nearly 4 years ago and I thought I had been a crossdresser all my life. Very quickly I realised that I wasn’t a crossdresser, I was transgender. I’m soon 62 years old and spend much of my life as the female I really am. My wife is very supportive but to keep our relationship and our love for each other, I will not fully transition. Instead, I cross dress as a man… Read more »

KaucheeLynn Davis
KaucheeLynn Davis(@kaucheelynn)
5 months ago

Dear Charlene, nice story. My start was the same-in 2nd year of elementary school I discovered the thrill of grandma 60’s style garnments (bullet bra, nylins, controlling panty gridles, petticoats). By my oppinion she found out. The next year carnival my mother said to sprnd that weekend at grandma. On friday afternoon both told ne that they got my masqureade dress. It consisted of old granny lingerie and petticoat. Grandma even made a dress for me that went with petticoat. My mum gave me her wig and made my make-up. They got also some girls flats. I was in the… Read more »

Victoria Nest
Victoria Nest(@vicito)
5 months ago

Хубаво е да се чувствам жена, просто съм по мобилна.

Victoria Nest
Victoria Nest(@vicito)
5 months ago

Може би мъж да се чувства жена му/ми дава вътрешно удовлетворение и поне малко щастие.

Dana Munson
Dana Munson(@misstranslation)
6 months ago

Charlene, you and I are of about the same age. Your story of early life and the growing awareness of the female lurking within you closely tracks my own experience. My own “That’s me! That’s me!" moments came when A) I first learned about Christine Jorgensen in Sex Ed class in high school, and B) at around that same time, received, from a penpal in Britain,some British magazines which contained articles on a transgender actress/performer named April Ashley. The world of possibilities opened wide for me at the point . . . but I had absolutely no idea how to… Read more »

(((Marianne))) ✡️ 🌈
Active Member
6 months ago

Welcome, Charlene. We are happy to have you around 🏳️‍⚧️💜🤍💙🤍💜

DeeAnn Hopings
Active Member
DeeAnn Hopings(@flatlander48)
6 months ago

 Charlene K My answer would be no, I didn’t know.I had been dressing for the better part of a year (2015) and attending CD/TG monthly gatherings in 2 places. One was an hour and a half from my home and the other was about an hour. One afternoon I was getting dressed to attend one of the events and my wife asked me what did I get out of dressing. I can’t remember my answer, but she said “You may be transgender.”. I had never considered that possibility before, but the more I thought about and the more research I… Read more »

6 months ago

 Charlene K “I am not a man who wants to be a woman. no, I am a woman that sinoly wants to be." 
Love ❤️ this. Thank you for sharing.

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