Reply To: How do you manage your “other” side?

DeeAnn Hopings

Not a problem!

Over time, I’ve come to understand what makes me different, and from an academic viewpoint, it’s like Same Thing, Only Different.

From childhood, I always knew that I was different in some way, but had no idea as to what that was or what it meant. I can recall going through women’s magazines and being fascinated by the clothes, but it had to be done in secret. I knew, or at least sensed, that I was crossing some sort of boundary. What I was doing wouldn’t be appreciated and there could be consequences.

Later, as an adult, I tended to fade into the background in order to avoid scrutiny and be found out that I was different. The thought process in the background for me was that I might be gay, or at least bisexual. Eventually, in 1990 at the age of 42, I came out to myself as gay. As a result, I had some intimate encounters with men. While I found it pleasurable and it felt natural, it seemed like there was something missing and I had no idea as to what that was.

It was about 10 years later I started underdressing with panties and stockings or tights. Similar to Einar in The Danish Girl, I came to realize the touch and sensation of the fabrics, but it took a long time for the significance of that to settle in. It was another 3 years before I went out fully dressed and another 11 years before I did it again. In retrospect I think I was allowing myself to settle into this new existence and perspective after having been suppressed for so long.

Ultimately I discovered that Don and DeeAnn are essentially the same person. In the time that I was crossdressing (largely at home), I read accounts that most crossdressers had distinctive male and female personas. That was never the case for me and suggested that there might be something else going on for me. The differences between Don and DeeAnn were quite subtle. For example, DeeAnn would be more likely to start a brief conversation with strangers than Don would. It isn’t that Don would not; it is a matter of frequency.

Anyway, all this comes out in interesting ways. I have done thrifting as Don and DeeAnn at various times. DeeAnn went to the sprint car races over at Perris Auto Speedway last Saturday night. It is just how it turns out. The difference for me is in the presentation and not the persona.

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