What to do?

I was a child of the early ’60s. Back then, the world was a much different place, and I learned quickly that I did not fit in. I thought I was a girl, and my parents had wanted a boy. I believed that the stretch marks under my scrotum were from having my boyhood sown on.

My first encounter with crossdressing was around age five when I tried on a pair of my older sister’s panties. The feeling was unexplainable. I would beg my sister to let me play with her and her girlfriends, with no luck. I was very girl-like when it came to playground activities. Eventually, I learned to play like other boys in order to make friends, even joining football, baseball, and wrestling teams in Jr. and Senior High School. I never got to play.

I think my mom knew early on that I was different. She taught me to always keep my shoulders back, brush back my eyebrows, keep my fingernails clean and trimmed, and how to cook, iron, and sew. Unlike my friends and classmates, I always liked to dress up for school and church. Kids would make fun of me and being good at school as well as the teacher’s pet didn’t help.

En Femme Style

In junior high school, I hung out with a group of girls who all liked me because I understood them and would help them with their boy problems. Of course, I always had a girlfriend myself, since the 4th grade, and loved hanging out with them and their moms.

I had encounters with older boys and men from time to time, but my realization was that I was not gay, enjoying the sexual activity. I married and had two beautiful daughters with my first wife. Trying to be all that I could be, I joined the Army. At first, I was happily dressing up as a woman for Halloween. I tried introducing a third into our sex life and would have fantasies about being the other woman. We eventually separated, then divorced after 14 years. We are still friends today.

I crossdressed at home for about a year, and when I tried to introduce it to my female roommate, she had a negative reaction. I married for the second time, hopefully putting all this nonsense behind me. Seven years into the marriage, I packed up the car and told her I thought I might be gay and drove to Key West. Back home in a week, I didn’t know what my feelings were all about. A year later, she told me to move out of our house just after Christmas.

I did some dating, looking for a woman that would fulfill my fantasy. I concluded it would be impossible to find someone not knowing what I really wanted. Not wanting to be alone, I married my wife of 20 years. Two years ago, we started dressing up in Victorian-era to early 1900s costumes and going out to wine tastings and nightclubs. It was wonderful! Then we went to NOLA for Madi Gras 2022, and girls, did I LOVE that!

It was the beginning of me buying, without her knowing, shoes, clothing, lingerie… When she returned from a six-week trip last June, I told her I liked crossdressing. It has been a bumpy road since, to say the least. We took a cruise back in October for two weeks and I did dress-up most of the time, with mixed reactions. Since then, I have been working on MTF, and HRT with my Drs., therapist, and counselors. Not knowing at my age and with health conditions, if I could even consider it. I didn’t want to put my wife through any more drama until I was sure it was possible. Leaving on vacation to Europe, I received word on June 6th; I start on the estrogen patch and planned to talk with her when the time was right. She saw the patch, and I told her about a week into a three-week vacation. She is not happy that I’ve kept it from her, even though I had good intentions. I should have talked to her about it.

Now I find myself at a crossroads with my marriage, my job, and my community. Do I come out to the world and be the woman I’ve always wanted to be? Potentially lose all that I have built or continue to hide my identity and save everyone else from the heartache.

Exceptional Voice

More Articles by Mary King

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    1. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
      Jonnie Bigelow 2 months ago

      Hi Mary,
      Transitioning is really the most interesting thing I’ve ever experienced. I was married 37 years, never told anyone my secret. Don’t truly know what my wife would have thought, but she passed on a bit over 5 years ago. There was about 18 months and then I just knew. I was still in grief but I had a goal and was acting. Began taking herbs galore and bioidentical estrogen. Went about as far as I could with that. Seven months ago I began HRT. I have strong A cup breasts now and am absolutely delighted. I really do feel the best I ever have. I present as female all the time. Will do some facial feminization surgeries and bottom surgery. Here’s the thing: I am 67 years young. It is never too late to give your best life a shot. I do social things and have a few friends. Everyone seems used to me, thought my sister still introduces me as her brother. I am attracted to women as partner/lover, and this transition period is awkward only in that way. I am open about it so no surprises. That persons and my own paths haven’t crossed as yet. I am loveable and loving and certainly deserve the joy 2 will bring. And so are you. And so do you. Blessings, Joni

      • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' /> Author
        Mary King 2 months ago

        I am so happy for you. I wish you all the best. I will hopefully get to enjoy the life as a woman one day myself. Thank you for sharing.

    2. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
      Marie H 2 months ago

      Well the problem is simple on one level. Our wives didn’t sign up to be a partner of a ‘man’ who it turns out to be transgender. My wife put it simply. She wouldn’t have married me if she knew. She wanted a man. So by and large I try to be that for her. It’s not her fault.

      She was unlucky and it’s my fault that I fell in love with her and ignored and suppressed my real self because I wanted to fit in.

      I feel guilty about being trans. That’s just guilt based on social bias.

      But my worst guilt is that my lovely wife who is blameless married a trans woman.

      I should have stopped it. Yes I was in love but I should have had the sense to let it go.

      However I now have two beautiful boys. I cannot regret their existence nor can my wife who I still love.

      We’re stuck with each other.

      • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' /> Author
        Mary King 2 months ago

        I totally agree with you and I’m working on being the husband she married.

    3. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
      Kim Dahlenbergen 2 months ago

      That’s a tough situation, Mary. I get the sense that your current partner, while not happy with being out of the loop, may be more tolerant and possibly more accepting if you keep her involved.

      As for work, who can say. What I do know is that there is strong demand for capable people and perhaps you may be surprised at the level of support you find in the workplace.

      In any case, don’t assume the worst. That is like swimming with an anchor tied to your leg.

      Best wishes,


      • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' /> Author
        Mary King 2 months ago

        Thanks Kim unfortunately for me as of late, the idea of me being confused about my gender became a topic at my workplace and I have been deemed unfit for duty by a psychologist and forced to retire.

    4. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
      JAKe Hatmacher 2 months ago

      A lot of hiding, but you leak things out, at least to those you love or have loved. You’re obviously battling this, an addiction? I came to realize my yearnings were not an addiction and I finally let it all out to my small world. I say small world because I wrote a letter, a very heartfelt letter, and came out to my wife’s and my mutual friends and relatives and some others who were solely my friends. I was concerned for a very long time doing this would harm my wife and her relations within our little circle of friends. I was a bit concerned for myself, but I was more concerned for her. As an aside, this year in a wee bit of time, we will be married for 44 years. I pleaded with her to read my coming out letter before I sent it out and she finally acquiesced. I can tell you some friends will still occasionally have dinner with us, but I know things are not fully the same. I’m lucky my wife is strong and independent and although internally she may be bothered somewhat by the subtle snubbing, she does not let on. For me I’m a bit bothered by the subtle snubbing, but I needed to realize what price they might need to pay for associating with me, that is if I was recognized. I pass well, so who knows if I’m recognized, but my friends know and I think they’ll always have that feeling that I’m still a guy and not able to pass at all. But I must tell you I smile so much more now. When I look in the mirror I’m always elated by changes which are occurring to my body. I feel I’m a happier person now being able to appear as and express myself as a woman. I need to tell you though, I think I could be what some American Indian tribes called two-spirited, although I like to say I have only one spirit but with the unique makeup of having equal feminine and masculine parts. I lived 66 years in the body of a guy and I finally decided the woman in me needed to live before I leave this earth.

      • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' /> Author
        Mary King 2 months ago

        Thank you for sharing your story, I definitely can relate and appreciate your challenges. I hope you get the opportunity to be the woman you have always been.

    5. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
      Terri M 2 months ago

      I told my wife after 10 years of marriage. We are married 51 years. I would like to transition but It wouldn’t be fair to her. We are all different and all the same. You will be in my prayers

    6. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
      Toni Floria 2 months ago

      My heart goes out to you. You somehow have to find a way to the life you need to live to find peace

      • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' /> Author
        Mary King 2 months ago

        Thank you! I continue to work on finding my way through this crazy process of life.

    7. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
      Natalie Gay 2 months ago

      All I can say is, follow your heart. No one else can tell you what you really want.

      • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' /> Author
        Mary King 2 months ago

        Thanks Natalie I let you know what I figure out.

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