Friday, January 31, 2014



I received an interesting and thought-provoking e-mail from Beverly commenting on my Sons post last Friday.

Regarding the nature versus nurture argument, Beverly falls on the nature side... that our gender gifts are a natural part of our persona and not the result of nurturing by our environment. However, Beverly added that "there has to be a 'trigger' somewhere to bring out whatever it is nature has gifted us with."

I wondered about my trigger. On Wednesday, I wrote here that discovering the world of female impersonators moved me to try female impersonation myself at the age of 12. However, I had been exploring my gender gifts years before that, so female impersonation was not necessarily my trigger. But it was so long ago, that I am not actually sure what was my trigger.

Digging way down deep in my memory, I can only recall one event that may have started it all.

I was probably between the ages of 6 and 9 and for a day or two, I wanted to be a circus clown when grew up. I remember I was home alone with my mother (my father and sister were out) and I covered my face with my mother's cold cream to simulate a clown's white face. What a mess!

I showed my handiwork to my mother and she volunteered to do a better job. She removed the cold cream and started anew applying various cosmetics to my face.

When she was done, I looked in the mirror and was shocked. Instead of looking like a clown, I looked like a girl. I still remember the bright red lipstick on my lips.

In retrospect, I am not sure if she realized what I was trying to do. I do not recall if I was clear about trying to be a clown. She may have thought I was trying to be a girl and acted accordingly.

Anyway, I was so embarrassed that I insisted that she remove the makeup before my father and sister returned home. She complied.

And I no longer wanted to be a circus clown when I grew up. I wanted to be a woman.





Source: Female Mimics

Professional femulator Windy Starr in 1965.





Source: La-Redoute

Wearing Cedric Charlier.


  1. I tend to lean towards the 'nature' side. I feel that many of us have a natural inclination towards things that are feminine that many do not share. If it were nuture one would expect that all boys in a particular family who had similar upbringings would be similarly inclined.

    I also think that there often multiple triggers that serve to turn on certain lights. My mother told me that that when I was an infant in a stroller I would love to touch the silk scarves that women wore in the early 1950s. I do not have a recollection of the but I do have a very clear recollection that one Halloween when I was rather young and most likely dressed as a spaceman or some male figure that there was a boy about 2-3 years older than me trick or treating while dressed as a woman. I still have the vision of him walking up ringing doorbells wearing a full shirt dress and white high heel pumps. I was quite intrigued. I suppose neither he nor I knew the rules about wearing white after Labor Day.

  2. I've reviewed my life many times, and can find precious few triggers which could have started my fondness for wearing women's clothes. So maybe it really is "nature," not "nurture."

    As mentioned in a response to a previous blog, I spent lots of time in dress shops as a young child, while my mother tried on and paraded around in pretty dresses, which were needed for her life as an executive's wife. Could that be the "nurture" part?

    The only other thing I can think of from my childhood is the fact that I have always loved the aroma of nail polish - even as a young boy. And I still love to smell it, particularly when it's on my own fingers Could that have been the trigger?

    I probably will never know for sure.


  3. I agree on the nature side. I can’t remember a specific trigger but a series of them probably culminating in the first time I dressed at age 9.
    Watching Mom put on makeup at her vanity, a comforting time before she went out to work, I had her attention. I can still smell the hair spray and makeup.
    Seeing a boy in a pink dress and tights at a Halloween party, I was fascinated and jealous.
    First Communion, the white dresses, why not me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Since first grade a general envy of the girl’s dresses, I seemed to focus on their tights.
    Girls who had ballet were dismissed 10 minutes early; I wanted to go so bad. I remember walking by the ballet studio and the way home and lurking.
    It was a sunny Saturday morning and the house was empty, my parents were probably off to work, I was on my own until after lunch. I distinctly remember going with premeditated purpose into my sister’s room to try on a dress, stockings and boots just like the girls in my class. I had never done this before. I can vaguely remember a need to do this, a powerful draw to do this, it seemed instinctive. I was 9 years old an innocent child, this wasn’t a fetish or sexual turn on.
    I remember putting on the panties and stockings, then the dress falling down over my head and then the boots. So this is what it feels like, I remember thinking. I saw myself in the full length mirror and became utterly astounded. I looked like a girl, this was wonderful. Now I could be just like them.
    Now please listen closely, it was then at this very point in time, a moment I will never forget that I remember for the first time speaking these words as I stood in front of that mirror, I whispered them slowly “I wish I was a girl” and then “I want to be a girl”. Yes I thought to myself, “I want to be girl”, imagine that I thought in wonder and surprise, “I want to take ballet, jump rope, and go to slumber parties with the other girls in my class!” Now it all made sense.
    At 9 years old I really didn’t know what do with this information. I remember praying for God to change me into a girl. On the walk home from school I’d stop by the Queen of Peace church as other boys ran home to play ball. Here I would look up at the iconic statue and pray to the Virgin Mary asking for her intercession, to perform a miracle and let me become like her.
    To you, heavenly Princess, Holy Virgin Mary, I offer on this day my whole heart, life and soul. Look upon me with compassion and make me a woman like you.
    Other than the Virgin Mary and God there wasn’t anybody I could tell or ask for help. Looking back, I now realize how heavy a burden this was for a 9 year old to shoulder. I began to feel so alone and isolated.

  4. I, too, remember no event or moment that triggered it - but I do fall on the "nature" side of the argument. I have always felt that my mother wanted a daughter, and I was the second son, so maybe she treated me differently early on. Who knows. All I know is I've enjoyed living in the feminine wardrobe from a VERY early age on.

  5. I remember when I realized I was quite girly and that I will never be "normal" like the other boys. I never did discuss it with my mother who I am sure knew to well who was in her lingerie drawer. Wearing her clothes made the contrast even bigger than I thought I could ever deal with. Since I connected some dots and believe I am a DES son it would have been easier to talk about being transgender. Carrying this burden for 50+ years took its toll on my life but now feel somehow relieved and accept myself as I am. No more hiding and no more guilt. Its OK to be our true selves. I just fit in so much better even in drab, Talking to the cosmetics ladies is something I could never do until now and I feel like a girl talking about eyeshadow, brushes, mascara and girly things. Sorry for the rant but this is therapy even. So nice to walk with my chin up and appreciate the feminine world.