Saturday, January 9, 2016


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

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. 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 I 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.

Caveat Emptor: This post is an edited rerun from two years ago.

Source: Glamour
Wearing Atlantic Pacific.

The Bigwood Twins
Professional femulators Billy and Ray, The Bigwood Twins.


  1. If the inherent proclivities are present it would seem to take very little to trigger the initial urge to explore the wonderful world of women's clothing, etc.
    My mother once told me that while still very young, perhaps even in a stroller, I had a real liking to touch the silk scarves that women wore in the 50s.
    My early memories is that when left home alone, or while babysitting my younger siblings I would try on my mother's stockings and undergarments and dresses. It all felt so good that I could hardly wait for my next opportunity to explore the magic feelings of wearing woman's clothes, shoes and makeup.

  2. I wonder if things will take a turn for the better if you weren't so emberrassed (or overcame your initial embarrassment) and insisted that your mom allowed you to "play" longer while wearing your makeup instead!

    1. Very good point! As boys we are discouraged from doing anything considered effeminent! If that were not the case I believe we would see similar shades of grey in men that we see in women that represent each of our own self images.

  3. Pat,

    I did the same thing. I remember around 8, if I was home alone, I would put on a pair of my mother's silk stocking and garter belt. I would then get under the covers of my parents bed and watch TV. It felt great and would relax me. I soon added heels and a dress.

    Decades later, my mother thought it was my sister getting into her clothes.

    Susan King

  4. I always remember sitting in my Mom's dressing room while she put her makeup on, we use to nice talks, the smell of hair spray and foundation are still very comforting to me

  5. I am totally and completely in the nature camp. Each of us possesses some kid of ID. As children we are to innocent to see it or simply take it for granted until something or someone awakens it. In your case a mirror. Which is almost the first place many of us see the spirit of our self image first. Because gender behaviors are reinforced on us depending on what the doctor announces we are, training I'd begun to develope all the stereotypes society forces onto us. And as boys we have little in the way of behavioral options. Not until something "triggers" that awakening does it consern us. And it's all Depending on how masculine or how feminine our id is. And how much we allow peer pressures to bend us further away from our selves.

    Simply look at the shades of gray in women. We see far less "cross dressing" women. In fact we see great numbers of tom boys. Because that is a normal expectation of a woman. A woman flows naturally to her taste in style. Of course there are the fashion pushers and plaice and women who bend to them. But the numbers of women that I know that say they hate dressing up and the numbers of women I know that say they love dressing up are pretty equal as well.

  6. I think I should have said, "There will most likely be a trigger event..." because not everyone takes the same path. However talking about trigger events, I knew someone who, in his 40s had never, according to him, had any thoughts regarding transgender. One night during bedroom play, his wife rolled her stockings up his legs. She said it was like flipping a switch and all these feelings were released. Two years later she was full time, transitioning and absolutely gorgeous. My event was much earlier around age three or four. Through a story too long to tell, I ended up with wet underwear and the only thing for me to wear was a pair of girls panties. Just plain white cotton but when I put them on, it was like birds sang and the sun came out. I didn't want my mother to send them back, I wanted to keep them because when I was wearing them everything seemed right with the world.

  7. The thing I remember from being really little is how much I hated being put in dressy boy clothes, and getting haircuts. No sister, so the first time I really saw what a girl looked like was at my girl cousin's birthday party when I was six. She was three. (Hey, it was the middle of the summer!) I immediately questioned why I was not like that, and afterward always felt wrong. It burst out when I was twelve and began secretly to wear my mother's clothes every chance I could get.