Wednesday, March 29, 2023

My Trigger

Monday’s post and your comments to that post reminded me what may have been my trigger.

In the past, I have written 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 it was. 

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.

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

Source: Cynthia Rowley
Wearing Cynthia Rowley

William Hoeveler
William Hoeveler femulating for University of Pittsburgh’s 1938 womanless stage show.


  1. In the UK, a big story is the passing of Paul O'Grady who was one of Britain's highest profile drag queens under the name Lily Savage. (O'Grady apparently wasn't trans but often played other female acting roles.) It even topped the BBC most read stories yesterday.

  2. When I played a little girl in Showboat once I was all dressed up in my dress for rehearsal and mom offered me a dixie cup filled with water. I took a sip and couldn't believe that my lipstick left its mark on the cup. I was filled with embarrassment and set my cup down. My mother must have realized how I felt and whispered, "don't worry, you're a beautiful girl right now. You're going to be great in the play."

    I asked, "really mom?"

    She said, "really."

    Thanks for stirring that memory.

  3. William Hoeveller NOT a civilian 😂❤️

  4. I remember my Mom putting lipstick on my checks when I was a scare crow for Halloween. I remember protesting because I knew that showing enjoyment would be frowned on. The was the halloween that I wrote about, when I saw a little boy dressed as a girl in a party dress with petticoats and tights. I wanted to be him so badly Paula G

    1. Paula
      Life can be difficult when you are young
      You daren't admit to wanting to wear make up or clothes whlist being desparate to find out what it was like to wear a party dress and tights

  5. I often wonder what set me on my journey to love donning pretty dresses. I was all rough and tumble. I do remember my mother always saying I was suppose to be a girl; a daughter since there was already an older son. The perfect family; mom and dad, brother and sister. It must have hurt me because I do remember one day crying my eyes out saying my mother did not love me because I was not a girl. I had donned her floor length nylon nightgown that I had retrieved from the dirty laundry basket. She comforted me and said she loved me. After that she never mentioned it. However, it was obvious my older brother was her favorite and I got a disproportionate amount of discipline.

  6. My memories of wanting to be a girl stretch all the way back to when I was four but it was the pictures of lingerie in the catalogues that really got the neurons firing. At that age, I just wanted to wear it and didn’t know why. All my earliest friends were girls and I asked for (and received from a family friend) a doll for Xmas when i was 3. I still have her! The outcome was inevitable.

  7. When I was 10 I went to a boys Halloween Party at the YMCA. A boy sat down next to me. I did not know him, but he was dressed up as a girl. He had on lipstick, a blue shirtwaist style dress, wig, and to my shock, nylons. I wondered why he came dressed up as a girl? Had he been forced or punished and was that why?

    At some point it occurred to me that he came wearing that dress and nylons because he wanted too. Then I realized that I wished that I was brave enough to do that. I couldn’t get it out of my mind for a long time. I still haven’t. Within a year I began to secretly dress up as a girl whenever I could.

  8. I always wanted to wear a skirt from as far back as I can remember. I have no idea why or what planted the idea in my brain but ive always wanted to dress as a girl. Around the age of 10/11 my sister gave me one of her old dresses and panties. That changed my life I was completely overwhelmed with being a girl and that has lasted to the present day. X

  9. AnonymousJuly 28, 2023

    what is the title of this movie

  10. Funny how your clown story is familiar. I wouldn't let the women in my house dress me up as a girl for Halloween, but I let my mother dress me as white-face clown (versus a hobo)..........she created my clown mouth with lipstick and I loved the smell of it (to my credit I also turned down Little Black Sambo in blackface). Later in my early teens, my older sister turned me into a young woman for the Easter Parade, my first public outing in high heels.