Thursday, January 4, 2024


By Tami Knight

Did your sister help?

The recent question posted, “Did your mother dress you?” prompted this big sister history.

Nancy, my older sister and I dressed up and played sisters in our early years. I don’t recall whose idea it was, but it started very early and I loved it. Our frequent dress-up sessions were after school and could only last until just before Dad came home for dinner.

Mom would tolerate this provided it didn’t happen too often as she preferred us playing outside. On the other hand, there were times when Mom played along and made her “girls” a snack, dolled us both up or took us out in the car on an errand.

Through grade school, Nancy would offer me anything (mostly school clothes) she had outgrown or just didn’t like. She had no hesitation in sharing these hand-me-downs as she knew well that I idolized her. I loved her gifts, too, and she knew it.  

I recall one shopping trip for school clothes, when in the girls’ department, Mom held a couple dresses up to me to make her decision to buy for Nancy or not. I think she knew I enjoyed that.

One babysitter thought my dressing up was fun, too. I recall being paraded out of the bedroom in front of one who laid on the couch as I tried on several of Nancy’s better dresses with a bow in my hair. Compliments came with each outfit and I was told how pretty I was. On this occasion, Dad learned about it and Nancy got scolded badly. Thankfully, Mom didn’t share much with him about my history of after-school dressing and Nancy and I continued as best as we could in secret.

There came a time when we moved to northern Michigan, but Dad still had work 250 miles to the south. This period freed up some weekends for spending most of Saturday with my sister as a sister. It was also a time when Nancy’s circle of girlfriends was expanding and she was most interested in spending time with them. 

More than once when she was out, I was home alone in my room in a dress. She would bring a friend over and they would discover me. Sometimes her friend would laugh and tease me or compliment me and show interest. Yes, word among the kids spread that I might be a girl.

As we became teens, all this changed. Only occasionally did my sister and I have instances to talk of these memories and she would ask if I still wanted to be a girl despite knowing the answer.

Source: Boston Proper
Wearing Boston Proper


  1. Thank you so much Stana for your blog. It's very important to me as I am in my 70s and just accepting that I am gender non-conforming. I can appreciate that your daily installments require a lot of work. I am so grateful for your service.


    1. Stana, I also thank you for your blog. Your blog, along with and, have enabled me to climb out of the rut typical males are imprisoned. With your amazing skills with graphics you.could have been a professional graphics artist instead of being a writer.

    2. Thank you for the kind words, Liis and John. As a technical writer, I used a lot of graphics that I created myself in my manuals (a pictures's worth...).

  2. Hi Tami,
    Thank you for sharing your childhood stories with us! I can only imagine how wonderful those days must have been. Unfortunately, the sibling lottery gave me two younger brothers haha...just kidding lil bros😂

    1. I also don't have sisters but I have two younger brothers. Look at the.bright side of things - I was NEVER forced to "man up" as a boy. So I don't have the hang ups of being ashamed of wearing dresses and presenting like a woman.
      There's a thread in where men actually.have to get therapy to wear feminine clothing.


  3. tammilee.tillison@gmail.comJanuary 04, 2024

    Stana, your blog is interesting and fun. Know that you have admirers and readers in Brazil. I'm one of them.

    Stana, seu blog é interessante e divertido. Saiba que tem admiradores e leitores no Brasil. Eu sou um deles.

  4. Can that really be the same person in the before and after pictures? The chin seems so different. Anyway, the lady on the right looks lovely.
    Penny from Edinburgh.

    1. Everything else matches up. The chin may be different because the smiles are different, but then again, it may be a fake before and after.

  5. When I was in grade school I had a babysitter, named Cassey, who liked to play dress up with me. It was our secret and many times when she sat for me she'd bring outfits for me to try on that were her younger sister's.

    My parent's didn't know we did that, but when I was nine I told mom that I wanted to be a girl for my Halloween costume. At first my mother balked at the idea. Perhaps to embarrass me she told Cassey of my desire. However Cassey told mom that she thought it would be fun and since Halloween was on a Saturday that year, she'd come take me trick or treating.

    Mom said, but I don't have any girl's clothes for him to wear."

    Cassey told mom that she her younger sister had matching dresses that they'd worn to their aunt's wedding. She proposed that she'd wear her dress and I'd wear her sister's. On Halloween I couldn't believe my eyes when Cassey walked in wearing a tea length pastel blue chiffon dress and she had brought an identical dress for me!

    I felt so much like a girl and even mom laughed once I was all dressed up and said I was a pretty girl. What a memory!

    A year later my family moved and Cassey didn't sit for me again. For a while I didn't wear girl's clothes.