Wednesday, February 7, 2024

The Great Purge of 1983

I started femulating regularly around the age of 12. Whenever I was home alone, I would experiment with my mother's and sister's wardrobes and cosmetics. 

Soon, I began building my own female wardrobe. Initially, I collected discarded clothing or sewed my own (simple A-line miniskirts) using remnants that my mother had in her sewing nook. 

The first item of female clothing that I purchased were three pairs of nylon stockings. I went to the hosiery store downtown and told the saleswoman that I was buying stockings as a gift for my tall girlfriend. The saleswoman did not bat an eye and I scored my first purchase of female finery with ease. 

After that successful shopping trip, I used my tall girlfriend excuse to expand my wardrobe. And whenever Halloween was on the horizon, I could use that holiday as an excuse to try on and buy wigs, dresses, shoes and foundation garments. 

In addition to building a wardrobe, I clipped femulation-related items from newspapers and magazines. I also had a couple of books including the eye-opening A Year Among the Girls by Darryl Radnor and a couple of issues of Drag magazine. And there was also my collection of Polaroids, which documented my progress aboard the Good Ship Lollipop

I stored everything in boxes hidden behind boxes containing my American Flyer train set, all stored behind the false back panel of a built-in bookcase in my bedroom. 

Due to that limited storage space, I occasionally whittled down my collection – out with the old to make room for the new – but I never purged everything while I was actively femulating. I loved being a girl, so there was no desire to purge. 

Fast-forward to 1983. 

I had been dating my future wife for over two years and during that time, I stopped femulating. I had no desire to femulate and I bought into the old wives’/husbands’ tale that when a femulator got married, he stopped femulating. 

Realize that there was little information available to vent that tale. There was no Internet as we know it today and the serious literature on the topic was minimal and hard to find in my neck of the woods. 

So about two weeks before our wedding, I purged everything. 

One month after our wedding, we were invited to a Halloween party. I femulated for the event (see photo) and bought a new dress, wig, pantyhose, bra, girdle, high heels, etc. for the occasion. I was back on the Good Ship Lollipop and never stopped femulating again. 

In retrospect, I so regret the purge. I could replace the wardrobe (which I did), but I could never replace my Polaroids.

Source: Boston Proper
Wearing Boston Proper

Thiago Fragoso
Thiago Fragoso femulating on Brazilian television’s Sexo Fragil.


  1. Plus, how many girls bemoan losing THAT pair of shoes, or THAT dress, that they never could replace....

  2. Same here. I think purge(s) are almost universal. Now that trans is more open, I wonder if that experience will go away.

  3. Dear Stana,

    In many ways my life has paralleled yours. I began trying on my mother's dresses when I was 12. Throughout my teen years mom volunteered at a hospital's charity thrift shop. Large amounts of clothing donations were dropped off at my home. I secretly rummaged through the clothes and regularly borrowed. I'd keep skirts, dresses or nighties, and undergarments hidden in my room. I'd return them to the donations pile and choose other items to be my new favorites.

    When my parents went out I'd dress up as a girl. At some point the Mary Tyler Moore show was on Saturday nights and it was to my extreme delight that I'd dress up as a girl and watch. I'd have fantasies that I was one of Mary's girlfriends and that she loved it when I crossdressed! I loved wearing the nicest and classiest dresses I could find while I watched.

    My crossdressing went on hold when I met my wife. I bought into that falsehood that I'd lose all desires to wear dresses once I was a married man. Secretly and slowly it crept back into my life and I began to purchase and hide women's clothes for myself.

    I've never done Halloween as a girl though I've ached to so many times. Once in college two sisters offered to dress me up as a girl for a party. I didn't have the nerve. Eventually I confessed these desires to my wife. She did not approve and my femulations continued in secret. I attended in secret a couple of crossdressing events in the Chicago area, but that felt deceptive to my family. At some point I told my wife that I wanted to expand my dressing up.

    She firmly told me that having a crossdressing spouse was nothing that she ever wanted in a marriage. She said that if I wanted to dress up I could at home when she was not around. She told me that if I let her know I was going to be a girl on any day that she'd give me space, but she didn't want me doing anything to embarrass myself or the family. I saw her fears and understood. I agreed.

    As my children got older I had less time to dress up. I had no desire what so ever for them to learn of my secret. Eventually, I purged everything. That included photographs of myself all dolled up that I'd taken of myself in front of mirror. Once when I picked up a roll of "girl shots" at the 24 hour photo shop, I saw that the photos in the envelope were out of sequence which suggested to me that someone at the shop rummaged through the photos.

    I figured he or she got a laugh over them, but it kind of thrilled me too. I haven't crossdressed for a number of years. I'm a grandfather now and I'll turn seventy this year.

    I have American Flyer trains too. When my dad died my son and I packed them all up and brought them to our house. We set them up in my basement and all that old stuff still works.

    1. Well I built and owned a consumer photo lab for a dozen years in the 80s, rather interesting 🤔 what came through. Got to the point no one cares..unless it involved child......
      The best were the ones that had duplicates made and even kept....... At the Lab. Polaroid made a Fortune with their process just because it was Private, until people wanted copies made, did thousands over the years.

  4. On all the forums I visit there is always a posting with many comments about the "Great Purge." I've never gone through that. Yes, garments that wore out, shoes that broke down or garments that did not fit were discarded. I did dispose of the negatives and prints of the sole time I had some film developed. I feared someone would find them if I died in an accident. Back in 1975, when my wife took out infant son back to visit his grandparents for the first time, I did buy a dress that I wore in her absence. I did have nightgowns that I wore to enhance bedroom play, but no dresses until that purchase. I wore it until the day before she came home; then I discarded it because I did not want my wife to find it. It was not discarded out of self loathing or disgust. As a kid I was denied too many toys baseball cards and always needed a new baseball glove. My older brother was the favorite child, so I was denied. That resulted in becoming a pack-rat. I started out as a male size 38, but as I aged I hit size 42. There are too many saved slips and dresses that do not fit, but I have not donated them. There are 24+ Xerox boxes of garments stacked up; not counting 18+ USPS medium boxes of unworn panties. I still sleep in my first pink peignoir my wife and I bought for myself in 1972. She recently gave me her white peignoir I bought her as a wedding gift back in 1971. I did not know anything about women's sizing so it swam on her, but I still can comfortably wear it. Even with the threat of meeting my maker (76 years old here) I still cannot come to preening down my wardrobe. Never purged, never will, at least not out of self loathing or disgust.

  5. Yes I purged once or twice but not in many years and won't be doing it again good stuff went to goodwill or some thrift store that I am sure another cd bought. I am glad those days have past but I do pair down my wardrobe from time to time as everyone does Getting rid of things is difficult but has to happen or there would be no room in the house. I don't call it purging just cleaning up the closet

  6. It’s interesting how purging is common amongst almost all of us, we have our own culture and history that binds us together as a community

    Dressing up for Halloween is another common experience that we share and let me tell you you look cute as can be in those 80 fashions love your hair and the biggest accessory is your smile. You can see how happy you are in this picture. Would love to hear about that experience And the party you went to it all went Paula G

  7. I purged several years ago, and while I've mostly rebuilt my femme wardrobe, the one thing I truly miss is my hosiery collection. I'm a hosiery addict and had a collection of a few dozen pair of pantyhose and tights in every imaginable pattern and color. Now that hosiery is unfortunately going out of fashion, I doubt I'll ever be able to replace all those lovely styles😪

  8. I think the purged item I miss the most is a lengthy autobiographical story I had written. It started over 10 years ago when I was struggling to understand my crossdressing, so I decided to work it out through writing. I wrote a story as if I was talking to my therapist, describing my earliest CD recollections, exploring the need to CD, etc. I blended in some specific CD events from my lifetime, sprinkled in a few of my CD fantasies, until it all snowballed into an over-the-top work of fiction. I serendipitously got the opportunity to try my hand at my dream job: a hosiery model! It was a day I'll always remember and, after drinks & dancing with one of the men on the job, it was a night neither of us would ever forget.

    Needless to say, the fear of anyone ever finding and reading that story drove me to eventually purge it. But there are times when I'm tempted to start it anew...

  9. Hi all, I purged twice in my life.
    The first time I was living in a college dorm room. I've always been a late-bloomer. Started CDing at 15. Went to university @ 27. Go figure.
    Anyway, I had been in school about 10 weeks when a fire had broken out on my dorm floor (Top floor-3rd). We heard rather quickly that it was arson. It dawned on me that there will be an arson investigation. I freaked out, wondering if investigators would be going through closets and find my locked brief case full of panties, hose, pictures, and I think a pair of heels. I think I had a white blouse/red skirt/jacket combo. (serious late 80s real estate saleswoman vibe)
    I was seriously distraught.
    Once we were let back in the building (my room was undamaged), I reasoned that I didn't want to have to go through that angst again (at least not while at college) and dumped it all in a dumpster.
    (Cause of Fire: Some drunk/high boys decided it would be fun to put a couch in front of the weird kid's door, and light it on fire.)
    Of course, looking back on it now.... the cause of the fire was obvious, and investigators really had no reason to look further than the couch, and the drunk kids. They confessed rather quickly.

    2nd time I purged was in 2013. My kids were 13 and 15. For most of those years I had been keeping my stash in a couple of bins in an outdoor shed on the side of the house. For some reason I had gotten it into my head that my kids had reached snooping age and would get curious and start looking in the garage and shed when the adults weren't home. Plus, I wasn't dressing much, and I got a vibe from my sister-in-law that she knew something about my hobby and would OUT me. I figured that I was done with CDing.
    As far as my kids go, I had little to worry about. By that age, all SHE wanted to do was look at her phone, and HE just wanted to play video games. They had no interest in doing much outside. As far as my SIL, that was just me being paranoid.

    Almost a year to the day of my purge I happened to be in Las Vegas for a conference, February 14, 2014. One night after that day's proceedings I went over to "Just You" and see what they had so I could rebuild my stash.
    Turns out that there was a Girls Night out event going on, and there was a spaghetti dinner that would happen before a bunch of Sisters went out dancing.
    I met some Sisters that I had seen on the interwebs, and I found them glamorous and fascinating. I was star struck... It was like being a kid and getting to meet Pete Rose.
    The girls invited me to GNO. I passed on dancing because I couldnt afford to buy appropriate clothing, makeup, jewelry for such a thing. I did, however, stay for spaghetti, and meet/chat with people. It was a glorious night. I left feeling a part of a community even though I was en drab that evening. After leaving, I went straight to Target and bought a bunch of makeup (that I COULD afford), and haven't looked back.

    At this point I don't get out much in Sandy mode (much to my chagrin), but I won't purge, and my GF knows about Sandy, and I have a closet just for girl stuff. And I now to go Las Vegas once a year for TG Rocktober ( for a week of solid girl time.

  10. Rachel McNeillFebruary 10, 2024

    I never went through a purge. In fact, I never femulated until I did so as an experiment in my early 50s.

    I had long known I did not have the normative sexual and gender identity. I figured that out in HS, when I realized that I didn't want to have a girlfriend, I wanted to be HER. I buried those scary thoughts and got on with the military, school, career, marriage. It wasn't until I finally confronted that self-image that I donned women's clothing, bought a wig, makeup, everything necessary for a full make-over.

    When I looked in the mirror at the women in the wig and makeup looking back at me, I saw ME, the way that I had always thought of myself. Instead of some sort of sexual experience, which is what I had anticipated, I got a calm and warming rush of endorphins. I felt like me...