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When is the right time to dress up? Are you sure?

| May 6, 2013
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You’re spending a nice ‘sick day’ at home — dressed up in your favorite women’s clothes, shaving your legs at the kitchen table, and who walks in? Your teenage son and his best friend. Now what? Your son, the one you are supposed to mentor, love and protect — finds you crossdressing, masturbating, and viewing he/she porn. What is he supposed to think? Have you planned for such an event? I suggest you do if you are a father  — with a clueless wife and have children — especially teenagers. They have their own irregular hours. Didn’t you think that one day one of your children would find you? And what were your plans? To wait until you got caught and come up with something? Dressing up for Halloween in mid summer? Really? Your son will never be the same. Never. What an unhealthy way to find out — no child at any age should be exposed to this problem without proper age appropriate guidelines — and who says they have to know everything anyway? Whose responsibility is it to protect and guide him? You are the one he looks to to model appropriate behavior, seek advice from. Hear about the birds and the bees. Your son will learn quickly so much more than the birds and the bees. You have just forced him to deal with a difficult issue — which he does not understand. The life long condition of crossdressing is hard enough for most adults to understand, let along a pre-teen son or teenager. This level of narcissism related to crossdressing is dangerously high. And the one who will suffer the most: your son. He will forever be changed — not only does he now know that you are a crossdresser — the vision of you dressed up ‘having fun’ will most likely be deemed as one of the most difficult moments of your son’s life. The vision will never go away. There is no way to go inside of his mind and take it back –it is implanted — as if in stone. What goes through his mind? Is dad gay? A transsexual? A freak? What if I turn out to be like him? What about mom? Does she know? Now all of my friends will know . . .

“I hate him” thinks your traumatized young teenage son, confused himself about sex, etc. Now he is really lost, confused, possibly angry, and whom can he talk to? His friends? Not a chance. Your son’s life just turned upside down by the most important relationship in one’s life — the same sex parent. His sense of trust most likely will be shattered.

As a mother, may I ask — do you have a plan? Plan A? Plan B? Plan C? Or are you so arrogant to think that since you’ve never been caught in 20 years you won’t get lazy when you have the desire to crossdress? Some of you must be. What are the rest of you thinking?

As a social scientist, it deeply concerns me that incidents like the aforementioned not only could happen but HAVE happened to too many sons because your life long condition overshadowed your judgment and you just became your son’s worst nightmare.

Please do not ignore this if it happens. Definitely discuss this with his mother and get him into therapy. School counselors will help because they realize this is likely to impact your son’s grades. Most likely he will be anxious, maybe angry, definitely confused. Many crossdresser’s wives have shared with me that when our sons find out — they ‘close up’ –don’t want to talk about it. The healthy approach is to get him help, let him know you are still his dad, but even better, now that you know this COULD happen to your son — PREVENT IT! Find a way. Never allow this to happen to your son. Crossdressing has the potential to be a very dangerous and harmful act. This qualifies as one of the worst case scenarios that unfortunately for some of your children/sons —  its reality. Obviously, it is highly unlikely you are going to stop crossdressing but you’d better think twice before you assume you are and will be alone during your ‘stress release’ time.


Dee A. Levy
Founder non-profit: Crossdressers Wives
The Crossdresser’s Wife — Our Secret Lives

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Category: Transgender Body & Soul, Transgender Opinion


About the Author ()

Dee A. Levy is the former spouse of a crossdresser. She has a BA in Women Studies and MA in Social Sciences and Comparative Education. She is the author of The Cross Dresser's Wife -- Our Secret Lives, available at, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, &

Comments (6)

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  1. Graham Graham says:

    I guess this shows up two things.

    Firstly, there’s a wide difference in perspective between men and women. It’s interesting that Dee, you mention you’ve yet to meet a single crossdressing father who thinks it’s appropriate to tell his son he’s a crossdresser. This is an appalling statistic, but given the general level of guilt and self-loathing amongst crssdressers, I don’t find it particularly surprising: we know (from experience) that the tendency is for crossdressers to want to tell as few people as possible (preferably none), even within a childless environment. It must, however, put the mother of the offspring concerned in a desperately difficult position – especially if her husband’s crossdressing was previously unknown to her as well. What an awful situation to find yourself in.

    The other comment I’d make is that there are examples from both ends of the spectrum, and of course we all choose the best anecdote to prove our point. While even one such case as that which you describe is one too many, there are situations where children handle such things really well – I was reading this just yesterday:–how-it-changed-her-family-162811616.html. My experience (admittedly with other people’s children) is that they’re curious … but get bored really quickly, and move onto other important things such as what’s for tea! But again this comes down to education – once the garbage, porn, and general crap and lies surrounding crossdressing have been addressed, being a member of this elite group should start to lose some of its negativity. I’d like to live long enough to see “crossdresser-pride” having the same sort of status as is afforded to gay pride and black pride today. OK, it may need a more catchy title first …

    I would, however, like to address an error in your comment, Dee. Technically, crossdressing – or “transvestic fetishism” to give it its proper name – is listed in DSM-4 secion 302.3 as a “paraphilia”, not a perversion. Even a low-brow piece of crap like DSM doesn’t use such emotive words. It’s also noteworthy that, as of last week, the imminent DSM-5 has been denounced by the US National Institute of Mental Health, and will now not be used as a diagnostic tool – see, for instance. Campaigners have long struggled to have crossdressing declassified as a paraphilia, but this was unexpected good news. So progress is being made in removing the stigma of crossdressing. Slowly … but surely.

  2. Dee Dee says:

    I totally agree that honesty is the best policy. However, I am a mother-which makes me the lioness. As lioness we protect our cubs-if we have to suck it up-keep it secret because we are ashamed of our husbands-do you really think CDW are going to encourage our kids finding out?

    Fortunately, I have met many CDH-who are fathers-and I have yet to meet one that thinks it is appropriate or wants his son to know that he is a cross dresser!!! NOT ONE!

    Yes,in an ideal world-and if the TRUTH was told to begin with-all of these obviously related problems would not exist. But the CDH choose to lie about everything-now the truth should come out how many years later-and everything is going to be OK?

    Right now-the only way to fix it-is please do not expose yourself to your children without proper mental health guidance. And cross dressing is still listed as a PERVERSION in the DSM…before you shave your legs at the kitchen table-wearing women’s cloths-maybe you should care about your son-and do it in a locked bathroom.

    Angela-I only wish I was making up these stories. Yes, honey a CDH did in fact wear his wife’s dress-and was caught shaving his legs at the kitchen table by his sons and his football friends. The CDW was suicidal upon finding out that her husband is a CD and that he was caught by his son…so some CDH honey do not know the shaving rules…it is best to do it it private-in a shower-not in front of your son!

    How many of yo are fathers? How many of you want your children to know? How many want your children to see you? Why-after lying all of these years?

    Protect your sons…they do not deserve this trauma…nor does your daughter-and especially your wife. Don’t you understand-when you do things like this it makes it impossible for your wife to stand by you when your narcissism is tearing apart the family…

  3. angela_g angela_g says:

    Keeping your crossdressing a deep dark secret is the worst idea. I agree with Dee that the scenario she paints would really mess up a kid. Especially that part about his friend being with him. But I don’t think any crossdresser shaves her legs at the kitchen table. The bathroom seems like the place. And if dad is that much in the closet he most likely doesn’t shave his legs and wears tights or a couple of pairs of pantyhose when dressed. The others commenting have made a good point. If dad’s crossdressing is disclosed and talked about before an accidental revelation occurs then it’s just part of life. One crossdressing father I know waited till his children were pre-teen and told them he had an important thing to tell them. With great gravitas he told them he would be dressing as a woman from time to time. Their response was, “OK. Can we have dinnner now?” Integrated into any lifestyle crossdressing does not have to be a terrible burden. The burden is what you get from hiding, lying and keeping it in a dark room.

  4. tasidevil tasidevil says:

    Well, here’s a surprise. I’m in total agreement with Graham. While I think the example given is appalling, it need not have happened when crossdessing is bought out early in the marriage. There’s ample evidence that young children adapt easily to the realities of a crossdessing father and while it’s each parents decision to tell or not tell, I vote for being upfront with the children. Don’t wait until they are a teenager going through all those hormonal changes themselves. And Google is the worst when displaying porn if you search for crossdresser. So much for their honest algorythem. Linda’s link is also good

    If you were a late bloomer like me, telling grown children is a mixed bag with both enlightening and heartbreaking results. Sometimes it gets forced on you by an ex-wife, but I’ve seen good results when apprached in a sensitive and caring manner. It helps to have been a good father

  5. Linda Jensen Linda Jensen says:

    Copy this link in to your browser. It doesn’t quite fit the situation above but it shows another side to the coin.–how-it-changed-her-family-162811616.html

  6. Graham Graham says:

    Thank you for another interesting article, Dee.

    I don’t have children, so I admit to being a little out of my depth on this issue. However, do you not think that disclosure to one’s children of their father’s crossdressing, handled in a sensitive and appropriate manner, is better than trying to hide it? You’ve advocated up-front disclosure to partners, so why should the same not apply to children of a suitable age? The pitfalls of such information getting out in an uncontrolled manner are well-known, and have been discussed in this forum in the context of partners, yet – and please correct me if I’m wrong – you’re advocating that it’s OK to place this same potential time-bomb under one’s children?

    To be frank, I see little theoretical difference between the potential stigma of a boy having two dads in a gay relationship, and a boy having a crossdressing dad in a heterosexual relationship … the only difference in reality is that, at this point in time, gay dads are “out” and respectable, while crossdressing dads still treat their crossdressing as if it’s some kind of filthy perversion. But if you do away with the guilt and self-loathing that surrounds crossdressing, you do away with many of the problems it causes.

    When crossdressing is treated as a “so what?” activity, with full up-front disclosure at as early an opportunity as is appropriate, facts can be disseminated before rumours take hold, and it becomes a lot easier to deal with. However, the image of crossdressing needs to be cleaned up as a matter of urgency; a quick glance through on-line crossdressing resources, for instance, reveals a predominance of pornography, which seriously misrepresents the nature of the activity. If a child – or a partner, for that matter – accesses such material in a genuine attempt to better understand crossdressing, it will certainly do more harm than good.

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