To start, a lot of the stigmas that we face have been brought on throughout decades of people like us hiding in the shadows. In doing so, the rest of society has become very ignorant as to who we are, why we do what we do, and what it means to us. We all have gotten one of the two assumptions: we're gay, or we want to be women. For some that may be true, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, the vast majority of us are straight, cis-gendered men.
In recent weeks, I have openly dressed in front of several individuals that had no idea about this side of me. Namely, it was my two sisters, one of their boyfriends, and stepdad. Out of these four, only one seemed to have a problem with it, which was my younger sister. She wasn't able to understand that I was not gay, and called it a "phase". These comments were made behind my back, so I wasn't able to respond accordingly. Luckily, my other sister explained to her that I have been in a relationship with a beautiful woman for over five years.
This example is just one of the many experiences that come along with being openly feminine. However, none of these situations deter me from being myself. While the opinions of immediate family or friends can hurt sometimes, it is important to understand that we live our lives for ourselves, and not according to anyone else's comforts. True friends and family will not judge you on this alone, and will still love and accept you regardless.
I have read many of your comments throughout various blogs, and it always saddens me when I read about those who do not have the confidence to wear the clothes they love openly, due to their fears of what others may think. I deeply empathize with this, as I was once in the same unfortunate position.
However, I have noticed many of you still underdress daily, as well as wear light makeup and perhaps a unisex top or bottom that goes unnoticed. Some of you also have wonderful partners in your life that encourage you to be your fullest self. So what is holding you back? Perhaps it's your occupation, status, or just your inhibitions. We must understand that the only way to break stigmas, is to popularize a taboo action. Women did the same when they threw out their restrictive girdles and bras, so it's time for us men to step up.
I was out at the store the other day, one which I always frequent. A familiar cashier said to me: "You know, it takes a lot of confidence to do what you do. It takes balls". Now, this is perhaps the most validating comment I have ever received, as many of us fear that our dressing makes us less of a man. I argue the complete opposite. How many men out there have the confidence to cross that line and wear a dress, in order to achieve their fullest happiness?
To those of you who just underdress, take that next step up! You don't have to go all in. Start slow. Begin with unisexual styles, perhaps adding in one clearly feminine item. Work your way up and eventually, you'll have the confidence to wear heels, full makeup, and whatever else you want openly! If you have a supportive partner, rely on them to support you. Vent your stresses at the end of the day to them, there is nothing more relieving than having someone there for you. If you don't have a partner, confide in a close friend or family member who accepts you.
Both XD and BA fully support us being ourselves. They exist because we exist. You may wonder why their product line mainly consists of underdressing items, and that's because the majority of us only underdress! Do you want more skirts, dresses, leggings or heels available to us? Buy them and wear them openly! XD / BA offers a decent amount of these, and they are most comfortable for us men! The more of us that look society in the eye and be confident with ourselves, the less of a stigma it becomes. Just look at women who wear tuxedos! No one bats an eye. It's time for a man in a dress to receive the same treatment.
So get out there and wear that dress you've been dying to wear in public! How many of you have taken these steps so far? How many of you want to? What is stopping you? I would love to help you all muster the courage and become truly blissful.
This is a great blog entry. I haven’t taken many steps to get out in public. I really want to though. I wear panties frequently but that’s hidden under my male outfit. What’s stopping me? Society! I work in a very male “geek” profession and couldn’t get away with anything feminine at work. Sure the law says I can’t be fired or otherwise discriminated against. However if I did I would never be taken seriously again at work and that would be a career killer. So I need to keep work and private life separate. I did dress last halloween as a ballerina (not at work) and it was hot as hell being seen in public with no “escape route”. Nothing bad happened and I got compliments as well, many from women. I wish I could do it more often. My partner is supportive and likes it but doesn’t really push too hard. I know if I was told in no uncertain terms that I’m going to put on a dress and go out in public it would be good for me; I’d do it and love doing it. But to just leave it up to my own devices isn’t going to happen. I need the push and validation you know?
This is a great and really important article Nathan. There are so many guys out there that are suffering because they can’t be who they are and who they really want to be.
Your advice on not having to go all out is wise. Through lack of being able to practice, a lot of cross-dressers lack skill or subtelty in presenting their feminine side. By being pent up it often comes out in a tidal wave of mis-match of body and clothes. Unless we’re really lucky, or prepared to be very uncomfortable, it is worth accepting that our physiology is fundamentally different to that of women. Women’s clothes are designed to complement a shape and texture that most men don’t have.
Xdress is perfect for underdressing and a real gift to society. From an aesthetic sense we need to be a little more careful about what we wear on top. So do some women!
Adding in feminine items – a feminine print organza scarf, skinny jeans and jewellery items – can add a pleasing and feminine aesthetic. So can just the right amount of make up. Throwing your secret fantasy awardrobe or things you’ve bought without caring whether they really fit and if you feel comfortable won’t make you feel good or draw the respect of others.
It is worth going slowly and finding out what works for you, one step at a time. Before too long you will be proudly strutting your look without making yourself or anyone else feel uncomfortable.
Incidentally, how about a feature on bags? Another important feminine accessory it is important to get right – and which is becoming increasingly mainstream for guys.
And here’s to our wonderful community.
I love the choice in fabrics, styles and colors available in lingerie and would like to be able to wear it everyday if my wife was more onboard. She puts up with it, but tends to make fun of me which I don’t really like. However I have no interest in outerwear, dresses etc, so that is probably a good thing as far as my wife is concerned! I suspect that lots of people like to wear panties, and probably do, but to go all out to look like a women is probably a small subset of those. But live and let live. I say. Anything that makes people happy and does no harm is a good thing.
Excellent blog post. I saw myself in everything you say. Unfortunately we still live in a stereotyped world in terms of assuming our inner femme, few are the ones who welcome this more intimate side of us. I was born and raised in a traditional family where it would be difficult to accept this femme side of me. Then I work in a sector where it seems difficult to accept a man dressed in women’s clothes. As I wrote earlier from a very early age I use women’s underwear that I love and it all comes down to that. The boyfriends I had always encouraged me to be a woman and now in this relationship I have with a person older than me and who I prefer to treat as a husband has been wonderful. He encourages me and loves to have me as his wife. But for family and work reasons it is difficult to fully assume. We are so happy! thank you Nuno.
This is the big one! Great conversation to have. I have pushed the envelope more and more. I started only dressing at home. Full everything! But I realized that wasnt me. So I started underdressing only with panties and painted toes. I found a friend who said it was cool. Then added a bra with panties then make up: foundation, concealer, and mascara.
But no so fast my friend: there are several things which prevent me from dressing full on outside the house. While i do wear womens heans and sweaters, i dont wear heels. 1st i would lose my job. My family would be shocked it would hurt my children and my community would full on reject US.
I fully support those who can and I agree with others who have said they cant dress outside the home. But what we can do is support those who do. We can support them when we see them dressed on TV in movies and in our communities. Even if it is subtle, like saying to each their own or its not hurting anyone or women wear pants…
So while we all can’t do it we all can support it when we see it or the topic comes up
I cant wait to read the comments on this topic
Wear something pretty today I am
Nathan, thank you for your blog. I always love your blogs, but I’m going to have to push back a bit on this one. The social group with which I am involved would absolutely ostracize me if I openly cross dressed. Because of the the very conservative society in which I live, openly cross dressing would invite assault and battery (no joke). While I am blessed with a wonderful wife who fully supports my expression of my femininity, my society does not. I accept that, and still love those who could never understand the inner me. I have no delusions of being the caped super hero that changes society’s misconceptions of us. That isn’t my calling. I’m just glad there are the wonderful folks of XD/BA who understand we are out here, and underdressing is mostly about all we can do to stay in touch with the woman within. If you are in a more liberal region, good for you! Get out there and show who you are! For me, it is a matter of personal safety and possible social ostracism – things I’m not willing to risk.
I have been underdressing for years and like most have slowly been moving to wearing more. It is an almost evolutionary process. I have been mainly dressing up in dresses and high heels around the house in the evening and on days off. Actually I am more comfortable wearing unisex clothing. when out and around other people. Recently got into wearing more make-up. I work in a large department store and am noticing more men getting make overs and buying make-up. This is a great topic and am interested in seeing more comments.
I’m so lucky to have a wonderful partner who encourages me to dress , she helps me purchase my feminine outfits at the store and online. I have been wearing underdress for many years most evenings in something feminine with makeup. Over the last few years we have ventured to some events with me dressed with her on my arm makes me feel secure and special.
We have many friends whom know I dress and very accepted of me it’s such a special feeling that you get when you can be open. Thank you for your blog so true .
I’ve been underdressing for years in secret.
XD and BA have had wonderful things for me. I have an extensive and elaborate collection. However, it’s all been in secret. I either can only underdress after the wife leaves for work, or if I’m traveling on business.
I tried just last week to ease her into just the idea, by mixing a very similar pair of her VS panties with my almost identical Jockey Bikinis. Nope. She wasn’t having it. Not at all.
“Ew. Gross. That’s disgusting” is what she said.
My hopes and dreams dashed and I’m back to secrets again.
I have been slowly dressing more and more in public. I have been under dressing for years now. I am fortunate to have a wife that embraces this side of me. I find it very rewarding when I push it a little further and I get more confident every time. My wife is the one who is slower to evolve to this but she is getting better about not caring what others think. Also I have many friends that prefer I dress now knowing that it is who I am.