Growing up alone. It sounds sad doesn’t it?
It was but, I wasn’t raised by wolves in the wild just in Los Angeles in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
Movies and television had morality censors approving content before it was released. You never saw couples in bed together or even a king size bed. Instead there were twin beds with a table in the middle separating them.
There were no cell phones, laptop computers, iPads, CD ROMS, VHS tapes, e-mail, internet, cable TV, color Televisions. The all-male television news in black and white was broadcast 2 hours in the morning and 3 in the evening and was over by 7:00PM.
Sex was not discussed openly in public and only hinted at in the movies.
So how does a little boy with a fascination for women’s clothes, nylons, and high heels figure it all out? He doesn’t at least for decades until by accident he stumbles upon a men’s magazine with a fascinating article in it.
I was 21 by then and elated to find out there was a name for what I did, and there were others like me someplace. I was a TRANSVESTITE yeah!
I read on the internet today people taking issue with some of us using the term crossdresser to describe ourselves. After being caught several times by my mother and brother dressed in women’s clothes my label was “Little Sicko”. They did not give me that name it was just the way I felt about myself. Transvestite seemed pretty good compared to Little Sicko.
I had nobody to talk to growing up. I felt tremendous guilt and shame when I continued to do it because I was the only one on earth doing it.
My life other than that was great with plenty of friends to play sports with, hike in the mountains, ride horses, go to the beach etc. Everything went well until I started to get the urge to dress again and would suppress it as long as I could. It did not dominate my thoughts until I continued to suppress it then it increased the longer I held out. I would eventually give in and indulge my passion followed by guilt and thinking way to go SICKO! You caved in again.
In my teen years girls became a more and more important to me and each time I fell in love I swore off dressing and each time I caved in and dressed. In high school girls could wear high heels and pantyhose did not exist so they wore garters that sometime were visible. It made it hard to concentrate on school with all of that going on around me. Gays were terribly ostracized in those days and the only ones I saw were effeminate. I feared being discovered or sharing my secret with my girlfriend would result in my being labeled as Gay, so I said nothing. My secret became more important to keep than ever.
Then there was that fateful day when I had a chance encounter with an intriguing magazine cover in the bathroom of a friend’s house. The page had a drawing of someone with the left half made up as a woman with earrings and makeup. The other half as a man complete with beard stubble. I can still see it today. The article was not very long, and I don’t recall most of the content other than the term Transvestite.
Within months of that discovery a group of friends and I attended a DRAG show at the Queen Mary show lounge in Studio City California. Wow now I got to see actual Transvestites fully dressed elegantly as women. I did not dare reach out to them because none of my friends new my secret. I was now in my early twenties and had never spoken to anyone about my being a Transvestite.
A few months later I managed a trip to the Queen Mary by myself on a weeknight. Now I added the term DRAG Queen to my vocabulary. I learned the difference between the DRAG Queen who was typically Gay and a Transvestite like me who is heterosexual. I was still alone and did disclose my secret to anyone I met in the bar.
Around this same time, I discovered a place called Uba’s TV Fashions in Venice California that advertised in the Hollywood Free Press. I called to find out if the TV stood for television being that Hollywood was just over the hill from me. Uba told me it stood for Transvestite and she had everything I would need to dress as a woman.
Getting to Uba’s became not just a priority but an obsession and I accomplished the mission within a couple of weeks. It was in an old Victorian home a few blocks from the beach. I went in the front door and met UBA all 300 pounds of her. The living room was full of clothing racks jammed full of clothing. She had French Maid uniforms and educated me what that was all about. She asked me if I was a TV and I played dumb asking for clarification (like she has never met someone like me). She then asked me if I like to wear women’s clothes and I through caution to the wind and said yes. We talked for a while and she asked me what I liked to wear. I told her nylons and heels because that is all I had ever worn. I bought a copy of Tapestry a magazine published by Doctor Virginia Prince a famous pioneer in the transvestite world at the time. It was full of information and stories about crossdressing. I learned a great deal about the subject which was not referred to as crossdressing and there was absolutely nothing about Transgender or Transsexual. I would not here those terms for another 20 years.
I visited Uba about once a month until she moved her shop to Hollywood Boulevard which was a little closer. I don’t recall ever buying any clothing from her because most of it was fetish and what wasn’t was blah. I took her up one day on an offer to have her friend do my makeup for $10.00. I was so excited to sit there with this real woman making me beautiful and could not wait to see the finished product. Images of the beautiful movie stars of the day ran through my mind. Finally, it was showtime and she handed me a mirror where I looked at a hideous image resembling the Joker in Batman. I thanked her washed it off and left devastated.
I now have two people that don’t know me personally but know my secret. I am still alone because I have not met any transvestites yet. I continued to buy Tapestry until Uba passed away and the shop closed.
Over the next two decades I accumulated a few items that I hid in the garage and took with me on sales trips until about age 40 but still alone.
In the early 1990’s I saw a television show where they had a store in Orange County California called Versatile Fashions. The owner Mistress Antionette was and attractive grandmother and part time dominatrix. I checked out the store but again it was all fetish stuff which did not interest me however they did have a magazine selection. A couple of them were Transvestite magazines and I started stopping in and buying a copy of TV Epic when I was in the area. It was always uncomfortable for me and I would usually linger by the rack with money already counted out then when the cashier was alone I would walk over and hand them the money before someone got to close and saw what I was buying.
On one occasion I noticed some cards on the counter for Yolanda’s Wigs by Nancy. I asked what the story was and was told she did wigs for TV’s. I took a card and called Nancy arranging an appointment. Nancy told me that I should attend one of their local crossdresser meetings at a local hotel. She told me that it would be great for me and they had anywhere from 50 to 75 crossdresser’s attending and it was available to anyone, just show up. I shared it with my wife who did not like any of it, so I just stopped by and chatted with Nancy from time to time.
I did not give up on my wife who is also my best friend and brought the subject up periodically explaining how lonely is was without TV friends. Over time we reached a compromise and she agreed to let me go to a meeting provided I get a room at the hotel where the meeting was held. She was terrified of my driving dressed in women’s clothes. I took a tour of the hotel where PPOC held their meetings with the manager telling him I was planning a family reunion and needed accommodations for family. After he showed me the only meeting room I made a note of the rooms in the immediate area to minimize my walking distance.
PPOC Powder Puffs of Orange County.
The day came, and I picked up my reservation at the hotel around 3PM and started getting ready in a room close by the meeting room. My skills were very limited in those days, so I was late getting ready. This was further complicated by people arriving at the hotel from the nearby interstate at all hour’s day & night. I must have made 20 attempts to leave the room only to jump back inside after hearing a door slam or somebody talking. I soon figured out that eventually the voices from the TV’s at the meeting saying goodnight would be what I was hearing and had to make my move or go to bed.
I threw caution to the wind and opened the door stepped out after checking to make sure I had my key at least 50 times. I pointed my toes walked to the meeting room door which was left ajar, so people could come right in without knocking. I stepped through it was greeted by crossdressers at a table taking $10.00 for pizza and soft drinks. There were about 20 crossdressers in the room chatting in groups of 3 or 4 each. I approached one and joined in the conversation when appropriate.
I was almost 40 and met my first crossdressers face to face after all those years. I continued to attend PPOC meetings for a few years sporadically but was unable to make any lasting friendships because everyone else attended the same way. PPOC sponsored an event each spring in San Francisco called California Dreaming and I attended a few of those also. Most everyone left the hotel to go shopping but I did not have the courage to go out in public yet, so I went to the vendor areas to shop and hung out in the bar watching TV with some of the other cowards in DRAG.
It was somewhere around that time when I heard about an event held every February in San Antonio Texas called “The Texas “T” Party”. They said it was made up of crossdresser’s and wives / S. O’s and totaled about 500 attendees. Because it was out of state my wife who had mellowed over time agreed to accompany me. We arrived on Friday night and left on Sunday afternoon. We had a great time and enjoyed meeting everyone for breakfast on Sunday and figuring out who was the red head in the green dress the night before. We met many couples and found their stories not much different from ours. My wife agreed we should go again the next year and all I had to do was live and shop for 11 ½ months.
ALL GROWN UP AND NO LONGER ALONE
It was at that second “T” Party that fate intervened and I met Ashley and wife who lived about 35 miles from us in California. She was a member of a club called C.H.I.C. that met every month usually at different members houses. It was a private club with strict security and an extensive membership screening. The club idea sounded great, but I heard things about CHIC and did not think it was workable for me. Ashley dispelled the rumors I had heard and recommended I consider joining providing me with an application.
Ashley talked me into joining and I submitted the application for membership in CHIC. I won’t go into the whole process, but I was accepted and have been a member 26 years now. Members have come and gone over the years, but the new ones are applying all the time. Younger members join the older ones and gain knowledge and experience improving their presentation all the time. It is great having crossdresser friends and wives that you can socialize with each month.
Sadly, crossdresser clubs are on the decline along with the conventions we once enjoyed. There are only a handful of conventions each year and they are as well attended as in the past. Clubs have faded from popularity also as society becomes more accepting of crossdressing in public. I understand internet groups are popular and I do belong to one, but it is not the same as a local group and I don’t participate.
LOL is not the same as hearing people laugh. Hugs in an e-mail is not the same as feeling someone hug you.
So, to those on the internet who are offended by the term crossdresser I recommend that you hike up your Big Girl panties and deal with it! The term goes back to 1975 and possibly before that even and most likely predates your birth and possibly your parents. It sure beats Little Sicko!
About the Author
Micki Finn is a married heterosexual crossdresser ln Long Beach California. Crossdressing is something she has done most of her life although the early years were in the closet. She’s been making up for it ever since. Micki is a long term member of CHIC (Crossdresser’s Heterosexual Intersocial Club). You can read her full bio here. But more than that, you’ll want to explore her personal site as her makeup tips are wonderful.
Thank you Micki for this wonderful story
You can read more stories of heterosexual crossdressers in our Out and About section of the Lounge