Transgender Life – What triggers the need to dress?

Transgender Life – What triggers the need to dress?  In the last couple of weeks this topic has come up in two different discussions.  The first was with a cisgender woman friend who really wants to understand what makes us feel the way we do.  She is trying to understand what can bring on the desire to initially dress and present and then what turns that into the need to live as our real gender and undergo all that it requires to do so.  I long ago learned that if gender dysphoria is not even on someone’s radar, then it’s a concept that is very hard to describe and understand.  There were many of the usual questions about dressing, clothing, going out and the like.  The hardest of them all is “Why?”  We talked for a long time and I also told her that this isn’t something you grasp in just a few minutes.  Her next question was, “Do you feel this way all the time?”  I had to admit I don’t feel it all the time and sometimes it will wash over me like a tidal wave.  I told her that we don’t know when it will take control or what causes it, but there are times everyday when I would see something or someone and the real heart-felt desire to dress would be so strong.  Maybe the smell of a certain perfume,  a pair of shoes, looking at a well-dressed woman and the want to live life that way comes over us.  It’s very complicated and I hope she keeps asking questions and I can keep answering and also explore my motivation and feelings.

My dear friend, Charla and I were talking at lunch about a week after this first encounter and she told me that since being on hormones, she may go a significant amount of time and not feel like dressing or presenting.  She also said that her trigger is a nicely tailored business suit, stockings and heels.  She said that gets her every time and then she will spend time dressed.  I told her I would get the trigger in shoe stores or cosmetic counters and a nice dress will get my immediate attention.  Being a chip off the old block, my mother and I couldn’t pass a shoe store without a good look in the window.

I find that those who are not full time, the triggers will hit hardest.  We’ve all gone through the dreaded purge only to have the trigger get us and then we are replacing all that we trashed.  It’s a viscous cycle, to be sure.

Whatever the trigger, we don’t know when or where it will happen.  I have a girl friend who sees a leather skirt and off to the races she goes.  I find it very helpful to our cisgender friends, family members, loved ones and others, to let them know that we may not walk around 24/7/365 feeling this way, but it never goes away and the more they learn, the more we hope they accept.

One thought on “Transgender Life – What triggers the need to dress?

  1. Having been on hormone therapy now for over three years and living full time as a woman I find there are no more things that trigger me to have desires that are anything but those of a cisgendered woman my life just seems normal now and I am who I am the dressing really plays no part in my life now and does not induce any feelings of excitement,or desire but rather seems the norm for me,I do have memories of times when I felt as you and Charla but those days seem far behind me now,certainly fashion plays a role in my life just as any womans does but I’m not driven by anything special I try hard to dress in an age appropriate manner,don’t think much of high heels as comfort is my desire these days.My focus these days has been to change my name and gender markers to F rather than M I have been successful on the Federal level but still struggle in a repressive state that requires proof of permanent genital altercation as a requirement to change my markers on a state level,I’m now in the process of going to the VA to get the needed surgery for that,they cover my transgender needs and will provide an Orchy which will suffice as permanent genital surgery to complete my states requirements. God bless to you and Charla and all who still struggle in your journey it is long and different for us all.

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