Thursday, April 06, 2006

My Son Wears My Clothes



“Mom can I go through your make-up drawers and take some stuff you’re not using anymore?”
“Mom can I borrow some of your clothes?”
“Mom does my hair look all right?”
“Mom do you have any shoes that would fit me?”
“Mom do these clothes look good together?”

These are some of the questions I have been asked over the years from not my daughter, but my teenage son.

When he was growing up I missed all the signs that my son could possibly be transgendered. Perhaps it’s because I am such an open person and always tried to encourage my kids to be who ever they wanted to be and to follow their dreams. I have never hid my trans friends from them. I wanted them to grow up accepting everyone and I believe I have accomplished that task. They thought nothing of coming home from school and finding me and a bunch of tgirls sitting in the living room gabbing. They were never embarrassed to invite their friends over were mine were there. Even when they were old enough to make choices for themselves, they had no problem going to Malls with my friends and me.

When my son was growing up, I quite often found my daughters dolls in his room. I always just assumed that my daughter must have been playing in there and left them there.
Sometimes I would find eye shadow in his room, but he was always so artistic and always used different materials to draw pictures I assumed he was using the eye shadow as some sort of paint. I found my clothes in his room sometimes too. I assumed the laundry was put away wrong. I have known about transgender people for years. How is it that I could miss such obvious signs? Is it because I am so supportive and it never would have mattered anyway?

When my son was still a toddler he used to love to sit next to me while I put on my make-up. He would stare at me in awe and quite often mimic the gestures of me putting on make-up with his fingers on his face. He got a hold of my lipstick when he was three. He didn’t just stop at his lips, his entire body was covered in lipstick.

It wasn’t until he was about 16 that I considered the fact he might be transgendered. He was always borrowing my clothes, not dresses or skirts, he preferred my pants and shirts.
He spent more time putting his make-up on in the morning and doing his hair then I did. I have never known anyone that could go through as much hair spray as him. He loved to make his long locks into big 8o’s hair. One time he came home from hanging with friends and he was dressed to the nines heels, stockings, and the works. I looked at him and said “You look pretty Princess, got tired of my clothes and borrowed someone else’s I see” He said to me “My gf thought it would be fun to dress me up and show me off at the library. How the heck do you walk in these heels without killing yourself? How on earth can chicks wear thongs? I can’t get these off fast enough.”

I sat and wondered that night. Could my son possibly be tg? Not to many teenage boys I know would go out dressed like that or wear the make-up and clothes he does every day. I always taught him to never be afraid to be himself. Then I wondered if I had any part of making him tg by surrounding himself with tg people most of his life. I wondered if it was my fault that he came home beat up all the time after being called “fag” because he chose to dress feminine. I realized you can’t make someone transgendered, its just the way they are born. I said my prayers and asked God to guide my son it what ever direction he found best for him and went to sleep.

My son is 19 now and still prefers girl’s clothes to boys. His clothes of choice are girl’s jeans and t-shirts. He still spends way more time getting ready then I do. He has had so much trouble finding a job because of the way he chooses to dress. He has finally found one in a night club. His favourite hang out is my favourite tg bar. His friends and girl friends all accept him. It makes no difference to me what he wears. I love him unconditionally.

I would never dream of using “he” when talking to any of my tg friends. It’s funny that I use “he” when talking about my son. He still likes to be addressed by his male name, Mike. Perhaps that’s why.

A mother’s love is unconditional. Who ever or what ever my children decide to be, decide to wear, decide to marry. I am there for them. I know that the world I have shown my children will be the world they one day show their children.


~Sweet~

14 comments:

Stacie said...

Is unconditional love unconditonal love when there is a 'but' involved? A child cannot always understand the difference.

Your son is fortunate to have you as a mother for you walk your talk. She has never been placed in a 'I love you, but ...' situation.

My father caught me crossdressing when I was 11 years old. His reaction was to beat me with his belt. While the reality might have been he loved me, but not my crossdressing, what was imprinted upon me was he could not love me because of my crossdressing. Crossdressing aside, if he loved me, he would not beat me. Try as I could, I could not stop crossdressing, but if I crossdress, my parents did't love me. So if my parents don't love me, why should I love myself? Why should I care about anything? That is probably why I had such self-esteem issues during my teenage years, and why my grades went to hell, and I got into a lot of trouble. It took me years of reading and self-analysis to figure out the problem was not me. But to this date, I have never raised my gender issues with my parents or siblings.

This fear of rejection, the loss of love, is probably why very few people outside of my wife and kids know about Stacie. Buried deep down in back of my head, I'm probably still afraid that if I tell someone about my crossdressing, they might not love me anymore. Intellectually, I might understand that it's not true, but the initial imprinting is so strong that I have a hard time overcoming it.

Thus, I believe it is vitally important that we distinguish to our children, and people in general, the difference between our unconditional love for them and our less than loving reaction to something they might have done, e.g, I love you, but not what you did. When you separate the person from the action, there is less chance of damaging their self-esteem. People who feel good about themselves are less apt to get into trouble because not only do they care about themselves, they know other people care about them.

Stacie

Samantha Leigh said...

Sweet,

Thank you for the unique situation. I know myself at times I feel very thankful that I have two girls and no boys, I do not have to worry about the "What kind of influence am I having". I also feel that my kids will be picked on less as girls with daddy in a skirt than boys with daddy in a skirt.

I had read some things on this website awhile ago, which I think is relevant to this topic: http://www.babycenter.com/dilemma/toddler/toddlerdevelopment/1409439.html

You get a wide variety of parental experience dealing with male children who like girly things a little too much. A large number of parents seem willing to do what is right for the child, rather than force the child in traditional directions.

As for missing the "signs", it seems that there are a fair number of children who enjoy dress up, but out grow it. The "signs" don't seem to have lasting meaning till the teenage years. I hope your son and you enjoy this together.

Samantha

~Sweet~ said...

Samantha,

My son is on his own now. He moved to Edmonton a few months ago. Its a much bigger city. More room to spread his wings and be free.

I have two more sons to go. They are both mildly autistic. They have lived with their dad most of the last year as its much easier for him to care for them at this time then it is for me, but I see them quite often and still spend quite a bit of time with them. I think mothers are important in a childs life.

Speaking of mothers. Out of curiosity do any of you that have children celebrate mothers day? I have often wondered about that.

Have a Great day!

Hugs,
~Sweet~

Sumana said...

Stacie I totally agree and relate. Thanks for this. It is so true.

Initiative to be open is all we have in such times. But there is a power in it. Someone very wise among us once said "belief forms our reality". We risk it all with the tremendous commitment we make to be ourselves, but with the energy we create from believing in a positive outcome, we may find doors open in places where there were no doors. Its all that we can hope for sometimes. But there are hidden guarantees of reward I truly believe and know from my own experience.

I hope that you find the relationships with your loved ones that you are looking for! I feel you.

Blessed Be

Karen Reeves said...

Dear Sweet!

Now i know why I shall never initiate articles here in GE! The intense academic and emotional thoughts expressed in letteres like yours keeps me on the receiving end of this! First Sweet, I have had you in my URNA Friends List for a long time but did not think you had a child in her/his late teens. I thought you were in your mid/late 20's !

I found your note to be the profound introspections of a wonderful mother who loves her child and has instilled in him/her the moral values of honesty,decency, acceptance, and bravery. Let me say that you have a done a magnificent job in raising Mike !

I work with children in the 13-16 age range. An adolescent desperately wants to "fit in" or "conform" to the norms of their peers. They may even reject the parental guidelines they were raised under. Many of my students have emotional problems. Frankly these problems stem from poor, or non existent, parenting skills. They are rejected by their mom and dad.

It is astounding that Mike refuses to "follow the leader" but marches to the beat of his own drum. This individuality is a tribute to him but also to you! I do not know where your son/daughter is going with all this. I suspect you, and possibly him/her, does not know either.

Sweet you said it beautifully, "A mother's love is unconditional. Who ever or what ever my children decide to be, decide to wear, decide to marry. I am there for them." If you continue to do this for Mike he will notice, examine, and follow your example of being who he is and he will lead a strong and productive life. He will, thanks to you Sweet, make this world a more loving and accepting place. You are an amazing mother! I am honored to know you.

Sweet, if you ever wish to talk to me I am always available to email or talk by phone. Thank you for sharing such a personal aspect of your life with all of us! Please take care and be safe !

*Hugz*

`JUST ME KAREN~

Michele Angelique said...

Re: My Son Wears My Clothes
http://genderevolve.blogspot.com/2006/04/my-son-wears-my-clothes.html
~~

Dearest Sweet,

Thank you for being so beautiful. You convey a shining example of true femininity... a mother's unconditional love and nurturance. Your child's happiness is the primary concern, and you have parented without judging or condeming. I am so proud to have your beauty among us here. You have encouraged your children to be who they really are, rather than who others expect them to be. Even if your son is transgendered, (s)he has felt no pain at your hand because of it. While others may have called him names because he is different, he always had the sanctuary of you to come home to. I think this makes all the difference to a kid.

I very much doubt that your friends influenced him as you are wondering. While certainly their presence opened his eyes to differences, and also possibilities, he is choosing his own path. Being a crossdressing teenager would come with its share of conflict and social consequences. It would probably be easier for him to be just an ordinary guy like any other, yet he needs to be different. It's not like CD'ing gives him elevated stature among peers, if anything he's had to struggle with the converse. He pays the social price because this mode of self-expression is something he really wants/needs, not because of being around your friends, but because it is who he is. Don't second-guess yourself honey, all you've done is let him be himself. If only more parents could allow their kids the freedom to choose their own paths, within loving guidelines, fewer transkids would suffer as they do.

I am curious, does Mike know of your involvement with GenderEvolve? Have you ever asked specifically his feelings or had conversations about gender identity? It may be that he just enjoys creative self-expression and refuses to be confined to rigid gender norms when it comes to fashion. Perhaps he enjoys making a bold statement? Or perhaps he is actually a she on the inside? In any case, I know you will remain steadfast in unconditional mother's love, and as such, will always be a pillar of support whichever path he (or she) chooses.

As an aside, I am somewhat curious about this seemingly common toddler-lipstick phenomenon among TG kids. So many have mentioned being drawn to lipstick and/or feminine dressing at the age of 4-5. As a genetic girl, I didn't have any similar love for lipstick as a young child, although I did love wearing my little girl dresses. The lipstick part seems such a grown-up thing for a little child to be concerning themselves with. To hear of so many TG children coveting lipstick does leave me wondering if that's some kind of early-childhood hallmark of transness? Or perhaps it is no more than any childs' curiosity and love for costuming and clowning?

Thank you so much for sharing your situation with us, Sweet. I was not aware of this very intriguing aspect of your life. When I look at the photo of Mike, I would say (s)he is at mininum, a gender expressionist. I am anticipating being connected to you and (s)he for years to come, and observing the growth and evolution of you both.

Much love sister,
Michele

Anonymous said...

Dear Sweet
There is not much i can ad to the wonderful coment.Exsept that every child should have a loving , caring and understanding mother like you , It would be a lot better world if they did .
Hugs from sister Darlyn

naomireis said...

The mind is a tangled and deceitfull thing, able to deceive even its master.

As i read this post i can't help but think Mom knew the heart ach's and pains involved in the TS/TG lifestyle. Way in the back of the mind theres this part we call the subconsious, it puts ideas in to rest for us, sometimes simply because we don't want to know this or simply because we don't want to belive this. i think Mom chose to believe "the laundry was mixed up" "the make-up was for art" "the Daughter left the dolls" simply because Mom did not want to see the hurt in her own childs eyes she has undoubtedly seen in her friends.
Early on i think there is always the "hope" "this to shall pass". Yet when we admit there is an issue, that "hope" is definately shattered.
i commend Mom for being a friend to the TG comunity, for alowing her childeren to be themselfs, to choose their own paths different as they may be. i wish there were more with you courage.
naomi snyder
Post-op since
04 11 02

naomireis said...

The mind is a tangled and deceitfull thing, able to deceive even its master.

As i read this post i can't help but think Mom knew the heart ach's and pains involved in the TS/TG lifestyle. Way in the back of the mind theres this part we call the subconsious, it puts ideas in to rest for us, sometimes simply because we don't want to know this or simply because we don't want to belive this. i think Mom chose to believe "the laundry was mixed up" "the make-up was for art" "the Daughter left the dolls" simply because Mom did not want to see the hurt in her own childs eyes she has undoubtedly seen in her friends.
Early on i think there is always the "hope" "this to shall pass". Yet when we admit there is an issue, that "hope" is definately shattered.
i commend Mom for being a friend to the TG comunity, for alowing her childeren to be themselfs, to choose their own paths different as they may be. i wish there were more with you courage.
naomi snyder
Post-op since
04 11 02

Sumana said...

Dearest Sweet,
I have to say I am stunned by your unadulterated love.
Take it from me as someone that would love to have a relationship with my parents like the kind your son has with you. You are doing the right thing.

God Bless you Sweet!

Alysyn said...

Hiya Sweet,

You are a blessed woman for not only your unique position regarding the freedom you give your children to exist within their own lives, but also for the acute sense of responsibility you are willing to take when in doubt of your own decisions. You portray a sense of balance, and that is inspiring.

As the mother of both a girl and boy I have the priviledge of watching both sides of the spectrum and assessing their personalities as they develop. As well, I have the love and support of a family which, I can only assume because of my own journey, have learned that the insistence upon gender-stereotypes within my children is unacceptable. I have watched as my family allows my kids to make comments...often in imaginitive play or jest...regarding their gender roles without concern. My son is notorious for this kind of verbal levity, but he never seems insistent upon it no matter how much room he is allowed for expression. He is very much a boy by all indications, just as my daughter is the girliest of girls...

The only reason I take any joy in this phenomenon is because it proves my father completely wrong...he insisted that I would cause my kids to become confused about their own gender-image. Aside from that, I feel just as you do regarding my kids...as they grow I hope to allow them as much freedom to become their own persons. My only desire is to mold them into loving and moral people, regardless of their outer appearance. By all accounts, this seems the most crucial aspect of any human's development.

Thank you, Sweet, for sharing this beautiful account with us.

Lovingly,
Aly

Anonymous said...

Hie Stacie, wonderful to read, how you handle this "problem" of your son. I wish my parents had handled it in that way. But that was in 50s, when I started crossdressing first with the corsets of my grandma. I had the hell on earth, when my parents first discovered my faible for female underwear. Today I see it differently: They were just worried about my future. But my future became spendid, despite crossdressing... The main thing with kids is, that they should be happy with their lives and not with our imaginations how they should be.

~Sweet~ said...

I am sorry for not replying to these earlier. I have been ill.

Stacie,
When you were 11 and your father beat you with his belt for dressing, perhaps he is among that part of society that has no idea what transgenderism is. So many people think that it’s some kind of sexual thing. Perhaps he was punishing you for doing what he thought were adult sexual things (not that that is a reason to punish a child). Maybe he was punishing you for taking whose ever cloths you were wearing without asking. Maybe he didn't understand your need to dress. At 11 years of age there is no way you could have explained it to him because you probably didn't understand yourself. If this is the only time that he caught you dressing I am not sure that your “but” is really a “but”. I can understand though how you must have grown up feeling it was a “but” I don’t want to bring back painful memories, but I am curious to know what he said before the belt came off.

Karen,
Please keep believing that I am in my 20's. I don't mind at all.
I started having kids young. I was eager to grow up and skip the rest of my child hood. Mike was born when I was 16 years old and when I thought that I knew it all and my mother knew nothing. Boy have I learnt. I now know that my mother was one pretty smart cookie.

It’s amazing the situations that happen in our lives that can change the way we raise our own kids. For me it was being raped when I was thirteen years old. Please don’t feel sorry for me, it was a long time ago and I am over it. After I was raped my mother became addicted to sleeping pills. Perhaps the pills helped her to kill the pain of knowing something that terrible happened to her daughter. I know that she always felt guilty because a friend of hers needed a baby sitter and she recommended me. The father came home early from the party without his wife and raped me.

Her sleeping every single day away at a time when I needed her most really affected me. I swore to myself that I would never do that to my children. I want my children to grow up knowing they can talk to me any time about anything. Sometimes I think they tell me too much. About six months ago Mike paged me on MSN and said “Guess what mommy. I’ve been a bad Mikey. My friend just got me to try ecstasy. I’m sorry mommy I won’t do it again but I am insanely happy” I wanted to reach through the computer and smack him upside the head. I said to him “I don’t think that was a very good idea, you know better then that”. I don’t know anything about drugs. I just know they are bad. This really killed me inside. I must have cried for days. I pray that this was the first and only time he took it but I also wonder if he took this drug to kill his pain inside of being different. I also wonder if me being raped is what turns me off of men and attracts me to tgirls.

Michele,
I haven’t had a chance to tell Mike about Gender Evolve yet. He moved up to Edmonton and doesn’t have a phone. When I do get a chance to chat with him on MSN, its usually pretty brief. He doesn’t seem to stay on line very long.
I have never came right out and asked Mike if he is Transgendered, and yes I have talked to him many times about what it means to be Transgendered. I thought when he was ready he would come to me on his own and tell me, but perhaps it would be easier if I initiated the conversation.
My daughter, Aimee-Lynn, asked me a few years ago how come my friends dress up as girls. I told her that sometimes girls are born into boy’s bodies so they have to be both girls and boys sometimes. Her reaction was "that would be so cool" She was nine years old at the time. I told her sometimes when God puts these girls into boys bodies he adds a little more sugar and spice then he does snakes and snails and puppy dogs tails so they like to dress as a girl all the time.
I really wasn't sure how else to explain it to a nine year old girl. She has always been an inquisitive little thing.

I am hoping Mike comes home for Easter and I will try to talk to him about all of this and see if he lets me have a little peek into his world. I will keep you posted.


~Sweet~

Anonymous said...

Humm.....what a beautiful story....see I am like your son....my parents died and I went to live with Grandma at 6 yrs old. I had kept some of my mothers clothing and all of her lingerie (panties, bras, slips, ect..)and I used some to sleep with at night and as I got a little older I began to wear her panties and nightgowns to night to bed, then before bed after a bath, then I started at like 10 to actually get dressed in panties, bra, stockings and a dress of hers or blouse and skirt and pumps after school, of course all to large except the panties. My Grandmother supported this and showed me how to apply makeup and lipstick. For my 11th birthday my Grandmother asked me if I wanted to be a full time girl to which I said yes. So she helped me dress nice and took me shopping for age appropriate female clothing. I loved the skirts and dresses I got but I was used to older womens silky and sexy lingerie so she took me to a fancy lingerie store and I got to buy all new panties, and pretty lacy bras, satin slips, even a garter belt and a very yummy long sheer nightgown and a sheer babydoll PJ's with sheer panties just like I used to sneak and see my 15 yr old female cousin wear. We decided to allow me to start taking her birth control pills for the estrogen,grow my hair longer and begin a new school for 7th grade. When we got home that day after shopping my Grandmother told me to go and clear out any boys things and arrange my new clothing and lingerie. It was during this time that I decided to try on some of my new clothing. I loved the way I looked in my new shorter skirts and my new shoes. I tried on my new babydoll PJ's and matching sheer panties and the sensation of the silky material caused my first real erection. I realized that this was a marvelous feeling all the silky materials. I then tried on the new matching lacy satin red bra, red satin panties, red satin and lace garterbelt and hooked on the stockings and oh my what a sensation. I had never worn stockings before and the silky feeling on legs caused another erection and ended up soiling my new satin panties. My Grandmothe4r came in and saw my erection under my panties and the wet spots and said that she was afraid that this would occur alot over my lifetime. My point is that sexual arousal is a big part of a crossdressing, trans gendered lifestyle and any boy who says he does not get aroused is lying. So be careful and understand that yuor little boys is have fun as well.