Who Am I
By Ana Cristina García
In this realm, I am Ana Cristina García or Cristy as my friends call me. “I am a happily married heterosexual cross-dresser”. This is the sentence that is present in all of my Internet profiles. I could not think of a sentence that better describes me both as the regular male that I am, most of the time, and the feminine identity I assume when playing the role of the opposite gender as Cristy. Let’s parse the sentence starting from the end to the beginning to further understand what it means:
• I am a cross-dresser (CD) because I am a male who enjoys dressing as a female
• I am heterosexual because I am attracted exclusively to females regardless of how I present myself
• I am happily married because I have been married for 23 years to the most wonderful woman
I will now try to expand on those three adjectives that describe me so well from the perspective of the individual and as objectively as possible.
A cross-dresser is someone who wears clothes intended to be worn by the opposite gender. This practice is more evident in men who wear women’s clothes than the other way around since women have more freedom to wear male clothes. As a matter of fact, some experts in the gender identity field argue that there are no female to male cross-dressers. Hereinafter, when I refer to cross-dressing it will be regarding a male wearing female clothes.
I could get into a long discussion on all the types of men who cross-dress, ranging from transsexuals to fetishists but I’d rather stick to heterosexual men. This takes us to the second key-word in my description. A person is heterosexual if he or she is attracted only to people of the opposite gender. I am a male who is attracted exclusively to females. This is the part that is harder to understand for those who do not share this peculiar condition. How can an otherwise completely “normal” male be interested in taking the appearance and adopting the mannerisms of a female without being homosexual or transsexual? I have no idea and to the best of my knowledge, nobody knows. It is believed that, much like transsexuals, we are born like this and there are more of us than anyone can possibly imagine. The estimates I have found vary, but on the average it is believed that around 5% of the male population are heterosexual cross-dressers. Some are quite open about it but most keep it to themselves and even try to repress it. However, with the resurgence of the Internet and, more recently, the social networks, many of us have found the means to share this important yet very private part of ourselves, with other people like us. At first we were limited to a few portals and networks aimed exclusively at the TG community. From there, we have created our own communities in almost every social network and digital-media sharing sites. Digital photography has allowed us to share our feminine persona without having to go through the embarrassment of taking film for development and prints. This has also been fundamental for the growth of our virtual community. Every year the number of TGs in general and CDs in particular coming out on-line increases exponentially.
Granted that there are different degrees that range from the occasional cross-dresser to those who cross-dress all the time, I will argue that the most important characteristics that define a heterosexual CD are:
• The desire or need to wear women’s clothes has always been a part of us with different degrees of intensity and completeness, from early childhood and all the way into senility.
• When we wear female clothes, and especially during adolescence and young adulthood, we are sexually aroused. For many of us, our first arousal happened while wearing women’s clothes. This tends to diminish and even disappear, as we get older. A similar excitement occurs when we see a convincing male to female transformation performed by other person without that implying a sexual attraction to the person performing the transformation.
• We are not satisfied with just wearing some garments and need to do it as complete as possible. In the early stages we manage with what we can get but the ultimate purpose is to look as passable as a woman as possible and even go out. In my case, it is either all the way or it is a waste of time.
• We are not attracted to other men. Some are confused by the arousal produced when seeing a male convincingly appearing as a woman but in my opinion, it is the transformation and not the person, who produces this reaction. I wrote something about this theory some time ago in the blog I used to write on the demised Yahoo 360. I will try to address this topic in a future article here. The case is that the typical heterosexual CD will be attracted to women and not men. In our male role we are mostly regular Joes who do not give any signs of being effeminate.
• Whenever we repress dressing we suffer great discomfort and even depression.
I will leave it there for now and hopefully we can later discuss similarities and differences with other conditions within the gender identity spectrum, as part of future articles.
Even when I am looking my best as Cristy, I am always aware that I am a man pretending to pass for a woman. Passing in public is the best reward I can get and is my ultimate goal. I achieve this by looking, acting and sounding the part. Through many years of practice and careful attention to how women dress, act and talk, I have been able to come up with this character that I love to play and take for a test into the real world whenever possible; which is not often. This does not mean that I want to be a woman or that I “feel” like a woman when dressed. I think the most accurate description is that I, a male, assume the role of a woman when I am dressed and made up to look like one. The male brain is always making sure that “the woman” acts accordingly. This takes a great deal of concentration and, arguably, I tend to be less attentive as Cristy because my brain is mostly occupied with playing the role that corresponds to the appearance I am presenting. This could very well be another topic for further discussion in another article but, in conclusion, I am a heterosexual male.
I have been happily married for 23 years to an extraordinary woman. She is my soul mate and I am loyal and faithful to her. She knew about my cross-dressing since we were only friends and has been understanding and supportive throughout our marriage. We have a twenty-year-old daughter and a sixteen-year-old son. Our daughter knows and was cool with it but asked not to see me dressed and I respect her wish. Most of my wife’s family and my family know but we keep this part of me very private and despite the wide coverage I have on many places on the Internet, most people around me would not even suspect because my male persona is that of a quite masculine guy without being the “macho” type. Having the support of my wife has been fundamental for my well-being and to accepting myself for who I am. I do not dress too often and the original idea was for me to dress once a month. However, arranging for me to have opportunities to dress has become more and more complex as the children grow up. I might dress a couple of times in a month and then go up to seven moths without dressing and I am cool with that. My Internet activity helps in coping with the long droughts as I interact with transgendered friends. I am a happy person who is at peace with his inner self.
I guess that this is as much as I can say about “who I am” as a heterosexual cross-dresser. I felt the need to start with an explanation for those who might not have clear what being a hetero CD means. My intention for sharing all this information is to help those who are still confused, in learning to understand and accept themselves and hopefully find a way of dealing with and incorporating their dressing in their lives and pursue a happy and fulfilling life. If one other person finds this helpful and inspiring then it would have been worth the effort. Please feel free to comment or ask any questions and I will try to address them in the form of comments. You can also send me email at firstname.lastname@example.org