Would you stop cross-dressing if you could? That is the purpose of a new site called Stop Crossdressing. It is dedicated to helping you do that, based on the simple observation that Life is Hard, get over it.
I don't agree. Let me explain why.
First, when reading the position the site takes, I couldn't help get the feeling that the author was mentally reaching for a crutch to help him defy and denounce inner desires. You can't foll yourself or command youself to stop doing a compulsive thing, until you understand from where those desires are manefested.
He relies on his insights gleaned from the book "The Road Less Traveled," which points out the fact that life is hard.
While I applaud the author for taking the time and energy to assess how to stop crossdressing, rather than simply being driven by his own inner compulsions despite his aversions to them, I don't believe that he has dug deep enough -- yet -- to be able to free himself -- without a pile of conflicting residue that will dog him throughout his life.
And though I agree that the circumstances that impact our lives can be hard, and that life in-of-itself can be, and usually is chaotic, I don't agree that life itself necessarily has to be. I don't believe that accepting that life is hard makes it easier. Rather, I think life is chaotic. And its that recognition -- in conjunction with not trying to control the chaos -- that makes ones life easier. All one needs for life to be easy, is an understanding of the world around them, and inner contentment, which comes from inner knowledge of Self. I will write about that in some other essay in my In Search of .... blog.
As is related to the Stop Crossdressing site, I appreciate where the author is coming from and the courage to confront a condition in his life. The Road Less Traveled is a great book [and worth reading], though I believe in this case it has been mis-interpreted.
From my own experiences: I too had a lifelong compulsion of crossdressing. And after every episode that I gave in to those desires, I suffered through anger, depression and self-loathing. Could I have simply told myself life is hard, get past it? At the very least such thinking is inaccurate, and more likely self-delusional. They say the insane man is the one that does the same thing over and over and expects a different result each time: like, this is the last time, never again. Sure.
If they came up with a pill to take away your crossdressing desires, would you take it? Some say yes, and others no.
There is no clear path to giving up crossdressing, and the concept that life is hard get over it concept might work for the author, but I seriously doubt it. There is something deep within us that drives those inner desires. For some its simply a sexual fetish; for others its a response mechanism for an overpowering parent, abusive past or some other unfortunate environmental condition. Yet for others, its a wake-up call of their true gender, determined in the womb: some, are just born that way.
When I came out in 2000, my goal was to explore this compulsive behavior that I for so long pretended would go away, in an attempt to find its motivational source, and then cure myself.
But the more I delved into my past, my childhood, thought back to that first time, what I felt, what I thought, and then compared those things with my current feelings as I indulged my desires to push the girl experience, and the interactions I had with others -- in varying degrees of my gender expression --, the fog that surrounded me for so long began to life and for the first time things were clear. And it wasn't just the willingness to explore without the fear of what I would find, but also the commitment to educate myself about it without buying to the Myths and Misinformation out there, or having any preconceptions of the truth of Me.
I was a year into transition when the questions that had plagued me since childhood -- what would it be like to be a girl, could I become a girl, and should I become a girl -- all came into clarity. For the first time I could answer yes, yes and yes. Not only could I, but also that I would prefer it. It wasn't about sexual desire or fantasy, it wasn't about a clothing fetish; it was a contentment of Self as a girl.
But it was that realization, knowing who I was and why I was driven by compulsion all those years, that served as the catalyst that finally silenced all the white noise that confused me for four decades. All that was then left to do was decide what to do about it.
Due to circumstance that I won't go into here, I did, to the surprise of many, including myself, reverse course to live again as a full-time male. That doesn't mean that I identified any less as female than I had the prior few years. At the same time, because I now understood what compelled me my whole life, I was able to live full-time as male for the next eight years.
People often would ask me "Were you happier living as a man or as a woman?" The answer is that I was happy either way, because happiness comes from within, not from outward presentation. Though I would have to say I was more content living as a woman; not happier, just more fulfilled and in balance with Self.
That's not to say that I don't still swoon over a great pair of shoes, or identify or thin female in many situations, because I do. Male friends will often being eagerly enthused with some ultra machismo ramblings, see my disconnect, and say "oh, never mind," its a guy thing. Cross-dressing however, was no longer something I compulsively had to do. I was something I could choose to do, or not do.
I have since cross-dressed on a few occasions -- like when I agreed to model a bridesmaid dress for the Same-Sex Wedding Expo in the summer of 2011, or a night out with friends February 2012 --, but it was my own decision to do so: not a compulsive urge.
For cross-dressers, I don’t believe they can give up their compulsive desire to dress -- and find peace within themselves ---, until they’ve a least explored it to determine what the motivation — for them — is. And once they do find the source, then they can engage in honest reflection about what they want to do about it. Because only your story is the truth for you; anything else is just Someone Else's Story.