One of the most frustrating, destructive and disappointing times of my life were what I called the "middle years". If I was to put a date on them, I would say from the time I was 25 to approx 50. I fought as hard as I could to do anything to stay firmly in the closet and not face the truth about how I identified. Was I a cross dresser, transgender person or transsexual? I would not wish the process on my worst enemy but looking back, I can simply tell you, I got through it- worse for wear.
Along the way, even back in the day I did find a beacon of hope called Tri Ess. The organization which was so instrumental in getting me out of the closet has faded away for me but every once in awhile, one of you passes along a comment about "Tri Ess".. Recently, Pat brought them up with this comment on her name:
"I sort of backed into my name when I joined Tri-Ess some 20 years ago. When sending in my paperwork I was surely not going to disclose my real name. After all before even sending them a letter of inquiry I went an set up a post office box for my T mail.
When they asked for my name I simply looked at my initials and went with that as a first name and the name of a co-worker as a last name.
When I first became active on the internet I picked a name based on what I saw in front of me at the time"
And Dear Abby, referenced them in this answer to a transvestite getting busted by his neighbors:
"Dear Abby: I am a happily married, heterosexual cross-dressing male. My wife understands and is supportive, and we have a wonderful life together.
During the past week I have been caught unexpectedly by three different neighbors, and we are now in a state of panic. We're not sure what to do. If you have any suggestions, we are all ears. — CAUGHT IN A PANIC
Dear Caught: Because you would prefer to keep your cross-dressing private and this is October, you could tell your neighbors your female attire is what you'll be wearing to a costume party. It's plausible.
However, when someone is "caught" engaging in a private activity once — that's an accident. When it happens three times in one week, I can't help but wonder whether on some level you would like to be more open about your lifestyle.
If you're not aware, a resource, The Society for the Second Self (Tri-Ess International), offers support for heterosexual cross-dressers as well as their spouses, partners and families. It has been in my column before and is the oldest and largest support organization for cross-dressers and those who love them. It promotes cross-dressing with dignity and decency, and treats spouses on an equal basis with their cross-dressers. You can learn more about it at www.tri-ess.org."
The part of the answer which said, "perhaps on some level you want to be more open about your lifestyle" definitely resonated with me. I was crying out for help and no one was listening, not even me.