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Hi

Postby Jennifer » Mon Sep 03, 2007 6:19 am

I just wanted to say that I was told about this forum by one of your members and it was suggested I visit it to give me another perspective on men and womens clothes and after spending a couple of days reading through this site I'm glad he advised me to visit here.

I'm a 20 year old girl ( 21 next month) who has had a somewhat up and down few years after my sister and I came home early one Saturday afternoon back when I was 17 and we found our father wearing some of Mums clothes. So much has happened over the last few years, ( mostly not good) including Mum divorcing Dad and I guess in a way at the start I was the loudest objector to Dad's behaviour, but since, it's turned out that I'm really the only one who's stuck by him, even if I still haven't come to terms with it 100%.

I suppose I can't really get my head around why a guy would want to dress and look like a female, but still want to keep his male identity too. I don't get the big deal of a guy wearing a dress or a skirt because I hardly ever wear them, I prefer pants and really only mostly wear a skirt at work because it's part of the required uniform.
I just wanted to say that since reading throught this forum I can come to terms with it better that a guy would wear a skirt just for the comfort of wearing it, moreso than because he wants to identify as a woman, that bit I can't get my head around. Really clothes are just clothes, but it becomes a bit more mind boggling when a guy wants to wear a dress and put on make up and a wig and use a womans name, that's the bits which worry me about my Dad.

I hope I haven't offended anyone because that's not my intention, I'm just saying it honestly as it comes from my brain and I'm trying hard to udnerstand something which is still quite new to me and worries me at times where it heading and where it'll end, because I want my Dad as my Dad I've always known him as, but I know in my heart that probably won't be and that makes me a bit sad.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that reading through here has been very good for me and it's opened another avenue of thinking for me, I guess it's all part of an education of sorts

Jenny.
Your children need your presence, not your presents.
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Postby WSmac » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:38 am

You made it Jenny!

It's me, Mark.

Thanks for the introduction.

I should explain to the other members, perhaps, that I invited you here.
I told Jennifer about this place for two reasons:
1. just to show her another piece of the broad spectrum of humanity.
A positive one at that! :wink:

2. From meeting her and hearing her story a few years ago(has it been that long?), I got the feeling that her Dad might benefit from knowing about different ways men can express what's inside them.

I am not trying to change her Dad at all, I just thought that if he ever takes a look here, he might learn things about himself that he hasn't explored yet.

Much like the stories Bob and others like Bob have shared here.

Like I told Jennifer, I don't know her father and for all I know, he might be right where he belongs. But... just in case he hasn't had the opportunity or information beyond his own small world back home to see the variants in human nature, perhaps he could learn something from this place.

I don't know if you have any interest in sharing this with him Jenny, or if he would take a look here anyway.

It was just a thought.

Anyway, I am glad you had a chance to check in here. These are great folks and if you have any questions pertaining to men-in-skirts, feel free to ask away! :D
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Postby Stu » Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:13 am

Hi Jenny

Welcome! Your dad is different to most of the people who post here because we don't ever dress as women or give ourselves female names. We are men who think it's wrong that such basic garment forms that we call skirts and dresses are only socially acceptable on females in our modern western culture. That is in spite of the fact that females are free to wear pretty much anything they please. It's not fair, is it? We are all about expanding fashion choices for our sex, as firm and secure members of our sex, and not about emulating the opposite sex. I would no more think of putting on a wig and lipstick than you would think of wearing a false beard!

While your dad has a completely different agenda to us, but we do have one thing in common. We think a man should be able to wear what the heck he feels comfortable in and nobody should try to deny him that basic human right. And who is he hurting?

People are complex creatures with many facets, their gender identification being just one of them. While I can understand a woman being less than comfortable with her man dressing in women's clothes and wearing wigs and make-up etc, that's hardly a reason to disown him. His powerful inclination to do this is not an illness, but it should be treated as sympathetically as if it were, and he should be supported by his family. It is wonderful that you are able to offer him that support and I am sure he treasures it and will always bless you for it.

I'm not entirely sure you'll find much on here to help you because, as I said, most of us here are no more likely to want to crossdress than any other group of men. Nevertheless, you are very welcome and I will read your posts with great interest.

Stu
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Postby WSmac » Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:13 am

In order to keep others from repeating what Stu has said, let me restate things a bit differently.:wink:

From the stories some members have told here, it appears that there are a number of men who started out on the same path, i.e. wearing sister's or mother's clothing when young specifically skirts, I suppose.

Over time, some of these men have realized they were heading down the only path they knew of at the time.
Fortunately for them (in the context of their lives only), they learned that they could express a part of their person without feeling obligated to be a crossdresser.

As I mentioned above, one of my reasons for introducing Jennifer to this place was to afford her father the chance to expand his knowledge about what men do when they wish to dress differently than the norm.
Whether or not this means anything to him is up to him.

Will she mention this place to her father? I don't know.
Will he visit if she does? I don't know.
Will this change his life? I don't know.
This is strictly their business and I am only passing on the information.

Has it taught Jennifer something new? She says it has. :D

I do believe that she understands what this place is about, especially since she mentions it in her intro.

Stu's comments were very nicely put and he did offer a nice warm welcome. :D

I just want everyone to understand that Jennifer has been 'through the wringer' over the issue of her father and their relationship on another website.
She mentions that she has learned some new things from reading the posts here over the last couple of days.
She mentions that,
I just wanted to say that since reading through out this forum I can come to terms with it better that a guy would wear a skirt just for the comfort of wearing it...


I am just concerned that her introductory HELLO might become another deliberation about CD/TG/TS issues and the purpose of this place. :shock:

How about we just welcome her in the usual Cafe fashion?

who's got the bucket of gatorade ready? :twisted:
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Postby Ray » Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:34 am

Jenny,

Welcome to the Café. I hope that it (we) can help both you and your father in whatever way we can; perhaps by providing rationality, reason, humanity, or just reassurance.

Many of us have gone through the "ringer" in our own inimitable way, and it may be that we can empathise, share our thoughts and experiences with you (and your father), and give you an insight into why guys want to wear a skirt.

Please feel free to be open with all your thoughts. Don't pull punches; tell it like it is, and by doing so, we can chat about your experiences.

Regards

Ray
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Re: Hi

Postby Emerald Witch » Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:48 pm

Jennifer wrote:I just wanted to say that I was told about this forum by one of your members and it was suggested I visit it to give me another perspective on men and womens clothes and after spending a couple of days reading through this site I'm glad he advised me to visit here.


Welcome, Jenny! I'm glad you found this place too.

I'm a 20 year old girl ( 21 next month) who has had a somewhat up and down few years after my sister and I came home early one Saturday afternoon back when I was 17 and we found our father wearing some of Mums clothes. So much has happened over the last few years, ( mostly not good) including Mum divorcing Dad and I guess in a way at the start I was the loudest objector to Dad's behaviour, but since, it's turned out that I'm really the only one who's stuck by him, even if I still haven't come to terms with it 100%.


That's an awful lot to get used to all at once. I don't think anybody could expect you to swallow it in one go. I'm pretty sure your Dad is proud and grateful that you're standing by him, and doing your best to learn to accept him the best you can. Not everybody does that.


I suppose I can't really get my head around why a guy would want to dress and look like a female, but still want to keep his male identity too. I don't get the big deal of a guy wearing a dress or a skirt because I hardly ever wear them, I prefer pants and really only mostly wear a skirt at work because it's part of the required uniform.


I know what you mean! I hardly ever wore skirts myself either -- until I started hanging out here much! Somehow hearing the men raving about them all the time started me thinking about them more, and now I find I reach for skirts and dresses more and more! Can't let a good idea slip by me, and you have to admit, they do have a few good points...

I just wanted to say that since reading through this forum I can come to terms with it better that a guy would wear a skirt just for the comfort of wearing it, more so than because he wants to identify as a woman, that bit I can't get my head around. Really clothes are just clothes, but it becomes a bit more mind boggling when a guy wants to wear a dress and put on make up and a wig and use a womans name, that's the bits which worry me about my Dad.


It sounds like you're still going through some tough stuff, huh? Most of our lives just don't prepare us for curveballs like this. In my experience, though, the folks on this board are awfully nice and will be glad to help any way they can. I certainly would, too, if there were anything I could do. Feel free to private message or e-mail me (see buttons below) if you ever want to.

I hope I haven't offended anyone because that's not my intention, I'm just saying it honestly as it comes from my brain and I'm trying hard to understand something which is still quite new to me and worries me at times where its heading and where it'll end, because I want my Dad as my Dad I've always known him as, but I know in my heart that probably won't be and that makes me a bit sad.

I think your Dad will always be your Dad. That will never change.

As children we live in a blissfully self-centered world. That's normal. But as adults we grow more and more into the ability to empathize with others, and suddenly come to realize our parents are just human beings too, full of complexities and fears, failures and hopes the same as us. Trying to do their best despite probably never feeling quite adequate to the unbelievably MASSIVE responsibility and privilege of raising children as beautiful and special as you.

It sounds like you're turning out to be a fine adult yourself. I'm sure your parents both have a lot to be proud of in you.


Anyway, I just wanted to say that reading through here has been very good for me and it's opened another avenue of thinking for me, I guess it's all part of an education of sorts

Jenny.


I hope you continue to feel welcome, and post as often as you like!

Take good care.
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Postby Bob » Mon Sep 03, 2007 2:11 pm

Hi Jenny, and welcome to SkirtCafe. I cried when I read your introduction, I can only imagine how hard it must have been to go through what you've been through the past few years.

You seem to be asking questions about your Dad --- "why does he do it" and "where is this going"? These are natural and healthy questions to be asking. And I suspeced you've discovered by now that your Dad doesn't really know the answers. That's OK; I asked those very same questions about myself without answer for a long time as well. Many guys do. Ultimately, your Dad is the only one who can answer those questions, and he will have to put in a lot of hard work and soul-searching to do so. He is more than welcome here at SkirtCafe if wants to stop by.

Although I cannot give you answers to your most pressing questions about your Dad, I can share a little bit about the "lay of the land," so to speak. A man might wear a skirt for many reasons; and men tend to get categorized based on these reasons or motivations.

Some men were born physically male but believe they are female inside. Wearing a skirt is a part --- but actually only a small part --- of transitioning to becoming a woman. That includes hormone treatment, permanent hair removal and ultimately Sexual Reassignment Surgery. These people are known as Transsexuals. They have become more visible and vocal in recent years, and transitioning has become easier.

Some men, for whatever reason, like to role-play a woman from time to time; these people are known as Crossdressers or Transvestites. No one really knows why they do it. However, sociologists have discovered that an unusually high portion of crossdressers come from socially conservative communities. Outside their "girly zone," crossdressers often play traditionally masculine --- almost hyper-masculine --- roles in their communities. These are men who work hard at their career, provide for their children and wife, teach Sunday School, etc. And they are almost always straight.

Cross-dressing is a way to gain temporary and periodic release from the high-pressure demands of the traditional male role. And it is almost always kept secret, even from one's closest family. The secrecy produces shame and a number of problems all of its own, including shame, guilt, fear and purge-binge cycles. Wigs are used instead of just growing one's own hair because they can be safely hidden away when not in use. But hey, it's (physically) healthier than smoking, which is another more socially acceptable way to relax.

As an aside: cross-dressing depends upon and strengthens traditional (i.e. subjigated) female roles. It is un-feminist and ultimately does nothing to move toward a society in which women are valued and respected in the workplace as much as men.

Some men wear skirts as a part of gay identity. Most famous is the "drag queen," a theatrical act within the gay community in which a man impersonates a woman on stage. However, this is not very common, and it is only a very small part of gay culture. The common perception that men who wear skirts might be gay is almost completely wrong.

Until 1996, the above were the only categories we really had for skirts and men. Since then, Tom's Cafe, SkirtCafe and the Atrium have pioneered new ground for men and skirts. We are a mixed bag here. But there are a good number of ex-transvestites and almost-but-never-quite transsexuals here. Gender seems so simple but it becomes impossibly complex when you start to really think about it. Some guys are somewhat androgynous --- fundamentally masculine, but the traditional male role doesn't work. Rather than forcing men into temporary (or permanent) female roles, SkirtCafe offers the possibility of expanding what it means to be a man. This is a very healthy approach, I believe. Gender is no longer bipolar, but somewhat of a continuum.

You might be interested in looking at the COGIATI gender test:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COGIATI

I really can't know who your father is or why he was wearing your mother's clothing. My best guess is he falls into the transvestite role and may come from a socially conservative background. If that is the case, the most important thing for him will be to learn to overcome the fear and shame of his feelings and desires. He is who he is, and he will not be able to change that. He might also wish to examine his view of what it means to be a man --- maybe he was taking on roles that did not suit him, but were presented to him as the "proper" thing to do. He might wish to examine the ideas presented on this forum, he might find them freeing.

I also cannot know why your Dad and Mum divorced. Certainly the crossdressing had something to do with it, but it was probably not the sole factor. Larger issues may have been involved. It's quite possible that your parents' marriage was based on one of traditional roles. And when your father expressed that those roles were not working for him, your mother might have felt betrayed.

Above all, your Dad needs to know that in spite of everything he and his family have been through, that he deserves respect and love just like anybody else --- and that starts with self respect. He is lovable, and quite likely will meet someone who will love him for whomever he is. He needs your love too, and it is wonderful to hear how you have stuck by him in spite of all the pain and confusion. You have shown a remarkable strength.

So... I hope I haven't talked on too long. Again, welcome to SkirtCafe, I hope you find continued healing here. And you've probably already noticed that we have some amazing women here as well as men --- people who have been through experiences similar to your own.
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Postby sapphire » Mon Sep 03, 2007 5:48 pm

Hi Jenny,
Welcome to the Skirt Cafe. I hope that we can be supportive while you are trying to unravel the mystery of your Dad.

No one but your Dad knows why he's experimenting with alternatve forms of dress. Sometimes people make changes when they have felt that they have been pigeonholed into one lifestyle and they feel that that lifestyle is either wrong for them or limiting.

Many parents go through feelings such as you are experiencing when their children start to grow up and experiment with alternative lifestyles. That's usually considered a normal part of the growth of children.

Someimes, as in your case, it is the parent who experiments. That's not the norm and the children become very confused.

Do you talk to your Dad and really try to listen and understand where he's coming from?

Like you, my parents went through some challenging changes.

My childhood was "normal" suburban. Dad was a respected chemist and an ordained Presbyterian Elder. Mom was a respected leader in the Girl Scouts and head of Sunday School. My younger brother was a brat.

I graduated high school in the 1960s and like most parents, mine worried about the choices I would make and my political views (and if I'd end up in jail because of all that).

Later, in my mid-twenties, my parents divorced and went on to "find themselves".

Dad started going to "massage" parties. Yikes! My uptight Presbyterian Dad was getting naked among a bunch of strangers. But, he was still my loving, caring Dad and the only thing that was different was that he liked to get naked in a group of other people.

I do have to say that I was much relieved when he traded in "Massage" parties for square dancing.

Then my Mom, the uptight, prudish, ex-Marine, Queen of the Girl Scouts and Queen of the Sunday School joined a cult, moved to Montana and bought space in a bomb shelter.

That simply melted my mind. I still haven't reallyreconciled with it. I did become more at ease with her choice after the government intervened with the cult, took away their automatic weapons, armored personnel carrier, bulldozed the cannons, etc and made them clean up the environmental damage caused when their underground fuel storage tanks leaked into the Yellowstone River.

I survived and so can you. I recommend that your talk openly and honestly with your Dad, try to understand him and be open about your own concerns. Accept what you can and look for support to help you deal with things that you can not understand.

Diana
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My opinion is

Postby SkirtedViking » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:15 pm

that obviously it is tough on you to see your dad wearing something not typically male,but many of today's women's apparel originates from men's as the so called pants.Nobody asks you why you do that,or why women wear men's type shirts,t-shirts even ties and shoes.it is just unequal men to be limited,while women are not.I fight for equality and still that has nothing to do with not being a guy.I am a normal straight male,as far as I can reckon.
There is nothing worse than double standard!
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Postby Sarongman » Tue Sep 04, 2007 6:46 am

Hi Jen! We are a diverse lot here but, so far, even though we can have some vigorous debates at times, we are a friendly and welcoming bunch. Welcome to the cafe from "down under". Hope your father does see this in the end, as I said we are welcoming and mutually supportive.
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Postby Skirt Chaser » Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:13 am

Welcome to the Skirt Cafe, Jenny. I'm glad you took up Mark's suggestion to read here. Your signature tells me family is important to you. I think it is very cool that you want to have a good relationship with your dad and learning about his interests and motivations is a good way to do that. Your support means a lot to him I am sure.

While I know you are here looking for answers, your post is a good thing for many of the fathers here. Every man would be proud to have an articulate daughter like you that is supportive enough to want to learn when you don't understand.

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Hi

Postby Jennifer » Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:10 am

I just want to say that I’m so overwhelmed by all the kind responses and from the bottom of my heart I thank you all. I don’t want to ignite the old debate about men not being able to wear clothes of their choice while we women get away with wearing whatever, so I scrapped a lengthy post I’d written about my opinions of the why’s and wherefores of it after I consulted with someone here about what I’d written, I’m just feeling a bit fragile right now due to the flu and some family issues so I don’t want to ignite any challenging situations.

Yes ‘Quiet Mouse’ family is very important to me, but since we’ve become a dysfunctional family life isn’t what it once was. I always dreaded us becoming one of those family’s which only ever gets back together as a whole at weddings and funerals, but as many people have told me over the last few years, life wasn’t meant to be fair.

Yes Diana, I’ll survive probably, but it’s the survival kit which seems to just keep out of reach at times when you most need it, but things don’t always turn out as we might have dreamed of them doing, do they, that’s a lesson I seem to be learning over and over, but thanks for the support. I love my Dad to bits and something hit me one night when I looked at him after I’d helped him get all dressed up, ( he has no idea of what’s what by himself with making himself look presentable as a woman) I looked at him and through the image I could see my father still there and at that moment I loved him more than I ever have because I felt his pain and frustration at life as I thought if it wasn’t such a huge deal in his make up then he would never be standing in front of his daughter like that. As I said, life isn’t always fair, but at least we’ve both stopped crying together over it all, so I’m told that’s a positive step in our forward journey.

Thanks again, I can’t thank you all enough for your kindness.

Jenny.
Your children need your presence, not your presents.
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I seem to understand your grief but...

Postby SkirtedViking » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:42 pm

...there is no power in this world that is going to convince me that unequality(here it is in terms of fashion) is something good and justified.I refer to the upper part of your last post,Jennifer.
There is nothing worse than double standard!
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