Cross-dressing Children

  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3161

    Sep 01, 2010 9:59 AM GMT
    Reading this article, "Is that my son wearing a dress?" got me thinking: http://www.salon.com/life/feature/2010/08/23/my_son_in_a_dress/index.html

    I have a twin sister. Growing up, she was my primary playmate. We learned to ride our bikes together, made mud pies together, and would play "beat up" together (which was basically wrestling on my parents' king-size bed). She would also paint my nails and dress me up. Sometimes, I'd put on one of my dad's t-shirts (which I swam in at the time), tie a belt around my waist, and pretend it was a dress, and we'd run around the yard together. I wonder if my parents had the same thoughts as these parents did, seeing their son "wearing a dress," and if they were conflicted at all about letting me express myself as a child. I don't think my being gay now has anything to do with having worn dresses as a kid. Straight kids get dressed up by their sisters too, right?

    I'm going to ask my parents about this, but in the meantime, do you guys have any stories to tell about growing up and putting on makeup, high-heeled shoes, dresses, skirts, or any of that?

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    Sep 01, 2010 10:03 AM GMT
    yeah I did all that, loved my mums petticoat it felt nice, was silk... I also played with Barbie dolls and had "makeovers" by my sisters.

    My big sister loved doing make overs she'd even put a bra on me and stuff it full of socks.
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    Sep 01, 2010 10:16 AM GMT
    Yeah I always done stuff like that when I was at friends houses (girls mostly). My mother didn't mind,but my father was a different story. I'll never forget the day I got caught by my father wearing a dress and pearls at after care. I was actually surprised I didn't get my ass whooped again for acting "girly". Guess it was my lucky day icon_smile.gif .
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    Sep 01, 2010 10:51 AM GMT
    Hopefully that father's mindset can be spread abroad as the new generation grows up; and kilts will come back in style.
    I've never worn one (yet), but always thought they looked cool. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Sep 01, 2010 1:43 PM GMT
    Both of my straight brothers dressed up as female super heroes when they were young. One of them took to going out in drag on Halloween. They are both very straight and one is a Marine.

    I have yet to put a dress or make up on. It was never something that interested me.

    Go figure... icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Sep 01, 2010 1:48 PM GMT
    when i was like 5 i was caught in my older sisters catholic school uniform...
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    Sep 01, 2010 2:13 PM GMT
    I remember in the 80's reading a book about a large interview survey that was done to see if they could use modern statistical math to find anything indicating a "cause" of homosexuality. They looked for all the traditional stuff - weak father, overbearing mother, etc and as expected found that people who grew up gay were no different in that respect than straight people.

    At the end the only correlation they found - and it was a correlation, not causative - was that people who grew up to be gay were far more likely to be "gender nonconforming" as children, and specifically didn't seem to instinctively know what was right and wrong for their gender.

    This rang true for me. I never felt like I was anything but a boy but it was like all the other boys came with a manual telling them how to act and I didn't get one. So I loved riding my bike fast over jumps but I wasn't interested in guns. I would clothespin cards to my spokes to make the bike go VROOM and I'd pick out sparkley accessories because they were pretty. I built cities instead of forts. I'd play at being spies but thought playing battle was boring (the fact that my spy games often involved capture and someone getting tied up is not lost on me now.) I had a GI Joe but put Barbie wigs on him when he'd drive his tank.

    When I played rockstar I could be a headbanger or I would grab a pair of my mother's high heels, wrap a towel around my head and I'd be Diana Ross.

    It's funny that one of the things that plagued me as a teenager was the fear that I was secretly a nelly queen and if I didn't keep it hidden then people would hate me (that same neurosis that infects so many of the guys on this site.) Not that there was anything that I did or wanted to do that fit that, but that was my fear. It's what kept me away from being athletic which I really regret to this day.

    When I was 21 and just couldn't handle it anymore I broke down and thought OK, if that's who I am then that's who I am, if I come out and let loose and I'm a big swish, want to dress in drag, then fine. The funny thing, I guess, is that when I stopped worrying about what I was supposed to do I actually went the opposite direction. Started playing more sports. Caring less about what I wore. I didn't need to worry all those years. But it's good because now I really have no issue whatsoever with people do end up finding their path with "stereotypical" stuff that drives some of the guys here crazy.
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    Sep 01, 2010 2:26 PM GMT
    My mom's a make-up artist. When she was participating in contests, she'd need a model, and whenever her usual model couldn't make it, she'd use me. Once I even had my whole face and neck painted blue... I was really pretty icon_redface.gif

    Hated when she messed with my bottom eyelid, but some good did come out of it...
    fake eyelashes...
  • dreamer121

    Posts: 265

    Sep 01, 2010 2:27 PM GMT
    Young kids, up to like 5 or something, don't understand gender roles. Its something we learn. So to the young-in's its just playing.

    Other than that small speculation, I have no idea, I was an only child, I'm gay, and I played in all sorts of right/wrong gender stereotypes.
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    Sep 01, 2010 3:09 PM GMT
    As an aside: I'm sure we've all seen very early photos of little boys dressed like girls in dresses. This was once considered normal for pre-schoolers. The practical reasons were that diapers weren't very effective and leaked, and were a hassle to change, requiring pins or knots. Plus they were very bulky to get under pants.

    You'd also see the little boys with very long hair, so along with the dresses, you didn't know if you were looking at the image of a boy or a girl. But here again the practical consideration was that little kids, even today, can put up a struggle when getting their hair cut. Some barbers wouldn't do very young boys for that reason, nor did their other patrons want to hear some kid screaming, in the days when the barber shop often served as a hang-out for men to sit and swap stories & gossip, and get warm next to a pot bellied stove.

    Likewise, because of the uncensored salty talk, a female wouldn't enter a barbershop, so only a father would take his son there, but he was usually at work. And even then it might not be considered proper for a young boy to be in that coarse atmosphere, not going for his first professional haircut until about the time he started shaving as a teenager, and also got to wear long pants, part of his transition to adulthood.

    Until then he got his haircuts at home (and so did Dad in rural and farming families, but then these were less likely to be the ones whose toddlers had elaborate photo portraits made of them in expensive outfits). And again, toddlers being adverse to haircuts, the most any little boys got was a scissors trim at shoulder-length.

    And so under those circumstances, very little boys & girls were in some ways indistinguishable, dressed alike.
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    Sep 01, 2010 3:16 PM GMT
    Yep... been there, done that. In fact, I was so "pretty" as a child, my mom and brothers and sisters ALWAYS dressed me in "drag" for Hollowe'en. I remember too well, some old guy saying I had prettier legs than any girl he had ever seen...that was the LAST year I let them dress me up for Hollowe'en
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    Sep 01, 2010 3:46 PM GMT
    I never had a desire to dress in women's clothes, I prefer the more rugged practicality of men's attire. And this formed a fundamental part of my gay denial mechanism, since the stereotypical image of gays in my generation was that they all wanted to wear women's clothing. I didn't, hence I couldn't be gay, or so I deluded myself.

    But anyway, one time my own mother put me in drag. It was Halloween, 1962, when I was 13, and my school was having its annual Halloween Party, when all the students could come to class in costumes after the lunch break for the party. My mother always created my costume for me, sometimes hand-sewn by her, a very creative woman. That year she decided I would be an old lady.

    So she took one of her late mother's old-fashioned long black dresses and tailored it for me. And accessorized me all in black, with low heels I could handle, and a black purse and gloves. A broad-brimmed black hat with a heavy veil became my "mask," and I had a wig, too, which I think she must have bought, because she never wore them herself, nor had my late grandmother. I had bracelets, necklace and a broach, too, all very matronly. My mother had an eye for detail. I even had to wear nylon stockings, held up with rubber band "garters" as I recall, in the days before pantyhose.

    But despite the veil she still wanted me to have makeup, and so she gave me a foundation, heavy rouge, and lipstick, plus nail polish in case my gloves came off. I went without my eyeglasses because that might give me away, since only 2 boys in my 8th-grade class wore them.

    When we all lined up by class to enter the auditorium for the party after the lunch break my classmates couldn't figure out who I was. They had guessed the identity of just about everyone else, and the process of elimination should have told them. But since I was one of the shortest boys (and still short), the heels threw them off. I later revealed my identity, as we all did, and I had managed to fool everyone. So my mother had her little cross-dressing fun with me. Later that night I went trick-or-treating in that same costume.

    But I never did that again, until decades later I tried some drag for a laugh. And found the effort exceeded the pleasure. I still don't like to wear women's clothing, even after coming out. I'm much happier in a man's clothes, and much happier with a man who wears them, too. If I wanted a woman, I'd still be with a woman.
  • oursirpeace

    Posts: 199

    Sep 01, 2010 5:01 PM GMT
    I was a big cross dresser growing up with photographer parents who owned a studio home with costumes, accessories and all kinds of props lying around all over the place, I could find a pair of earrings or a pretty dress at every corner in the studio house. I don't know if it's because I was gay or I was surrounded by feminine energy and visuals that made me wanna dress like a girl. I think age 4 to 10 was my cross dressing period LOL, until one day I came home from school with my girl cousin, I was putting on some dress showing it to her, she was like "ok I talked to your teacher she said you better stop dressing and acting like a girl", I was so embarrassed and somehow it put a nail on the coffin of my cross dressing habit, I never ever did it again. Even to this day, when I visit my folks back home, some people who saw me as a kid would still bring that up and my dad would be like "that was just a phase". A lot of things my parents put me through as a kid was their attempt at correcting my behavior, such as sending me to stay a couple months with my younger male cousin who was much more masculine and hyper than me to "balance us out"... I honestly don't know what mannerism I'd have now if it wasn't for all that, but that still doesn't change the fact that I'm gay.
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    Sep 01, 2010 5:21 PM GMT
    i never did this icon_lol.gif and never played with dolls.
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    Sep 01, 2010 5:40 PM GMT
    Aww. icon_neutral.gif
    They did an episode on some sitcom where the son dressed up as Cinderella and the Dad and Uncle dressed up as the evil/ugly sisters.
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    Sep 01, 2010 6:21 PM GMT
    well i have to sisters (both older than me)
    i was soo influenced by them that i go out in public dressed as girl and be mistaken by one LOL XD
    it's a like to do thing people shouldn't take it that seriously besides we were kids...
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    Sep 01, 2010 7:14 PM GMT
    I remember being really young, 4-5, and watching a movie with my parents with one of those cliched tropical dancing girls with the big fruit hats. I pointed and her and told my parents when I grew up I wanted to be a girl. Lolz.
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    Sep 01, 2010 7:15 PM GMT
    Ciarsolo saidI remember being really young, 4-5, and watching a movie with my parents with one of those cliched tropical dancing girls with the big fruit hats. I pointed and her and told my parents when I grew up I wanted to be a girl. Lolz.


    I did the same thing at that age after watching Mary Poppins.
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    Sep 01, 2010 7:17 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidHopefully that father's mindset can be spread abroad as the new generation grows up; and kilts will come back in style.
    I've never worn one (yet), but always thought they looked cool. icon_biggrin.gif



    Put a pink ballet skirt on Paul and you got a new name "Barbie Flexes" lol...icon_cool.gif
  • tallchris

    Posts: 121

    Sep 01, 2010 7:22 PM GMT
    Unusual topic!

    My grandparents had a dressing-up box with loads of frocks and stuff. There was very little men's clothing and it was boring. Some of the frocks were fabulous - think ballroom dancing - and I thought I looked and felt fabulous in them. There was little male influence at the time in my family and I think that had an effect on my self-image. So what?

    Well, when my mother saw me in a frock she recoiled in horror and told me to take it off. That happened at least twice. I can still feel that maternal disapproval. I thought I was having fun but my mother seemed to hate me for it.

    There were various other vaguely female or effeminate tropes I was firmly told to stop - even (would you believe?) striking a match away from my body (men do it towards, women away) or shaking out a match (men blow it out). Ridiculous! I grew up with the idea that I had to behave in what other people seemed to believe was a masculine way, and not how I was or wanted to be.

    That behaviour became ingrained and became me - more or less. That means no-one knows I am gay unless I tell them. I appear confident, assertive and masculine. But it was a bit like forcing a left-handed child to use his right hand for his own good. It causes more problems than than it solves. I often wish I had had the balls when I was young to be less self-conscious and as camp as I chose. But I forgive myself, as I was only a kid and I had other problems.

    You did ask!
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    Sep 01, 2010 7:25 PM GMT
    DFWgu said
    paulflexes saidHopefully that father's mindset can be spread abroad as the new generation grows up; and kilts will come back in style.
    I've never worn one (yet), but always thought they looked cool. icon_biggrin.gif



    Put a pink ballet skirt on Paul and you got a new name "Barbie Flexes" lol...icon_cool.gif
    Or "Barbie Biceps." That would be a cool name. icon_lol.gif
  • tallchris

    Posts: 121

    Sep 01, 2010 8:18 PM GMT
    I don't know why I said "tropes". Trying to be too clever, I expect. I meant traits, or mannerisms.

    I have just read all the other postings on this topic - interesting!
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    Sep 01, 2010 9:08 PM GMT
    I did drag once. It was for a Sunshine Cathedral MCC "Halloween Costume Auction". They asked all the hot guys (of all kinds) to do the runway in a variety of couture dresses that had been donated. There was some big tickets stuff, like Bob Mackie, and Channel. They had professional makeup artists, and such. We made a ton of money.

    I never felt so "real". icon_biggrin.gif