My Dad Was a Crossdresser
My dad was a cross dresser when I was a child. This made me feel very uncomfortable around him growing up. This confused me with his role of a father in my childhood. I just wanted him to be my dad, a real dad. I desired to have a dad that made his daughter feel special and loved and cherished. I remember rummaging through our attic as I got older. I was secretly searching for adoption papers. I lifted everything out of the wooden boxes.
My search came up empty every time. I was determined that I must have been adopted because I really never felt loved by my dad. Every father loves their daughter I thought to myself. I felt that no father who loved their daughter would treat her the way he treated me, the way he would stare at me and the personal information that he shared with me. I looked many times for the adoption papers that never existed.
My mother was in the hospital for periods of time. I remember my dad taken care of the house and my brothers, sister and I. The one time that really had impressed upon me was when he took the clothes in the living room to fold. To see the enjoyment that seemed to come over him was confusing. He was in his own world during this period of time. I remember observing him and thinking to myself that this picture was not right. It was odd to see him enjoying the role of a mother. During this time his mannerisms were just as a real woman's. I could not understand what made him like this.
I felt like no matter how much I tried to love him, be good or be as understanding as a child can be I could not fix him. Unlike Humpty Dumpty who sat on the wall, fell off the wall and broke into pieces and then be put back together again. I felt guilty that there was nothing I could do to fix my dad. I wanted to fix him, to make him better and happy.
I would blame myself for his behavior, I thought maybe I had hurt him in some way that helped to cause this. Maybe I was a bad child in his eyes, maybe I was a disappointment to him as a daughter or I didn't love him enough. Why is he really like this? Boy did I ask myself that question a lot growing up.
In a child's eyes there is a lot of confusion and frustration living under these circumstances. You are watching something that does not seem to be the natural normal behavior for a father. I would watch for signs that would give me the clue that he was mentally feeling like a woman. I would be able to tell if his legs were crossed over ( That clue he gave me himself).
He said "If you see me sitting with my legs crossed over like women cross their legs you'll know I'm feeling this way. I would watch him at work file his nails at his desk sitting sideways being in his won world. I knew what he was thinking because I knew my dad. I just had hoped no one else in the office knew or suspected. If his bedroom door was shut for a long periods of time I would wonder if he was dressing up. As I look back today and realize the hundred's of times that I passed his bedroom door suspecting, but not really wanting to know what was going on behind closed doors.
I looked else where for what a father figure was. I felt like my dad could not provide a father daughter relationship. I had an uncle who was great and taught me what a father should be like. He not only loved his daughters, they had a real father daughter relationship with each other.
They could also be comfortable being girls around their dad. I was envious of my cousins to have this type of dad. I would observe friends households to see how the father figure worked in their lives. Knowing my dad's desires made me feel uncomfortable being a girl. I feared anyone finding out my secret. I really regret not being comfortable growing up being a girl and my dad. I felt guilty and dirty about being a girl.
I was 27 years old when my dad left his family to pursue what he thought would bring him his long awaited dream life. During the period of years he was gone I wondered about him every Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. My birthday was my parent's wedding anniversary, so my birthday was nothing that I liked to celebrate. I always hoped my mother would forget my birthday, I thought this would save her some pain.
Thirteen years went by. My father was dying of stomach cancer. When I had heard that he wanted us to know he was ill and trying to reach out to us I was angry with him. I thought he had no right to come to us for support or love after he deserted us for his new life of a transsexual. Who did he think he was? Then I cried.
I cried knowing that my dream of my dad coming back into our family as a husband, dad and grandfather was about to die. I was losing my dad and my dream that I waited for up until this time to come true. I wanted to tell him "How dare you come to us now that you are in need". When we were in need you weren't around. You were not here living with the embarrassment, the shame you left us in. You were not here to help your family through the last thirteen years.
I visited my dad often once hospitalized during his last months of life. It was difficult. I'd seen my dad in a ladies nightgown, slippers and teddy bears in the room. The nurses would call him "her", "she" or Becky. I would reply at them "him", he" or "my dad".
The one memory I have that I felt so sad about was watching him take his bra off. You are never prepared to see your dad take his bra off. I looked at him with sorrow with what the choices had done to him. There may be the sad memories of him at the hospital, but also there were some good. I was able to hold my "dad's” hand, kiss "him" on the forehead and instead of anger, sympathize for the life he led.
I was able to forgive him before he passed away with stomach cancer. To forgive him of the pain that his choice's cost him and us. I look at him now as a man that lived in pain with little if any happiness. Through the years lost while he tried to pursue his so called happiness. He was on hormones, he had breasts and lived the life as a woman. He was living the life of a transsexual now. If you walked past him on the street or in a mall you would not known this was a man. It saddened my heart to see where his choices lead him.
The way he lived grieved my heart for him. I was also angry and hurt that he chose his weakness over his family and did not try to seek therapy for his sexual disorientation. I had always hoped inside that he would return to us as husband, father and grandfather. He was after all still my father.
I learned after his passing that he was in a homosexual relationship. This was another dilemma to deal with. Even though he had passed on it seemed like another chapter of his life was revealed to me. I had questioned this to myself growing up. Never telling anyone of my thoughts. Now the truth was there on pen and paper.
I know I never wanted to know the truth. When I wondered if he was gay or attracted to men I would refuse to go into deep thought about it. It did make sense why he acted almost out of jealously when I started to date. As though he wished it were he going the date or going to the prom. Now I had the answer to his actions towards my boyfriends.
I also now have more answers of my dad's root problem that had helped cause his choice in life. With that there is peace. There are unanswered questions now with answers. I meet people like my father, I pray for people like my father. I meet and pray for family members going through this situation. They are not alone.
There are many of us going though this situation. There are many of us out there. Don't think the Gender Identify Disorder does not exist or hurt people. Don't think this issue is not touching your world or won't touch your world. It is here. I am living proof of what it is like living with someone who was hurting deep inside with the Gender Identity Disorder.
I have shared with you what if feels like, really feels like living someone who truly believed he was in the wrong body. Not everyone is applauding at the end of the show as we witness on the TV talk shows on the topic so DON'T BE FOOLED!
Many years have passed since the Sunday my dad revealed to me the truth about himself. I am now 41 and a long ways from being that 10 year old child. I had hoped through life that someday I would be able to help others with what I have lived through. I no longer want to keep it a secret. If I would keep it a secret, it would help no one. I have joined a transgender ministry with former transgender Jerry Leach called Reality Resources.
I have a separate e-mail at email@example.com . The service I am providing is to connect with others who feel they are alone or have a need to connect with someone who has "been there". I am there to support them with prayers, personal support and to make them aware of the ministries, books and web pages available to them.
I am hoping to take this a step more forward. I am planning on being involved to equip the churches to enable them to minister to people who suffer from Gender Identify Disorder and their family members. Also, if I find a need in my community or nearby I wish to start a family support group.
I found a letter from my dad after he passed away. His words read "Don't throw me away". I believe in my heart I am involved in this out of respect and love from those words that my dad wrote.