South Eastern Pennsylvania

A Premier Transgender
Educational and Support Organization
Questions and Answers compiled by the Women of the Beaumont Society
Renaissance Transgender Association is a 501 [c][3] non-profit organization and a member of The Penna. Association of Non-profit Organizations We exist on the dues of our membership, grants, and donations.

Frequently Asked Question
Mothers, Wives and Partners

Web Site Directory
Frequently Asked Questions?
by Wives and Partners

1. Q: I can't stand the thought of making love with my husband when he is dressed.
        Do I have to?
    A: No-one should be forced into a situation that they find intolerable. Anything goes
         in the bedroom ONLY as long as both people enjoy it.

2.  Q: I quite like making love when my husband is dressed as a woman. Does this
         make me a lesbian?
     A: No! You are making love to a man; this cannot be changed by the wearing of
         womens' clothes. However,  it may be enough to satisfy your fantasies!

3.  Q: My husband wants us to be lesbian lovers and will only make love when he is crossdressed. I hate the
          idea; he says I am being selfish. Who is right?
     A: Sadly, your husband is not taking your feelings into account. Lesbian love is his fantasy not yours. He
          needs to understand that he cannot force you into a situation which you cannot tolerate. You cannot
          change your sexual orientation unless you feel that it is right for you.

4. Q: Making love with my husband when he is crossdressed has made me think about my own sexuality. I now
         realise that I would like a REAL GIRL lover; not a man who acts like a woman. How do I tell him?
    A: He may be quite excited about the idea, or feel rejected. You will need to talk about how you feel your
         relationship is going to progress. A Relate counsellor may be a useful intermediary.

5.  Q: I've gone off my husband completely now I know about his crossdressing and I don't fancy him at all.
        Should I leave him?
     A: This is a natural reaction but time often heals. Ask your husband to restrict his crossdressing to when you
          can't see it or be aware of it. Once you are no longer confronted with it you may find that you can re-establish
          your bond with him. Suggest that he joins a group where he can indulge his pastime regularly without imposing
          it on you.

6.  Q: I'm sure that my husband must be gay. He insists that he isn't but I'm not convinced.
     A: Most crossdressers are heterosexual (about 75%). The other 25% are made up of gay, bi-sexual or
          celibate men. However, some crossdressers may adopt effeminate behaviour when dressed. This is more
          to do with their GENDER identity than their sexuality.

7. Q: My husband wants our young children to become used to him crossdressing from an early age. I'm not at
         all happy about this but he insists that it is better for them to be told properly rather than find out by
         accident. Surely young children should not be exposed to this?
     A: Each family deals with this question in their own way. The perceived difficulty is how to ask young children
         to keep a secret if there is nothing wrong happening. Many children are told from an early age and experts
         believe that it is not at all harmful to them; children adapt better when they are younger. However, most
         families prefer to keep the behaviour separate from family life.

Frequently Asked Questions?
by Mothers of Transgender children

1.  Q: I feel so guilty. It must be some thing I did as a mother. Where did I go wrong?
     A: You didn't; one thing we can guarantee is that it is not yours (or anybody's) fault.

2.  Q: I caught him once wearing his sister's clothes as a child but thought that he would grow out of it. Why didn't he?
     A: Crossdressing is for life and does not go away. It is nearly always established in childhood but many
          parents are unaware of the behaviour because it is such a secretive act. Most mothers will assume that                              crossdressing in children is the same as dressing up; comparatively few children are diagnosed as
          crossdressers. (Very young children experiment with dressing up but this is not necessarily an indication of                         dressing. Dressing up usually occurs spontaneously and openly and will involve other children as a
          group game).

3.  Q: Why didn't he tell me about it? We've always been so close?
     A: Children sense that they are doing something unusual which they believe will make their parents angry.
          They have no role models so believe that they are unique.

4. Q: I should have taken him to a doctor when I first saw him doing it. Surely he could have cured him?
    A: Many medical techniques have been employed over several generations to try to halt this practise. None
         have worked. The behaviour is now believed to be innate and as it is not an illness it cannot be 'cured'.

5. Q: I would like to support my son but my husband will not let me and has threatened to reject my son if he
         continues with the behaviour. I do not want to cause a family rift but my loyalties are divided. How can I
         resolve the situation to the satisfaction of both my husband and my son?
    A: Many fathers find the subject very painful to confront and prefer to avoid it if at all possible. Suggest that he
         phone one of the Helplines for understanding. If this is not the solution he is looking for it is often better not
         to press the point. Wise mothers may then take the discretionary approach.

6. Q: I suppose this means that he can never marry and have a normal family?
    A: There is absolutely no reason for him not to marry; many crossdressers are heterosexual married men with
        children. Encourage him to enjoy young women as friends before embarking on a serious relationship. He will                    probably find someone who will like him for himself, who he can trust and divulge his 'secret' to. The most                         successful relationships stem from honesty right from the beginning so that girlfriends have an
        opportunity to explore his crossdressing with him before making a serious commitment.

7. Q: My daughter-in-law is very angry and blames me for my son's crossdressing. How can I help her to come
         to terms with the truth and still retain her friendship?
    A: Try not to be too defensive. Offer her your support and understanding but try not to take sides. Learn
         together as a family by reading the appropriate material, watching programmes on television and
         communicating in a matter-of-fact way. Her disappointment in your son may reduce considerably if she
         can view the situation logically. Make sure that she feels loved and valued and recognise that her
         confidence and self-esteem may have been damaged.