Notes on Gender Role Transition

Anne Vitale Ph.D. Editor


 Significant Other Index

A Significant Other View

by Julie Freeman

This article is reprinted with permission from DEVIL WOMAN, the Diablo Valley Girls newsletter. Ms Freeman is the wife of a crossdresser. She can be reached at

Joy in Crossdressing

At a recent conference, one of the seminars for wives included a discussion of whether or not joy could be found in crossdressing. Not on the part of the crossdresser--that is pretty well known. But whether or not there is joy in the relationship on the part of the significant other. This was part of the research that Peggy Rudd is conducting for a book she hopes to publish sometimes this year.

Now most significant others were not aware of crossdressing prior to their first relationship with a crossdresser. Most would say that they would have preferred crossdressing not to have become part of their world. But there are a few wives who have made crossdressing a prerequisite to a SECOND marriage or relationship. These are the significant others who have found joy in crossdressing; it had not been a cross for them to bear.

So the question becomes do significant others find joy in crossdressing and if so what exactly is the joy? Those of us at the seminar were told not to come up with immediate responses but to think about it for awhile and send back our replies later. We were given a questionnaire and asked to pass it on to other wives and partners regardless of how we felt they might respond.

I will tell you that at first I was startled by the questions regarding crossdressing. I wondered if Peggy really believed she could get positive responses. So many of the SO's I communicate with via e-mail are hostile, angry, and intolerant. I almost shudder to envision their reaction to such a questionnaire.

But what about all those wives who are accepting crossdressing? What joy have they found? When I started to think about it, I thought about how crossdressing has deepened and strengthened the relationship between my husband and me. We have grown much closer and share more of our lives with each other than we did before. This has certainly caused joy for both of us.

When there is no more hiding, no more secrets, no more evasive behavior, no more "skilled hiding" as one of the crossdressers put it, this can only lead to a more harmonious relationship within the family. Joy is experienced by the crossdresser as he no longer feels he is leading some kind of double life and there is joy on the part of the significant other who is now able to understand the double life her spouse was leading.