Gina has been with me all my life, not that she had a name way back when I was growing up. The name came later when a lot of the confusion had been sorted out.
In the early days I always enjoyed the opportunity to dress whenever I could, in either my Mum's clothes or my sisters clothes - nothing new there, I know. I even remember wearing lingerie under my school uniform sometimes, when the need to dress was strong. I grew up in England in the 70's when glam rock and 'unisex' was very much the vogue, so for a late maturing boy it was easy to be mistaken for a girl in some situations!. My upbringing was quite Victorian in many ways and this caused me to feel enormous guilt at my need to dress in girls clothes, but I couldn't shake off the need. Sadly, this guilt stayed with me for a large number of years - too many.
I remember the great sense of relief when I discovered that I was not the only person in the world to feel like this, but what was I to do?. We all have said "if only" about so many things. If only I had known how to talk to someone else about it. "Am I gay?, am I really a girl?". All these confusing feelings as a shy teenager caused me much anguish, which if I'm honest stayed with me through the next 20 years!.
The continual suppression of my dressing needs made me a very unhappy and withdrawn person. I needed some opportunity to find out who and what I was. It sounds so familiar to many of you I know. Like so many of us I continued to deny that this need would always be with me and that I could overcome it if I just put more effort into the everday male things. But as we know, it doesn't work like that.
Over the last 20 years I have had several long term relationships and one marriage, all of which failed, including a very painful (emotionally) divorce. I put the failures mainly at the door of my need to dress. The need is only ever dormant for a short while, and I can not be content with a few hours snatched here and there. Its not just the clothes, its also the emotional change which happens when I'm dressed 'en femme' which I need. Something inside me seems to change and somehow everything just feels 'right'. Its also about having fun too, I can't deny it!.
In the last few years I have tended to run from situations of committment with women, mostly because I fear the damage to both the woman and myself when Gina needs that dressing time. However, this time has allowed me to come to terms with what I am - a lot of those confusions are gone. I'm know I'm not trans- sexual, I'm firmly in the 'transvestite' box if we must have boxes, and even my tendency towards bi- sexuality only when dressed doesn't change anything there. All of this usually seems to be too much for most women to live with, and I can understand it 100%.
When I dress, the image has to be the best I can achieve. I once heard the wife of a crossdresser saying that if her husband was going to do this, then from her point of view he must do it well. The objective for me is to achieve a convincing look. I need to present an attractive image too - (attractive to who, I'm not sure, though). This is no easy feat as nature continues to work against me as I get older. But I'm fighting back!.
Thanks for staying with the story so long - if you have you must be interested in transgender or maybe have these confusions yourself. Whichever, you might be interested in some of the links elsewhere on this site. Then of course there is that great 'self-helpline' and 'social centre' that is the internet.