Want and Need

By Tina Davis

It seems so long since I have written a post here, but I still read the blog daily and occasionally comment. I think about dressing every day, but I have had very little opportunity as I am still working from home. My wife is not currently working and has been thinking about retirement, although she does enjoy contract work in her field. I may have a chance to get out dressed in August, but it will depend on the final schedule for a multi-day event and whether my wife will also be volunteering during that week.

When I read Amanda J’s recent post, it resonated very strongly with me. It’s been almost 6 months since I last fully dressed – I did put on a dress once during a very short time window, but without makeup or wig, it didn’t really count IMO. I have updated this text that I wrote a few years ago as my response. I originally called it “WANT vs. NEED”, but I see it much more now as how those two feelings work together to give me a sense of balance in my life.

I WANT to put on a dress or a blouse and skirt, but I do not NEED to do so. I WANT to feel the silky smoothness of my shaved legs and the weight of my forms in a bra strapped to my hairless chest. I WANT to see a full head of long blonde hair, earrings dangling and finished makeup when I look in the mirror. I WANT to hear my heels on the floor or sidewalk as I walk around inside and outside. I WANT to be free to put on a dress and high heels and go out in public without hiding it from my wife.

But I do not NEED any of these things. I am sad that I cannot find the time to dress, but I am not a person who feels any differently when I am dressed in drab or as Tina. I love my wife and daughter and do not want to hurt them. I NEED to be the husband and father they know and love. I have been able to push down the WANT over these longer stretches, even as that feeling grows stronger but does not become an overwhelming NEED.

As I grow older, I have found that I may WANT to be more open about this side of me, but the fact that I have hidden my full self for so long makes it difficult to change that perception. I do not NEED to come out to my employers or my friends, although that thought has crossed my mind each year during Pride Month in June and on National Coming Out Day in October. 

The balance between WANT and NEED is sometimes hard to maintain. To me, the nature of being a crossdresser under the transgender spectrum means understanding that balance. When (not if) I go out again, it will be because I WANT the experience, not because I NEED it. The same applies to shopping, I do not NEED to buy more dresses and heels, even though I certainly WANT to wear them all.

This blog and others like it are beacons of hope for me and so many others like me. Even though I have never met Kandi or most of her contributors, I feel a closeness that is so meaningful. I can see the joy in every story of simple acceptance, whether from strangers met for the first time or long-time friends. I WANT to have those kinds of interactions more often and just be free to be my whole self. I know that continuing to be patient is not easy, but it is the best path for me to stay on during this time.

Hugs,

Tina

The next two Fridays we will revisit a past Tina post!

11 thoughts on “Want and Need”

  1. Good post Tina.

    Sorry you’ve not had the opportunity to fully dress lately, I know how you’re feeling as I’m in the same boat myself. I can relate to the ‘want’ and ‘need’ too and as you say it is an hard balance to maintain at times.

    Best Wishes

    Lotte

    1. Charlotte, it has only gotten harder with limited opportunity to dress. But I do recognize the need for balance and know what I can and cannot do to keep it from being overwhelming. That’s why sites like this are so important for us all.

  2. Tina, that was a beautifully crafted piece of writing and I’m sure an awful lot of readers, myself included, were thinking ‘that’s me’ as they read it. It’s perhaps a little too easy to compartmentalise our feminine life and ignore the bigger picture. We excuse what we do by saying it’s harmless and that it doesn’t hurt anyone. We compare ourselves favourably against other husbands who neglect their wives by being on the golf course all day, every day or spend every evening drinking the family budget in the local bar. And we justify our actions by asserting that we have no choice and need to do it. That’s true for some people but if one is prepared to recognise that it’s a ‘want’ not a ‘need’, it takes a great deal of bravery to admit that because it pares everything down to the bare bones of ‘I do this because it makes me feel good’.

    And I think that your depiction of this as part of a wider life as a husband & father was well made because there can come a time when something has to give and we have to understand where our priorities lie. That’s a very personal decision to make and there’s no one size fits all approach and we each have to work out what our the dealbreakers in our own situation.

    Thank you for posting something I wish I’d written!

    1. Amanda, thank you for your perspective on this difficult subject. I’m not sure I feel very brave about admitting how I feel, although I am definitely NOT brave enough to divulge my full wardrobe to my wife at this time. I am prepared to continue along the same path I’m on, waiting for an appropriate opportunity to dress and hiding away the disappointment when I can’t. Yes, it does feel good, but in some strange way, I think I deserve to feel good after feeling guilty for so long.

  3. Want and Need are two words that many of us feel. That is when the word Balance comes important to me.

  4. The WANT and NEED balance really comes down to dysphoria. The more dysphoria one feels, the more one NEEDs it. If one falls in the CD scale it generally is more on the WANT end (with some lower levels of dysphoria or none at all). I think there are many of us juggling our home life with our wants for dressing. It isn’t easy. Thankfully at least for me, I have a pretty understanding wife but I know I am in the minority.

    1. Christina, this is an important point you’ve made here. Yes, I do consider myself to be transgender, but I do not have the level of dysphoria that drives many to transition, either socially or medically. It flares up on occasion, usually related to my body hair or shape, but is often controlled by taking small actions to reduce the worry without alarming my wife.

  5. I’m not sure where I fall, no longer being married not being able to dress is a moot point for me.
    I do have days where I say to myself why do I do this and the answer always seems to be it’s just me.
    I had recently a 4 day period where I was in total male mode, well except wearing panties
    It was ok but once that time was over I was ready to be me again as I say.
    Yes we all have our different needs and wants.
    For me it’s just me

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