I was ‘outed’ to my kids by my stalker.

I would like to say it was a morning like any other. I would like to say I didn’t receive a string of texts from friends and family asking if what they were reading on line were true. I would like to say I wasn’t being outed by my stalker.

But we don’t always get what we want, do we?

Instead that morning, as I drove to work I made an awkward phone call to my son and asked, “So what are you seeing online?”

“Some weird guy says you’re a crossdresser. He say’s a load of stuff.”

I avoided sliding the car into the oncoming traffic and said, my voice a little strained, “And what did you say back?”

It’s probably the moment most people who quietly practice a somewhat gender fluid lifestyle most want to avoid. Being exposed before one’s children, particularly if it’s something one has always been taught is shameful, one is filled with an overwhelming sense of bringing disappointment to those you love. It’s the thing we least wish to either do, or experience. One can only feel a crushing sense of shame.

All these thoughts swept through my head as I listened to my son, measured and calm as ever, reply, “I just blocked the freak, Dad.”

I’ve crossdressed for years. I understand that it’s a part of my life that really wasn’t appropriate when my kids were growing up, or so it seemed in my conservative mind. However, as the kids fled the empty nest, and my life situation shifted around, I found such great joy in what society likes to term ‘crossdressing’ and I like to think of as my ‘more fluid gender self’. Suppressed for many years now I wear whatever I like most of the time. Some people possibly find this just a little odd, but generally I find myself well accepted.

I live in a very liberal city. I am either considered a little eccentric, or no one notices, or they just don’t care. However at the time of my exposure I was still very closeted in my dressing. The last thing I would want is my children knowing about this shameful activity.

Except, it wasn’t shameful. I loved it. I like feminine clothing. And it brings me joy. And I have aspects of my lifestyle that are greatly enriched by this side of myself. There are plenty of occasions when I will be either somewhat more androgynous, or if I feel like it I dress in a masculine way. And I’ve learned to slip between extremes in literally seconds. Wearing a kilt and Aron sweater Iooks pretty masculine. If I switch the Aron sweater to a lambswool pale blue polo neck, and pull on fishnets and a pair of heels, I switch from ‘pretty masculine’ to simply ‘pretty’. Or so I am told. A little makeup doesn’t go amiss.

Look, I’m not trying to pass as a seventeen year old schoolgirl. But I find I am comfortable indulging the feminine aspects of who I am. And don’t think this is a confession — it’s not. There’s no crime to confess, it’s just who I am. My stalker actually did me a favor. They had contacted my former wife, my kids, several employees and somewhat confusingly one of my employees mother. They forced me to face my truth. And they showed me that actually, no really cares. I am who I am.

My next call was to my daughter.

“So, you saw that guys posts online?”

“Yeah!”

“Well… what did you say to him?”

“I said, “Well, Duh.” And blocked the idiot.” Then she went on to ask if I could lend her a fifty.

I love my kids.

Fiona Dobson

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