I Hate Costumes

Halloween is coming up, a very strange holiday, and a particularly dangerous holiday for us.  I want to remind you that even if your wife, or girlfriend, or mother, or friends think dressing you up as a woman is a playful harmless thing, it is not harmless for us.  For us it is a some kind of mixture of perverse sexual fetish, or identity confusion from not feeling like we fit our bodies, or both (depending on whether you lean towards crossdressing just for sexual pleasure or crossdressing because of gender dysphoria).

Stay strong.  Don’t give in to false rationalizations, fantasies, or lies.  You will only feel worse after a time of temporary pleasure.  If you know you are going to be strongly tempted, let the rest of the prayer chain know so that we can contact you somehow during that time to hold you up, and to pray for you.  Or find an accountability partner who can call you those nights you will be weak.

Thinking about Halloween and dress up parties recently I realized something about myself, and wondering if it fits any of you as well.  I realized that despite my strong crossdressing compulsions, I hate dressing up in costumes.  I hate it.  I have no desire to do it at all, not for Halloween, not for a play, not for a theme party, not to play make-believe with children, nothing.  That is not to say I would never wear a costume for any of these occasions.  But I certainly have no desire to, and it takes a great deal of cajoling and pressure for me to give in to do so.  I wonder how this fits into my desires to crossdress, something which at times in the past felt unbearable.  Much of crossdressing, from my perspective anyway, is about an enjoyment of dressing up.  It is about a transformation of becoming something we are not.  It is an elaborate costume and disguise.

So why would I hate dressing up as a knight or as superman?  I really don’t know.  I just want to be myself.   Maybe crossdressing is different for me because I got so good at imagining my delusion that I could really believe it was a woman and not myself.  So it was not just dress-up.  It was not me at all anymore.  It was a woman who I lusted after (though in reality still me, not a real woman).

Or maybe there is an aspect to this that results from me having given up crossdressing.  I have ceased that messed up behavior.  I am finding healing and enjoying being myself.  Because of that healing, I just want to keep enjoying being myself, and don’t need to go back to any childish imaginings and dress up games.

Anybody else have any ideas about this?


11 comments on “I Hate Costumes

  1. mariposa1967 says:

    That is really interesting! I’d never given it a second thought until now. I have very mixed views on costume… At the heart of it I think I need to “own” a costume in order to feel comfortable in it. If I’m not convinced I want to transform then I hate it so I guess there are elements of context as well as costume.


  2. Kristjan says:

    Crossdressing as woman = Costume
    Dressing as Superman = Costume

    Dressing up in costume = Not yourself/myself

    This argument is valid


  3. Ralph says:

    Wow, that’s a strong reaction. I feel just the opposite. Although I’ve spent my life and career doing boring stuff on computers, I have an inner thespian longing to be free. I love every chance to put on a costume and take on another role… and this is completely separate from my crossdressing. In fact, as a wannabe actor I’m quite the exhibitionist, loving the spotlight; as a crossdresser I’m extremely private and I’d just as soon nobody notice or comment on what I’m wearing. Most of my theatrical work has actually been in church — dramatic (well, usually humorous) presentations to illustrate a Bible lesson.

    That said, I am among the millions of crossdressers who have used Halloween as a cover… although I did it only once. I made a dress myself, even got my mother to help with it; afterwards when I went to the party I stopped at her house to show the end result of her work and she insisted on taking me to HER church’s Halloween party (or whatever churches call it to pretend that they’re not celebrating a pagan ritual) and show me off.

    I won the costume prize at the party I went to, and enjoyed every minute of it. Of course being me, I also intentionally made a joke of it… deliberately refrained from shaving for several weeks so I had a good thick mat of stubble, and didn’t change my body language or personality to be at all feminine. One drunk guy kept hitting on me despite (or because of?) the obvious fact that I was male and kept telling him so.

    It wasn’t long after that, however, that I got married and my wife and I had some serious discussions about where Halloween fits in a Christian home. As much as I love the silliness of the costumes and the theatrics of doing weird stuff to freak out kids when I answer the door, I had to agree… no matter how you slice it, it’s a pagan festival and has no place with Christians. So for more than 25 years now I’ve kept the lights off on the front porch and kept my costumes for more appropriate occasions.


  4. thorin25 says:

    Thanks for the comment Ralph. I posted this not knowing how other crossdressers feel, so I’m glad of your input. Maybe my hatred of wearing costumes has nothing at all to do with my past crossdressing. Maybe the two things are unrelated, and some people who like acting, theater, like you enjoy them, and others like me, who hate acting, do not 🙂 Could be as simple as that.


  5. Don says:

    I share the same feeling as you Thorin. As much as I liked cross dressing, and that was a lot, I hated to wear a costume. I cant’ say I never though it was a divergence in my personality.

    When I was a kid, I would only wear a mask for Holloween.

    For one thing, if I were wearing a costume, everyone would know I was who I was, unlike when I was out dressed as a woman, at least I felt that no one thought I was not what they saw.

    I have always been just the opposite of Ralph. I am afraid to appear on stage, I am told I have a nice singing voice but I just won’t sing solo in front of other people, I’m too shy for that. I have done public speaking and that’s OK if I’m doing it for a purpose , so I think that it’s my fear of being outgoing and getting attention that keeps me from liking costumes.

    Now that I think of it, when I was a child, the only attention I got from my parents or others was negative, when I did something wrong, and the attention was usually violent. Maybe that’s why I don’t like attention.

    When I was living as Donna I was an entirely different person. I felt more outgoing as most women are, you know, giggling and verbose, I felt good in that role, so I think that my shyness was gone as a person.

    Why I can’t feel that as Don, maybe a psychologist can tell me.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am much happier now than I have ever been since I have brought my desires in the correct direction, and I am much more social than I have ever been since my recovery began when I was able to reduce my sex drive.



  6. ikthys says:

    Interesting. I have always gotten a huge kick out of silly dress up stuff. When my schools did “wacky day” or whatever, I would go all out and have a great time. As a kid I loved being a ninja, etc. for halloween, or costumes for plays. This was before my cd behavior really started. As a Christian, I have never been comfortable with halloween, and I never dress up for it (and I CERTAINLY refuse today to fall for the old “dress up as a girl for fun” lie). I don’t think my interest in costumes has much to do with my crossdressing desire, though. I mean, perhaps I’m naturally interested in exploring and experiencing other identities, and that is a commonality. But for me crossdressing was far too “serious” to be a costume party. In fact, when I DID use halloween as an excuse to crossdress in high school, I did not enjoy the joke of it much at all. I only enjoyed it when it was for “real”. In the end, I was frustrated by the extra effort I had to go through to pretend I didn’t want it at a deep and profound level. Funny how that is. I always appreciate that, at this time of year especially, there are now (for years I used to search the internet with no luck) good and wholesome reminders to keep our head and not fall for temptation. Glory be to God for this movement of men (Christian and otherwise) who are standing against unhealthy lifestyle choices and identity confusion, and sexual addictions, etc.


  7. Dramaking55 says:

    I knew there was something I liked about you Ralph! I have been acting since the first time I knew what a procinium arch was. Lol I have aged a king, a German Nazi in sound of music, Mame’s lover, Billy Bigelow in Carousel and many others. I headed up our ama ministry and costumes have always been my thing. Perhaps my knowledge f stage makeup made it that much easier to slip into Victoria mode while I was out there.
    I would always use Halloween as a way to dress up but only as a joke so as to keep my secret so I think that for me the two were somewhat separated. Good thoughts though because I never really thought about it till now. I guess I really compartmentalized my life.


  8. thorin25 says:

    Looks like I am in the minority here. Good discussion though. Probably the two features, crossdressing, and enjoying costumes, are not necessarily related at all.

    Ikthys, I totally agree that crossdressing was far too “serious” to be about jokes or for a costume party. I would have never wanted to crossdress for halloween because it would be far far too stressful trying to make sure people didn’t see me enjoying it so seriously.


  9. Ralph says:

    Thorin, I know exactly what you mean. There was an incident in college where some lady friends were in my dorm room and the subject of pantyhose came up. I don’t remember if I deliberately manipulated the conversation in that direction or they came up with it on their own, but the end result was that they “made” me put on a pair of pantyhose. Looking back on it now, it’s painfully obvious I was playing the “don’t throw me in that briar patch” gambit. My roommate threatened to call our neighbors from nearby rooms in to see me, and in later conversations he made it clear that he had discovered my secret stash (consisting of one dress I had custom made by a seamstress in town). I don’t think anybody believed for a moment that I didn’t enjoy the experience immensely.


  10. Vivienne says:

    Hi Thorin,

    This is something we agree on. I don’t enjoy “playing dressup”. I have acted on the stage in my local theatre a couple of times, and enjoyed the performing, but not the costuming.

    The irony does not escape me that I enjoy dressing as a woman. For me, that’s a whole different kettle of fish from wearing a costume, e.g. as fancy dress. For me, wearing a costume is dressing as something I am not, but dressing as a woman feels like dressing as something that I am.

    I am fortunate that Hallowe’en isn’t that big a deal where I come from, though the American tradition of making pumpkin lanterns means that large numbers of pumpkins (an autumnal crop) are imported here in the spring (southern hemisphere) just so that people can cut eyes in them and scoop out the insides. Even though they grow perfectly well here in the autumn!

    I’ve never used Hallowe’en as an excuse to dress as a woman, privately or publicly.



  11. Jon says:

    I fully identify with that. I always hated dressing up for any special parties or whatever. I’d go as the plainest, most boring thing I could get away with. Which I’ve always thought kind of weird then that the crossdressing issue has been a temptation for me since being a kid. I also have this kind of desire to stay hidden and not be seen by people, while at the same time being involved in pretty up-front type work and church-serving stuff. Wonder if there’s a connection somewhere?


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