Before the Internet existed, I repressed my cross-dressing urges because I thought I was the only person in the world that had such aberrant desires. They were, for me, not ‘normal’, since nobody I ever met had them. So I repressed those thoughts as deeply as I could. There was a ‘negative identification’, if you wish, with the rest of the world: everybody would have ‘normal’ urges to dress and behave according to their assigned gender at birth, so I simply had to do the same in order to ‘fit in’ with the ‘rest of the world’. That caused distress, of course, but being labeled as a ‘freak’ (and, in my imagination, being placed in a padded cell for being terminally insane) was not an option.
After I learned on the Internet the meaning of words such as ‘crossdresser’, ‘transgendered’ and ‘transexual’, then I felt relief: there were, after all, millions of other fellow human beings that felt the same way as I did, and it was ‘normal’ (for that group of transgendered individuals) to express themselves according to the gender they identified with. As a consequence, ‘repression’ was not necessarily the only viable strategy. I could ‘become’ a crossdresser as well — and be accepted among the ‘crossdresser community’ (even if, at that early time, I wasn’t even aware such a thing existed in my own country).
So, yes, looking back I wonder if the Internet never existed, then I would probably have repressed all my deepest urges and wishes forever. Because it exists, and allows people to communicate with similar interests, wishes, and urges, I identify with those people, and express myself like them.
Sandra Lopes left this comment on the Third Way Trans blog. I totally get Sandra's comment. I was there too.
Meg, in a post today, says, We were more than alone: we were weird to the point that we were SURE we were the only guys who'd ever want to willingly wear a dress or a bra or makeup.
For those who were born in the late 90's, you probably never experienced this loneliness and the feeling that you are weird (as Meg says) or had aberrant desires (as Sandra says).
If you haven't already, check out Meg's post, The Future is Here!
After that, get some coffee and allow yourself about a half hour to read a superb post from Sandra: The Ongoing War: Science vs. Community regarding Transexuality. Excellent stuff!