It's taken me a while to get round to writing this description of my earliest experiment in cross dressing. In retrospect, I now see it as the earliest indication of my gender fluid identity but at the time I saw and understood myself as a boy. It started as a boy's curiosity about girls but it became a boy wondering what it felt like to be a girl. At that age, though, and for many years afterwards, I had no real concept of the true nature of what I was feeling and doing.
I've checked this out the moderators who tell me that it is ok to write about it and even suggested that it might ring some bells with other TG/CD people. It's also been suggested that I start a thread in one of the forums. Maybe I will.
However - an alert. There are references to anatomical and other exploration here and in the posts that follow so, if you have a problem with that, maybe jump off the train here.
I'm trying to remember just how old I was when this began. I was born in 1949 and it certainly started well before the "sexual revolution" that began in Britain around 1963. Before that time, many children were profoundly ignorant about the "opposite sex" (I'm using the terminology of the day). Some children made discoveries through play ('playing doctor" etc) but I was not one of them.
I knew that girls and boys were anatomically different. I knew that girls did not have a penis and that was why they had to sit down to pee but I had only a very hazy idea of what they had instead and I was curious to know.
I was aware that boys' and girls' underwear had different names and, because of this difference, were made differently. Boys wore "pants" girls wore "knickers". (For those of you in the USA - in this country "pants" never meant "trousers", it was only used to refer to male underwear). In those days, boys pants (and men's?) had a peculiarity that has disappeared in male underwear these days. They had an opening slit at the front for use when you went for a pee.
I knew that girls' knickers did not have this opening. I would look at them in shops and try to imagine what it might be that they covered. I think I was about 11 years old (well before I experienced any "attraction" to girls) when, somewhat guiltily, the idea came into my head that maybe wearing a pair of knickers might give me a clue to this mysterious difference.
The problem was, I had no access to a pair of knickers that would fit. My mother had an underwear drawer full of them but they were far too large and looked quite different. So, one afternoon when I was alone in the house (you could be in those days), in the privacy of my bedroom, I set about secretly making myself a pair. I cut up some old pieces of worn out cotton sheet that my mum had put aside for rags and, using my mum's sewing kit, fashioned them into a pair of something that resembled knickers. It sounds quite mad but when I had finished them I was quite proud of my efforts.
I sat looking at them for a few minutes, working up the courage to put them on. I knew that I was being "naughty". I suspected that, if discovered, I would be in trouble. Eventually though, knowing that I was entering forbidden territory, I pulled them on. When I did, something quite unexpected happened. Up to that moment I was just a boy being curious about girls but in wearing them my knickers both looked and felt different. What flashed through my mind was "so this is what it feels like to be a girl".
It was quite momentary and I pushed it away almost before I knew I had felt it. I felt guilty for even imagining it. I took the knickers off and hid them away under the mattress of my bed fearful of what would happen if my mum should discover them. I even wondered whether I should tear them up. I didn't, though, because part of me knew that, in spite of feeling guilty, I wanted to put them back on and experience again "what it feels like to be a girl".
So that was my first foray into cross dressing and into a glimpse of girl identity. I want to say more about how it progressed but it took longer to describe than I expected so I think I'll leave it there for now.