Diary of a crossdresser - welcome to Katie's world
PUBLISHED: 13:01 31 January 2020
Following the announcement of Hitchin's inaugural Pride in July, the Comet team are proud to say we will be featuring a monthly diary from members of the LGBQT+ community - who will share their experiences with the wider world.
This month, we focus on Katie Wilson, a transgender woman from North Herts who feels trapped in her body, but isn't ready to make her transition a permanent one.
"I'm sure everyone knows by now the news that we are to have Hitchin Pride, which is amazing and full credit to Tom Hardy and his team at the Hitchin BID," she told the Comet.
"But those of us who live with being transgender day by day often have to hide this fact.
"Being a crossdresser is an extremely difficult obstacle to live with. Counting down the days until you can next put on your favourite dress or skirt. Hurrying in case a family member comes home early. Feeling awashed with shame and living with guilt.
"A quick Google search reveals dozens of website forums, specifically dedicated to men who like to dress as women. Not just for the purpose of fantasy, but because it is part of who they are.
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"In 2020, the majority of crossdressers are forced, because of society's constraints, to hide in the shadows. Yes, we have these huge Pride events held across the country, but we often live in constant fear of ridicule every other day of the year.
"We're familiar with that glance, the whisper behind the hand followed by a snigger or worse, intimidation or violence.
"With the announcement of an imminent Hitchin Pride, now is the ideal time for local businesses and venues to throw their weight behind supporting our community.
"At present, we can only dream of popping down to the shops, or having an evening out at the pub without fear of judgement. I ask, why can't there be more trans or crossdressers taking to the streets, enjoying the simple pleasures of life?
"I think the biggest hurdle we have to overcome as a society is the one in our own minds. I hope we can stop the lingering doubts, the nagging thoughts of this or that isn't 'normal'.
"What is normal? In a world of increasing violence and unease, is the fact a man likes to wear a dress and a bit of make-up that big of a deal?
"Pride shouldn't just be for one day, it should be every day."
If you're a member of Hertfordshire's LGBQT+ community and would like to share your experiences in our monthly diary, please email email@example.com.