How do I cross-dress in secret when I live with my family?

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Cross-dressing isn’t nearly as uncommon as most people think it is. Some estimates claim as many as five percent of males in America alone are cross-dressers. It’s not just men dressing up in women’s lingerie either. Many just enjoy experiencing life in the shoes—pun intended—of the other gender. Likewise, this isn’t just a man’s sport either. Women cross-dress, too. That being said, it’s generally not considered unusual to see a woman wearing a suit, men’s shirt or even boxer shorts. Men, however, have a very tough time being judged for cross-dressing; so, most resort to trying to hide it.

Cross-dressing isn’t a mental illness. It’s a lifestyle choice. The oddity of it has been created by social norms and the stigma surrounding it. The act of it in itself isn’t odd at all though. We all get dressed every day. This is no different. Consider it an expression of style or an interest no more so than someone may be interested in skinny jeans, belts or sneakers. Unfortunately, the stigma against it is so strong that it often bleeds right over into the minds of those who do it. Despite enjoying it and feeling they’d rather be accepted for their choices and who they are, they hide it in fear that they won’t be. Sound familiar?

If you’re living that life, you likely already understand the difficulty that comes with trying to conceal cross-dressing from those you haven’t shared that part of yourself with. It’s usually toughest when you still live at home with Mom and Dad. The biggest hurdle you face each day is making sure no one knows what you’re wearing. That’s something most people never even consider. In fact, most of us are trying to get recognized through our clothing.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to downplay your fashion so that no one will ever suspect. The most obvious way to conceal your behavior is to conceal the signs of it. For example, a young man that likes to cross-dress can wear women’s panties and a bra under his stereotypically male attire all day without anyone being any wiser to it. Painted toenails hidden beneath the façade of socks and shoes are also an option.

Hiding these objects when they’re not on your is sometimes a bigger struggle. How do you make sure your family won’t find your bras? First and foremost, never steal from a family member. That only causes them to start looking for their missing items. Buy your own clothing to play around with. It will suit your style better anyway than trying to copy someone else’s.

Make-up can be hidden in some clever ways. Try removing the bottle of a bottle of shaving cream and using it to store eyeliners and mascara. Clothing, breast forms, lingerie, swimwear and more can easily be stored in plastic totes in a closet, garage or attic. Try covering these items with a layer of something else, like that baseball card collection from your younger years, before putting a lid on it. Above all, if you ever decide to come out to your family, know that they’re often aware of your habits and just keeping quiet about it so as to not embarrass you, and that many people are more accepting of this lifestyle today than ever before.


Cite this page: Danielle Bosley, "How do I cross-dress in secret when I live with my family?," in, April 5, 2016, (accessed August 16, 2022).