Dear Ann Landers, My husband has been clinically depressed for most of his adult life. A while back, "Herman" began seeing a female therapist who focused on my husband's early years to see if something in his childhood might be the cause of his depression. His therapist discovered that during adolescence, Herman had been a cross-dresser. He apparently had worn women's clothing in his early teens but repressed it as an adult. Now, Herman wants my permission to express this part of his personality around the house. He says he would not go out in public.
This disgusts me, Ann. The thought of my husband in makeup, wig and high heels makes my skin crawl. His therapist told me I need to be more tolerant. She doesn't seem to think his behavior is abnormal or sick.
Herman is artistic and sensitive, a gourmet cook and an avid sportsman. More importantly, he is a terrific father to our two sons. I used to think he was the most masculine man alive. Now, I don't see how I can ever look at him the same way or stop wondering if he is gay. I don't want to break up our marriage, but if anyone found out about the makeup, wigs and high heels, I would be devastated. I need your advice. -- N. Carolina
Dear N. Carolina, You need to have a better understanding of your husband's cross-dressing. Herman is a transvestite. Some transvestites are gay, but many are not. They get their thrills from dressing up in women's clothing, but that's as far as it goes. Please go to the public library, and read up on the subject. The more you know, the less you will fear it.