I long to dress as a woman in public but I'm worried my friends will ditch me

DEAR DEIDRE: DRESSING up as a woman at home by myself isn’t enough for me any more. I want to go out and be confident about this side of me.

I am a 52-year-old single, straight guy and a secret cross-dresser.

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I live alone and love wearing women’s clothes.

More and more, I find myself buying dresses and lingerie online.

I have quite a collection now but I feel trapped, as I can’t confide in people I know.

I am worried they will judge me or even stop being friends if they know the truth. What can I do?

DEIDRE SAYS: It is an agonising secret. There is nothing wrong in itself with dressing up – you have found a way of expressing your feminine side.

But as you seem to realise already, not everyone will understand your particular tastes. So be sensible about the environments you go for and stay safe.

For advice, get in touch with the Beaumont Society, which provides support to the trans community (beaumontsociety.org.uk, 01582 412 220).

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