While most transvestites do not go public about their feminine side, quite a few confide in close family members who are likely to be sympathetic. Provided the trust doesn't prove to be misplaced, sharing the existence of one's transgender side with others can be a huge comfort.
Among those who have one, some also confide in their life partners. But not all by any means. Many of us are caught in a difficult situation: On the one hand knowing that hiding such a big secret is bad for our relationship, but on the other fearing that declaring our transgenderness will cause our loved one to leave us.
A further complication is that the social taboo around crossdressing means that most transvestites start off thinking of their fantasies and behaviour as somehow shameful, and by the time they have got their heads sufficiently together to explain themselves to a partner, there has been so much secret activity in the meantime that it is hard for the partner not to see it as a betrayal.
In principle, it would be wonderful to be in a loving relationship without secrets, even if our partners don't want to get too involved or impose restrictions on who may be told. But unfortunately reality is often more complicated.
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