We are running the following important advice as a special service to our readers. It comes from ‘Dear Prudence: Advice on Manners and Morals’ from the online magazine Slate. Go here to read more from Prudence, to get her to answer your own ridiculous question or to get her much needed advice delivered to your mailbox.
Drag Queen Daddy…
How do we explain my husband’s cross-dressing to our child?
I have been happily married for several years, and we are expecting our first child. The only problem is that my husband is a cross-dresser. This is a fetish that I know he could never give up. We keep this behind closed doors so as not to alienate friends and family and to keep his work associates from finding out (if they did, he could lose his job).
Our question is how do we incorporate this facet of our life with a new child? If we keep it hidden, our child will most likely find out someday—when mom is doing the wash for two dress sizes—and then feel betrayed and hurt. If we keep on as we are, then our child will likely tell someone that daddy wears dresses, and it wouldn’t be fair to burden anyone with that secret. What is the best thing for us to do?
—Daddy in Dresses
Dear Daddy in Dresses,
I know that when you’re expecting, you feel a need to get everything perfect for your new addition, but you’re getting way ahead of yourself if you think you should dress a teddy bear in a peignoir so you can start explaining to the baby that, just like Teddy, Daddy likes to wear pretty ladies’ clothes. Let’s say you two were into bondage and had a closetful of whips and chains. I would advise you to keep the closet secured and get a heavy-duty lock for the bedroom door, rather than try to “incorporate this facet” of your life with your child by teaching your toddler how to snap Daddy into handcuffs for Mommy. If your husband lounges around at home every night in a bustier, palazzo pants, and a wig, then I’m voting for repression.
It’s time for your husband to limit his dressing up to times when he’s not with the baby. As your child gets older and mobile, your husband will have to take more steps to separate his fetish from your family life. Perhaps he will need to check into a motel occasionally when he just can’t stifle the need to dress up as Madonna. Your husband has to live with this compulsion, but surely you both want to do your best to keep your child from growing up amid such sexual confusion. You feel this aspect of your private lives is none of your family’s business, or your husband’s colleagues’, and that is an excellent attitude to maintain with your child.
Source / Slate