Dear Auntie Helga,
My story starts when I was 5 years old and by which time all male influence had disappeared from the house with the separation of my parents. I don't remember much before that but I'm told I was often mistaken for a girl as a toddler. I had quite long blond hair and if I tell you that I was small for a boy, fine featured with small hands, small feet and no adams apple you will understand why. I was introduced to that nemesis (and saviour of some of us) of Scots boys, the kilt on my first day at junior school. I asked why I was having to wear white knickers and was told by my mother that it was common practice for young boys to wear knickers with a kilt to avoid "nasty boy things popping out unexpectedly" Sure enough there were 8 or 9 of us who regularly wore a kilt (no sporran at that age) most wore bottle green or blue knickers but a few of us wore white. It's interesting that the boys from rougher homes were the ones who didn't and we got teased just like the girls, our kilts lifted as we passed by to see what we were wearing. We were all labeled "sissies" by the rougher boys.
The only thing that was different was a Sunday when, as a family we went to church. I remember as winter arrived having to wear a long vest which gave from the casual glimpse a fair impression that I wore an underskirt. However, I can't complain as I suppose even back then I had the makings of a sissy because I used to play dress up with my sister and the children next door and it often resulted in me being the "little sister" and wearing a skirt, so much so that one Sunday my sister suggested that I should wear one of her underskirts under my kilt to church as a dare and then told my mother as we walked hand-in-hand to church.
I remember I was 8 years old getting upset as I explained to my mother that although I had only done it as a dare, but anyway, as I had told her before not only did I like my hair long and that I preferred wearing knickers and a kilt in preference to boys pants and shorts but having tried it, I actually enjoyed wearing my sisters underskirt. We had a long heart to heart and I also admitted that I loved dressing up and wanted to wear dresses all the time.
That was when things began to change. My mother sat up all the next week at night with her sewing machine making garments that I could wear under my kilt on Sundays and in the house. They had elastisized waists, a white cotton skirt and a hem strengthened with heavy fine quality bleached string. They would be called a kilt liner now, I know men who wear them and I had the early version of that, home made by my mother. I had 3 of them and wore one regularly on Sundays under my kilt for the next 2 years.
When I was 10 that pretence stopped. I started to outgrow the kilt I had worn since I was 8 and the elastisized waist of all of my kilt liners were stretched and beginning to fail. My mother passed down my sisters kilt to me which was made of lighter material and fastened on the left and she decided if I still preferred to wear a kilt liner I could wear an underskirt my sister had outgrown. I came home one day to find my top drawer stuffed with more flamboyant knickers including lace edged and a few pairs of frilly nylon ones and a number of lace edged cotton and nylon underskirts and to my amazement a full petticoat. I also inherited a few skirts and two dresses in my closet. The petticoat deserves a mention because I grew to love wearing it. It was cream and had a fine nylon bodice with lace edging and a thick nylon skirt with a heavy lace edge.
I know many of your readers will appreciate the feel and the swishing sound of such an item under a skirt or dress and also that it made it so obvious particularly to females that a petticoat was being worn that I would only wear it in the house for fear of being caught as it was already difficult enough with my liking for dressing up being common knowledge at school. However I overcame my fears enough to wear it on a few occasions when I played dress up with the family next door. I loved to see the look on the girls faces when I slipped of my kilt and jumper to put on a dress for our play acting. They knew I wore kilt liners but the wearing of a full petticoat was not ambiguous at all. I think at that point they started treating me differently. I was no longer a boy who played dress up, in their eyes I was a sissy boy who wanted to be a girl. For my part having shown this side to others outside, having ignored the skirts and dresses I had inherited, I began to wear them in the house being bullied by my elder brother for the privilege who loved to push me in front of the living room window and lift my dress, or push me out of the door if any of his friends appeared to get the same treatment from them although by the time I got to the point where I was sitting my 11+ he had gotten used to seeing his little brother in skirts and dresses round the house and accepted that I was a sissy, even defending me outside, not the least of because he was working and I did his laundry and ironing to earn some extra pocket money. Even now we laugh when we remember the first time his girlfriend arrived at the house to find me standing in the kitchen ironing his shirts wearing my favourite petticoat. She later became his wife and accepted my cross dressing without question.
If it is of interest I will write more of my teenage and working life.
Thank you for your letter. What a delightfully innocent remembrance and I'm sure we would love to read more when you have the chance to write.