• Secrecy, heartbreak and women's clothes: Inside The Seahorse Society
With unprecedented access to Australia’s oldest, previously secret cross-dressing club, The Feed’s Andy Park took a dirt road turn off that would lead to the deeply private secrets hidden at the back of men's wardrobes.
Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 19:30

Following a lead on a story, my contact gave me directions that had led me to an isolated dirt road turn-off in the bush somewhere on the Central Coast.

I stopped the car. No one was around. My destination lay down the dirt road somewhere.

Feeling a little vulnerable, I messaged the office the contact details of the secret society I was planning to meet. You know, just in case.

Little did I know that I was embarking on a journey into secrecy, heartbreak and women’s clothes that would introduce me some of the most open and genuine people I've met.

Click Here to see Andy Park's multimedia feature on Australia's oldest secret cross-dessing society

They are the Seahorse Society, Australia oldest cross-dressing club, born out of the days when men wearing women's clothing in public were arrested or worse.

Amongst their some 150 members are mechanics, doctors and politicians - the vast majority are older, heterosexual family men - their wives, children and colleagues have been kept in the dark about their predilection for women's clothing.

Arriving to a small house by a river, I nervously glanced at my phone: great, no reception. Was I being paranoid?

I was greeted at the door and was welcomed into a lounge room with several men and a woman - or was that all men or all women? It was hard to say.

One of the largest was a person dressed as a woman with large breasts that I was too nervous to study any closer.

This was just one meeting over a few weeks that felt this way, and slowly I got to know the Seahorses more and they began to open up.

I was told secrets, some I can publish and many I cannot, that wives up and down the state don't know.

I was shown into secret rooms bursting full with women's clothes.

I was told about suicides and suicidal thoughts as a result of wives finding out.

I met with current wives who have overcome their husband's cross-dressing and ex-wives who could not share their bed with a cross-dresser once they found out.

It all seemed so arbitrary to me that whole families and decades of marriage had been cast away for the misunderstanding over a frock.

Amusingly, sometimes I would drift into being playfully camp with them, as I might do with gay friends, only to get a confused look from a toolmaker in a wig and a lipstick.

All the while these men were opening up to me about their darkest secrets, in the hope that others might find the kinship and support they found in the Seahorse Society.

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