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When Joan first met her husband, she fell for him immediately. "It was that storybook romance that you hear about," Joan says. Both doctors, Joan thought she had found the man she would spend the rest of her life with. They married in the spring of 1993 and have three children—but Joan's husband had a secret.

About two years into their marriage, Joan stumbled upon a box in her basement. "It was full of women's clothing. A lot of women's clothing. It was everything. It was undergarments, and it was shirts and blouses and pants and skirts. The whole bit. Stockings, shoes—expensive shoes."

Knowing the clothes weren't hers, Joan confronted her husband—and he admitted they were his. "[He] had said, ''Well, you know, it's nothing bad. It's not harmful, and it's really not cheating on you. I just want to reassure you from that viewpoint, and it's harmless. But if it upsets you that much, it's gone. That's okay. I don't need to do this,'" Joan says.

Joan believed her husband when he said he would stop cross-dressing. "I was so uninformed," she said. "I was very ignorant about this topic. And so to me it represented a choice—I thought this was something that could be controlled."