Throughout history, men and women have disguised themselves as the opposite sex, some of them really really well, in a way that confuses and possibly arouses us. But among them are the truly amazing stories where their masquerade wasn't discovered with the dramatic removal of a hat with some slow motion hair tossing, but after some surprise genitals turn up in a post-mortem examination.
They lived their whole lives, often convincing even their spouses that they were a different gender. How?
Sometimes they were very clever, sometimes they were very hardcore and sometimes the people around them were very stupid.
Billy Tipton was a jazz musician from the 30s through the 60s, and like most jazz musicians of that era, a partier and a womanizer. Unlike most jazz musicians of that era, he was also biologically a woman.
Born as Dorothy Tipton, she got into jazz in high school but was forbidden from joining the school band because girls weren't allowed. Because of this continuing pattern of prejudice against women in jazz, and because she liked getting it on with women, she began to dress like a man. At first it was just to fool people for jazz gigs, but she dug it so much that she completely became "Billy Tipton" and declared herself a member of the penis club. Sex change surgery being several decades in the future, Billy tied down his boobs and stuffed his pants.
Penis Club membership kit.
Incredibly, "he" got away with this through a long-term relationship with a girl. And then another one. And another. Tipton had five long term relationships in his life, and got by each time by claiming that a car accident had coincidentally mutilated both his man parts and his chest, which explained his chest bandages and why they always had to try unconventional sex methods.
A few close cousins may have known about his/her double life, and possibly some of his lovers, but you know who didn't?
OK, they were adopted. But still, they didn't have a clue until the 74-year-old Tipton was wheeled into the hospital, dying of an untreated ulcer. In the course of attempted lifesaving treatment, something either popped out, or failed to pop out, or both, and Tipton's son William got the surprise of his life.
After Billy Tipton died, the story went public, and since this was 1989, people were generally more impressed than scandalized. That is how you keep a fucking secret.