Whether you prefer to be called a Transsexual, Transvestite, Drag Queen, Cross Dresser or one of the other numerous labels we may choose from. As a group of avererage thinking to more intellectual minds who sign on and read and post in this cyber community, I would really like to know if you feel we could FOSTER GENUINE SUPPORT for ANY PERSON has had been made to feel different or ashamed or scared about who they are in terms of gender. I am not an activist for TG rights and make no claims to be. I do know however, my best girlfriends encompass realms of genetic, pre-op, post-op, no -op, hetero- cross dressing, gay/fem experiences of "womanhood". I am constantly told however that we as a whole community DO NOT MIX. Are we as a band of sisters evolving away from this ignorant and alienating view of ourselves? I really don't know. I only know what my insulated core group of friends are, and I think a positive union is just around the corner. I would love to hear other gyrls points of view from all different aspects of"womanhood". THIS IS A DISCUSSION HOWEVER, NOT A TRIAL, NOR A WHIPPING POST.

[This message was edited by daddy on 06-05-02 at 03:48 PM.]
Original Post
In the immortal words of The Lady bunny ( with falsetto voice) " I'm a man. "

So where does THAT leave us?

Turn the Paige and try not to be Miss Understood,

A dress alone, nor hair nor added breasts
can really make the woman who she is.

It starts in the soul and slowly
reveals it's own idenity.

As for me?
" I'm a man."
Myself I don't care for labels since they suggest a digital (e.g. binary!) world. Humans are so analog (continuous and varying).

"I would really like to know if you feel we could FOSTER GENUINE SUPPORT for ANY PERSON has had been made to feel different or ashamed or scared about who they are in terms of gender. "

After reading the whipping post in the tea room targeted towards Gloria Wholesome I have my doubts. In fact I have received the most support from Gloria! She has been an advocate of TG support groups, which I have found very helpful, as well as someone that has been willing to listen. In general, I have found many supportive sisters and I am very grateful for that. I suspect that when there is discord between TG's of different shades of gray that it is internal insecurities that fuel the discord. Over-coming these insecurities is no easy task given that the world we live in does not readily accept our gender expression. I can only suggest that we first, feel good about ourselves while ignoring the negativity that may surround us, second, accept people for who they are (forget about labels) and try to focus on their positive qualities, and third, be pro-active in supporting others!. Although these suggestions may sound a bit clich̩ I feel this is true for all differences between people, whether it be religious, ethnic or otherwise. Ok РI'm off the bully-pulpit!

Peace
Hey Bobby

Didn't I see a picture of you naked in a large wig, hiding your man meat and pushing your pecs togehter to form clevage? And didn't I hear an autobiographical poem you wrote boast of living full time as a woman for an extended period. So where do your frequent masculine assertions come from? Do you not consider at least part of yourself gender variant?

Having been a CD or a Drag Queen or however you thought of yourself and declaring (or taking back as the case may be) your manhood, as appears to be your wont, might make for an interesting and popular new topic!

Actually Drag Queens who insist on their non-identification with the Trans-community would make an excellent and apparently badly needed topic, a good forum to vent masculinity, and a means to distance politically from those of us who identify as (a catch-all term) transgendered!

Otherwise there is no need to post here, for you are truly in the wrong Forum, dude!

[This message was edited by Rose Royalle on 05-31-02 at 03:37 AM.]
a rose by any other name...
follow your heart...
be all that you can be..
I am what I am.

I didn't know that there were so many rules, I thought we could all just live as we please
and be who we wanna be.

And even during the years with tits and make up
and long waistlength hair..

I always had the meat.
But meat alone does not make the man I guess.
Sweetie - I love you - you always say the darndest things and I often find myself nodding 'uh-huh' with my mouth open. You also wouldnt be the first to wonder why 'we' cant find some common ground to stand on - at least one or two nights of the week anyway. Rose - that was a caustic little note - but I agree with the spirit, if not the letter of it - No one likes a hint of Male Privilidge - like "Liz is back in Bloomingdales" musking up the TG landscape. HOWever - as a 'transgendered' person - I find common ground with Bobby on a lot of levels and identify to some degree with his story (what little I know of it).

I think its also worth mentioning that gender is largely what 'other' people perceive - Regardless of how we might perceive or present ourselves - others will always have perspectives we can neither control nor anticipate. I have one rotten client - lets call her Cleopatra - who doesnt think Im gay much less a big queen, and Im comfortable leaving it that way. Keep in mind it was never my intention to mislead her - she is just very stupid. In her mind, Im a wholesome country 'boy' from god knows where who's kind of 'eccentric' -- teaching her kid how to use photoshop better. If she wants to see me as a man, fine - I'll admit, I play it - now that I know what the audience wants - I can even fancy myself 'that way' sometimes, although I start morphing all over the place with every step away from her townhouse. Also, many 'girls' can falsetto themselves hoarse and it wont make anyone think of them as feminine or female in the slightest - no matter how much they might wish to be perceived.

No one really likes to be taken for something they are not - which is why its necessary to say -"I am this" or "I am a man" or wahtever. I think many of us are always revisiting what is to be a "man" - through dress, behaviour, again -whatever. Afterall, these are the issues of our time. I fortunately have some pretty awesome male relatives who have led the 'man' thing by example and fit the bill in some pretty authentic ways - so Im not really hung up about it that much - but I also dont appreciate when someone labels me one way or another.

dont get me started wink
I love it! I love it! I find this all so very fascinating. I loved April's post, especially her views on "gender expression". And on some weird level Bobby's need to assert his manhood in this room was just as valid. I have heard Bobby speak briefly about his time on hormones, and find it mind boggling that he always percieved himself as POSITIVELY male. I guess I can only speak from my experience. And thinking back when I felt my first pangs of womanhood, I certainly would not have classified myself as a Drag Queen. I guess I was a pre-adolescent, closeted, semi-female identified queer. I can honestly say however, how I started percieving the world and my reactions to things were different than my stright male siblings, diferent than my burgeoning gay friends, and much more similar to the straight girls who I mingled with, dated, had sex, and looked to for answers. From that very early age, i had a very real identification with the female spirit. Not to go unsaid, I also had a good understanding and communication with my maleness. But at a very early age I learned to own my femaleness. I have never truly wanted a vagina, thats not MY NEED. I do however, whole heartedly celebrate the duality of my spirit. The grey area in gender is soooo fierce.

I think one good lesson is not everyone of transgender experience necessarily needs a cosmetic vagina to feel whole. So many degrees my dears. A fascinating suject!!!!
Lemme start over as it were..

I am a man. I have lived as a "woman". I have been on hormones and have had breasts. I always had a dick ( my own I mean) I have had moments when I felt like a "woman" but I knew I was not. People have a right to believe anything they like about themselves as far as I'm concerned and anyone who doesn't like it can kiss the proverbial ass ( Jim Fouratt).

However I think that many people are confused about their gender even if they are born with one particular set of genitals. Which brings up the question of what exactly decides ones gender.
Are we the gender we choose to be, in which case
I guess I could just choose to be pamela Lee Anderson, get myself some big titties and I'm in business or am I defined by nature and what the Goddess gave me at birth. I bet there are numorous exceptions to all these rules. No wonder it's so cornfusing to so many folks.

In the meantime. I have decided at this junction in life that I am definately a man.
But I'm not throwing out the drag bag just yet dears.
As a genetic New York Jewish girl, I want to say that I love this community. I've only recently discovered it--thank heaven you all exist!!! I've been to Cheez Whiz a couple of times and think it is the coolest, most welcoming spot in NYC. Thank you Sweetie! I met my girlfriend on 'altmatch' and she is the most beautiful, sweetiest tgirl in the world (I could go on and on, but it gets very mushy). The bad thing is that she lives in Chicago and I live here, but hopefully we can live together in the future. So I just want to thank you all for being so fabulous, sexy and welcoming.

Karen
Wow, what a great experience to share. I do hope you check out the Cheez Whiz forum in NYC CLUBS and EVENTS. Love is one of those things we all are sooooo worthy of, and for you to have found it in such an exciting way is really way beyond cool.
I would certainly hope the next time you are at The Whiz you would say hi and remind me our connection on the boards.
When the umbrella term "transgender" started to encompass everyone on the Benjamin scale, from 1 to 6, I welcomed it. I remember how the NYC Drag Queens fought to not be included under that term at Stonewall 25, in order to have a separate marching contingent from Transgender. I was saddened by that at the time, but now have more understanding. There is really very little that an active transsexual (I make that distinction as I have encountered so many on the net that call themselves "transsexuals" but only because they say that one day they will make the transformation in their lives) has in common with say a Transvestite or Cross-Dresser, who otherwise expresses themself as a male in every way, but has a compunction to "dress" occasionally. The worst case example would be members of a national organization of Crossdressers called Tri-ess (the Society for the Second Self) who are notorious butch "Men in Dresses" with a rabid anti gay or bi code in their rules and bylaws. As far as commonalities between the various shades of transgender, I have found far more to relate to among Drag Queens than Cross-dressers.
I do however love to be among mixed peoples rather than all of the same type. I have always thought that to be a big plus with the Mother Parties in the past. I particularly used to love Click and Drag because it had such a wonderful mix of peoples (gay, straight, trans, Drag, Goth, Vampire, Rocker, leather, what have you?) But when we speak in terms of "community" I also have that knee-jerk response of "we don't mix." But in what sense are we speaking of community here? I applaud you Sweetie for saying that there is a comon ground of a need for support among anyone who is discriminated against or bashed in any way for simply expressing shades of gender variation. In that way, I certainly have much sympathy for anyone else who is ridiculed or discriminated against by members of society for being different in any way. Certainly one would think that there would be much common ground
among all those discriminated against for their gender expression. But Crossdressers are only public when they go to parties, so how much can they really know about this?
Speaking as one who live her life in a transformed body and personna that is different than my societal birth role, I also get tired of having TG thrown in my face. It's not my handle, but it is what I am. It must be like being black and having those around one and those who one encounters day to day, incessantly reminding one that they are black. For those who lead two lives, there is a great hunger and thrist for this TG identity when they come out to play, or perhaps even when they are sitting at home in their closets, but when it's your full-time life, you like to give it a rest.
But still, support is vital. I have used what support exists for me more than once (The LGBT Anti-Violence Project, The Gender Identity Project, and others). Support and Counsel are both important, but the scale of how important is going to vary as much as the transgender scale varys, from perhaps the guy who might dress up once in a while for "kicks" to the high intensity True Transsexual who will commit suicide if their genital conversion surgery is too long delayed, and all who fall in between. Perhaps I am being pessimistic.
thoughtfully put Stacy

Im going to add that politically it might be easier to define "transgendered behavior", as opposed to a "transgendered" group of people. Everyone has a different personal identity, and I don't think its necessary to catagorize - especially for legal reasons.

"Thou shalt not discriminate on the basis of varied gender expression." Now there's a law for ya! Afterall, its the expressing of gender variation that "invites" trouble from the ignorant, small-minded and wicked. We could argue about who dresses when or how people express themselves or what label they want to use - but it bothers me that fighting to put "TG" in laws designed to protect people is a foregone conclusion.

I think there is a smarter strategy. I would advocate (instead of inclusion of TG in a list of groups) for laws prohibiting discrimination (in housing, employment, etc) based on acts of "varied gender expression".

Legally, "Transgender" would seem to imply a "group" of people all marching under the same banner. I think it is a mistake to focus on a "group". For example, once "varied gender behavior" is specifically, legally recognized as arousing widespread discrimination in our country (like freedom of speech, or freedom of religion) services for "transgendered people" (a necessary social grouping) could begin to blossom with state and federal approval (this is OUR country too, afterall!). Also, once Varied Gender Expression (lets call it VGE shall we?) is legally recognized to arouse bigotry, intolerance and violence - it could be more easily dealt with on the streets and in the courts. This way, any person (you might say, a 'transgendered' person) can express "transgendered behavior" with access to services and with recourse to the criminal justice system - in other words, without fear.

I think if you care about TG expression and/or the freedom to be yourself in whatever form, you have to be prepared to rethink the strategy. The humans who attack because you don't fit their idea of gender WHATEVER don't ask what the fuck you call yourself before they punch you in the face or verbally assault you. They only see your gender variation, your "act" of deviancy - and they hate it.

[This message was edited by Jade on 06-03-02 at 02:21 AM.]
I've always just felt, hmm, I guess you can call it "socially androgynous."

While growing up I was very uncomfortable with the expectations of the male gender role. Still, I didn't drop the toy trucks and run for the Barbies. I preferred Legos and crayons.

"Gender" can refer to biology or it can refer to social roles. Personally, I think that while male and female personalities probably have some natural genetic differences, our culture tends to exaggerate those differences to bizarre proportions.

While I'm not interested in fulfilling the "male" cultural role, I don't necessarily feel I need to be female either. Instead of rejecting "maleness" I'd rather just redefine it on my own terms.

n
I think so much of the discussion above really has to do more with grades of comfortability within oneself. Stacy you made a re-mark I found intresting about cross dressers only risking discrimination when they are dressed and in public. A good girlfriend of mine (str8 cross dresser) has shared with me the CONSTANT axe that hangs over her head in terms of family members and a wife finding out about this "double life" It is fear that keeps alot of these people so stuffed in there psychological closet, the thought of being totally open is too much for them to even comprehend. As a Drag Queen I can say everytime I leave my house whether in full drag or clean faced with shaved eyebrows, diamond studs and a gorgeous red pedicure I somehow become "political". I am just going to a deli or for a drink and all of a sudden I see Mr. I would fuck you if you were in a dress but now all I see is a faggot clock my toenails and threaten to rip my head from my body. As per Miss Understood, I don't necessarily feel female, this is actually my "butch" look. (seriously) In fantasy I am sure being a completely passable TS would be an unbelieveable ride, HOWEVER, how many TS women do we actually see that are UNSPOOKABLE. The courage these women have, the committment, the responsibility to themslves is unfathomable to me. I have no real point, only responses to what I have read. I love the different points of view by people who live very different lives, YET WE ARE ALL LUMPED INTO THE TRANSGENDERD LABEL. Interesting to say the least.
Hi all...... I have lurked here for a bit and thought this discussion valuable and oh so interesting, time to jump in I guess. Sweetie's comments regarding comfortability within one's self seem especially important. Regardless of the range of ones feelings and behaviors I think integration into one's being is paramount in terms of ones abilties to deal with the complexities that life throws at us.
Stacey made some interesting observations about crossdressers. Most of the crossdressers I have encountered are men who, by day, rigidly comply with their ""male role." I think that they fetishize their "female' side because to them it is forbidden.

I guess, living in my little "bohemian" bubble just places me outside of that. I have no fear of wearing bright colors, giggling, gossiping, or discussing personal issues when I'm not in drag. I don't really acknowledge a "masculine" and a "feminine" si de. I just do whatever.

I guess my point is that I don't relate to the crossdresser thing one bit. Don't get me wrong, I'm not down on crossdressers. I think it's gorgeous that they're doing their thing. I certainly appreciate anyone that shakes u p the status quo! I just think that we do what we do for VERY different reasons.

I have no "day job" no "wife and kids" and no conservative social circle to hide from. Drag is simply my idea of gorgeousness. It's not a release of my hidden self. I wo n der, very often, when I talk to people who are frustrated with their conventional lives, what it is that keeps them there at all. I guess it depends upon choices made early on. I suppose if I had become a lawyer or something I would have to be more c oncerned about impressing certain kinds of people. Somewhere along the line something clicked and I knew I didn't want to take any conventional routes. I guess for me, my freedom to live as I please was a higher priority than it is for some. Owning a b usiness suit would probably make me suicidal.a
All I can do is nod in agreement and say "so well stated." I think I know what you mean, Sweetie, about not having a focused point, but I think that there is one there somewhere. This is a difficult topic to really tie together for some reason. I obviously have a lot of mixed feelings about it. Perhaps it's a flaw of character on my part, but I still haven't much sympathy or patience for anyone who is scared to death to show their colors in this world. Maybe that's where support is sorely needed. I think that those of us that are totally out and proud today may be lending courage and strength to some that will eventually build enough strength to come out into the world and live their lives as they truely wish to. I know that there wasn't much support or many transsexual role models for me when I was growing up, and I was beaten back into the closet each time I tried to assert my life, in high school and after. It took me a while to gain the strength to be true to myself and just go for it.

It's been all gaining more and more momentum each decade. There really wasn't anyone before Christine Jorgenson and Renee Richards in te 1950's. But who were they? I really couldn't relate much to either other than what they had done for themselves. Strange as it may seem, other transsexuals weren't real people to me until the 1980s, when there suddenly was a lot of transsexual porn, and people like Sulka or Shalimar bacame seedy starlets. I suddenly could relate to them.

When I finally found myself transitioning my life and personna as well as my body in the early 90s, I found peer pressure in TS support groups in NJ and NYC to be extremely set on ones being "legitimate" only if one has had SRS (genital conversion surgery)or had set a date for it. I think that this caused too may that should not have had that surgery to have it performed, only to regret it afterwards. Unfortunately, this pressure is strengthened by the medical-psychiatric community as well as the legal and law enforcement communities. Police are of the mind set that if you have "the Plumbing" then you are to be treated like a man.

I must say though that acceptance for non-genital op transsexuals is growing. The Gender Identity Project has even been recognizing "Phallic Women" as a valid identity for at least 5 years now. So things are definetly changing.

Maybe visibility is support in some sense. I hope that in that way, courage can be contagious. Yet I have to admit that I haven't much respect or sympathy that I can feel for someone who abandons themself to their fear of being discovered to be a crossdresser or whatever, without any plan to get themselves out of that life-damning panic and dread. Yet I would feel wonderful to know that I might have helped someone out of that hellish nowhere.

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