Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cross Dressers in Women's Spaces

One of the issues I have with separatism is the almost pathological screaming and insistence that TS women are nothing like a cross dresser.

Now I will grant you that one if we go on the assumption that all men who cross dress are men. However, not all cross-dressing men are men. Many of them are women who have not yet come to terms with their gender. Many of them actually know what is really going on with their need to cross dress and use cross-dressing as a mechanism of relief from the pain. I know because I used to do it when I was living a man’s life. Cross-dressing, sometimes in public was a way to affirm to self “I am a woman!” It afforded me a little respite from the constant noise in my head demanding I drop the fa├žade and transition. In the end, the coping mechanism failed and I could not cross-dress any more as it brought greater pain than relief. However, that is another story…

The point I am making is that there are many women out there living men’s lives that cross dress in the safety of their homes with their wives and girlfriends or the safety of another town many miles away from where they live.

Now personally pre-transition I never went to women’s places like dressing rooms and bathrooms back in my cross dressing days. However, that was due to my own insecurities and fears. There are some girls who are brave enough to go out and be seen at daytime, and to use women’s facilities, I was not one of them but they are out there. Chances are she is going to be in clothes that are not the right style for her and she will be wearing her makeup all wrong and excessive, thus she is going to stick out like a sore thumb. If you run into this girl, do not disdain her. She needs help, not hatred and disrespect. Chances are you are done with your transition and have no need to look back but you do know information that could save this woman’s life. Point her in the direction of a support group for TS/TG people. Give her a cosmetic tip or two during small talk. Let her know she is not alone.

Some cross dressers are men and some are women who have not yet transitioned.
I understand that some of these men who cross dress in public are totally doing it so they can go home and masturbate to the fantasy. However, we do not know that any particular cross dresser is doing it for a thrill or for relief from a very real and deadly medical issue. We cannot know the motives of any particular person. As long as the cross dresser is not making a nuisance publicly, let’s give him a pass and keep our eye on him.
He might not be a 'he' at all, but a 'she' in a very delicate and dangerous part of her life. The outings where she goes out in public, testing the waters so to speak, are vital to her development as a woman. I certainly do not want to be a catalyst to a closeted woman deciding suicide is the best option.

It was not so long ago I was a ‘cross-dresser’ and I remember how I felt and what went through my head when I was cross-dressing.
If just one TS woman had taken the time to pull me aside and gently talk to me for a few minutes I could have transitioned much sooner.

Hugz and luv,
Cynthia Lee


Anonymous said...

I am commenting here in the hope that you are interested in a different perspective on what you have written in your past two posts.

From my perspective, the major issue that I have is the erection, or should say "construction of a classic "strawman" arguement.

You do this cleverly by basing your thesis on unsubstantiated assumptions and inflamatory rhetoric: for example...."There are 2 dominant groups in the T community with a few smaller groups.

The two largest groups are those who support the Transgender umbrella and those Transsexual women who oppose the entire concept. (Separatists)" The problem with this is that those W O M E N, (NOT "trans"-women) are NOT WILLING memebers of your so-called 'community'.

How is it that we can be "separatist" from some "community" to which we do NOT belong, and which we eschew?

An example of the aforementioned inflamtory language, based on a false construct: "One of the issues I have with separatism is the almost pathological screaming and insistence that TS women are nothing like a cross dresser."

No one is screaming, unless of course you are speaking of those out, loud and proud "occupy" type activists, demanding "equal" rights, like the right of men in dresses to violate the privacy of women. As for "patholgy", I would ask you how you would describe a man who occassionally cross-dresses, that DEMANDS to be seen, heard and respected as a woman despite a 5 o'clock shadow and an unmistakably male voice and demeanor, who returns to his privileged male role AT WILL.

Arguing that because pre-operative transsexauls do in fact "dress in a manner appropriate to those born in the SEX opposite to how they are presenting", (or some such convoluted language), as part of their one year RLE, makes them "the same as", MEN who cross dress is like arguing that because policeman carry guns, they are the same as those who use guns to rob banks.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I do not mind if you choose to not associate with a coalition you do not agree with. But what I am hearing is that there are some TS who will not be happy until every TS stops allying themselves with TG and LGBT. Just like I do not have the right to co opt you into a movement you do not aprove of, you do not get to force me out of one I am not only part of but basicaly married into.

So yeah I get a little colorful with the rhetoric. But I wouldnt go so far as to say straw man. That is just stretching the meaning of my writing to far and you know it.

Personally I have not seen any men in the ladys room with a 5 oclock shadow. In fact I haven't seen other TS/TG types in any restroom other than myself and the few girls I know localy. And none of them are running around with facial hair.

When there is an actual real issue with a plague of men in our restrooms maybe I will join the other side of the argument. Hell I started out there, and it wouldn't be the first time I went full circle with my beliefs

Unknown said...

That deleted coment was from me. I made a lame assed double post.

Jonathan said...

>>I understand that some of these men who cross dress in public are totally doing it so they can go home and masturbate to the fantasy.<<

If "some" means "a few" then, yes, perhaps – but I don't think that's true in general. Cross-dressing is still mostly about personal expression, even if what we're expressing isn't always the same.

Sophie said...

A real alternative view to your last post, not the same as 'Anne'onymous above.
There is a problem in polarising the debate as some TS separatists against TG umbrella supporters.
Firstly the former is extremely small in number, however loud and proud they may be. For 2 years they tried to get signatories on a separatist online petition. Only about 200 signed up including IS people and anons.
The divide they try to make is between performative and 'medical condition', nice in theory but in practice the lines are really fuzzier than they proclaim, even if the umbrella was ever supposed to be more than a political coalition.
For myself, I identify as neurally intersex. That actually isn't catered for in this kind of debate which is simply about dividing along performative lines and coming up with notions of a spectrum or intensity of desire to change bodily, none of which relate to finding a narrative based on neurological / cognitive realities.

Sagebrush said...

Still calling us separatists, I see. It's a known phenomenon that if you repeat something often enough, people start to think it's true. But that one will never be true no matter how often repeated.

It's true as Sophie wrote that there are a few who are quite vocal about transsexualism being a distinct condition -- and a congenital one. Most of us, however, (mostly) quietly live our lives. I know some women born transsexual who remain open about their history. Most whom I know let it all go, as only makes sense. I realize that my own circle of acquaintances is a tiny sample, but it really does seem to be the case that we change sex and than just live.

Occasionally we might venture back into the fray to try to talk some sense. :)

Unknown said...

Love the post and sentiment! :-)

Carolyn Ann