As a crossdresser, I have it ridiculously easy.
First of all, I live in a liberal, cosmopolitan city with enough arts events going on that cross-dressing doesn’t faze the locals. The Ladyboys of Bangkok have been visiting every year since the mid-1990s. Hell, I live in a country where the national dress for men consists of a pleated tartan skirt.
Consequently, it’s been quite straightforward finding myself in social circles where my cross-dressing is welcomed. And a girlfriend who supports/puts up with it is a big help, too. All in all, it’s hard to think of any major problems I’ve encountered…
…so, as a consequence of that, I’ve never felt the need to join any support groups or communities either, but there are a number of other reasons for this. For one thing, my cross-dressing is purely cosmetic and not tied that deeply to my identity. But I’m not really a community-minded person, either. I’m not a fan of being lumped in with a crowd – I like to think I’m a little bit more interesting than someone’s label. If there’s one thing I don’t want to do, it’s conform to someone else’s expectations; Twist can be a bloody-minded contrarian.
“I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.“
Even so, I support and sympathise deeply with trans issues. Two friends of mine are male-to-female and female-to-male trans, another is bi-gender, and another might be described as ‘non-gender-conforming’.
Among my fellow-bloggers living elsewhere around the world, they’ve had to hide this aspect of themselves from workmates or family, or else it has caused relationship problems, or they’re having to go through the long process of transition, or the only support they get is online.
As I said, I’ve got it easy.
Despite advances in our understanding of sex and gender, more frequent reporting of trans issues or people ‘coming out’, and fashion houses starting to showcase skirts and dresses for men, and gender-neutral clothing departments, there are still large numbers of people who refuse to understand what it’s about (a breakdown of the TERFs’ turf wars over womanhood is clearly summarised here).
At worst it leads to death, something that has been lurking at the back of my mind since reports of Leelah Acorn’s suicide at the end of 2014, and brought into ever-sharper focus by the more recent suicide of Zander Mahaffey and the murders of Bri Golec and Kristina Grant Infiniti (making eight trans murders in seven weeks in the USA) in February 2015.
Yet, against this background, I’m no activist. If I talk about these issues at all, I can only do so from a detached, pseudo-academic point of view. I certainly have no interest in advising people how to run their lives, either. I can only speak about these things from my point of view alone, and nobody can make generalisations from it.
What can I possibly bring to the table?
I just want to show how much fun it can be. I can afford not to take myself seriously, and most of the time I won’t. I figure it’s best to show, not tell – which is why I’ve added an ever-increasing gallery to the blog.
This blog will be fun, informative, or (if I’m really on a roll) both of those things together.
As I wrote in the previous blog entry, every cross-dresser has their own story, or their own motivation, or their own challenges to write about. We are all representatives of what it’s like to be cd/TG/TS, and there is no single, ‘correct’ way to behave. I like to think that each of us acting individually might be just as effective at helping gain acceptance for others as a group might be.