Cross dressing and possibly transgender...

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    Aug 21, 2010 11:18 PM GMT
    Cross dressing and possibly transgender...

    OK guys out there, here's one for you to tackle:

    Before I begin, let me state that I always have and always will respect anyone who feels more comfortable identifying opposite of the gender they were born with.

    Furthermore, I'm not looking to be flamed by haters out there. What I do want is a better understanding of the issue, and to do away with my own possibly misguided perception of the issue... OK, here goes:

    If a person presents themselves and on the whole lives as a member of the opposite sex yet hasn't had surgery to further become that gender I believe they're still their born gender. To put it bluntly, if one is still swinging a bat and balls then one is still a male.

    My once close friend believed if a guy presents as a women then that person is treated as a woman in every aspect. Publicly I believe that, yet privately to myself and close friends my thinking is different. Am I correct in thinking differently in private versus public?

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    Aug 21, 2010 11:57 PM GMT
    alwbuckland said
    My once close friend believed if a guy presents as a women then that person is treated as a woman in every aspect. Publicly I believe that, yet privately to myself and close friends my thinking is different. Am I correct in thinking differently in private versus public?



    Can you verbalize exactly what you think?
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    Aug 22, 2010 12:10 AM GMT
    fashion fail - Ballerina Dreaming


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    Aug 22, 2010 12:10 AM GMT
    Yep, I should have been more clear in my thinking... You can put a dress on a guy, that hasn't had gender reassignment surgery yet, and that guy is still a dude no matter how he presents himself.
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    Aug 22, 2010 12:12 AM GMT
    To Caslon: That's just down right scary.
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    Aug 22, 2010 12:13 AM GMT
    alwbuckland saidCross dressing and possibly transgender...

    OK guys out there, here's one for you to tackle:

    Before I begin, let me state that I always have and always will respect anyone who feels more comfortable identifying opposite of the gender they were born with.

    Furthermore, I'm not looking to be flamed by haters out there. What I do want is a better understanding of the issue, and to do away with my own possibly misguided perception of the issue... OK, here goes:

    If a person presents themselves and on the whole lives as a member of the opposite sex yet hasn't had surgery to further become that gender I believe they're still their born gender. To put it bluntly, if one is still swinging a bat and balls then one is still a male.

    My once close friend believed if a guy presents as a women then that person is treated as a woman in every aspect. Publicly I believe that, yet privately to myself and close friends my thinking is different. Am I correct in thinking differently in private versus public?


    You are entitled to feel anyway you want personally and privately. But it is respectful of other people to treat them courtesously in public. Just as you would want others to treat you in public, if for some reason they hold some personal objection to you....like for being gay, for instance.
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    Aug 22, 2010 12:35 AM GMT
    It is all of to how the person identifies. If he identifies as a she then she is a she.

    Whenever I see someone dressed up like a woman then they are a woman to me. If I see that same person dressed as a man then they are a man to me. That is the respectful way of going about it. Disrespect is calling someone dressed like a woman a guy.
  • neosyllogy

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    Aug 22, 2010 12:45 AM GMT
    Personally I couldn't give a damn about someone's gender.
    So the concept of them 'actually' versus 'nominally' changing their gender isn't really of much practical interest.
    If you wanna talk about their "sex" then it's an interesting scientific and semantic discussion, but on a practical level of gender roles or almost any common social interaction -- fuck if I care.

    Society has moved on, women can even own property now (so I hear, anyway)! You can knock yourself out playing a stereotype (or creating a new type entirely) if you want. Will I address you as you'd like? Sure. I'll even call you Captain Zanzibar or Ms. Snuggles if that's your thing.


    To summarize: the issue is just about imaginary roles. Men and women don't have actual hard printed social roles. If you want to play that game I'll play nice, but I don't really care. If you want to say you "really" are a woman/man/doggy/whatever and want me to acknowledge that at some point I'll probably shrug and say you're just playing a semantic game. I don't feel a need to push the issue though.

    People do sillier things (that we accept) than acting out a 1950's gender stereotype all the time. No harm in showing a little love. <3 icon_smile.gif
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    Aug 22, 2010 1:13 AM GMT
    There are commonly recognized differences between transgender versus cross-dressing. Some examples:

    In the office where I volunteer is a man who dresses as a woman 24/7. She also appears on stage as a very popular and well-known female performer down here. She takes hormones to maintain female physical characteristics, like breasts, but hasn't to my knowledge had sex-change surgery. Nor do I know what her driver's license says, if she's had a legal change of her gender. Everyone refers to her as a woman, and that is how she thinks of herself, that is how we accept her. That is transgender.

    On the other hand, I knew a US Army Reserve First Sergeant, which is the highest ranking sergeant in a company of roughly 160 soldiers, who is a cross-dresser. He and a group of about 5 friends used to come into our gay club about once a month, dressed as women, because they felt safe and non-threatened with us, which they were.

    But they were kinda funny, so primly attired, with hats, purses, skirts, the very image of Dana Carvey's Church Lady character from SNL. They all claimed to be straight, and the First Sergeant was married and had kids. He and his unit were deployed to Iraq twice while I knew him, but I'm out of touch now.

    Because of my own military background we became acquainted, and I used to join their little klatch for a drink or 2. Not in a dress though, more likely incongruously dressed in my motorcycle leathers. I was the gay guy, they the straights, but you might have guessed the opposite from our clothes.

    And BTW, he told me while in Iraq he sometimes wore a bra and panties under his combat uniform, and his Company Commander, a Captain, and some of the other soldiers knew about it. And apparently didn't care. I'm just glad for him the insurgents never captured him!

    And that would be a cross dresser, versus a transgender. And then there is the term transvestite, which further muddies the water, but which I think might be retired in popular usage, in favor of transgender alone.
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    Aug 22, 2010 1:15 AM GMT
    Caslon15000 said
    You are entitled to feel anyway you want personally and privately. But it is respectful of other people to treat them courtesously in public. Just as you would want others to treat you in public, if for some reason they hold some personal objection to you....like for being gay, for instance.

    I remember how he ranted and raved about his hatred for transsexuals. Oh wait, you're just being reactionary and full of shit.
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    Aug 22, 2010 1:26 AM GMT
    6a01156e9cba4c970c0133f3024691970b-800wi

    6a01156e9cba4c970c01348625cc87970c-320wi

    6a01156e9cba4c970c0133f3024ad9970b-320wi

    I would love him in my bedroom
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    Aug 22, 2010 1:31 AM GMT

    What I learned from 14 years in the West End of Vancouver is respect roles and role playing. Have fun, be kind, suspend disbelief and use your imagination.

    -Doug
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    Aug 22, 2010 1:37 AM GMT
    I recall a few other transgender stories, that please me to remember and share.

    In that same gay club I mentioned above with the cross-dressing First Sergeant, every few months a tranny truck driver would show up on a trip through. And she would park her big sleeper rig around the corner from the club, just the truck without trailer, and come in to dance. And she loved to dance!

    And almost nobody would dance with her, or practically give her the time of day, because she was kinda obviously not originally a woman, but I think in her case she did have surgery.

    Well, I would welcome her, and she'd always seek me out, and we would dance and have a great time. Nothing sexual, never did anything with her, but we just had fun, a delightful person. And she drove a huge Peterbilt, and told me about all the sex she had in truck stops with straight truckers.

    Second story: I also knew a guy there who was going through a sex-change into a woman. I originally knew him as a man. First he did the hormones, and finally did have the surgery. I tried to be as supportive as I could. One time she was so proud of her new full breasts that she ripped her blouse open and flashed them at the bar, joking she couldn't be arrested because she was still legally a man. She did later get a legal gender change.

    But a few times, because I'd known him for over a year previously as a man, I'd slip and use a male pronoun in his presence with someone else at the bar. And she'd break into tears, and tell me how hateful I was. She was very unstable emotionally, and I was later told she moved to Minneapolis and committed suicide there. A vital part of gender changes is careful psychological screening of candidates, and support during the process & afterwards. I still feel bad that maybe I didn't help her enough myself.
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    Aug 22, 2010 1:44 AM GMT
    I had a BF back in the mid 80s that was a near ringer for Tom Selleck back then. He and his friends used to do something called 'tough drag'.

    They used eyelash lengthener on their chest hairs and moustaches to emphasize them, but dressed to nines in 80s girl glam. They had a musical routine and were a hit at all the clubs. Later on they returned to the club as regular guys. They were treated like Bette Midlers when they were gals, and like Chippendale men when they were guys.

    lol, I used to insist the closet with the wigs and dresses be closed when we made love. Too confusing for poor me.

    Those spectacularly fun times I'll always cherish.

    -Doug
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    Aug 22, 2010 1:08 PM GMT
    Thanks guys for your input. I have always treated cross dressers and transgendered people in public with the same respect that I would want to be treated. I have had the pleasure of meeting and knowing one of my ex's co-workers, who presents as female. Honestly, I would not have known she was a he.
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    Aug 22, 2010 4:41 PM GMT
    Wilton saidI recall a few other transgender stories, that please me to remember and share.

    In that same gay club I mentioned above with the cross-dressing First Sergeant, every few months a tranny truck driver would show up on a trip through. And she would park her big sleeper rig around the corner from the club, just the truck without trailer, and come in to dance. And she loved to dance!

    And almost nobody would dance with her, or practically give her the time of day, because she was kinda obviously not originally a woman, but I think in her case she did have surgery.

    Well, I would welcome her, and she'd always seek me out, and we would dance and have a great time. Nothing sexual, never did anything with her, but we just had fun, a delightful person. And she drove a huge Peterbilt, and told me about all the sex she had in truck stops with straight truckers.

    Second story: I also knew a guy there who was going through a sex-change into a woman. I originally knew him as a man. First he did the hormones, and finally did have the surgery. I tried to be as supportive as I could. One time she was so proud of her new full breasts that she ripped her blouse open and flashed them at the bar, joking she couldn't be arrested because she was still legally a man. She did later get a legal gender change.

    But a few times, because I'd known him for over a year previously as a man, I'd slip and use a male pronoun in his presence with someone else at the bar. And she'd break into tears, and tell me how hateful I was. She was very unstable emotionally, and I was later told she moved to Minneapolis and committed suicide there. A vital part of gender changes is careful psychological screening of candidates, and support during the process & afterwards. I still feel bad that maybe I didn't help her enough myself.


    Way to be the friendly one! And don't blame yourself for your friend's demise. She was already far away and clearly not in touch. Some people are sadder than others and you can't do much aside from providing the logical support when they are present.

    OP, if they are dressed as a girl, I'd call her a "she". That's what she wants, right? Who am I to deny her?
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    Aug 22, 2010 4:55 PM GMT
    meninlove said I had a BF back in the mid 80s that was a near ringer for Tom Selleck back then. He and his friends used to do something called 'tough drag'.

    They used eyelash lengthener on their chest hairs and moustaches to emphasize them, but dressed to nines in 80s girl glam. They had a musical routine and were a hit at all the clubs. Later on they returned to the club as regular guys. They were treated like Bette Midlers when they were gals, and like Chippendale men when they were guys.

    lol, I used to insist the closet with the wigs and dresses be closed when we made love. Too confusing for poor me.

    Those spectacularly fun times I'll always cherish.

    -Doug


    Currently known as 'scag drag'. I was told by my drag mothers that if I ever tried to do that they would cut me.
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    Aug 22, 2010 5:45 PM GMT
    RumbleStud saidWay to be the friendly one! And don't blame yourself for your friend's demise. She was already far away and clearly not in touch. Some people are sadder than others and you can't do much aside from providing the logical support when they are present.

    Nobody is harder on me than I am myself. And I look at myself today, and sometimes I'm amazed at how much I've changed. I wasn't like like this when I was an Army Colonel, I can promise you, living today in a gay world, going to drag shows, having trannies for friends, and so forth.

    But I hope I was never a bigot even then, and there were soldiers who worked for me, or with me, that I pretty much knew were gay or lesbian, even when I didn't know about myself. And it wasn't important. In fact, most of us in uniform really never paid much attention to that issue.

    It's the blowhard politicians, right-wing commentators and religious types who stir up all the trouble, and incite the hatred. Most of us who wore a uniform respected any other person who wore one, too, and we let it go at that. It was only those few who introduced strong personal political or religious beliefs into their job, which we weren't supposed to do, who rocked the boat.

    Plus I had my parents as my models, the friendliest and most accepting people I've ever known. Who had not the least prejudice or hatred in them for anyone. They certainly didn't for me, as I was to later learn when I discovered they always knew I was gay, and never criticized me for it, a remarkable thing for their generation (my late father would have been 99 next month, my late mother now 93). Though they didn't discuss it with me, either, an awkward subject for them as I can understand.

    Still, in the case of that woman who committed suicide, I do have a sense of failure. Perhaps something more I could have done, or done better. I am notoriously clumsy & stupid, always saying the wrong thing. Not that I was the only person she had contact with, but still, we all make a difference, and we all share responsibility.
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    Aug 22, 2010 7:23 PM GMT
    You have to understand that gender is a social construct as well as a biological feature. Biological gender is which genitalia you have, and associated features such as body hair, breasts, voice, etc.

    But society constructs on top of this a second notion of gender: clothing, how we should behave, roles, mannerisms etc. This has nothing to do with biology, and is very important as this is really the gender that affects how we behave towards people.

    In this sense, it is possible to understand there are more than the two biological genders; sometimes it is even helpful to see gay men and women as third and fourth genders.
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    Aug 22, 2010 8:33 PM GMT
    TigerTim saidYou have to understand that gender is a social construct as well as a biological feature. Biological gender is which genitalia you have, and associated features such as body hair, breasts, voice, etc.

    But society constructs on top of this a second notion of gender: clothing, how we should behave, roles, mannerisms etc. This has nothing to do with biology, and is very important as this is really the gender that affects how we behave towards people.

    In this sense, it is possible to understand there are more than the two biological genders; sometimes it is even helpful to see gay men and women as third and fourth genders.

    It sometimes surprises me how changed & mellow I've become (well, you wouldn't guess mellow from my political tirades here). I agree with all of what you wrote, but wouldn't have over 40 years ago.

    These days I do 2 things when I meet someone: I look into their eyes, and I listen to their voice & their words. All the rest is mostly meaningless to me.

    Oh, we can postulate extreme examples of freaky & scary people in other respects, but they rarely cross my path. But I do meet all kinds of people that might have freaked me out decades ago, because of their gender identity, or other personality traits we used to term "nonconformist."

    And nowadays I have to make a special effort to notice these things, like for writing this post, because otherwise it all goes right over my head. All the things I once thought were so important are forgotten & ignored.

    And among these things is gender identity. Call yourself whatever you want, it's not my place to decide, or to judge. What I've found, which also kinda surprises me as I've grown older, is that I just like PEOPLE, in whatever form they take.

    I used to see myself as a loner, almost hermit-like. Another one of my stupid misconceptions about myself. Turns out I'm a social creature like most humans are, and thank gawd I found it out before I was too old to enjoy it. And in enjoying it, I've discovered that many social constructs I followed in my youth are wrong, that stand in the way of humans meeting humans.
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    Aug 22, 2010 8:42 PM GMT
    I have a transgender cousin, I refer to her as a she, before the operation i dont know though, does it really matter ?
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    Aug 22, 2010 9:10 PM GMT
    TigerTim saidYou have to understand that gender is a social construct as well as a biological feature. Biological gender is which genitalia you have, and associated features such as body hair, breasts, voice, etc.

    But society constructs on top of this a second notion of gender: clothing, how we should behave, roles, mannerisms etc. This has nothing to do with biology, and is very important as this is really the gender that affects how we behave towards people.

    In this sense, it is possible to understand there are more than the two biological genders; sometimes it is even helpful to see gay men and women as third and fourth genders.



    I've never looked at the whole issue in that light. This has brought more clarity to my current thinking. Well said, thought provoking and insightful. Thanks for your input...