Tranny Closet – Crossdressing Blog

{June 24, 2011}   The Face of Transgender

At birth, a doctor looks at our external genitalia and classifies us as one of two options, male or female. If male, you are treated a certain way immediately. Blue clothes. Trucks and cars for toys. Descriptive words are used like, handsome, tall, strong. If female, pink clothes, dresses, dolls, and words like beautiful and pretty. But what if you are transgender?

We all have masculine and feminine traits. Most males (assigned at birth) lean toward the masculine side. Most females (assigned at birth) lean toward the feminine side. If you are male and lean toward the female side, or part way, you are probably transgender. As I am. This is something that I constantly struggle with, because society has pushed me to the masculine side all my life.

So when an article caught my eye yesterday, I found myself feeling odd about it. I only spent a minute or two reading it, but as the day went on, I felt uneasy about the article. And a little upset.

The article was titled, Airline Allows Man in Women’s Panties to Fly.

I’m always amazed at how hurtful people can be, especially when not face to face, like the comment section below an article. Jabs like “I hope the airline had barf bags,” or “If that thing sat next to me. I’d Jump.” Wow! Would you really jump? These people don’t know this person. But based on the visual, he is diseased. An idiot. Crazy. Disgusting. Worthy of jumping off a plane. What else? You fill in the blank. Anything bad, you can insert it here. After thinking about it later in the day, I became upset that this person was the face of transgender. Our poster child. When the general public conjures up a visual of transgender people, or crossdressers, they see her. This is sad, and quite honestly pisses me off. First off, she is NOT the face of transgender. That’s not to say she isn’t transgender, but instead, she is not a good representation of what most transgender people look or act like. Her outfit would NOT be accepted at any transgender conference I have attended, unless she was pool side. But unfortunately the media doesn’t show all the transgender people who go on planes that dress “appropriately” because that is not a story anyone cares about.

While en femme, I have traveled on airplanes, taken long train trips, crossed the border into Canada and back. I try to blend in. It’s not about getting the stares. It’s about me feeling feminine, feeling female.

So, what is the face of transgender? Honestly, it’s me. It is Alyssa, Tiessa, Teri, Jia, Jackie, Denise, Alexii, Stephanie and many other people that I have had the pleasure to meet and now call my friends. Each one is unique. Has her our own style and personality. The face of transgender is not the person on the plane wearing panties and 4-inch heels. That is the stereotype that the media have given us.


Alison says:

I have thought so much about this post in the back of my mind, and then yesterday something happened that brought it to the front. I was lounging with Mark in the very swanky lobby bar at Tacoma’s Hotel Murano, which is like an art museum with a hotel attached. He was not en femme, and has many times said he would not feel comfortable dressed in Tacoma because he doesn’t know the community well enough. Suddenly an unlikely cast of characters sauntered up to the bar: two T-girls in strange garb and two male companions dressed in slouchy sweatshirts and baseball caps, wearing the weary looks of the over-drugged on their haggard faces. The T-girls were a little haphazard in their appearance as well. Mark seemed amused by this strange turn of events at first, muttering to me that he usually shaves before he goes out and wondering if they were working girls. The men seemed to be genuine companions, affectionately rubbing their backs and such. But soon they left in a hurry with sarcastic gestures back at the waitress, who had refused to serve them. Perhaps they were notorious to her, perhaps visibly drunk or high, who knows? But it was disturbing for the same reasons you were offended by people’s comments above. Not four feet from that same bar, a T-girl was sitting in plain sight being served very well and very courteously as a man, but no one knew or even cared. The two girls at the bar are the faces people see and associate with crossdressing. But the story gets worse. The two men came back alone, and I heard one say to the waitress, “We got rid of the weirdos.” They drank a few beers and then went on their merry way. How sad is that?

I have another story that is a little more heartwarming. A few months ago, Mark and I went to dinner at Anthony’s (you would hate all the seafood!). It was Friday night, and the wait was long, but the sunset over Mount Rainier was longer. I looked out at the people waiting to be seated and saw two teens on a Friday night date, and one was a T-girl. You know I melted. How awesome that she felt so comfortable in her teens and her girlfriend, did, too. No one was staring (except me from a friendly distance, smiling very big). How awesome is that?

So for every T-girl who struggles with appropriate presentation, drug, alcohol and prostitution issues in public, there are the Melissas making waiters smile on trains and stirring up the bonneted Amish, the performers like Veronica and Rachael pairing musical talent with their second gender identity, the Teris representing an East Coast aristocratic look, and the Drews, totally at ease onstage in her mid-20s. The squeaky wheel always gets the grease, and the most radical members of any group throughout history have always been noticed first and most. But eventually the rest of the story comes out and people do evolve in their understanding. Just keep being who you are and the rest will follow!

I just read your blog and found it very interesting and true. It’s sad that some people, whether transgendered or not, put themselves through this and give others a bad name. I have also noticed that some transgender (guys/girls) also over do it at parades or public gatherings by exposing themselves so much, I really don’t understand this. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for expression, as a matter fact I do express myself very sensually at times on my Facebook or on my blog, but not when I go out. People, including straight, gay, transgender have told me they enjoy my images (none nude) but that doesn’t mean that I will wear some of the things on my photos to a club or other public places. For instance, a club I went to where gay/transg frequent, many of the crossdresseres, and/or transgender were wearing very very short mini skirts/shorts to the point that their “buttocks” were literally hanging out! WHY! This is ridiculous and absurd, but it happens. I hope people learn to respect us as individuals and not classify us by the stereotype caused by a few extra who don’t properly behave. Thank you for sharing. My Mystery Lisa

Silvia says:

I’d say this guy kind of had all the bad mouthing coming. If it had been a woman, even a pretty one, she’d have gotten comments too, dressing like that. Crossdressers / transvestites / transgendered people need to earn respect, by being respectable.

Marlana says:

I agree with Silvia. If one choses to go out dressed in womens underwear, please be respectful of others and yourself by dressing for the event. If it’s to lounge by the pool or on the sofa in front of the tv, this outfit is fine. However, for traveling in public, put on some clothes. There is a time and a place for expression of this nature.

I agree with you and Mariana about the appropriateness of her outfit, but the real point is not the way she dressed, but that she is the media stereotype for transgender. Most people (who are not transgender) think of transgender people as – not normal, and when they see articles like this, it just flames the fire to their misconceptions. We really need a prominent role model for our community!

Silvia says:

I totally agree. The question is, how can transvestites/crossdressers/transgendered people portray a positive image to the world?

There needs to be a positive transgender person in the media spotlight. It won’t change everyone’s perception, but it would sway many that don’t understand us.

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