I mentioned that I perform in burlesque shows. I haven't performed in a drag show for years, because they're bitchy and cliquey and I hate the drama (yes, somehow Rupaul's Drag Race winds up being an accurate portrayal of reality). So since I wasn't doing the big hair, ball gown, lip sync to Donna Summer thing, I found myself getting more than a few sideways glances. And those turned into not-very-hushed whispers once word got around that I was straight.
Where I've found the most acceptance is with lesbians and drag kings, and I couldn't really tell you why, but also with the burlesque community, because they're kind of "all are welcome" by their very nature. But no matter where I go, I have to deal with the fact that ...
Pop Culture Has Confused Everyone
20th Century Fox
I mentioned that there's a period of confusion for most dressers, and part of the reason for that is there aren't really any cultural reference points for this. There's Eddie Izzard, but he really only does his stand-up specials in dress these days. Now he does a lot of acting work where he's wearing boys clothes and interviews where he's sporting a goatee, so even that one purported pillar is kind of a shaky one. Really, the main place where you see crossdressing is in shitty comedies: Big Mama's House, Sorority Boys, White Chicks and the like. That's why I think it throws people off. The pop culture point of reference for a man in a dress who isn't transitioning is a dumb gag in which a guy is forced to wear a dress by circumstance so it can be played it for laughs (hardy fucking har).
Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Touchstone Pictures It's not too late to change your poor social and Netflix choices.
So I went through years trying to convince myself that I wanted to live as a woman, even though I'd never felt wrong in my male skin. It also took quite a while to come to an understanding that dressing to feel sexy didn't make dressing sexual. Since my only frame of reference was bad jokes or sexual fetishes or gay men, I thought "Well I must be at least bisexual," so I spent a lot of time trying to fit a square peg in a round hole before finally being able to separate sexual orientation from gender identity.
Ultimately, I occupy a weird little spot in between so many of the more clearly defined designations for gender, sexuality, etc. The funny thing is, I've grown to like it here. In an odd way, being hard to categorize has made me feel a little bit more special. It forces people to have to examine me a little closer if they want to ever understand me. Plus it makes close-minded people's heads explode like fucking Scanners, and that never gets old.
For more insider perspectives, check out 5 Shocking Realities of Being Transgender the Media Ignores and 6 Awful Lessons I Learned Transitioning from Female to Male.
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