Friday, November 5, 2010

Rally Report Part III: Presenting Christine O'Donnell!

The boys were asleep in their respective bedrooms. I didn't make too much noise walking the length of the hall and down the stairs in my heels. Another deep breath and I turned the corner and walked into the kitchen. P had his back to me; I could see J's profile. I'm not sure where my wife was; she was in the kitchen somewhere, but my focus was on the people who didn't know what to expect.

J turned to me, looked me over, and said nothing. I said "Hi. I'm Christine O'Donnell. Remember to vote for me on Tuesday." J stood up, said "Oh. My. God. I can't believe it!" and started laughing. She proceeded to babble about how she thought it would be nothing, and didn't expect this and on. P now turned towards me and said...


I would love to know what he was thinking. I should have said "what are you thinking?" or at least "what do you think?"

Later, I asked J what she thought when I came in. She said "I was wondering which female relative I had never met just came in. I knew it wasn't your sister; I've met her. And K [wife] only has brothers. If you didn't say anything, I would never have known."

I didn't ask P the same question. I would have, if he wasn't so uneasy. I still might. I should. He did volunteer on the train ride back "I keep hearing and I look down and see... that!" A seat had opened by that point, and since P is a gentleman, I sat. His remark prompted the woman in front of us to turn around and started a conversation about the rally. She came in from San Francisco to see it.

Back at home....

My wife was making breakfast for her and our guests. I passed, partly because I didn't want to be sitting in a port-a-potty later in the day. I did have some coffee.

I'm going to break off the narrative to talk about something I've thought about a lot: why guys might have a problem with us.

P and I both admire women. We express it differently. I express it via the thought that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. He expresses it via the thought I wonder what she'd look like without clothes. Well, yeah, I do that too, but I also know what I'd do with the clothes once she has them off. P probably doesn't care if they're still wearable after they're off.

Straight guys like him look at women as potential partners. All women, all the time. And then they look at a woman who's, well, not a woman, and half of their brain says "bed?" and the other half says "with a guy? Are you nuts?"

And "straight" is important. Kinda bi, or even a little bi, and I don't think they'd be as uncomfortable. 100% gay guys might, but for the opposite reason: here's a potential partner but he looks like a girl! I really don't think that would happen. In my experience, gay guys are more flexible than straight guys. I've seen a gay man kiss a man and then kiss a woman. It's much less likely I'd see a straight guy do that. I would be uncomfortable kissing a man. But one gay man I asked said that kissing a woman is "nothing. There's no feeling. It's like kissing a block of wood." There's something different there that I won't pretend to understand. I suppose actors of all orientations can do that same detachment.


  1. Meg,
    You do make us think.
    A woman in a relationship with a CD has issues that have been discussed at length. Woman who may casually encounter a CD may tend to be more comfortable for many reasons. First, a guy in a dress is not a threat to most women. Second, a CD is not likely to hit on or make a sexual play for a woman. They easily sense that we are more likely to just want to behave and be treated like another woman. You have encountered this vibe in several of your other related outings. Third, while women have an appreciation for clothes, makeup, presentation, beauty, shoes, etc. they are generally well past the msytique issues that impact men.

    You nicely explained one of the differences between yourself and P but I think that the typical male reaction to a nicely dressed CD, particulary a person that they have long known in their male personna, strikes a number of strange notes that fall outside the typical male thought processes.

    To the CD there is often a magic and mystique in women's clothes that we find attractive, exciting, alluring and interesting. Over time as we build our wardrobes and become more comfortable in woman's clothes some of the edginess fades but the magic and mystique are still there, it is just that our appreciation of the garments either matures or becomes more like that of a typical woman.

    For the non-CD male, woman's clothes have a different aura and mystique. You have overcome some of these feelings in being able to be out shopping for female items. I am no where near your level of comfort. Just walking past the woman's department in a store fills me with both fear and excitement. I may walk down an aisle and let my arm or hand brush up against some of the hanging items but I could not see myself being comfortable handling a bra or picking up some hosiery. I have a hard time even looking out of the corner of my eye at cosmetics, shoes, lingerie, etc.

    The non-CD male is even less comfortable in these settings. They sense the magic and mystique of feminine things. They have hugged women in silky dresses, kissed women wearing makeup and tasted their lipstick, placed their hand on a sexy nylon clad leg, appreciated the beauty and change in bearing that a woman acquires in a nice set of heels. All of which may have been accompanied by feelings of excitement. Seeing a man, especially one that they have known as a guy for a while, looking good and comfortable in all of the above is not something that they have an instant comfort level with. It is scary to them. It upsets their sense of the typical binary.

    Add to that the fact that men are not always able to assimilate the unexpected into a structured set of views and I think you get to the point where P just did not know what he was thinking about seeing you dressed and just went into a shut down mode...sort of a primative form of defense. He was just not able or willing to do the mental work necessary to understand his own feelings

    While you may have hoped that both J and P would have had positive or at least friendly reactions to your presentation I am sure that you knew that their reactions would have been different.

    You mentioned that J and P traveled down to DC from NY. I presume that they traveled back together. I would be curious as to what they discussed on the trip home. Your best bet for getting this information would be from what J may relate to your wife (girl talk if you will) the next time they talk.

    In any event congratulations on a great outing.


  2. Meg
    I suppose that Ps thoughts about your appearance will largly be determined, long term, by whether he ever sees you enfemme again and whether he thinks that this was a one off and he accepts in his own mind that you do not do this on a regular basis. When I am out dressed I have a terrible conflict between wanting to be seen and admired by men for the woman that I am, and yet not wanting them to have any sexual thoughts about me. I think that Pat is right in saying that P had the oposite of this that he might have found himself attracted to what he saw but was not in the least attracted by the thought that you were behind the image. As for what women think, I suspect that most women who 'read' us are not at all bothered but that women who know us might think differently. As nobody that I know has ever met Louise I am unable to make a judgement on the second. How does your wife really feel about you? Did she find out by accident?

  3. PS: While estimates are that 1-5% of men crossdress regularly the number that have tried it once or twice or have harbored thoughts of doing so are much higher.
    If I were to encounter a well turned out cross dressed male I would have a number of conflicting reactions hit me all at once. I would be jealous both of how good you looked but much more so wishing it were me in a dress, heels, wig and purse getting ready to go out into the world. I would also be scared that someone would read my mind and concluded that I was jealous. Perhaps P went into typical male mode of stoically non-reacting so as to not have anyone question what he may have thought of the encounter.
    Just a theory.

  4. Pat
    I think that you you are making this much more complicated than it really is. I think that if I was out in boy mode and saw a well dressed crossdresser, although like you I would be jealous, I would simply do what I do with any woman and pretend not to look in case I make the wife think that I am eyeing them up. It is likely that P simply did not know what to think and was perhaps slightly embarrassed. I think that it would be nice if we could all just be totally open with everyone about our femanine side but we all know that life is not that simple and that a lot of men in particular just would not or could not understand. One day I might get round to telling my wife about Louise; but then maybe not.

  5. Louise,
    Very well stated.
    I suppose that the variety of reactions that people have when they encounter a crossdresser is even greater than the variety of reason why so many of us cross dress.
    Good point. I fully empathize with Meg's desire to ferret out what 'P' was thinking but the answer may simply be that 'P' may still not know what to think.


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