Friday, December 3, 2010

Comments on Comments

First, Louise wrote, in part "I have just come out to my wife."  Well, those are the kinds of stories I find irresistible.  Read Louise's at her blog, LouiseMostly.

Maria Victoria wrote:

Please don't pay so much attention to P's know, we know and probably he knows you were fantastic as looked beautiful...probably he is impressed and avoid say it.

I'm posting that in full for context, not for the flattery (which I do appreciate!).  OK, maybe just a little teeny bit for the flattery. :)

I've been thinking about why straight males are, shall I say, less accepting of crossdressers than they are of gays.  I might have said "more hostile towards crossdressers" or "find us ickier."  I'll be kind and stick with "less accepting."

I see three things.  In order of least to most important:

There's the time factor.  Gays have been in the public eye (or in your face) longer than we have.  We're still mostly very closeted.  So we're kind of stuck in a cycle here.  We're not out because we're not accepted; we're not accepted because we're not out.

Second, there's history.  Gays, before Stonewall, have rarely been portrayed in the popular media.  In the book The Maltese Falcon, Wilmer (slyly referred to as a gunsel) was clearly a gay character.  In the movie, that was pretty much hidden.  Crossdressing was never treated as a lifestyle; it was always treated with humour.  Until Psycho (where it was instead treated as part of a homicidal disorder) crossdressing was always a joke.  Man puts on dress.  Hilarity ensues.

But the biggest issue is, we pose a threat to male self-identity that gays do not.

Here's my take: a straight male looks at a gay male and says "eww...  but at least he's not competing with me for the babes, so that's cool."  Admittedly, some stop at "eww" and try to eliminate the "threat" to his "way of life" ~ he's afraid it might be contagious, or he might be the next "romantic subject" because he's so irresistible.  But most make the two-part connection.  Personally, I've always been confused that being gay is a "disorder" but hating gays is considered normal.  I'd reverse that.

A straight guy looks at a crossdresser and says "cute.  I wonder what it'll take to get her into my bed?" and then finds out she's not at all what he thought she was and he's back to "eww"... but now it's personal.  "How DARE he get me aroused?"  Without doing anything, just by being herself, the crossdresser has tried to make him her next "romantic subject."  In his mind.  He may even question his own masculinity ~ maybe not consciously, but it's there.  "I thought a guy was cute!  I must be gay!"

This is why I went to the Transgender Day of Remembrance service.

1 comment:

  1. Meg
    I think you would do well as an amateur shrink.
    I would add one more reason to your trilogy. Estimates of the incidence of cross dressing range from 1% up to 10 or 20% depending on how wide you want to stretch the net. Assume that there are a large number of men who have dressed on rare occasion or who have even pondered dressing and add those folks to the number of men who dress or think of dressing on a more frequent basis and you have a large group. In a country as large as ours we are looking at a very large number of people. Blend that with concerns that many of these men may have about being considered to be feminine in any fashion. I think there may be a significant population of over compensating macho males who to disguise their own gender concerns assume a "less accepting" posture towards CD.

    Just another theory.



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