I have many, many friends who proudly proclaim themselves as crossdressers. Nothing more, nothing less, and I very much respect that.
Over the next couple of weeks, we will be featuring guest posts on the subject of crossdressing. Our authors are excellent writers and you will probably recognize most of them.
Our first post is from Petra Bellejambes. Crossdressers like to....well....dress, and Petra knows her fashion. She has graciously allowed us to display some of her favorite pictures with this post. I'm sure you will agree that this girl looks just fab! And, her writing ain't bad either!
Petra's blog is Voyages en Rose.
I am not a psychiatrist, but If I played one on TV, my character would wear a smart lab coat, belt looped at the back, and a sleek pencil skirt. The shoes would click of course, only borderline office appropriate. Sexy/brainy eyeglasses and savage tousled dark hair recently set free from pony tail frame my face. My bright young complexion, only lightly made up, somehow unlined by the thorny problems I wrestle with daily. I would, of course, effortlessly and unknowingly drive male colleagues to distraction and female ones to smoldering furies of envy …
Rather flip and fanciful, yes. And precisely the attitude that exposes a fault line that for many exists between the Cross Dresser and much of the rest of the TG spectrum.
I am trying, today, to picture the (periodic) Cross Dresser through the eyes of the Transitioned, the Transitioning, and the resignedly troubled Non-Transitioner. There goes the Cross Dresser, seemingly happy to set sail en femme and explore new shores. A nice lark for them. And then the wind turns, and blows them timely back home. While you, the committed, with your ships burnt on distant rocky shoals are marooned, severed wholly or in part from your pasts, from family, former friends, perhaps even from the greatest loves in your lives, and god yes, even your children. Free yes to discover a new world, but lost to the old one. What prices you have paid.
I suspect that these are some of the sentiments that flash and flicker in the minds of those you who feel a genuine incongruity between your assigned gender and every thing you feel when you consider the relatively flighty plight of the Cross Dresser.
I suspect that these sentiments contribute in part to a label that I have heard applied to me, and others of my kind. Cross Dresser may not be a perfect label, but it is a label I wear. I wear it with pride too. I hear it cheapened sometimes with the application of a simple prefix.
The connotations of “just” trouble me just a little. “Just” connotes a state of incompletion, of inauthenticity, of partial apprehension of a bigger undiscovered whole. “Just” connotes that we Cross Dressers may have some nice feathers, but we haven’t earned our wings.
I am not the sensitive type, really. One can’t embrace honest discovery of their own gender complexion with very thin skin after all. And I do not mean to suggest that “just” is a majority sympathy or entirely dismissive sentiment. Perhaps it is just an accident of language, a convention of conversation. And to be fair, my female personae has been warmly met by strangers and well embraced by the very select handful of people intimate with the rest of my life. Without this embrace, my own embrace would be weaker, more episodic, less complete. And to be honest, perhaps a little more adolescent, fetishy and, O dear, maybe just a little icky.
But “just” does lurk. In point of fact, I used the prefix “just” myself once over a cocktail with a M2F acquaintance well en route. So I wanted to address “just” here today.
Well, earned or not, I do have wings, and they help me soar. My periodic adventures en Femme in the big wide open are a source of exhilaration. I achieve a heightened state of attenuation and receptivity to the world around me. And then yes, the clothes, the hair, the accessories come off. The makeup is scrubbed away and the nails are pried off. There I stand with all the surfaces re-arranged and congruent with my assigned gender. Beneath the surfaces though, something important has been touched, cultivated and nurtured. Something that lasts long after the tidy up and fold away. Something that gets expressed in the rest of my “male” life, and changes for the better all of my interactions with the world around me.
These periodic privileges, to use a shopworn phrase, complete me.
And perhaps here lies the essential difference between those who will not transition, by preference, and those who have, who will or, with a different hand dealt to them, would.
I do not feel any incongruence with my biology, my appearance, my bodily inheritances, or the most of the expectations that the world has of me as a result of my evidently masculine presentation. I do feel however that my inheritances are inadequate. Inadequate to the opportunities of experience and sensation that are available to us all, if we are but willing to shake things up a little.
I must share as well in all honesty that I am relieved. Any chap who slides into a pair of panties the second time and is ensnared by curiosity and a need that cannot be easily explained knows right deep down, in the oldest most instinctive, primitive, reflexive precincts of our brains that big, big questions are being posed: Why do I feel this way? Am I male? Have I been wrong all along? Where does this end?
And this we all have in common. Whether our explorations of self and of gender come from feelings of incongruence deep within, or from curiosity about things worn without, these questions we all asked of ourselves.
And so, to my well feathered sisters of the Cross Dressing variety, I tender encouragement here today. Encouragement to join me in forsaking use of this common prefix, “just”, when thinking of yourselves. If had kept these doors of exploration closed, well, you would be “just”. Just another guy. But in opening the doors, you made yourself bigger, better and more whole. Brave you. I hope that happiness is your dividend.
And finally to my brave friends, the reborn, the Transitioned, the Transitioning and especially those of you who at last measure will not, who cannot, and will yet find a way to live with your inheritances, I say thank you. You really inspire.
We, all of us, have an opportunity to make life beautiful. None of us, in this regard are “just” anything.