I’m PROUD of who I am!
Taboo, Stigma, Prejudice - does hitting someone with those labels make YOU fell clever, smart or better. It kills some people. Zombifies others. Would YOU like it back at you? I can cope - I've gone past the hate.
We all know the situation, when the story just keeps going. So here’s one five-time escapee from the AP-500 bundle.
What are the words that frighten us? What’s the word that frightens YOU? What’s the word that frightens me? I’ll tell you later. It’s not really a secret – but you think more and understand better if you don’t know yet.
And I’m not talking about being scared or cautious of things like spiders. But the real fear. The deep-down certainty that you’ve stepped in something slippery and you’re going over the cliff. You’re going to be injured, maimed, permanently damaged or dead. And what is worse, you may not even be hurt physically. They may have tortured you and abused you to the depths of your heart and soul, to your mental or emotional or spiritual limit.
And that can make you dead inside. Living but dead. That’s what makes a normal person into a zombie. I’ve seen it happen. You wouldn’t want it to happen to anyone. Possibly not even your worst enemy.
I’m not talking about events like Death. Divorce. Pregnancy. Marriage. Cancer. Aids. Blindness. Disability. Poverty. They can be devastating. But many people recover from things like that. Even if they finish with PTSD or something equally binding.
I’m not talking about huge whelms of emotions like simple Fear.
I’ve seen more than one list of the Big Ugly Words. Intimidation. Prejudice. Intolerance. Rejection. Abuse. What they can do to a person who is already hurting can be awful, or even aweful.
There’s so many. Things can frighten us. Events (past, present or future) can frighten us. People can frighten us. Situations. Change. I think many of us are frightened or worried or stressed a lot of the time. But a avoiding isn’t worth it. It takes so much effort to always be frightened. To always be hiding.
Caution – just being careful - that works better a lot of the time. Being a boy-scout ….. and being Prepared. That can help. Friends – they can help bigtime. Confidants – they’re scarcer than friends but they deserve so many thanks if you have even one.
I look around at my friends, at my colleagues, even at my family – and do I know what makes them tick. Do I even know how well they are ticking on a daily basis. No. I don’t. I really don’t have a clue. When we talk we rarely talk of important issues, of deep-down problems. I know I don’t. And they’ve never at down and talked about the really important things to me or with me or even near me. It doesn’t happen. So none of them, as far as I know, is a good-enough-friend. Certainly I have confided in none.
When I have opened up to people, there’s often been a wonderful sense of freedom. But it fades away. Because those who I can talk to and passing ships – gone by the morrow, never to pass again.
And, actually, how well do I know myself. Do I know why I can be addicted to something for a week or a month – then move on. Sometimes it’s the job or just a project at work. At home, it might be Family-trees; Coins; Barrayar Fan-fiction; The lyrics of Leonard Cohen; the redesign of the London Tube map; Victorian marine artists; and so many more over the years. Fortunately I’ve avoided most of the uglies – alcohol, tobacco, drugs, gambling. Although porn, yes, that hooks me from time to time.
Am I going to tell anyone? Well, anyone can know about all but the last. That’s pretty definitely a no-no. Taboo, to almost anyone. But the statistics say that so many do peek and paw. Even so, it’s taboo. At least some of my friends, neighbours, colleagues, relatives, are doing it. And is their concealment a lie or a hypocrisy? That – I shall not answer.(claiming by pretence the 5th amendment of not convicting myself)>
And I have long-term issues. I want Brexit – not because of the past but because of where the unelected Europeans tell us we are going. No, thankyou. I hate extremism. I really hate extremism and extremists too.
I make no secret of that particular foible. But secrets, I’ve got a few. But one, I do not mention. So what’s my deep secret.
I can tell YOU. Here, I think I’m anonymous; I certainly hope that’s true. I’m a man and I love women’s clothes. The feel, the touch, the colour, the variety, the wider range of ….. everything. And I have to sit here writing these pieces in jeans and t-shirt. YUKK.
So what’s the word that frightens me – it’s not taboo, or stereotyping, but it does involve both attitudes. And prejudice. And plain and simple dislike, disapproval and hatred. Most especially by ‘them’ of ‘people not like us’.
So what is the word that does frighten me ……….. Discovery.
I’ve seen it too often. You come out of the closet, just even a little peek – and the alarms go off.
“Ooooh, look there. That’s not a real woman! Danger. Pervert. Horror. Ugly. Not-like-us. Shun it. Hate it. Tell everyone.”
I know I’m part of a minority. I don’t want to be. And I don’t mean that everyone should cross-dress or want to be trans – that’d be equally as stupid as ‘them’.
I know there’s some of ‘them’ who hate the fact that a noisy minority can and often does have more influence than their silent majority. But that’s not MY fault. It’s not even the fault of the minority to say ‘what about us’. Inconveniently, the 50,01% majority (of those who can be bothered to vote etc etc) do get the official endorsement of their ‘system’. Well, mostly – let’s not talk about Brexit and the mostly-Remaining elite who ‘knew’ it was the wrong answer. Ha.
When I say ‘I don’t want to be part of a minority’ – I just mean I want my particular difference to be of no importance.
But here I stand. If that answer was good enough for Mr Galilei who am I to look for a better. It may be that I stand here in a frock with a hairy face displaying, to those who look closely, that I am indeed a male-to-female crossdresser. But I like the clothes and I hate the drab that most men endure.
And by that I don’t mean that most men want to wear women’s clothing; I mean that most men I have ever talked to think their opportunities for flamboyance and colour are limited. This is especially true when anyone begins to look at pre-Victorian eras or other nations. I’ve heard ‘I’ve got a lot of bright shorts I wear on holiday’ or ‘I’ve got some colourful ties’. That’s not the same as the peacockery of the Georgians or the Cavaliers. I said many men dress drab and don’t like it – there is not criticism of their maleness or masculinity.
Look at marriage around the world – where else but in English, Commonwealth and American places do men parade in a grey suit. How dull. Is that really the best that the richest nations in the world can manage?
I said drab. I don’t do drab. I don’t do drag either. Drag is mostly for gays wanting to strut their stuff as femme targets for their macho studs. They have no real intention of being feminine.
I said drab. I aim to present as a middle-class well-educated lady. Not mutton-dressed-as-lamb, with over-short skirts, over-tight blouses and over-size bosom. I’ve seen too many of us dressed that way – and I don’t like it. It doesn’t suit me. I think it doesn’t suit many of those who wear such outfits.
Dressing as a slim young girl when you’re not – it’s not a good look. But those who dress like that are absolutely entitled to dress thus. Clothes should be a choice. At times and places, nakedness is fine. Just don’t frighten the horses. Even In his more outre moments, one is confident that Oscar didn’t misbehave nakedly in the streets!
But, back to me. My views. I’m guilty of prejudice and stereotyping. How could I be that different from everyone else. I know nobody enough to call them friend, colleague, enemy or even acquaintance, who is black, brown, yellow. I can’t think of many foreigners; anyone red-headed. Nobody who is demonstrably gay or lesbian or bisexual. I don’t know anyone who is trans. I only just have passing knowledge of anyone else who cross-dresses. I know nobody who is …… then list is long. And if I know nobody in such a category -m then my judgment of those whom I hear about will be a pre-judgement.
Equally if I DO know someone in such a category, then I will be pre-judging differently. Picking an example at random – I used to be bullied by a Richard Griffiths. Do I suspect that anyone with that name might be tarred with the same brush; or, by worse accident, actually be that creature from long ago.
So I do claim some self-knowledge about my prejudices. But what about all the things I don’t even notice that have affected me over the decades. Nature. Nurture. Chance, Choice. Make your judgement. My belief is that most outcomes are a bit-of-this and a-bit-of-that.
I said I’m proud of who I am. That used to be, er, less true. I was screwed up. Did know then about my need to dress. Don’t be silly. I tried it a few times. Never got much of a rush from it. Tried on my mum’s bra – got discovered – decided the hassle wasn’t worth the effort. Well, not then and not there.
Later, discovered that buying panties for myself was easy – so tended to wear them in preference. I found that cross-dressing existed but little mention then of transsexual or transgender. Most of the mention was in relation to gays, drag and ‘perversion’ (say it quietly).
Later still, in my own house rather than flat-sharing, the internet began to tell me I wasn’t alone. I widened my range of attire. Nightdresses, skirts. I kept them out of sight to visitors and nobody ever commented.
I’ve been told since that I was addicted. Maybe so, maybe no. I’ve done my research. The AA bunch tend to begin with the ‘perils of addiction’ and ‘realizing that you are in thrall to your especial issue’. I hate to argue )not true actually) with a brand that peddles its propaganda so successfully. But their slogans irk me. ‘One day at a time’!! ‘You can’t stop yourself without giving into your especial guide’. Yet, amazingly, some people do just that. Even more amazingly, some people fail.
But – a different view is that most addiction comes from a need to ‘fill the hole’. The addiction is more of a symptom than anything else. The poor b***r, if he-she is anything like most of the addicts I have come across has no self-worth, no feeling that they are seen as decent, valuable citizens. And they value themselves least.
And thence addiction – in whatever form. Lists include Drink, Drugs, Tobacco, Gambling (the Notorious Four’) and Shopping, Videogames, Sugar, Sex, Cruelty, Spite………………….
And however long the list is, you must always include my personal set of favourites – the Seven Deadly Sins – Greed, Anger, Sloth, Pride, Envy, Lust & Jealousy [remember not Gospel but GASPEL-J]. If you also add in Abuse – that’s a heck of a lot of dysfunctionality. And you think you don’t suffer from any of them? Well done. You’re not even normal.
How can a society based on the so-called christian values of ‘love thy neighbour’ hate me so much just because I love wearing dresses? Some priests wear a sort of dress – and look what some of them do!!
I don’t pretend to be anything I’m not. As far as I know I don’t regularly smash many of the Ten Commandments. I don’t spare much time thinking about the Jewish God with his ugly repetitive propaganda that he is better than all the other gods and must be worshipped even by the symbollock but painful cutting off of a tiny piece of skin. I rarely lie. Even as an adult, I take no part in adultery. I covet not my neighbours’ house nor slave nor ox nor arse. I’ve not murdered anyone that I can remember. I give my parents the respect they are due – and I acknowledge that they made mistakes too. Theft, that’s a no no except for pens from work. And I take it slow on Saturday or Sunday as I feel appropriate with my other responsibilities. Do I stone casual strangers – no. Do I suffer poisoners to live – never met one except my uncle’s poisonous-tongued wife.
Am I a good guy? Truly, a lot of the time I try to behave well. Have I ever been a Good Samaritan, once or twice maybe. And I have taken a few people in when nobody else would – I reckon that scores me a point. But, like I say, I have this personal preference that damns me forever by some religious folk. Sorry, need to stop for a moment to adjust my bra-strap.
So, I’m walking on the riverfront at the edge of the park – in a skirt and blouse. I feel, um, okay. I’m walking carefully on my two inch heels. I’m enjoying the pull and stretch of my stockings and the garter-belt too. I’m happy with my, um, groin being tight and tidy. Not crushed as it would be with a gaff; I’ve used them but they don’t really suit me. I’ve succeeded a few times in pushing my balls up – but they tell me that’s painful. So it’s a pair of undersize panties and french knickers atop for the pleasure of the satin.
My skirt is lined, I like the feeling of the lining on my stockings.
My bra is making me feel that bit extra feminine. I don’t need it, but as anyone will tell you, it makes the blouse fit better. And like the pull and stretch of the stockings, I adore the feel of the straps, the tension across my back, the security of being held tight.
Perhaps I’m too busy enjoying the fresh air – and the gentle breeze up my legs. You don’t get that in trousers.
I hear what sounds like ‘hello’ from people who pass me. I don’t hear clearly as my ear-buds block most of the sound. I’ve got them set up so they don’t block everything. Making oneself voluntarily deaf is a mistake women don’t make more than once.
I give a little hand-wave to acknowledge whatever they said.
Another group of people are coming up behind me. Do I get a vibe that some of those comments are sounding ugly?
I don’t get upset that some people are different from me. Even if they are very different. Why should it hurt them if some people are different. Or if I am different. Who sets these rules? Why should some of them want to hurt ME? ……………………………..
Coincidentally, this is now exactly 2500 words (after taking a few out) – so for an AP-500 that got away, that’s a five-stretch.
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