Queer/Race

“We’re gonna let you off with a warning. And that warning is: that lipstick doesn’t go with that eyeshadow, mate.”

Posted in Uncategorized by kriegerdeslichts459 on April 14, 2010

Come sit down and have a cosmo with me, I’m gonna get personal for a minute…

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been attracted to the feminine and all but repulsed by the masculine.  To me, masculinity has always represented an unattainable goal that quashed my natural proclivities and severely limited the types of identities that I could have in this life.  I grew up your standard American boy: played little league, did karate, roughhoused with my friends, etc.  But I knew that I was different from a very early age.  I knew that I was more sensitive, more attracted to aesthetics, more cooperative than competitive, and sweeter than my male counterparts.  Yet I still fell for the prettiest girl on the playground…

It wasn’t until I got to be 14 that I first formally acknowledged a queer identity.  Given my limited knowledge of such things, I self-identified as “bisexual,” because I knew deep down that I was attracted to females.  For the next few years, I bounced back and forth between every queer identity imaginable, desperate for a way to define myself.  Then I discovered Eddie Izzard…

This hilarious British standup comic taught me that it was ok and even cool to be a heterosexual crossdresser (yes, we do exist).  From the very first time I went out in drag, I have been so enamored with makeup and femme dress that it has come to the forefront of my identity.  Explaining this to other people is, however, a refined art form that I’m not sure that I’ve mastered.  Ironically enough, the straights are more accepting of me than most of the gays. 🙂

I stumbled across this article called “The Truths of Those who Cross Dress” by Ellen Sherman. FINALLY! An academic article that tells MY story.  This article outlines the eleven most common misconceptions about heterosexual cross dressers, and I have personally dealt with each and every one of them.  The issue that hits closest to home is when Sherman writes that “In fact one of the most difficult areas for cross dressers was how to deal with the women with whom they wanted to be involved.”  Apart from being painfully shy around women in whom I’m romantically interested in general, I also have to find a way to artfully work the fact that I look better in a dress than they do into the conversation.  Most women aren’t huge fans of that 🙂

Luckily, I’ve always gotten a pretty positive response to the whole thing.  A friend of mine just commented to me recently that I seem a lot less extroverted without my “war paint.”  I’ve been doing a bunch of really butch roles lately that require me to be hairy n such, so I’ve not worn makeup or nail polish in quite awhile.  I too had noticed a decline in my self-confidence, but to have my friend phrase it that way really put things into perspective for me.  There are many reasons why we straight men cross dress – for me, it’s a statement of power.  The most punk-rock thing we can possibly do is be exactly who we are in our dress and mannerisms without shame, fear, or apology.  When I shock people by wearing makeup, I feel the surge of power that comes from knowing that I’m displaying myself at my most honest.  It is an affirmation that yes, I am different, and to love me is to love ALL of me.  Plus, in my favorite pair of heels, I’m 6’7″, so I defy anyone to screw with me! rawr.

In summation, my aim is to make a queer space out of wherever I am simply by being myself.  If I’m waving my freak flag and getting glitter in everybody’s eyes (not pleasant, trust me), then hopefully someone will see me and have the courage to express themselves however they might wish.  Our identities are whatever we wish them to be whenever we want; there doesn’t have to be a set persona.  I leave you with this quote from my favorite poet, Andrea Gibson: “No, I’m not gay.  No, I’m not straight, and I’m sure as hell not bisexual, dammit.  I am whatever I am when I am it.”

Oh, and this should help you understand Eddie Izzard as well as myself.  Enjoy! 😀

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2 Responses

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  1. cpeverley said, on April 15, 2010 at 2:54 am

    AMEN to that. thanks for an awesome post!

  2. ajshort314 said, on April 29, 2010 at 1:18 am

    I love that you concluded this post with Andrea Gibson’s line. I feel like we spend way too much time categorizing identities that are trans/queer or otherwise outside of the categories (if you can tell me the difference between gender bender, gender blender, third gender and genderqueer I would love to hear it). We all experience our bodies differently. Affirming that is important. This is why I list my “gender presentation” as “AJ” on my Facebook SGO.

    I read Helen Boyd’s “My Husband Betty” a while back and was struck at how important she felt it is to categorize different crossdressers. It seems a little silly to me. I want to respect everyone for who they are and throwing labels on people seems to do the opposite of that.

    “Our identities are whatever we wish them to be whenever we want; there doesn’t have to be a set persona.” I agree!


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