Rhonda the Cross-dresser - 1984
Something very personal today: Early on, I went to great efforts to describe myself as “just a cross dresser”. I have grown to dislike that narrative. For me, it has the implication of playing dress up, turned lifestyle. Using, the term cross-dresser is like telling people that I play dress up instead of playing golf. I may be wrong but I also feel that many people associate the term “cross-dresser” with some sort of odd and compulsive hobbyist. For one thing, I do not understand why anyone would deliberately choose a pastime of cross-gender expression simply for amusement or as a hobby. I am sure that they exist but their motivation for doing so eludes me. Also it is much too serious and complicated a matter to be trivialized.
For me it was never just about dressing up as in cross-dressing. Just as a uniform denotes the profession and can define; our personal appearance many times represents more. Example, would a police officer demand the same respect without the uniform? Would Betty Crocker be the same without the apron? Could a politician pretend to be the average Joe, without a plaid shirt? Just like the cowboy who wears his hat, jeans, and boots in the airport, he is saying to the world, "These clothes reflect who I am, a culture that I belong to, a philosophy that I adhere too, and a vocation that I perform."
Just as a tailored business suit with skirt, silk blouse and heels represents a serious professional businesswoman - I too am communicating a (my) preference when I get dressed and go out in the world as a female, groomed to look/be feminine. In the most general sense, I am saying that I want to be viewed as a female and to be accepted as one. Not a caricature. Messages that are more specific can be gotten from the particular outfit I choose, and the way I behave, etc. See my post on "Real World Or Halloween".
I am not trying to fool anyone or surprise anyone and at my age, I go mostly unobserved – “invisible”. My behavior is entirely in keeping with the image I project, and anyone acting based on what they see will encounter a response consistent with what they might expect.
However, why would I willingly give up male privilege? To give a whimsical answer, “it is fun!”. However, we all know our motivations run deeper. A person's gender is an incredibly large part of their identity and their lifestyle. So to forgo my genetic gender and feminize myself is definitely more than simple amusement or a hobby.
I do honestly enjoy the primping, the makeup, the shoes, the dresses and the styles. This is something that I have always been drawn to do. If I choose not to be Rhonda, then I am denying myself something that fulfilled and makes me complete. Sure, being a girl is super fun, and I will not apologize for it. In fact, I embrace it, and while I am embracing my femininity, I do endeavor to be the best person I can be, male and/or female.
I guess being a man or a woman is different for everyone just as being transgender is different for each of us. There is not a rule book past being honest with ourselves. So to be honest with myself, I am becoming fundamentally a feminine person. Just to be very clear - Feminine is becoming my default.
Being Rhonda suits me emotionally, mentally, physically and my social circumstances permit it. I enjoy the role of being a female/feminine. From the first time I ever presented, as a female to the last and every time in between, I could not believe how natural I feel, being feminine. It is like something I have always been.
At this stage in my life I am not "just a cross dresser" and I am beginning to question my motives. My question to you - Do you consider yourself to be "just a cross dresser"? Ask yourself - "What if ______________?" Fill in the blank. Does the answer change?
Personal Note: I want to thank all of you that read my blog. This process has been incredibly empowering. I have learned a lot about myself writing and giving myself permission to be open. I share my business card at professional and social functions that list this blog. I hope some will be curious enough to look under the hood and see what powers the spirit. Thus opening up the opportunity for meaningful discussions. Maybe the first transgender person they have ever known or maybe an opportunity to right a wrong impression. Either way, I endeavor to provide a positive image and intelligent enlightenment. I very much enjoy being myself, and comfortable in spirit.