Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Pride 2019 - Embracing LGBTQ

Proud - Getting out in 2002
I am going to address a touchy subject and dare to ask: "What is the problem with the transgender label and being proud to be transgender?" Many see the term transgender as problematic simply because it is a label. Nonacceptance can run deep. 

If your feminine identity has a name, ventures out in the general population,  socially interacts, has friends and has an outside activity level - Are you still just a cross-dresser?   

From the first time ever I put on a piece of the opposite gender’s clothing, I assumed I was a cross-dresser although too young to understand that the behavior had a name. I knew it to be temporary, aberrant but repeatable. My motivation: I enjoyed it, despite the guilt. I was entranced by the feminine feelings and image. 

Later, I justified my actions by telling myself it was just an activity (cross-dressing). It was a private and secret action. There was no need for anyone else to know. It ran no deeper than the occasional trip down Feminine Lane.  

Cross-dressing for me was an action that provided a simple release of pent-up tension. When career, family, financial pressures overwhelmed, I saw cross-dressing as a temporary way to be completely distracted. An action very much like a long run/swim; private and internally satisfying. A temporary escape.

Denial ran deep and I saw my action of cross-dressing as a non-shareable, private aspect of my life; something I loved and hated. I internalized that if anyone knew I would no longer be respected or loved. In spite of this self-loathing, I would see a well-dressed woman and would try to visualize how that outfit would look. I would shop vicariously and the female members of my family were provided beautiful gifts. 

Then the ultimate challenge arrived. What would I look like and what would it feel like to express this obscure aspect of myself?  How would “she” look completely made up and tastefully dressed? What would it feel like to be out? How would the world react? These thoughts swirled but were always controlled and regulated by the rational argument that I was only cross-dressing.

Finally, I did escape using Halloween as the opportune vehicle. It did not have to be Halloween - Arbor day would have worked just as well; it was time. My motivation was to express a component of my personality that had been denied/suppressed. Justification - This would be a one-time event.

In retrospect, I knew that this was not going to be a one-time event. The most important takeaway from that first outing, the female identity, yet unnamed, was not a costume.  She longed for acceptance.  

I believe that once you cross the proverbial "threshold" and express your inner/second/real self (your designation), you cease being just a cross-dresser. Your motivation is now a matter of expressing or making known one's thoughts or feelings. Can you really deny the intrinsic female feelings and your need for expressing these feelings?  Why else would you do it? 

So look at what motivates you to be gender variant. Be honest - Are you still just cross-dressing? 

I proudly embrace the label "TRANSGENDER".  It makes me part of the LGBTQA group/family. As a group we can work together to foster understanding and enhance acceptance.  My pride now makes me "not alone" in an activity that I once wanted to hide. 

"We are only alright when we can be seen for who we are."  Let me add to that quote, "... not just what we do."  


  1. I think it is always a good thing to discover who the real you is. And the real you is way more than the clothing you wear. Clothing is basically a means to protect us from the elements, and the prying eyes of others. Just as we should be comfortable in our own skin, we should be comfortable in our second skin--our clothing. Too many cross-dressers look uncomfortable in their choice of feminine attire. You, on the other hand Rhonda, usually look very comfortable in what you are wearing.

    And while we must be comfortable, I also think we do not want to make other people uncomfortable. I know some people would disagree with that, and don't care a fig for making other people uncomfortable. I, on the other hand, do care about my effect on others. If I weren't pretty passable I would not want to go out. I have never sensed when I have gone out dressed that I made anyone uncomfortable. But I strive for the natural look, and that makes me comfortable. So I have never gone out glammed up, although I know there are others who like to do that. And my online presence is as natural as possible as well. By natural I mean with my own hair (I am not comfortable in a wig) and with clothes that blend in, don't stand out. I like to look pretty, but not heavily made up (I have never worn heavy make-up), I like pretty clothes, but not frilly or anything that looks odd on me.

    Sorry for going so much, and too much about myself. I just would like to emphasize that we each need to do the hard psychological and spiritual work to discover who we really are, who we are comfortable being, who we are comfortable being interacting with the world. We need to be honest with ourselves and others. Not always an easy thing to do, sometimes not really possible. But at the very least we need to be honest with ourselves and with God.

    1. Please note, dear friend, we are NOT responsible nor the cause for others 'feelings', regardless of what others claim.

  2. Oh, and Rhonda, I am so curious, and please excuse me if this is too personal, and so don't feel obligated to answer, but I am so curious about how your family has reacted with you coming out as transgender.

    1. Hi Tony - such an honest comment, thank you. I will write more on your request. Use the survey to share more info. Please comment any time.

  3. I cross dressed for much of my life, but I have never been a cross dresser. I knew, early on, that who I was had to do with so much more than just what I wore. Cross dressing was, for me, a coping mechanism that I used to bring some relief from my dysphoria. It took over fifty years for me to realize that it was not enough to merely survive; I needed to thrive. I don't label myself as anything but just who I am, although I'm totally aware that the world around me would label me a transgender woman.

    Men are from Mars,
    Women, from Venus.
    From where else, but a star,
    Is this girl with a penis?

    It would be fine with me if someone labelled me a stellar woman, anyway. :-)

  4. I understand that labels are often a necessary convenience. I is a shorthand way of getting a quick, but not often accurate, read on a person. As a rule, however, I do not like labels. I am me...you are you. We need to be who we are since that is often the best formula to allow others to "Love you just the way you are". Thank you Billy Joel.

    1. I do "Love you just the way you are!" Thanks for the comment Pat - Always nice to hear from you.