I'm thrilled to be blessed with being born in such an enlightened age. Time and time again in our history, humans have hunted each other down because of their differences. There are too many examples: Religious prosecution, American Indian Genocide, the Salem Witch Hunts, Hitler and W.W.II, Slavery, anti-Gay, anti-Immigrants, Racism, Fascism, Classism, Sexism, Ageism, etc. Being a minority myself, and being educated about diversity and related topics, I know that the world is not perfect. We're nowhere near being free of racism, fascism, and everything else I just mentioned. I know we're far from having our problems solved. But, compared with past ages of human evolution, we're not doing too badly. We've made significant steps in understanding each other, and accepting people's differences. There is, however, one more step I wish society could have taken before I was born--I wish it could have tackled transgender issues, too. I know it seems silly and not half as serious as any of the other issues, and that might be true, I mean, there's no transgender persecution going on or anything. But still, it is a real issue for me, and for many other crossdressers. There are more people with transgender issues than you realize. There might even be a phenomenal number of us, but because it's the most ludicrous idea, only a fraction of us are open about it or will admit it to anyone, even ourselves. A reason that the issue seems so funny is because society has dealt with it that way...Just to laugh it off and pretend it's not an issue. Transgender issues make us uncomfortable, so we laugh them off as a way to deal with it even though it can be a very serious matter.
There's one thing that I wanted to mention here. Accepting myself as a crossdresser was one of the hardest things I've done...Accepting other crossdressers was even harder. But I realized that in order to accept myself, I had to accept others. When I finally accepted myself and other crossdressers, I became a lot more open-minded. It would be ridiculous and hypocritical for me to be a crossdresser and go bash gays or be racist or something. So my lesson is this: Learn to accept people for who they are. This is probably hardest for people who pride themselves in being "normal." I did once, but once I realized there were things not so normal about myself, I could accept not so normal things about others. I don't believe that anyone is actually "normal..." There's got to be something different about you. Think about how you'd feel if people made fun of you for it, and then realize that you're probably doing the same thing to others, just for different reasons.
Ok, here's the quiz. What if along with being a crossdresser, I was also gay? (I'm not, but play along.) How would that change your image of me? Would it be "ok" for me to be gay but "weird" for me to be a crossdresser? Or would it "ok" for me to be a crossdresser and but "weird" for me to be gay? If you're ok with one of them but not the other, you're being hypocritical. If you're ok with both, you're awesome. If you're against both, I don't know what to tell you.
A Crossdresser's Dream
Wearing the clothes you wear is a form of expressing yourself. One of the greatest freedoms we have is the freedom to express ourselves. The clothes you wear show who you are, they talk, they express your identity. Now, Women have so much freedom...No, they can't wear anything they want, but they can wear dresses, skirts, blouses, tank tops, shorts, billions of different kinds of shoes, things in their hair, etc., as well as anything men are allowed to wear. You get the idea. What can men wear? A suit, gray or black. A white shirt. Your only form of expression is the type of tie you wear, but be careful not to wear anything too radical. Look at the contrast! In the clothing world, society has women flying free and men all chained up. Just a metaphor, but that's really how it feels to us crossdressers.
Imagine a world where men and women could wear anything they want, whenever they want. No rules. My friend could go to high school in a kimono, and I could go in an African dress. Maybe some would still wear suits, but only because it expresses who they are and because it's comfortable. (I doubt anyone would want to, though.) You would be accepted by society no matter what you wore. A clothing revolution! A crossdresser's dream. I have a feeling that eventually society will become radical enough for this to happen. Unfortunately, at the pace we're going at, a steady crawl, it won't happen anytime in my lifetime. Aw, shucks.
The point is, why do you care if a guy you know is more comfortable in a skirt than in pants? He's not you. He wears what he wants to wear and you wear what you want to wear. Do you care what color his skin is, or what religion he is? I hope not. Clothing is the same thing. It really is, it's just another trait in his identity. Just because no one else does it doesn't mean it's wrong, it just means that society is ignorant. Free your mind from society's norms, and express yourself!
I spoke in this editorial about transgender issues being the next in the ever evolving human rights movement. Perhaps this will happen, but something that I find interesting that I've learned recently is that trans people have already been accepted in societies several times! Trans people have always existed since the beginning of time, and in the case of the Native American Two-Spirits, who were free to live as members of the opposite sex and marry members of the same sex, have even been highly respected. I'm in the middle of reading Transgender Warriors, by Leslie Feinberg, and it's by far the best transgender book I've ever read. More on it later.
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