A Crossdresser's Lament

Comments

1
You're a married straight guy. Your rights are set. They're never going away. How about you spare a little wall-of-text for those whose problems greatly eclipse your own, such as the people Savage was actually writing about?
2
I have never understood the bathroom paranoia. Women's bathrooms all have their toilets behind stalls. No one using the women's restroom will ever have to be confronted by another person's genitalia. No one will be able to stare at anyone while she pees. The public areas of the bathroom, the sink, is used to wash hands, and reapply makeup or fix hair. No one sees your genitals at the sink. It's not as if some poor woman will go to put on lipstick at the sink mirror and some cross-dressing man will whip his penis out and urinate in the sink in front of her!

I don't know of any homes that have gender-specific bathrooms, but for some reason, people get so dang weird about the idea of who might go into which bathroom! Clearly this has nothing to do with real trans or crossdressing issues and everything to do with fear that any man or person who was born biologically male who steps outside gender norms is a child-molesting pervert who can't be in a room in which females, for even a moment, might have their panties down.
3
@1: Well put.
4
@2: Well said.
5
>Fetishism is a well-defined thing.
>not everyone agrees on which is which.

Pick one.
6
"My personal preference is the English word for those who engage in dressing as the opposite sex in public, for non-libidinous purposes.
Which, is me. I'm a straight, male, married crossdresser, and no threat to anyone."

Apparently others are a "threat" to you, so why should people change who they are to make you feel more comfortable?
7
Bathrooms within private homes don't have shared space.

I'm not opposed to non-gendered bathrooms (which tend to be singles, btw), and of course transgendered people should be safe and comfortable in the bathroom of their choosing.

But it does strike me as incredibly privileged that this straight male *chooses* to impose himself on women in the loo because it makes him happy. What about them? They're not in the bathroom because it makes them happy. They're there because they need to use the facilities. This isn't about his identity. It's not about his safety, his right to use a restroom in peace. It's about his recreation. His right to make other people uncomfortable (justified or not) for his own pleasure.

Whatever. I'm not going to run screaming when a cross-dresser or heavens-to-betsy even an ordinary straight male uses the same loo as me. I guess I'm just grumping that straight male privilege gets an audience to whine about this and that when there are people actually getting hurt about this. And I guess I just plain like having a ladies only zone. And I can whine about that too.
8
@1 that's bullshit. The writer's rights are not set. When he's out en femme, he faces the same prejudice that non-passing transsexuals face. Yes, for him it's optional, for a certain day. But it's not optional for a whole year. I exclusively date MtF crossdressers (not transsexuals) and while they don't have it as bad as MtF transsexuals, there are still many issues they face, one of them being which restroom to use when out in public, another being denied entrance to public establishments like bars and restaurants.

Dan does these CD's a disservice by broadly categorizing their need to dress as a fetish. It is a need, just not a constant need. And it's not a sexual need for most of them. There is a sexual element, just like when a woman dresses up to go out she wants to look sexy, but CD's out and about aren't wandering around with boners.

Now it's true that some CD's dress up and solicit, just like some women do, but that's a different thing.

I would say all CD's have a sexual fetish for crossdressing. They may be able to perform in bed dressed as men and in the male role, but they generally will find sex enhanced if they are dressed as women and take a more passive role (they often are submissive and enjoy bondage). That said most crossdressers, like most people, keep their sexual activities in the bedroom. There are some creepy exceptions, but there are creepy exhibitionist non-crossdressing guys out there too.

I would think this sort of urge to be a woman would be especially hard for a gay man to understand so I'm cutting Dan some slack, but he should learn a little more about the community if he's giving out advice.
9
Also I want to make it clear that I'm not arguing for restroom rights for the MtF crossdressing community. They are really hung up about the concept, but as the comments here show, even very liberal people can find it a hot-button issue. I'd be happy enough to be able to go out with my partner dressed and not having to worry about being refused entrance to a restaurant because of how she is dressed. My thoughts are if the men's room is too dangerous for a person to use dressed in women's clothes, it's too dangerous for anyone to use.

I think what the writer and I are both objecting to is Dan's idea that the reason crossdressers dress up and go out is for sexual reasons. In my years in the community, I have found that a CD's need to dress often gets even stronger with age, and while it frequently starts as a purely sexual fetish as a young teen, it's a more fundamental drive than sexual gratification and doesn't provide sexual gratification.
10
@2 - I'm uncomfortable using the restroom, even with stalls, with men in the room. I don't want to smell male pee (smells different,) don't want unknown men in the room when I have my pants down, even if they can't see my genitals. It just doesn't feel safe. Yes, I realize it's a hangup.

OTOH, I'm fine with the woman who was born a man, or even a man as low-key as this one, once in a while, especially if it doesn't even come to my notice.

Or a dad who has a little girl who needs to pee and still needs help. We need to be understanding once in a while.

But in general, a public restroom is not the same as the one at home, so I won't buy the argument that it doesn't matter since there are stalls. I worked in a place where there was a unisex, multi-stall toilet, and most of the women hated it.
11
@8 - hmmm, nope. A straight man will always be a straight man. He enjoys privileges that those born in the wrong bodies could only dream of having. Married, even more so. Pretending otherwise is unseemly.

Also, there's this:

"I would say all CD's have a sexual fetish for crossdressing."

"I think what the writer and I are both objecting to is Dan's idea that the reason crossdressers dress up and go out is for sexual reasons."

As @5 said: pick one.
12
Reposting @6:

"My personal preference is the English word for those who engage in dressing as the opposite sex in public, for non-libidinous purposes. Which, is me. I'm a straight, male, married crossdresser, and no threat to anyone."

Apparently others are a "threat" to you, so why should people change who they are to make you feel more comfortable?
13
@2: The reason we - transsexuals and other genderqueer people - get worked up about the bathroom issue is that we get harassed and occasionally attacked in bathrooms. Why the non-genderqueer women and men get worked up about it, I agree, is kind of mysterious.

@10: You seem sensible about your hangup. Which is great! But the people who aren't sensible about it, those people have created a situation where people like me often have no safe bathroom to use. So perhaps it would be good to be a little more critical of this hangup.
14
@ 10 if you realize that it's a hangup, then you also realize that it's not really germane to any conversation on the issue. It's kinda like people who have hangups about peeing if there is anyone within earshot - they don't expect this to have any weight in discussions on the acoustics of public washrooms. Instead, they just only go at home, hang around until the place is empty, look for single stall washrooms, etc. It's their problem, .not the problem of the public at large.
15
5 and 10, they are both correct. 1) A fetish very well described/known. 2) People cannot decide if it is transsexual for people like to dress in public and crossdressing in private to get off, or if it is the other way around.
16
@11 It often starts out as a purely sexual fetish but it doesn't stay as a sexual fetish. There are some strictly fetishistic crossdressers out there, but they aren't the ones going out in public. They just stay home and beat off in their nylons and panties. Any man going out dressed as a woman in public either fundamentally needs to or is a performance artist (drag queen) or a guy who lost a bet.

Most crossdressers dress because they have two genders inside them, not one like most people (including transsexuals). And the female side needs expression. It's not a sexual thing just to go out dressed for crossdressers. It's a sexual thing for them to be dressed as a woman and having sex with someone. That's how they have a sexual fetish. So I don't need to fucking "pick one". A woman can get turned on by wearing sexy stockings and a garter belt for sex, but it doesn't mean she should be beaten for wearing stockings and a garter belt under her dress in public. It's a free country, men should be able to wear dresses in public if they like without worried about getting beaten or thrown out of clubs or denied being able to use either restroom.

So yes, my boyfriend and I have all the legal rights that straight people have. And it's a lot easier for him when he's with me, my presence reassures people. But it would be nice to have the right to go where we like without having to worry about being thrown out of a public venue or denied the right to use either restroom.
17
Ah, give the dude a break. He's an Executive Transvestite. Like Eddie Izzard.
18
13, The gender-conforming women (or some of them, anyway) apparently think that if they allow us into the bathroom, how will they know that it is not a man in there who is just wearing a dress as the disguise waiting to rape them. And the men are just afraid we will find out if they are telling the truth or not. (Sorry, sorry, that was bad of me). Honestly, I don't know what men object to about it. You would think that the most outspoken would be for it, as it gets the guys who just want to eat, drink, and be Mary out of their (the guys') bathrooms. It might be that they are afraid for their GFs, sisters, and mothers (see previous imbecilic justification).
19
@11 and @5, why is it so important to you that these men attempt to simplify an irreducibly complex part of their psyches, for your comfort?
20
I don't think they meant pick a gender (although they may have). I think they thought the two statements were logically inconsistent with each other.
21
I personally am not afraid of men in skirts lurking in the ladies waiting to rape me. I think I'm just really bitter that this straight guy gets all the rights and privileges of being a straight male and some of mine, too. When it's convenient for him. Being a woman isn't "fun" or temporary for me, and it is irritating that someone gets some of the positives (and access to our safe spaces) without bearing any of lifelong negatives of being female. Like sexual harassment, pay imbalances, opportunity gaps, etc. Or who whines about it without any apparent sympathy for the feelings of the women who occupy those spaces. More pushing for respect for his feelings without any consideration for hers.

I also have long experience with cross-dressers who fetishize being a woman. A woman who, inevitably, is always a cock hungry slut. This view of women is really unappetizing and degrading to someone that actually is a woman, who is not trying it on for fun and arousal.

But maybe if he feels unsafe in the men's room, he might develop a better understanding of what it feels like to be the object of weird, aggressive, and objectifying energy, and thus better understand what being a woman actually IS like sometimes?

In any case, just wanted to illuminate where some of the (admittedly bitter) feelings of women about the CD bathroom issue might be coming from.
22
I understand, although I am in a position where I can't win for losing; I am a genderqueer bisexual woman. I can see both sides of this. If I go out "dressed", they don't want me in either bathroom. And it would also help situations where a particularly butch woman gets kicked out of the bathroom for not looking feminine enough. Not to mention the transgendered people who live that way full-time. You can't tell which someone is, necessarily. I can understand feeling frustrated, but the bathroom issue has to be addressed, for both straight males' sakes, and for the genderqueer and trans and gay people.
23
@22 I get it too, to a lesser extent. I'm not the most feminine-looking woman and when I'm out with crossdressers, I sometimes get mistaken for a MtF CD in the bathroom and get the looks and comments.

@21 I have a lot of experience being around nasty, judgmental, sex-negative women who feel they have to weigh in on everyone else's style of dress and attitudes about sexuality. There's always some bad apples in every group. I try not to paint all of us with the same brush.

24
Wow. These comments are depressing. Dan is giving air-time to a person who is a little out of the ordinary, but still mostly normal. This air-time comes at the expense of absolutely no one. And yet Dan's fans feel this guy should be ashamed of himself (or herself, whatever pronoun this person prefers) because some people suffer a little bit more.

Here's a hint, people. Dan's as popular as he is because he is respectful to people of all genders and sexual orientations, including straight males.
25
@21 - If a woman wants to go out cross-dressed and use the men's bathroom, significantly fewer people would care than in this case.

The thing is, the squeamishness about men in feminine clothing is generally more about misogyny than male privilege -- people can understand why a woman would want to pass as a man, but not the other way around.

What you seem to be irritated about is that this is a straight male who gets all the other sorts of while/male/straight privilege, but now whines when he has to deal with one bit of misogyny -- the same misogyny that women have to deal with every day of their lives.

I'm inclined to believe that if we attempt to get rid of this bit of misogyny, we'll be working against some of the more common forms, too.

As for the bathroom issue in general, I personally care more about safety than comfort. As far as I've read and heard, there have been lots of trans-whatever people who've been assaulted, harassed, etc. for attempting to go to the bathroom. As far as I've heard or read, there hasn't been a single incident of a man dressing as a woman for the purpose of more easily assaulting a woman.
26
I think there's a lot of generalizations being thrown around... I don't think anyone can really say what motivates a man to crossdress. I don't get it, but I kinda' don't really care either. I do know there are some who transition have a problem with the "transsexual lite" thing. A crossdressing man isn't a woman who transitioned. I think the catch all transgender term has really confused a lot of people more than anything?

As a woman, I do feel wanting to be like / dress like a woman only when it's just for fun or when it's convienent doesn't really make me sparkle. I mean if it's what he gets his kicks out of, that's fine. But I don't think wearing a dress provides any membership to the opposite gender.

Sometimes a dress is just a dress. If ya gotta pee, fine. Just behave yourself.

27
I have to say, I am surprised at all of the hate aimed at cross dressers in these comments. I have been married to a wonderful guy for fifteen years now. And sometimes, he’s a wonderful lady instead. For my guy, cross dressing is definitely not just a sexual thing. Like the cross dressers that Marrena knows, there are times when my guy is en femme and sex is involved. Then again there are times when he is wearing his favorite skirt and painting his nails while we watch The Daily Show with our kid. And he isn’t dressing up as a lark. Being his lady self sometimes is a fundamental part of who he is. I had a hard time with it at the beginning of our marriage, (He had disclosed before we got married, but I didn’t understand the extent of it at first.) and he tried to give it up. He was miserable. He sunk into a deep depression and for a while there I wasn’t sure that we were going to make it.

And then I came to realize that this really was a part of him. Mine is the man who can go to the store for maxi pads and ice cream without even thinking about being embarrassed. As a child, he protested for the Equal Rights Amendment alongside his mom. Early in our relationship, he brought me around on reproductive rights, (undoing years of propaganda.) He is a good human and a feminist. He can have a conversation with any person of any faith or political bent and explain his position without offending, and most of the people who know him like him.

And the few people who are lucky enough to know him as a lady, they like that person too. When he was younger, he did have a tendency to dress suggestively. It was one of the things that bothered me about his cross dressing, so I talked to him about it and he understood. He still wears girly clothes when he dresses, but he no longer looks as though he just stepped off of a porn set. I think of it as the late teens/early twenties of his alternate persona. The things that I wore out of the house when I was that age make me blush now.

And when I say few people, I mean just that. Our daughter and three of our closest friends know this secret. When we lived in the city he was able to go out as a she once or twice and he cherishes the memory of those evenings. Now we live in a more rural community. My lovely lady husband never ventures past our front porch. If a guest shows up unexpectedly he can be seen dashing up the stairs for socks to cover his painted toes. He is afraid that being more out would put his career and his family in jeopardy. The few times he has come out with me, dressed under a coat and waiting in the car, I feared for his safety so much that he doesn’t leave the house dressed any more.

Sorry for the saga, I guess I just don’t understand the animosity that I am seeing here. I am so incredibly lucky to be married to this person. Why would anyone judge him for what he wears, or deny him a place to safely relieve himself if he were in public?

Finally, let me say to all of the ladies who have complained to their friends of men who just don’t understand them, consider dating a cross dresser. I’ve got the best of both worlds. :)
28
I'm a woman, and I've always felt a little bit offended by men who aren't performers or aren’t indulging in a gender-transgressive fetish "dressing up and behaving as a woman". I know that my feelings about this have something to do with my experience growing up without rigid gender roles imposed on me, so it never even occurred to me that the ‘self’ should be separated into a 'lady self' and a 'gentleman self' nor that a person is supposed to suppress whichever self doesn’t match their biological sex.

My issue is this: As a male-identified man, you aren't dressing as a woman, you're simply wearing clothes and accessories that are designed and marketed to women, and there's certainly nothing wrong with that, with perhaps the exception of shape and fit. What I’ve always been uncomfortable with is this idea that you’re playing at being a woman as if 'woman' were a character like a Klingon or a fairy-tale princess or an anime girl. And you get to put it on and take it off as if it is a costume and you are playing a role. You may experience awful treatment that is rooted in misogyny at the hands of homophobic and gender-rigid bigots, but you're not experiencing that misogyny *as* a woman (although I'll grant you that the hate can be worse, given that, in the eyes of your tormentors, you're challenging hetero-male hegemony by rejecting your ‘masculinity’ and actually choosing to be the most horrible and degraded thing imaginable to them: a woman). And perhaps some of my feelings of offense come from what I perceive as a lack of commitment on the part of male cross-dressers as opposed to trans-women: when you grow tired of being your 'lady self' you can put her away in the closet and reclaim your male privilege. I really don't take issue with anyone's gender expression, but there is something that feels objectifying and even a bit ridiculing when a man 'behaves like a woman' as if woman-ness could simply be reduced to a set of behaviours distinct from mere human behaviour, and that ‘behaving like a woman’ somehow can’t be done at the same time as behaving like or being a man. Way, way back in the late 1990s, I took a course with a professor who was out about his cross-dressing. He didn't typically teach when he was being his ‘woman self’, but on the day that he did he was much more genial and pleasant and considerably less obnoxious than usual. I just didn't understand why he couldn't be that way when he was being his ‘man self’ too.
29
@27--I feel for you. Even here in Boston where it's pretty damn open, there are still places that are worrisome. All these posters here blithely talking about straight male rights, how great crossdressers have it, well, they haven't seen the alcoholism and depression that comes from having to live a double life. And some of them try so hard to erase that part of themselves, signing up for the manliest jobs and hobbies--decorated veterans and cops, many of them.

But all things considered, your husband has it good compared to most crossdressers, because he has you. The worst thing about being in the closet is it's really hard to meet people. While I'd say most CD's are more in the bisexual area of the Kinsey spectrum, they tend to be on the hetero side, especially in how they bond emotionally. And every CD I've known has wanted to be dressed outside the bedroom, to have dinner together dressed or even watch the game dressed. So while it can be handled the way Dan recommends bringing up fetishes, the third month in a vanilla dating relationship, with CD's since it's more than just a bedroom activity it would be helpful for CD's to be able to find women like us by actually meeting us dressed. But there aren't really places for that, and there's so much prejudice out there against CD's. So CD's often settle and end up just dating each other. Of course there are some CD's who prefer that, but most indeed lament. At least gay men had gay bars, pre-Stonewall.

@28 I'm trying not to bristle at you. Women here have the freedom to wear pants whenever we like, without worried about getting beaten. You grew up without rigid gender roles imposed on you. Now maybe there will be a time when a man can wear a dress and makeup and it will be no big deal, but it wasn't all that long ago when a woman in the U.S. dressed wearing slacks was considered to be crossdressing. Dietrich and Hepburn were mavericks in their day, and their independent thought and bucking of social norms was considered masculine at the time. Clothes make the man. How would you feel if someone said "What I’ve always been uncomfortable with is this idea that you’re playing at being a woman as if 'woman' were a character like a Klingon or a fairy-tale princess or an anime girl. And you get to put it on and take it off as if it is a costume and you are playing a role. Clothes have nothing to do with your personality, you should be able to express all parts of your womanhood, your humanity, while wearing demure ankle-length dresses in feminine, floral fabrics."
30
I wouldn't characterize opinions that come from some women (including myself) as 'hate.'
I do think there is a vast difference between being a woman and dressing up like one. Or experiancing mean type things as a man that looks like a woman versus a woman. Just because it's different dosesnt equal "hate."

+ well said 28.
31
@28 - Re: the professor -- I think the charitable conclusion is that his male identity was just about as much of a mask as his female identity.

Mind you, it might not be, but shouldn't we be charitable toward people who might be transsexual, but just identify as a crossdresser because that's an easier step to take?

Or, beyond that, why be irritated by men who imitate women for a day or two, when there are plenty of ultra-macho men who dish out plenty of misogyny and never experience a whit of it like the crossdressers do? Yes, some men play at being women, then get to go back to having male privilege, but condemning that action seems about as reasonable as condemning bi people for being gay when it's easy and going back to straight privilege when it's not.

The problem isn't the people who swing both ways; it's the hatred/disgust/discrimination toward the non-privileged.
32
I'll admit to feeling a strange kind of outrage when reading about men or trans women who want to dress or live female. Unfair and prejudiced, yes. But it feels insulting, much like those TV programmes where a rich business person hides out in a slum for a week 'living the life of the poor'.

The situation is not the fault of the individual concerned, but when people in these situations choose to talk about their experiences, I'd be interested to know how much they have thought about the injustices which most women experience.
33
Or which most cis women experience, I should say.
34
It's interesting to see my words picked apart like a frog in some Biology class. Let me say first of all, that perhaps I was a bit naive, but I thought I was writing to Dan, mostly as background on the subject. I didn't think I was writing for publication. Yes, definitely naive.

As far as my rights go, that's an interesting subject, so let's talk about them a bit. Thanks to our state government here, with major props to our governor, we finally got marriage equality here last year, so whether you're straight or gay, you can get just as married as me, should you happen to meet someone you'd like to spend the rest of your life with. The latest Circuit Court of Appeals case has shot down DOMA, so there's additional hope on the horizon. And yeah, I know about the crazies and their proposed amendments, and what will happen if Romney wins the right to appoint Supreme Court justices. But right now, equality is looking up, and good luck on R74 in Washington, but work on it hard in these last two weeks, please. It's important not just for your state, but for the whole country.

So speaking of equality, let's look at the progress of the last 40-some years. While things are still shitty in places, there are other places in this country where gay people are just average citizens living average (i.e. anywhere from crappy to fabulous) lives, part of the human landscape.

When it comes to Gender issues, i.e. Gender Identity and Gender Expression, we've actually made a lot of progress considering where we started, but nowhere near as much as we've made on Sexual Preference issues. We've made gains for physically Intersexed (DSD) people and for Transsexual people, although not nearly enough. Young folk today are much more comfortable with the notion of Genderqueer, so I think things are generally looking up.

But then, we still suffer a lot of confusion between gender issues and paraphilias/fetishism. And that's where my letter to Dan came in. Just like Sexual Preference and Gender Identity are unrelated to each other, so is Fetishism, even when it involves lingerie or whatever. They're separate things. They can overlap. You can have a gay, transgender, fetishist, I guess, but they're three different things.

Now, I'll admit that as a "part-timer" who can pass as a normal man, I don't have as much trouble as someone who cannot bear life at all in their assigned gender. But, this is not some game. I imagine some here are picturing me as some 30-something alpha male who gets whatever I want in life, yadda yadda. That's not me. First of all, I'm a generation older. Then, I'm not particular masculine. Not in terms of physique nor in terms of prototypical behavior and deportment. When I'm presenting as a male, I'm sometimes aware that I'm actually suppressing part of my nature. It involves posture, how I walk, language, and behavior. When I can "dress," despite my original choice of words I'm not actually "acting" the part of a woman, it's almost like I'm dropping the societally-commanded act of being a man. I just feel more relaxed, more myself. My nature, I suppose is maybe 70/30 male/female, or maybe 60/40.

On the apparently all-important bathroom issue, despite the fact that I have a right to, I've yet to use a communal bathroom while I'm presenting "en femme." I'm more nervous about it than the commenters here seem to be. The small bars here have single-hole unisex toilets. Ditto most of the private parties and events I've been to.

As for being selfish, I've probably done more than some of you to be supportive of all "non-normative" gender outlaws in this society. I organized a Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil at my church two years in a row, and I was a group marshal in the New York Pride Parade for the last two years.

Anyway, I wasn't aware I was writing that original message for publication, or I probably wouldn't have written it at all. It's a complicated issue and I was hoping to bootstrap Dan into using his marvelous educational talents to do it.

Thank you, Marrena and Kitchenwitch. I'm glad someone understands.
35
@27/kitchenwitch

I'm sorry if I came across as negative to cross-dressers in general. I don't feel that way. I think cross-dressing, gender-bending, and whatever kind of gender expression a person wants to experiment with is ok, awesome, fun, interesting - a whole host of positive adjectives. I don't want people to have to hide who they are, even if that makes other people a bit uncomfortable. Being your complete self is important, and the rest of us will and should learn to deal with it.

What I object to is pretty much what Greyj said - the kind of tone-deaf whining on the part of the letter writer about the single bit of misogyny he had to deal with. Admittedly, it's bitter, but perhaps I would be more sympathetic to him if he seemed less "me, me, me!" and a bit more self-aware.

And also what ignatz said - the putting on of stereotypically "feminine" attitudes and garments as if being a woman was a character. A character that is coy or slutty or other generally negative, traditional, and objectifying adjectives that I resent being associated with.

As if I were playing a man, and to be "manly" I started grabbing my crotch, ass-grabbing women, being loud and drunk and generally obnoxious, unkempt and uncouth. That is pretty insulting towards men, don't you think? I think that a lot of the portrayals of women I've seen from cross-dressers betray their own shitty, sexist and misogynist attitudes about women. And I resent the hell out of that.

I'm glad to hear that your husband is a feminist and that you are so supportive and awesome about his cross-dressing. It sounds like he deserves your support, and I think it's amazing and beautiful. I can still feel negatively about some people's privileged whining and shitty portrayals of women without denigrating your shared experience. This ish is complicated. But I really appreciate that your husband doesn't just take on the role of a woman, but actually lives in a manner that supports and empowers us. Go him! And go you!
36
cv
37
I would avoid calling the ability of men in drag to use female bathrooms "male privilege" because it really is not.

This is because women are generally tolerated in men's rooms (at least at every concert/sporting event I have ever been to), and I do not see why a woman in drag could not use the men's rooms unmolested.

Since it is not a right or benefit conferred solely on men by social structures, it is not male (or white, or whatever) privilege. Male privilege is the glass ceiling, or the fact that women hold political and governmental positions at a rate far lower than 50%.

If anything, a man in drag being chased out of a lady's room is being hounded for his masculinity/genitals, not for his wearing of a dress.

38
Oh, man, just unisex bathrooms and be done with it. I'm a (cis) woman, and I approve this message. FWIW, people used the bathroom argument as a reason to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment, too, feminists.

The analogy of CD to bisexuality is apt, no?
39
This whole thing is such a non-problem. You live in a world where most people are one thing. You are different. There's nothing wrong with that, but you will have to answer questions and deal with other's misunderstanding, idiocy, and judgment.

It's called life and his sounds pretty effing easy and great, still. Even though he has to politely explain things and feels uncomfortable sometimes, it's still a great life to be boo-hooing about, I think.
40
@39 Sheesh. I wasn't boo-hooing about my life. I'm pretty damned happy about it these days, as well as my support network. I was trying to make a point, to Dan, not the entire world, about the difference between crossdressing and fetishism, and I was using myself as an illustrative if anecdotal example. I love Dan, his advice, his enthusiasm, and his attitude about sex, but I thought this was a point he was missing. This wasn't some screed I was trying to get published in Slog. It wasn't I, Anonymous. As for my comment @34, forgive me for feeling like I needed to respond to some of the comments here.
41
@40, I'm sorry for being snarky. I just feel like a lot of things I read these days are from people who have it great and yet still seem to feel owed something, or like they ought to have it easier or be more understood.

I do understand you though, I think. You enjoy dressing and behaving as a woman occasionally. It's not a raging hard-on thing for you or the desire to be belittled or degraded as a woman.

I guess for me, it's no big deal. I do hope you have more fun than deal with jerks in your life.
42
I identify as a cis-gendered cat…how come they don't have litter boxes in restrooms?
43
I can understand why some women (and men) feel uneasy at the thought of men in women's bathrooms. Some years ago, a woman who was shopping in my local supermarket let her 12 year old daughter go to the bathroom while she finished the shopping. A man followed the child into the (otherwise empty) bathroom and raped her. But he was not wearing women's clothes. At the risk of making a wide generalization, I find it hard to believe that a male rapist would be prepared to dress as a woman, even in order to facilitate rape.

While I recognise that there is violence against masculine-presenting women, I think it is safer for someone who is obviously a woman to publicly wear stereotypically men's clothes than for someone who is obviously a man to wear stereotypically women's clothes. Even my 13 year old (who has Asperger's Syndrome) has noticed and remarked on the discrepancy, after seeing the difficulties experienced by a teen boy in her school, who simply wore a decorative scarf with his normal boy-clothes. She said that she does not experience the same prejudice for preferring to wear clothes that are more typically masculine than feminine, and that she thinks it is harder for boys in that respect.

I'm pretty sure that going to the men's bathroom would be risky for men who are dressed in women's clothes. I'm fairly certain they would have more reason to fear for their physical safety than a woman who had strayed into the men's room by accident. Personally, I wouldn't mind if CD men used the women's bathroom. But, I have to ask, is it uncommon to have separate, one-room 'disabled' bathrooms in the States? Because it's pretty common in the UK, and you don't *have* to be disabled to use them - in fact, I have frequently used them when out with young children, as there's more space there than in a cubicle. As long as you're not keeping a disabled person waiting, why not?
44
Did someone declare it bitter week? Seems like commenters are a little less sensitive than usual.
45
@35 "I think that a lot of the portrayals of women I've seen from cross-dressers betray their own shitty, sexist and misogynist attitudes about women. And I resent the hell out of that."

Thank you for articulating that so perfectly. That's precisely how I feel.
46
Sorry, but after fifteen years living with a crossdresser and chatting with many other wives of crossdressers, I don't believe for one second that this isn't a sexual condition.

Not. One. Second.

The collective delusion in the CD 'community' that they're special because they have a 'girl inside' is so ridiculous it's embarrassing. I hear this all too often but the reality couldn't be further away. If this were about a gender conflict then clothing would have very little place in their process. They would be feminine, nurturing, empathetic and any other classic feminine trait but they WOULDN'T give a crap what they were wearing. Feminine is NOT an outfit.

But that's ALL they care about, and the 'girl within' is coincidentally more Pamela Anderson than Hillary Clinton. Crossdressing is absolutely in keeping with male sexual behaviour. Christ, just read Dan Savage to see how familiar this sounds. They've just been dressing for so bloody long they've all but forgotten where it started...in their mother's closet with a boner!

Hate me if you like, but very few wives of these men would agree with the propaganda we hear on a daily basis. The wives, I swear, are often the only voice of reason among this mess. These men shouldn't be using women's toilets any more than a guy in a work suit should. The ladies here who consider crossdressing misogyny are not entirely wrong, except that this would entail these men actually considering women somewhere in their thought process. But they don't. It's ALL about them and how THEY feel.

Sorry, but crossdressing IS sexual. The rest is just delusion and spinning and this wife is personally over it.
47
One feels that by the type of language that Ignatz and Kitchenwitch uses that they are not really 'ladies'. Even as adults to express one's thoughts in such a way is, to say the least, rather crude. One can only assume that these two must have had a tremendous amount of experience with those who, like myself, cross dress to gain such outlooks. Or, perhaps, they are so narrow in their lives that they cannot bear the thought that we can have a very deep part of us that needs to exprerss our feminine side. Over sixty odd years those who have known me as Ken/Katherine treat me as a person whichever gender role I am in at that time. The three words used by the two 'ladies' are not ones that I would use and many of my other CD friends would find them abhorrent. Going back in years if, as youngsters, we had been heard by our parents using such language our mouths would have been washed out and a sore rear added.

I only use the female toilets if it is absolutely necessary and the rule that most CDs observe is to enter, relieve oneself, and exit without causing trouble. Those who have written to say that they would feel uncomfortable knowing that a male was in the female toilet would have to have positive proof that this was so. Unless the CD was poorly presented they would not know this. I would point out that many proper females have no qualms about urinating in public when in their cups. One asks, should CDs be expected to do this rather than behave properly?
If we were 'mysoginists' how come that we take on the female form? If we hated females then we would not wish to emulate them. In contrast how many females assume the right to wear apparel, such as trousers, that are very much male in character and, sadly, when out act in the way that is far from feminine.
For me there is a sense of peace, a sense of being myself, when I dress - there is nothing sexual about it and never was before I was widowed. Like the couple who are close through their union even with her husband being crossdressed, my wife assisted me in every way. She was open enough to see that this was not a 'fetish' part of me but something much deeper, something that could become rather lovely.
'Fetish' I would put as being those who crossdress to take part in activities such as 'bondage' and other things that are acted out for sexual reasons. I do not subscribe to this sort of thing but it is not my place to judge those that find release in that sort of way. They have their lives to live, I have mine and whilst I am on this earth whether I am male/female it will be my wish to be in harmony with those I meet and to be there if they ever needed help.
Ken/Katherine
48
@35 Then you by definition resent drag queens. You must. If you hate anyone dressing in a way that shows or exaggerate female tropes, there is not way to avoid it. CDs usually are trying to look like actual, real women. Sure, some may emphasize certain mannerism or something, but realness and naturalness are generally goals. Drag queen however are the ones who objectify women if you think about it. They take gender apart and put it back together. They play, blend, and draw out with various elements of femininity. So you must also resent that.
If you can have that much resentment for drag queens, you are truly humorless and sad.