As human beings, we have an instinctual need to feel accepted. Sure, we can dress up to our hearts content behind locked doors and drawn curtains. But parading around in the home without any greater acceptance of who we are beyond ourselves is, in itself, an isolated and lonely affair.
A crossdressing man told his wife recently that he didn’t feel any different when he dressed as a man than when he dressed as a woman. The wife scoffed and replied that she could see, absolutely, the changes that overcame him when he dressed in feminine clothing. A shift of perspective is a common occurrence for crossdressing men. In fact, I’ve faced similar questions from my own girlfriend.
If all of us are dressed the same as everyone else, will that extinguish our development for discovering what makes us unique? If the school uniform for boys and girls are specific, will a young boy who sees himself as a young girl be allowed to wear a blouse and skirt?
What’s in a name? It is the first piece of information we are given about a person before meeting them. Like seeing a person from across the room, a person’s name is the same as a person’s physical appearance. How they look carries a lot of weight in shaping another’s opinion of them. Most crossdressing men and women select a name for their alternative identities. A few do not. The more developed the persona, the more likely that masculine or feminine form will have an appropriate gender name attached to that form.
Why do crossdressing men seek out other crossdressing men? Partners, please understand that if your crossdressing partner has enough confidence and courage to step outside the closest and venture outside the home, they may want to seek out others like them. The desire to find acceptance in any social setting is an inherent human trait, not just relegated to crossdressing men.
What drives people to fear the crossdressing male? Are people so ingrained with the indoctrination of their faith, their upbringing, or generally accepted social constructs, that they forget about how their faith tells them to love each other, their upbringing tells them to be kind and good people, and the idea of society is to be social and accepting in order to build a better community?
My girlfriend fears two things about my expressing that I would want to have this photo shoot. The first is that, as I stated earlier, the role of the bride is a female privilege. Girls grow into women who become brides. It is a rite of passage in a woman’s life. What right does a man have to so eagerly and easily covet the role for themselves? If any man can put on a wedding dress, does it tarnish what it means to be a bride in the first place?
Love strikes at the most inopportune moments in life, taking you in directions you haven’t anticipated you would ever set foot on again. Love gives us acceptance by our partner as the person we truly are. Love wants us to be better for the other person, making them feel safe, wanted, important, and, above all else, loved. Hold the people that you care for in high regard, loving them unconditionally no matter what come.
It is appalling that so many men in popular or powerful positions do not (or did not) see their aggressive, unwarranted actions toward women and transgender women as inappropriate.
What follows is the speech I wrote and used to address a gathering of supportive men and women for the Long Island Transgender Day of Remembrance at the Sayville Congregational United Church of Christ held on November 19th, 2017