How Many of us do Blackface?

I am sure many "Terf's" or feminists who want to exclude us out of hand from any feminine discussion, would also want to group all of us into one group (transgender, cross dressers and drag queens) into one category, and say yes.

Internally though, we know that is not true and the answer is so much more complex.  Blackface by definition is a form of  theatrical makeup by primarily non black performers to represent a black person. So drag queens by definition could fall into a similar definition. Primarily gay cis males who use forms of makeup to represent women.

From there on, the comparison gets murky.

Cross dressers, are primarily "straight" cis men who often are feeding a deep seated need to look like cis-women. You can draw your own conclusions if that is a form of "black face" or not. The old term "transvestite" can also be applied here, if you like.

Finally, when you consider transgender women, "black face" should not enter into the conversation at all.

Being over simplistic on purpose, trans women want to do much more than just look like cis-women, they want to live like one. The deep seated need to live a feminine life often takes over one's life, even to the point of ending a life if nothing can be done. Insert, transsexual here if you would like.

My difference between the two is ideally a transsexual woman (or man) deeply desires to have genital surgery to complete their gender identity, where as a transgender person is more content to live the life of a gender they weren't born into. With or without surgery.

At any rate, I thought the "blackface" discussion was a thought provoking one.


Connie said…
Inasmuch as blackface is considered to be offensive to many - of all races, and not just those of African decent - would you find drag to be offensive to cis women, transgender people, gay people, and/or cis men? Much would depend on intent, but black face has fallen out of favor for just about any reason. I don't think that Billy Crystal even does his Sammy Davis Jr. impersonation anymore, although Sammy, himself, came to some level of appreciation of it over time. So, what makes a male who impersonates, say, Cher, Dolly Parton, or Barbra Streisand acceptable at all? They can all be considered parodies, even when subscribing to the old adage, "impersonation is the sincerest form of flattery." Is it really sincere, though?

I don't think we can be over-simplistic in trying to find the answers to this. I've been haunted by the thought of seeing Milton Berle in drag since my early childhood, and I never even got so much as a giggle out of his act. In fact, even as a child who was so confused about my gender identity, I could feel the shame from the laughter I heard for "Uncle Miltie's" act.

It's taken close to a lifetime to accept myself as I am. I am not a parody or a stereotype of a woman, nor do I see myself as fitting into a pigeon hole that would label me. Above it all, though, I shudder at the thought of the patronization that can come from political correctness.