Showing posts with label Transvestia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Transvestia. Show all posts

Friday, November 4, 2022

Do Clothes Make the Woman

Photo Courtesy
Jessie Hart
Early in life when my only feminine experience was with the mirror, I learned quickly my quick visits with my new friend did not last long. Within days I found myself right back where I started. Mostly very confused concerning my gender. None of what I was doing helped me with my youthful desires to be like the other girls my age. Years later I finally learned how I was beating my head against the wall. In reality I was just trying to look like a girl not be one. All of this was occurring way before the internet and social media and in fact long before the term transgender was ever invented. So I was very much on my own except for the occasional issue of "Transvestia" I received in the mail. It's founder Virginia Prince was very much into the theory of all transvestites should be heterosexual to be a member of her organization. 

Which in many ways was alright with me since I considered myself hetero at the time and was until my sexuality did come into question until I was transitioning. None of this helped me to understand clothes do not make the woman. 

It took me years longer to why I felt this way. First of all, I had to look at what I felt made a woman. It turned out, nobody makes anything such as a woman or a man, While it is true most of us are born into one or the other of the binary female or male genders, over the years we have the chance to socialize ourselves and grow into women or men. Secondly as we grow into women or men, clothes are just a way to better present ourselves to the world at large. Early on we transgender women or men learn the more proficient we become at presenting as our authentic selves, the easier our path is when we actually find our way out of the mirror and into the world. 

As I went through the often painful process of separating myself from the mirror, I still was having a difficult time understanding why just presenting well as a woman didn't come close to me having any sort of an idea of what a woman was. In other words, clothes for me were not making the woman. Following many more years of hard earned research and learning, I finally came to the conclusion gender was between the ears for me and likely had been my entire life. Clothes were just an extension of my inner feminine soul. 

Similar to any man attempting to hang on to his frail masculinity, I fought the feelings as long as I  could. Finally one night I decided to let my feminine self have her way totally. Now I wish I would  have manned up and did it years ago. 

I found out the hard way clothes do not make the woman. You do. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Transgender History

One never knows when simply being older than everyone else could be a positive.

One of the questions at last night's transgender - cross dresser support group meeting was what was your earliest remembrances of obtaining any information at all concerning your gender differences.

Being the oldest in the group, I was the only one to remember Virginia Prince , her  Transvestia Magazine and The Society for the Second Self... for male heterosexual cross dressers. The last issue was in 1979.

Over the years,  Virginia finally has began to receive the credit she deserved for being one of the pioneers of the cross dressing movement all the way to the beginnings of understanding the transgender movement. She came from a socially prominent family in Los Angeles and like so many of us struggled (and lost) a marriage because of her cross dressing. She began cross dressing when she went to a church Halloween party dressed as a woman and no one knew. So, again, many of us followed the same path as her.

I know I first obtained a copy of one her books "The Transvestite and His Wife" (1967) and immediately read it approximately three times. I also subscribed to "Transvestia" for awhile. Plus, my first dealings with other transvestites came from a Virginia Prince connected group in Cleveland, Ohio. So I owe a lot to her as a pioneer.

Virginia Prince
Virginia passed away in May of 2009. Follow the link above for more.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Life Turns on a Dime Part Five

 Image result for virginia princeFor me these were the days shortly after Virginia Prince and her Transvestia publication burst upon the scene. I was still amazed others in the world felt the same way I did. So, I ordered several issues of Transvestia and discovered a group of hetero sexual transvestites who held mixers through out the country. The closest to me was a very drive able Cleveland, Ohio so I paid my dues and headed to my first of several mixers.  

From those mixers I learned several important lessons including a much closer chapter forming in much closer Columbus, Ohio. 
Other lessons learned were some there were hetero questioning or as I called them "admirers in drag" cross dressers, and even a few who were on their way to perhaps a stealth (SRS) transsexual full time existence as a woman.
What Virginia never wrote about though was the difference internally was between a male who could pass as a female and one who had a feminine soul. So I know Virginia and others considered her a transgender pioneer but I am one of those who is not so sure.
I also discovered a very distinct social system as distinct as the one high school girls had. Very quickly I called them the "A" listers  because of their "mean girl" style social clique. You definitely had to look a certain way to be invited into the group. Which of course I didn't. However, these also were the ones who left the motel/hotel to go party elsewhere later in the evening. Later on I would attach the "trans-nazi" label to them but still tagged along-invited or not.
Other notable exceptions to the norm were the guys in their fancy dresses and smoking cigars as if to not let too much of their male self go.
Two dimes were dropped on me during these mixers in Cleveland. One, was an invite to join the group in Columbus and the other thanks to a free makeover at a mixer.
I pulled up my big girl panties and let a makeup artist take all my war paint off and start over. The results were startling. I was even invited to go along with the "A" listers without having to invite myself. Most importantly though as the night was beginning to wind down (right in front of all of them, a guy who seemed real nice invited me to stay over for a drink. I often wondered what would have happened had I said yes?
As promised though, I discovered an even smaller incredibly diverse group to learn from in Columbus as time marched ever forward.
Coming up next, German Village.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Transphobic Pioneer?

For those "more mature" girls here in Cyrsti's Condo, the "dark ages" of information during our youth and longer is hard to remember. How did we exist back in those days without our cellphones and all the other electronic info devices we have today.  The answer is simple, unless you lived in a major metropolitan area, obtaining any information concerning your gender identity issues was tough to come by.

One of the first persons I discovered was Virginia Prince (left). As with most issues in our community Virginia is thought of in many different ways. On one hand she lived nearly 40 years as a woman but denied being a transsexual, which today could be considered transgender but also was perceived as being homo and transphobic.

None of that really mattered to me as I eagerly read her first couple of books including the "The Transvestite and His Wife"- and never showing it to my wife who knew I was a cross dresser.  Shortly after that in the early 1990's I began to attend far away Tri Ess meetings, a  nearly 150 mile one way trip and subscribed to Transvestia. Published by Virginia.  Ironically, I benefited so much from many of the exact problems she had with others. Transsexuals in particular.

Very quickly I found there were several groups within a group at the so called hetero cross dresser "only" meetings.  One of the "groups" would always separate from the main bunch in the hotel we met at and go to the nearest gay venue. Those evenings included some of my first contacts with the diverse subculture I was in including transsexuals and drag queens. Let's just say I had a fairly good idea a portion of the group were not completely "hetero" cross dressers. I loved the diversity of the group.

Then as today, I do think of Virginia Prince of one of the gender pioneers in my life. She opened my world, although I did view her as a throwback to my stodgy old grandmother.

If you don't know much about her, Dallas Denny has written an excellent in depth look at her life. To take a look, go here.