Society (on the whole) has a problem with differences in people, especially when gender lines are crossed. One thing crossdressers often encounter is ridicule and/or harassment. The cause: choosing to be out in public in a feminine form of self-expression.
People laugh at other people in public all the time. If someone is too fat, too ugly, out of style, or has some kind of deformity, there’s a good chance they’ll be the butt of jokes from others. For a crossdresser, all one needs is to be identified as such, or as we call it, being read. That single element alone will draw unwanted negative attention, laughter, ridicule, and sometimes harm. Because only a very small percentage of crossdressers pass 100% as female, most of us risk facing this unpleasant treatment when we venture out en femme. Our crime is feminine self-expression.
I’m just starting to venture out into the public en femme. I got all dolled up this past Saturday and went for a drive (by myself). Mrs. H. was in the mood for a milkshake. Before returning home, I hit the drive-thru at a local McDonald’s and ordered us a couple of shakes. The young man (in his late teens or early 20′s) who handed me the shakes read me almost immediately after pulling up to the window. He had a hard time holding his composure but was able to do so (more or less) just long enough to hand me the shakes before turning around and laughing.
If you’ve seen photos of me (check the photo gallery), you may be wondering how he read me so easily. Looking feminine (to the extent of passing as female) in 2D pictures is one thing. In person and in motion, I certainly do not pass. My somewhat muscular arms were exposed, not to mention my femme-voice is less than convincing. Either of those may have played a role in his speedy recognition that my genetic gender differed from my expressed gender.
The photo up top is of me checking my makeup in the car prior to going to the drive-thru. Do I really look laughable? Is there a bright green booger dangling from my nose or giant wart protruding from face or something this guy might have found to be good cause for uncontrollable laughter? Maybe I’m wearing too much makeup. My wife told me I had on too much blush… and she’s right. I’ve seen real women wearing much more makeup than I was without being laughed at for it though. Aside from the fact that I’m a male to female crossresser, what exactly looks so funny about this picture?
No one enjoys being laughed at, but I can’t say it bothered me much. My immediate reaction was to begin laughing myself. For some reason, I often find amusement in situations that should be embarrassing to me. When I’m all dressed up as Gabrielle, I simply feel too good about myself for something like this to upset me. Even so, I would have preferred not being laughed at. I think it’s safe to say I also became an amusing story told to his co-workers/friends that night and will likely be a reoccurring story of “those crazy people you meet working the drive-thru”.
Being laughed at for simply being (read as) a crossdresser is pretty disturbing to me. If all other elements are status quo – why is feminine self-expression alone still cause for such amusement? The short answer is because we are still stuck in the 1950′s when it comes to transgendered issues.
There was a time when a black person might easily be laughed at, ridiculed, or even harmed by whites – the only reason being their skin color. It seems completely absurd today to think that such behavior could have ever been so widely accepted and tolerated in society. Does perfect racial equality exist today? Not likely. Will a black person still face laughter, ridicule, and harm from a white person simply for being black? With few exceptions, the answer is no, of course not. Why would anyone (non-black) treat a black person poorly simply for being black? It makes no sense.
So why then are the lines still firmly drawn at gender expression? Why is it funny to see a man who chooses a feminine form of self-expression? Why is it cause for laughter and ridicule? Why is it cause for harm? What year do we live in again?
It’s been established as fact, that crossdressers are not mentally sick for their choices in personal expression. Some crossdressers may actually be mentally sick, but that is an entirely separate personal trait and not related to the crossdressing. A mentally sick non-crossdresser is not mentally sick because they don’t crossdress, right? Doctors, psychologists, and professionals in the mental health fields all know the truth: crossdressing is but a very natural form of self-expression in men who have a strong feminine side to them. It varies from one to the next, but that’s it in a nutshell.
Sadly, it’s going to be some time before crossdressers and trasngendered people are treated with proper respect in society. Regardless, it’s not going to stop me. This is the first time I’ve been laughed at in public for simply being a crossdresser and it won’t be the last. I will not stop venturing out en femme because people might laugh at me. Maybe I’ll wear a little less makeup in the future, but I’m just getting started.