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Crossdressers and Transsexuals are NORMAL

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Posts: 1445
Topic starter
Famed Member     Seattle, Washington, United States of America
Joined: 12 years ago

What is normal? We'd like to see normal as the sweet simple way that we're taught through stories. That normal is a husband and wife who love each other, have two and a half children, a golden retriever and volunteer at the church on weekends. In fact our definition of normal doesn't even begin to encompass the wonders of who we are as human beings. In trying to be "normal" we strive for bland sameness, hiding the uniqueness of who we are.

In Amy Bloom's book entitled "Normal", she explores the world of transsexuals, crossdressers and the intersexed. It is a must read for any crossdresser who wants to understand the world of the transgendered beyond the strict definitions imposed by Tri-ESS.

I was intrigued by the story of Lyle, a teenage transgender who started hormone treatment at the age of 14. With the blessing of his mother and father who sought doctor after doctor to understand what was causing Lyle to be so unhappy. Amy expresses support for hormone treatment for transgendered teenagers.

Amy does a good job expressing the differences between sexual orientation and gender identity. Though I found her treatment of "heterosexual crossdressers" overly harsh. Perhaps it is an expression of resentment I haven't encountered, or perhaps it shows Amy's bias against Tri-ESS, who have largely coopted a definition of crossdresser akin to the "normal heterosexual family man who goes to church, votes Republican and just happens to wear a dress for fun".

"Heterosexual crossdresser bother almost everyone. Gay people regard them with disdain or affectionate incomprehension, something warmer than tolerance, but not much. Transsexuals regard them as men "settling" for crossdressing because they don't have the courage to act on their transsexual longing, or else as closeted gay men so homophobic that they prefer wearing a dress to facing their desire for another man. Other straight men tend to find them funny or sad, and some find them enraging."

Amy does a good job sharing the concerns of girlfriends and wives of crossdressers, and either accurately or callously observes how wives tolerate crossdressing even as the men get a childish thrill out of it.

I'll share a few interesting nuggets from the book, though this article will hardly do it justice.

The ratio of men seeking to become woman and woman seeking to become men is almost the same - very different from previous statistics that suggest four men seek to become women for every woman who wants to become a man.

There are estimated to be about five thousand post operative transsexuals in the United States, though no formal statistics are kept.

I especially appreciated this quote, by a female to male transsexual. I think he expressed well the fears of transition, and a way to overcome them. "The transition was hard, but once I was completely male, people relaxed."

The world of the intersexed was one I had not previously learnt about, and another good reason to read Normal by Amy Bloom.

3 Replies
Posts: 101
(@Lynn Jones)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago

You're right about harsh. πŸ™‚

> men "settling" for crossdressing

For some, perhaps that is true. But I don't think it's true for everyone. Yes, there's a grain of truth to the old joke....

Q. What's the difference between a transexual and a transvestite?

A. About 2 years.

... yet there are CD/TV people (pick your label) who don't want to change sex. Personally, I'm quite happy to be a part-timer. It can be a bit of a juggling act with family, but then (and with luck), I get to have my cake and eat it. There's comprimise, but isn't that part of a relationship? The act of give and take? πŸ™‚

1 Reply
(@Lynn Jones)
Joined: 16 years ago

Estimable Member
Posts: 101

Hehe, yes I think it's true for many folks as crossdressing is part of the natural journey towards a full sex change.

As you say though, this doesn't apply to everyone.

Give and take, yes - that's a lot of what marriage is about. Give and take. Compromise. Coming to terms with the fact that the other person may have dreams, desires, heck, hobbies that are different from yours. And that's okay.

As men we sometimes forget the give part of the equation though. It's easy to ask our wives to compromise for crossdressing, but harder to compromise ourselves for something else they want.

Posts: 101
(@Lynn Jones)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago

I have just found this site and love the dialogue, although I wish I could share it with those who believe that their perspective represents normal. I have read the book "Normal" although years ago. I do remember being put off by Bloom's apparent contempt for CDs. I think Virginia Prince's defense of heterosexual crossdressing bothers many who are willing to see homosexuallity as normal and transgender as normal, but believe that everyone must choose their singular "normal" and stick to it.

That said, i don't completely understand why I find crossdressing so exhilarating and satisfying. My wife shared it with me for a time, but grew uncomfortable with a number of things mostly influenced by societal factors. Among them was both my joy and proficiency in wearing high heels. I don't really like the fetish-type with garish design and high platforms. I do like traditional pumps with pointed, rounded, or open toes. I do like four inch stiletto heels. I do walk and even run in them quite well - years of practice. I have paraphrased a piece I read years ago about how HHs are actually good for our legs and knees because of the balance and tension they require to stand and walk properly. Joanne is annoyed about the heels thing because she has always found them aukward and uncomfortable.

I suppose the sexual aspects about crossdressing are distressing for spouses. It might seem that "they" are less the object of our attraction than the clothing objects. I don't believe that to true in my case. Granted, the dressing does release endorphins that create a feeling of wellness overall and that the release make sex more compelling especially at my age with ED and all those other complications. But, I could not be more physically attracted to my wife who remains slender, healthy, and attractive.

There is one area of comparison that I believe has never been effectively explored with or about men, by either women, men, or mental health professionals. That is the comparison between hunting, fishing, golfing, running, skiing, fantasy sports, lawn maintenance, bicycling, car tinkering, beer drinking, wine appreciation, scotch appreciation, cigar smoking/collecting, etc. I am first and foremost a man. As a man, I understand men. When prominent men have been accused of bizarre behavior and women come to their support because what has been alleged is so unbelievable, I believe most men know if it has been alleged, it probably happened. I have seen the compulsion of so many men in my life to do outlandish things driven by who knows what. I have observed the "orgasmic" behavior of other men toward a new gun, fly-fishing rod, or golf club. Now you tell me that that anthropomorphic fascination is somehow more healthy than crossdressing. Give me a break.

I spend far less on women's clothing. I don't book trips for Canadian-Fly-Ins. I spend virtually every weekend with my wife & she is my favorite golfing companion. A friend once told me the dumbest thing a man could do is teach his wife to golf. He wanted to be only with other men to share the "golf-rituals" around the male bonding experience. I am not criticizing this expression of manliness, but to redicule women's propensities, and the propensities of other men not so inclined, is not very objective or insightful. We all feel some compulsion for the things we do!

Finally, to bring this point home more graphically, when i find a new pair of size 11 pumps that match some outfit in the sale isle at DSL, I can hardly wait to put on some panty hose and try them out. When the clerk jokes that they don't look like my size, I laugh along with him or her. But, I do continue my day, completing my work or chores and wait to find the right time to slip them on. I have been with men on lunch-break shopping trips to find a new shotgun and watched them take it back to the office to "fondle" the stock with all the envious onlookers as they discuss fire-power and the birds they can knock out of the air. Is either of these compulsion somehow more perverted? I know my choice.

Be well,


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