NOT TRANSGENDER #4:  Rebels
The people shown on the right aren't really women, even though they're wearing dresses.  Nor are they transgender. They're not even drag queens.  The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence just want to mock & shock the Establishment. They parody hypocrisy. (They also do a lot of charity work in the process.)

After all, what could provoke the Moral Majority more than a crowd of 2000 "dreaded homosexuals" laughing & unafraid outside their convention?  (San Francisco, 1984).


It’s all about power.  The establishment thinks they can control people with potty laws, "gender dysphoria" and accusations of "non-conforming".  Sometimes the best response is to laugh as you flagrantly non-conform, wear dresses and use potties.  What's the establishment going to do?  Ultimately, they're powerless.


But a protest caricature says nothing about the gender or inner self of the participating individuals.  After the hi-jinx, they switched their dresses for sweats & jeans.  And then they played a rousing game of rugby.

Gender Basics Portal

NOT TRANSGENDER #1:  A  means to an end
Someone completely missed the point.  Sgt Klinger didn't wear a dress to express his true inner self.  He wore it to be declared mentally ill, so he would be sent home from the Korean War.  Except, wanting to avoid getting killed in a war is a sign of sanity.  So he wasn't sent home.

Sgt Klinger was NOT transgender, he was a sane but nervous soldier.  (He didn't have "transgenderness" either.)


Throughout history there have been countless stories of women who pretended to be male in order to enroll in an all-male university or join the army; of men who pretended to be women to avoid military service.  After being defeated in the Battle of Culloden, Bonny Prince Charles (Stuart) pretended to be "Betty Burke" in order to escape the pursuing redcoats. 

Bonny Prince Charles wasn't transgender, either.  As soon as he reached France, the dress came off:  After all, it's distressing for a man to pretend to be a woman.  The pretender went on to live with various mistresses, he fathered children, and he was never treated for Gender Dysphoria.

NOT TRANSGENDER #6:  Fetishes
What is it about women's panties?  
      Frat houses go on Panty Raids
      Some men will pay as much as $200 for a Porn star's used panties.
      It's common for men to keep them as a momento of a successful conquest.

It’s even rumored that football great Joe Namath wore pantyhose beneath his uniform. 


One medical study claimed that 65% of the male population was sexually aroused by wearing female underwear.   These were red-blooded males, with a male personality (gender) and all-male interests and values.


A fetish is an object that substitutes for the Real Thing:  In this case, panties substitute for a female sexual partner.  When a man wears them, he doesn't think he's a woman; he dreams of being with a woman.

Not

Transgender

It's just as important to recognize people who are NOT transgender, as it is to know the Real Thing.  Gender is the biggest clue --  after all, it makes up half the word!  Gender is an essential part of every individual's core being.  It provides a place within society, including what clothes they should wear, how they should behave, and defines their various gender roles.  It's deeply distressing whenever an individual is forced to pretend to be the wrong gender. 


Just as Gender refers to an individual's essential inner soul, transgender does too.


It's often claimed that a transgender person is anyone who doesn't "conform" with the official stereotypes of their "gender assignment".  In other words, if society decides that someone is Really a Man, then that person better not grow their hair long or put on a skirt! 

Note that this definition doesn't involve the individual or their true inner self.  Society "assigns" gender, society creates the stereotypes, and society decides whether the official  stereotype has been violated.  (How long can hair be, before it's "non-conforming"?)


But what if it was Halloween?


The following groups of people are Really Men.  They don't claim otherwise.  But they have long hair (wigs) and wear dresses.   Sometimes.   ...When it serves their purposes.

The New Gender Paradigm

NOT TRANSGENDER #3:  Drag Queens
Like female impersonators, Drag Queens are entertainers  In fact, many female impersonators begin as drag queens -- the line between the two groups can be blurred.   Drag Queen shows have long been a part of gay culture.  The entertainer dresses as a caricature of a woman:  Every characteristic is exaggerated:  Stilletto heels.  Gigantic breasts bounce on his chest;  his hair sweeps the ceiling.  He applies a thick coat of garish make-up that sparkles with glitter.   Long curved eyelashes beat the air like fans.

The audience laughs, amidst whistles, cheers and wolf calls.   What fun!


But gays are MEN who are attracted to MEN.  They'd never dream of actually being a woman.  Queens don't want to be mistaken for women, because that would put them outside gay society.  So they overdo their look to be sure no one gets any wrong ideas.  

          A female impersonator wants you to think he's a woman.

          A drag queen wants to be clearly identifiable as a drag queen, not as a woman.

When the show's over, both take off their dresses & make-up.  They put on pants & a sweatshirt, then go about daily living as a stereotypical male.

NOT TRANSGENDER #7:   Intersexuality   
In the popular imagination,
intersexuality results from broken sexual biology:  genetic mutations, "ambiguous genitals" and monstrous "hermaphrodites" that are both sexes at once.  In biology class, people have been taught the myth that biology determines an individual's gender.  Well, broken biology must therefore determine a broken gender.  It follows that all intersexuals must be transgender.

ABSOLUTELY WRONG!  This is an incredible cluster of misinformation.


Every living being carries genetic mutations and biologic differences.  But the vast majority of these differences are invisible and meaningless.  Likewise, the majority of intersexuals live happy, productive and fulfilling lives.  They're not even aware that they're intersex (see Headlines above). 

Besides, biology does NOT determine gender.  Even people with visible and functional intersex conditions usually have the same gender distribution as in the general population.  ry day, mainstream people are surprised to find that they have a silent intersexual condition.  The vast majority of intersexual conditions don't affect Gender Identity or Gender.

In reality, intersexuality is a non-issue.  Some intersexuals need hormones or surgery.  But intersexual men are Really Men, and intersexual women are Really Women -- because biology doesn't determine gender.

                             © Cassandra Branch MD  (2016)

NOT TRANSGENDER #2:  Female Impersonators
For over 30 years, Frank Marino has stunned audiences with his impersonations of female actresses -- Joan Rivers in particular.  But Frank Marino is NOT transsgender, transsexual, or any other kind of trans.  He's a Man, as in male gender.  He was born a male, continues to be male (in spite of wearing a dress for several hours each night, except Friday.)  He'd freak out if someone offered genital surgery.  (So would his husband, Alex Schechter.) 


A female impersonator is an actor;  a full-blooded male who dresses and acts female in order to make money — as entertainment.    It’s an ACT.  It’s a JOB.  After the show, off comes the lipstick and eyeshadow;  on go pants and sweatshirts.  A female impersonator doesn’t believe he's actually a woman any more than he believes he's actually the King of England when he does Shakespeare. 


...It takes great skill to play an other-gender role convincingly.  Ask Tootsie (Dustin Hoffman).

NOT TRANSGENDER #5:  Masochists
A masochist wants to suffer.  They enjoy humiliation.  Imagine a big macho male:  a wrestler with bulging muscles, who challenges monster trucks in his spare time.  But he also happens to be a masochist.  What’s the most degrading situation he could ever dream of?

       ...Being forced to be a woman, of course.   Usually at the hands of a cruel dominatrix.


Spank me, whip me;  but PLEEEASE don't make me wear a frilly dress!  Anything but that!


Macho male masochists aren’t transgender.  They’re macho and male.  That dress is the opposite of his innate gender.  He may be non-conforming, but the dominatrix made him do it.