Thursday, July 19, 2012

Things are not always what they seem.....

While running errands after getting our haircuts on Tuesday, I pulled into the parking lot at a local Target, in search of some deck chairs. A car pulled in behind me and as I got out, I saw a person in rather revealing garb exit his car. It took only a second to realize that it was a man dressed as a woman; a transvestite.

I try to have understanding and compassion for those whose compulsions are outside the norm, just as I would want others to have the same compassion for me were I fighting against a compulsion or obsession.  What I don't understand is why they often dress like what my mom would have called a tart or a floozy. 

This guy, who was so very obviously male (tall, very muscular, heavy 5:00 shadow) had on a very short skirt, stiletto heels, a tank top and a curly wig. I didn't get close enough to see his face except from the side, so I don't know about make-up, but I assume he was wearing some. Wouldn't the object be to blend be immediately perceived as a woman? Or am I wrong? 

I am not referring to drag queens. Drag queens are different, of course,  and the "tartier" the better for their personas,  I would imagine. They appear to be "larger than life" and over-the-top makeup and clothing is the norm for them. But I doubt they ever go to Target in their dress-up clothes, so I can't imagine why this guy was decked out as he was. 

I saw another man dressed as a woman last year in a restaurant. He also had on a miniskirt and stiletto heels, with a curly wig, a headband and dangling earrings. I spotted him teetering on his way to the restroom (I didn't see which one he used.) Why don't these guys start with lower heels, until they can maneuver in them, and then gradually get used to the higher heels. Unless they are trying to stand out like  a sore thumb, I don't understand it. 

Can anyone enlighten me?

P.S.  The photo is of Dame Edna, a very well-known entertainer. 


Thumper said...

It all comes down to their personal comfort level. The guy you saw might not have been trying to pass as a woman, but how he was dressed, to him it's comfortable.

There's also that psychological glitch that tells someone that the more out-there they are--with over the top tattoos, piercings, transgender dress--the more people will look away, and the more people look away, the more anonymous they feel. And anonymous feels safe.

Or those guys you saw lost a bet...

But mostly, trans-dressing is a comfort thing. And I kind of get it, since I tend to dress like a 15 year old boy...

OldLady Of The Hills said...

I haven't a clue, Judy. Wish I could be helpful, but I can't.

BTW: That was very interesting about the interior of Orchids---I am calling Van tomorrow and ask him about that.
I seem to have a perfect living room for Orchids---the blooms last a very very l-o-n-g time, without doing anything. Like almost 6 months!!

Gilly said...

I'm not sure that dressing like he did is a comfort zone. He must want to stand out - not sure about being the anonymous bit - surely someone would recognise him, unless he had bussed in from another town!

I could understand dressing like that for a bar, especially one for transvestite people to go, or maybe even a gay bar. (I do not have any knowledge of any of these sorts of bars, not even been in an ordinary bar in years, so I don't really know what I am talking about!)

I'm with you, Judy - I don't understand!

LL Cool Joe said...

Judy as a transman you've touched on a subject that means a great deal to me.

You've given her/him labels that may not be accurate. Firstly to describe gender issues as a "compulsion or obsession" isn't fair or always accurate. Also to describe her as a transvestite may not be accurate either. I'm calling her she because if she's presenting herself as a woman that's how I'm sure she'd want to be seen, as female.

Also if you are going through the process of transition you have to present yourself to the world as the gender you believe you were born to be before doctors will consider surgery. So that means for a mtf they have no option but to go out and about in female clothing even though they will still look very masculine. That must be damn hard.

So to compensate for that, many will "overdress" within that gender to pass. I went through a stage myself of looking as macho as possible. Biker boots, leather jackets etc. etc. Just to look as male as possible.

Also if you've lived as the wrong gender for a long time, you find a certain repulsion to clothes that you've had to wear. I've had that, so you actually adore and long for the things that you've been told you shouldn't wear. If you get me? So for me I adore things that are really masculine. Boxer shorts, combat trousers, after shave etc etc. So I assume ( but I could be wrong) for a man who wants to be female it's the opposite and they are drawn to pretty high heels, short skirts, dangly earrings etc. Anything that makes them female incredible female.

But there are also other people that fall into other categories here too like cross dressing etc. This why I so often say that there are not just 2 genders.

It's a complex subject, and I could go on, but I won't. ;)

Granny Annie said...

Due to my current diagnosis of PCOS, I have way too much testosterone and with that comes excess hair except for my male pattern baldness. Perhaps you were actually seeing a woman with just too much testosterone. I wonder if anyone sees me and thinks I am transvestite.

Isn't the rule "To each his/her own"?

Plus wasn't it entertaining to see this person? It gave you some blog material:)

Kay Dennison said...

I used to live upstairs from a drag queen and my take is that they like 'tacky'.

Carolyn said...

I've seen some like that at the Casino in Charles Town, WV, but I can't enlighten you why they dress that way. The ppl I'm most worried about are those who "dress to kill" literally, like the degenerate who dressed like the Joker to kill all those ppl in the Aurora, CO theatre.

Pat said...

I bow to Joey's diagnosis. Maybe she yearns to be noticed and wants to be loved - warts and all. As do most of us.

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Guess I have been protected or because I live in the country :)
Have never seen this...

Anonymous said...

Judy, I'm not sure what it was about your observation of the other driver that triggered the response that you've posted.

LL Cool Joe is offering to us all a furthering of our education - free of charge! Thanks, Joe!
Cop Car

joared said...

A colleague works a lot with voice therapy for transgender individuals, but hard to say what's going on in this instance. Don't think you have enough information about this particular individual to know what his/her situation might be. Sounds like Joe understands this more than any of us.