CD/TV/TS labelling

(by Michele Angelique)

There seems to be some controversy in the transgender community as to the usage and meaning of labels such as CD/TV/TS. I'm unsure how this labelling is beneficial, but I've seen many instances where it divides people and puts the community at odds with itself.

While clothing and make-up do not make a woman, some men cross-dress as an outward expression of that which they admire most. What I truly appreciate are those men who strive to do credit to the feminine gender because they love women, whether manifested as occasional cross-dressing or by varying stages of gender transformation.

A number of TS women have opined that cross-dressers don’t deserve to be called “she” because CDs are not on hormones or altering their physical body to become female. I disagree with this view because it is incredibly challenging to come out of the closet, even if simply in cross-dressing form. I would venture that it is not often a decision made lightly, and to do so a person must have fairly strong desire to manifest femininity.

It is difficult to judge or distinguish immediately the degree of desire or intention, simply by the chosen label. I won’t jump to a conclusion based on a label, and will give anyone the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise. Therefore I will not accept generalizations such as “cross-dressers are sexist men disguised as women so they can act like whores”, because many CDs are men whose life situation will not enable them to truly become a woman, but they still feel the urge to manifest their femininity to the degree that is possible for them. Or some CDs just enjoy their duality, and want to maintain the ability to switch back and forth.

The way I see it is this... transsexuals understand how hard they've had to work to be accepted as a "she", yet it is transsexuals themselves who seem to begrudge cross-dressers the same privilege... many crossdressers may in fact be early-stage transsexuals, or simply men caught in life circumstances that allow them to only dream of being a "she". It shouldn't be so difficult for anyone to celebrate femininity. This is not an exclusive club.

If he wants to be a she, even if only part-time or even closeted, and is doing credit to the female gender, then my view is that "he" deserves to be addressed as "she" while doing so. I want to encourage all respectful efforts from men to manifest yin, in whatever form is most comfortable to them. The degree doesn't matter, it's the purity of intention that counts most to me.


Jenna said…
One again, I'm left asking the magical question "Lord, who is this beautiful creature You have created, and why must You torment me by placing her on the other side of this continent?"

Michele, I may be the lucky one here. In all my years of being transgendered, I have not come across anyone begrudging me the right to call myself 'she'. Now this may be an effect from my need to "get out more often"! Yet I feel well traveled, in the emotional and spiritual sense.

I know a couple of Transexuals. I hesitate to use that word because I'm not a supporter of "classification" of individuals. Yet it is necessary in order to make this point. Of the few I know, only one is a close friend. None of which have held me in contempt for the fact that I may be called she, or her. So in that respect, I am lucky.

Going out on a limb, I will speculate that TS women might find it difficult to call a CD or TV 'she' or 'her' because of their own struggle to 'earn' that right. Legally and socially it is a large challenge. I wish not to infringe upon their sufferance.

For me, I am content in being called, Sir, Ma'am, Miss, Mister, him, her, he, or she. Just don't call me late for dinner! I know who I am. It's the rest of the world that's messed up!

Love and Peace
Jenna, your not so secret admirer!
you know the old joke:

whats the difference between a crossdresser and a transsexual?

about 4 years.

people who insist on rigid classification and labeling others, seemingly for the point of differentiating themsleves from them, get no cookies at my tea party.

i refuse to use CD, TV or TS - we are all TG as far as i'm concerned.
Karen Reeves said…
Dear Sweet Michelle,

I abhor the CD vs TS divide. Is our small community going to squabble in our life boat ? We shall upend the boat and all aboard will perish !

As a 24/7 TS I remember my beginnings well. We all should never forget our roots.

When I am out with my friends who are part time, and may be in boy mode, I STILL address them by their girl name (no strangers being within ear shot). Their girl name is who they are in their SOUL, MIND, and HEART !

I so very much enjoy being out with my "less than 24/7" girlfriends. They keep me grounded in reality. They try so very hard and they TRIUMPH because they are BEAUTIFUL ! ! !

We are ALL simply transgendered, period. Only the amount of time varies.

With Love & Respect To One & All,

Alexis Rene said…
Wow so many awesome points here I don't even know where to start....
First Michele, whatever "label" you identify yourself with is nothing short of amazing! Such a magical vibrant soul behind those keys being pushed ever so eloquently. Your words just carry so much weight I can just stand in awe for the moment!
Lets see, labels on their very own are alot of grey area. There isn't a defining black or white that colors people appropriately. Never has been and unless something major happens I am not seeing this changing.
Case in point, I today met a genetic girl who was a lineman. Or a linegirl. She works on power lines, wears a toolbelt and drives a big 1 ton truck and hangs with the boys just nicely. She also has silky flowing long blonde hair and typically petite body and features. I will guess her at 5'8 140ish lbs and mid 30's.
2 weeks ago I saw a boy working in a salon who you would think worked as a Mechanic. Typically tough structured 6'0 180 lb early 20's genetic male. Granted he was a touch better groomed but nobody you would "usually label" as "that boy works in a salon?" Or a person you would single out if ya saw him on the street. He was just a man the same as the girl previously stated was and is all woman.
Are they to be "labelled" transgendered inside? In any form of the term? I haven't a clue as I never went to that depth behind their eyes.
I personally think "gender roles" are becoming a thing of the past....Thus the labeling will fall off as well. This is an arguable point obviously. But within that, the black and white will continue to blend together.
Anonymous said…
First, I would like to say that I think there is room in this world for all of us to live side by side and respect each other, and our differences.

For myself, I always try to use the pronoun that I think the person identifies as their self. If I know for sure that the person considers their self a man, I will tend to use the pronouns, him and he. Now if I am unsure, I will always use the pronouns congruent with their presentation.

Thank you.
jovona said…
ok i understand tat a person might crossdress cus they may cant do in certain communities or it can b da beggining stages of being transperson but wat if its not or wat if its just sexual or just a expression. so ... for somemone like who is a transwoman who i dont label but iam a transwoman thinks tat it gives a reason for people to say see transwomen are just efemme boys dressed in women clothes ... cus i get it all the time... people try to treat me like iam one of the guys or sometthing... i dont know ... all iam sayin is it makes being transwomen even harder for someone who does not understand it in first place just my opinion.
Maureen said…
I had a roommate for a few years who was in the process of transitioning. She would argue for hours that she was NOT TRANSGENDER she was TRANSSEXUAL period...

She had no opinion one way or the other on cd/tv.

I've found that many TS's join the GLBT community for support during their transition and then you never see them again once they have finished. They only want to be "normal" and left alone and never seem to realize that without the rest of the GLBT community they would have had an even harder time.

This is just my opinion of course, from what I've noticed here in Calgary over the last 10 to 12 years.

Anonymous said…
Yes. Tell it like it is. People want to label others because they are instinctively judgemental. Judging others breeds intolerance. First impressions are based on superficial appearance. Some transexuals can't stand crossdressers, some crossdressers fear gays, and so it goes. We should stick together for the strength in numbers that brings.
All my life I have dressed in a way many feel is inappropriate. Dresses as an infant, Halloweens, girlfriends wanting to experiment with my baby face, a wife who enjoys cuddling me in a soft nightgown. Acceptance. On the flip side, there was name calling. Labels. Judgement. I never "trans-ed" anything. The desire to dress up is genetic, can be influenced by environment. Some dress to attract men. Dressing up triggers my endorphens. It simply feels good, natural, relaxing to my femle side. No one is 100% male or 100% female.
If some woman is terrified that I might terrify her child, she should realize she is terrifying the child, teaching intolerance. I am a gentleman, a gentle man. If some man does more than call names, it becomes a battle of wits. If he makes the mistake of starting a fight, well, basic training taught me a lot and I keep in shape. If I have to be masculine to fight for the right to be feminine, so be it. I usually dress up at home now. To hell with the narrow minded.
At social occasions (dressing masculine) questions start with something like, "What do you do?" This gives people another label and salary judgement. I used to enjoy telling others (for their reaction) that I do nothing, something they can't understand, or the best: a salesman, (I'm in ladies underwear). You might find a partner who picks up on that clue and likes to play.
Dana Goodheart said…
Hi, girls...

Cross dressing does not make a man a lady... just look at the stats from various support groups. Many have alomst all of ther CD's listed as hetero men.

A lady is lady, whether she wears a dress or puts on pants, shirt and a tie is not important. She knows who she is... and that's not defined by clothes or parts that nature made stick out from her body.

You know whoe you are... even when what you saw in the mirrors didn't match what is reality.

Hugs and kisses to all of you who know the pain and joy of the journey of self-discovery.

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