Wednesday, September 28, 2005

We are our own worse enemies

(by Marlena Dahlstrom)

Good news and bad news....

The good news is that a would-be novelist joined one of the online forums I belong to in order to do researching on cross-dressing for a novel where the protagonist happens to be a crossdresser -- someone who was fired when he was outed, but who has the huevos to stay in town and carry on with his life.

The writer, call him Philip, was open about his intentions, when it would have been really easy to fake a profile and present himself as a newbie. He doesn't make crossdressing the centerpiece, rather just an interesting aspect of the protagonist (the focus will be on the character's professional life, and he just happens to cross-dress). Philip had a few misperceptions, which we corrected, and seems genuinely interested and respectful. In fact, he said he's rewriting some things in light what he now understands.

We did let him know that a crossdresser who's out like that is pretty atypical (although Lacey Leigh was recently outted by a business rival and received quite respectfully a conference for her industry, where were her guy self was well known). But I'd rather have an unrealistically open and well-adjusted crossdresser than the unrealistic media protrayals we usually see.

Unfortunately a few members of the forum freaked out at having a non-CD/SO visitor and made some rather immature and prejudiced comments to Philip, insinuating he was a pervy voyeur, which prompted Philip to leave despite the forum owner making it clear he'd been admitted with her blessing and support. *sigh*

He does plan on keeping in touch with those of us who are interested, and even offered to let us read his drafts to see if we have suggestions. I've got no idea is he's any good as a writer, or whether the novel will ever see the light of day, but one can hope.

It just pisses me off that some of the people who bitch and moan the most about how we aren't accepted in general public were the same ones who drove this guy away. If they can't handle posting on an anonmyous forum because there was an invited guest there doing research, they'll never find the door knob to the closet and face the public at-large.

6 comments:

Michele Angelique said...

JENNA SAID:

Darla,

I can share that perspective. I was out for a Saturday en femme fest and was spotted by a coworker at he "all night " diner. Four days later I was sent packing. Now, I chose to stay in these here parts. I do run the risk of family and other friends finding out. Not too worried. It did spread like wild fire in my profession and got back to other places I had worked. To which, some of my other former coworkers know my family, etc.

If any additonal input is requested from him, I'd be willing to share. I look at it as a positive thing for me. I was going nowhere fast. now I'm going somewhere , slow!

Jenna

Michele Angelique said...

BRIELLE SAID:

This, I suppose, is why I remain an independant
entrepreneur... I an relate to the horror, and don't
want it obviously to come bite me on the ass... I
could do much better with a few dollars more, but my
ability to "range freely" over the past 10 years or so
has precluded my wanting to work in a setting of
social bees... Bri needs to exsist, and I in an
"afraid"sense, continue to be an entrepreneur as a
result...
401k's be damned at this point...
I need to figure a better gameplan... BUT finding that
we all struggle & come to the idea of fuck them is
always enlightening... you're stories bolster my
resolve to continue that which simply is... and to
know that I'm NOT alone in the quest for
wholeness...;D

Thans Jenna...
Late nite potato's then...lol

XOXO...@ un beso..

Sist'a B

annette said...

We are our own worst enemies ...

The ladies room: This should go without saying but this issue has come up a number of times at the local clubs. Namely that when dressed up and out in public you should always act like a lady especially when using the rest room. That means SITTING. ALWAYS. Too complicated? Apparently so. At one local club with a fairly regular cd contingent, the management barred the tgals from using the downstairs bathroom after complaints from the gg's. Someone, it seems, had been standing. (and probably missed) All it takes is one bad apple to smear the community.

Roommate from outer space: I once had a transsexual roommate who couldn't seem to figure this out. Three days after (s)he moved in my bathroom smelled like an outhouse. No doubt about it. (S)He had been standing to pee and had been missing. It couldn't have been me because I always sat. I very politely explained to him/her that if (s)he were on the road to womanhood, (s)he should at least start acting like a lady. (s)He meekly complied. (I am sorry to say that this person had so many guy mannerisms that I simply cannot, in good conscience, use the pronoun "she" to describe him/her.) A few weeks after (s)he moved in I heard some not so flattering stories around the grapevine. Apparently, (s)he was the one who had been standing and missing and peeking in other stalls at the local gay/lesbian club. Wish I had known that before I invited him/her as a roommate. So much for my ability to judge character.

To use the ladies room or not? There is an old saying in the community that it is better to get slapped in the ladies room than to get beaten up in the men's room. Reasonable advice but since I've been going out in public, I try very hard to time my breaks carefully so I don't ever have to use public bathrooms.

Michele Angelique said...

I'm not sure if this relates to Darla's article at all, but in response to Annette's comments about public washrooms... I know this is a big issue in the community, so if I can help ease the tension I'd like to try.

When you are out en femme, please DO use the ladies washroom. There will be no problems, as long as you act like a lady, be casual, and follow a few equitquette pointers as follows: If there is a lineup, wait politely in line. Without exception, when you use the stall, DO sit down. Following this, wash your hands, and spend a moment in the mirror checking your hair/makeup. You're not in a huge hurry. They call it a "rest room" or a "powder room" for a reason. If other ladies are in the room, DO make brief eye contact, nod, smile, and make room for them at the sink if need be...

And this, my friends, is all you need to know about ladies room protocal. Be polite, be respectful. It's that simple. Following this recipe, the worst case in any ladies room is a sidelong glance.

Hugs,
Michele

Michele Angelique said...

FROM ADARABETH:

A good topic as any... the ladies room...
At one of the clubs in Edmonton that is very accepting while en femme
I got kicked out of the mens room once because the bouncer actually
thot i was a woman and their policy was a strict one regarding the
proper sex in the proper room (some city by law i was told)... but no
matter what city i have gone out in (San Fransisco, Toronto, Victoria,
LA, San Jose - CA, Barcelona and Venice to name a few) using the
ladies room is a MUST. I once got challenged in a mens washroom in a
small town as i was washing my hands. The young guy who challenged me
asked me what i was thinking to use the mens washroom and said the
ladies was at the end of the hall. I wasnt even dressed up! When i
turned around to leave without a word to him I was just as surprised
as he was. And on another note, I will be flying en femme to
Vancouver for the first time. I will let you know how that goes
over... with plane encounters... renting a car, checking in to a
motel...

Maureen said...

I do hope that the book gets published and that the title is given here and where to buy it.

As for which room to use when out. Here in Calgary there seems no problems in that at the clubs. Twisted has two bathrooms downstairs; one for men and one for women. You see all genders in each of them, though the ladies room is the most popular as it's brighter.

Any other places, I don't go enfem unless it's a GLBT community function and then I use the ladies when I'm dressed up.

Maureen