Fantasy, Fetishes, Nonsense and the Twilight Zone

Recently a reader of GenderEvolve criticized the site as "nonsense". She also said that our intrepid moderator Michele was in the "Twilight Zone." It is important to understand that the critic is a contrarian who thinks that there is entirely too much positivity within the transgender community this site being a prime example. I have spent a lot of time over the last two days thinking about this. At first I was angry over what I thought was an unjustified attack on our moderator. But then I began to realize that fantasy, nonsense, too much positivity and being in the twilight zone was not such a bad thing after all.

We spend much of our fun time in this fantasy world. Cd's shower, shave, choose an outfit, put on makeup and put on a wig to create an illusion of the woman of their dreams. I like doing karaoke once in a while. You get up in front of the mike, sing and pretend you're a rock star. Turns out some of these karaoke singers are pretty good. I just don't happen to be one of them. But we can dream can't we?

Anyone who has read my other post (gender burnout) will know that I am nowhere near as enthusiastic about crossdressing and femininity as I once was. I tend to feel just as uncomfortable in the female role as the male role and find both boxes excessively restrictive. Really, I just want to be me, whoever that may be. (prickly androgyne perhaps?) I talked about this with a gg friend over dinner a few months ago. She said a lot of the dressers only got to go out once a week but I was, in effect, dressed 24/7. That was their escape, their time out with the 'gals'. I remembered this when I went out the past weekend on a little walk down memory lane at the local gay bar. Everyone was smiling, laughing, dancing and catching up on each others' lives. Personally I miss those days in fantasy land when I, too, put on a wig, makeup and a skirt and walked out the door. But I also know that even if I cut my hair short and was somehow able to grow a mustache and look like a guy again, it wouldn't recreate the magic of those earlier years. Once I reached the end of the rainbow and carried the journey through cd land as far as I cared to go, fantasy became reality and reality was not as romantic as I thought it would be ... which is not to say I wouldn't do it again if I knew then what I know now.

Fantasy becomes dangerous only when it clouds your judgment of reality. You enjoy your six months of cd adventures in public so much that you "know" that you're ready to transition. You begin the transition process in a romantic haze without thinking through the huge hurdles that lie ahead: the potential breakup of family, loss of job not to mention the financial and emotional valleys ahead. But you already knew about this anyway.

Fetishists and Fetishes: Sometimes viewed as "novice" Cd's deeply entrenched in the closet, fetishists and fetishes, in my opinion, get a bad name. (It was, after all, a fetish dating back 32 years ago that got me involved in this community in the first place.) Having lost a lot of interest in "dressing up", I find that I still haven't lost my affection for certain women's clothing as unstylish as they may be.

After my weekend outing, I spent Sunday creating a fantasy tg picture with photoshop straight out of the twilight zone. I got so absorbed I didn't take a shower until sunset. Sort of like a fishing trip. Relaxing and very satisfying. When I get a picture I like, I get 8x10 photos from the camera store and hang them on my wall. Favorites get blown up to 11x14's and larger. Some of these photos take weeks to construct. I'd venture to say that anyone who saw them would wonder what rock I crawled out from under. There's nothing bizarre or kinky. Frumpy or dorky perhaps. I pull out people from the past from fictitious places wearing clothing (which disappeared some 25 years ago) doing imaginary things. Indeed when Karen Reeves visited awhile back, she scratched her head and said, "I don't understand these pictures, but hey .... whatever floats your boat is cool with me." One person's fetish is another person's dish towel.

I gave up long ago trying to understand the whys of it all. It's just there. But I have spent hundreds of blissful hours over the last five years trying to create images of the nonsense inside my head. I remember Richard Novic of "Alice in Genderland" saying that we should all take our fantasies seriously. So when the sensible people of this world tell me I'm in the "twilight zone" and that I need a "reality check" I'll smile to myself and tell them that maybe they need a fantasy check. For fantasy is just as important as reality and, I believe, crucial to maintain that state of balance that we strive so hard to achieve. And hey, the twilight zone is a pretty cool place.

Comments

Monica Robinson said…
It´s true, fantasy and reality can coexist and intermingle in us. That is the marvel of our human minds, but some limited people can´t even perceive the complementarity of both of them. They are needed for mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health.

So let´s keep us in good shape sisters of the world...

Two thumbs up for the "twilight zone"!
~Sweet~ said…
This was such a great post. It made so much sense to me. When you're in the twilight zone you dream and by dreaming you discover who you are what you want and what you can be. Dreams make us grow. There is hope in dreams imagination, and dreams give us the audacity to aspire to make all those "Twilight Zone" thoughts and ideas a reality. I agree, the Twilight Zone is a pretty cool place.

Another 2 thumbs up for the Twilight Zone.
Stacie Ku said…
Hey Annette;

I can definitely relate to being in the Twilight Zone, gender burnout and fethishists. Even after all these years, there are still certain articles of I have fetishist attachment towards - dating myself a little, I still like girdles and those old all in one foundations; all of which today fall under the category of shapewear. I just love wearing shapewear.

Gender burnout - Definitely! I went out for the first time in 4 months last week. Compare that to a couple of years ago when it was almost every weekend. Now a days, I''m just as comfortable getting all dressed up and staying home. It's kinda like, been there, done that. I know I can pass, I know I can go out and have a good time. But I'd rather just stay home and relax. This is especially significant when you consider that fact that I'm basically an empty nester now and have more freedom to go out than when all the kids were home.

This actuallly sort of ties in to the recent posting of limits. I, and it sounds like you also, have the freedom to go out much more often than we do. That we don't go out as much is because of our self-imposed limitsl. Would I like to live 24/7 as a female, and maybe even transition someday. You bet. Would I every do it/? Very unlikely. Why? For me the potential pain of losing family and job is greater than the pain of saying in male mode. It's kinda like the old Vulcan thing Spock talks about - (actually it's sort of Asian/Chinese also) where the needs of the community/family comes before the needs of the individual. I can accomplish more for my family staying male than I can accomplish for myself as a female, so I stay male. Could that change in the future/ Sure! I acutally met a lady last year who is in her early 70's that just started going full time in the last few years. Her wife was gone and her kids were grown and off on their own. Plus she was retired and didn't have to worry about a job.

What's the point? It's just that nothing is static. The only constants are change and death. How we deal with the changes around us affects the quality of our life. Change, and criticism, can be good or bad. When you were angry about the criticism Michele recieved, your response was very emotional compared to what you wrote today. Your emotions got in the way of the critic's message and that should be a lesson for all of us. Before we get all worked up about anything, take a step back and try figure out if it's really as positve or negative as we first thought,

Again, this may be a very Chinese/Taiist/Buddhist cultural characteristic which gave rise to the Westerns streotype of inscrutable Oriental (to use an outdated term). In most Asian cultures, the Philippines being an exception, you do not see a lot of open/public displays of emotion. We tend to be reserve in public. Flippinos, on the other hand are a very emotional people. Probably from 450 years of Spanish and American domination. So most Asians are on a time delay. Give us a chance, get to know us, and you's see some reatctions. I can get just as mad as the rest of you. LOL.

In general, reacting to anger with anger, negativity with negativity, force with force, will not affect a positive outcome. We need to become like water in it's fluid state.

When water is fluid, it will automatically assume the shape of whatever container it is in. When you try to strike it, it will give way and surround you, then asume it's orginal form when you withdraw, or given enough time, absorb you.

When water is heated or cooled by emotions such as by anger, it dissapates as a gas, to reform some where else when it cools down; or tuns to ice which can then sharttered when struck with force. Only by staying liquid can water surrond and absorb that which tries to strike it. As soft as water can be, it can carve through solid rock creating such natural monuments as the Grand Canyon, or Yosemtie.

Well, I've certainly gone all over the map on this. When my brain starts flowing, there's not telling where I'm going to end up. Let me just close by saying ' come on in. The water's fine.'

Stacie
RE: Fantasy, Fetishes, Nonsense and the Twilight Zone, by Annette
http://genderevolve.blogspot.com/2006/03/fantasy-fetishes-nonsense-and-twilight.html
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Dear Annette,

Thank you so much for this cool post! You know the twilight zone is one of my favorite places! I hang out here much of the time, actually... but it doesn't make me "crazy", it just makes for an unconventional perspective. Yet whichever myiandering paths I roam, I am also well grounded in reality.

I was born with eyes wide open, and I can't just will them shut because I've been told to do so. My outlook has lead me down many pathways of exploration, and is the trait which enabled me to appoach the trans community with an open mind. I have always been fascinated by the mysteries of life. Gender variance has a certain mystique because the phenomenon is not easily understood even by those to whom it applies, much less by society at large. Transgendered people are like mythical beings, living among us yet unseen by most.

Life would be so dull without the liberty to engage in creative visualization and fantasy. For what reason might we possess minds capable of imagination, if not to enjoy this gift? To supress imagination, fantasies and dreams is to deny the vibrancy of ones own mind. The only caveat to exploring fantasies is not to get lost in them... if an individual cannot tell the difference between fantasy and reality, there may be issues. Or if exploring the fantasies will cause pain to another person, priorities must be weighed.

In some respects, people may conceive me to hold illusions or fantasies in regard to my level of optimism about the human condition. I strive to find the silver lining, to see the good in others, to give people the benefit of the doubt, assuming innocence unless guilt is proven... but this does not mean I am blind, stupid or "touched". It is true that I deliberately wear blinders, to sheild myself from the negativity that surrounds our every waking moment. Some might regard my perspective as being "in denial" of the harsh realities of life. On the contrary, I am all too well aware of the pain, the hate, the injustices of the world... and I make a conscious choice to minimize the impact of darkness upon me. In this sense, I do live within a fantasy bubble seeing the world through rose-colored glasses, though it is by my own design. It's quite comfy and peaceful in my bubble, and I'm all too happy to keep this illusion in-tact.

Vive le Twilight Zone!

Much love,
Michele

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