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"The 1st Battalion Transvestite Brigade" - Ladeephoenix
Pushing the limits of sleep deprivation
"The 1st Battalion Transvestite Brigade"
There's a pic of me in the family album, maybe about 3 years old, a little tow-headed blondie in pants and pullover, looking at the camera as if to say, "Yeah, so?" I'm standing in my father's workboots. They look about 10 times too big for me. That pic seems to say so much about which parent I identified with growing up, whose little girl I really was.

I was a tomboy growing up. Hated wearing dresses ("Ewww!"), always had boy-friends (not *boyfriends*), and was always trying to keep up with the boys - academically, physically, you name it.

In 7th grade, I remember arriving a few minutes early to 1st period history class every day. The other students there would gradually migrate into groups like iron shavings pulled by magnets, boys in one or two groups, the girls in their own group. The girls would talk about hair and clothes and books and boys. About 5 minutes into the discussion, I'd be bored senseless and drift over the boys' group and be accepted there as a silent minority. They talked about movies and sports and games, always punctuated by the sound effects that boys always seem to be so good at making: things blowing up, things blazing by at roughly Mach 1. Farts. Burps. So much more entertaining to my way of thinking.

Conversely, my dad was - and still is - a Certified Nurse Anesthetist. Believe me, I got no end of shit about the "nurse" part throughout elementary school. By the aforementioned 7th grade, I was afforded a certain amount of grudging respect because anyone who tried to tease me would find themselves in the verbal equivalent of a half-Nelson. I was shy, didn't really fit into a clique, but my father's guidance had given me some semblance of a spine. I took no shit. And especially not about my dad.

I think because of this particular upbringing, my sense of sexuality and gender tends to be rather unfixed. Gender is not so much male or female, sexuality not so much gay or straight, but a continuum, a spectrum.

Which brings me to the subject line of this blog: a quote from Eddie Izzard's "Dress to Kill" comedy DVD. If you don't know Eddie, get to know him. He's a British stand-up/actor, and a transvestite. His humor reminds me a bit of our dear Bonno's: rather stream-of-consciousness, likes to play with words, concepts, bizarre juxtapositions. Just subtract the guitar, add women's clothes and a lot more political humor, and presto: Eddie!

Eddie's also dead-sexy. (Not that Bonno isn't, but I digress...) ;) My friend Summer and I puzzle over this every time we watch one of his DVDs. How can a man in women's clothing be sexy? Is there something wrong with us? Are we confused? Or just open-minded? What's the dividing line between the two? Political affiliation? "Just a jump to the left and a step to the right?"

I have a few theories. The woman's garb makes him unthreatening in a way. Part of the female brain says, "A-ha. He's one of us. Sort of. Maybe he understands things other men don't. Like how to accessorize. Or what 'taupe' looks like." Another part of the female brain is constantly undressing him mentally, trying to get to the male bits we *know* are there. Sigh.

And then of course, there's the accent. Aren't we girls such silly suckers for the accent? Brits could be talking about the bowel movements of the Queen Mum, and depending on the accent, could still sound learned and sophisticated.

Comments on any of the above are, of course, welcomed. Interested to hear what you all might have to say about this. :D

Current State: calm calm
Current Groove: Eddie Izzard: Dress to Kill

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sarge_5150 From: sarge_5150 Date: January 20th, 2005 03:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Where to start?

I guess I was a tinagirl (my own neologism) growing up in the sense that I lived on the border between Boytown and Girlville. I was always comfortable with the boyish girls.

Just recently I was having a conversation with my spouse about how I don't feel intrinsically "male" or "female". I just am. I agree that, for me, it seems that gender is as much a continuum as sexuality is. For that matter, wherever you are on the continuum probably changes from moment to moment as well.

I think sexiness goes beyond clothing, e.g., Madonna was no less sexy during her dress-like-a-man phase. I don't think there's anything wrong with you or that you are confused. (Other than the normal, baseline confusion that seems to afflict us all.) I would go with "open-minded". I find that once I turned off my internal censor, I found the most amazing variety of people sexy.

For some reason the "political affiliation" bit reminded me of J. Edgar Hoover...

I think being unthreatening plays into it in a large way. I know several women who say that's why they like gay friends, because they're unthreatening men. I think the same phenomenon happened to you in the 7th grade: the boys found you non-threatening because you shared some common interests. The unknown is often frightening.

But the threatening part also attracts, e.g., the bad boy. I know a woman that finds me fascinating yet perplexing because she can't reconcile my questioning of authority (which signals "Bad Boy") with my sensitivity (which signals "Mr. Nice Guy").

English accents hold no allure for me. But maybe that's because I know an Englishman who sounds just as ignorant and unsophisticated as the rest of us. A Scottish or Irish brogue, on the other hand, can make a lad weak in the knees.
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