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Schoolboys Protest No Shorts Rule – By Wearing Skirts

Isca Boys

Boys at Isca Academy

And my faith in humanity is restored.

As temperatures in the south of England soared to over 30C (86F) recently, 15-year-old Ryan Lambeth was one of many boys attending Isca Academy, Exeter, (Isca being the Roman name for Exeter) who complained of the heat in the long black trousers which are part of the compulsory school uniform, and requested to wear shorts to know avail. It was Ryan’s mother, Claire (43) who asked one teacher that if girls can wear skirts, why can’t the boys wear shorts? But the school refused to move on the issue.

His mother’s actions did however give Ryan an idea. He decided to borrow and wear an Isca Academy uniform skirt, and contacting his friends, so did five others that morning.

The idea may also have come from a 14-year-old who wanted to wear shorts and was sarcastically told by the headteacher “Well, you can wear a skirt if you like”. Whatever, the idea took off as more and more boys borrowed uniform skirts from girlfriends and sisters, braving the giggles and taunts from others. By Thursday, 22 June, around 30 boys turned up in Isca Academy girls skirts. Not one boy was punished, and as the idea took off, the taunts soon died away and the boys were being championed for their stance. Only one boy was pulled up for his skirt exposing too much of his hairy legs. Some other boys had reportedly shaved their legs.

Even as temperatures dropped to more liveable 20C (70F), the boys continued to wear the skirts, partially to keep up the protest to wear shorts and partially because some prefer the air and freedom which the female uniform affords them. By this time the headteacher, Aimee Mitchell announced that the school was prepared to think again.

“We recognise that the last few days have been exceptionally hot and we are doing our utmost to enable both students and staff to remain as comfortable as possible, Ms Mitchell said, “Shorts are not currently part of our uniform for boys, and I would not want to make any changes without consulting both students and their families. However, with hotter weather becoming more normal, I would be happy to consider a change for the future.”

There are echoes here of a story I reported four years ago, when Swedish train drivers complaining of heat in their cabs reaching 35C (95F) were refused shorts and instead turned to wearing uniform skirts. The train operating company could not touch them, as doing so would be a discriminatory move and thereby illegal (see https://xandradurward.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/training-skirts-takes-on-a-new-meaning/). Likewise French bus drivers in Nantes have followed the same lead, turning to wearing skirts as temperatures soared to 38C (100F).

What really impresses me about the Isca Academy story however, is the way that the idea took off, and how the boys were able to carry out their protest without fear of bullying. That has got to be a positive move, which shows that perhaps the younger generation has a more accepting attitude to dress choice of others. In England 120 schools have adopted a gender-neutral policy towards uniforms, allowing pupils to explore and express their own gender identity by choosing whether to wear trousers or skirts. This is part of a move to combat homophobic, transphobic and biphobic bullying. Sadly, there are no similar figures for Scotland.

When the Isca Academy story broke, some here in Scotland suggested that if schoolboys up here wore kilts, few would even bat an eyelid. They may not, but I would suggest those saying that have never worn a kilt, or are at least forgetting a couple of things about them. For a start, kilts are not skirts; there is a distinction between the two. The modern small kilt, the philabeag, grew out of military wear (no, it was not invented by an English mill-owner – that is an anti-Scottish myth), and had drawstrings to form the pleats at the rear. It was itself adapted from the long plaid great kilt, the philamhor, which was a robe going back in antiquity to many other types of robes worn mainly by men.

But moreover, the kilt is a very heavy garment. A normal philabeag is 8 yards of heavy, tightly woven wool, which is wrapped around the body. Yes, it can be airy (particularly if a man wearing it is a “true scotsman”, if you get my meaning), but anyone who has ever worn a kilt, myslef included, will soon tell you just how warm it gets in the kilt. I most certainly would not have wanted to wear a kilt in the recent high temperatures, particularly as my family tartan, like most tartans, is dark and thereby draws the heat.

The light blue and black tartan (while are so many school skirts, even in England and the USA tartan?) of the Isca Academy uniform would not draw so much heat, and as the skirts are obviously made of much lighter material than a kilt, they seem to be the obvious answer for hot weather, for all genders.

Kinda cute skirts actually – I would wear one.

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Crossdressing and Sexual Fetishism

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A fetish?  My arse!

They are rarely one and the same thing.

This article is about sex, and will probably be one of most read articles, and for some, probably one of the most disappointing. I warn the reader now that I shall make reference to sexual acts; heterosexual, homosexual, and fetishistic ~ some of which may shock and / or disgust some. And if you feel you may be offended, look away now. For all others who are adult enough to read about intimate acts without reaching for the sick bag / getting all moralistic / going into giggle mode, please read on.

I once remarked in a previous article that there is a sexual dynamic to crossdressing, and added that the sex can be fantastic, and I fully stand by that statement. However, there are those who try to claim that all crossdressers are sexual fetishtists, or even perverts. Not only is this untrue, but as to the sexual dynamic attached to crossdressing, I say so what, would like to know just what business it is of the accuser, and would ask them who gave them the right to judge?

If crossdressing was merely a sexual fetish, then consider that there are some men who go well out of their way and spend a small fortune on their fetish. I am talking about those people, assigned male, who actively pursue a female persona, even to the point of going out in public dressed and made up as a woman. That is a far cry from the guy who waits until his female spouse is out then dons her lingerie for a wank. I look at some of my sisters here in the WordPress crossdressing community who are absolutely gorgeous and who maintain their female persona as much as possible. Some go for nights out with “the girls”, some even go to weekend meet-ups with other crossdressers. This includes going to bars and clubs, and other social events, where sex may ~ of may not ~ become part of these encounters. If it does, then who is anyone to judge? Tell me, would you equally condemn two gay men meeting up for sex?

There are of course some men for whom crossdressing is purely a sexual fetish, but I don’t see how anyone can really condemn that either. I will admit I do my best to avoid guys like this, because in trying to be an actual physical pain in my arse, they merely end up being a metaphorical one. I seek out online groups and individuals who take crossdressing seriously as part of their psyche, so when I’m trying to discuss crossdressing thus, the last thing I want is some creepy guy begging me for pics of my cock and arsehole in lingerie (and / or sending me pics of theirs), or saying how much they would like to suck and fuck me. Attention, any such guys; it is far from flattering, and all you are doing for my libido is reducing it to zero (particularly if you don’t shave your legs – eughhh!). Or to put another way, you should be so bloody lucky. Yet, if there are guys feel the need to don female underwear to masturbate, then I am certainly not going to condemn it. Given that is exactly how I and many other crossdressers started to explore our femininity, and given I still wank in lingerie, then it would be completely hypocritical for me to point the finger at others for doing the same. The persona and gender may not be the same, but the sexuality certainly is. But even if I were not a crossdresser, I still wouldn’t condemn it, for the simple facts that a, it is doing nobody any harm, and b, it’s none of my damned business.

I actually wonder however, just how many of sexually fetishistic crossdressers are in fact heterosexual. The Kinsey study on human sexuality determined that the overwhelming majority of crossdressing males are in fact heterosexual, and many charities and support groups stand by that study. Yet Kinsey’s findings are coming up for 70 years old, and while it covered gender identity in as limited the way it could in those unenlightened days, it never mentioned gender fluidity as a concept, because it was unknown of at the time. I had not even heard of it myself most of my adult life, and if you go to earlier articles of mine, you will find me claiming to be a bisexual and cisgender male. Imagine how much a bolt from the blue it came to me when I realised that I am in fact genderqueer (I prefer that term to the much more boring “genderfluid”), as well as pansexual ~ another concept unheard of in Kinsey’s time. I wonder then just how many fetishtic crossdressers are in fact genderqueer, and possibly pansexual, or at the least bisexual. Yet by equal measure, there are crossdressers who are indeed otherwise cishet, whose female partners wholly support them, and who have fantastic sex, with both wearing “female” attire.  Jammy bastards!

What I am getting at here is that there are none of us should condemn the sexual fetishes of another, so long as they do not harm another human being ~ particularly children ~ or any animal. We all have our own particular sexual peccadilloes (should that be peccadildoes?) and kinks (yes you do, dear ~ you can lie to me all you want, but don’t lie to yourself), which we would be the first to take umbrage at others condemning. Therefore, so long as they are not hurting others or animals, show others the same respect.

There is a huge gamut of sexual behaviours which could fill a dictionary from A to Z, from Anilingus to Zoophilia, and that which turns one on often leaves others quite, quite cold. I for instance once dabbled with BDSM, and while what I partook of was quite fun, I could never count myself part of the “lifestyle”, because it is a lifestyle. Although I am sometimes a very naughty girl who needs (and thoroughly enjoys) being thrown across someone’s lap, my skirt pulled up, my panties pulled down, and given a good hard spanking until my arse glows red. I also enjoy being bound and helpless, to be used as a sex toy. But could I ever get into the gimp suits, ball gags, being dragged around on a leash by a mistress or master, etc? Not in a million years. And NOBODY is coming near my naked body with anything sharp or hot ~ I’m way too much of a coward for that.

Similarly, when I was younger I was very promiscuous and had a penchant for gay sex in public places, which included me once sucking a guy’s cock up a back street in broad daylight, where anyone could have caught us at any time. The danger of doing such a thing was part of thrill for me and to this day the very thought of sex in public gets me going. But even in private there are few places my fingers, tongue and cock have not been on and in both male and female partners ~ who have explored my body with equal intimacy. I am not ashamed of that, and do not see why I should be; in fact, I thoroughly enjoy it, am proud of it, and I view the whole human body ~ male, female, intersex, transgender, genderqueer ~ as one huge erogenous zone to be explored as intimately and as thoroughly as possible ~ outside and inside ~ in as many fun ways as possible. I have had sex with men and women from those in their late teens to the elderly, sucked more cock than I have eaten pussy (and I love both), done things and had things done to me which would positively disgust some, and enjoyed every moment of it, and intend to enjoy fingering, licking, sucking and fucking every orifice with partners of various ages, genders and sexualities for a good time to come. And before anyone reaches for the sick bucket and attempts to condemn me, examine your own sexual behaviours and experiences, and ask yourself if you can honestly say you are in any position to judge? No? No; thought not.

However, if there are some self-righteous, holier-than-thou cishet bastards who have sex occasionally with their opposite-gender partner in the missionary position who think that does somehow give them the right to judge, I’ll remind you that I did warn you at the top of this article what it was going to be like, and I’ll add what a boring bastard you must be. Nobody’s interested in your opinion, least of all me.

Getting back to the main crux of this article, that of crossdressing and its sexual dynamic, I have seen some transgender people condemn crossdressers as sexually fetishistic “drag queens”, “trannies”, etc, and claiming that we diminish the hard-fought for rights of transgender people by claiming to identify with being trans. Nothing could be further from the truth. If those who claim that would care to examine my profile and those of my crossdressing sisters here on WordPress, or anywhere else for that matter, you will be hard pushed to find anyone of us who would ever attempt to define ourselves as transgender. Yes, there are those who claim that crossdressers come under the “transgender umbrella”. I wholly reject that, as I am sure most other crossdressers do. I will never understand what it is to be transgender, for the simple fact that I am not. But then, by equal measure transgender people cannot even begin to imagine what it is to be genderqueer, for exactly the same reasons. Yet, if you look at the claims of the “transgender umbrella”, then you will find that genderqueer people are included as well. When you look at it in those terms then I am sure that, like me, you will begin to question whether the transgender umbrella concept was dreamt up by a cisgender heterosexual (more than likely a cishet man at that).

And should any transgender person try to claim that their gender is natural but crossdressing is a lifestyle choice, I will say do not be so bloody ignorant. Do you think I choose to be a crossdressing genderqueer pansexual? Do you think similar of every one of my crossdressing sisters here on WordPress, or elsewhere? Do excuse me, but just when did you become the expert on my gender and sexuality? You are not, and never can be. Nor are you the expert on anyone else’s; no more than anyone else is or can be the expert upon your gender and sexuality.

For those transgender people who do thus condemn crossdressers, consider that you are in fact feeding into a bigoted cishet agenda. The same agenda which says that “men should be real men” (and women should be real women), which sees some women emasculate, cuckold and hurt crossdressers by flaunting ‘real men’ in their faces, which degrades and condemns crossdressers as perverts, which still treats crossdressing in men as ‘abnormal’ and a ‘disease’ to be treated, which sees crossdressers arrested, threatened, actually beaten up, even murdered ~ with the approval of most of cishet society ~ and which ultimately can lead to depression and suicide.

And remember that those in the cishet majority who condemn crossdressers all too often equally condemn and persecute all of the LGBT+ community. If there is one thing that really galls me it is LGBT+ infighting, because it is doing the job of cishet bigots for them. Ultimately, while we all have differences within the community, our fight is your fight ~ and vice versa.  If anyone is diminishing transgender rights, it is yourself, along with my rights, and those of every other LGBT+ person.

Human beings are fickle creatures in the terms of sexuality, be we genderqueer, trangender, intersex, asexual, or indeed cisgender. None, not one of us, has the right to condemn the sexual behaviours of others, so long as the sex is consensual, does not hurt others, and especially does not harm children and animals. Just as not one is the expert on the gender of another, and thereby has absolutely no right to condemn them for that gender.

So let’s forget about differences of others, never be afraid to experiment with whatever or whoever you fancy, do whatever pleases you to the point you are satiated, completely drained, cross-eyed, and with a silly smile it takes a good while to recover from, along with the ability to form a coherent sentence.

The final thought goes to the immortal words of The Stories;

If it feels good;
If it feels good;
do it (yeah);
do it (yeah);
do it (yeah);
do it!

Viscount Cornbury: The Crossdressing Consul

Lord_CornburyJust being true to his Queen.

In colonial days in the British-occupied Americas, each colony had its own assembly to discuss and oversee the crown’s business (i.e. raping resources, subjugating indigenous people, taxing settlers, etc) in the colonies.  These unelected bodies of British landed gentry met frequently and opened with all the pomp and circumstance of the opening of a parliament.  Each was presided over by a governor.

The Honourable Edward Hyde, titled Viscount Cornbury and Third Earl of Clarendon, was appointed Governor of New Jersey and New York in 1701, and when he opened the New York Assembly of 1702, he certainly made sure it was a colourful occasion.  For in walked Viscount Cornbury – wearing a beautiful hooped gown, an elaborate headdress atop a female wig, and carrying a ladies fan, in the same style that Queen Anne carried.

Despite the infamous English “stiff upper lip” and the gentry’s usual politeness of saying nothing, there was open consternation at his choice of dress, and some lords told Cornbury straight to his face that they were far from happy with him.  Their words were met with derisory laughter from Cornbury, who replied “You are all very stupid people not to see the propriety of it all. In this place and occasion, I represent a woman, and in all respects I ought to represent her as faithfully as I can.”

Cornbury had already made many enemies brown-nosing and bribing his way up the ladder, and was widely regarded as a cad.  He certainly had delusions of grandeur, as he liked to be referred to as His High Mightiness.  Quite bold for a man who had been in debtors prison when he inherited the Earldom of Clarendon upon his father’s death.  In 1688 he had married Lady Katherine O’Brien, daughter of Lord Ibracken in a clandestine ceremony and apparently very much against her father’s wishes.  There is evidence he bribed his way into his governorship.  During his tenure he was accused by his detractors of misappropriating £1500 meant for the defence of New York Harbour.  It was also bizarrely claimed to have invited guests to feel his wife’s ears, to discern just how “shell-like” they were.

Now that he had appeared publicly in female attire, he merely supplied his enemies with more ammunition.  He was described as “a fop and a wastrel”, a “pervert” who “spent half his time in women’s clothes”, and with unsubstantiated sensationalism which modern red top newspaper reporters would be envious today, some claimed that he lurked behind trees, dressed as a woman and would “pounce, shrieking with laughter, on his victims”.

Lady Katherine died in 1707 and Viscount Cornbury apparently attended his wife’s funeral dressed as a woman.  That was the final straw for the colonists.  Many had already complained about Cornbury, and now petitions to Queen Anne came flooding in.  She promptly removed him from office, ordering him back to England.

In 2000, author Patricia U Bonomi claimed in The Politics of Reputation in British America that there was no proof Cornbury had ever dressed as a woman and all the claims were based upon rumour.  However, were that true, just how did such a rumour get started?  Are we to doubt the word of those who attended the opening of the New York Assembly of 1702 and saw the proof with their own eyes?  Or those who were so angered at Cornbury attending his wife’s funeral dressed as a woman that they were moved to petition Queen Anne?  Add to this the portrait (above) of Lord Cornbury in female attire, which hangs in the New York Historical Society to this day.  Phillip Davenport-Hines, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, insists that the portrait of Cornbury is a true likeness of the time, and has dismissed Bunomi’s claims as “inconclusive”.

I think we can all agree therefore that Viscount Cornbury was indeed fond of celebrating ‘his queen’; and I’m not talking about Anne here.  You know what I mean, doncha, girls.

One of the greatest ironies is that as manly as Cornbury looks in that portrait, if you’ve ever seen a painting of Queen Anne, you’ll realise that he was quite a looker compared to her.  Anne was one of the most unattractive queens to ever grace the British throne.

And were all the above not enough, get ready for the postscript.  The title of the man who was appointed to replace Cornbury was – Baron Lovelace.

Oooh, but then, don’t we all, dears?

And for Aaron’s sons???

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And for Aaron’s sons thou shalt make coats, and thou shalt make for them girdles, and bonnets shalt thou make for them, for glory and for beauty. (Exodus 28:40, KJV)

Oooh, and I’m sure they looked just DARLING in them, dears!


Many thanks to Teresita, the Linux Gal, for supplying the quote which inspired this.

Linux Gal’s site, Terminal Cruise, can be found here:

https://badinage1.wordpress.com/

Please give this very funny and talented lady a visit.

Paddington Bare?

00000_AAAAAPaddingtonHello Luvs.  Quite a bizarre story has cropped up in the past few days.  A movie of Paddington, the much-loved children’s animation about a little bear coming to London from Peru, has received a PG (Parental Guidance) certificate by the British Board of Film Censors (BBFC).  The reasons for this are, quote, “dangerous behaviour, mild threat, mild sex references (and) mild bad language”.

Really dears?  Nestling among the countless horror movies (Children of the Corn, They Wait, Wolf Creek, Live from the House of Lords, etc) which make up the bulk of my DVD collection, there are a few children’s movies with a U (Universal) certificate, and which would fall under the above categories for the BBFC classifying Paddington as PG.  The delightful romp about a boy trying to rescue little people, The Borrowers certainly contains what could be considered dangerous behaviour, mild (and not so mild) threat, mild sex references and mild bad language.  Yet it received a U certificate and this is just one movie I shall reference in this article.

Comparing the two, the BBFC states that the dangerous behaviour is Paddington hiding in a fridge.  Fair enough.  But in The Borrowers we have the little people living underground and full-sized people trying to catch them, including going down drains. In Paddington the mild threat is a taxidermist threatening to “kill and stuff” the bear.  In The Borrowers the daughter and her boyfriend are threatened by the father on several occasions.  There are also scenes of actual violence in The Borrowers, and there is also plenty of bad language.

It is the mild sex references in Paddington however that the PG Certificate seems to pivot upon, and the reasons for referring to this are completely hypocritical of the BBFC.  You see dears, their problem is one man dressing in female clothes and flirting with another man.

Going back to The Borrowers there is the scene where the daughter finds a very sexy costume to wear and to which her mother says no, but she gets it anyway,  There are also flirting scenes between Stephen Fry and Victoria Wood and a boy/girl near kiss scene.  I am sure any one of you could find many movies with U certificates and aimed at children where the content could be considered mildly sexual and flirtatious.

So it seems to the BBFC that so long as the couple in any scene are cisgender / heterosexual then these scenes are perfectly valid.  Yet the moment any character veers from that, then it obviously warrants a PG certificate.  Well done BBFC in your efforts in bringing up another generation of little bigots.

What I do find bizarre is that younger kids, like the toddlers Paddington is aimed at, would probably take the scene in question more in their stride and laugh at it, which was obviously the intention.  It may have escaped the censors notice but pre-schoolers are much more interested in scanning the horizon for sweet shops than they are in gender and/or sexual diversity.  It is actually the older kids, 5 and up, we need to worry about; the ones who have already had gender and sexual stereotypes ingrained in them by uninformed and bigoted parents.  Frankly by giving Paddington a PG certificate, they are playing right into the bigoted mindset of those who lambasted Tinky-Winky in the Teletubbies as gay because “he” is purple, is topped by a triangle and carries a handbag (I say “he” but to the best of my knowledge the Teletubbies are gender-neutral).

On the other hand, if the media does not portray non-cis people to children, then however do we expect them to accept trans and gender-fluid people as normal?  There is still a long way to go but it is widely accepted that the portrayal of openly gay and lesbian people in the media has created much wider acceptance.  Indeed, the wider we portray all genders and sexualities, can only be helpful to non-cis and non-hetero children to come to terms with and accept that the urges within them are perfectly normal and nothing to be ashamed of.

The creator of Paddington Bear, Michael Bond, is absolutely appalled at the allegations.  He told the Daily Mail, “I’d be very upset. I might not sleep well tonight. I can’t imagine what the sex references are. It doesn’t enter into it with the books, certainly,”  Michael Bond is one of the greatest creators of children’s stories and animation ever, and one of the heroes of my childhood, as well as millions of others around the world.  One can only therefore share his surprise at this ridiculous ruling by a board of bigoted cisgender censors who see offence where none was intended, and for that matter exists.

Poor old Paddington Bear; once a loveable kids character, now reduced to a life of vice and sleaze.

Mind you, even as a child, I did reckon Paddington was a bit gender-fluid.  After all, that hat is FABULOUS!  But Paddington, Lovey, please lose the duffle coat.  It is doing absolutely nothing for you Dearie.

What’s in a name? Quite a lot in fact.

'Oh, Harold, , , How can I face our family and friends knowing you're a crossdresser'In the past I have seen posts by people on this interwebs thingy and other social media, making comments about crossdressers, transsexuals/transgenders, drag queens and others which are often mistaken, and all too often attempt to lump us all together.  You can’t do that, dears.  It is about as accurate as saying Socrates was mortal, cats are mortal, therefore Socrates was a cat.

I can’t condemn many who fail to make the distinction.  As my sisters here know full and well, all of us are not only shunned and condemned by society, the media all too often holds people like us to ridicule and make mistaken reports about us.

Therefore I shall attempt to give definitions of the different groups of people who do indeed crossdress.  Please excuse me if even I get some of this wrong; as I am fond of saying, even I don’t have all the answers and I’m still trying to work this damned thing out myself.

Crossdressers

Crossdressers are men or women who dress in clothes which are gender specific to the opposite sex.  They are mostly men, but there does exist a small minority of female to male crossdressers.  Contrary to popular belief, not all crossdressers are gay, nor are they transgender.  The prevelance of crossdressing encompasses all sexualities, and this is perhaps where the confusion comes in.  It has been recorded however that the vast majority, some 68%, of crossdressers are in fact cisgender, heterosexual men, most of whom are married and have families.  But others can be gay, bi, intersex, or even asexual.

Even I thought myself to be hetero at one time, but have finally admitted to myself that I am in fact pansexual – I love the person, not the gender.  It seems to me that bringing sexuality into the matter is where confusion often lies.  Certainly, crossdressing can have a sexual dynamic to it, and lead to really fun, kinky sex.  To think that the drive is primarily sexual, however, is vastly mistaken.  Crossdressers like myself merely have a drive within ourselves to explore the feminine side of our psyche, and that is no more sexual than any woman who dons her favourite pretty, feminine clothes.

Transgender / Transsexual

There have been attempts to claim that there are distinctions between transgender and transsexual people on grounds of gender v sexuality.  LIkewise some people, including those in the medical fraternity, sometimes attempt to define the difference by saying that transgender means “pre-op” (before gender reassignment surgery), whilst transsexual means “post-op”.  Yet given that I have also seen these definitions reveresed, this is clearly bollocks (or even lack thereof).  To save confusion therefore, I make no such distinction and generally refer to both groups by the all-encompassing term, “Trans”.

Trans people are those who have the psyche of one gender, born into the body of the opposite gender.  Given that, being trans is neither a choice nor a drive to ‘explore’ alternate gender and sexuality, but rather it is a need.  Basically trans people are born in the wrong bodies.  Given that, we see again that sexuality is not the main driving force of trans people, but rather the desire to right an abberation in nature, no different than someone born with a hare lip, say.  And again, trans people cover the whole gamut of sexual identities.  I know trans people who are hetero, and others who are lesbian.  There are also trans people who are intersex, pansexual, and even asexual.

Intersex

Intersex is a condition once mistakenly (and insultingly) referred to as hermaphroditism; whereby someone is born with reproductive or sexual anatomy which does not conform to the biological definitions of male or female.  This can mean examples such as a girl with an unusually large clitoris, or no vaginal opening, or a boy with a noticeably small penis (micropenis is the derogatory medical definition), or whose scrotum is divided to appear more like a labia.  In extreme cases an intersex person can have the genitals of both genders; such as a vaginal opening located behind the scrotum.

There have been many recorded cases of such children growing to become either men or women with the onset of puberty, whereby a child outwardly appearing to be male has developed breasts and more defined female genitalia, or those apparently female developing testes and a fully defined penis.  In other cases, however, people can have inward physiology of one gender opposite to that they identify with which is not identified until adulthood, if at all.  There have been people have lived entire lives as one gender or the other, only for post-mortem operations to prove them to be intersex.

Needless to say, an intersex person may identify with one gender or the other – or even both – and dress and act accordingly.  This does not mean, however, that intersex should ever be confused with transgender / transsexual, when they are clearly not one and the same thing.

Freedressing / Genderqueer

Freedressing is about challenging traditional binary gender roles in matters of dress and fashion.  This is quite different to crossdressing, trans and drag, all of which identify with one or other of the gender dichotomies.  Freedressing instead asserts that people should be free to wear what they want.  Probably one of the most famous advocates of freedressing is the flambouyant-dressing Eddie Izzard, who once stated they’re not women’s clothes, they’re my clothes, I bought them”.  And yet Eddie Izzard still gets mistakenly reported in the press as a drag queen.

And this is where I have a huge problem with many advocates of freedressing.  The Freedressing Campaign on Facebook officially states Promoting freedom of expression for genderqueer and gender nonconforming people, while countering transphobia and oppressive gender stereotypes.  Yet while they claim that, their entire mission seeks a wholly androgynous dress sense, and in fact is critical of trans and crossdressing people for adopting gender binaries.  Indeed, they insultingly go as far as to maintain that crossdressing and drag are one and the same thing. 

More bizarrely, they claim that freedressing could end eating disorders; “Hopefully one day we shall see the fashion industry shift as it did during the 80s, and males can be more confident in their personal appearance. This can in turn reinforce their body image and confer the willpower to combat the widespread epidemic of obesity and malnutrition in our culture.” Strangely enough, I didn’t notice eating disorders decline during the New Romantic era.  In fact, quite the opposite happened, with more women and men suffering anorexia and bullimia, in the search for the ‘perfect’ androgynous body.

And the male-oriented message of that quote, “males can be more confident”, has not escaped me.  Neither however is the entire message of the Freedressing campaign, which assumes that all crossdressers are male; “Unfortunately for males, challenging this sexist notion is classified as crossdressing.”

Freedressing is indeed a fine and admirable idea.  It seems to me, however, that if it is about challenging gender dichotomies, opposing transpobia, and giving people – male and female – the right to dress as they please, then trans and crossdressing people should be free to wear what we wish, and not be accused of reinforcing the gender binary, as the Freedressing Campaign accuses us of doing so.

Drag Queens and Drag Kings

This term mostly applies to men who dress in women’s clothing and make themselves up as women, usually in a slutty fashion, for the purposes of entertainment.  Most drag queens are gay men and act outrageously in their acts.  The singer and entertainer, Divine, was a prime example of this, as is Paul O’Grady, who used to play the trashy Liverpudlian woman, Lily Savage.  There are however drag queens who are hetero.  Danny la Rue was a good example of this, as is Barry Humphries, who plays the batty Australian woman, Dame Edna Everage.  Humphries is in fact married with seven children.

Although their is a much smaller prevelance, there are indeed very successful drag kings – women who dress as men for the purely for entertainment.  Historically drag kings were very popular in British music halls, the most famous being Ella Shields, who sang Burlington Bertie from Bow.  Shields, actually an American, was hetero and it was her husband, William Hargreaves, who wrote the song.  In more modern times the macho Murray Hill is played by entertainer Betsy Gallahger, while All the King’s Men are an 8-piece drag King ensemble from Boston.  Drag kings, are largely the opposite of drag queens, in that a great many are lesbian, although this is not always the case.

There is one thing for certain, however.  To ever refer to crossdressing, trans, or intersex people as drag queens or drag kings is in fact a derogatory term, and should be avoided.  We do not dress for the public’s entertainment.

Conclusion

In the immortal words of The Kinks, “Girls will be boys, and boys will be girls. It’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world,”  There is often talk of places and people being ‘tolerant’ of genders and sexualities which differ from the cisgender heterosexual mainstream.  I would suggest that every person should not be merely ‘tolerated’, rather they should be afforded the respect which every human being on the face of the planet deserves. And that applies be they male, female, cisgender, heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bi, trans, crossdresser, intersex, genderqueer, pansexual, asexual, any mixtue of the above, or any other gender and/or sexuality.

My partner has just informed me that our relationship is described as “bigender”.  I’ve just told her “Hon, I’ve accepted I’m pansexual. No more labels, please.”

Many people dislike labels, yet it is part of the human condition to categorise and pigeonhole all things, and our fellow beings indeed come into that.  In a perfect world, there would be no need for labels.  Sadly, we live in a far from perfect world, and it may take centuries of education before they become superfluous.

Whether we like it or not therefore, we still have the labels and shall, and shall have to, continue to use them.  But why we do, let’s all make sure we get the terminology correct.  And while we are about it, let us all refer to each other by the most important and most appropriate label which clearly defines the behaviour, gender and sexuality of each and every one of us – human.

Full-length Female Bodysuits; a viable alternative for crossdressers, or just plain creepy?

RobyFemSkinAn interesting and controversial story I came across dears. The Metro (a free comic found on buses, masquerading as a newspaper) covered the story of Roby, a 70 year old crossdresser – and his full length female bodysuit.

Using archetypal gutter “journalism” the Metro covers the story of Rory, divorced and father of two daughters, who dons a full-length bodysuit, mask and wig, ordered from FemSkin; a company specialising in making these suits and who boast 40,000 customers worldwide.

Of course the story can’t help by taking a few jibes at crossdressers, with language like “sticky” and “But forget the big questions, such as what makes a grown man want to dress up as a doll in the first place” (none of your damned business, dear). I have to admit though, even when I opened the newspaper and saw the mask staring back at me, my brain having worked out that I was not looking at a blow-up sex doll, I almost jumped out of my own skin. Ye Gods and little fishes!

And I’m sorry if this offends anyone, dears, but to me that is what FemSkin’s products look just like – blow-up sex dolls, and ones which are not a little creepy at that. Looking at some of the pictures in the FemSkin gallery, I feel like I’m looking at stills from a porn version of the movie Magic, which you may recall was about a ventriliquist who believed his dummy was coming to life.

I do think that the blow-up doll analogy is also a valid one, for I cannot help but feel that these suits are sexualising the entire issue.  Certainly, the CD and TG lifestyles do indeed have a sexual dynamic to them, but as I have pointed out before, it is no more sexual than any other sexuality or gender identity.  Mostly we girls dress in pretty, feminine clothes to feel good about ourselves, just like any other woman, and actually just like anyone of any sexuality or gender dresses to feel good about and within themselves – without any sexual undertones feeding that.

Since I finally broke free of my male alter ego, I have made contact with a great many crossdresser and transgender people, and I know that they all, like myself, go to great pains to bring out their femininity.  My sisters here on WP, including Clare Flourish, Kira Moore, Micah, Katieinthehall, Teela Wild, Jessxdress, Valerie South, Rebecca Lee and Bobbie Stone (apologies if I missed anyone girls – my bad, it’s not intentional) are absolutely gorgeous, and I know for a fact it was not easy for any of them to achieve that (and no names dears but one or two are so lovely they bring out my green-eyed monster).  They certainly look a lot better than a Marks & Spencers mannequin which has apparently just come to life.

Or am I being too catty here?  If discovering my sexuality and gender identity has taught me anything, it is never to be too judgemental of others.  I realise that every CD / TG person needs to feel glamorous, and fully realise that for some men that can be more of an uphill struggle than others.  Certainly it cannot be easy at all for those of advancing years like poor Roby.  Hell, there are times I spend ages trying to get rid of five o’clock shadow – and the least said about my nasal and ear hair the better; and that’s at my age (don’t even go there – it’s rude to ask a lady her age).

So one part of me tells me that FemSkin have merely identified a market and are supplying a product for which there is indeed a demand and possibly even a need I dare say.  The other, more cynical, side of me tells me that they are exploiting people desaparate to explore their femininity.

And at the end of the day, and this is purely me dears, these bodysuits and masks just look wrong.  I find them very far from glamorous, and sorry Roby Love, but rather than being at all aesthetically pleasing, they just make my skin crawl.  You certainly would never get me in one.

So, what say you, reader?  Tell me your thoughts.

Links to the story and the FemSkin website here:

http://metro.co.uk/2014/07/04/roby-70-likes-to-dress-in-full-length-female-bodysuits-4787228/

http://www.femskin.com/home.htm