April 24, 2016

Prince as a Crossdreamer, and What it Means for the Transgender Debate

We have lost Prince, AKA Prince Rogers Nelson, one of the biggest pop artists and composers in modern history, and I find myself marvelling at the fact that the world is mourning one of the most well known crossdreamers of all time. People do not seem to mind that he was one!
Prince in a female pose on the cover of Lovesexy


Mr. Sexually Explicit

Prince had very limited inhibitions when it came to presenting his sexual fantasies in lyrics. This was, after all, the man who told us about his Darling Nikki that "she was a sex fiend. I met her in a hotel lobby, masturbating with a magazine".

Nikki was partly the cause for Tipper Gore founding  the Parents Music Resource Center in the US.  This led  to the use of "Parental Advisory" stickers on album covers in that country, assumedly protecting children from harmful content.

So yes, you can safely say that Prince caused controversy as a person who made "dirty lyrics" and as such was classified as a "pervert" by those more emotionally restricted.

But he was never slammed, as I can see, for being a crossdreamer or someone making gender-crossing sexy. When going through all the obituaries and articles, I can't find one single negative reference to this topic. Searching the Net I can't find one single page where Prince and the stigmatizing and invalidating concept of "autogynephilia" are mentioned in the same paragraph.

"I'm not a woman, I'm not a man"


People do use terms like "queer," "ambisexual," "androgynous" and "polysexual" when writing about Prince.

 This makes sense given lyrics like the ones found in "I Would Die 4 U", a love song with strong religious or mystical overtones. (Video here. Full lyrics here).

Prince sings:
I'm not a woman
I'm not a man
I am something that you'll never understand
Then there is the famous Prince symbol or logo, which unites the male and the female  in one glyph.


But most commenters discusses this kind of gender-crossing with respect, or at least some positive fascination.

People never use terms like "transvestite", "transvestic fetishist" or "autogynephiliac", in spite of Prince dressing up in clothes that are undeniable feminine.


April 19, 2016

An introduction to the autogynephilia debate

So someone has brought up Ray Blanchard's concept of autogynephilia in a discussion of gender variance and transgender women. They are all sexual perverts, they tell you. The science proves it! 
The autogynephilia theory says that MTF crossdressers
and trans women who love women are men driven by a desire 
for their inner woman. Yepp,it is yet another attempt at 
invalidating a marginalized group by sexualizing them.

Photo: Voyagerix

Actually it doesn't. 

Here is some essential reading that will bring you up to speed on the topic of cross-gender arousal, crossdreaming and transgender identities. 

Welcome to the seedy side of sexology. Welcome to the autogynephilia debate.  


Julia Serano, leading trans philosopher and trans activist, presents cross-gender arousal in her highly influential book Whipping Girl, which has just been published in its second edition. 

She understands crossdreaming (i.e. arousal from imagening yourself as your target sex) as an expression of a subconscious identity. Serano has written about her approach to what she calls female embodiment fantasies here. 


March 30, 2016

The Faceless Man and The Transgender Totem

Felix writes about using active imagination in his new book, 
a tool that can help transgender people connect with
the other self or their truegender as he calls it.
(Photo by Mizina)
Felix Conrad, crossdreamer philosopher and agent provocateur, has published a new ebook: The Science & Art of Transgender Erotica.  

This book contains a mix of philosophical essays and transgender fiction.

Felix Conrad  does not give a damn about the kind of social conditioning that makes people cringe when they see a four letter word or make them squirm when they read some really explicit descriptions of "kinky" sex.

He puts it all out there,  because crossdreamers need to face their sexual fantasies and stop being ashamed of them.

In order to accept yourself, you have to see yourself, and in order to do that, you have to get past sexual and cultural hang-ups regarding gender violations, sexual orientation and cross-gender arousal.

That being said, it could be that including an explicit sissy humiliation short story in a book discussing the origins of crossdreaming and gender dysphoria might confuse both transgender erotica connoisseurs and the ones looking for info on trans. But I do get the point: The story serves as an illustration of one of the topics of the book: (1) Why humiliation can be such a turn-on for some crossdreamers.

The other main topics are: (2) The sexual orientation of male to female crossdreamers and the role of the faceless man in crossdreamer fantasies, and (3) The use of active imagination in transgender psychology.

All these discussions presents some really interesting, but controversial, takes on what it means to be a male to female crossdreaming transgender person. (Like me Felix uses the word transgender as an umbrella term for all types of gender variance, while crossdreamer refers to the fact that some transgender people get aroused by the idea of being their target sex.)

In this post I will look at his discussion of "the faceless man" and the "inner totem" of MTF (male to female) crossdreamers.

The faceless man

In the chapters on the faceless man, Felix discusses the fact that many male to female crossdreamers fantasize about being a woman (or -- in some cases--  a feminized man) having sex with a man.  In particular he discusses some MTF crossdreamer's fascination for the male sex organ.

Why is it, Felix wonders, that MTF crossdreamers who fall in love with women fantasize about having sex with well equipped masculine men?
An important experiment presented in Felix' book
takes place in the bar of the Majestic Hotel in Barcelona.
Felix has to admit that, try as he might, he is not
able to find the men there attractive. The women, on the
other hand.... (Photo: Majestic)

Felix dismisses the idea that they are closeted androphiles (i.e. that they are sexually oriented towards men):
"The superficiality of their attraction to men is revealed the second they go a little further up from the rippling chest and glorious manhood and actually look into the eyes. They get instantly turned off."
As Felix himself points out, this observation may easily lead to the conclusion made by Ray Blanchard in his autogynephilia theory: The men and their penises are fantasy props meant to affirm the crossdreamer's imagined femininity, and nothing more.


March 28, 2016

Gender is so much more than chromosomes and genitalia

Trans man James P. Sheffield tweeted the perfect comment
to the North Carolina governor on the consequences of a
new chromosome-based law targeting transgender people.
North Carolina will force trans people to use bathrooms on
the basis of their assigned gender at birth, not their true
gender. 
These days trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs) are actively invalidating transgender people, arguing that gender equals chromosomes and genitalia.  

In this guest blog post J takes a closer look at the chromosome argument.

By guest writer J.

The insistence of TERFs to categorize trans people's gender on the basis of genitalia runs deep. They insist that "a biological man" cannot be a woman.

Some of them stick to this belief even after proclaiming that they have stopped being TERFs. They may still be transphobic. They may still be very TERF.

Here is one ex-TERF claiming that "penis = male" is a "fact", adding no citations to prove her point.

Click on image text to read.

TERF defined

Now what is a TERF?

Here is a quick definition from the Rational Wiki:
"Trans-exclusionary radical feminism (or TERF; also Trans women exclusionary feminism, or TWEF) is a subgroup of radical feminism characterized by transphobia, especially transmisogyny, and hostility to the third wave of feminism. They believe that the only real women™ are those born with a vagina and XX chromosomes.  They wish to completely enforce the classic gender binary, supporting gender essentialism."
The idea that genitals defines sex is heavily entwined with TERF ideology.

Indeed, society at large seems to have somehow accepted the idea that a woman's cell must all be XX chromosomes and that she went through puberty with sex hormones produced by the ovaries. This idea now forms the basis of social laws.

Intersex people

This definition does not take into account the existence of intersex people (people who display distinct variations in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, or genitals "that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies").

Science knows that the insistence that all cells of a women are XX as an illusion and assumption made by society.

March 24, 2016

Planning a crossdreamer anthology

Some of us over at the Crossdream Life forum are planning a crossdreamer anthology.

Think of it as a book that may answer some of the many questions asked by crossdreamers and crossdressers, gender variant people who are trying to understand themselves and their place in the world.

These would be questions and topics like:

  • Transgender vs. crossdreamer
  • Childhood Awareness
  • Am I mentally ill?
  • Is this a fetish?
  • Why can’t I stop?
  • How far will I have to go?
  • Breaking the news
  • Clothing and appearance
  • Why does it seem to become so important in midlife?
  • Why are we included in LGBT?

We are looking for crossdreamers and gender variant people who may discuss these and other topics. If you think that you can contribute, please add a comment here or or over at Crossdream Life, or send me and email (jack.molay@gmail.com).

We are not going to limit ourselves to new material. There are a lot of existing blog posts and forum comments out there that deserves a wider readership.

If you have a favorite blog post or comment, written by you or others, that you believe will be of help to crossdreamers and transgender people, please let us know in the same manner.

For more information, visit Crossdream Life.

February 14, 2016

Transphobia and femme shaming - two sides of the same coin

Much of transphboia is rooted in our culture's disdain for femininity and feminine expressions. This applies to all femmes: straight cis-women, lesbian women, gay men and trans people of all genders.
Femme shaming is yet another way our society keeps women 
and gender variant people in check.
Photo by Maffi Iren.

People who should know better, like radical feminists, play the “feminine is a sexist stereotype” card with great enthusiasm, while at the same time embracing masculine gender stereotypes with gusto.

Muscles and leather are apparently not sexist, high heels and cleavage are.

To me this reflects a deep rooted misogyny that permeates our whole culture.

Femininity is a sign of weakness (or something worse)

This becomes especially difficult for those male to female transgender people who feel feminine and who want to express that femininity.

They are immediately dismissed as sexist, not in the same way as feminine non-transgender women, mind you (as ”sluts”, “airheads” or “bimbos”, depending on to what extent they express their sexuality) but dismissed all the same (as ”effeminate gay men” and “heterosexual perverts”).

It does not matter that “we all know” that a feminine gender expression in a woman does not equal fragility, weakness or promiscuity. Even in the most gender conscious among us the social dismissal of the feminine often takes over, and we make the same mistake over and over again: Femininity equals female equals weak equals powerless and pathetic.


January 24, 2016

What Drives Transphobia?

I got the following question from a blogger over at tumblr who is working on a research paper:

"Who do you see is more susceptible to being transphobic? Like...types of people?" 
Not all transphobes are conservative. The
radical feminist icon Germaine Greer is one
of the most extreme haters today. (Getty  Images)


Here is what I answered:

I would say that insecurity, anxiety and fear are the main drivers for transphobia, in the same way they are for homophobia, racism and sexist attitudes.

Life is not without its risks, and it takes a strong mind to handle all the uncertainty life throws at us.

If you have been raised in a dysfunctional family, or you are taught to fear “the others”, or you live in troubled times, it is easy to fall back on the more primitive sides of our minds.

Scapegoats

We look for someone to blame; we look for a place to vent our fear, and we do so by turning our fear into anger. We then channel that anger towards those that are different, the ones we do not understand.

This may give  us a much wanted emotional release, and for a moment it looks like we have a solution to our problem. For instance: "If we can only get rid of those pesky LGBT people, everything will go back to the way it once was, back in the good old days”.

Another group of people are using the same language and playing on fear without feeling it themselves. These are people who understand such social and psychological processes intimately, and who make use of them to gain power and influence. Many of them are borderline sociopaths or full-fledged psychopaths. Adolf Hitler comes to mind.


January 17, 2016

The Life of a Crossdresser

Many crossdreamers use -- or have used -- crossdressing to express their "other side". Here is one such story, shared by a fellow Scandinavian.

Great many crossdreamers express
their transgender side through
crossdresssing.
Illustration photo by Discovod.
Guest post by "Dr. Gonzo's Better Half,"

Dear Jack,

I am a writer and a traveller, in my 40’s. One marriage that never happened. 10 years of travels, working for companies around Europe. I consider myself to be a philosopher.

And a cross dresser.

A long time one too. And a puzzled one.

I hope I can shed some light on things, as I am in search for some answers myself. Hence, the "confession". Writing a blog post for Crossdreamers is like reminiscencing with a complete stranger you have never seen.

What am I?

It will be easier to start here than to tell my mates, or my parents:  “You know, I have searched my urges on the internet, and what I found is that I am an autogenophiliac. Which means I express my perversion by imitating the most feminine women by imaging myself, or getting dressed in their most feminine attire.”

In other words, I am a narcissist in denial who expresses his perversion through cross dressing. Or should I say I am a cross dresser with no gender variety, or is it something more?

Note that much of this story are fragments that might shed some light on this.

Arousal

For a long time, I thought that my little “fetish” differed from other cross dressers is that it aroused me. Did when I was a kid; still does today. And I believed that this pathologized me in some ways. Unfortunately, the first place I looked was Wikipedia and was introduced to the “perv” model to describe what I and apparently others in here have in common.

I never dreamt, or got aroused, by the thought of having a woman’s body before. It was their clothing. Their essence.

I have read Felix Conrad’s entire blog, and almost all of yours as well. And all of a sudden, I am not your “ordinary” cross dresser anymore. And the notion that it’s some sort of mental disease, or perversion, repulses me.

When it started, it’s hard to tell. For all I know, I may have had these “tendencies” for as long as I have lived. Your writing has forced my to dig deep inside. In fact, I have been trying to learn about this for the last week.


Forum for crossdreamers, crossdressers and transgender people

Link to the Crossdream Life site for crossdreamers, crossdresser and transgender people