June 23, 2016

Reflections on a Possible Crossdreamer Pride Flag

Transgender flag presented in Pride parade (Getty).
We are in the middle of the global Pride season. There seems to be a flag for any sexual and romantic orientation possible, and others for  gender identity.  But is there one for crossdreamers and crossdressers? And do we need one?

As regards the second question:

Probably not, as most -- if not all -- crossdressers and crossdreamers fit under the transgender umbrella. They are all -- in one way or the other -- gender variant.

The transgender flag

And we already do have a transgender flag, created by American trans woman Monica Helms in 1999.

The transgender flag
Helms described the meaning of the transgender pride flag as follows: 
"The stripes at the top and bottom are light blue, the traditional color for baby boys. The stripes next to them are pink, the traditional color for baby girls. The stripe in the middle is white, for those who are intersex, transitioning or consider themselves having a neutral or undefined gender. The pattern is such that no matter which way you fly it, it is always correct, signifying us finding correctness in our lives."
Some still find it a bit traditional, restrictive and binary (especially because of the baby color reference), but as far as I can see, there is ample room for non-binary transgender identities under this flag. The description may -- for instance -- include crossdreamers and crossdressers who present as their assigned gender, but who still feel the need to express the other side of their personality. 

Besides,  many crossdreamers find that they are  transsexual, and end up presenting and living as their target gender.

A crossdreamer flag proposal

But there is more to flags than actually having to fly them in public, as a recent discussion over at Crossdream Life  clearly demonstrates.

Lost247365  presented this sketch of a possible crossdreamer flag some days ago. It was Lost's presentation and the following discussion that caught my interest, more than the question of whether this flag will actually ever fly in a Pride parade.

June 9, 2016

The Medieval Crossdreamer

Jewish women in Haggadah for Passover (the ‘Golden Haggadah”)
The story about a medieval  poem on  becoming your true gender.

Many of you will have met the following argument in the transgender debate:

Since crossdreaming and transgender identities are social constructs, they are most likely to be the end product of modern Capitalist society, the Patriarchy or something equally sinister -- an line of argument which will most likely lead to a discussion about sexualization and fetishes.

This impression is reinforced by the fact that historians and art scholars have had a tendency to ignore -- or outright censor -- the voices of gender variant people from other cultures and epochs.

As I pointed out in my blog post on  crossdreamers in the Kama Sutra, until recently all English translations of that work skipped the part about straight women dominating straight men, most likely because it was considered threatening to the world order or impossible to understand.

So a lot of work is needed in this field. I am confident that if we look, we will find crossdreamers and transgender people in all cultures and all periods of time. They lives will be expressed in different manners according to  local language and cultural framework (as they are today), but they will have this in common: A desire or a need to express or be recognised as their true gender or as a blend of the two.

A Medieval Poem About the Longing to Become a Woman

A year ago Tuitey made me aware of a beautiful transgender poem over at tumblr.

The poem was written in the 14th century by a Jewish male to female transgender philosopher  and translator from Provence:  Kalonymos ben Kalonymus (also known as Qalonymos ben Qalonymos ben Meir). The poem was originally published in the book Even Bohan (or Eben Bohan) in 1322.


May 1, 2016

Looking for students and scientists who want to study transgender issues

Dr. Jaimie Veale is looking for students and researchers who would be interested in studying transgender  issues.
Jaimie Veale


Dr. Jaimie Veale has done some extremely important research in transgender people, documenting, for instance, a diversity and a complexity that goes far beyond the traditional dichotomies between two types of male to female transgender people.

In this context she has delivered compelling evidence that undermines the so-called "autogynephilia" theory of Dr. Ray Blanchard of Toronto, a theory that effectively reduces transgender identities to paraphilias.

I have presented some of her research here  and here, and you can find more material over at her own web site.

Having spent some time in British Columbia, Jaimie is now back in New Zealand, in a faculty position at the School of Psychology at the University of Waikato.

In time Jaimie hopes to be able to build up a team of researchers interested in everything transgender (crossdreaming included). If you are interested in this kind of research, and would even like to contribute yourself, do not hesitate to contact her. She may even supervise students from a distance.

April 30, 2016

Great movies, documentaries and web series from the Transgender Film Festival in Kiel

Poster for The Danish Girl in Kiel.
(Photo from festival Facebook page)

Andy has sent me an overview of the awards of this year's Transgender Film Festival in Kiel.

There are a lot of interesting films here, and I have included some relevant clips for you below.

This festival is the only one of its kind in Germany, and as you will see, it takes a much needed broad approach to the term transgender.

The selection of movies, documentaries, TV/web shows and songs reflects the current surge in interest for transgender people as well as the artistic abilities of trans people themselves.


Best Film of the Year:

Her Story directed by Sydney Freeland, a web series on the dating lives of trans and queer women.



Best Trans-Performance:

Angelica Ross in Her Story
Khaleb Brooks in the web series Boxx

Khaleb Brooks



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.

Forum for crossdreamers, crossdressers and transgender people

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