See, Now I Have A Problem With This

Note:  I do not see the issue as being whether or not this person “reflects” badly upon either people with transsexualism or people with transgenderism.  Although he does do that.

This is more a case of all our being honest about having had people like this show up at rap group/counseling sessions and not knowing what to tell them in a climate of political correctness where we are supposed to respect even imaginary claims of identity over the obviously problematic physical evidence of the person’s presentation.

Some will say it shouldn’t matter, and that person should have the freedom of expression. 

There is something I call “Rock Star License” which means if you are a big enough rock star (rapper” you get to dress any way you fucking please, because after all you are a Rock Star.  But even in the LGBT/T ghettos the sort of attire the person in Jillian’s article is wearing only flies in certain clubs or at certain events like Pride Day and Halloween.

Where this does become problematic for the tattered umbrella is that having mopped up every possible person in their Borg like form of inclusiveness, they now own him warts and all.  He becomes the person who gets trotted out as the pervert in the women’s room.

I personally think transgender was on much firmer ground when it met a more concise definition i.e. people who live full time as members of the sex not associated with their current genital, and who are not pursuing SRS.

Then transgender becomes more like transsexual, in being something with a definite definition, rather than this amorphous blob of an “umbrella”.

Accepting that some folks are simply eccentric and while in a free society one should have the right to be eccentric is different from including them under some umbrella via using language that is a combination of post-modern drivel and psycho-babble.

This person is only one example of the  many thorny problems with the whole umbrella but is symptomatic of the most egregious.

From Bilerico:

By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss
June 23, 2011

Reposted with permission

Amid the expanding trans “umbrella wars,” to borrow a phrase from Gemma Seymour, I have striven to provide objectivity and compassion to all sides, as I have sympathies for both transsexual people (of whom I am one), and transgender people (of whom I guess I am also one since it includes practically everyone), and crossdressers (of whom I once thought I was one), and genderqueers (a term mostly for younger people, of whom I am not one), and the miscellaneous other fabulous queers.

But there comes a time when one must take a stand. See this picture? This man allegedly wore the outfit on an airline flight, and does so regularly, “for fun,” according to quotes attributed to him.

See, now I have a problem with this. No amount of “gender expression rights” talk is going to pretty this one up. I do not support this man’s right to fly clad only in female underwear.

It’s entirely possible, also, that this is a hoax to have a bit of innocent fun. If so, it’s not in good taste. It frankly undermines the whole movement.

I respect the right of everyone to dress how they wish, but only up to a point. Why draw a line, you ask? Am I not engaging in dressing behavior, as a transsexual, that was once not only considered improper but illegal?

Yes, I am. But that doesn’t mean there are no boundaries whatsoever. True, the boundaries are artificial, socially created constructs. But I live in a real world, not a theoretical one. I dress like a 50-year old female academic (in law, not fashion or the arts), and, frankly, I look like one. The years haven’t been all that kind. I’m no Candis Cayne or Calpernia Addams. I understand that a bikini is not kind to me, and that the answer to “does this make me look fat?” is Yes.

There are, however, more serious issues here than simply one man’s poor taste in clothes. It gets complicated quickly when one has to account for issues of racism and crossdressing, as in the story about Deshon Marman, a 20-year-old African-American student and football player at the University of New Mexico was bumped from a US Airways flight at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) on June 16, 2011 and later arrested over allegations he refused to pull up his baggy pants. The two cases have some significant parallels, but with strikingly different results. That’s a problem.

In addition, I do not take my right to fly while transsexual for granted, and legal rights are serious things. When older gentlemen demand the right to fly while dressed only in female undergarments, it undermines the argument that gender identity and expression are serious issues deserving of protection, because the demand stretches the concepts involved beyond all recognition. It’s also only because this man has white privilege that he can do this. A black man who tried this would be in a lot of serious trouble.

Many transsexuals have a great deal of trouble trying to convince our legal system — police, lawyers and prosecutors, judges, drivers license bureaus, vital statistics agencies — that their identities are legitimate and to be respected. I have been denied proper government services because of my gender identity, and I have fought the good fight to help others in similar situations. It is heartbreaking to me to think of all those people who have worked so hard simply to have the plain dignity and respect that every human being should receive, to see this man playing dress up on airplanes “just for fun.” This isn’t subverting gender norms, it’s strengthening them because it makes gender variance ridiculous. He can go home and put on his suit and command instant respect from all sorts of business and government officials. I have to work hard to convince people that I’m not insane, despite my credentials. I don’t get to ever go home and put on a man’s suit and command instant respect. Frankly, I’m livid. He won’t even give his name, because he doesn’t want to really take on the stigma of non-normative gender. It’s all just a bit of fun. He doesn’t want to spoil the fun.

Is this what ENDA is going to mean — that he can come dressed to work like this? Is this what we’re asking employers to support? I am not fighting for that. I do not find it fabulous, and I do not find it amusing.

I’m not advocating arrests of crossdressers, and I uphold anyone’s right to dress however they want in private. But I’m not defending this one. Is this what all my work on including statutory protections for “gender expression” comes down to? This makes me rethink that. Very seriously.

16 Responses to “See, Now I Have A Problem With This”

  1. Teri Says:

    We all have a problem with this.

  2. Teri Says:

    Agreed! Though I saw Prince open for the Stones at Anaheim Stadium in something not that different and he got booed quite a bit. Not to mention the junk thrown at him. Up in SF we have the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence parading at Pride events and they add a lot of color and fun to it. This fellow? Not sure what his trip is. I like to think people know the difference between those who are being real and those who are just being nuts.

    • Suzan Says:

      It’s sort of a matter of time and place.

      One of my big problems with the whole reactionary post-1970s era is how it has squeezed the space for eccentrics to the point of almost nothingness. Political Correctness hasn’t helped much because part of being willfully odd is provoking a reaction. The other thing is the policing of eccentricity. How is this chap different from someone with say a pair of full sleeve tats or ears pierced with those can that spread the hole?

      Is he more offensive because of the flouting of gender rules? Or is the problem the willful violation of social dress codes expected of in public spaces?

  3. Geena Says:

    This individual has no effect on my reputation or image.
    As a man and a women : I have avoided – and been avoided, by others who may not have liked mine – or I not liking their presentation.

    Besides life is boring, we need more non-violent kooks.

    • Suzan Says:

      I hear you regarding non-violent kooks or eccentric folks. I’ve been hassled more in life by thin lipped grim Bible Thumpers than by people like the one in the photo.
      OTOH by being so Borg like in the inclusion thingie the Transgender folks paint themselves into a corner politically.

      I’m kind of an anarchist. “Do your own thing, and no you aren’t invited to the pot-luck I’m having but I’m sure they will love you at the party they are having down the street at the Kinkster’s house.”

  4. aformeroldfriend Says:

    The guy is a transvestite, he just wants his right to express himself. Isn’t that a first amendment thing?

    Cloths do not make the woman, or man, or whatever, he is who he is.

    We just have to make it clear he doesn’t represent us. He belongs with the Tee-Gees.

  5. Jessica Says:

    This is the circumstance that was always left in the gray area we were never supposed to talk about.

    This is the defense of individualism we are supposed to defend, because, of course, this is exactly who we are–and if we deny it, well, then, we are somehow denying ourselves.


    I thought, when I first came across this report(s) they were both on the same plane. It is presented as a case of the pilot, the supreme decider, declaring that the young man refused to obey his orders, whereas the old, white, at least middle-class man was acceptable to the pilot.

    This in itself raises so many questions, that Weiss not really address.

    This circumstance disturbs me on so many levels, I can hardly count/comprehend them.

    We never address the idea of the “bigendered” person who demands the right to come to work one day as masculine and the next as feminine–these are gender(ed) terms that are accurate, but that we are not permitted to use–because hir (is this correct?) decides so. And we cannot even voice a concern because that is hir’s “gender identity” which is the same, more or less, are our “gender identity.”

    I hesitate to use the term “cisgender” after a recent blog entry, but I use it to point out that my gender presentation aligns with my sex. I am not “transgender(ed).”

    I refuse to acknowledge “gender identity” and the whole ideology, descended from Money, and others, through Zucker and Blanchard. (Why do so many challenge the evil these men do, but accept the evil concept, “gender identity”, they do it with?)

    I have been trying to disentangle my thinking on these points for a while now, and, ironically, am glad of this event, because it clarifies something I could never grasp before,

    There is a difference between necessity and indulgence.

    And his indulgence has no connection with my necessity–other than that in the minds of bigots, including those who demand the dominance of the (trans)gender(ed) ideology.

  6. Lisa McDonald Says:

    I think she should be voted TG Miss America and made the face of the TG movement. I have been seriously laughing about this all week talk about a rude awakening for Transgender activists. This person doesn’t threaten me one bit because she and I’m being LGBT politically correct here (remember we must use the proper pronouns) is exactly the perfect spokesperson for those of us who don’t wish to be labeled Transgender.

  7. Angela Says:

    Maybe this man has an aeroplane fetish? He might be part of some secret crossdressers mile high club devoted to getting anal in toilets?
    Or maybe it’s part of a male bonding ritual amongst his business colleagues? “Hey guys, we’re doing the shareholders meeting in bra and panties this month, better be there.”

  8. Andrea B. Says:

    I would be suprised if Autumn Sandeen, Anne lawrence, Press for Change, GIRES and Blanchard do not put this man forward as an example of transgenderism for all to emulate.

    That is the nature of the self appointed idiots who claim to represent us.

    • Suzan Says:

      Putting aside the nastiness… I do not have a problem with this guy dressing this way and going to say a Pride Day Event, a Fetish Ball, certain clubs etc…
      His freedom is not the issue… That he is doing it at the wrong time and place makes him an exhibitionist.
      At the same time people in public have the free speech right to comment but not harm him.
      The problem as I see it is that by acting like the Borg of Star Trek, the Transgender Borg Collective now own this guy and he is the one they have to sell as to an inclusive ENDA that has a public accommodations clause that permits him in the women’s room.
      Whereas a more limited definition of “Transgender” one requiring living 24/7 in order to avail oneself of these protections avoids the issue of this guy getting to use the women’s restroom.

  9. Andrea B. Says:

    @ Suzan,

    On a daily basis the term transgender absorbs more diverse meaning. Literally the term is meaningless and covers to wide a group, to actually mean anything.

    It is the vagueness of the term that appeals to the PFC vice-president types, that are self appointed. It means they can claim virtually anything and get away with it when lobbying politicians, as no one will call them on it, due to well meaning political correctness and lack of knowledge on the part of those being lobbyed.

  10. Angela Says:

    It is a bit catty I know, but for a last cheap shot….
    Maybe he lost a bad bet like in Paul Auster’s “The Music of Chance”, but instead of having to build an enormous stone wall for no reason, he’s been condemmed to spend the rest of his life on US domestic flights wearing nothing but women’s underwear. Just a thought.

    More seriously though, he reminds me a little of the nude rambler there was in the UK a few years ago. He decided that he was going to walk from Lands End to John O Groats completely naked. He did it too but not without problems. I think he got sectioned (comitted) twice, but both times the psychiatrists decided he wasn’t mad and let him go after a few days. This often doesn’t work for transexual people obviously. The second time I think the police were waiting for him and they arrested him and he went to prison, where he carried on refusing to wear clothes. I think at least some of the other prisoners thought he was cool. He probably had an easier time of it once he got to the far north of Scotland where there aren’t so many people. Eventually he got to John O Groats.

    I kind of admired him, he wasn’t doing any harm, and he wasn’t doing it for sexual kicks either I think. It became a sort of public order and conformity thing. The law eventually and a bit reluctantly did it’s job, and they made themselves look silly in many peoples eyes.

  11. veronicaanne Says:

    Okay first off: NOBODY SHOULD walk around in their underwear. I do not know if wearing underwear in public is legal or not, that is a separate issue. There is no question that this is in bad taste and I for one find it disgusting, repulsive and words cannot express the depths of either.

    I suppose that in bathing attire, that there would be no law against this person crossdressing at the beach either. Please forgive me if I am less than amused or delighted by the presence of such a person or if I am even a tad elitist or snobbish in not wanting to associate myself with anyone with such a confrontational appearance. It is not a question of whether I think that this person is beneath me, but I would be not only embarrassed to be around someone like this but it would also make me feel like my being with them would be perceived as some form of acceptance which is completely the opposite of any message that I would want to send. If ever a fashion police were permissible this would be one of my textbook examples of fashion crime of a most heinous nature (in public). Like it has been said: what people do in the privacy of their home is their own business. But to rub the face of the general public in one’s fetish is more than confrontational, disrespectful and obnoxious. I say fetish because there is not even the minimal effort to tucking, or attempting to present a remotely gender conforming image. Deliberately provoking people in such a manner is just plain rude and unacceptable in my opinion.

    • Suzan Says:

      As I said there is a right time and place and a wrong time and place.

      I worked at a big box store here in the Dallas area and we used to have obvious cross dressers come in. Most didn’t get bagged on by my crew. On the other hand there was this old gay guy who wore fish net tank tops and these teeny shorts. And you could see his nipple rings. When the crew came off the floor it was, “Oh Lord, tinsel tits was in today…” Then there was a young TV/TG who used to come in with this fox tail hanging fro the ass of her skirt.

      The common comment was that this person was insulting women with that get up.
      The Borg like process though means the Transgender as Umbrella crow owns these folks.
      But I’m not transgender and they are not my problem. I’m an old hippie dyke and I might say something like “Y’all sure you want to go out in public dressed like that?” But it’s your life and your the one that’s going to catch the strange looks and comments. Just take care where you go because it’s a jungle out there.

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