Just One of the Guys

No matter how hard I try to be just one of the guys
There’s a little something inside that won’t let me
No matter how hard I try to have an open mind
There’s a little voice inside that prevents me

-Jenny Lewis

I do my best to not generalize or stereotype in my writings.  I cringe a little whenever I get an email from a girl like us that reads something like “women NEVER wear heels anymore”. 

Obviously it’s not true and this generalization is hurtful.  Usually the email will go on to say that women don’t appreciate or take advantage of being allowed to wear cute clothes or whatever.  They usually imply that girls like us appreciate being a girl more than cis-women do.


Ugh.


For starters, competing and saying things like that is just… stupid.  I don’t like it when t-girls compare other t-girls or put them down by insulting or making derogatory comments based on their appearances or fashion choices.  I don’t think it’s healthy or nice or accurate to say that t-girls are more feminine than cis-women.  


Anyway, as much as I avoid generalization, I understand that this post is going to come across as very stereotypical.  Let me say that I am going to make some broad observations and musings but please know that anything I say will have some caveats and exceptions.  What I mean is that when I say “men don’t….” I really mean that I realize that not every man is like this, however based on my experience I feel that most men think that….”.

Make sense?


Anyone who knows Hannah or reads this website knows that I have two gender identities and I spend more of my life presenting as male than as a girl.  However in my male life very, very, VERY few people know about her.  And those that do aren’t really aware of how… active and prolific that my femme side is.  With the exception of my brother, I have never told any man about this side of me.  With him as an exception I have only come out to girls.  Three of the girls I have come out to were because I was dating them and one of them I was fortunate enough to marry.  I came out to my sisters and my mom, and a couple of my female friends.  I think that’s it.  


Why not more men?  Honestly I feel as hard as it is for anyone to understand this side of us, men have a harder time understanding or even being open to why a guy would want to wear heels or shave their legs or spend $80 on a makeover.  Why wouldn’t a guy WANT to be a guy and do guy things?


That’s not to say that a guy thinks why wouldn’t a guy want to do stereotypical guy things (like…uh, ice fishing and watching football or whatever), but more like why on Earth would anyone choose to spend all that time and money and effort in an outfit or their appearance? Why put yourself through the pain of getting your eyebrows threaded?  Again, I am not implying that men don’t care about their appearance or grooming, but the number of dudes wearing socks and sandals and pajama pants at Best Buy seem to suggest that the majority of men don’t put much effort in how they look.  


And yes, I know, I know, NOT ALL MEN.


I think many men equate anything feminine with being gay and there’s a lot of men out there that would rather die than anyone thinking they aren’t straight.  
I have listened to men for decades and more than once I have heard them complain about their girlfriends or their wives .  They don’t understand why a girl is spending so much time getting ready, or why they want to look cute when they are just running to the store, or why they are dressing up to go out to dinner with their sister.  Guys (again, I am generalizing) have no problem with wearing a t-shirt with a hole in it and sweatpants to meet their buddies for a beer.  


This is not to say that you need to wear a three piece suit to Buffalo Wild Wings or whatever but I think you understand.  


Men don’t understand why their future bride spends months looking for a perfect wedding dress to wear for one day or why she is getting her nails done every few weeks and can’t even grasp why she would spend $200 on a haircut. These perspectives are based on their own experiences.  A haircut for a guy is less than twenty dollars.  Guys just need to go to the tux shop to get fitted for their wedding.  Life couldn’t be easier for a cis/het guy.


So when a guy tells another guy that they have a side of them that wants to look beautiful, that they want to wear a cute outfit, that they are happy to spend an evening taking a really good shower, shaving their legs, and doing their nails most men will think that their buddy has lost their mind.  Why would ANYONE want to do that?  Why would a dude WANT to?

I mean, they have a point.  I don’t know why I want to do these things.  I don’t know why I do.  But when I have come out to girls they may not understand it, but they get it.  My wife likes to look cute when she runs errands or meet her girlfriends for lunch so she understands why Hannah wants to as well.  My wife has outfits that she wears that she feels cute in, and she gets why Hannah has clothes that do the same thing.  My wife, and I think many cis-women (again, based on my experiences) understand and can relate to wanting to look and feel a certain way.  Many women understand and can relate to how amazing their legs feel when they are smooth and freshly shaved.  She may not understand why I choose to do this but she can relate.  She gets why someone would want to do this.  She knows how much of a self-esteem boost it is to wear an outfit you feel amazing in.  She knows that leggings are comfier than jeans.  


In my experiences coming out to girls can go a number of ways but for the most part there is a level of understanding why someone would want to feel and look beautiful, regardless of them understanding why a guy would want to dress.  I don’t think most cis-women think or wonder why they themselves want to look cute or wear a certain outfit but then again most girls aren’t expected to have to explain why they feel this way so perhaps there isn’t as much soul-searching  or over-thinking as a t-girl will do.  


None of this is meant to suggest that my male friends are idiots or cruel or homophobic.  I have three very close male friends and I think they are all good people.  I wouldn’t be friends with them if they weren’t.  We all feel the same about social and LGBTQ+ rights, we all have friends or family members that aren’t in the cis/het categories.  I know that they like me and care about me.  I have not come out to them because I am afraid of being shunned or mocked, that’s not it.  I haven’t come out to them (for the most part) because I don’t know how to explain who I am in a context that they could relate to (as far as I know).  My wife understands the frustration of getting one eye perfect with your eyeliner and shadow and the other eye turning out to be a disaster.  My wife can relate to wanting to look cute, but I don’t know how to talk about Hannah to my guy friends.  


Coming out is one of the biggest decisions we will ever make.  The repercussions could be enormous.  The cat is out of the bag, the genie is out of the bottle.  You may never discuss *this* again with someone you come out to, but they know.  They will always know.  Coming out reveals our secret side to others, but coming out reveals a lot about the person we come out to.  You can never really predict how they will react regardless of what they have said in the past.  Sure, they may be supportive of the LGBTQ+ community but it might be a little different when their buddy of twenty years comes out to them.  Coming out is entrusting someone else to keep this a secret to.  To respect it.  Many of us are scared to death of everyone in our lives knowing about this and when we keep it a secret it’s easy to control who knows.  But when someone else knows…


Relationships, friendships, marriages… all of this can be destroyed or at the very least forever changed when we come out.  I don’t mean to scare anyone off from doing this, I just think we need to be very careful and thoughtful when we do.  


Will I come out to my male friends?  I doubt it.  When we come out to someone we usually do so with a purpose.  I came out to a roommate because with her random and sporadic sleep and work schedule I thought there was a good chance she might catch me wearing a nightgown so instead of surprising her I thought it would be best to tell her first.  I also didn’t want to always live in fear of being caught.  She was very cool about it.  I have come out to girls I have been in relationships with because they needed to know.  I came out to my sisters and my mom because, well, I had hoped that they would want to get to know Hannah.  That hasn’t happened.  My family is very supportive of the LGBTQ+ community, but as I said earlier, it might be a little weird for them when it’s someone you know to adjust to this revelation.  Coming out would also impact my wife as well.  Not only would my friends (and likely their spouses) see me in a new light, they would also see my wife differently as well.  They would have a glimpse into a side of our marriage that few people have. 

 
The only reason I can think of why I would want to come out to my male friends is because, well, they’re my friends.  I don’t expect them (or necessarily want them to) to know Hannah the way they know me.  I don’t want Hannah to meet them for dinner or anything like that.  I I would come out to them because I think they would want to know.  If any of my friends had something like this to share, I would want them to tell me.  I think I would almost be hurt if I knew they were keeping something like this from me, especially if they weren’t sure of how I would react.  


Love, Hannah

9 thoughts on “Just One of the Guys

  1. A ramble………….but a nice one. Well written and I agree with your position 100%. Is that for everyone ? Definitely not for all, but I would assume applies to most of us.
    Angel Amore

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  2. I once had a boss who said that sometimes the best decision is no decision. You are so right Hannah-if there is no NEED to tell then keep your lips zipped

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  3. Hi Hannah
    My lady name is Magen.I have been cross dressing since I was 5yrs. I was caught waring one of my sisters tops and it felt very good, when I i was talked to about the close’s it was metioned that that style was ment for girls, I said i did not care I just liked the top. well that was the end of it untill i was in jr high, i aske my mother to make me a top like the pirets ware in the movies, so she did, it was a mov color and i wore it to school, i was ridiculed in class untill the guys had to take home economics and the gilrs took shop. The teacher knew my mother and what icould do, We had ower choice cooking or sewing, all the guys took cooking, I did sewing, (I knew how to cook and sew. (after that I was accused of something that happened in another class and was forced into a fight, I solved that problem buy cold cooking the guy and walking away, next day his buddy tried to retialiate, I beat him without hitting him after that I got the repect from the rest of the school with the exception of the 6 members of the tough guys club but they never bothered me again. I know what we do is tough. I dont wear dress’s or skirts,In wear female clothe after hours,(that from 430 to bed time and a nighty to bed, get up go to work as a male, come home and strip wash and go enfemine (including heels) even in public,my freind thinks im crazy but she still come with me or I take her shopping. Lasty night at the grousrery store we meet we were introduce to a full trans who liked my heels, we spent 15 min talking in the parking lot, my freind was so interested in her and what she was going to have bottom surgery, I coud not get a word in edge wise.

    I love your post’s on the web. I read them every time im on the net(when I can).
    I will still go out but not in skirts or dreeses I ware womens slacks and heels as well as make-up,I have long natural hair styled enfemine and have no quams about the make-up or thye earings and necklace that I ware.Istill like myguy side but my femine side makes me feel good. IF YOU LOOK GOOD ON THE OUTSIDE YOU FEEL BETTER ON THE INSIDE. Thats all for now you can reach me at this email that is in the responce

    love Magen P

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  4. Hi Hannah.
    I am gender fluid, and really enjoy presenting as my female side on about half of the days. I do go out of the house as Adeline a lot, and also as Dave. Maybe it’s because of where I live that I have had very few problems with presenting as a female. (No, I don’t pass, but that’s not my intent. Nice, but not necessary.) I live in Portland, Oregon, which is a very liberal city, but with a checkered past of course.
    Up until just a few years ago, I was in the closet. Both to my family and even to myself. Then in conversations with my wife, I started under dressing. And then with further conversations, found that I was denying a part of me that was real and needed expression. At first I thought it was just a desire, not a need. I know better now.
    In reference to your dichotomy of your Hannah self and your male self, I don’t feel that. When I’m in guy mode, I still feel feminine, and when I am dressed en femme, I still feel guy emotions. (Yes, guys have emotions. 🙂 ) So I am not sure where the line id for that.
    My coworkers all know. In fairness I work in a department where the boss is CisFemale, as are 9 out of 10 of the department. So telling guys wasn’t really a big deal. That helps.
    The big one was telling my best guy friend about it. I was scared. So I waited until we were on our annual road trip to shoot guns in Nevada. And I waited until I was driving so he couldn’t stop the car and tell me to get out. His response? “Oh. Cool. Did you bring girl clothes with you?”
    Outside I said, “No, this is a guy week.” Inside I was crying tears of joy. That was a year ago, and since then, he and I have done the same things we always did together. Discussing politics, talking about the economy, shooting guns, building sheds, etc. And sometimes I was Adeline, other times I was Dave. It doesn’t seem to make any difference to my friend.
    After that experience I just stopped worrying about it. And now I’m happier all the time. For me it’s not sexiness or transitioning, I just feel happier some days dressed as a woman. Mostly a frumpy old woman, but it’s still me.
    I took one step further and outed myself on Facebook toa group of friends I have had on Usenet before the world wide web. Not even scary to me, and now the toothpaste is out of the tube.
    I am adding the message I sent, but if it’s too long for this venue, i will understand that. Of course, it’s your venue, you can do what you like. 🙂

    Facebook post:
    It’s time to stop hiding a part of my personality. Some of you already know this, as we’ve talked about it, some of you will say, “Well of course, that makes so much sense.”, some of you will say, “Who cares?”, and some of you will say, “Wow, who would have guessed. He builds things and shoots guns and throws hatchets. He’s a prepper for goodness sake.”
    It’s really that last group that has caused me to write this document.
    Hello. My name is Adeline. Some days. Most days I’m Dave. But sometimes I put on traditionally female clothing and present as a woman. I don’t pass as a woman. But it makes me feel better. It makes me more in touch with some of the things I like to do. I’m still a victim of the culture I grew up in.
    But please let me explain some erroneous assumptions some of you may have.
    Cross dressing does not necessarily mean gay. I’m not gay. Cross dressing does not mean someone is going to transition to the other sex. I’m not transitioning. Cross dressing is not the same as drag queen. Yes, drag queens are by definition cross dressers, but the opposite is not true. (By the same token, drag queens are not necessarily gay. Some are, some aren’t.) Cross dressing does not mean pedophile. There may be some, but I think it’s probably less than in the general population. I have no statistics to back that up. Cross dressing does not mean divorce, dissolution, annulment, or anything like that.
    Cross dressing does not have to mean shame. That comes from society. And I reject that part of society. If you try to shame me because of this, then that is your problem, and I refuse to accept it. I can’t think of any of my friends IRL or on FB that would do that. Maybe on Linked In, but I have a job I will retire from, so WGAF.
    Is Susan OK with this? Completely.
    My daughters? Very supportive.
    What about work and the office? No problems, I work for Kaiser Health Plans NW for goodness sake.
    Other friends. My best male friend is very OK with it. We go shooting together both when I am Dave and when I am Adeline. Once Covid is over we will be back to road tripping.
    Only one person has ever had a real problem with it, and it was a clerk at Goodwill who called me a perverted abomination for wanting to try on women’s clothing. That was resolved easily because the manager of the store came running over to see what the problem was, and the clerk was taken in the back for a discussion.
    OK?
    If not, I’m sorry to upset you. I am not in the habit of making people uncomfortable. (If I was in a habit, would I be impersonating a nun?)
    I am OK with talking about this if you have questions. Being the group that we are, I am sure most of you will not care. 😊It’s not like I’m against breast feeding or something like that. It’s just clothes and a sense of freedom. A way to express my feminine side. A way to really be myself.
    End of Facebook post.

    The response was overwhelming. And completely 100% positive. Many comments in support, and some questions. And I no longer have to feel reluctant to comment on some topics. Win all around. I would add the picture that went with the post if I knew how.

    Thanks for listening. Or not listening. Either way, I’m OK with it, and I have come to really like me, both as Dave and as Adeline. (BTW, my wife of 45 years gave me the name Adeline. I asked her to give my feminine side a name and she came up with Adeline. Alas, I look nothing like Blake Lively.)

    Stay safe, stay home, wash your hands, wear a mask if you venture out.

    Love to all.

    Adeline

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    1. Hi Dave/Adeline
      I have the same perspective as you, I do similair things. I wear womans clothing out
      generally in the style as a tom boy but when I come home from work I change from guy mode into female clothes they are so much nicer than the guy cloths (feel good)
      I wear heels out and have had comments that I walk better than most females in the heels. The tom boy in me wont let me go out in public in a dress or skirt, however i do wear the slacks and tops as wellas heels in public with the earings and makeup at times with my ex girlfreind who thinks im kind of crazy but actcepts it and when we meet a trans who was transitioning we spent about a half hour just talking in general
      (she like the heels that i was wearing and aske where i got them. Thats how this conversation with her got started.(I think that the lady that intoduced us was His spouse as when we talked to the lady again she seamed to Know somuch about her) ( when you meet people i a groucery store you do not Know that much about the customer and the lady was an emplyee, iI have worked in these kinds of stores before) I want to give you full support for your choice. (I work in a mocho world that makes it hard to come out but with the style that iI have it seams to work. I have had neighbours ( female) ask me why I wear heels, I told them that men use to wear them in the 17 & 18 hunderds to make them taller such as henry the 5th. the neighbours accepted this and dont comment on my clothing as well. I JUST SAY IT’S MY FEMAIL SIDE AND THEY ACCEPT IT.
      i hope I did not rambleon to much but we can talk some more it you want

      love Magen

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