The MN T-Girls get together on a monthly basis and it’s lovely catching up with the girls. Some girls attend each event, some girls I see once or twice a year. People change and live their lives and it’s not unusual for a little (or a lot) to happen in between the times that I see them. Girls like us are all on a broad spectrum and we can grow or evolve how we identify over time. The group has existed for almost ten years (!) now and I’ve met a lot of amazing women through the group. Some of us, including myself, have changed how we identify. Some of us are, and will always identify as a crossdresser. Some of us have shifted to identifying as transgender or gender-fluid. Some of us have started to take hormones.
At a recent event some of the girls were chatting about their transitions, including everything from voice lessons to estrogen. And I”m thrilled for them! As I mentioned I’ve known a lot of these girls for a long time and it’s lovely to see them on their (ugh) journey. Some girls feel, or felt that their male lives were almost traumatic, or at the very least, wrong for them. As someone who is bi-gender I can’t relate. Which is fine, no one will relate to everyone they meet in every aspect. I’m comfortable in both of my genders and I don’t feel either is wrong or the real me. Both of me is me.
Although I don’t see myself ever taking t-blockers or hormones or transitioning, I still have much in common with these lovely women. We are still part of the same community, but I have to admit I felt a little out of place. I didn’t belong in that conversation and I couldn’t relate. Which is fine, promise! No one can be a part of every conversation, no one can relate to every experience or feeling.
For a community as diverse as ours, it’s not surprising to see that there is a wiiiiide array of people and their lives. The non-cisgender community can range from crossdressers to drag queens to people who have transitioned and many of us fall somewhere in all of that. I know I do. I do think diversity is important in any group and community and although I can’t relate to someone feeling anxious about their gender identity or wanting to take hormones, I do enjoy getting to know people. It’s fascinating to hear about other people and their lives and their own experiences and their perspectives on gender and identity. We are a beautifully diverse community.
The diversity of the community is also on full display online. I’ve written before about looking up crossdressing the very first time I went online almost thirty years ago and being a little shocked that most of what I found was very sexual and seem to suggest that crossdressing is a fetish. And it is! For some of us. And that’s okay. Over time and through my own experiences and by meeting others I’ve learned that one segment of a community doesn’t necessarily reflect the entire community. Yes, some of us are aroused by lingerie or thigh high boots and what have you, but there are some of us who feel a sense of peace when we are en femme. Two sides of a coin, but both still part of a very diverse community.
Although my first awakening that all of THIS was a fetish for some was a long time okay, even today the internet can often still seem like crossdressing is ONLY a fetish. I am pretty active onTwitter and I seem to attract a lot of chasers and fetishists there. I will get comments and likes and followers from men who have account names along the lines of “TGURL-LOVR” or whatever. And look, I am not calling anyone out or kink-shaming anyone. As long as someone isn’t hurting someone else, then a fetish or what (or who) is attracted to is (usually) pretty harmless. I do try to keep up with who is interacting and commenting on my tweets and I have no problem blocking or muting someone if the comments get sexual. I have a real problem when someone comments about how much they want to kiss or have sex with me. I mean, I can’t control what arouses someone, but for god’s sake restrain yourself. Please keep your comments respectful.
I get a little… well, tired of the seemingly endless messages and comments from fetishinst and chasers that are very sexually charged. Look, I get why some people might think that this side of me is a fetish and that I might want to engage with someone who feels the same way. This side of me is not, and never was a fetish. Not really. Just as surprising that others were aroused by crossdressing, I am sure others are surprised that I am not.
There are those who dress up because it arouses them. And that’s fine! You go girl. It’s not unusual to see someone dress up in lingerie and post rather… ah, personal and intimate photos of themselves. Again, I am not kink-shaming anyone but that’s not for me. That’s not me. But in a way people who do that are still part of my community (if we define a community as a non-cisgender community).
My point is that it’s easy to feel out of place in the transcommunity. And before I go any further I want to make it clear that I am not equating someone wanting to transition to a fetishist. The point that I am trying to make is that with a community as diverse as ours it’s not unusual for us to feel a disconnection with others within our community. And that’s fine! Really. No one is going to be able to relate to everyone, even if there is something that we all have in common. A fetishist, a crossdresser, someone who loves the sissy lifestyle, a hardcore transactivist, someone who is genderqueer… we are all part of the transcommunity in our own ways. What unites us is that there is a side of us that feels drawn to a world and a wardrobe that is different from what society expects us to live in or wear.
I often feel out of place no matter where I am. That feeling is likely due to my introvertness as opposed to my gender identity, though. I felt out of place all those years ago when searching for ANYTHING related to crossdressing online resulted in pages and pages of people turned on by crossdressing. I felt out of place when listening to girls like me chatting about transitioning. Both of these extremes are part of the very community that I identify with and it’s a little uncomfortable feeling out of place within your community but I suppose it’s not uncommon to feel out of place within your own family as well.
Please understand. I am not expecting (nor do I want) every conversation I am near to be one that I can relate to. I would be mortified if a conversation shifted because I joined it. My point is it’s easy to feel alone in this life, it’s easy to feel out of place. It’s easy to feel like you don’t belong. I feel that way in a lot of aspects in my life. But take comfort in that there are more like YOU than you know. If you feel like hormones and transitioning is for you, then you are not alone. If you feel like you have more than one gender and are happy with that, you are not alone. If you do drag, you are not alone. If you wear panties under your boy clothes, you are not alone. If you are aroused by revealing lingerie, you are not alone. If this side of you brings pure joy and happiness and peace, you are not alone.
There are countless others like me, others who don’t feel turned on by lingerie (please note that feeling beautiful and feeling aroused are not the same thing), others who don’t feel uncomfortable in their boy lives, others who are happy with all of their genders. I need to remind myself that although my friends within the transcommunity, all have different journeys and feelings and experiences and perspectives, we are still in the same community. They are not alone in how they feel, and although I may feel differently than someone else, I am not alone either.