Being transgender is a complex and fascinating subject so I challenge you with the question, Does being transgender make you a better person?
At first blush, it seems like a no brainer; everyone knows, or remembers, the electric jolt that comes when we cross what I term the “drag meridian.” That’s the first moment in the transformation process when there is an unfinished woman looking back at you in the mirror, and not simply an oddly attired and toileted male.
We have all experienced the flash of hormonal heat that happens when you are out somewhere and you hear, “Miss,” or “Ma’am,” or even “Hey Lady.” And there are very few things a person can do with their clothes on that supply the emotional rush of glimpsing yourself in a window or a mirror and seeing the woman who lives inside you walking and talking and interacting with the world.
Quite simply, cross dressing is our unchosen drug of choice. We are involuntary addicts; riders of the hi-heeled high. The casual cross dresser is an urban myth, like Lindsay Lohan’s Mensa membership, or poo-fed alligators the size of Subaru’s in the sewers. There may be men who cross dress on a casual basis but, when you scratch their surfaces, you will see that very few subjects, including work, family or football, occupy as much of their thinking every day as the various aspects of their distaff avocation. When we aren’t actually cross dressing, we’re planning the next time we’ll cross dress, remembering the last time we cross dressed, or just imagining what life would be like if we were able to be a woman 24/7.
So the first answer to the question would be a resounding “Hell, no, I wouldn’t give it up!” No addict in the world surrenders the high without a fight. Passing pangs of conscience, New Year’s resolutions or solemn promises to loved ones may cause us to purge our finery for intervals of time, but nothing quiets the call of the corset forever (metaphorically speaking). Even during the will power-powered purges, I would bet my organ donor card that every single one of us never forgets our dress size or our favorite shade of lipstick and, eventually, doesn’t wind up right back in front of that mirror making sure our eyelashes are secure, that the beard cover actually covers our beards, and ceremoniously shouting, “damn the kitten heels, full speed ahead to the ‘Ladies Drink Free’ happy hour at the TG-friendly eatery at the mall!”
But that isn’t the whole picture. The truth we may not admit to the world is that, irrespective of our reasons for dressing, stopping’s not an easy option, even if we want to. Cross dressing is what unadulterated pleasure tastes like to us. It’s not our alpha and omega, but it’s not just a run of the mill passion in our everyday lives, either. It’s the definition of passion for us. Cross dressing is the loam and fertilizer for much of the happiness in our worlds. Take it away and we might be able to make it Monday to Monday but, it would be for us, as Chief Sealth of the Duwamish Indians once described (in another context), “the end of living and the beginning of survival.”
And that fact makes the question a more vexing conundrum. I wager that there isn’t one of us who hasn’t, in moments of turmoil, wished we could trade passion for simplicity, rid ourselves of our CLDD (Chronic Louboutin Dependency Disorder), and just lead lives that didn’t involve our studying Vogue like a Super Bowl playbook. Certainly, most of our loved ones would appreciate that. No matter how accepting they may be, life for them would be a lot less complicated if each of us wasn’t having a passionate affair with the “other woman” we see in our mirrors.
So, while my answer to the question, “does being transgender make you a better person” might, in sum, still be, “No thanks, I’m good.” It’s a reply freighted with both the joy being transgendered gives me and the emotional complexity it has added to my life.
Gina Marie Conners is a member of the Vanity Club and resides in Virginia. Check her bio for a complete list of her posts