Jun 20

Cartoon in Drag

Bugs Bunny america's cartton character, in drag

It’s no secret that America’s favorite cartoon character Bugs Bunny has one very popular go-to trick for deceiving his enemies, particularly that hillbilly Elmer Fudd. A master of disguise, Bugs Bunny has never shied away from wearing women’s clothing to best his rivals and save his life. He ferociously bats his eyelashes and gets uncomfortably close to their face to distract them, daring to kiss them sometimes.

Throughout his 75 years on air, Bugs has transformed into everything from a southern belle to a mermaid to Little Red Riding Hood—each time momentarily stealing the heart of his rival, then usually giving himself away by turning around and exposing his tail.

And not to be outdone two other favorites, Mickey and Donald, use their feminine wiles to amuse us. There’s something to be said for the “good ole days”

The following is a reprint from Kristelle Watkins’ blog, The Transitioner’s Primer, A blog about transgender culture and history. She writes about Bugs in her article, “Bugs Bunny: Transgender Inspiration…Or Insult?

bugs bunny in dragCartoons have been a staple in culture since the 19th century. They have been used to show the hypocrisy and corruption in our political environment, economic policies, and religious beliefs as well as for general entertainment to escape those same problems in our culture. In the world of cartoons, no idea is safe from criticism and no subject is taboo. Over the years many cartoon characters have crossdressed, mostly to escape the shenanigans of the episode’s antagonist or strictly for a laugh. But one character throughout the history of cartoons embraced the practice of cross-dressing unlike any other. That character is Bugs Bunny. I’m pretty confident that Bugs is such an icon in modern culture that I don’t have to detail the extensive history of the character. However, a brief summary should be appropriate.

Bugs was created in 1940 and appeared in various episodes of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies produced by Warner Bros. During the golden age of animation his popularity surged and he was assigned as the official mascot of Warner Bros. He is one of a handful of animated characters that have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is the first animated character to earn the honor. He has been portrayed in more film than any other cartoon character. And is the ninth most-portrayed film personality in the world. Three episodes he was portrayed in were nominated for Oscars, the third of which won.

Bugs Bunny in drag 2 While the character is identified as a male, many episodes that Bugs appeared in portray him dressing in drag to escape the clutches of his antagonists. It is a trait he has exemplified throughout his entire existence. In one of his earliest episodes, there is a scene in which he is in a dressing room and begins to explore dressing as a woman, admiring himself in a mirror as he progresses in donning a feminine form and identity. In many of these early episodes, he would yelp or give a frightened shriek when discovered dressing as a woman and eventually began to dress in “public” regularly without embarrassment. In these early years, he did a relatively poor job at portraying a female but, as time passed his skill at impersonation greatly increased. His makeup skills improve, his shape becomes more feminine, and his mannerisms become exponentially more sensual over time. His latest appearance in the full-length feature film Looney Tunes: Back In Action, there is a scene in which he is dressed in drag with a resemblance to Marylin Monroe. (He’s absolutely gorgeous, a picture from that scene is below.)

Bugs Bunny in dragCreators, producers, and writers for his various appearances have maintained that Bugs’ portrayals in drag were simply to register a laugh from the audience. One went as far to say “We believed someone in drag was one of the funniest things a person could see in real life and it would translate well into our cartoons.” However what many of these creative people fail to realize is how they built the character. Bugs loves dressing as a female often portraying flamboyant female archetypes, until Space Jam, he resisted the advances and showed no interest in female characters, and unlike many of his looney costars, Bugs portrayed his femininity with a style and grace that exemplified the idolization of the feminine form…rather than mocking it like his counterpart Daffy Duck. Even when efforts were made to introduce female versions of many of the Merrie Melodies bunch, Bugs’ counterpart Lola eventually embraced his feminine ways and became the one who “wore the pants” in the relationship.

Bugs Bunny in drag 3Now in some circles in the transgender community, the debate over whether Bugs is an insult to our community or an inspiration persists. In my own personal opinion, Bugs is an inspiration. To best understand why I believe this, one must view the character through the eyes of a child that is experiencing gender confusion. When I was a child, seeing Bugs dressed as a female gave me consolation that what I was experiencing was ok. Even when Bugs was around other characters dressed as a female, he was accepted and believed to be a female without suspicion. This gave me hope that eventually, I would experience the same acceptance from those around me.

 

May 29

She knows, But Is Not Supportive (Part II)

wife not supportiveSo you’ve told your S.O about crossdressing… and she’s not supportive This is a continuation of Part I which addressed this question in the context of an accepting or understanding S.O. in the realm of crossdressing.

If you are planning to tell your S.O. that you want to change your sex there is another level of conversation that needs to be added and much of this may not apply. If you are planning on discussing a sex change I would not rely on information on the internet to do this. Consult a psychologist or other professional that you feel comfortable with.

The Characteristics

In this article I will try to address the issue where your partner is not at all accepting or understanding. So you’ve told your S.O. about your desire or need to crossdress and they’re not supportive. Or you’re about to tell them and you want to prepare for the worst. They’re reaction after telling them can manifest itself in several characteristics which are demonstrated by:

  • No desire to talk about it.
  • They’ve chosen to ignore it.
  • They’ve threatened to separate if you continue this practice.
  • They are completely disgusted at you.

These characteristics more specifically may become apparent in many ways. Your partner may:

  • Shun you
  • No longer be physically intimate with you
  • Find fault with you in other ways
  • Walk away from you or frown at you if you try to talk about it

Deliver an ultimatum • Become more insecure and need you to demonstrate your male side more

  • Find ways to harm you with it to prove that it’s a bad thing
  • Threaten you with different actions they will take if you continue.

It really is a sad state if it comes down to this. Especially when two people essentially love each other and have committed to each other. Many times when a marriage or relationship is on it’s way out, crossdressing can be the final straw or the excuse where people can more easily justify their feelings and reasons to separate.

This situation is not at all straightforward and everyone is a new and different case. Therefore, I don’t expect for this information to apply to everyone – but hopefully some of it will be of use.

Preparation

The first thing you need to realize is that no matter what you say or do, it’s most likely not going to change the way your partner feels or behaves concerning your crossdressing. Really, the only thing you have control over is your own behavior towards your partner’s reaction. Making some decisions before discussing your crossdressing with your partner can help you deal with their reaction whether it’s positive or negative. Some basic decisions I have made before I tell anyone are listed here. This doesn’t mean all of them apply to you, some may not, and there may be others that you would want to add.

Michelle’s Laws:

  1. No matter what be nice and use humor to lighten the load. If you are nice you can usually diffuse any sleeping bomb. You also can calm the waters of a difficult conversation. Be careful though not to trivialize the situation or become patronizing.
  2. Be self confident but not arrogant or stubborn. It’s so important that you understand why you are telling someone something that will most likely upset him or her. Even if it doesn’t, you want to be prepared for the worst. Be careful not to stonewall or be difficult by not giving any ground. A relationship is about compromise and sometimes the compromise is not always in your favor.
  3. Know exactly what you want from your partner; also know what you can live with. Before you tell anyone it is also important to know what you expect from that person. Also know the difference between “want” and “need”. We all want our partners to embrace our femininity, be an active participant, and help fulfill all of our fantasies. Well, that’s probably not going to happen, so you have to figure out what you can live with.
  4. Be prepared to answer the tough questions. Being prepared will help display confidence and self-understanding. You already know what questions she’s going to ask. First and foremost will be “why”. Also here are some of some common questions:
  • Are you gay? Or bi?
  • Do you want to change your sex?
  • What have you been doing behind my back?
  • Why can’t you just stop doing it?
  • How do I compete with the “other woman”?
  • Do you go out in public dressed? Or do you plan to?
  • Do you want men to be attracted to you? (Different from “are you gay?”)
  • Have you or are you taking hormones?
  • Do you fantasize about other men or having sex as a woman?
  • What do you hope to get out of all of it?
  • Is it worth wrecking our relationship/family over this?a
  • Do you still love me?
  • (If you answer yes to bi or gay) – How can I ever please you in that way?
  1. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Don’t be forced in a position to promise something that you know you are going to eventually leak. If you are unsure whether you will be able to keep that promise forever then don’t make it. A broken promise can be the excuse someone needs in order to sever the relationship. My wife asked me to promise not to do it anymore and that if 1 loved her I would make that promise. As difficult as it was I couldn’t make that promise to her. But I could promise her that I would be truthful and never lie about my activities and what I was doing. I also promised to be forth coming with information and not try to hide things from her. These promises I can keep.
  2. Don’t be selfish. A defensive mechanism for us when we are told we can’t do some-thing, or if something is unresolved, is to force the issue. Don’t do anything that you know is going to upset them, especially if things have not been totally resolved. Don’t become more involved in your activities – give it a rest for a period until you have time to work through things more.
  3. Don’t surrender communication. Above all, always communicate. When you stop talking is when you both lose. It will be up to you to force the issue to be discussed by bringing up until the issue is resolved. Obviously there is a time and place for everything; but on the other hand don’t linger waiting for the perfect time – it will never be a perfect time. At a last resort schedule a time to be alone with your partner to discuss it. The burden of communication will be upon you to initiate.
  4. Stay focused on the issue. Don’t let the conversation stray into areas that have nothing to do with the issue you are addressing. Keep the conversation focused on the relationship and the affect that crossdressing may have on it.
  5. Don’t Get Petty. This falls into the same law as staying focused but it’s worth mentioning in this context. Don’t get sucked into emotional attacks or cute sarcastic remarks. My technique is to smile and not to respond to such things. I’ll wait patiently until the conversation gets more logical and rational. Don’t make a comment that you are waiting for them to get rational though – just wait. Another technique is to move the conversation forward without acknowledging the comment.
  6. Prepare for an impasse. There may come a time where neither of you can live with the situation. You are at an impasse. You can’t promise something you can’t keep and they are not willing to give any ground. This is a very critical point which leads in one of two directions. One being separation, the other is an agreement to disagree and to stay together. Sometimes the realization that a very fruitful relationship is about to be over will bring both of you closer together with some additional compromise.
  7. Be empathetic. In most cases we are talking about those of you who are currently in a relationship with someone that doesn’t know about your crossdressing. Keep in mind that crossdressing is something that most people feel that they should know fairly early in a relationship. So by not telling them is concealing a truth and therefore can be perceived as a lie. Many times it’s the lie that affects people more than the crossdressing itself. Therefore, it will be up to you to empathize with your partner’s feelings. The things they say may not be justified and might just be plain hurtful, but how they feel may be justified. What people say and how they feel are usually very different. For example, a flare of anger may be caused by a feeling of disappointment. Much of what is directed at you may be caused by how that person feels about himself or herself. Realize that feelings of distrust, anger, disappointment, love, commitment, frustration, surprise, anxiety, and sadness will all be mixed up.
  8. Be Strong. You have to be strong in the face of adversity. You have to let them vent. Don’t take things they say seriously if it’s said in a state of emotional stress. You have to be the stronger person and let things roll off and continue to be nice. You need to prove that you are emotionally strong but don’t be afraid to cry — just don’t get angry or frustrated. This is sometimes easier said than done.

There is nothing you can do to plan out your first conversation about this subject, however you can prepare for their reaction. I think if you keep those basic “laws” in mind when you enter into a discussion with someone you are involved with it should make things easier for you. It won’t solve the problems nor will it guarantee any particular results. What it will do is it will make it easier for you to think on your feet because if you think within the context of those laws (Be nice, stay strong, keep focused, be empathetic etc.), it will further influence your responses and behavior in a positive way.

I get a lot of email asking me what to say or how to “convince” her to be more understanding. Everyone’s situation is different and without understanding the situation it’s difficult to advise

Exactly what to say – a good psychologist can help you work through this. Also, there is really not a good way to convince someone to do something they don’t want to do when they are not supportive. This to me sounds like a hard sell where one ends up with buyer’s remorse.

There are support groups that can help you. There are even groups for wives and girlfriends as well as couples. These are good to facilitate open communication and sharing of experiences. But if it turns into a bitch session or if it is geared to “convincing” people to do something they really don’t want to do, then it’s ultimately unproductive. Also, other than for the social aspect I think long term membership for support reasons is probably not healthy either. If the support group does the job then there shouldn’t be a need for the support from the group. There are exceptions. If someone is helped through the group and then in turn they want to become a member to help others come to similar conclusions then this is always positive. My point here is not to slam the group but rather just make sure you’re going for the right reasons. If it’s social that’s great but if it’s truly for support make sure that the support you are getting is what you need and it helps you achieve your goals. There are a lot of good ones out there and a lot of hard working individuals to keep them going.

The Outcomes

I know a lot of wives and girlfriends that won’t go to such groups so you have to be prepared to discuss the issues. You have to be the one that is strong and rise above any petty attacks. You have to be prepared mentally to go through sometimes months or even a year of emotional stress. There are essentially three outcomes.

1. Enough “reasonable” compromises are made to where both can live together.

2. Decision to live together unhappily (for children or other complications etc.)

3. Separation/Divorce

You have to be prepared for all three outcomes mentally and physically. I honestly thought when I told my wife that she would react negatively. We ended up in category 1 although she made most if not all of the compromises. Some of my agreements were that I would be discrete among some of her friends, I wouldn’t dress up around the house or leave the house dressed. She has a preference that I don’t go out in public or socialize but won’t stop me. So in return I tell her honestly what I’m doing and I try to only go out when it’s fairly important to me or if I have a client that wants to go out. She asked me never to shave my arms and would prefer if I didn’t shave my chest but is okay with me shaving my legs. So I never shave my arms but I sometimes shave my chest.

However we moved from 3 to 2 to in that order. About 3 months after I told her, I seriously thought we were headed for divorce. I think it wasn’t but a couple of days before I was about to bring up the fact that maybe we should move on when she came to me and we moved from 2 to I pretty quickly. It was a rough 6 months and then it was really 6 months after that where we really began to understand and talk about it. Now there are implied understandings that we both try to live by – and sometimes it’s difficult for both of us. The easy way out would have been to separate and find someone more under-standing – but I do love her and I love our family and that has to be priority 1.

Anyway, I hope that helps. And I hope it makes sense. If it doesn’t, I’d like to hear what you have to say. If it does I would like to hear your experiences good and bad. Let me know if you would want them shared with others (I do change names).

— Michelle Johnson

You can read Part I here about the supportive wife. You may also wish to read 10 Reasons Cross-Dressers’ Wives Divorce Them

May 28

So You’ve Told Your S.O. About Your Crossdressing (Part I)

telling your wife about your crossdressingThere’s nothing quite so scary than telling your wife or special other about your crossdressing. You think you know a person after being with them for years. But, the truth sometimes doesn’t surface until later. Many wives and girlfriends can probably relate to that statement pretty well.

(Tasi’s note: Michelle Johnson is a crossdresser and wrote this article some time ago. I retrieved it from my archives as it is still very much applicable today. This article deals with what happens after the telling)

It’s interesting. As many of you know I correspond with a lot of people every week. In some cases my wife or I will correspond with the wife or girlfriend of a T* to help provide support for them. From my experience it seems that even most accepting or understanding wives, if given a choice would prefer that their S.O. not dress up en femme. The exceptions are if the wife or girlfriend is bi-sexual or bi-curious. The other situation is if it’s a lifestyle situation where the couple met while at a party, event, or in a dom/sub scene. In those cases it seems that the wives and girlfriends are truly accepting 100%. There are always exceptions of course but in general I think those observations hold true.

Now she knows

So you’ve recently told your wife about your crossdressing. One of three things has happened:

1) She threw her arms around you and accepted you immediately (10% probability).

2) She looked at you strange, was upset that you kept it from her and asked you to keep it away from the household (60% probability). or

3) She threatened to leave you if you didn’t stop doing it (30% probability). Those percentages are based on surveys that I have conducted over the net with over 300 respondents contributing all over the world about 3 years ago.

This article addresses the 70% of you that fall into category 1 and 2. Category 3 will be addressed in a subsequent article. This article also assumes a male crossdresser and a female S.O. So if your situation is different then this article may not apply in its current context.

Balance

Even when your S.O. has accepted your feminine side on some level it is always good practice to let the dust settle a bit and let her get used to the change in your lives. If she loves you unconditionally then she will ultimately become more and more accepting over time. With my wife it took a year before we could talk openly about it, to the point she actually went out with me. She didn’t like it but she was willing to be supportive. If I had tried to manipulate her into getting involved then she would have pulled back at some point. Also, if I stepped up my activities, purchases, and time devoted to crossdressing, then she would have also have become upset and begin to question whether she should continue to support it or not.

So the point is to pay attention to the balance in your life. If you have a wife or girlfriend that is accepting I would encourage you to understand how she “really” feels about everything. It may surprise you. You may also find out how much she cares for you. Balance is so important, not just with your crossdressing, but every aspect of your life. There are people that are obsessed with work, sports, entertainment, hobbies etc. If you are a crossdresser, one of our many interests includes dressing like a girl and taking on that role in society for short periods of time. It’s imperative that if you have a partner that you know where the lines are and determine whether or not if you can live within those boundaries. But also, it’s about balancing the lifestyle.

In order to balance you have to communicate with your S.O. on a regular basis to find out how she is feeling about everything. You also have to make sure that you don’t neglect her in favor of spending hours in a chat room or leave her with the kids so that you can spend time at the mall shopping. I fell into this trap and I paid dearly for it. Once she said she would try and work through it and understand it I really stepped up my activities because I was impatient. I was already to the point of ready to move forward when she was just starting.

Throwing a lot of books in her direction and getting her to support groups is not the answer.

The answer is in you and how you balance your life, which directly ties in to showing respect for the one you love. Take small steps, and give her the ability to say no. Once, my wife felt she had a choice she has really never denied me any-thing. She’s truly special because even still I try to keep in my mind that she really doesn’t care for the whole thing. She has said that she loves every aspect of me, which included “Michelle”, but I know from talking with her that if she had it her way she would want me to stop.

Her gift to me was giving me the freedom to explore my feminine side and to keep the website going, along with Feminine Illusions. My gift in return is to respect her needs, put her and then the family as a priority, and to respect her. It’s really not too much to ask and I always check with her before doing anything to make sure that it won’t impact any previously made plans. Just as I would if I was going out with the guys or having them over for a few hours. This is no different but I find more and more people who think that it is. It’s difficult not to. I mean after suppressing desires for years and years and you finally see a small glimmer of hope, if you’re like me, you’re going to jump on it and never look back. Just be careful of not tearing through the ones that care for you in order to get there. Sometimes it can be so difficult not to just experience everything you’ve ever dreamed of inside of a week.

Instead of ripping through that opening, grease it a little bit, sugar coat it, and care for it and eventually the opening will become gradually larger. You may see it collapse a little from time to time…but if you are patient you will see when it re-opens the gap is even a little larger. You may even get diverted to looking for other openings and alternatives but stick with the one that you started with and it won’t let you down.

How much time does it take?

Well, this really depends on the couple involved. It depends on communication, personality, history, trust, love, and mutual respect. If you can, get to the point where you both truly appreciate each other. I mean a real understanding and appreciation of what the other is going through. This means crawling into their mind and finding out what one anothers needs are. A really good technique to try if you are having a difficult time communicating is to try making a list of wants.

This is a proven method to start the communication flowing. It’s real simple. You each right down the 5 things that you want in context to your relationship and things you want the other to help or work on. This list has to be unconditional and completely open with no rules or limitations. You also need to be prepared to consider with an open mind each other’s needs. Some of them will be difficult and some may be impossible. The goal here is not to find a way to get what you want but rather to discuss the “whys”, the “I didn’t knows”, and begin to figure out ways to make things work. But the goal is not to find compromises or solutions. The goal is just to start talking about things and to begin to understand each other.

This in total will help you find that balance that everyone can live with. The internet is a wonderful place but be careful because it can consume you. And spending hours in chat rooms with people who already agree with you is not where you need to spend your time. You need to work with those that don’t agree, or you have difficulty explaining things to. The internet is not reality in our society. You may make some pen pals, you may even meet people, and once in a while you may find someone that you meet with on a regular basis. But at the end of the day you have someone that you have to go home to and deal with. It’s much nicer when you don’t have to lie about where you’ve been or what you’ve been doing. And it’s nicer still when she says, “next time you go out – I’d like to go too”. That will never happen unless you balance your activities with the person that cares for you.

I still work on this every day – it’s not a goal to achieve. “Yes – I’m there, she accepts me and is willing to play with me!” Don’t ever take that for granted because you may find that someday she will question where she fits in your life and it will catch you by surprise. Even when things are great, be sure to have checkpoints along the way and continue to keep that opening wide by continued attention.

Final thoughts on crossdressing

Well – I hope that was worthwhile. I’ve done a lot of things wrong and I’m the first to admit that – but I’m smart enough to admit and realize my mistakes and make changes. So this is not coming to you from someone who has all the answers or has done everything right. Actually quite the contrary, I know nothing, and I do so many things wrong. Just now am I learning what works. But it’s come not from me but from coaching from my wife. It’s the fact that we communicate and she tells me how I screwed up and what I could have done differently.

– Michelle Johnson

You may also want to read Pandora’s comments on How Your Crossdressing Changes Your Wife’s Opinion of You

May 10

Tips for a Satisfying Sex Life with Your Wife

A satisfying sex life is one of the most challenging issues for a wife of a cross-dresser. Even a marriage built on love is challenged after many years of marriage when it comes to sex. For women, the need to have sex dwindles as she enters menopause when her interest in sex becomes an afterthought.

satisfying sex between crossdressing husband and wife

This lack of interest in sex is normal for most women, unless they are taking hormone replacement to amp up their sex drive. Many women hesitate to do so as they are afraid of the potential side-effects of cancer from hormone therapy. So sex doesn’t become a priority for them.

For men, it seems sex is always on their minds, even as they get older, it is still something they desire. And, for cross-dressing men who often come out later in their marriage as to being a cross-dresser, the excitement of being able to dress with their wives, is as invigorating as the sex, itself. Like a teenager in puberty, they are excited about the possibilities after having kept their secret for decades from their wife and now finally having a partner to share with. Their new-found enthusiasm can be overwhelming for their wives.

A wife and her cross-dressing husband are now in a different realm, where the wife may be content with less sex, yet her husband in exhibiting her femme self wants more. And for a wife who is already mildly interested in sex, having her husband hop into bed wearing a silk night gown and a Marilyn Monroe blond wig, is a turn-off that causes her anxiety and fear of losing her husband. Often her cross-dressing husband is so delighted to be in her femme role, she often doesn’t take the time to find out what sexually stimulates her wife.

Most women do not have sexual fantasies of having sex with a woman. Not that it’s not totally foreign to their psyche and yes, some women have lesbian fantasies, but their main sexual drive is with a man. Making love with another woman (the femme side of their husband) is a lot to ask from your wife after many years of being together and never having done it. You have just changed the rules of the game.

So how do a sexually under-whelmed wife and an adolescent-charged cross-dressing husband make their sex life work?

Here are some tips for a satisfying sex life:

Tread slowly with your cross-dressing when seducing your wife. Introduce her to your silk panties wearing a man’s tee-shirt, allowing her to know that you are still there and she hasn’t lost you to “another woman” she doesn’t know. Give her time to get used to you wearing panties and other female items, so she can create a new visual of you that turns her on. Sex is a private experience of the mind and she needs to find her own mental fantasy of the new you. She may never share what that is, but that’s okay, as long as she is turned on.
Respect Your Wives need to have sex with you in your male role. You don’t want her to ever feel like she has lost you to “her.” She needs to know that you are still the husband she married. If she feels secure of this, she will become comfortable as you add in feminine clothing.
Don’t encourage her to dress sexier to reflect your feminine self. How you dress in your femme role is your choice, but don’t expect your wife to change her style to reflect yours. Love her as she is and she will love you back, panties and all!
Remember to keep your wife as the primary woman in your relationship. Don’t allow your femme self to upstage her as a woman when having sex, for sure.
Don’t ask her to seduce your femme self. Seducing another woman is foreign to women. They just don’t know how to do it and it makes them feel very uncomfortable to be the one taking the lead sexually. Few women do it effectively.

A healthy sex life can be incorporated into your marriage. Give your wife time to adjust to your femme self and be respectful of her needs, both outside of and inside the bedroom. Show her that you are still the man she fell in love with, not a stranger in a dress.

Be sure and read parts 1 and 2 to this series and check out more articles from Terri on her blog, Shades of Gender

10 Reasons Cross-dressers Wive’s Divorce Them

Unexpressed Anger Kills Marriages