Oct 29

The Truth of Partner’s Acceptance

The truth of a partner’s acceptance is in the numbers says Nadine in her blog, Unordinary Style. “Have I ever mentioned before that I really like numbers?

numbers show acceptance by a partner

There are all sorts of fascinating things that happen with numbers that are often overlooked.  For instance, I often go to various events where you buy raffle tickets, but them into various buckets, and then cross your fingers that your name will be called.  These events are truly very random drawings and yet, often the draws do not seem very random.  Some people tend to get their names drawn more than others.  It just happens to be the nature of apparent randomness.  Just like my phone, I will put the music on random play and frequently the same song comes up again and again.  Random?  Well yeah, but it sure doesn’t seem to be a very good random!

Anyway….. some of the numbers I have been looking at lately are the true numbers of acceptance of spouses of transgender people.  Within my research I have been looking at numbers of MtF transgender people who are not transitioning, that have told their spouse or girlfriend of their gender variance.  The common theory states that it is very rare for a genetic woman to be accepting of a gender variant male to female significant other.  My own theory is that is actually simply based upon fear and not a true reflection of reality.

Many gender variant people spend a large amount of their lives in hiding.  They fear what might happen if they are honest with those around them.  And why shouldn’t they be fearful?  They dominant narrative states that there exists an overwhelming threat to the transgender community from a large variety of sources.  From being attacked on the street, to being harassed in the bathroom, to being fired from your job, to being shunned from any sort of companionship.

But, unfortunately from what I can tell, many gender variant people are not actually willing to risk attempting these actions to discover for themselves whether the narrative will pan out that way for them or not.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I understand that bad things happen.  Bad things happen all of the times.  For no reason.  To good people.  And they shouldn’t happen.  But such is the nature of life.  It is unpredictable.

Alas, I fear I have drifted off topic yet again!  Low is me!  Okay, focus here.

The focus of my personal study has been trying to decode true numbers of reactions of the reveal of being gender variant within relationships.  My study group has been the users at crossdressers.com.  My method has been to simply comb through the various threads and categorizing people and their partner’s response to them being gender variant of some sort.  It has not always been clear but I have tried my best to determine what happened within their relationship once they told their partner.

Some early results??

Of the 458 members I have included:

363 did not leave the relationship upon the reveal
280 are at least somewhat accepting
29 are in what is called a Don’t Ask Don’t Tell situation
45 didn’t leave but are not accepting of the partner’s gender variance
23 are accepting genetic women
74 are partners who left because of the gender variance
20 left but not because of the gender variance

Okay – a proviso with these numbers, some members reported their responses from several different partners over the years, thus the numbers may not total as one might expect.  This explains why their are variations within the totals.

So some percentages huh?

84% of partners did not leave the relationship upon the reveal
74% percent of the partners are at least somewhat accepting of the gender variance, which could range from DADT to full inclusion and acceptance
68% would be considered to be openly accepting of their partner’s gender variance

These results are what I have up to this point.  I will continue to compile the numbers.  There is about 10-15 years worth of data on that website and so far I have gone back about two months only!  I don’t really know how long I will continue to do this for.  We shall see.

But so far, I would have to say that the common assertion that a partner will NOT accept a gender variant partner is completely wrong.  Apparently acceptance of a gender variant partner. is more common farthan expected   Who knew?  Well I personally had a suspicion.

Interesting.

Love you!

Love numbers!

BTW – This data was all taken from publicly accessible areas of the website.  Anyone can find this information if they so choose.

Oct 21

A brief history of the Pansy Craze

Like absolutely everything else, LGBTQ nightlife had to start somewhere and this brief history of the Pansy Craze explains it all.

Gene Malin in Pansy Craze

Gene Malin

It owes its beginnings to a period in the late 1920s and early 1930s called the Pansy Craze, which prompted a surge in the popularity of gay clubs and performers.

During the Pansy Craze, people in the LGBTQ community performed on stages in cities around the world, but New York’s Greenwich Village, Times Square and Harlem were at its centre, hosting some of the most renowned drag acts of the 1920s.

It was the early 1930s, however, when gay subculture became mainstream and rose to prominence on the stages of Manhattan.

The LGBT community becomes more visible

Why? Well, prohibition in the US had a large part to play in things. How come? Because everyone was in search of a delicious drink, of course.

Rather than doing what it was supposed to do, prohibition actually played a part in getting the party started. Because, unsurprisingly, alcohol brought people from all walks of life together in speakeasies and underground culture.

“It’s not just that they were visible, but that popular culture and newspapers at the time remarked on their visibility – everyone knew that they were visible,” says Chad Heap, a professor at George Washington University.

And, while many Americans were disapproving of LGBTQ people, many of them were totally cool with their parties, performances, balls and beauty contests.

Some things never change.

“It’s pretty amazing just how widespread these balls were,” Heap explains.

“Almost every newspaper article about them has a list of 20 to 30 well-known people of the day who were in attendance as spectators.

“It was just a widely integrated part of life in the 1920s and 30s.”

Things go (fake) tits up

Karyl Norman in Pansy Craze

In 1931, female impersonator Karyl Norman was caught up in a police raid at Manhattan’s Pansy Club, and on the same night police shut down a speakeasy called Club Calais.

Police were then stationed at the door of every pansy nightlife hotspot, and female impersonators were banned from local clubs.

Unable to work in New York, famous drag acts Gene Malin and Gladys Bentley (who we’ll get to later) upped and left for Boston and San Francisco, respectively.

Then, in 1933, prohibition was repealed, and alcohol was only allowed to be served in “orderly” places, which – you guessed it – didn’t include the LGBTQ scene.

And, with the end of prohibition came the end of sympathetic portrayals of gay characters in Hollywood films and theatre.

In the mid ‘30s, the Hays Code was put into effect, which restricted and effectively banned the performances of openly gay characters.

The death of Gene Malin didn’t help either

According to Variety, Gene Malin was “the best entertainer in the Village joints along the pansy lines” – that is until he died in 1933, beginning the end of the Pansy Craze.

Malin began his career in drag as Imogene Wilson, before ditching it and reinventing himself as a camp and openly gay man.

“What was novel is that he did not bring a drag act to the club, but instead performed in elegant men’s clothing, and brought with him the camp wit of the gay subculture,” explains LGBT historian JD Doyle.

“If he was heckled by men at the club he knew how to cut them to shreds, to the delight of the crowd.”

On the night of his death (August 10, 1933), Malin had been playing Last Night of Jean Malin at the Ship Cafe.

He left with his boyfriend Jimmy Forlenza and actor Patsy Kelly to head to a party at the Hollywood Barn.

Sadly, Malin put his car into reverse and drove it off Venice Pier. Forlenza and Kelly escaped, but Malin tragically died at the age of 25.

Other notable drag acts from the Pansy Craze

Other LGBTQ performers from around this time included Ray Bourbon, Karyl Norman, Bruz Fletcher, Dwight Fiske and Madame Spivy, a “lesbian Noel Coward” who performed at her famous rooftop cabaret in Manhattan.

And let’s not forget Gladys Bentley, an American blues singer, pianist and entertainer during the Harlem Renaissance – a similar cultural, social, and artistic explosion that took place in Harlem between the end of World War I and the middle of the 1930s.

Gladys Bentley in Pansy Craze

Gladys Bentley

She dressed in men’s clothes when she performed, backed up by a chorus line of drag queens, played piano and sang in a deep, growling voice while flirting with women in the audience.

If you enjoyed this brief history of the Pansy Craze, take a look at some of our favorite lesbian and bisexual women throughout history, or head here to find out some mind-blowing LGBT facts about Victorian England.

Reprinted from Pink News UK

 

Oct 12

Christine Jorgensen – Transformation from Transgender G.I. to Tabloid Star

Christine Jorgensen

Christine Jorgensen – transformation from transgender G.I. to tabloid star is reported in the New York Daily News with startling reality. Her story is known to many but here is an insightful view that you may not have heard

From Denmark one day in June 1952 did there arrive at the Bronx home of Board of Education carpenter George Jorgensen and his wife, Florence, a letter from 26-year-old George Jr., or Brud, as the family called him, who, several years earlier, following a brief service in the United States Army and a term of employment at the New York office of the RKO-Pathe newsreel people, had relocated to Copenhagen to pursue a career as a magazine photographer. Brud’s tone suggested that there was something he wished to share.

I am now faced with the problem of writing a letter, one which for two years has been in my mind. The task is a great one . . . . I want you to know that I am healthier and happier than ever. I want you to keep this in mind during the rest of this letter.

The Jorgensens blinked. Whatever could Brud be talking about?

Life is a strange affair . . . . At times it is obvious something has gone wrong . . . . We humans are perhaps the greatest chemical reaction in the world . . . . Among the greatest working parts of our bodies are the glands . . . . An imbalance in the glandular system puts the body under a strain in an effort to adjust . . . . I, along with millions of other people, had such a system imbalance . . . .

Brud seemed to be leading up to something here.

Right from the beginning I realized that I was working toward the release of myself from a life I knew would always be foreign to me . . . . Even as I write these words, I have not yet told you the final outcome of the tests and an operation last September. I do hope that I have built this letter properly, so you already know what I am going to say now.

I am still the same old Brud, but, my dears, nature made the mistake I have had corrected.

And now I am your daughter.

Mr. and Mrs. Jorgensen Sr., understandably thunderstruck, a few months later proceeded to do what anyone would naturally do with such a painfully intimate confessional from a loved one. They handed it over, when he picked up a tip and came knocking, to a reporter from the New York Daily News.

EX-GI BECOMES BLONDE BEAUTY, the News exclusively informed about a gazillion popeyed readers on Monday morning the 1st of December. BRONX YOUTH IS A HAPPY WOMAN AFTER MEDICATION, 6 OPERATIONS. It was not strictly correct, as the early popular surmise had it, that the former George Jorgensen Jr. was the world’s first surgical transsexual. But he certainly was the first surgical transsexual to suddenly become a page one sensation around the globe.

Two thousand chemical injections. Glandular and psychological transformations. Cosmetic procedures. Tuckaroonies. “The wizardry of medical science!” boomed all the papers. Not unproudly, actually. These were remarkable times, weren’t they? In her room at the Copenhagen State Hospital, Christine Jorgensen fast got over her initial horror at the great burst of unexpected publicity and welcomed in the world press. Reporters were quite taken with her. “She has beautiful, emotional, feminine hands,” burbled one scribe. “She laughed, her blue eyes sparkling and her blonde hair in pretty curls around her broad shoulders.” Happily cried Christine: “My miserable masquerade is ended!”

Young George Jorgensen had grown up enduring one of those really awkward childhoods. He preferred hopscotch to football. He liked to play tea party with the neighborhood girls. He liked to play dressup. Mother Nature, he began to divine, had blundered: He wasn’t really a boy, and he was never supposed to have been one. There had been a mixup here. Somehow he had drawn the wrong card. In the Bronx of the 1940s, this was not an everyday postulation. At Christopher Columbus High School, the regular fellers had been none too kind to George.

At Copenhagen’s more progressive Serum Institute, there had been diagnosis and liberation. Now, back home in America  breathlessly sexology-conscious these days in any case, thanks to the researches of Dr. Alfred Kinsey  for weeks on end the public prints were full of sobersidedly clinical explorations of the hermaphroditic and pseudohermaphroditic conditions. “Christine Jorgensen does not walk alone in the mystery land of human sex,” one expert wrote. “There are perhaps thousands of Americans living in doubt or ignorance about their true sex. Some are men who really are women. Some are women who really are men . . . . Sometimes the mysterious controls go awry.”

“I never realized my son wasn’t normal,” reflected George Jorgensen Sr. back home on Dudley Ave. in the Bronx. “He’d never been in any trouble.”

“Why, my son was in the Army for 16 months,” added Christine’s mom.

“Did he like the Army?” a reporter leered.

“Who likes the Army?” Mother Jorgensen shrugged.

For U.S. doctors, the case raised thorny ethical issues. Medically, if they remained silent, they were giving tacit approval; already they were besieged by it seemed like half the homosexuals in America, all demanding the same operation. The Journal of the American Medical Association launched a skeptical inquiry into exactly what had occurred; there were many suggestions that Christine was little more than a hoax. Indeed, in Denmark, surgeons conceded that in fact George Jorgensen Jr. had been neither a hermaphrodite nor a pseudohermaphrodite, merely an extreme queen. None of this kept Christine from swiftly emerging as the world’s No. 1 poster girl for forward-looking sociosexual enlightenment. “Many more persons should overcome their shyness and do the same,” she proposed.

She played down the personal-bravery part: “Does it take bravery for a person with polio to want to walk?”

On Thursday the 12th of February 1953, Christine Jorgensen  part solemn medical experiment, part cultural pioneer, part circus freak  came home.

Mobs met her at she got off the plane at International Airport, fashionable and slinky and Tallulah Bankhead-esque. “Look, Ruthie, she used to be a man!” brayed one mom, holding up her small daughter for a better view. Reporters shouted questions as she made her way to a waiting car. “What about marriage?” “Do you still have to shave?” A week later, wrapped in a mink stole, she took a driver’s test, and the papers all had a fine time cranking out woman-driver stories. Actually, the examiner said, she drove very well.

By now there was no hope she could ever quietly pursue any career, and Christine Jorgensen resigned herself to making her living being Christine Jorgensen. She wrote the story of her life for the Hearst newspapers’ American Weekly magazine. A Hollywood producer announced he was going to make her a movie star. The Hotel Sahara in Las Vegas talked about building a revue around her. Soldiers in Korea voted her Miss Neutral Zone of 1953.

“She’s a beautiful girl,” her mother had to admit.

By year’s end she was making $5,000 a week at the Latin Quarter. First she sang “Getting to Know You,” then she made a costume change and did comedy. “Won’t it be funny if my child got on my knee and said, `Mama, tell me about your boyhood!’ ” she cracked, and audiences just howled. She was hoping someday to do “Anna Christie” in summer stock.

“We women are getting up in the world,” she told the Daily News. “Look how many of us are in government now.”
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