The seven signs of ageing.

January 31, 2012 § 7 Comments

It gets harder to look good cross-dressed as you get older.

It’s an uncomfortable fact, but the sexes seem to diverge as they age, presumably the different effects of hormones. I’m 32, I look young for my age, but I’m definitely conscious of how long I can keep this up. There is already a dissonance when I wear make-up. People still look at me in such as a way as to say ‘your face is wrong for that.’¬† Will there come a point when the dissonance between my masculine face and feminine presentation becomes too much for my own sensibilities? I only want to do this if I look good, to my own way of thinking.

I might change my mind, but I reckon I’ll probably do it less and less often as I get older. I do regret not starting earlier, definitely. I reckon could have passed when I was 15, with my unblemished skin and complete lack of facial hair. It makes me want to be able to contact ALL the young closeted transvestites so I can tell them “START NOW! You’ll have your look down earlier, and you look more androgynous now than you ever will!”

This brings me to an issue that has come up through comments, which is ‘the importance of what other people think’. I think I have covered this a bit before, but I’ll have another go.

I am pretty misanthropic. I have done lots of stand-up about this in the past. And I therefore take with a pinch of salt the expression of other people’s opinions. However, we all live in society. We may be able to dismiss the opinions of people we dislike, and the expression of negativity about gender spasticity may well be exactly enough to make someone unlikeable, but there are always some people we want to like us. Whether that’s family, old pre-outing friends, or people with similar interests and backgrounds.

I once went to a book reading in a skirt. The book was about Psychogeography, a subject I love, and which tends to attract fairly countercultural people. The author, a charming and well-socialised guy, was visibly uncomfortable talking to me. As often happens, it was only when I displayed my sense of humour and my knowledge about the subject that he relaxed and spoke to me like a normal person.

To give an idea of what this is like – imagine talking to someone while you have some shit on the end of your nose, but they are too polite to mention it. That’s the kind of look. A kind of I’d-rather-be-talking-to-anyone-else-but-you kind of look.

I took emails from people at the talk. I wanted some people to go on walks round London with. No-one got back to me.

You just can’t tell when someone’s going to have an issue with it. So I am conscious of what other people think. Against my will, it must be said!

This leads me to think it’s important for me to make a point of cross-dressing when I do gigs. It’s a rare opportunity to make people get on board with the whole thing. I present myself as self-aware, and funny (hopefully) and it subtly increases people’s acceptance of the whole thing. I am up on stage, being good at what I do, and it makes the whole thing seem more acceptable. (Hopefully.) I just really want this to not be an issue anymore. For anyone. Especially people less horribly confident than me…

Oh – and another thing: I got asked what I was wearing in a radio interview the other day. In the context of being a tranny. That was a bit awkward. He persisted, too. I was too bewildered to make the obvious phone sex joke at the time.

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Compliments, part two

January 27, 2012 § 9 Comments

The other side to the issue of compliments is giving, of course. I realized today that when cross-dressed I am much less likely to give a woman I don’t know a compliment. I become hyper self-aware and worry that a comment about someone’s amazing heels might lose its value when given by a transvestite.
This is a big issue, and one I think worth consideration.
Comparisons with transvestites are often used as insults to women. When their performance of femininity is judged to be a bit over the top, they are compared to those for whom femininity is not innate.
Of course, gender-warriors* such as myself often really dig women who rock an unnatural look. False eyelashes and towering heels are the stock look for girls on the town at the moment, and I am convinced it’s a look that has come from the tranny scene, via gay stylists. “Girlfriend, you look fierce” is not a heteronormative phrase.
So when today on my travels I saw a beautiful pair of spikey knee-high boots, I held back from expressing my admiration on case she then wrote them off as the sort of thing a tranny would admire.
Which is a shame, I think.

Tour

January 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

You might like to know I am currently on tour, doing my stand-up what I do. All over the UK until the end of February, and then Australia and New Zealand after then. Please have a look at my website for where I’m going to be. http://www.andrewoneill.co.uk/gigs

With our compliments

January 25, 2012 § 21 Comments

Compliments are the stuff of life for a gender weirdo. Stepping as we do outside the territory in which they’re usually regarded as deserved, and faced with disapproval, misunderstanding and insults, a good compliment is a tonic.

Of course, the weight a compliment carries depends on who has given it. If it’s someone you respect, or fancy it’s that much more potent.

If it’s from one of those crap, old-school type trannies, or someone who dresses really badly, the compliment suddenly associates you with something you don’t want to be.

An over-egged compliment can seem too much and carry the smack of “I wouldn’t want to join a club that would have me as a member.”

A lot of the compliments I get from women have an edge of self-deprecation. “You’re better at make-up than me,” “I could never pull that off,” “boys have better legs than girls.” It’s a reminder that the self-image problems transvestites have are also suffered by women due to the effect the fashion and advertising industries have.

So giving compliments sincerely is a good way of undermining the propaganda of the beauty industry. Plastic surgery can get fucked. Let’s make people feel good about themselves like the gay best friends we know we all want to be!

Best compliments I’ve had:

1. “I do.” Yeah, that’s got to be the best. The person I most adore in the world agreeing to spend her life with me.

2. A female friend of mine who I still don’t know that well asking me for advice on what to wear to a party. She laid out her dresses on her bed and called me in for my opinion. High praise. She’s completely hot too.

3. “Who does your make-up?” I do! I take that as a win.

Most hilarious, which I get semi- regularly after the stand-up I do about being shouted at for looking like a woman AS WELL as for cross dressing: “Don’t worry; you DON’T look like a woman”. Well intentioned, but missing the point to a depressing degree.

What are the best compliments you have received?

Wipe the day off.

January 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

Taking my make-up off always feels like I’m announcing to my face that the party’s over. Time to sleep now. No more pretty for you until next time you shave. image

You’ve changed…

January 23, 2012 § 11 Comments

image

Thinking about family stuff reminded me of the fact that this sort of thing is always easier with new people. Those you have known for years, especially those who knew you as a kid find it harder to accept what they see as a change. Ironically, if you were closeted, they most likely formed part of the reason you were closeted in the first place.

The ignorance or conservative nature of family and family friends is by far a bigger issue than the reactions of strangers, however unpleasant. It’s something that never seems to leave. See my blog about having to come out again and again.

You’re alright, but the others are a hungry lot.

January 23, 2012 § 7 Comments

I’ve had a weird week in gender-spanner terms. I’m on tour, and regular readers will know that being on the road tends to lead to me buying stuff, so I have some nice new clothes. My shows have been utterly amazing. I just passed the tenth anniversary of starting stand-up, and I feel like that milestone is significant. I feel like a grown-up comedian now.

On the flip side I found out a member of my family ‘has a problem’ with my cross-dressing. I thought I’d passed all this crap years ago, but they were quoted expressing their feelings, and I’m left feeling disappointed and angry. Then I went to a metal club and experience some fairly direct transphobia (nothing new there) and more weird, was subject to a transphobic discourse about someone else. There was another tranny in the club, dancing away, clearly having a great time. Ze looked great, and was the subject of a lot of speculation. Which as ever had an underlying tone of disapproval.

“That’s definitely a guy.”

“Okay.”

“Yep. Definitely.”

“Does it matter? Why are we even talking about this?”

“Course it matters.”

The scorn that was expressed to me about this person was fucking unbelievable. I was wearing a skirt. Make-up. Those awesome stocking-like tights. And the attitude was something like “You’re alright. But that’s just fucking wrong.”

I left.

Anyway. Here’s some pictures of what I’ve been wearing recently. Hope you like. Comments are always welcome.

This is what I was wearing when it was decided I’d almost certainly want to hear scorn being poured on another transvestite. And no, I don’t know what I’m doing with my mouth either. People keep telling me I look mardy in my pictures, so I’m experimenting.

I really like this look. Slightly channeling Tegan off of Doctor Who. When she stopped wearing the air-hostess uniform. And I’m not wearing that. Tranny clich√©. This is my best Jess Cartner-Morley pose. She’s the Guardian’s fashion editor and I want her to do a feature on me. This is the main reason I’m pursuing fame.

Mardy.

There you go. Feedback please.

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