About

My name is Andrew. I am a comedian and human man. I am also a transvestite. This is my blurg about what it like to be a genderspastic / clothes weirdo / genderpunk / alpha-male-shout-generator / double-take producer in the UK in the 2010s.

This blog will evolve, over time, into a unified theory of everything. Until then, it is a haphazard collection of thoughts, links, ideas and pictures of me in pretty clothes.

Please leave feedback. I like discussion.

§ 34 Responses to About

  • Tom says:

    Brave writing sir!

    Personally I didn’t know there was a social category for ‘heterosexual transvestites’. Dunno if you;ve considered it, but I think some of your readers might appreciate an expansion of the term. Maybe you could elaborate on what motivates you or pulls you towards femininity, but stops before crossing any sexual boundaries. Is it desirable only to APPEAR like a woman? Are there certain womanly behaviors that draw you too? Also, how do you go about explaining it to people when 99% of people think a tranny and homosexual are the same thing? Do you even bother to explain it to people?

    • Randall Ellison says:

      Gender identity and sexual orientation are two separate concepts. It is thanks to stereotypical misconceptions (often through popular media), however, that we have come to believe that, with the exception of drag, any men who dresses as a woman “must be gay.” How anybody can infer from a skirt and wig one’s libidinal impulses behind closed doors, is entirely beyond me.

  • BailsMusing says:

    Andrew,
    Keep living the dream mate. I don’t understand why blokes wearing make up etc is such a big deal. Fuck me, Duran Duran made a point of it in the 80s and they were acceptable, accepted and adored by men and women! Are we as a society (regardless of which side of the globe you live on) getting worse in our attitudes towards others who don’t “conform”? Me fears this is the case…so IMHO, the world is doomed. (There’s a cheery thought for a Saturday afternoon!)
    Peace,
    Bails

    • genderspastic says:

      I think things are getting better. Pop music has always been a cultural bubble, where gender and other transgressions can take place. The real world is always harder. But I reckon I get away with a look that would have caused me a great deal more trouble even just ten years ago. I have a huge amount of hope for the generation that is growing up now. They seem to accept queerness of all stripes far more than my generation did, and the internet puts people in touch with each other, so that transvestites and anyone else who lives outside of the norm can find likeminded people for support and inspiration.

  • Oscar says:

    Hello Andrew. Good work here.

    I have questions.

    In a way it’s the same as Tom’s enquiry above – I wonder if you could have a bash at elaborating the powerful desire to wear a particular kind of clothing – and how it works. Two things make it particularly hard to grasp from outside:

    1) A lot of powerful clothing related desires are ‘kinks’ – they deliver an erotic kick, and feed the sexual appetite. But you don’t indicate this is about that for you – so what appetite does it feed? You mentioned in your first post that it’s the only way you feel attractive – is that the appetite in question? The sexual ego? The need to feel desirable? If so – here’s a question – do you think if I hypnotised you and took you to the gym until you had the body of a Gillette model – or some similar conventionally attractive male type – then unhypnotised you, that your transvestism would fall away? Or is it encoded for you that nothing is ‘attractive’ in the way you want or need to be except tropes of femininity?

    2) Harder to grasp still: the way the clothing that works for you seem to be drawn from quite a specific picture of femininity – as if that’s femininity ‘done right’ – and yet the whole practice seem to critique the idea of gender polarity. To put it another way, you seem to at once be saying ‘I can only feel right in the trappings of a Proper Woman’ and ‘there is no such thing as a Proper Woman’. Can you help with that?

    O.

  • Hey Andrew, Bitz here. I’m rather enjoying your blog and think that you should post more pictures of your outfits. In the interests of science. Yes.

    I have questions/ramble for you to play with….

    I know you to be a feminist (and all round decent geezer) so can you perhaps elaborate on your use of make-up, heels, skirts and other such trappings of ‘femininity’ that many feminists find to be symbols of oppression.

    It is necessary to express one’s feminine attributes with lipstick? How much does existing gender/binary aesthetic influence your understanding of your own identity? Can one get outside of the pink/blue conventions, even in subverting and challenging them?

    As a professional drag-king and recreational genderspaz I find that while it is futile to attempt to strap down a 45 inch chest, the application of facial hair is the most efficient way of communicating which flavour gender I am playing with. Yet, I do not fancy guys with facial hair or feel it necessary to be hairy to be ‘manly’….perhaps I’m punking out for the sake of performance….’Gender Semaphore’

    This is something as a (scruffy) showgirl feminist I mull over frequently….usually whilst lacing a corset or sticking my beard on.

    Carry on my dear and dogspeed

    x

    • genderspastic says:

      Hehe. More pics soon, I promise.

      Short answer to the possible feminist objection to the trappings of ‘femininity’ you list is: they are the ones I can adopt. I do not equate them with female-ness, only to a particular type of femininity. I am actually hopefully distancing such performed aspects of femininity from their biological gender attribution. Long answer soon. It’s an interesting area.

      I like ‘gender semaphore’ a lot.

      xxx

  • mx. punk says:

    hi! rad blog, man!

    i have a question about the word “tranny”. where i live, “tranny” is considered very offensive; is “tranny” offensive in your part of the world? are you attempting to reclaim the word? just wondering.

    keep writing!

    • genderspastic says:

      I’m totally attempting to reclaim it, for people like me. Some people find it hugely offensive, and I never use it to describe other people, only myself. At the same time I am trying to come up with better – and worse – terms. Hence the various compound phrases like genderspastic (highly offensive), genderpunk (lovely), clothes-weirdo, double-take-generator, alpha-male-shout-producer etc.

      Have you had a look at Occult Comedian yet? If you have time it’s the best boiled-down version of where I’m coming from with my use of language and my attitude to how I represent myself. It’s all work-in-progress, of course, as I negotiate life and travel and comedy as a heterosexual transvestite.

      And YOUR blog is great. YOU keep writing!!

      • mx. punk says:

        reclaiming “tranny”? you’re a determined fucker, aren’t you? that’s pretty splendid. “clothes-weirdo” is also pretty splendid. interestingly, i’ve been called a “thingie”–and i don’t even know what that means.

        just checked out occult comedian– it’s fucking hilarious! that’s some awesome shit, man.

        thanks for the compliments; i would get all shy, but i’m playing space-robot-kitty today and space-robot-kitties don’t get shy. space-robot-kitties say, “meow. initiate tea-drinking sequence. meow.”

      • genderspastic says:

        Totally determined. To carve a space out for myself. xxx

      • Joe says:

        I think you might need to rethink your use of both the ‘t’ word and the word ‘spastic/spazzy’ – they’re transphobic and ableist slurs, respectively, used against groups which you don’t actually belong to (while you’re a transvestite you’ve said very clearly that you identify as male, which makes you cis), and while you may be comfortable being referred to in that way, people who belong to those groups are largely very hurt and/or triggered by them. Just something to maybe think over.

      • genderspanner says:

        I am very much not Cis.

  • ilona says:

    Bought your CD last night in Manchester (June 26th). I had a red polka dot dress on for context. I very much enjoyed watching your routine. I think you are very intelligent, thought provoking, funny and very hot. Just thought you should know. I know people struggling with gender/sexuality/visual image issues and I think you do them a service by just being you. There are no easy answers to some of those kinds of issues but having the guts to be out as a transvestite and to explore some of the chaos and contradictions of that as well as the positives is very brave of you.
    x ilona

  • j_bird says:

    Can you explain the term alpha-male-shout-generator? I think I understand your other self-descriptors, but I’m puzzled (and intrigued!) by that one… Is it that when people see you, they shout in an alpha-male way in order to distance themselves from your expressed femininity, or to intimidate you, or….something else entirely?
    Thanks!

  • Rose says:

    hello, after seeing you perform at latitude and buying your cd i stumbled across your blog.
    looking through some of your old posts the one about the topshop changing rooms stood out, i have a friend who cross dresses much of the time and, like you, was not allowed into the womens changing rooms to try on womens clothes, whilst wearing what would be classed by most as womens clothes and wearing makeup, i just found it curiouse that this shop in particular feels the need to clearly separate the sexes.

    Also, i know several people who are trans and people always assume that they want gender reasignment surgery- have you ever experienced this assumption from people?

    finally, i just want to say that i think you are an inspiration to people by just being yourself, that your comedy is intelligent and hilarious, and that you are generally an awsome person. (you also look far better in makeup than i do, on which note i ask do you know any good vegan friendly high street make up brands?)

  • Li says:

    Hi Andrew,
    Saw you in your Melbourne show – really cool (esp. the Rassilon tattoo… but I digress!).
    I’m involved with an org called “genderqueer australia” and I hope it’s okay but we’ve listed this site on ours as for the gender-questioning and genderqueer peeps around the country. Let us know if you want changes or aren’t happy about the addition.

    http://www.genderqueer.org.au/peeps-andrew-oneill

    The image is linked direct from this site, not copied or nicked! 😀

    Hope all’s well with you and look forward to seeing you perform when you come back to oz! 😀

  • Wouter Monden says:

    Hi,

    I saw your show in Edinburgh last week (I sat in the first row and I was the only one that night to get the millionaires-Metallica reference).

    To be honest, I did have to get used to your outfit the first minutes. not because I dissaprove but just because it is look you don’t see very often.

    After that I realised how cool it is that you choose to wear whatever you like to wear regardless of what people may think, say or even do.

    Shouting at someone in the street because of how they look is easy. Being outspoken and confident about how or who you are is a lot harder.

    Keep om blogging and gigging!

    Wouter
    Amsterdam.

  • Craig says:

    Andrew,

    Thank you so much for this blog. There are so many things that you’ve written about that I can personally relate to, both from the ‘genderspastic’ perspective and from the political and personal activism perspectives. I was referred here by a recommendation on another blog, but I’ve also seen you perform on TV in Oz. I really enjoyed your performance without knowing anything about your politics or background and, now that I do, your writing really speaks to me.

    You asked for feedback?

    You talk about not waiting – so true. I prioritised other things for so long and now regret every missed opportunity. “I wasted time and now time doth waste me.” I’m older than you and ageing sucks. Look after your skin. Australia is not kind to skin.

    I also think the climate has a lot to do with the way we dress. Dress standards have become more and more relaxed in Australian clubs over the years mainly because we’re a more overfed and better insulated people now and it’s too hot to get dressed up when you can have a BBQ at home in your underwear and get just as drunk. Girls hardly wear anything anymore and where’s the fun in that?

    I love not just your look but your style. I’m not in the metal fraternity, but I appreciate all the goth, metal and punk aesthetics and you have a definite sense of how you want to be seen within your chosen spectrum. You look great and, in some shots, quite stunning. I’m insanely jealous. I never knew my biological parents but I suspect they may have been Norse Gods. I don’t have your bone structure – anywhere. I have Thor’s – everywhere.

    I can especially relate to your perceptions of Adelaide. I worked there for 12 years. The type of individuals you described don’t just pick on crossdressers. They pretty much target anyone who wasn’t in their high school class. It’s one of the most cliquey places in Oz. I and many other outsiders found it impossible to break to into the social cliques. It’s a bit of a time capsule for a lot of reasons

    I went there from Brisbane, where I was regularly dressing openly after work and involved in support groups and writing in periodicals. The CD scene in Adelaide is much more underground, private and protective. I found it stifling but it was probably justified. There have been incidents where CD groups have been ‘cast out’ of an establishments where they were regulars or banned without notice and harrassed by security due to a single complaint.

    I’m currently in the process of re-inventing myself from an elite sportsperson and scientist to a writer, so I tend to write too much and get carried away. I’ll stop now before I write a longer essay and just say, “Thank you.” You are wonderful and vital and I hope you gather momentum until you are a tsunami of social change that we can all surf in our stilettos. Your quote on bullying was my inspiration for the day.

  • Alice says:

    Hey! I found you through youtube browsing and, even though I noticed, I barely considered what you were wearing on the show until you mentioned it. Personally, I believe that there shouldn’t be a gender-specific way of chosing what to wear. As long as you are confortable and happy with how you look, I’m ok with it. I, for one, am a girl who doesn’t really dress very feminine, and won’t bother anyone about their clothes. At most I’ll tell you I like some item of your image. It’s unfair that men who wanna dress “like a girl” get hassled while women who wear men’s clothes are not bothered.
    Kudos to you for doing what you do, being how you are, and rocking while you do it!
    P.S.: I love most of your clothes!

  • Gwen Smith says:

    Hey there, love the Blurg, I’m trans living and living in the UK, there are lots of little corner shops where I live most of them are run by little bearded Turkish/Indian/African Islamic men, I think they struggle with wanting me to buy their milk and bread, exotic vegetables etc and their religion telling them to stone me to death, commerce is a tricky thing these days, I just smile, hand over the money and skip off home to the non existent sound of shouting and gunfire 🙂

    • Craig says:

      Not meaning to be critical, (OK, Yes, I am), but stereotyping all Arabs / Turkish / Muslim men as being intolerant of alternative lifestyles is as intolerant as being intolerant of trans-people or ‘gender spastics’.

      I lectured in Pakistan for a while and people there who got to know me were quite happy to point out where the underground bars were, the underground brothels, where gay people met, etc. Most people seemed to know about these things, accept them and not be too worried about it, including police, government officials, etc., as long as they are underground. I think it’s like the, “Don’t ask, Don’t tell,” policy that the US military used to have.

      A lot of Muslim people know about and accept these things but it’s not culturally acceptable for them to be out in the open due to the fanatical nature of some elements of their society. You could probably find the same strong reactions in a lot of Mormons in Utah, or other bible-thumping Christian groups in the US, even though the US Law prevents them from acting on it so openly.

      Many ‘Muslims’ are Muslim in the same way that many ‘Christians’ are Christian. When we fill out a form, we tick that box and our speech and customs make reference to the characteristics of the religion, but apart from that, it doesn’t shape our lives too much. We’re essentially secular.

      I’m not meaning to pick on Gwen specifically and I’m not saying she’s wrong about the specific people she’s referring to either, just highlighting that this unconscious sterotyping of all ‘Turkish Men’, Arabs or Muslims or even Indians as homophobic, fanatical terrorists is as insensitive and anti-social as calling every guy in a skirt or make-up a ‘faggot’ as an insult or every girl with short hair and hairy armpits a ‘dyke’as an insult.

      Athletes I work with now use the word ‘gay’ to mean anything bad, weak or undesirable. I try to point out to them that I know many gay athletes who would wipe the floor with them and being gay is not necessarily a sign of being weak, bad or anything negative. They know, accept and believe this, but their unconscious habitual choice of language is derogatory and insulting.

  • Gwen Smith says:

    Craig, I agree with what you say, my comment was very generalising, my experiences have been pretty awful, I live in an area with a high amount of Muslim people, and Hindu’s, Sikh folk… My Hindu and Sikh neighbors are lovely, chatty and accepting, my Muslim Neighbours don’t even make eye contact with me unless I’m spending money, so Yeah It upsets me. I am and continue to be an anti-racism and anti-fascism campaigner and I work in a diverse environment and love it, my comment was typed with a hint of irony and humor that didn’t transpose into txt I guess. I also for the most look female so its local gossip that has pointed me out and labeled me as Trans and different.

    I wont continue this discussion, I appreciate your point and for the most agree with everything you say.

  • Craig says:

    Gwen, I wasn’t meaning to cast aspersions or doubt on what you wrote and I got the intended lighthearted note. I apologise if my comments appeared like an attack. I just saw an opportunity to raise a point that I never hear made. It wasn’t targetted at you speciifically. I see Arab/Turkish/Muslim people demonised by the “Muslim terrorist” stereotype everywhere, every day, as well as gay, lesbian, trans, disabled, red-haired, tattooed, pierced, conservative, radical, etc. I have some good Muslim friends from various countries and they’re amongst the nicest, most open-minded andaccepting people I’ve ever met. Maybe, I just got lucky.

    Stereotypes exist for a reason and many CD/TV/TG/TS’s rely on using the stereotypical characteristics of the stereotypical man/woman to try to create an illusion of being one for camouflage and to avoid being villified by intolerant people. I can’t get away with it myself, so I’m just jealous. Those who are brave enough to put their actual selves out there on the firing line, like yourself and Andrew, deserve accolades, not awfulness.

    I thought I was being poignant but, as usual, I was just being pedantic. Sorry to kill the mood. I’ll stop now before I get on a roll again. I don’t think most “little Turkish men in their shops” have any more difficulty accepting gender variance than your average Australian beer-swilling bogan (that’s my neighbourhood), but hopefully, with the efforts of those people challenging the ingrained beliefs about gender, even those people will become a bit more understanding. (I’m not good with the, ‘stopping.)

  • Gwen Smith says:

    Craig you sound like a lovely and thoughtful person :), the world needs more people like you.

  • Craig says:

    Thanks Gwen. I write gooder than I talk. You sound a bit lovely aswell and I admire you for your decision to take on ‘trans living’. I’ve had TS friends go through transition and I’ve been amazed at how badly they get treated and abandoned by everyone, work colleagues, friends and family. I don’t have that many friends, so I try to hang on to the ones I have. We all have our good and bad moments. This was one of my better ones. I won’t push my luck anymore in case my evil twin gets a word in. Cheers.

  • Me says:

    Cool blog dude! You look awesome and write about interesting things. Will definitely be checking back here once in a while to read anything new you’ve added 🙂

    You mention some stuff about there not being many heterosexual crossdressers out there as role models when you were younger — was Philip Oakey one of your role models? I don’t think he crossdresses nowdays, but in the 80s I think he did that a lot.

    • genderspastic says:

      No not at all! When I was very young I didn’t really relate to most men who crossed the line, just women. Although I was apparently fascinated with Boy George…

  • Ebz Cherri says:

    Hi, I love your comedy and your blog is ace. I think you are pretty awesome for wearing what you do and you look a hell of a lot better than most of us women as well. I noticed you seem to have better legs than most women do, you lucky person! I’m a vegetarian but admire your veganism. At Bloodstock i’ll finally see you live and i’m really looking forward to it! You gave my boyfriend a hug at Download so I would love to meet you and also have a hug. xx

  • Joe says:

    I appreciate you taking on board the slur in the url and changing it, not everyone would respond so swiftly to remove offensive stuff, so props. And I apologize for incorrectly calling you cis – from what I browsed of your blog and what I know of you in general I was under the impression that you were assigned male at birth and identify as male/a man, which is why I thought you were cis. But what you write on your blog/outwardly present and how you actually identify are of course not necessarily congruent and if you say you’re not cis then I will absolutely not try to argue anything otherwise.

    I guess it might be helpful to explain that the reason I left the comment was my own discomfort at the word coming up in one of the first results on google when I searched ‘Eddie Izzard’. As a trans person, I find it a very upsetting word and I wanted to get that across – I’m not just drawing attention to it to cause trouble, I was upset by it. I know that trans women choose to reclaim it sometimes and I still find it difficult to see/hear, but I at least feel like those women share the experience that goes behind that word. Perhaps you share that experience more than I realize, so I guess I’ll just leave it there.

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