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.
November 13, 2011 § 13 Comments
Spending time around high street clothes shops is really not good for me. As I’ve said before my gendernonsense often manifests itself through an impulse to buy stuff. I am pretty much the easiest market for those flogging clothes. (And make-up for that matter.) A powerful combination of identity, fetish and the normal impulse to own things makes for a powerful urge.
This weekend I am in Sheffield, doing four gigs over four nights. My hotel is in the town centre and a combination of unfamiliarity with the city, not having friends who live here and a general Winter lethargy means that instead of visiting galleries and old buildings I have either been gigging, sitting in my hotel on the internet and traipsing round the shops. I restricted myself to make-up and this dress:
But I am now besotted with a load of other stuff. Mainly footwear. I want some knee high boots and some ankle boots and some sparkly court shoes…
and can I fit into a size 7? And if it doesn’t say leather on these amazing knee high spike heeled boots can I assume they’re vegan? And would a massive furry coat work on me? It’s fucking ridiculous.
Of course, I have plenty of shoes I don’t wear enough. Maybe I should just get you all to loudly and persistently encourage me to wear heels all the time!
Still, this dress IS great…
So anyway. Obviously I’m right in the middle of a very girly phase. Feeling very inspired at the moment. This is my friend Simone, who always makes me feel like I have a hell of a lot to learn about dressing fabulously. She’s a cabaret singer and has the most hypnotising lips in the universe:
September 14, 2011 § 8 Comments
June 1, 2011 § 2 Comments
Here’s a telly thing I just did. I talk about cross-dressing a bit.
I also finished the article I was asked to write about ‘Why I Cross Dress’ for the Edinburgh Evening Mail. I think it came out pretty well. Here it is:
Right. Let’s get some stuff out the way. I’m not a drag act. I am a stand-up comic and a metalhead and am much more likely to sing Hammer Smashed Face by Cannibal Corpse than I Am What I Am (by whoever the hell wrote that).
I am not gay. Nothing against that sort of thing, I just don’t fancy men, which makes being gay really difficult. I’d be rubbish at it. I’d just let people down.
So why the cross-dressing? Well, it feels right, it’s a lot more fun than restricting myself to the boundaries of gender outlined by society, women dig it, homophobic men hate it, and I get to play with make-up.
There may well be complex psychological reasons behind my drive to dress in a feminine way. Upbringing, the influence of the girls I played with as a young child, an undue impact of the video for I Want To Break Free by Queen.
Whatever the underlying reasons, I’ve never been fond of rules, and the rules governing what’s appropriate clothing for my gender are my least favourite. For me it’s not a big deal. It only becomes one when other people make it a big deal.
Appropriately enough, in the Land Of The Kilt I actually get considerably less grief for wearing a skirt than I do in strictly-betrousered England. My kilt is actually the least feminine item of clothing I own. And I’ve got three Slayer shirts.
I don’t try to pass for female, because I can’t. I have an adam’s apple that makes it look like I’m trying to swallow a crow. I cause confusion when asking for toilets (a flustered security guy in a bar once stammered “Er… Gents is that way, ladies is that way!”) but ultimately I think I manage to pull it off, look pretty hot on a good day and I get to enjoy shopping in a way that most straight men never will.
Brilliant. I got through all of that without mentioning Eddie Izzard once…
May 9, 2011 § 1 Comment
…for my Edinburgh publicity. The title is “Why I cross-dress” and my instructions are that it has to be funny.
Now, this is an entirely reasonable thing for my PR person to ask me to do, but it makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. I have never actively associated my gender oddnesses with my comedy for the simple reason that I don’t want to represent my transvestism as a comedic trait. It is a part of me that I discuss on stage, for sure, but I don’t see it as a comedy attribute. (Many would disagree, of course…) The other issue is that I have mainly covered all this in a previous show (Occult Comedian) and will only be doing a very short bit on my gender identity in the new show.
I will write the article, and I’ll probably mainly cannibalise my existing material to form the bulk of it. But the actual reasons I cross-dress are mainly due to deep-seated aspects of my psychological make-up and idiosyncratic self-image issues. Hahahahaha! Funny.
On the upside, it IS a really good opportunity for me to access a general audience and help them understand what this is, and more importantly, what it isn’t. Maybe I can help increase awareness of people like me. And sell some tickets for my show, too!
Apologies to anyone disappointed with my recent absense from this blog. I’ve been busy and travelling and haven’t really had much to write about. I am currently writing my new show, so am in more of a writing mindset. I’ll be more frequent in the next few weeks.
Here’s a picture of me looking moody in Melbourne:
February 11, 2011 § 3 Comments
February 1, 2011 § 13 Comments
My gender mood has been a bit all over the place recently. I thought I had come to a point of stability, because my phases were lasting much longer. Recently it’s been more of a day-to-day thing.
Today I find myself in a girly mood. I’ve got a meeting later on for which I’ll dress up a bit. Oddly my girly phases have recently been based on a desire to wear a particular thing, rather than coming from the root of my gender identity. The more I write these, the deeper I think about why I am what I am. There is a definite dual root of my transvestism: identity and a kind of non-sexualised clothing fetish. Today it’s a pair of fingerless lace gloves that I really want to wear. I’ll build the rest of the outfit round that. Haha. Gay.
The other day I played the Belfast Empire. I love that gig, and I really like Norn’ Irish people. It’s where my ancestors come from so I feel a real affinity. Anyway, I flew there* and thus my decision whether or not to cross-dress had to factor in the whole airport experience. I hate airports at the best of times, and the added hassle of people’s disapproval of my gender performance was not something I wanted to put up with. Then there’s stuff like the gender split at the security stage. If you set off the metal detector you get a same-sex pat-down. Usually when I cross-dress I think of myself as existing in a kind of quantum state – I’m neither male nor female until someone looks at me and makes their own reading. (And then a cat dies.) But they would have to make a very quick decision about my gender. Or even ask me which would be fucking weird. Too much attention. No thanks.
That sort of thing always reminds me of that fact that no matter how brave I might feel, (or how brave people tell me I am) there are always situations in which I don’t feel confident cross-dressing, and that I am lucky to have that choice. It makes me admire the transgendered hugely. Well. Most of them. It also makes me feel slightly guilty. Because I see cross-dressing as a political act and I am lucky enough to have the confidence to do it, I feel every time I don’t do it it’s a missed opportunity to show the world a confident, relatively normal transvestite. Every time I do it, it slightly normalises it for someone.
On that note, I have a photoshoot for my new publicity photos on Friday. I still can’t decide whether or not to cross-dress in it. On the one hand, it’s another step to raise the profile of the genderspazzes of the world, and it also reduces the degree to which I have to ‘come out’ all the time. But I worry it’ll put people off coming to see the show. Most people aren’t as open-minded as, say, someone who reads a blog about a transvestite and I wonder if it’ll make them think it’s a show about transvestism, or a drag show or something. I dunno. What do YOU think?
And on that note: please give me feedback about this blog. What do you like/dislike about it? What would like to see more of? I know you all want more pictures, but posting those makes me feel a bit vain. I considered a companion blog that was entirely fashion based. Essentially pictures of what I wear every day and stuff I like.
Let me know your thoughts.
Lastly, I just did a bit of filming for ‘red-button content’ for the new series of Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle and I spazzed-up for it. So you’ll get to see that. I kept it pretty metal: Altar of Plagues shirt, bullet belt, Emperor-patch skirt and black heels. Not sure about the make-up the make-up lady did, but I haven’t seen the footage yet. It might be awesome.
Anyway. Answer my questions. Give me feedback. Stoke my ego!
*(I carbon offset and I felt guilty too. Anyway, I’m fucking vegan, so my carbon footprint is tiny, so fuck you, guilt)