Thursday, April 20, 2017

What is Cis Gender and Could you be IT?

I remember as if it were yesterday.  Years ago I was out on holiday with a couple of my gay male friends when out of the blue I told them that I was Transgender.  They immediately denied it and said to me “Adrian, no you're not, you’re a gay man."  I remember not fighting their perception of me but I made a mental note.  In hindsight I think it might have been easier for them to understand what I was telling them had I said to them that I was not Cis Gender.  I simply didn't have the language at the time.

It’s clear to me now that when you tell someone that you are transgender the first thing they think of is that you will be getting a sex change or that you will start living your life as the opposite sex.  When in reality you can be Transgender aka not Cis Gender and not transition all the way.  

Years later the term Cis Gender started to gain traction, thankfully, and its use can really explain to Cis Gender folks that not everyone subscribes or falls within the Gender Binary that society has created of Man and Woman.

What is the term Cis Gender and could you be it?  

We’re talking about GENDER

Open your mind, and get ready to see the world in a whole new light.

The following is mostly a transcript of Marie’s words from on the Group text podcast published in April 2017

The dominant Westernized heterosexual centered narrative of gender is one that tells the story that we are all familiar.  When a baby is born the presence of a penis or a vagina determines if that child is going to be a boy or a girl. This we call assigned sex at birth.  

However Gender is about the societal roles also the way you view yourself and sex is about the anatomy you have.  So from the day you are born gender roles start to set after the moment you and your parents are aware of your genitalia.  Gender roles dictate the desire and appropriate acceptable appearances and behavior of someone based on their perceived sex. It’s like “stay at home and raise the children” or “be the bread winner.” Boys are expected to be masculine, girls are expected to be feminine. These are the gender roles that start happening based on the sex that you were assigned at birth {based on your genitals}. 

Thus, the Gender Binary is not viewed as a scale or a thing of exploration, it’s viewed as a social truth.  It’s viewed as MAN and it’s viewed as WOMAN. And people who don’t perform their Gender Role well, or people who resist their Gender Role, or people who don’t quite fit the mold exactly are often cast aside, put in physical harm, or they are ignored. 

We are expected to have a gender that matches the sex that was assigned to us.  If you were born with a penis you are supposed to be a “boy” and if you were born with a vagina you are supposed to be a “girl.” 

It’s important to note that this is a social script that we’ve been given, a script that we’ve been made to follow. It is not a necessary truth. It is a social role, script, and construct. 

For all of history there have been people trying to rewrite the script or people who don’t quite fit into the script.  This script systematically erases all of the examples of all humans that don’t fit within the binary.  [A good documentary piece that shows examples of this is Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric]

So what does it mean to be Cis Gender?

All that Cis Gender means is that the Gender you identify with matches the sex that you were assigned at birth. 

So if you are born with a penis and you are made to fill all the social norms that come along with that but you actually identify with something other than a man perhaps as a woman, or you identify with both genders, or you identify with neither...In these cases you would not be Cis Gender.  And that’s ok.  

The word Cis, what it does is it makes it clear that other forms of Gender expression are real and valid.  Being Cis is one of many ways to be rather than THE way to be. 


So, about those gay friends of mine that didn’t believe me to be Transgender years ago, well, I think they are coming around since I started electrolysis treatments on my face and neck, I’ve had my ears pierced, I’m growing out my hair, and am researching the effects of hormone treatment.  As in most things in life, I guess actions speak louder than words…but having the language to express your human experience is fundamental whether you are Cis Gender or not.  

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

​ Awesome Girls and Sexy Cars

Pic: (Touch 3D: Bugatti Veyron Girl)

Here in New York City The International Auto Show rolls into town this weekend! I'm going to make this short and sweet, you don't have to be born a man to find these driving machines super sexy. As a matter of fact, you don't even have to always or ever present as male to love these machines.

Me and Jennifer outside TC's bar in Houston 2016

​I met Jennifer McGill last year at a Houston bar while I was on my first Crossdressing Cross-Country Tour. She approached me while I was outside and we hit it off. She is a very cool cat...and her car? Jen's car is a sexy beast! If you follow Jen on Facebook you know that her great taste in cars extends to her many fabulous outfits.  I'm looking forward to visiting Houston again so Jen and I can drive around town in our fiercest outfits whistling out the window at guys and girls ;-)

Jennifer McGill and her sexy car

Another awesome girl with sexy cars is the very classy Angelina Mead King. I've not met Angelina yet but I can't wait to go for a ride with her. It's clear that fabulous stilettos and hot rods are her expertise. She moves fast so you better try to catch her on YouTube or Instagram.

Cars are not usually a topic of conversation me and my male-to-female clients discuss during their makeoversProbably because I don't want to accidentally stumble upon the question "what was your first car?" If I had to describe my first car I would die of embarrassment...ok fine, I'll tell you. I got my first car in 1998. It was a BROWN (like poop) four door 1985 VW Jetta. It was falling apart. The door handles wouldn't open from the outside. The floor had rusted to the point pieces decomposed leaving wholes. You could see the road moving right below your feet. The wholes weren't so bad since they helped drain the water that would seep into the cabin when it rained. As you can tell this was a bargain for the $800 I paid...or was it $500? Goes without saying, I was poor.

​These days I ride the subway in New York City (still poor) but I still love seeing sexy cars, especially the ones driven by awesome girls.  Maybe one day I'll own a sexy car...and be an awesome girl.

​What was your first car and what do you drive today?
Share your story and show off your car over on the FB Page click HERE

Thursday, April 6, 2017

​ Allowing Yourself to be Seen

​ Imagine you wake up tomorrow morning. You get dressed as usual. You hit the busy streets of New York City. Suddenly, you start getting some strange stares from every person you pass. When you get your coffee from the corner store the clerk calls you "Sir."

Wait what, "Sir"?

But but but you're a woman, right? You feel feminine so you must be a woman. You grab your coffee and rush to see your reflection in the storefront window. To your great dissapointment you see a man reflecting back. You realize you are experiencing a enormous amount of dissonance.

​ You can't shake off the feeling something is not right. A dark cloud gathers over you. You know you will have to play the role of a man for the rest of the day...and possibly for the rest of your life. Will anyone in the world ever SEE you the way you feel and see yourself? The loneliness is palpable. You lock up those feminine feelings and ideas of yourself in the recesses of your mind...for one year...two..three..four...maybe even for fifty years. Noone is ever to know how you feel deep inside. They couldn't possibly understand. You resign yourself to live with the unfomfortable feeling of dissonance from the moment you wake up in the moring to the second you fall asleep at night.

Throughout the many years I've been performing male-to-female makeovers time and time again I hear similar stories from my clients. It's heartbreaking. All I wish I could do is jump into a time machine, go back in time, and tell my client that she doesn't have to put that very important part of herself deep in the closet.

This week we asked the GenderFun Community an important question regarding the "Closet"

​ The answers encompassed a variety of viewes but one thing was certain, being in and coming out of the closet can be no fun.

​ As painful as this truth is, the email I got from one of my recent clients, after I gave her a makeover, gave me a glimmer of hope regarding living life in the closet.

​ In her words:

​"Dear A,
Over the last 24 hours I've been reflecting on the experience [makeover] I had yesterday. It was an utterly life-changing event and I thank you for that. I've been carrying this [crossdressing secret] inside me for more than 50 years without ever having an avenue to discuss it or have someone help me as you did. It was a simply wonderful experience and I thank you for the kindness and understanding you extended. When I entered your studio yesterday my heart was racing out of apprehension but when I left I really felt an internal peace. It was as if you and the entire experience were grounding rods. Without being melodramatic (and to quote Harry Chapin), I've got something inside me not what's my life's about. There's my second and "real" self. I now have one person on earth who knows more about me than most anyone else. It is you."

​ I will let you in on a little secret about how I conduct my makeovers. One of my goals, other than making my client look her best using wigs, makeup, and wardrobe, in order to match her exterior appearance with the internal vision of herself , is to create a safe environment where she can drop the "Man Mask" she feels obligated to wear every day and allow her to bring forth that feminine essence she has tucked away deep in the closet.

​ To see my clients drop the "Man Mask" they wear is truly a magical transformative experience. Their bodies slowly relax and melt into a feminine expression. They no longer look and feel like the man who walked into my studio but instead have transformed into a fully feminine individual. Their mannerisms, body posture, and walk is all that of a female. Something that is not learned but natural to them.

​ Only once I witness this that, regardless of how the photos we take during the session come out, I feel the makeover is a success.

​ For many of my clients I am the FIRST person to ever see their femme self in person. I always aim to validate and honor their internal experience and outward female expression. This is an honor I don't hold lightly.  And I make it a point to praise them for the courage they exhibited in coming all the way to my studio in Brooklyn for them to be seen by someone they never met before in person...and sometimes be seen as their femme self for the very first time.  That alone makes my girls a sight to behold.

So next time you see a crossdresser ask yourself if you TRULY see them.  If you truly see them, no matter what the external appearance is, you will see true beauty.