transvestite

Book Review: Men Can Wear Dresses Too, Caite Maye

mcwdtCertified bookworm and friend of Biscuit Sophia reads a first-hand account of living as a cross-dresser.

This intriguing book by Catie Maye explores the issues surrounding the lives of an often marginalised part of the transgender community, male cross-dressers and gender-fluid people.

Maye has approached the topic through the lens of her own experiences as a male-to-female cross-dresser and her widening exploration of what she calls her ‘feminine side’, at first tentatively and, as the years passed, with increasing confidence.

Born in 1960 and growing up in a working class area of London, Maye began cross-dressing at the age of nine (not untypical), and has continued to do so to the present day. She’s heterosexual and is married with children, which again is most common. The majority of male cross-dressers identify as straight (the percentage who identify as gay or bi is roughly in proportion to the figures for… Continue reading

Well intentioned, but unworkable: the NUS and cross-dressing

Genderqueer_pride_flagMuch has been said in the last few days about the NUS banning crossdressing from UK campuses. This is of course a massive overstatement. The offending resolution, passed at the NUS Women’s conference 2015, merely states that the conference should “issue a statement condemning cross-dressing as a mode of fancy dress”.

Reactions to the resolution have been largely negative (I had to go to a place no one should ever have to go – page six of Google’s search results – to find a blog post in favour of it) and a good  portion of that has been of the oh-won’t-someone-think-of-the-poor-straight-cis-men variety, which is just, y’know, *eyeroll*.

Here is the offending article in full. You can read a .pdf of the document here.

 con believes

The intent of the resolution is to decrease transphobia, but as the saying goes, intent is not magic, and the wording here is far from perfect. You do not have to search for long to find a slew of evidence supporting the assertion (noted under the heading ‘conference believes’) that trans and non-binary people are routinely denigrated in popular culture. This is categorically something we should work to end. Should cisgender men dress as women or, worse, ape hurtful and harmful trans* stereotypes with the sole intention of mockery? Obviously not. It’s tasteless, unoriginal verging on boring and it contributes to a culture of misogyny, trans- and whorephobia. It’s emphatically a good idea to ask people to consider their motivations when they cross-dress for entertainment. Likewise, it’s a good idea to promote sensitivity towards gender difference and acknowledge how our actions might contribute to a culture of transphobia and misogyny. But should we legislate against it? Well… no. Or at least, not like this.
Continue reading