Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Eroticization of Cross Gender Expression Part 1: Childhood & Adolescence

When I was small, I got a thrill out of tie up games. My favorite was the "damsel in distress" trope played out in movies and TV (e.g. Daphne from Scooby Doo or Batgirl). I remember watching those women struggle and “mmmpphh”on the TV screen and would want so much to be in their predicament and their gender. I remember becoming embarrassed if my parents or other kids were watching the shows with me. I would try to act calm, hoping no one saw or sensed what I was feeling.

When I was a little older, I began putting on womens clothes and makeup and then gagging myself; fantasizing I was being tied up by a mean babysitter or some older girl from school. I liked the "tough girls" like "Jo" from "Facts of Life" or Joan Jett -- the larger and older girls who could overpower me and do mean things.

When I became sexually active, I still longed to be tied up as a damsel-in-distress but had no way of expressing the desire. I was attracted to girls and if I were to succeed as a woman-loving male, I couldn't behave like a female. Also, I learned early on there was something "wrong" with someone who liked tying other people up or being tied up themselves.

So I was too ashamed to ever ask any of the young women I was with to tie me up, let alone allow me to cross-dress in front of them. So I would try introducing bondage elements into our sexual activity, hoping somehow my partner would get that I wanted those things done to me. So I would try putting my hand over my partners mouth or gagging her with something, hoping she would turn the tables. I also "playfully" wore many girls' panties and stockings. I was throwing out clues right and left, but did not have the words to express any of it directly. In the social milieus of my young adulthood, cross-gender expression was impossible, but the desires found their way to the surface through my "playful" cross dressing and introduction of bondage into sex. I was experiencing being a damsel in distress by proxy; becoming aroused by imagining myself in the role of my partner.

As you might imagine, it was not the most successful strategy; I ended up with a lot of former partners who thought me really strange. I want to be clear though that I was never non-consensual with anyone and the feelings of arousal were not coming from a place of control or power over someone at at all. I became aroused by imagining myself in the role of my partner.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gender expression the intervening variable in school bullying

Ritch Savin-Williams, professor of developmental psychology and director of Cornell University's Sex and Gender Lab thinks so:

"First, middle schools can be tough places for youth who are 'different.' Bullies, however, seldom limit their attacks to gay youth. Research at Cornell's Sex and Gender Lab concludes that the life satisfaction of both straight and gay youth suffers if they behave in a gender 'inappropriate' manner (feminine boys, masculine girls). It is gender expression, not sexual orientation per se, that is linked with decreased psychological wellbeing, and this is likely the result of bullying."

He also added:

"It is important to point out in these moments of grief that there is absolutely no scientific evidence of an 'epidemic of gay youth suicide,' or even that gay youth kill themselves more frequently than do straight youth."

I know it is non-PC to come out with this observation but it is believable from my perspective as a kid whose gender expression deviated from mean.

I was bullied and called a faggot. I even considered suicide because of the bullying and name calling. But I was not gay, I'm Trans.

And the guys who were actually gay in my HS Class? They were football players, popular, good at sports; their masculinity was never questioned. I'm sure they had problems like every teenager and may have even been in silent misery over being attracted the same sex. But they sure as hell didn't walk around the halls in fear of their well-being like I did.

No scientific evidence' of gay youth suicide epidemic