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Thread: Is This a Choice?

  1. #1
    Tracy Schapes TSchapes's Avatar
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    Question Is This a Choice?

    Because I showed up in drab at my last LGBT meeting from work, I was informed by a Gay member that my dressing was a choice. I was taken aback by this, because I don't feel I have any more choice in being a CD then he does in being gay. And I don't think me controlling when and where I choose to engage society with my other side is called a choice. My brain is still telling me I'm different...

    I do think that the LGBT group is tenuous at best. We are all linked by a common sexual thread. But the G & L does get the T and even the TS doesn't get the CD. And yet, I believe we need each other.

    Anyone else have these types of interactions? Any thoughts on this? I don't want to start a word war here, but I am hurt by this. I'm a big girl and will continue to push for an inclusive TG agenda, but sheesh! I'm having a hard time educating my Gay and Lesbian comrades.

    Sorry for the rant..

    Love, Tracy
    Everybody's normal until you get to know them. - Tracy Schapes

    An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it.
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    Blog: Tracy's Happy Place

  2. #2
    Junior Member Elly E's Avatar
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    Eh, I think we have a natural desire to do this. Its nothing that can be controlled. I'm more on the wanting to become a woman end of things, but I do believe crossdressing is something that you're with just the same as being gay, lesbian, or whatever other label we decide to put on people for loving freely next.

  3. #3
    The best of both worlds Kathi Lake's Avatar
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    I totally agree. The one time I went to a transgender support meeting, I was one of the few "mere" crossdressers there. I got the "choice" thing too. Truthfully, I get much more support from my friends here - and you're from all over the spectrum! I don't see anyone putting on airs or saying one group is better than another. Then again, I'm kind of a Pollyanna that way. Maybe it does go on, but I just pass it by.

    Tracy, can I ask you a question? What, exactly, do you need a support group for? Do you have problems with dressing? Do you need someone to talk to who understands? I find that most of the support I need comes from inside. Once I accepted that what I was doing was fine, my need for support went away.

    Kathi

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    Quote Originally Posted by TSchapes View Post
    Because I showed up in drab at my last LGBT meeting from work, I was informed by a Gay member that my dressing was a choice.
    It's a choice unless someone is forcing you to CD at gunpoint.

  5. #5
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    As the former president of a support group, I believe they stiffle personal growth. It's just the trading your tiny little closet for a larger one. During my tenure (which lasted for eight years) I attempted to offer as many opportunites for my sisters to go beyond the motel room door. Even strength in numbers couldn't convince the timid to venture out.

    I beilieve it's my choice to live the way I do and I'm glad that no one else decides for me.

  6. #6
    Dr. Girlfriend AmandaM's Avatar
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    Gays can be so stupid, and as ignorant as anyone else. I have the choice to be a basketcase on meds the rest of my life, or to express my female side. Some choice.

  7. #7
    New Member Ashley PS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TSchapes View Post
    Because I showed up in drab at my last LGBT meeting from work, I was informed by a Gay member that my dressing was a choice.
    Wow that would be the last thing I would expect to hear from a gay person--maybe from anyone. Hurtful. Absurd if nothing else.

  8. #8
    Unexpected Woman Empress Lainie's Avatar
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    [SIZE=4]I'm completely TS, but regarding the support group, I think it helps to have people you know that like you are different from the run of mill normal "straight" hetero m and f's.

    We discuss such things as how a company is supportive of transexuals, or not, and the good and bad things that happened to us over the week.
    I miss them when I for some reason I miss a week. The group has given courage to some people to start their own transition. There is a joke that they converted me in just one meeting!

    One thing we have found is that the tri-ess is not very friendly to the TS's, and they have even quit letting us know where they meet each week. I have however had a few good friends from tri-ess. They seem to want to just have CD's there, not TS's too.

    I felt like I had truly come home at the very first meeting I went to, and that was the day I realized my persona is truly completely female, and went to 24/7 the next day.

    For nearly a year we gave our facilitator a hard time about her crossdressing and wearing pants, so until we finally relented and told her she could wear pants again, she only wore skirts on our meeting days. We still joke about it occasionally.
    [/SIZE]
    Last edited by Empress Lainie; 07-23-2009 at 08:30 PM.
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  9. #9
    Clear Air Turbulence Joni Marie Cruz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny Brown View Post
    It's a choice unless someone is forcing you to CD at gunpoint.
    It isn't the outer expression, it's the inner feeling. You can be gay and never have sex with a man. How does being CD but dressing in drab make it somehow more of a choice?

    -Joni Mari
    "Because equality is not a concept. It's not something we should be striving for. It's a necessity. Equality is like gravity. We need it to stand on this earth as men and women. And the misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition. It is life out of balance, and that imbalance is sucking something out of the soul of every man and woman who's confronted with it."

    --Joss Whedon, to a reporter who asked, "So why do you create these strong women characters?"

  10. #10
    Aspiring Member Melanie R's Avatar
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    The only "choice" is whether you crossdress or not. Regardless of the clothing you wear most of us are persons who have a large feminine component to our personas that desire to express our femininity through dressing in feminine attire. I frequently will say that when I am in male drab and presenting as a man that is my real crossdressing.
    I love being "gender gifted"! www.pmpub.com

  11. #11
    Tracy Schapes TSchapes's Avatar
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    I guess I need to explain...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kathi Lake View Post
    Tracy, can I ask you a question? What, exactly, do you need a support group for? Do you have problems with dressing? Do you need someone to talk to who understands? I find that most of the support I need comes from inside. Once I accepted that what I was doing was fine, my need for support went away.

    Kathi
    Oh, this is not a support group per se. This is an ERNG group, Enterprise Resource Network Group or some just call them ERGs. A number of larger corporations like AT&T, Ford, GM, Lucent, etc. have these. For example Lucent has a group called "Equal!", here is their organization's description:
    EQUAL! is an educational and support group that addresses workplace environment issues affecting employees who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered or who have family, friends or colleagues who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered.
    So the up side is I'm participating in a corporate sponsored group that helps support education about LGBT issues, and we do outreach events to the LGBT community. Like we sponsored a booth at the Motor City Pride Festival last month. I work for a bank that has it's name on our baseball stadium here in Detroit (Sorry I'm being coy here, I don't want them to do a search on their corporate name and get a hit here on CD.com!).

    I am out to a large number of people at work and I want to help the gay community (my son is Gay btw) so this group is a good fit. It's just that it can be so frustrating. And like you say, I'm just a mere cross-dresser. I get grief from the TS that's in the group too, like I'm some lady-in-waiting.

    Oh well, I'm just letting off steam. No one told me that this path of outing myself at work was going to be easy. It's part of the journey I've mapped out for myself. And I just hope that it will be worth it, if not for me, then for those that will follow....

    So it's all good.

    -Tracy
    Everybody's normal until you get to know them. - Tracy Schapes

    An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it.
    - Jef Mallett

    Blog: Tracy's Happy Place

  12. #12
    Member BreenaDion's Avatar
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    im with you on this TSchapes, that the labels are all wrong ..

    Gay an lesbians should be labeled together.

    Cross dressers are a sperate an different entity.

    TS an TG are similar with one difference.." the Knife "

    transgender is a subculture of G+L unless they go under the Knife then there a subculture of straight.

    Transsexual are then called straight for they are called " Fixed "

    thats my take whats your ?

    Love Bree

  13. #13
    Senior Member Aubrey Green's Avatar
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    It doesn't matter if it is at work, a movie, a PTA meeting, or anyother type of get together. There is one in every crowd. Apparently an expert, that knows the inner workings of everyones mind in the room. Think of it this way, they wouldn't be there if they didn't have some issues of their own. Even a professional, presiding over the meeting, would never address in a room full of people. Laugh it off and see it for what it is. A thousand people could look at a Picasso and love, but one person will hate it, and that is what everyone remembers.



  14. #14
    Gold Member Miranda09's Avatar
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    Tracy, I think there are some in that "support" group that need a little educating themselves!! Actually, I wish more straight people would visit this site and see what we're all about.

  15. #15
    Making a life for Tina! suchacutie's Avatar
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    hmmm

    We all make choices within what our circumstances allow. Unless we are fabulously wealthy, we live within our means, and that requires choices, some of which are not pleasant.

    What we don't have a choice about is how our brain was initially established. We can only work with what we have. Thus, even if I were not able to wear a stitch of female clothes or makeup or the like for whatever reason life may throw at me, that doesn't make me any less transgendered. I am what I am. What my circumstances allow me to do about it is another issue altogether.

    Part of the problem here is the completely inadaquate understanding in the general public (gay and straight) of what it means to be transgendered. I constantly hear that all TV/TS/TG are gay. There is nothing wrong with being gay, but the perception of a large part of this community is simply wrong. When we start from so far back in the educational spectrum, is it any wonder that we are viewed so errantly by most?

    tina

  16. #16
    Clear Air Turbulence Joni Marie Cruz's Avatar
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    Hi Tina-

    I so agree with you. I have a brother who's gay and we love each other dearly, he knows all about me and we, him and his SO of over 15 years, have gone out together many times, me as my girlself, of course. But he just cannot wrap his head around why I want to dress and present myself as a woman. He and I, and his partner, have had long discussions about it, some drunk, some sober. The closest they can come to getting it is friends of their's who are gay and are female impersonators. Not the same but at least he tries. And I guess that's all we can do ourselves, just try.

    Hugs...Joni Mari
    "Because equality is not a concept. It's not something we should be striving for. It's a necessity. Equality is like gravity. We need it to stand on this earth as men and women. And the misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition. It is life out of balance, and that imbalance is sucking something out of the soul of every man and woman who's confronted with it."

    --Joss Whedon, to a reporter who asked, "So why do you create these strong women characters?"

  17. #17
    ☣Bio-Waste☣ Cheshire Gummi's Avatar
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    Everything is a choice. Wearing clothes is a choice. Bathing is a choice. Eating is a choice. Living is a choice. It's the feelings that drive us to do these things that we do not choose, which is why we choose to dress as we do and act as we do. However, I seriously doubt that was his point.

    To hear someone in the community that's supposed to accept us pass judgment on one of us only goes to illustrate a point that I've become increasingly aware of over the past 4 years or so. The gay community is becoming more and more about exclusivity than acceptance, i.e. it's not enough that you feel differently, it's how different you really are. Like there's some way to quantify being an outcast.

    Well... I don't know. Everything has to pass eventually. Maybe the queer community at large has outlived its usefulness. I, for one, have had quite enough of hearing about how I'm "faking" because I'm not completely straight or completely gay.

    That's my pocket sense anyway.
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  18. #18
    Luonnatar Linda Laman's Avatar
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    How would your gay "friend" know? Did he choose to be gay? I don't think so, no more than we choose to cross dress. It is a permanent part of our make-up (please excuse the pun!) and will always be so. It may evolve, but it won't go away.

    Years ago gays had to act as if they were straight to escape mocking villification or even prosecution. In the acceptance stakes they are way ahead of us.

  19. #19
    Silver Member trannie T's Avatar
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    I do not haveto breathe, it is my choice.
    It takes a real man to wear a dress.

  20. #20
    Ice queen Lorileah's Avatar
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    Gets back to riding coat tails. I have said before we are the unrecognized stepsisters and brothers of the G&L movement. Many see us as people who use their agenda but don't think we fit the criteria for inclusion unless we are willing to transition. It is semantics. But we (yes Jenny I said we...if you don't want to be in stay out) need to assert our own agenda in conjunction with the G&L community. For 40 years we have been content to follow along and see what happens. What happened is the G&L community have made a good case that they are born that way but we are still seen as a choice and a perversion at that. That is why we were excluded from the last ENDA. Gays thought we would be a hindrance.

    I would expect this type of reaction in a bar but in a group that is trying to change things, I am amazed. But it is an idea that has been planted over the years and unfortunately many gays are buying into it.

    Explain to him that your outside appearance does not change who you are. When he wears a suit does that make him anything different?
    The earth is the mother of all people and all people should have equal rights upon it.
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    “Love isn't a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.” - Fred Rogers,

  21. #21
    GG ReineD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TSchapes View Post
    but I am hurt by this.
    The world is filled with people who are unable to think outside of their boxes, even if they themselves have experienced bigotry. I wonder if it is a question of IQ. But, you know it is not a choice, as do many others. Please don't let someone else's ignorance get you down and instead look at the interaction as an opportunity to educate them. And if they do not wish to learn, just smile and walk away.



    Quote Originally Posted by BreenaDion View Post
    Cross dressers are a sperate an different entity.

    TS an TG are similar with one difference.." the Knife "

    thats my take whats your ?
    Transgender (TG) is an umbrella term that covers everyone who diverges in some way from their birth gender. It includes TS, TM, CD, TV, Drag Kings & Queens, Genderqueer, Androgine, and any other terms I haven't mentioned.

    In terms of "the Knife", the generally accepted terms are non-op, pre-op, or post-op TS. And once someone has had GRS, they are considered to be their post-operative gender with no more reference to their birth gender.
    Reine

  22. #22
    Senior Member dawnmarrie1961's Avatar
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    Tracy, as with all types of human behavior there is always an element of choice involved.. There may be a genetic predisposition toward a certain type of behavior but that doesn't mean that it is inevitable. Behavior can be suppressed and kept in check either through medication, therapy or good old fashion self determination. It may never go away but it can be controlled. People that say they don't have a choice are just trying to stick the blame on something or someone else. They are whiner's and complainers who just want to play the role of the victim. I wouldn't give them the time of day. OK. Maybe I'm being to harsh on them. The time is 1:48 AM Central Time.
    My weight does not define me.

  23. #23
    The 100th sheep GaleWarning's Avatar
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    A year or so ago, I toyed with the idea of going to a TG meeting. I contacted the person who (so I was told) organised these get-togethers.

    He/she told me that the meetings had been discontinued.
    Why?
    He/she had been stabbed in the back too many times by members of the TG community.

    I no longer have any desire to socialise with any "sister".

    [Before anyone starts flaming me, I am simply telling a factually accurate story.]

  24. #24
    Gender Variant Badger PaulaJaneThomas's Avatar
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    He sounds like an idiot. Ignore him.
    Best Wishes

    Paula

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    Every girl crazy 'bout a sharp-dressed Badger.

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  25. #25
    The 100th sheep GaleWarning's Avatar
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    No Paula. What he/she told me, obviously had happened. He/she made a choice based on his/her experience of the local TG community.
    Why should one ignore a truth?

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