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Thread: Don't Box Me In

  1. #1
    New Member Jenny_Marie's Avatar
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    Don't Box Me In

    I haven't posted here before, but thought that I'd write something that's been on my mind and came to light after reading some posts here. I reached a point where I don't want to be boxed in with any kind of label, whether that be gender, sexual orientation, political view, religious view, etc. It seems that as soon as I apply such a label to myself, others who do the same assume that because of this one commonality, then we must be the same in every other way.

    It seems to me from reading these posts, that crossdressers like any other group is diverse and the experience of crossdressing can vary from one person to the next. I refuse to be boxed in by what other people expect I should be because of some label.

    As I read this, it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. I suppose, I just want to point out that every person is unique, regardless of what they have in common with others.

  2. #2
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    Very diverse group on this site. The only thing we have in common is we like to wear panties

  3. #3
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    Jenny,
    I could only place the labels back in their boxes when I was comfortably out in the RW . It enabled me to find a balance , I'm comfortable with being Teresa , I don't need any other labels , the boxes are sealed and pushed to the back of my wardrobe I don't need them anymore . Not one person in the RW has boxed me in by saying , " Oh you must be X or Y !" I've also learned to stop saying what boxes I felt I belonged in , it means very little to them and makes no difference to my life .

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jean 103's Avatar
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    They have their purpose here and have been discussed many times.

    As Teresa says they have little use in the RW as far as breaking it down like they do here.

    To my friends I'm just Jean. That's good enough, but then this is the RW, I'm with them, interacting, so they can draw their own conclusions.

    The same can apply here, it just takes awhile to get to know someone from their posts. Labels can shorten that.

    I do understand that labels can change and not wanting to be boxed in.

    Teresa and me are prime examples.

    So today it maybe pink and tomorrow purple. A year from now who knows.

    We are the same and at the same time very different. It is a confusing world.

    Welcome, hope to hear more from you.

    Love Jean

  5. #5
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    It's human nature to want to categorize things and arrange them in a "pecking order" in our heads. (fear of the unknown) It's also human nature to want to belong to a group (safety in numbers)

    So we often subconsciously label our selves and others, it makes us feel safe because we (at least think) we then know who is "good" or "bad".

    Believe me I have railed against labels time and time again here, but the more you fight them the more you get labeled.

  6. #6
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    Made perfect sense to me. I feel exactly the same way. Part of that is I don't know what label fits me at this time and part of it is I feel like i am always changeing. How do you label somebody who might be different tomarrow. I know I am weird but I don't care.

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    Jenny,
    After reading Roberta's reply I guess there is a need to feel secure at some point in our journey , maybe we are lost without a box to comfortably slip into until we do find oursleves . I know the medical profession need some criteria or framework to work with , without a box how can you diagnose a patient .

    The important thing is boxes aren't for life at some point they are a restriction , still most of my life I've lived and worked very much outside the box , photography is that kind of occupation as is my art now and lets not forget being TG !!

  8. #8
    Aspiring Member April Rose's Avatar
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    It's a paradox. A wise person I once spoke to at a TCNE open house said that everyone who comes there seems to spend an inordinate amount of time and energy defining exactly who or what they are, and at the same time, can take great umbrage if anyone else dared to define them.

    It's not wrong. It's just an indicator of the slipperiness of personal and social identity.
    I am a vessel of the goddess. Let me express my calling to a feminine life through nurturing love and relatedness.

  9. #9
    Silver Member Micki_Finn's Avatar
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    Well, if your goal is to be as “unique” as possible, sure those labels can feel confining. But common ground is also a medium for connecting with other people.

    Roberta was right about everybody using labels. It’s simply how the human brain works. But if you simply reject those labels out of hand, you could be denying someone a chance to get to know you and move beyond the labels, which is the only legitimate way to move beyond labels.

  10. #10
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    I know how you feel I don't care for labels either.
    Many people need them to feel accepted or feel they belong somewhere.
    I have never been one to feel the need to fit in.

  11. #11
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    Hi, Jennifer. In our "Trans" world, labels and their definitions help to define which "trans" we are or might be. But, the only one who can assign a label to you is YOU! So, don't. Be label free, if that's your desire, but enjoy your femme times.

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    I've always recommended people to talk in complete sentences and paragraphs and not give one word answers. You're right in that many people make broad assumptions if you agree on one issue, then you automatically agree on all issues.

  13. #13
    Silver Member Aunt Kelly's Avatar
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    O... M... G...
    Again with the labels thing.

    Labels are just words. Words are the verbal or literary (or visual in the case of sign language) constructs that we use to convey ideas and information. They do this through the convention of language, an agreed upon meaning for each word in the lexicon. If we were to unilaterally insist that a word does not mean what it has come to mean according to that consensus, communication immediately becomes more difficult, if not impossible. Why, oh why is that so hard for some here to accept?
    If you identify as male, wearing clothing regarded as female makes you a crossdresser, by definition. Denying that is pointless, to the point of being irrational, but... all the other stuff that is heaped upon you, by those who who are ignorant of who you otherwise are, does not invalidate the label. Their prejudice is not the fault of the word, so stop denying. Stop running from who you are. You, me, all of us here, are so much more than what a single word, however accurately applied, conveys. Reject prejudice, sure, but don't reject your words.

  14. #14
    Super Moderator Jeri Ann's Avatar
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    I agree with Kelly. The labels are just part of the conversation. I have been uncomfortable with the recent trend of a few to express disdain about using certain words here. Many people come here desperate for understanding. Even the ones now discouraging the use of labels were at one time desperate for understanding and clung on to some of those labels as they struggled to find themselves.

    If labels do not apply to you, then do not use them, simple. But, please do not discourage conversations by implying that certain words are not useful.

    As for the real world, perhaps appearing female and going to the market or the bank does not require labels but that is such a small part of the real world. I have had many opportunities to use the labels. When I met at the state capital and met with lawmakers, the LGBTQ Caucus, labels was the language we spoke. When I talked to a local school board about marginalizing a young trans girl, the usual words were used. I recently did a sensitivity training for 45 mental health professionals. That cannot happen without using the words that have no use in the RW.

    Today the Supreme Court of the United States is hearing three cases related to gender identity and gender discrimination. I expect that the labels will be freely used in making the cases. There are three organizations in the Houston area that focus on educating the populace about TG rights, equality and social justice.

    The medical and mental health services that treat trans people rely on the proper terminology for diagnosis and treatment. Of course, health insurers need the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed on the proper labels.

    In the RW there is a line where ignorance and intolerance meet education and the need for social justice. If I gave it much thought I am sure that other applications would come to me. Again, if you do not like labels then don’t use them. But please do not discourage the conversation needed to help others.
    Last edited by Jeri Ann; 10-08-2019 at 12:58 PM.

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    Maybe we should go back to Jenny's comments about people attempting to box her in , Aunt Kelly says they are only words but some people use them in an attempt to control and restrict in an effort to get them to comply , I lived through that situation for many years . I'm almost free of that but it has left it's scars .

    I appreciate the point Jeri Ann makes but very few of us are going to be faced with that level of officialdom .

    Step aside from TG issues and just consider the general public , the majority of people live very happily without labels the TG community isn't so different to be singled out , maybe that is the point that needs rectifying .

    The RW is the RW to me , not just a jaunt to the supermarket .

    There is nothing wrong with using these labels when they serve a purpose but should not be used to abuse and control another person , I consider myself very lucky that I haven't been abused in that way since totally coming out .

  16. #16
    YOULOVEMYTOES Palaina Nocturnus's Avatar
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    Jenny! Yes! Yes! And a def hell yes! I agree with you on so many levels, I cannot stand labels and trying to put all the same color crayons in the same group. However, our world has been built on them.

    I think its human nature to group up with those that are similar to oneself, just like you are on a website dedicated to crossdressing. Now comes the fun. Even here they've seen and appropriately addressed the need for specific groups and sections for discussion. Some groups require an application to join because at some point we actually need labels and the exclusivity of them.

    Culturally, I side with some and not with others, the same goes for religion race political views etc. In the end it should only be about how a person treats you and your reaction to it.

    I guess what I'm getting at is I don't like when I'm judged for associating with a label, let alone trying to settle on just ONE to describe me lol, however I use them to find like minded people. I love ICP, so I look for juggalos. I love the Lakers, I seek out other fans. I have friends that hate and despise both of those favorites of mine, and I hate their choices. Do they treat me with respect? Absolutely. Can we have fun and poke some fun at each others beliefs or better, can we sit and discuss our differences and find common ground? Or can we coexist while agreeing to disagree? That has been the key to every one of my treasured relationships that are my life.

    I love your post and how it provoked this thought and feeling inside me. I hope your day is fantabulous!!!!!!
    Live, laugh, love!

  17. #17
    Gold Member Alice Torn's Avatar
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    Sometimes. labels are necessary. Such as rapist, murderer, thief, and positive labels, as hero, helper, friend, pet, team mate, Good Samaritan. In this world, as tough as it sounds, labels are often helpful and necessary. They can be used in love, or disdain. Human nature has not changed much over the millenia. When i was in the Air Force boot camp, I was called a "boot|, like the other recruits. When i got my stripe, i was called an Airman, despite the fact I never rode on an Air Force plane. Sometimes, we are just too dern thin skinned, and hyper sensitive, too. I agree with the fact, that we are all unique individuals, but all share human nature.
    Last edited by Alice Torn; 10-08-2019 at 03:19 PM.

  18. #18
    Aspiring Artist Kelly DeWinter's Avatar
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    LOL Have to agree with a lot of "labels have a purpose" I started many years ago with the same attitude towards being labled and have found they have a purpose in helping be understand and handle understang who i am as a person. Sure even saying I don't want to be "Boxed" puts you IN the group of Anti-Boxers vs Pro-Boxers. I would not be surprised if you stated a whole new classification of terminology.

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  19. #19
    Silver Member Bobbi46's Avatar
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    Unique individuals sums us all up completely I reckon each and everyone of us has differences of opinion about personal presentation and so forth and as such there can never be one such label that encompasses us all completely, if one wants a label that's up to them, I have ne need to feel I need a label as such, I am me and that is that. The only box I have is where I pack all of my horrible memories of my life as a whole.
    I started life a lost man now I am a found woman

  20. #20
    Gold Member ~Joanne~'s Avatar
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    I understand what your saying jenny and agree 100%. The biggest thing is TG's trying to label CD's as TG's when we are not. Like saying such a thing brings more members to their cause. Sorry we have our own cause. We don't automatically fall in that category when to us, it's about the clothes and the look, and presenting for a period of time not saying we are a woman trapped in a man's body. That's just one label....the list goes on and on.....


    Quote Originally Posted by Paulie Birmingham View Post
    The only thing we have in common is we like to wear panties
    I wouldn't even say that. If I am going full nine I may wear them to complete the outfit/look but i wouldn't say I "like" to wear them. Or a bra for that matter now that I am thinking about it.
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    I hear ya, but I have to say that every CD is a little TG or you probably wouldn't have ever even had the desire to CD.

    Believe me not too long ago I would have argued about how wrong that statement is. And I would have followed it up with the same "it's about the clothes and the look, and presenting for a period of time not saying we are a woman trapped in a man's body."

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny22 View Post
    Hi, Jennifer. In our "Trans" world, labels and their definitions help to define which "trans" we are or might be. But, the only one who can assign a label to you is YOU! So, don't. Be label free, if that's your desire, but enjoy your femme times.
    Jenny22 I think your talking to me if not I apologize. I understand the label idea I just reject the labels. I don't know of any that are super accurate. If I have to have one I guess I'm genderfluid, or gender nonconforming, or non binary. They all kind of fit but not really. It is all under the transgender umbrella but that is to broad a description as we can see here. I go from rugged boy to complete girl or anywhere in between just depends on the day.

  23. #23
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    I guess in some cases labels are needed. How could we find this forum if not for the label "crossdresser". I think it's how a label is used and if others use that label to describe someone that doesn't want to use that label that makes the difference.

    As others said above, I think similar to what Teresa said, that outside of this forum I rarely use the labels talked about here. This forum is the only place I use trans related labels to describe who I am. Outside this forum I rarely talk to anyone about my personal self. And I don't think I ever commented on what label another wants to use for themselves.

    I think the only label I use is "Goth". I feel in my past that the coolest people I met were other goths so I kinda like being labeled that so I might meet another goth. I don't know if there are any goths out there anymore, but it's nice to think so. I guess that is when a label is used for good. To find someone with same interests. If a cd is interested in finding kindred spirits then labeling themselves as such makes it easier to find a friend.
    I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow. Sylvia Plath

  24. #24
    Silver Member Aunt Kelly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~Joanne~ View Post
    ... The biggest thing is TG's trying to label CD's as TG's when we are not. Like saying such a thing brings more members to their cause. Sorry we have our own cause. We don't automatically fall in that category when to us, it's about the clothes and the look...
    Sigh...
    This exactly what I am talking about. By convention, the term "transgender", or TG, is used as an "umbrella term", which includes TS, CD, NB, and all the other gender nonconforming labels. That convention does not cease to exist because you don't like or understand it, but communication immediately suffers when you use the term as you do.

  25. #25
    New Member Jenny_Marie's Avatar
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    Thanks for your replies, everyone. This was a nice way to break the ice.

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