Are We Our Own Worst Enemies?

I’ve mentioned that I am a member of a popular CD forum and there is a bit of Keystone talk going on there. I saw one comment that struck me and for me, completely underscored what I am all about and why change is slower than it should be.

Here is the comment I read: “It’s so empowering to walk into a restaurant with 20 to 30 (or more) other girls, and basically take over the place. As they say, “You got a problem with that?” You need to go to the bathroom and you walk into the ladies room like you own it! “You got a problem with that?”

I could not disagree more! This is our problem, sometimes we are our own worst enemies. First the attitude. That attitude fosters negative impressions of us. It does nothing to change people’s minds about us. Being ladylike, giving, loving, being happy, that makes the right impression. I speak from rather significant personal experience.

I use the ladies room. I do what I need to do and get out of there. I am respectful of others. I keep to myself. I’m not in there taking pictures and grandstanding. Storming the ladies room with that attitude will create many more problems than solutions.

“Taking over the place” (they are referencing a mainstream restaurant) again is not a solution. For me, going to a restaurant, acting like a lady, being treated like a lady and not being noticed by the masses is how we go about making changes.

We are quite often our own worst enemies. Being militant, being loud, being the center of attention only fortifies stereotypes. Think, please! It is undeniable that stereotypes exists and we must do what we can to break them down, not build them up. We owe it to those that paved the way for us and for those to come. When I make statements like this it is because I know, I am out a lot, hundreds and hundreds of times, in front of tens of thousands of people. I leave many with a very positive impression, so much so that months later I am told that they remembered me or that I was the best part of wherever I was working.

Walk a mile in my heels, see what I have seen and use your heads! Check the attitude at the door and act like a lady. Attitude feeds right into the public narrative.

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21 thoughts on “Are We Our Own Worst Enemies?

  1. Kandi,
    I can’t agree with you more! Being out with you the handful of times that I have, I have seen firsthand how “just being” is the correct way to present yourself while out. Being ladylike and appropriate by assimilating into the mainstream is so rewarding! Make Love, not war!

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  2. You are absolutely correct. Being ladylike and fitting in with appropriate attire and behavior is the best way for us to be accepted in the civilian population. Getting in someone’s face and forcing your behavior on someone else will only lead to resentment.
    The LGBT movement had a period when outrageous behavior was more the norm and excessive and flamboyant conduct stirred up a negative reaction in the population at large. When they went more mainstream people learned that they had no reason to fear.
    “Taking over a place” displaces others who have an equal right to the venue and it can damage the business of the venue.
    You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

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  3. Kandi, I saw that comment as well, but I did not get the same reaction to it. Keystone (and other conferences) plan these dinner events knowing that there will be large groups of CD/TG ladies entering the restaurant. I believe this is a lot different from going out solo, or with a friend or two. In the latter cases, you are absolutely correct about behavior and being a part of the clientele. But for the former, large group situation, I have no problem with them being a little more outgoing and “owning” their status. The restaurants know that these groups will spend more money, and they won’t tolerate bad attitudes from either the group or other patrons. It may not be the right situation for you or me, but these ladies deserve a chance to have an enjoyable experience if they do not often get out dressed.

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    1. Our interpretations vary, the beauty of life. It’s the “you got a problem with that” comment that read “attitude” to me. Every one should enjoy being themselves, always, all the time. Taking over a place in terms of size is one thing (which is what you are referring to), but this comment portrayed taking it over otherwise. Having been out numerous times solo, in small groups as well as in large groups, unfortunately, the attitude creeps in the larger the crowd. That is exactly why I prefer being out on my own and has really shaped my approach to this part of my life, I can control the perception of myself much better this way. I could not, regardless of how I behaved, in a large group setting. That said, off I go in a month or so to dip my toe back into the group pool. Keep mending Tina!

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      1. I do agree that the larger the group, the more the attitude is noticeable. I also agree that you and I are rightly concerned about the perception of others that some in the larger group are ignoring. I didn’t take the “you got a problem with that” as harshly, just that they felt free to do things as women without any stigma. I do hope you have a good time at Keystone!

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  4. KANDI,

    TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOUR PHILOSOPHY AND THAT EXPRESSED BY THE MAJORITY OF COMMENTATORS. MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE TO BE LADYLIKE AND ACCEPTED AS A GAL.

    MUCH BETTER THAN MARCHING DOWN A HOTEL HALL OR THOROUGH A LOBBY IN A

    PHALANX 4-6 WIDE AND THREE ROWS DEEP AND SOME VERY BOISTEROUS FAR MORE

    THAN A GROUP OF CHATTY GIRLS AT A SORORITY PARTY. HIGHLIGHTED BY A FEW WHO ARE

    VERY APPARENTLY “A Man in a Dress”. Sounds harsh but true. SOLO or with a CIS or CD friend or

    two -three is far more enjoyable and pleasant for all concerned.

    VR Marie Anne Greene

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  5. Kandi, I agree with you. While I don’t want to tell someone what to do, I would not be in that crowd. With respect to Tina’s comments, at least one conference, First Event in the Boston area, has had group outings to restaurants as part of the meeting and I have never experienced what you described. This year we went to an entertainment center and, after eating, we bowled, played pool, drove go-karts, and a bunch of other things while in the midst of a bunch of “civilians” who were just fine with us there. I spoke to the young lady in the adjacent lane about how the balls were rolling inconsistently and there was no unusual reaction.

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    1. Leeann, thanks for the comment! I love new voices. My group outings to date have not been organized conferences, but more like local GNOs. I’m going to Keystone this year, so we’ll see. Thanks so much for visiting Kandi’s Land!! Your contribution is valued.

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    2. Leann, this is exactly how I see these dinners happening, wherever the group is meeting. I took the original comment as empowering, not adversarial. As to First Event, I was planning to go to the fashion show evening this year, but I had to cancel due to my broken leg. I hope that I will be able to go next year!

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    3. “I spoke to the young lady in the adjacent lane about how the balls were rolling inconsistently…” Ha! they’re probably out of balance from all of the press-on nails stuck inside the holes. πŸ™‚

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  6. Kandi:

    As one of your fans that reads your blog almost every day, I too want to join the other commenters that agree with your conservative, ladylike approach to being out in public.

    You are 100% correct in your thinking that the attitude of cross dressers should avoid appearing aggressive, challenging, rude, or demonstrate any behavior that draws unnecessary attention to ourselves. If cross dressers want acceptance by the public, we must do our best, as you do every time you go out, to behave as most ladies do, which means to appear sophisticated, well-mannered, well-dressed, well-groomed, and as unobtrusive as we can be.

    Your article, β€œAre We Our Own Worst Enemies?” is absolutely on target. Thank you for sharing your experiences and lessons learned so that all in our community can achieve the acceptance, understanding, and support that you have obviously achieved.

    Regards,
    Self-appointed member of your fan club

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