I do love feedback, especially from those I do not hear from that often. Recently, we’ve had some really good comments!
I have visited churches while dressed as a man in a skirt/dress (no make-up, etc.) on four occasions. Each time, it was to a different church. I was treated well in each experience. One of the churches was decidedly more conservative than the others. In every case, some people did not notice, some people were not very comfortable and kept their distance, and some people were more comfortable with me and engaged me in conversation and welcomed me. In that regard, church is like everywhere we crossdressers go. The difference is: I think we anticipate that [some] churches will have more people who disapprove of us and who will judge us. We encounter the same people everywhere we go, but in church, we are in their domain.
Each time I visited a church, I expected that I might be asked to leave. But, quite the opposite has occurred in every case, if I recall correctly. I have been invited back. The more conservative the church, the fewer people invite me back, perhaps.
I am an extrovert. I love to meet new people. Most of the outings that I have gone on, while crossdressed, were non-social. Eating out by myself, shopping by myself, etc. Those are not very good socializing opportunities, except with the employees. Book clubs, meetup.com events, and volunteering are examples of things where I was able to go out dressed, and actually interact with people. Going to church is a very interactive thing (at least for an extrovert). People come up and introduce themselves to you. Some churches have a time set aside for shaking hands with each other. Definitely, going to church pushes my “extrovert button” firmly. So, I enjoyed it.jjjjohanne
I think you are missing one piece, potentially genuine piece, in your experiences. It sounds likely that in the moment your genuineness disarms and encourages others to open up to the fun, freedom and honesty that you live. Not a conscious thing…just a release, an opening up of a window of life lived fully.
Unfortunately, outside of the moment, routine and Marissa’s description of structures silently dominate. To overcome the inertia of routine and structure requires significant effort and one’s confidence, self esteem, potentially social standing, are challenged. Self doubt dominates even while their encounter with you may have left a lasting memory.
Perhaps what you describe is a lack of sincerity in the moment? Perhaps it is similar to “southern pleasantness” where the social rules dictate that not all “we should” requests are genuine, but that doesn’t seem to hold true in the midwest, certainly not to the same degree. No, I suspect the moment is real and weakness prevents the follow through. Keep being you!!
Love your blog, Kandi!Brittany
Humans for the most part live their lives within a set of structures; societal structures (family, religion, marriage, gay, straight, et cetera) governmental structures (councilmen, mayors, senators, tax auditors et cetera) economic structures (corporate, non-profit, LLC, et cetera) and biological structures (tall, short, large, small, old, young, et cetera). Except for the biological portion humans have created, made up, the complex structures that are used to control, regulate, guide our collective lives and interactions.
There are some humans who are able, and do choose, to step outside of some, or many, of these structures. Living ‘off the grid’ for example. Living without being connected to the electric company’s power system, without using cable tv, or a cell phone. ‘Alternative’ lifestyles, ‘alternative’ people is how they are often described.
As a long time daily reader of your thoughtful observations I know that you have a grounded, realistic, understanding of the world around us, in particular as it exists here in mid-west America. The world around us, in Cleveland, in Ohio, is one that is embedded in a very conservative and self preserving set of structures. In terms of individuals who have cross dressing as a part of their life the structures around us are not easily mated, aligned, integrated, with our desired expressive mode, our desired presentation. We, of course, like any reasonable people, want to go about our lives in honest, comfortable, and enjoyable ways. The entirely harmless (to others) activity of cross dressing clearly sits in a misaligned condition with regard to generally accepted societal structures. We are oddities, without question. Even as more media attention is given to gender ideas and issues today and even when it seems perfectly obvious that these issues and ideas have always been a part of human life there is still broad misunderstanding and broad prejudice.
As a cross dresser I know that even though there are a many many people who share this activity, this enjoyment of an alternative existence and presentation, I am an oddity and I am marginalized because of that.
There are a great many things about the human world that I do not like, that I reject as untrue or stupid. You do not have to look far to find examples. I believe that many societal structures and the ideas upon which they are based, are stupid and sometimes destructive. (I would give examples but that would drag this into politics and religion) I try to build a coherent and enjoyable life in which truth, honesty, generosity, dedication, and support for others play defining roles.
As a cross dressing person I am pained to acknowledge that I will not be able to move about in society as I wish I could. Yes, as you, Kandi fabulously demonstrate, you, we, can physically move about in relative safety, (if we are careful) but no, we are not fully able to be involved, integrated, in the world a it still does not accept so many alternative things.
We keep rolling on. Enjoy every day as much as possible.Marissa in Ohio
Best to you,
My readers fuel me. Thanks!!