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2009 February 8
by Baibh Cathba

Ok… I wasn’t sure how to word this post.. so it’s ended up being an eensy bit on the late side.

In my mind it seemed to me that crossdressing is a milder form of expressing “transsexual”. Well… that could mean anything, so unpacking a little… since I consider gender to be a construct, clothes or body really doesn’t make a difference. One of the most awesome webcomics is Khaos Komix with reference to Transsexual and gay/lesbian issues. I like the idea of body crossdressing… it actually brings up a question of whether or not there might be people who felt that they were a man, but preferred wearing a woman’s body or visa-versa. Then if they are “body” cross dressing, are they actually “crossdressing” if they thereafter wear a tuxedo? Aren’t these the best crossdressers? (I actually am an acquaintance of a heterosexual male who wears skirts better than I do… sometimes I feel a little jealous that he can carry off skirts so well!)

I realize that in drawing lines between what is comfortable and what is disturbing, one has to keep making judgment calls (as we discussed in class with the comfort levels of certain words like: liposuction, makeup, braces, etc). In the readings, I find it heartbreaking that to be transsexual would be considered a “disorder” or “medical condition”. Granted, on a purely semantic level, this wording might have truth in that “dis” is against the “order” that society has striven for, but on a purely emotional level, I feel that it is complete bull to call all differences disorders. Then again, (and here I realize I’m almost verbally playing tennis with this idea) if society fails to draw any lines at all, we have the fear that people will not have any boundaries at all (“oh no, she’s gonna marry a monkey!”).

In terms of questions for our guests on Monday, I guess the main question (which I was almost not sure if I should post) is since gender seems to be such a fluid ideal based on physical appearance and societal construction, what does it mean to be transsexual and homosexual? Transsexual and heterosexual? If people can construct their bodies to be physical representations of their psychological manifestations who is to say that there is even “transsexual”? (in other words, if we agree that gender is a construct, is it not therefore true that transsexual might be viewed as art of the body similar to a tattoo or piercings?)

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