I have a friend who is, by all accounts, rather less than conventional. My friend has many wonderful defining qualities (generous, a great cook, fun, intelligent) but what stands out about my friend to most people, and puts them squarely in the “unconventional” pigeon hole, is that my friend is a transvestite.
I have never questioned anything about my friend, other than the chaos in the kitchen that produces restaurant-worthy cuisine and at the same time, possibly E-coli, but what shocks and alarms me about many people, is that upon hearing one of my friends is, for wont of a better word, a tranny, they ask me why – “why do you have a tranny for a friend?!”. This question always catches me off guard, not because I don’t expect the gender bending persuasion of my chum to amuse and titillate them, but because it should cause them to question the worth of this person as a friend.
It would cause these same people a great deal of horror to be labelled homophobic, misogynistic, racist or any other nasty-ist, but it seems that the playground attitude of segregating those that are “different” is still very much alive and pulling pigtails in today’s urban jungle gym. If you have to ask why someone is worthy of being a friend, just because you don’t subscribe to their particular brand of lifestyle, I have to ask if you are worthy of having any friends at all.
If, when you look at someone, all you think about are the clothes they wear, the colour of their skin or the business tucked away in their hosiery, then you really are going to be left with a limited social sphere. Not only are you going to miss out on some wonderful experiences with some marvellous people, you also need to take a good long hard look in a mirror. And then have your face smashed repeatedly into it.
There’s something in every single one of us, no matter how hard we try to hide it, that qualifies us as “different” and would have had us dragged round the back of the boys locker room for a good kicking if we were still 14. I’d hate to think that having shed the awkward skin of a gawky teenager, someone would still judge me to be an unworthy human, not fit to share their air space, just because my physical or behavioural quirks didn’t quite fit with someone else’s expectations of normalcy. I certainly wouldn’t expect my friends to be challenged on why they entertain the notion of my companionship.
Once people have finished quizzing me on the “why” of my tranny-pallyness, they start grilling me on the particular preferences and behaviours of this person. They want to know whether her (yes, her) sexual preference is for men or women, they want to know what she does in bed, they want to know how she goes to the toilet. I bet a few of you are wondering those very same things. Well, let me turn this around on you: What kinky stuff do YOU do in bed? Do you wee standing or sitting? Have you, like Katy boggle-eyed Perry, ever kissed a girl and liked it? Have you ever shoved something up your bottom and what underwear do you wear to the office?
It’s all rather personal, isn’t it? Not entirely appropriate social chit chat and certainly not knowledge most of us have about the majority of our acquaintances, so why, just because my friend is a little bit unusual, is she expected to divulge every gritty, grimy, saucy little bit of personal info to all and sundry? Even if I did have all the answers to these questions, are they in any way relevant to who she is or what she’s like as a person? I’d like to think I’m defined by more than just what underwear I leave on my floor at night.
I fully appreciate that there is a certain novelty and a fascination surrounding those of, as some of them put it, the third gender, but I think people need to remember that no matter what body this person is in, no matter what clothing or make-up they wear, the person I am friends with is just that – a person and a friend. So, I can tell you why I am friends with a transvestite; it has nothing to do with sharing fashion tips or make-up, it has nothing to do with wanting to carry out a real life Priscilla Queen of The Desert style road trip and it has nothing to do with wanting to see if she goes into the ladies or the gents. It’s for the same Hallmark greetings card-worthy reason I have other wonderful friends; because they enrich my life.
So the next time you come across someone with a friend who could be classed as different, how about, instead of asking why, you start by asking their name.
Great post. We’re mates with a transvestite (possibly on the way to transexual – I haven’t asked) in my local gay pub. What is often shocking is the looks she gets from some gay men who snigger at her. Lucky it’s a minority, lucky she doesn’t care and lucky for them she doesn’t as I’d reckon she’d knock the shit out of them.
My friend faces the same thing. Apparently even the gay community has its conservative streak. People need to remember, Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and one trapped in the body of a 6 foot man is going to pack a weightier punch!
Totes awesome blog. I wish I had a tranny friend. I might have to borrow yours!
I also have rent-a-friends in other flavours, take your pick!
Doesn’t that somewhat miss the point. You have good friends, it doesn’t matter what gender etc they are. Why do you want ‘a tranny friend’ as opposed to any other?
I think you’ve missed the point. You have good friends already, regardless of gender etc. Why do you specifically want ‘a tranny friend’?
I think you may be the one missing the point. I did not choose to be friends with her because she is a tranny, her gender identity matter not one jot. I didn’t go looking for a tranny, I met this person, we got on, we are friends. It is other people who see her as something “other”.
Great post! Flip side–it always bugs the hell out of me when someone refers to “my gay friend” or “my black friend.” I just want to smack ’em!
“Gay friend, black friend, tranny friend – collect them all with Diversa-friends!”
I think it’s great that you have a transvestite friend.
I think it’s great that I have a friend who’s able to cook as well as she does!
Reblogged this on Stuph Blog and commented:
This is a great post which we can all learn from.
As a mother to a daughter that is a lesbian, I applaud you on this great post!
As the daughter to a potty mother, I thank you.
Hear hear!! Wild applause!!
*It’s not modest, I’ll be back for an encore
I have to admit that I probably would have asked you some of those silly questions. I guess that proves that I have not progressed as far as I think I have. I would not have asked “why” you were friends with a transvestite though. I would have assumed you would only be friends with people who you enjoy spending time with. Fantastic post, thanks for making me think.
I think the fact you acknowledge those questions as silly means you have progressed after all. If you didn’t think they were silly, then it would be mirror smashing time! 😉
OK: you’re right. How can I meet a Tranny of my own to befriend?
They can mainly be found rooting in rubbish bins for scraps or stuck up trees. No, hang on, that’s stray cats.
Well said – are you going a bit soft? Or is your Hungarian cleaner conversations starting to make sense?
I think after enough bleach fumes, I’ll be fluent in Hungarian! As for going soft, just look closely at this mirror for a moment…
Try a pint of lager with a domestos top – tasty and scours the innards properly. Will set you up for the week ahead! Trust me – i live in an iron lung.
Also a great cheat for the housework. You get to clean your toilet as you puke your guts up! Win/win.
I can see the TV advert now – “Kill 99% Of All Known Drunks…..Dead!”
“BANG and the drunk is gone!”
They will look a bit FLUSHED!
I can only hope that when the pisspots ask you these questions, you answer in true PFPT style. A verbal smashing of their faces in the mirror.
I like to think of it more as “education” than brutal verbal violence, but the latter is probably more accurate. 😉
Great Post. I know usually your posts invoke a little giggle out of me (awkward as I often read them at the office), but I’m glad you wrote this.
It’s incredibly sad that there are so many people out there who think they have a right to judge someone else because of their sexual preferences/what they wear/what they like. Why does it matter? Someone may judge another person because they like sleeping with the same sex, or wearing girly clothing. But the irony, as you pointed out, is they’re the ones who should be judged. Transvestites don’t cause any harm to anyone else, yet people have issue with them, and then think its acceptable to inflict misery of them because they’re different. fuck that.
Sorry to be all serious but this is an issue that just makes me go “gahhhhhhnnnghhhhhh” and shake my fists in frustration.
I’m glad to hear I elicit a giggle from people but sometimes I need to get something off my perfectly pert chest and here we are! Now we’re all in agreement that transvestites are just people, I can go back to misanthropic ranting of the humorous variety. 😉
Great post, I could have this “If you have to ask why someone is worthy of being a friend, just because you don’t subscribe to their particular brand of lifestyle, I have to ask if you are worthy of having any friends at all.” printed onto a T shirt! Or turned into a poster
Damn, I knew I should have gone into business as a very long-winded t-shirt slogan writer!
You could use both sides of the Tshirt: a good excuse for a second look 🙂
In my opinion, the only thing that matters is whether the person in question is good friend or not.. the rest is irrelevant
When people sum up my blog post so succinctly, it just points out what a waffly wordington I am. 😉
Why shouild friendship ever be questioned?
It’s a question that calls into questions the question of questioning. And that gives me a headache.
You know, you make me laugh a lot, but you make me smile even more!
And that makes me smile. 🙂
I must confess that my first question was”What sort of food?” I wonder what that says about me?
It says you probably have a lot of friends who are chefs! 🙂
Great post- I wondered about the food myself.
It’s honestly hard to imagine that anyone would ask you “why are you friends with a tranny…” You don’t come across as someone who would suffer fools- pity the fool who asks you such a dumbass question.
BA, is that you?
I cook for wife and 4 daughters, clean house, re-plumb & rewire house, relocate walls, re-build cars, program microcontrollers, design buildings.
I love watching Cowboys / Sci-Fi , playing squash, swimming and being with family
I also find being a girl every so often is very relaxing and have a web site http://rachelsauckland.blogspot.co.nz/
I live 2 fun filled lives and draw from the best both have to offer
Sexually (for me), same as any faithful husband
Toilet – a sitting girl or standing man
Love your blog
MUSIC VIDÉO : Artists transvestites through time.
Rudyem – Cliché in Liberty : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWHVjs00Ljs
Big kiss :p
I need to tell you,”thank you” on behalf of all of us. I have spent my entire life shunned because I feel I should be “privelaged” enough to breath the same air as a biologically born female!! I just want people to associate with me as I am! However, through the years, I have decided that I am comfortale with myself so if anyone else is not… its their problem. Not mine.
I am sooo thankful for all of the people in my life that are like you. Thank you.
Well, speaking from my own personal pov as a genuine *shock/horror* transvestite, I confirm your post to be one of the most insightful and positive I’ve come across!
I’d also say this – people ARE ignorant; I’m largely closeted other than to my wife and a female friend (who loves that I’m a tranny), and several internet personas. It’s restrictive, frustrating, hurtful, deprecating and sobering that for some reason a man wearing a woman’s clothes seems to be the last great taboo. But, I try to balance all that negativity with fabulous shoes…
Hurrah for the minority of people like you who ‘get’ us, you nailed it and thank you so much for writing this piece. I’ll show it to my female friend, she’ll love it!
One final thought – when my female friend (we’ll call her Angela, largely because that’s her name), first met me in boy-mode she was amazed as would never have pigeon-holed me as cd/tv/whatever from my outward appearance. We’re not all effeminate, foppish and camp – not to imply any disrespect or slur on those that are. None of those characteristics befell me until the second time we met; possibly due to the frivolous french maid uniform, full makeup, wig, stockings and 4″ heels I wore in her presence! It took me 44 years to be able to dress like that in front of another person. 44 years. Regardless of whether the clothing strikes you as funny or not – and hell, it was; that’s part of the fun – what sort of world is it that derides a person for the pieces of cloth they want to wear next to their skin?
So, hug a tranny today – we need your empathy and acceptance, and trust me, we don’t bite.
Bravo you! I love hearing of people who have found a lifestyle that suits them, regardless of whatever that may be. I personally enjoy drinking wine and dressing my cat in drag, but that’s a whole other blog post.
Hug a tranny indeed.