Words of warning and welcome:

This is very much my blog, so don't be surprised if this doesn't follow accepted patterns and norms. Obviously it started out as a blog about my cross-dressing but it has developed a great deal since then. It is a place where I can be anonymous and honest, and I appreciate that.

It will deal with many things and new readers would do well to check out the New Readers' Page above this and the tag down there on the right. Although there's nothing too bad in here there will be adult language, so be careful. If you think this needs a greater control, please let me know. Thank you!

Monday, 16 March 2015

Favourite photos

You've seen this before.

I still like the photo and what it represents. I am
growing more blase about it being in the public
domain. Is that good? It is only a matter of time,
I suppose, until it is discovered. Then I shall
know whether cross-dressing is enough to finish
a teaching career as I suspect it is.
Well, it appears as though an e-mail to Stana has borne fruit and that my favourite photograph of me, well, the one that includes a face, is up on her site today. That was interesting! Also, it seems to have spawned a conversation about whether or not cross-dressing with a beard in public is a good idea and how far one cross-dresser (or member of any community) bears responsibility for how the whole community is seen by others. This is, I feel, a very important conversation to be had and one that has implications for us all, regardless of whether or not we are cross-dressers, trans* people, Christian, atheist, Muslim or any other label from a whole host of minorities, cultures, creeds and genders. I feel privileged to have been the spark for some search comments from two people so far, and hope that the conversation spurs others to think deeply on it, no matter what view they end up with nor how they view my contribution.

As a teacher, I often feel that my cross-dressing and my thoughts on sexuality are dangerous simply by existing. My vocation, my job, my calling, does not really allow for too many deviations from the norm and lies precariously between allowing individualism to exist and the raw edge of conformity. That I wear a suit to work is part of that. My antipathy toward suits as a mode of dress and my understanding of them as the uniform of the armies of conformity and oppression of thought is tempered by the soft seduction that the power of wearing a suit imparts. I wear it both as a pastiche and as a form of armour that protects me from others and prevents others from seeing who I am. I can don it around the campus and be the strict disciplinarian but, remove it, and I am the approachable classroom teacher who can be trusted. That soft seduction of the dark side, to use the modes and symbolism that the suit offers in society to my advantage is as much a part of Default Man as anything else. I have not forgotten that.

I wouldn't mind donning armour like
this, nor the hair and the skirt.
As much as I rail against education running the way it does I do so from inside the beast. I can challenge, but only in acceptable ways. I can point out to students what is happening and what is being done to them and in their name but, at the end of the day, I am as guilty as anyone else in the system of manipulating them, their emotions and their trust toward grades, protection and conformity of my own kind. My suit, my representation of myself, is as much a part of that as anything else. To let students see inside, to hint at my cross-dressing, is something that would probably result in sacking or censure. Much of who I am lies beneath layers of disguise. And that can be seen as a sad indictment of society or else an exciting double life like some kind of superhero. I suspect that the secret identity part of superheroes is as much about that subtle social conditioning to create a conformist outward appearance as anything else. My own complicity, whilst being fully aware of it, I find fascinating.

In family news the pox and confusion meant that I failed to organise Mothering Sunday for the children. Tilly thus went the day without cards or trips, something she found deeply upsetting looking at the activities of others on Facebook. Having been there myself I can relate and empathise. It's horrible. And it was my doing that she felt so badly about it. She has not blamed me, which makes it worse, but I know how that feels and I feel remorse. I can feel us slipping back apart.

What would life be if we were all open all of the time? I doubt it would be better, but it would be different. What would life be if my cross-dressing were open? Would I still wear a beard or would that be subject to a new set of social rules of acceptability? Is my wearing of a beard only possible because I am private - the beard acting as a foil to prevent me going public - in that I have convinced myself that I want facial hair because I am lazy and have never liked shaving? I know that my facial hair is as much a part of the persona I use in teaching as my suit and my joke reel (it's all about elephants) or how I stand. I know that the beard was a conscious decision about my teaching armour and not connected with what I wanted or how I see myself, it is part of the disguise I wear. So, would I abandon that if I were public with my cross-dressing or is it a disguise for another part of myself that my private cross-dressing is complicit in maintaining? The fact that this remains a thought experiment allows me to ask the question in the first place and accept any answers.

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All comments are welcome, I have a thicker skin virtually than I do in real life!