Friday, July 29, 2005

What's My Identity?


I was never one to subject myself to women with huge political feminist points of views. These types of women would scare me. They would march in those gay parades topless holding picket signs as their boobs hung down to their knees; much like what you would see hanging from the ceiling of an Italian deli. Much of the gay community are full of angry lesbians who are so busy trying to defy the ways of life by identity crisis’ that they lose all sense of the word, ‘female.’ They start rebelling by dressing like a man, proving to the world that they can be a man, they can look this way or that way, and that they can go against how God made them; as a woman. Another observation I have made is that a lot of lesbian women do not want to dress up to impress when they go out. So many times I have walked into a gay bar only to see women dressed up in sweat pants, sweat shirts, sneakers and a bandana. What is so terrible about dressing up, doing your hair, getting dolled up to go out? Back in the 50’s- everyone was so dressed up. Even butch women would dress to the nines, wearing a nice suit with a scarf—they looked great. I don’t even give a second glance when someone looks as though they just rolled out of bed to go down to the club dancing. To me, it’s a sure sign of not caring about one’s appearance. What have we done to ourselves? Why don’t we get dressed up anymore? Is it that we no longer have to feel the need to impress? Women are very visual creatures; we love the beauty of a woman, the scent of the perfume, the stylish hair and trendy clothes. In some aspects, we are very much like the ‘male fish’--- they have beautiful fins that sprawl out in vibrant colors to attract the other female fish. Why do we want to change this so badly? We need to lure in women by appearance, by charisma, by charm and by your own individual beauty. I’m not saying that you have to be a size two, 36-D breasts with long hair down to your waist. I am saying, use what you got! Work with what you have. Each of us is beautiful in our own ways and we possess traits that no one else has. We sometimes limit ourselves to ‘types’. What is your type? Is it fair to us to limit ourselves to such a standard criteria? We may miss out on that special someone if our type is only blue eyes and blonde hair.
We all have different types of people that we tend to be attracted to, that is safe to say. My question is… do we resort to settling for less when the majority of lesbians seem to have this nonchalant way of presenting themselves? Is it a fact that we think no classy well-put together lesbian will walk into our lives? Have we become so impatient for waiting for the perfect woman that we lost all sense of our own standards? Are we lowering our standards more and more each day? Every October for Women’s Week, my partner and I go on vacation to Provincetown, MA. My girlfriend and I are both feminine women who love to dress up, do our hair and make up and make ourselves presentable. I’m not saying we’re a couple of hotties by any means—but we do love to relish in our femininity. We were amazed of how many women walking down the street were so underdressed and non-groomed. Well, okay—let’s give these girls a break, they’re on vacation having a good time and there is a lot of walking in that town so they want to be comfortable. I can understand that. Evening approaches, and my girlfriend and I enjoy a delicious dinner in a fancy restaurant on the beachside. We got all dressed up because this was an upscale restaurant. I took a look around to notice that women were walking inside ready to get a table wearing big frumpy sweatshirts, faded out blue jeans and a pair of tennis sneakers. Some women even wore baseball caps! As for me, getting dressed up and looking the best I can possibly look, makes me feel better about myself. It gives me more self-confidence and it does give people the sense that you do respect yourself. When I see someone walk into a nice place dressed like a sack of potatoes, I immediately detect low self-esteem. To me, it’s a red flag for insecurity. Do they think that they aren’t good enough to dress up? Do they want people to not notice them? A lot has to do with meshing into the crowd, so that they aren’t standing out. Why do so many lesbian women want to just mesh in with everyone else? Don’t they want to be unique? Don’t they want to have their own identity rather than looking like every other lesbian walking down the streets of Provincetown? Some women dress that way in fear that other lesbians may think that they are bi-sexual. When I talk to different people at the clubs there, I get a lot of questions from lesbians asking if I am a ‘true lesbian’. Hmmm, what is a true lesbian after all? They assume that I am bi-sexual because I wear make up, I do my hair and nails and dress like a woman. I don’t fit in – in their eyes. What makes a lesbian…..a lesbian? Have we gotten to the point where we have become so judgmental towards others, forgetting that we thrive on acceptance from society—that we completely lose all sight on accepting others for who they are? We have the nerve to judge bi-sexual women? What is wrong with bi-sexual women? Absolutely nothing! It is another preference.

Lesbians curse you if you judge them for being a lesbian, yet they want to be accepted? That to me does not make sense at all. We have no right judging someone else’s lifestyle if we are so determined to be accepted by society. We’re too damn picky and sometimes we aren’t picky enough. Most lesbians look for a certain ‘look’---a look that will give off, “Hey, I’m gay!” If you don’t look the part, you probably won’t get the part. The fact is, if you look remotely straight, you may end up leaving them for a man. (In their eyes) Goes back to fear of abandonment issues all over again. How can a woman compete with a man? They can’t. They are two totally different species. Most lesbians will only date other lesbians. Most bi-sexual women sometimes only date straight and bi-curious girls because they are looking for extremely feminine qualities. The hunt for Miss Perfect lies in the hands of what you feel comfortable with; who you feel comfortable with and if this person will be a good candidate for a long-term partner. What makes a good candidate for a long-term partner?

Well back in primitive times, the women would seek out their mates by the broadness in the man’s shoulders. This resembled that they can carry their burdens for them, they were strong and they could protect them. A good physique meant longevity. They were healthy, strong and could work with their hands---which brings another wonderful quality…wealth. Women longed to be taken care of. Did we stop wanting that? On the other hand, the men would look for qualities in women such as make up; they painted their faces up so much that it was almost clown-like. The more flamboyant their make up was, the more attractive the men were to them. It showed off their sense of style, sense of femininity and even their sexuality. It expressed who they were as a person to the male. Large hips were a sign that they were able to bear children. Now, we look at women with large hips thinking they should cut down on the fast food stops and join a gym.

Society has a lot to do with self-image and what a woman should look like. Whether you are skinny, medium or have a heavy build; you can carry yourself beautifully if you want to. A lot of women feel that if they are heavy, they need to wear huge sweat shirts and baggy jeans to hide themselves. Fitted nicely clothes can show off the curves they have instead of making them look more bulky. I see skinny girls wearing clothes that are also way too large for their physique, making them appear ‘straight’ with no curves. Some of these women want to hide any sign of femininity whatsoever. There are a number of women who actually put on one of those Ace bandages to strap their breasts in so that they appear flat. They simply cannot identify as a woman which leads them relating to the male gender more so. If a woman is truly unhappy with her identity, she may even resort to reconstructing her body into a male figure. There are a number of options that may be considered like hormone therapy, which leads into more facial hair, more muscle tone (with proper weight lifting) a lower voice and her body figure will have less curves. It may get to the point where they actually get a sex change to become a man—‘FTM’ (female to male) They identify with the ‘FTM’ label and no longer wish to be considered a woman from that point on. The operation is a big decision; especially if that person has a lover. These folks have to consider the consequences post op. Some women end up having penises that are so tiny---sometimes not even larger than the size of your pinky. It depends on what the doctors have to work with. If the woman wants extra skin to make her new found organ ‘bigger’, the chances of the extra skin that they add due to taking it from another source of their body may result in rotting off. There are a lot of complications to this procedure as well as emotional ones. To go to this extent, you really have to be unhappy and depressed about what God gave you; what body you were born in. Many ‘FTM’s’ claim that they were a man trapped inside a woman’s body. ‘MTF’s’ (male to female) claim that they are a woman trapped in a man’s body. (As a woman, I have way too much estrogen to make me wacky enough to consider screwing with my hormones...) The majority of these patients claim that it is a death of who they were, and a birth of who they have yet to be. Why are we so unhappy with ourselves? I’m sure that there are a lot of women that would get the procedure done if it weren’t for the scare of the whole process and the cost that goes behind it. I sometimes can’t even tell what gender one is when I come across a woman who disguises herself as a male. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against people who undergo these operations, my heart goes out to them because of the emotional turmoil that their mind goes through. Waking up every morning hating who you are and hating your gender has to be constant torment for that person. The main thing that a lot of people do not understand about ‘FTM’s’ is that this has nothing to do with their sexual orientation. For instance, I have a friend who was a male that got the operation to become a female. He was straight. He liked woman and he never claimed to be a homosexual. When he got the operation to become a female, he still dated women because that was ‘his preference’. Just because someone changes their sex does not mean that they are homosexual. I had to admit, I was very confused when I first met ‘her’ as she prefers to be addressed. I didn’t understand why a man would want to get a sex change to become a lesbian. It didn’t make sense to me until ‘she’ made it clear that having this procedure done has nothing to do with their sexual orientation.

My question would be would most lesbians consider dating an MTF? Studies show that there are 50% FTM’s and MTF’s that are gay and 50% that are heterosexual. I really feel that we should not assume their sexual preference; as we shouldn’t with anyone else. People are just afraid of the unknown and what they haven’t been educated on. It’s sad how many people can sit there and just judge people who change their sex without taking a good hard look at their own life. After post op, they live a normal and healthy life. They still have to undergo hormonal therapy, but it is a decision that was well thought out on their part. I just wish people would accept themselves a bit more...love themselves a bit more...and be content knowing that God made them beautiful in their 'own' individual ways. Accepting others as who they are is a gift from God.

6 comments:

Lori said...

If you ever thought you saw a real, true and genuine site lead you right in the middle of the pit of information about a topic, then you aint seen nothing yet. I have no clue or what search engine that took me there. All I know is that I was in the zone right when I found this site on how to attract asian women book. Unfrigginbelievable. I love it when stuff happens to me like this.
how to attract asian women book

Lincoln said...

Ya know, a little research on the topic of transgender and transsexual people might help you understand our plight a bit better.

I'm ftm, but I can only speak for myself when I say that the decision to live my life as a man isn't one that most ftms take lightly. Before you go judging people that you probably have little experience with, try to imagine what it would be like to live in our shoes for a day.

Being trans isn't something I can change, just like being a lesbian isn't something you could change about yourself. You could probably choose to live a heterosexual lifestyle but you would be lying; to yourself and to everyone else in your life. I'm sure you didn't jump out of bed one day and proclaim that you're a lesbian. It probably took some time for you to come to that conclusion and find ways to express your lesbian identity. It's no different from how trans people form their identity and and learn to accept themselves.

~Deb said...

The main theme I was trying to convey here was the fact that people don’t care about how they look anymore in terms of going out to an establishment wearing sweat pants and a guinea tee. But, when I got onto the subject matter of FTM’s and MTF’s, whether you choose to be a woman or man, take pride in your appearance. (If that’s possible.) I see a lot of insecure ‘butch women’ who are so afraid to be around other people due to judgments. But they dress as though they jumped right out of bed sometimes. I have seen beautiful butch women who were confident and comfortable in their own skin. This I love to see. I can see how you thought I was judging. I was merely observing. It was just my opinion and I do apologize if you took it as a judgmental remark or insult.’

It has to be hard to undergo a very serious surgery altering not only the physical attributes, but the emotional side of it as well. I think it’s wonderful that you decided to live your life the way YOU wanted to. No one can take that away from you and I wish you the best of luck with your new life living comfortably in your own skin.

You’ve proven that you can do this. Thank you for commenting.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work » »

Paula said...

Hey, Deb. Straight woman weighing in here.

I love to dress up, especially if I am going out. It makes whatever I am going to be doing feel more like an occasion, and so I enjoy myself more.

I consider myself to be very confident in myself and my appearance. BECAUSE of this, sometimes I go out looking like a dish rag, simply because I couldn't be bothered that day, and my opinion of myself has nothing to do with what others think about me or how I look.

I just wanted to point that out, because it seems you assume that everyone who is not caring about their appearance has low self-esteem. Some of them might, but some of us slobs just love being slobs once in awhile and love ourselves enough to wallow in it. LOL!!!

I was talking about this with a friend yesterday. She knows women who's partners have NEVER seen them without make-up and hair done. What the freak? They actually get up and do their hair and make-up before their mate wakes up EVERY day of their life. That sounds like low self-esteem to me!

So I guess it can roll both ways. That's all I'm saying.

Have a great day, Deb!

Kevin said...

Hey Deb, I'm not a lesbian, so I won't speak to that and dressing up! But I have to say that as a male, I do not like getting dressed up--not because of low self-esteem, but I feel that if you must wear a dinner jacket to eat (or you won't be allowed in), then that is just too pretentious. If my not-so-nice shirt is too much for an establishment (even though my money is good), then I will go elsewhere. I do understand that there are some places where you have to dress up a bit (like when I teach--and I have been known to getted dressed up if I know we must go to a nice place), but not getting dressed up may have nothing to do with having low self-esteem. It may just be someone saying 'take me as I am, or don't take me at all.'