Flower Boy at Wedding

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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby Ray » Wed May 29, 2019 11:47 am

Interesting debate.

I don’t have strong views on this - I’ve been in “listen” mode - but I like Stevie’s description of societal pressure. I’m also swayed by Moon’s stance.

I know that gender is (or can be) very different from sex - and that’s about it for me.

...okay, one last comment. I’m a guy, I identify as a guy, and I want more clothing choice!
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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby Sinned » Wed May 29, 2019 12:46 pm

I know what you mean, Steve. I have followed the submissions. Like some of you I have looked on wistfully at the light, colourful clothing that the girls wore. But that was as far as I wanted to go. Wear a dress/skirt/blouse, yes. Did I really want to be a girl, no. In my mind of minds I am a man. Not girly, not womanly - a man. So in that respect, to me, my gender mostly matches my sex. OK, so I want to wear clothes not associated with males. To me that doesn't make me any less of a man. Gender, to me, is conforming to the customs, mores and mannerisms expected by the society local to me. This definition fits in with a lot of what you all have been saying. So I deviate from those expectations by wearing a skirt. All it means to me is that I am not on the extreme end of that spectrum. I am not going to nit pick or agonise about the precise definition of gender. It doesn't really matter. I have relatives that are lesbian but, on talking to them, although their attraction and allegiance is to their own sex they are, in their minds, female. One wears men's clothes and is very "butch", the other doesn't and you wouldn't think that she was a lesbian. They don't want to become men. As one of them put it to me, "Why would I want to change to be a man, what I consider an inferior sex, with a lot of the disadvantages and few of the advantages of being a woman."

Steve, I would add, "....close the door....
.... and turn out the lights."
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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby moonshadow » Wed May 29, 2019 1:25 pm

I just wanted to say Stevie was a gentleman and reached out to me private. There are no ill feelings between us, and after our exchange I think a lot of our differences may come down to cultural differences and misunderstandings.

Looking back I realize I may have come off harsh and mean spirited on some of my comments and I wanted to publicly apologize for that as it was not my intent. As I explained, sometimes we have to navigate difficult terrain in our journeys, and the subject of gender is still unfolding.

It has been said that attitudes are hardening in the world now and I believe I may be succumbing to that hardening in many ways. Stevie is a good guy, valued member, and a true gentleman. He walked away, collected himself, and returned with his hand out. We need more of that in the world today.

Anyway, I just wanted to throw that out there before people assume that lines have been drawn.

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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby Grok » Wed May 29, 2019 4:48 pm

pelmut wrote: I hated having to play the masculine rôle that society demanded of me 
As a boy, I didn't care much for it either. What I now know to be a cramped, narrow box (coffin?) was distinctly unattractive.
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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby dillon » Fri May 31, 2019 4:36 am

JohnH wrote:I may look a lot like a woman and want to wear dresses and skirts, but darn it, I ABSOLUTELY refuse to identify as a woman as I am a man. So those of us who have "feminine" tendencies need to be MEN and go against the pernicious narrow conventions and be ourselves. I really appreciate this website where genetic men are not to take on feminine names.


Allow me to expound on the point I was trying, subtly, to make to everyone in the Café in previous posts. Subtley is not my forte, so I’ll offer apologies for hurt-feelings in advance.

The following quote, rightly or wrongly, is attributed to Lyndon Johnson, D-TX, POTUS 1963-1969, according to renowned journalist Bill Moyers: “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”
Let me translate this into the mentality of many in this forum as: "If the most ridiculous heterosexual man can convince himself that he's better than the best homosexual (or transgender) he won't notice that people are laughing their asses off about him."

Please allow me to ask this question (and then answer it myself.) What do you think the average straight person sees when they see you, or any of us, in skirts and dresses? I feel confident in telling you what they DON'T see. They don’t see our excuses and rationalizations. They don't see a heterosexual man acting on his desire for clothing "comfort." They don't see a heterosexual man wrestling with societal oppression of clothing choice. They don't see an individual boldly taking on the constraints of society over their consciousness and/or conscience regarding gender defining clothing. They don’t see a “rebel with a slightly eccentric cause.”

This is what I think we all know they see: QUEER. With a capital Q.

Am I being pessimistic or misanthropic to assert that belief? I think I’m just being realistic.

Are any of us really deluded enough to think that because we rationalize our proclivity to ourselves, and to each other, that we are, by any stretch of imagination, rationalizing it to the broader world? If we deign think so, I’d suggest we are in need of a collective (figurative) DOPE SLAP.

Even if we could clearly, succinctly, concisely articulate that our presumably “vanilla” sexuality and male gender identity has no bearing on our clothing choice, and make it publicly known that we are just “ordinary average guys” in all respects, aside from a harmless (if, arguably, mildly fetishistic) obsession with clothing, the reaction of the broader, bemused world would likely be a collective head-shake and eye-roll, with the patronizing sarcasm of a “Yeah, sure, buddy…whatever…” reply.
My point is that, to the casual (normal) viewer, we ARE ALREADY lumped with, and no different than, any homosexual or transgender individual. The facts, rationalizations, and distinctions, as we preach them to ourselves and one another, really DON'T MATTER...because the casual viewer does not know or care. He/she assesses by instinct, and there is little we can do - aside from earning respect and regard, individual by individual - that can/will abate ignorance. We are and will remain, in the general eye, oddities, curiosities, and, more fundamentally, QUEERS.

So, forgive me if I shake my head at members’ disdain for being "lumped in" with homosexuals and TG folk...because we already are. Expressing disdain just strikes me as a pointless and even harmful exercise. The distinctions we perceive are, for the practical world, invisible, and we hold them mainly to prop-up our own self-images. To the common anonymous “beholder,” our rationalizations and distinctions are meaningless. For any of us who know this fact, yet still worry about keeping our distance from gay and trans-*, suggests that we – who should know better – may still have phobic prejudices of our own to reel-in. I suppose that likelihood does, indeed, make us “ordinary average guys.”

And that is my principal reason for us NOT to distance ourselves from LGBTQ community, even at the possible cost of offending members whose religious values are so retro that they cannot find their way to embrace those who most represent Christ's admonition "Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you." Matthew 5:12
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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby Sinned » Fri May 31, 2019 8:55 am

dillon, you may be right in what you say but, from my perspective, so whither [0] I am going while out in a skirt I can see that 99.9% of the traffic around me don't even see the skirt so cannot really form a judgement. Those that do see see the skirt for such a short period that it only just impinges on their consciousness that they hardly have time to rationalise their view. Of the rest, well, I don't know them, will never meet them to converse with them so why should I care what they think. Whether they think me part of the trans* community, queer or whatever I JUST DON'T CARE. Maybe we are over thinking all this. I don't see any hardening of attitudes in my locality and have never felt threatened or unsafe whilst [0] out and about so I will continue in my own little world.

[0] Dan, sorry I just couldn't resist after your comment in another thread.
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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby Ralph » Fri May 31, 2019 5:55 pm

I don't know if or how people around me respond to seeing a man in a skirt or dress or what they might be thinking while maintaining a neutral expression, but I do see how they behave when encountering the topic on social media.

Never a fan of the echo chamber, I keep in contact with friends on both side of the spectrum, some of them rather extreme in their views (the "Killary for prison" crowd and the "Impeach Trump and throw his friends and family in prison forever" crowd). Memes involving nonbinary gender presentation come up quite frequently, and my conservative friends favor memes which react in various negative ways:
  • Ridicule, expressing the idea that such a person can't be taken seriously as a man
  • Disgust, as though such a person is every possible kind of pervert
  • Fear, that a man who wears a dress would only do so as part of a scheme to rape your wife or daughter
I don't have any hard figures on the percentage of conservative friends who share these memes vs. the ones who remain silent (NONE of them ever post anything positive), but those three themes are pretty consistent from day to day.

If I were given to speculation, I'd wonder how many people on the street who do not react one way or the other are internalizing one of the above responses. I guess as long as they don't act on their hatred (verbal or physical assault), it's all good and we can't condemn them for what they might or might not be thinking.
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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby Ray » Fri May 31, 2019 8:13 pm

Ralph,

I’m sorry to hear that. Your friends may just be fearful of expressing a more conciliatory tone. Most of my friends know what I wear. They may tease me gently but they are supportive if a bit bemused.
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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby denimini » Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:38 am

A skirt on a man can be a good filter; sort out who are real friends and who not to waste your time with.
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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby crfriend » Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:53 am

denimini wrote:A skirt on a man can be a good filter; sort out who are real friends and who not to waste your time with.

I find this to be true, and for the most part those who you might rather not have any dealings with in the first place stay at least at arms' length. Those who are worth dealing with, and who approach in an unhesitating and open manner, are usually surprised with what they find as that's likely not quite what they were expecting and can lead to good discussions and even sometimes friendships.
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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby skirtyscot » Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:58 am

Stu wrote: I wonder how many other six-year-old boys would, if invited to be a "flower boy" like the one in the article, would agree to do it if they were told it would involving what he wore. What about us? How many commenters on here would have agreed to it, or even wanted to do it, when they were his age? I would bet the answer is very few - or perhaps none.


I reckon I would have been quite happy to do that, so long as nobody was going to laugh at me. Maybe lose the flowers, they're a bit too girly, but the dress would have been fine. But with a big brother and sister around? No way.

One Hallowe'en when I was about 8, I dressed up as a girl to go guising. It was my mother's idea, not mine, but I was perfectly content with it. (Realistically there may have been some resistance to start with, but I don't remember any.) Mum's white tennis skirt and a white jumper which my sister had grown out of. I sang a verse of "Miss Buttercup" from HMS Pinafore, a song obviously chosen (again not by me) to go with the costume. With it being Hallowe'en I got a free pass from being ridiculed, and I wasn't bothered in the least about wearing girl's clothes.
Keep on skirting,

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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby Ralph » Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:27 pm

skirtyscot wrote:One Hallowe'en when I was about 8, I dressed up as a girl to go guising. It was my mother's idea, not mine, but I was perfectly content with it.

I managed to pull that off when I was in my twenties. My mother even helped me sew the dress. I made a point of growing out what little beard I could at that age, so it was all clearly done as a joke, and she had fun introducing me to her friends at church. She had no idea (or perhaps she did) that I was just using Halloween as an excuse to do what I wanted to do all the time anyway.

Stu wrote: I wonder how many other six-year-old boys would, if invited to be a "flower boy" like the one in the article, would agree to do it if they were told it would involving what he wore. What about us? How many commenters on here would have agreed to it, or even wanted to do it, when they were his age? I would bet the answer is very few - or perhaps none.

As noted above, I would have jumped at the chance, even begged to be included. As long as I can remember, there's something about wearing a dress that scratches some deep psychological itch that I don't understand - and the more "girly", the better. Give me those ridiculously cumbersome full skirts and ruffles and bows. All whilst steadfastly presenting as a hairy, uncouth man.
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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby rivegauche » Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:21 pm

I have a foot in both camps. I wear skirts and dresses and present as a man and sometimes as a woman - presenting as a man is a lot more comfortable (no wig) and a lot less hassle. I am heterosexual. I seek feedback in both styles and though there are probably people out there who think I am gay no one has said this to me or been remotely hostile. I think in Scotland people are very tolerant and the worst you are going to get (assuming you avoid bars with huge sports screens and the customers are all male and have tattoos) is someone thinking you look ridiculous. I am concerned about being recognised when presenting as a woman because people who know me are likely to conclude I want to become a woman, and I don't. I do not identify as a woman even when I am dressed to the nines as one - I am just acting and am no more a woman than a guy on stage playing Napoleon believes he is actually Napoleon.

Yes, I could be 'out' as a crossdresser but I have two main concerns about this, neither of which is to do with people thinking I have some sort of gender issue. The first is that I have a hard-won reputation in my profession, and this is what I want to be remembered for, not as "the guy in the skirt". The second is that people who step this far outside the norm are sometimes regarded as weirdos unless they are quite young (and am not). I am reminded of the man with long silver hair and the duffle coat who lived in the same block as a young woman who was murdered. He didn't do it, but I think the main reason he was originally a suspect (especially in the public mind after pictures of him appeared in the press) was that he was perceived as very odd.

Society has come on by leaps and bounds and tolerance of harmless behaviour outside the norm is very high in the UK. It is not complete, however, and there are always going to be people who are uncomfortable with departures from standard behaviour, whatever form they take. They might not be openly critical, but they will think you are odd and alter their behaviour accordingly. And that is why I do it covertly, even when I wear a skirt or dress or present as a woman in public, and do most of my non-trousered stuff behind closed doors and curtains.

It might be cowardly, but it is realistic. But I think it helps to change things if people see someone who is obviously male wearing a skirt or dress, and they will realise that no one is paying any attention and a few more guys who want to will be inspired to follow my example, and so the behaviour multiplies.
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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby BobM » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:42 pm

cr, you have said it nicely. Men, the real deal, are an endangered species. The very idea of "toxic masculinity" is absurd, based on the specious notion that men, especially white men, are at the root of all the evils of the world, and if they (we) could just be emasculated by constant ridicule the world would be a better place. Fact is, there are some men who think the have to be identified as "gender non-conforming" or some such nonsense in order to justify the simple desire to wear a skirt just as men have from the beginning. No convoluted delusional reasoning is required. But men, much more so than women, are herd creatures very much afraid to stick their necks out without some sort of justifying excuse no matter how idiotic that excuse may be. I'm 71 years old and have been around the block a few times. I wear skirts because I want to. No further explanation is necessary or even desirable. Most people deal with it. Some don't. I don't care either way. Why? Because I am a man. No excuses, and no apologies.

Thank you cr, for your concise response.
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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby dillon » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:39 pm

BobM wrote:cr, you have said it nicely. Men, the real deal, are an endangered species. The very idea of "toxic masculinity" is absurd, based on the specious notion that men, especially white men, are at the root of all the evils of the world, and if they (we) could just be emasculated by constant ridicule the world would be a better place. Fact is, there are some men who think the have to be identified as "gender non-conforming" or some such nonsense in order to justify the simple desire to wear a skirt just as men have from the beginning. No convoluted delusional reasoning is required. But men, much more so than women, are herd creatures very much afraid to stick their necks out without some sort of justifying excuse no matter how idiotic that excuse may be. I'm 71 years old and have been around the block a few times. I wear skirts because I want to. No further explanation is necessary or even desirable. Most people deal with it. Some don't. I don't care either way. Why? Because I am a man. No excuses, and no apologies.

Thank you cr, for your concise response.


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