Flower Boy at Wedding

Clippings from news sources involving fashion freedom and other gender equality issues.

Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby Ralph » Tue May 28, 2019 4:07 pm

I'm 80% in agreement over the support expressed, here and in the original article, for the boy. However, I do have a few reservations:
  • He may be a little young yet to be thrown into a world that will not always be as accomodating as the bride in this story was, or his own family. Is he emotionally strong enough to handle it when he is mocked or bullied by people not so understanding?
  • I've read a number of posts over the years by crossdressers who choose a wedding (not their own) as the occasion to "come out" as trans-whatever. Hooray for you and all that, but this isn't your day to be the center of attention. If the things you wear draw attention away from the bride, no matter how good your intention or how much you deserve to "be comfortable", you're doing a disservice to the bride.
I'd much rather wear a bathrobe and bunny slippers, and often do around the house, but no matter how much I hate wearing a suit I would not wear my more comfortable bathrobe and bunny slippers to a wedding or a funeral. That's not the time to make a statement. Just wear whatever everybody else is wearing and blend in.
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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby moonshadow » Tue May 28, 2019 4:58 pm

Stevie D wrote:These children (and adults in the same situation) KNOW that their body and mind do not match.

How do they know?

Stevie D wrote:Gender is not a 'construct' which can be altered and shaped at will.

I'd like to hear your straight forward definition as to what "gender" is. No jargon please, remember you're dealing with a man (me) of simple mind. [0] Apparently I keep getting it wrong.

[0] I used to identify as a wise man... until I realized no treatment, medical or otherwise is going to make that dream come true. Then I realized there is value in being a self proclaimed idiot, I'm never expected to have answers and am free to ask questions...

I... accepted my mind for what it is....
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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby moonshadow » Tue May 28, 2019 5:02 pm

Ralph wrote:I've read a number of posts over the years by crossdressers who choose a wedding (not their own) as the occasion to "come out" as trans-whatever. Hooray for you and all that, but this isn't your day to be the center of attention. If the things you wear draw attention away from the bride, no matter how good your intention or how much you deserve to "be comfortable", you're doing a disservice to the bride.
I'd much rather wear a bathrobe and bunny slippers, and often do around the house, but no matter how much I hate wearing a suit I would not wear my more comfortable bathrobe and bunny slippers to a wedding or a funeral. That's not the time to make a statement. Just wear whatever everybody else is wearing and blend in.


Yes... that was a point I was driving at earlier. The child can not be told "no". The child is learning that everything will always go his way... no matter what...

The child is in for a rude awakening at some point.
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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby partlyscot » Tue May 28, 2019 5:28 pm

moonshadow wrote:
How oh how did humanity survive tens of thousands of years without puberty blockers? They are not necessary.... it can wait.

I think you misunderstand the purpose of puberty blockers. They are to give a child more time to gain insight into their true wishes. I don't know what every countries attitude and regulations are on this matter, but I believe most will allow the use under doctors supervision until adulthood, and appropriate interviews and consultations. This is probably more likely in a MtF case, as a male face and body make some highly visible changes during puberty, and changing them back is harder, and sometimes not as successful. I'm assuming in this case, the child may want to be a full transsexual.

I have occasional contact with a MtF transsexual, and over the time I've known her, she has gone from obviously a male at birth, to a reasonably attractive woman, as hormones, and I think one or two facial surgeries changed her appearance. She was a late change, I think, and of my age group, so there was probably not even a thought of reassignment surgery when she was a teenager. If puberty blockers were a thing, back then, and attitudes different, I'm betting she would have much preferred that. While there have been those who have regretted the change, most have wished more was known about possibilities earlier, to have saved them from a miserable period of their lives. Many committed suicide, as they couldn't find a way to fit in that matched the way they felt.

Many people seem to think that overly modernist parents are keen to take the slightest hint of trans behavior, and use it as an excuse to dress their sons in the most frilly frocks they can find. Almost every case I've read about however, says basically the same thing, at the first indications, they treated it as a phase, and quite often tried to steer the child away from girly stuff. When they accepted that this was something apparently important to their child, the great majority went through a difficult time and struggled with their response, in earlier cases, not having the slightest clue what was going on, or what was the right thing to do. It is quite important to note that this is rarely a case when a girl becomes a tomboy, or wants to know why they can't pee behind a tree. Certainly, it's not right to push a child one way or the other, but I see no evidence this is usually the case. If you think this is so, because there is more talk about it every day, consider that in the past it wasn't talked about *because* it was feared or misunderstood, and how many children and adults suffered, and are suffering because of that?

Many on here seem to get bent out of shape at even a hint they maybe trans, to one degree or another. They shouldn't, because there is nothing wrong with being so. It is OK to get irritated if you are mislabeled, I do so myself, but it's just that, an error to be pointed out. In times past, I worried a lot that I might be gay, but was mostly able to consider it rationally, and come to the conclusion I wasn't, but in a different environment I might have had so much fear it might be the case that things could have ended badly. At that time, the trans label as not in the public mind, so I spent a long time in confusion. To be clear, I don't think of myself as trans from most points of view, and would label myself as "gender non conforming". On the other hand, I think most of my clothing choices shouldn't be classified as feminine, and thus not falling under that description. However, that label describes society's expectations, so I see it as up to me and you to do our best to change those expectations.
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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby pelmut » Tue May 28, 2019 6:34 pm

FranTastic444 wrote:The Times of London has covered child 'transitioning' in some depth over recent weeks.

The Times has shown a strong anti-transgender agenda in recent years and has published a stream of articles by notorious trans-haters.  This has led to the resignation of one of its journalists.  

Many of these articles have been written by radical feminists or are based on lies spread by them, so I would regard The Times as one of the least trustworthy sources of information about anything to do with transgender people.  The Daily Mail isn't much better.
Last edited by pelmut on Wed May 29, 2019 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby Stu » Tue May 28, 2019 7:08 pm

moonshadow wrote:I'd like to hear your straight forward definition as to what "gender" is. No jargon please, remember you're dealing with a man (me) of simple mind. [0] Apparently I keep getting it wrong.


I'd like to make a comment on this because it is a frequent cause of confusion. If you look in different dictionaries, you will find different definitions. In fact, dictionaries don't actually offer definitions at all - they simply report what they have discovered in terms of current usage; dictionaries are compiled by lexicographers and not semanticists.

I would argue that there is no single, universal definition of gender outside of its grammatical sense, so I use my own definition to distinguish it from sex and mine goes something like this:

SEX = the biological attributes (physiology, body chemistry like hormones, DNA/chromosomes) which assign a person as being male or female. It is generally a binary and individuals almost always fall neatly into one or other category. There are exceptions, but they occur because of some genetic defect.

GENDER = a cline between masculine and feminine and which can be recognised by traits, both internal and external. Some of these traits are closely aligned to biological sex, such as males tend be more competitive and aggressive and females tend to be more cooperative and passive (on average). Other traits are determined by culture, such as that females rather than males wear lipstick, or that males more often pursue females for courtship rather than the reverse. Cultural gender traits vary according to culture and, as such, are subject to challenge and nonconformity over time - e.g. long hair was a strictly feminine trait a few decades ago, and tattoos were almost exclusively for males, but these apply far less the case today, if at all.

That's just my working assumption. Lexicographers may take a different view, as may gender studies academics, or radical feminists, or people who are more socially conservative in their outlook and prefer to regard sex and gender as synonyms.
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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby crfriend » Tue May 28, 2019 10:38 pm

moonshadow wrote:Rather than turn boys into girls, why not focus on expanding the world of boyhood? Why not teach children (boys) to be content with their body, not be afraid of it or ashamed of it?

That statement has powerful resonance with me, and what a wonderful change it would be if it was actually practised, but also their minds. If that sentiment was actually put into practise, I suspect that 90+% of the trans-* notion would spontaneously dissolve.

Merely giving men access to more than just the two base emotions of rage and lust would be huge for starters. To not pigeon-hole them simply because they're male. To celebrate the wonder of childhood for what it is -- a time of unbounded learning, a time of glimpsing the astounding world in which the little one dwells, and, yes, the occasional terror at the vast nature of the thing that will become life. The last part of that statement is up to the team of parents (mom AND dad AND child) to work through so the little one can move forward in a very complex world. Emotion is important. Don't deny it to your sons.
If gender is a construct of the mind [...]

Here's part of the problem -- it's not a construction of the mind, it's a societal construction, and societies can be manipulated for any variety of reasons, some of which are destructive and overtly nefarious. I strongly suspect that the suppression of many of the primary emotions in men has been entirely of the latter character.

On the notion of bullying, it's important to note that it says vastly more about the bully than the ones being bullied. The typical bully is a coward and will lash out an anyone that is even remotely different -- especially if the target is viewed as weak. I was quite different as a youngster and came in for a lot of this, both physical and verbal.

The physical bits hurt the most, mainly in the form of assorted injuries that the adults to a one turned a bind eye to. In spite of my father playing the Man and trying to teach me to "fight with honour" which resulted in more than a few lost fights, I adopted the adult notion that there is no such thing outside ritual and the only thing that matters is to stop the attacker by whatever means necessary.

Emotional bullying is more difficult to deal with, especially if one is emotionally inexperienced -- and here's where I think it's important for male children to properly experience the entire range of emotion for the simple expediency that if their intellect cannot understand what's going on emotionally they have no chance whatever of processing an event properly. In the most egregious cases they may not even be consciously aware that the event has even taken place save for a lingering feeling of somehow being wronged but not being able to put their finger on it. That/ builds up over time, and when spontaneously released after being bottled up for years or decades can be explosive.
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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby Stevie D » Tue May 28, 2019 10:53 pm

Ah - time marches on and I see there are really good replies from PartlyScot, Pelmut and Stu, thank you.
Moonshadow - I suspect you already know the answers to your queries, but here are my responses anyway.
moonshadow wrote:
Stevie D wrote:Gender is not a 'construct' which can be altered and shaped at will.

I'd like to hear your straight forward definition as to what "gender" is. No jargon please, remember you're dealing with a man (me) of simple mind....

Gender: how masculine or feminine a person feels they are in their self-experience. It's a spectrum with very masculine and very feminine at the opposite ends and all sorts of blends or shades in between. Most people cluster very near one end or the other, but others will report that they feel they are a mixture of masculine and feminine, (bi-gendered, gender-fluid, etc.). In most people, their gender will coincide with their biological sex anatomy. People assigned male at birth will have a generally masculine gender orientation, those assigned female at birth will have a generally feminine gender orientation. Transgender people feel strongly that their gender does not match their biological sex anatomy. Western society in particular expects a congruence between sex and gender and some people get rattled to some degree or other when a transgender person doesn't experience or display that congruence.

moonshadow wrote:
Stevie D wrote:These children (and adults in the same situation) KNOW that their body and mind do not match.
How do they know?

How do they know? They just DO. How do you know you are a man? You just do, in the same way that you know that you don't want to be a woman. You might have thought about it at some point but rejected the idea, because you just know. You don't need anyone to tell you, or analyse or measure any parameters, it's something you know strongly without thinking about it.

In the same way, transgender people know that their gender feeling does not match their biological sex anatomy; the congruence is not there for them and that can cause great personal distress. My first-born child, assigned male at birth, became more and more troubled in their teenage years but for various reasons (which I won't go into here) found it very difficult to express or articulate why or what was wrong - they were very scared - until eventually pennies started to drop with us and the question was asked: 'do you want to be a girl?' 'YES!' came the resounding and relieved reply. The rest, as they say, is history and she has fully transitioned and has now been happily living as a woman for over 20 years. She has received nothing but 100% love, support and acceptance from family, friends and work colleagues all along the way. Anyone who tries to tell me that she should have done otherwise will have me and my severe wrath to deal with.
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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby Stevie D » Tue May 28, 2019 11:47 pm

crfriend wrote:
moonshadow wrote:If gender is a construct of the mind [...]

Here's part of the problem -- it's not a construction of the mind, it's a societal construction,

No it's not. Sorry but with respect, I believe you are wrong. Gender identity is normally something we feel deeply within us from a very early age, regardless of societal pressure. Society might have strong expectations of how we are expected to behave or present (usually in a way which expects congruence with our outward sex anatomy). But societal pressure does not determine our gender identity in the first place.

Even parental or peer pressure does not determine our gender identity. There are rare accounts of boys being deliberately raised as girls in the past but unless they are truly transgender, it's not going to have a good outcome. The case of David Reimer comes to mind. These days, I'm sure this would count as child abuse.

Far less controversially, some parents set out to raise their children with little or no gender bias, letting them choose for themselves what sort of toys they wish to play with, or what clothes to wear. As far as I know, such children will already know their own gender identity and the freedom of clothing/toys choice does not affect this. Allowing a child the freedom to explore their gender identity is healthy and can affirm what is deeply held within them without society's expectations of how they should or should not be expressing themselves. Here's a very thoughtful documentary about a very happy Swedish child who has been given that freedom.
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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby crfriend » Tue May 28, 2019 11:59 pm

Stevie D wrote:
crfriend wrote:
moonshadow wrote:If gender is a construct of the mind [...]

Here's part of the problem -- it's not a construction of the mind, it's a societal construction,

No it's not. Sorry but with respect, I believe you are wrong.

No need to be sorry about it. I respect and appreciate the feedback.
Gender identity is normally something we feel deeply within us from a very early age, regardless of societal pressure.

There's has to be some sort of pressure in there from somewhere. Without some form of external influence I find it somewhat difficult to understand that a reasonably "blank-slate" child would understand such abstract concepts at a very early age. However, that may just be me being obstinate on the matter and perhaps overlaying my personal experiences (which were somewhat "off normal" based on my psyche). The first "external" influences are the parents, and whether consciously or subconsciously are likely exerting pressure at a very early stage -- perhaps too early for the child to really process properly.

By the by, blessed be to your daughter.
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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby Ralph » Wed May 29, 2019 12:04 am

There has been so much excellent discussion here (and kudos all around for keeping it civil even when there are obvious disagreements), so I'm just going to randomly pick a few comments that caught my eye...
Stevie D wrote:How do they know? They just DO. How do you know you are a man? You just do, in the same way that you know that you don't want to be a woman.

No, I know I'm a man because I have all the biological markers that make me so. It has nothing to do with what my self-experience makes me feel. The doctor didn't just flip a coin and arbitrarily declare me to be male; it wasn't my parents' hope to have a boy so that's what they told me I am. My Y chromosome and dangly bits made that designation quite clear.

We all know there are outliers, those folks who (fortunately or unfortunately depending on your point of view) drew some nonstandard combination of X/Y chromosomes, reproductive organs, and secondary sex characteristics. They have every right to be uncertain which restroom to use (etc.) but for the vast majority of humans, there is no such ambiguity, no life experience, that can deny the pure, objective reality of my biology.

When I was younger, I believed that there was a disconnect between my biological sex and my internalized gender. I reasoned that society tells me men do not ever wear dresses; men do not cry easily; men do not hate sports and are not physically frail or timid of confrontation or more interested in playing games involving fantasy and imagination. Since a man cannot do these things but I do these things, ipso facto I must be female.

But that's just an artificial construct of my own creation, just as arbitrary as if I determined that based on my moods and preferences I must be a poodle. Let me stop here and stress here that I'm deliberately using exaggerated hypotheticals, not to mock or trivialize the hell that transfolk go through, but to illustrate the underlying point. I also do not intend at all to suggest that someone who experiences gender dysphoria chooses to take such a rough, dangerous path on a whim. I submit to you that (some? most?) people who have this "self-experience" gender identity that is at odds with their biological sex are the victims of a massive social hoax similar to the one that nearly suckered me in. Society is at fault for constructing these rigid gender stereotypes, and we only develop an internal gender identity based on which trait checkboxes fall in which category. And that's why I go on periodic tirades against garbage like the COGIATI that would have us believe if you can read maps well you're a man but if you can identify emotions from facial expressions you're a woman.
Stevie D wrote:and the question was asked: 'do you want to be a girl?' 'YES!' came the resounding and relieved reply.

Ah, now I understand why you are so passionate on the subject, and thank you for opening up to us. I am extremely curious how your child reached the conclusion that "girl" was a more accurate label. What traits added up to "girl", or what is it about being called "girl" that made the label/identity more appealing than being called "boy"? Please forgive me if my questions are intrusive; I won't be offended if you tell me to back off. But it's so rare to get firsthand, or even secondhand, insight into what factors lead to gender dysphoria.

Just for comparison against my own brush with being transgender, I'll attempt to probe around in my own brain a bit. It wasn't just those outward characteristics I mentioned above. My interest in being a girl started much earlier, probably before I was 10, and was based largely upon the idea I had built up in my mind what it must be like to be a girl. I'd see my classmates and neighborhood friends safely cocooned in their billowy dresses (this was the late 60's) and chattering happily as they played pretend games instead of football; I'd see the way girls were treated on TV shows like Little House on the Prairie (I still want a floor-length pioneer dress and pinafore like Laura Ingalls wore!) and I envied them for not being expected to fight their way through the world. I wanted to have that serenity, that emphasis on thought and beauty instead of brute strength. If being a girl means getting to wear those wonderful dresses and play games of pretend and giggle endlessly, then by golly I want more than anything to be a girl.

But it wasn't "be a girl" that was my goal so much as "be my idealized, fictional construct of what a girl is like". Does that make sense?
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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby moonshadow » Wed May 29, 2019 12:19 am

Stevie D wrote:
crfriend wrote: Here's part of the problem -- it's not a construction of the mind, it's a societal construction,

No it's not. Sorry but with respect, I believe you are wrong. Gender identity is normally something we feel deeply within us from a very early age, regardless of societal pressure. Society might have strong expectations of how we are expected to behave or present (usually in a way which expects congruence with our outward sex anatomy). But societal pressure does not determine our gender identity in the first place.


With respect, this is how "[political] spins" happen. The word used was societal construction, not societal pressure. I personally think that "gender" is a combination of all three, the mind, societal construction, and pressure.

To back up,

I have no issue with feminine boys, masculine girls, etc. I have no issues with children playing with whatever toys they want, for young boys to dream about being "Mr. Mom" when they get older (if that's their thing), and for young girls to dream about being the bread winner. It doesn't matter to me what they wear, though I believe compromise is in order, such as wearing something appropriate for events like weddings, funerals, etc. Whatever they want to do in that regard... okay by me.

I do stand by my position that medical intervention is not necessary. There are other means to allow children to express themselves without altering the body. Young girls figured it out in the 40's onward, if not for the tiny little box that we've made for malehood, then I suspect more boys would also figure it out. But instead of opening the world up to boys, we tell them it would be better if they identified as a girl.

Through all of this, I see very little measurable evidence taking place, it's always "how we feel". I have been, and remain sympathetic to the trans community of all ages, however deep down I do believe their lives would be a lot easier if people could just be who they are without having to fit into little boxes.

They just DO. How do you know you are a man? You just do,

Actually, if nobody would have told me, or I was raised by the proverbial "pack of wolves", never seeing another human being, I'm pretty sure I'd have no idea what a man or woman is at all. In fact, I'd probably think I was a wolf.... Think about that...

in the same way that you know that you don't want to be a woman.

Since I do know the difference, and I know how society treats men, many times in my life I have wanted to be a woman, but not a trans-woman... I just wish I was born a regular female, then I'd be free without the social stigma. But wishing for that all day won't make it happen. I have to deal the hand I've been dealt, and so, I accept my place among society is a male (most people don't call me a "man" unless they're trying to be obnoxious about it), and I just try not to worry about it.

She has received nothing but 100% love, support and acceptance from family, friends and work colleagues all along the way. Anyone who tries to tell me that she should have done otherwise will have me and my severe wrath to deal with.

Nobody is attacking your daughter. I'm sensing that this correspondence between you and I is turning south. On this I shall invoke the feminine (submissive) role and resign my side of this debate before it gets out of hand. We will have to agree to disagree, but there is no reason to beat our chest and threaten wrath.
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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby Stevie D » Wed May 29, 2019 12:36 am

Emotionally exhausted by all this, I stand by everything that I have said but I think I have now said all that I want to say.
I think it is time to go. I will close the door quietly.
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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby pelmut » Wed May 29, 2019 8:31 am

Ralph wrote:... I know I'm a man because I have all the biological markers that make me so.

You know you are male because of your biological markers, but "man" implies much more than that.  Most men are lucky enough that their gender is masculine and they are happy to fill the rôle in society that is expected of them.  If, during their childhood, their genitals had appeared ambiguous and they had been treated as girls, it would have confused the hell out of them.  It would have made no difference to the way they felt they ought to be treated, because their masculine gender would still be telling them what they really were. 

I grew up in no doubt that I was male, I had all the necessary male attributes and none of the female ones - but somewhere deep down I felt I would have been more 'right' if had been female; my gender was feminine although I did not realise it at the time.  I hated having to play the masculine rôle that society demanded of me and I can still remember that dreadful feeling of helpless numbness on the day my father noticed I was growing facial hair and told me it was time he taught me to shave.  I was being forced by my developing body, and society's expectations of it, into a world where I didn't belong.

Millions of men have never experienced this sort of mismatch and wonder what all the fuss is about; they have never had to deal with it, so who can blame them for not understanding it or even knowing it was possible?  Unfortunately some of us have had this horrible triangular mismatch between our sex, our gender and society's expectations hanging over us all our lives.  If only there could have been a simple readjustment in the way society understood us when we were younger, it would have transformed our lives.  At least we now have the opportunity to do that for the next generation.
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Re: Flower Boy at Wedding

Postby pelmut » Wed May 29, 2019 8:56 am

moonshadow wrote:... many times in my life I have wanted to be a woman, but not a trans-woman... I just wish I was born a regular female, then I'd be free without the social stigma.

That is the situation most transwomen find themselves in.  They don't want to be transwomen, but regard that as just a stepping stone on the way to womanhood.

Many of them go through a phase of overdoing it, with too much inexpertly-applied makeup, tottery skyscraper heels and hi-vis wigs; they are following the same learning curve that teenage girls follow and attract similar amounts of attention - but for exactly the opposite reason.  Then they settle down and become drab ordinary women doing drab ordinary things and most of the time nobody notices them.
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