Earlier this year Frank Maloney, the boxing promoter, revealed that he is now Kellie having joined the transgender ranks of openly crossdressing transvestites. The public image of crossdressing transvestites is changing, not rapidly but progressively.
We are heading in the right direction and many battles have been won, but it would be foolish for anyone to believe that the war is over. So the prospect for anyone of coming out of the lingerie drawer of crossdressing transvestites as Kellie has done is daunting to say the least. Going into a department store, choosing a bra and panties, hoping they are the right size, shyly moving towards the counter to pay, handing the garments to the assistant, praying that the transaction will go unnoticed.
All of this can be a nerve-wracking experience for crossdressing transvestites. Is everyone looking at you? Are they thinking ‘I know what he is doing and he’s not shopping for his partner’ – are they sniggering? And that lingerie shop where you know you will have to speak to the girl who is already heading towards you; fearing that someone you know will enter whilst you are explaining just what it is you are looking for. ‘What size is she?’ You are desperate to say that it is for you and like all crossdressing transvestites you need to be measured properly but with crimson-faced embarrassment and grasping at straws and hoping for the best you mumble 38C.
Or the Internet shopping packages which are supposed to arrive discretely at your office – you can’t risk your home address: but you always worry that they might be opened inadvertently and your secrets revealed to all and sundry by gossipy colleagues on the lookout for crossdressing transvestites. Panic, anxiety and fear become central to your crossdressing transvestites life. So coming out of your lingerie drawer is almost unthinkable. Emily and Florence, played by David Walliams and Matt Lucas in the BBC show Little Britain, provide us with a parody of crossdressing transvestites behaviour and in doing so show us how far we still have to go to win the war of acceptance for the crossdressing transvestites and transgender community.
Dressed in the frilliest of clothes and sporting lace parasols they appear to confront prejudice through comedy. Florence’s resplendent moustache adds a definite piquancy to Lucas’ transgender crossdressing transvestites role. It is meant to be inauthentic because it is meant to be funny. There is little or no subtlety about these two ladies, with deliberate similarities to some drag queens and crossdressing transvestites who revel in the exaggeration of aspects of femininity. Attention-seeking as performance art. But none the worse for that.
Dustin Hoffman’s in Tootsie may have been a crossdressing transvestites comedy role, but it was also a sensitive portrayal of a woman. In an interview given in 2012, Hoffman described his reaction to being made up as a woman: “I was shocked that I wasn’t more attractive. I said, ‘Now you have me looking like a woman, now make me a beautiful woman.’ Because I thought I should be beautiful. … And they said to me, ‘That’s as good as it gets.'” Yet in the film two male characters fall for Hoffman’s character Dorothy Michaels, not stereotypically beautiful in the Miss America sense but nevertheless attractive. Hoffman is a perfectionist in his acting but he had not fully understand that perfection may be achieved in many ways and that beauty comes in many guises.
Those who saw Tootsie realised they were seeing an exemplary form but certainly not the only form of femininity. The BBC Reith Lectures were first broadcast in 1948 with the celebrated philosopher Bertrand Russell delivering a typically eloquent talk on the nature of authority. Grayson Perry, winner of the prestigious Turner 2003 Art Prize, was introduced by Sue Lawley before giving the even more prestigious Reith Lectures in 2013, as being the first crossdresser to deliver the lectures. Quick as a flash, he responded to laughter and applause: “As far as we know.” When Grayson was awarded the CBE at Buckingham Palace.
He wore what he described as his crossdressing transvestites ‘Italian mother-of-the-bride’ outfit. Glamorous and certainly not outrageous, his dress was a gorgeous silk midnight-blue with a matching jacket, and was judged by a Palace spokesman as being entirely appropriate. Most commentators said that he looked terrific as Claire, his femme crossdressing transvestites alter ego. Attention-seeking in precisely the natural feminine way: wanting to look and feel fabulous. When a Bohemian and extremely talented artist demonstrates to the world that Claire is definitely not willing to remain hidden in the crossdressing transvestites wardrobe and is determined to emerge fully crossdressed from her lingerie drawer, there is little shock.
The ‘eccentricity’ associated with crossdressing transvestites is seen as complementing that of the artist who is expected to challenge the norms of society. Yet when a more conventional personality reveals his femininity there can be rather more of a surprise. But, in the hands of the press, what should be a simple ‘surprise’ becomes a bombshell, a bolt from the blue, in fact truly staggering news: “Crossdressing transvestites shock horror!!” A sports correspondent for the BBC claimed that it was appropriate to be shocked that Frank Maloney, boxing promoter, is now Kellie and living her life as a woman. His justification turned on the supposed ‘macho’ character of the world of boxing.
An often brutal world, perhaps, but one made famous by a Heavyweight World Champion who flaunted his handsome, pretty face and floated like a butterfly. The combination of Muhammad Ali’s poetic character, the physical toughness and exuberant femininity of Olympic Gold Medallist Nicola Adams and the studied elegance of World Middleweight Champion Chris Eubank should be enough to persuade us to think twice about that exclusively macho characterisation. Whatever view we take, there is no doubt that this is the arena which nurtured Kellie.
The glorious truth is that there is no typical cross-dresser. There are men who are crossdressing transvestites in all walks of life, professions and careers. It is hard to believe that any profession, any career, any institution is immune to the temptations of crossdressing transvestites. Judges, beefy welders, boxing promoters, IT consultants, teachers, politicians of all parties, accountants, top sportsmen, insurance salesmen, Yorkie munching truck drivers … the crossdressing transvestites list goes on and on.
There is an undercurrent to crossdressing transvestites here which deserves some thought. Estimates of the percentage of men who have crossdressed at some point in their lives vary, with 20% being quoted most frequently. When it comes to regular crossdressing that figure falls to around 5 to 10%. Opinion polls typically rely on the truthfulness of the respondent. And, where there are connotations of guilt or shame associated with the issue under scrutiny, as there clearly are with crossdressing transvestites, surveys notoriously under-estimate percentages. So we may confidently say that at the very least one in ten men crossdress with some regularity.
So the shock expressed may have less to do with the fact that a man crossdresses and rather more to do with the suspicion that this revelation may be, as Grayson Perry wittily intimated, merely the tip of an immense silky satin iceberg of crossdressing transvestites. It is certainly true that for many crossdressing transvestites there is often an attendant sexual frisson. However, it would be wrong to believe that the motivation for crossdressing is entirely sexual as opposed to gender-based. Most crossdressing transvestites describe their desire to wear women’s clothes as something deep within them: a need that does not and will not go away.
However crossdressing is played out in their lives, they speak of the need to express a femininity which seems to be an intrinsic part of them and in many cases of the transgender crossdressing transvestites identity they inhabit. It may be stronger when there is tension and stress in their lives, but it is always present even if only in the background at times. And, for very many crossdressing transvestites, this is something which has been a central part of their lives since childhood. For some crossdressing transvestites there can be a major problem which is directly linked to the question of coming out of the lingerie drawer into the full light of day.
The nature of the relationship between crossdressing transvestites and their families can be and often is deeply problematic. And it is true that many relationships have been shipwrecked by the rocks close to the surface of these troublesome waters for crossdressing transvestites. Because of this, many crossdressing transvestites choose to keep their crossdressing secret, fearful at best of misunderstanding or at worst of rejection. Some crossdressing transvestites are desperate to share their secret with those close to them but feel unable to do so. Other crossdressing transvestites live in an uneasy truce, with partners reluctantly accepting but not fully embracing their needs, especially if their partner appears to be self-obsessed and selfish in their cross-dressing, forgetting that it takes two to make a relationship work.
A few crossdressing transvestites however do find complete and unequivocal acceptance by their partners and families. They find in their partners not just the spouse but also the girlie confidant they want so much. Sadly there are no easy answers here: there is no ‘right’ way ahead: every situation is different and personal judgements must be made. Yet it is one thing to dress in the private space of one’s home: and of course very many crossdressing transvestites have no desire to break out of this safe haven. It is quite another to venture out fully dressed into the big bad world albeit incognito: but many crossdressing transvestites yearn for such experiences.
It is a further and altogether daunting step which is taken when secrecy is abandoned and not just family but colleagues at work are made aware that they have a new woman in their midst: and one cannot underestimate some of the difficulties which will arise when crossdressing transvestites come completely out of their lingerie drawers. Living and dressing full-time as a woman, as Kellie Maloney has done for a year, is yet another bold step forward, essential perhaps if one is considering transforming surgery.
If you are a complete novice in the world of cars, you seek professional guidance before buying that second-hand motor. If you need dental treatment, you go to a qualified and experienced dentist. If you are considering buying an expensive antique, you make sure of its provenance by consulting an independent expert. So, as one of many crossdressing transvestites, why would you proceed any differently when trying to understand how to act, how to feel, how to behave as a woman? And, in searching for the right person as your guide, you need to be aware that, just as there are cowboys in the building trade, there are unscrupulous people in every professional arena.
Those who have discovered JJ and her fabulous crossdressing service come to understand very quickly that they have found pure gold. Whether they are occasional and private crossdressing transvestites, or looking to build their self-confidence, or hoping to improve their feminine style, or wishing to discuss their femininity with a sympathetic listener: JJ is guide, teacher, make-up artist, therapist in every sense, critical friend, hypnotist – as well as an aspirational model of femininity. If you are to come out of the lingerie drawer of crossdressing transvestites, then do not shrug off the need for delicate handling. JJ will cherish you and your developing femininity. And lead you delicately and with just the right kind of gentle firmness along the path you know you must follow. A path along which you will need to walk before you start to run.