In response to Wednesday’s Lemonade post, Janet Lynn Stickney wrote, “The sour sounding article that was published here does not, in my opinion express the truth or anything even close to the truth. Except one thing. The writer was absolutely correct about hair length.
“First, I am approaching age 70, and have been going out since I was 12, and I have the pictures to prove it. I was around back when Virginia Prince started her sororities called Tri-Ess. Lets say... 1963, which gives me some insight to the progression of our community. The suggestion that we throw away the cameras is short sighted, demeaning, and without the slightest bit of merit. I myself use a camera to help me better my presentation.
“I have the pleasure to say that I was the very first director of the first Be-All convention, and after that I was involved in 9 more in some capacity. Which means that I have seen all levels of competence of how we present ourselves as females. Some of us are quite lovely, some not, but the drive to present ourselves as females is exactly the same for all of us.
“I will also add that not once have I seen a sister be asked to leave a meeting, a convention, or an event for lack of talent in her presentation. Every single group that I know of accepts us all, regardless. Is help offered, yes. Is it done with a kind word, yes. But they are us, and we are them, and if nothing else, the transgender community accepts everyone like us, offering friendship and a smile.
“Dr. King and my mother gave me the same message. Rely on the content of their character. Do not rely on the length of their hair, what their dress choice is, or how big they are. I have found that within our community, which is really quite small, less than 5% of the population, every single major event, from the Be-All, Southern Comfort, and Fantasia Fair, all of them accept everyone. They do not ask for a picture ahead of time to see if you fit in. Just being there makes you part of the larger whole.”
In response to the Comments to Wednesday’s Lemonade post, the writer of the original e-mail that precipitated this (Paula C) wrote, “I wish that I had been able to understand what your correspondent ‘Unknown’ was on about and how to reply to his comment directly but the system beats me. We have a word – a phrase - in English ‘Gobbledy – gook’ which is a kind way of describing rubbish. I have no bile (that’s one of the few words I understood) in me and it is a breath-taking arrogance to presume that there might be! Just because I dared criticise.
“If nothing else; please try and explain why firstly so many TV’s take photographs of themselves in such extraordinary quantities and then, to me, incomprehensibly, want to display them to the World and his Wife. It is deviant behaviour and plays no part in real life if one is a woman. I feel SO sorry for those who so far have submitted their photos which they are proud of. What do they really see when they look at themselves, I have to ask?
“For a number of years I held quite a senior voluntary position here in the UK within the Beaumont Society and also spent quite a lot of my time TRYING to explain ‘transvestism’ to Wives who sought help. (I founded the WOBS, the group trying to help the Wives of transvestites). I also talked to Samaritans groups throughout the south of England, so I do know what I am talking about. I also remember well Virginia Prince in the ‘Sixties’ coming to the UK with missionary-like zeal to teach us poor backward English how to deal with and revel in our transvestism. Not a person I took to. A veritable cross-dressing Billy Graham.”
Femulating at the Porchester Hall drag ball in London, circa 1985.