Friday, July 28, 2023

Act Naturally

Man Carrying Purse
Elise wrote, “What are your thoughts on personality traits having gender associated with them? For example, why are some traits considered male or female, instead of just being a trait of a specific person regardless of their gender? 

My ex used to (mockingly) say that I was more of a woman than her because I am sensitive, compassionate, sentimental, etc, but I just see those as things that make me who I am. They don't mean there is something ‘wrong’ with me as a man, or that I should become a woman if I want to act that way. 

It just really bothers me when people are criticized for being their authentic selves and not meeting some societal standard of how a man or woman should act, instead of celebrated for being their authentic selves.”

I could be the poster boy/girl for ignoring society’s straitjackets for what makes a man or a woman.

Whenever I recount my trans biography, I usually mention that as a youngster, I participated in sports (baseball and football) and played “boy games” (cowboys, war, spacemen, etc.). I felt that I was a typical boy and I enjoyed doing “boy games,” unlike many of my trans sisters, who as children, hated “boy games” and preferred “girl games.”

I also mention that despite my participation and enjoyment of those boy things, other boys called me names like “sissy,” “fairy,” “faggot,” etc., which indicated to me that I was not necessarily all the boy I thought I was.

This was not just a case of bullies using random offensive names to raise my ire. Even a few of my friends told me that I was not acting like a boy at a 100% level and that I should do something about it.

I wondered if there was something in my mannerisms or speech that caused their reaction. I was not intentionally acting or speaking in an affected manner. Rather, I was speaking and acting in my natural manner, which I did not feel was feminine.

The fact that even friends told me that something was amiss indicated that something really was amiss, but I was clueless. I had no idea what I had to do differently to be more boy-like. So, I continued acting the same way I always acted and if someone called me a name, I hit them with my purse.

Even in high school, college and law school, I occasionally ran into guys, who commented on my particular flavor of masculinity, but I just shrugged them off and kept on truckin’. By then, I was crossdressing in secret and only coming out en femme for Halloween including an appearance in drag at a Halloween party in law school.

I will never forget a friend at that party telling me that he never realized how feminine my speech and mannerisms were until he saw me in drag. He indicated that my female costume was a perfect fit for my normal mannerisms and speech.

After mentioning this story at outreach one time, one of the students said that my mannerisms were feminine and that my friends and acquaintances had been in the ballpark in their estimation of me.

Yet, nothing has changed. I still do not affect a feminine persona. I still act naturally and no differently whether in boy mode or girl mode.

I admit that I do try to walk more like a woman when I am en femme and I talk more softly when I femulate (if I remember to do so), but most of what you get is the genuine me. And I am not changing a thing.

So to answer your question, Elise, I don’t put much stock in society’s standards regarding gender traits.

Source: Intermix
Source: Intermix


  1. AnonymousJuly 28, 2023

    Many decades ago I read "Men are from Mars, women are from Venus". What hogwash. As you said, personality traits, behavior, mannerisms, etc. are attached to individuals, not genders. Especially now that gender variance is getting it long-deserved due, even the title of the book makes no sense.

  2. AnonymousJuly 28, 2023

    Aunty here. I have often wondered if my aversion to violent movies with characters getting bloodily killed like The Wild Bunch and There Will Be Blood and tv shows like The Wire and The Sopranos is related to my desire to be Aunty at times. I can't imagine my mother or sister or any aunts or my grandmothers liking those kinds of shows, although unlike them I am also not into mushy romance stuff. For example, I will see Barbie at some point--mainly to see what the fuss is about--, but I was much more interested in seeing Oppenheimer and am glad I did. I am sure there are men who would never think of wearing women's clothes but who share my particular aversion, though we don't hear about them, so I am not sure if this particular character trait is associated with femininity.

    1. AnonymousJuly 29, 2023

      My wife gives me heck for watching all the Hallmark movies on Saturday night. I prefer those movies over all the superhero movies and war movies.

  3. AnonymousJuly 28, 2023

    That is a great "before & after" picture. It demonstrates the differences between sitting in a masculine and feminine way. Legs apart versus legs together. Elbows out occupying space with hands apart versus hands together and occupying less space.
    Would it be possible to have more educational "before & after" pictures demonstrating other parts of the differences in body language?
    Penny from Edinburgh.

  4. Love your Before and AFTER today!
    I feel so "Freed" to my core, to set All Prim & Proper in High Heels......

    A Mental Health Accomplishment.

  5. AnonymousJuly 28, 2023

    That "before and after picture" reminded me of Huckleberry Finn when Huck is taken in by Mrs. Loftus. Huck is wearing a dress to masquerade as a girl. Mrs. Loftus was suspicious and tossed a ball to Huck. Instead of opening his legs like a girl would to use the skirt of the dress to catch the ball, he closed his legs. His masquerading was out of the bag. My brother sold shoes at Macy's on Herald Square in the women's shoe department while he was in college. There were some women who intentionally did not try to keep their knees together; exhibitionists some were to the extend on not wearing any undergarments under their dress. He enjoyed the teasing.

  6. AnonymousJuly 28, 2023

    I'm working on my feminine deportment more and more including changing my walk, the way I stand and what I do with my hands. I'm also working on sitting as shown in the before and after picture but that one is harder since there is something in the way....


  7. The before and after photo speaks volumes to me. I have always seen myself as a proper and demure and reserved person. The disposition of that lady is more reflective of me than the guy taking up all that room.

  8. Rachel McNeillJuly 28, 2023

    I am introverted, intellectual, and have always preferred fine-arts, opera & classical music to more "manly" pursuits such as football, hunting, and so forth. While in the Army, I took some heat for being somewhere out on the end of the masculine distribution curve-- even though I served in SF. I guess even that wasn't enough to get my "boy card" validated. This was waaaay before 'don't ask, don't tell.'

    I'm comfortable as my male self, with very little gender dysphoria. I'm even more at home as Rachel. Other than a few things that Rachel does that my male self doesn't, you'll find both presentations pretty much the same.