Friday, March 22, 2024

The Old Girls' Club

I recall a few years ago, when a group from my support group attended a presentation by Jennifer Finney Boylan, the author She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders.

One of the members of the group, Deja, wrote about the experience for our support group’s newsletter. “After her presentation Ms. Boylan opened up the floor for questions. After several ‘easy’ questions… Jenny was hit with a rather uncomfortable question from a genetic woman in her early 50s. The woman was truly trying to work this thing called transgenderism out, but she took the mood of the whole night in a different direction with her barrage of questions and comments.

“The tone of her questions was searching, but antagonistic. She basically said that she didn’t get transgenderism and that how can Jenny, after living the life of a privileged upper class white male, now expect to be welcomed as a woman. She further pointed out that Jenny did not have to go through growing up as a female, being teased by boys, dealing with menstruation, dealing with childbirth, and facing everyday discrimination. The woman topped it off by saying ‘frankly, I don’t want you as a member of my club.’

“Jenny was clearly shocked as was most of the audience and was taken aback and put on the defensive. She paused to compose herself, thought, and delivered her answer. Jenny agreed that these were all fair questions but that she did not expect them and could not answer them all right now…”

True, Jenny (and I) “did not have to go through growing up as a female, being teased by boys, dealing with menstruation, dealing with childbirth, and facing everyday discrimination.” However, growing up as a white male, who had yearnings to be female, at least some of the time, I was teased by boys and faced discrimination.

As a boy, I was not considered “macho,” although that term did not even exist in the English language when I was growing up. Other boys called me “fairy,” “twinkie,” ”faggot” and “sissy.” I did not know why. I did not think that I acted effeminately. I did not think that I looked effeminate either; I was the biggest kid in my class (200 pounds by the 5th grade) and I was the first boy who had to shave (by the 8th grade). I loved playing baseball and football, but I was usually picked last when choosing up sides (I could hit the baseball a mile, but I threw “like a girl.”). I did very well in grammar school (salutatorian in my graduating class) and was often considered the “teacher’s pet.” Maybe that gave the other boys mixed messages.

Things were not much better in high school. Some of the jocks got on my case. On graduation day, I recall a jock asking why I was in line with the boy graduates instead of the girl graduates. I also remember my Spanish teacher wondering aloud if I would dress like a senorita for “Spanish Night.” (I threw her for a loop when I showed up dressed like Fidel Castro sporting a fake beard, cigar and fatigues.)

By the time I was in high school, I had been experimenting for years with my sister’s and mother’s wardrobe. I felt very guilty about it and was sure that I was destined to spend eternity in Hell.

Attending a Catholic high school did not help matters. Once a month, the nuns marched us to church next door to confess our sins. One time, I remember making up my mind to confess my crossdressing sins, but when I got in the confession booth, I froze up and could not get out the words describing my sins. The priest sensed something was wrong and said he would forgive any sin I was too embarrassed to recall to him. All I had to do was admit that I had sins(s) I was too embarrassed to enumerate.

Here was my chance to get off the hook, a free pass that would enable me to start anew with a clean slate, but I blew it. I could not admit that I was hiding something from the priest! I ended up saying two Hail Mary’s and two Our Father’s and berating myself for years over that flub!

College was no better, but by then, I was used to my status and made the best of it. Boys and now even some girls teased me. Try asking a girl for a date when that girl thinks you are a “fairy” or worse. How many times did I hear “you are a nice guy, but…” It hurt and I could not understand why I was being hurt. In my mind, I was not effeminate, so why was I being treated as if I was effeminate.

Today, I still don’t think I am effeminate; I act like I always acted and that is as my natural self; I am not faking it, I am not pretentious; I am not trying to fool anybody. But, now that I am older and a little wiser, I can put two and two together and realize that I have feminine traces in my male persona that other people recognize.

Sobeit. I try not to be concerned how others think about me. In my gut, I still care some of the time, but I try to convince myself that I shouldn’t care and maybe someday, I will be completely free of guilt.

And, in response to the woman who said she did not want Jennifer Boylan as a member of her club, I say “That’s ok,” because, as Marx once said, “I do not care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members.”

Source: Matches
Wearing Matches

Marek Kaliszuk
Marek Kaliszuk femulating Ariana Grande on Polish television's Twoja Twarz Brzmi Znajomo (Your Face Sounds Familiar).
You can view this amazing femulation on YouTube.


  1. That's Groucho, not Karl Marx. Ha!

    1. I beleive the frist time was by Oscar Wilde, “I won’t belong to a club that accepts me as a member.” However both Twain and Groucho used the phase to great effect in famous responses. In any case this to me is an extremely powerful phase and one I think about anytime I am asked to join an organization or group. It also is perfect in this post!

  2. So that woman who said that trans women do not go thru all the pain and teasing from the boys thinks growing up male has no pain? As a male, I was abused, traumatized, beat up, teased, criticized, belittled and called names. Plus add in the feelings that I should have been born a girl that I had to hide most of my life. I had no one to talk to and grew to hate myself and my life. I fought cancer twice. I have chronic back pain. Does the pain that I endured qualify me to become who I am?

  3. With some regularity I find myself wishing I was a girl. I have ever since I reached puberty. I love to dress up as one, but I doubt I've spent even one percent of my life in dresses and skirts. Perhaps in high school I'd question my sexuality because on too many Saturday nights I was alone in my home dressed up as a girl instead of being out with friends or even better a out with a girl. At some point I realized that I had no attraction for boys and stopped beating myself up over those thoughts.

    I was teased in school for being a less than stellar athlete and nature nerd. Some boys called me a faggot, but they had no reason to assume that about me. As a kid no one ever saw me crossdressed and I've never been effeminate.

    So, would I take that imaginary pink pill that would turn me into a girl? I've thought about that many times. If one existed I believe the answer would be no. As an adult I have certainly been the recipient of white male privilege. Once I told my wife who is aware of my crossdressing, but doesn't want to participate in it that I knew that I had a rose colored view of what I perceived as a girl's life. I think it's a harder life than I realize and I would not want to endure many of the things that girls and woman endure.

    My wife was raped by three men on a bus in Mexico City when she was a teenager. Girls and women are victimized more frequently. Men aren't exempt from assault, but I believe we have an easier time escaping it.

    Also my male life has been pretty good post high school. Some of those A-holes I knew peeked in high school where their superior attitudes and their bullying was the high water mark of their lives.

  4. So much in common - Parallels lives live out in different places and different times. For so many years thinking I was the only one with these desires. Our sisterhood unites us in our own unique club.

  5. I'm glad you cited GROUCHO Marx, and not Karl. Groucho was way ahead of his time, and was known to fight for a woman's honor - something that she'd never do. :-)

  6. It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one who went out on dates with woman after woman only to be told “you’re so nice but I just don’t FEEL that way about you. Can’t we just be friends?” I must not have been masculine enough for them. Women complain that most men are cold and insensitive. I pride myself on being a listener. I don’t feel emasculated by cooking cleaning sewing or looking after children. I swear those women could SMELL my need to indulge in feminine clothing and felt threatened by it.

  7. That genetic woman is just a paid Karen out to cause a ruckus. No one that had a life or had to tend to others has time to attend an event to ask questions? When some starts with the white privilege rant then you know that they exposed themselves for who they are. I doubt race, colour or creed in fact I know has nothing to do with femulation. Its not a white thing its a every man thing wanting to femulate….everywhere around the world. Sadly, we all want to-be left alone and accepted as we are as we accept those around us. I would rather Uncle Bert be a femulator than a child molester

  8. that woman nicely avoided what some of us older girls faced -the draft . Now we and gays could have "come out" at the time of our physical but then our draft status would have been changed to 4F. Every potential employer would raise the draft status issue during an hiring interview. So you kept your mouth shut.
    and if you had a career in government you found out that your female coworkers had been promoted to higher paying jobs by the time your service ended i.e. assuming you were still alive.

    1. That woman's comment was born out of ignorance or religious bias. However, I would not mix apples and oranges. I volunteered for the draft; it was either me or my brother the draft board said. Yep, I ended up in the infantry and was wounded twice. My wife is a Vietnam Era veteran. Being branded 4-F for a medical issue was no big deal. Check out the draft status of a former president. If you were found to be gays or lesbian or a cross-dresser you were tossed out and your DD-214 would brand you with a Special Processing Number (SPN) that gave the reason for discharge. I made the mistake of using the phrase to my wife of "getting in touch with my feminine side." She blew a fuse and said "When you can have a baby, then tell me about your feminine side!" That was the early 1970's; the dark ages. Since then both of us have been educated. She has carried out children. She is a victim of sexual assault. She has faced discrimination in the work force and society. Her military service has been belittled as either a woman looking for a husband or a "dyke." When asked all I can say is "I do not do, what I do!" My wife has since been educated; having lesbian and gays friends and a cousin you is trans. Combat ignorance. I do not compare apples and oranges.

      My infantry squad leader in Vietnam suffered an open head wound. Just within the last several years I read his obituary on his recent death. Yes, he was survived by his male partner. Yes, there were gays and cross-dressers masquerading as "macho" men. I suspect most of those haters out there do not have any Purple Hearts in their dresser draws.

  9. Some people will chose to never be compassionate, considerate, nor kind in their responses. They are blinded by a rigid socio-political belief structure, one that only accepts centuries of old traditions and customs. Best to move on ... they are the past. Stana, you and the girl being questioned are the future. We live in a multi-faceted world with exponential change and growth occurring all around us. Best to look forward in a positive manner, instead of wistfully thinking of past, what with its built in privileges for the wealthy white men and their spouses, spurning any variation from the norm. I am proud of the person giving the presentation as well as you, Stana, for trailblazing for the current and the next generation. Welcome to the real club, the one of all people of all persuasions and orientations. That is the only club that matters.

  10. The key phrase from above is, "... try not to be concerned how others think about me." And then be the best you can be.