Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

See, Now I Have A Problem With This

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | June 23, 2011 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: crossdressing, gender expression

crossdressing_air_passenger.jpgAmid the expanding trans "umbrella wars," to borrow a phrase from Gemma Seymour, I have striven to provide objectivity and compassion to all sides, as I have sympathies for both transsexual people (of whom I am one), and transgender people (of whom I guess I am also one since it includes practically everyone), and crossdressers (of whom I once thought I was one), and genderqueers (a term mostly for younger people, of whom I am not one), and the miscellaneous other fabulous queers.

But there comes a time when one must take a stand. See this picture? This man allegedly wore the outfit on an airline flight, and does so regularly, "for fun," according to quotes attributed to him.

See, now I have a problem with this. No amount of "gender expression rights" talk is going to pretty this one up. I do not support this man's right to fly clad only in female underwear.

It's entirely possible, also, that this is a hoax to have a bit of innocent fun. If so, it's not in good taste. It frankly undermines the whole movement.

I respect the right of everyone to dress how they wish, but only up to a point. Why draw a line, you ask? Am I not engaging in dressing behavior, as a transsexual, that was once not only considered improper but illegal?

Yes, I am. But that doesn't mean there are no boundaries whatsoever. True, the boundaries are artificial, socially created constructs. But I live in a real world, not a theoretical one. I dress like a 50-year old female academic (in law, not fashion or the arts), and, frankly, I look like one. The years haven't been all that kind. I'm no Candis Cayne or Calpernia Addams. I understand that a bikini is not kind to me, and that the answer to "does this make me look fat?" is Yes.

There are, however, more serious issues here than simply one man's poor taste in clothes. It gets complicated quickly when one has to account for issues of racism and crossdressing, as in the story about Deshon Marman, a 20-year-old African-American student and football player at the University of New Mexico was bumped from a US Airways flight at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) on June 16, 2011 and later arrested over allegations he refused to pull up his baggy pants. The two cases have some significant parallels, but with strikingly different results. That's a problem.

In addition, I do not take my right to fly while transsexual for granted, and legal rights are serious things. When older gentlemen demand the right to fly while dressed only in female undergarments, it undermines the argument that gender identity and expression are serious issues deserving of protection, because the demand stretches the concepts involved beyond all recognition. It's also only because this man has white privilege that he can do this. A black man who tried this would be in a lot of serious trouble.

Many transsexuals have a great deal of trouble trying to convince our legal system -- police, lawyers and prosecutors, judges, drivers license bureaus, vital statistics agencies -- that their identities are legitimate and to be respected. I have been denied proper government services because of my gender identity, and I have fought the good fight to help others in similar situations. It is heartbreaking to me to think of all those people who have worked so hard simply to have the plain dignity and respect that every human being should receive, to see this man playing dress up on airplanes "just for fun." This isn't subverting gender norms, it's strengthening them because it makes gender variance ridiculous. He can go home and put on his suit and command instant respect from all sorts of business and government officials. I have to work hard to convince people that I'm not insane, despite my credentials. I don't get to ever go home and put on a man's suit and command instant respect. Frankly, I'm livid. He won't even give his name, because he doesn't want to really take on the stigma of non-normative gender. It's all just a bit of fun. He doesn't want to spoil the fun.

Is this what ENDA is going to mean -- that he can come dressed to work like this? Is this what we're asking employers to support? I am not fighting for that. I do not find it fabulous, and I do not find it amusing.

I'm not advocating arrests of crossdressers, and I uphold anyone's right to dress however they want in private. But I'm not defending this one. Is this what all my work on including statutory protections for "gender expression" comes down to? This makes me rethink that. Very seriously.

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Lynn Miller | June 23, 2011 1:33 PM

I don't know... maybe I'm wrong, but I don't see this incident as transgender, transsexual or crossdressing issue. It seems to have more to do with the airline or airport not having a dress code. A similar incident took place a few months ago in Oklahoma City, where a woman insisted going through airport screening dressed only in bra and panties.

But at least she covered up with a top before boarding the plane. I'm not sure whether she covered up as her own choice, or if the airline requested it, but perhaps a policy limiting the amount of skin shown wouldn't be a bad idea?

I sympathize with the woman who went thru screening -- or wanted to -- in bra and panties. She was probably doing this in protest to the TSA "body scanners" that produce an almost-nude image of the passenger.

Because I can't wear elastic around my waist for long periods (sensitive skin due to shingles), I often wear a wrestler's singlet as underwear -- and I have been tempted to strip down to the singlet and tell the agent "You wanted to see my nude contours -- well, here they are!"

P.S. I like the line that the T.S.A. scanners ought to be called "T.&.A." scanners.

OMG ! this is just the kinda S%$^ that gives True Transsexuals a bad name since yes we get lumped in with you transgender under your F%^^&* umbrella. So all you Transgender umbrella loving nuts reap what you have sow. Carol remember the other day when you were asking for examples of how bad transgender behavior reflexes of true transsexuals well here you go. I think this makes normal people call and write their elected representatives asking them to not support bills like ENDA , or DOMA or any other piece of legislation that would give LGBT equality. You transgender support every nut having the right to do whatever the F$%^ they want well here you go.

"Is this what ENDA is going to mean -- that he can come dressed to work like this?"

Absolutely not - unless we're dealing with an employee who is telecommuting but isn't teleconferencing, or we're dealing with an employer who has an extrremely, um, permissive, dress code, perhaps in a buisiness that caters to fetishists.

There is a difference between gender expression and wearing a fetishistic costume - and it is unfortunate that I use the term "fetishistic" since it sometimes is used inappropriately in other contexts (such as in the BBL mythology involving late transitioners).

"Gender expression" requires a "gender identity." And the costume in the photo is clearly not indicative of the gender expression of a middle-aged person with a female gender identity.

Certainly, an ENDA or a GENDA would not, should not, could not, apply to such an individual's choice of inappropriate attire. Only opponents of either bill would assert that it would, and they already refer to the bills as things like "perverts and predators relief acts."

Joann, I respectfully must differ with you on the idea that "gender expression " requires a "gender identity", thus not applying to this individual. Everyone has a gender identity, and "gender expression" is generally protected by statute whether or not related to the gender identity traditionally associated with the sex assigned at birth. That means this man's expression of his gender, by wearing a bikini and hose, is arguably protected by such a statute, regardless of whether he is transsexual or not.

Jill, I don't see the costume he is wearing as expressing his gender. There is a difference between gender expression and wearing a costume.

If his gender identity is different from that associated with the gender assigned at birth, that is one thing, but the genders that are referred to are M and F, as well as Bi and A. Kook is not a gender.

Om Kalthoum | June 23, 2011 4:28 PM

Who gives a flying fig what his gender is, what his sex is, what his gender expression is, what his gender identity is? He is not dressed appropriately for the social setting in which he has placed himself. He needs to cover up or get lost. And not subject the people around him who have no say in the matter to his sexual kicks or kinks.

I agree with you. I think going out in public in your underwear is inappropriate in most places, particularly in an airport, no matter what kind of underwear you are wearing.

If he were wearing a nice dress or a top & skirt then I'd say, fine. This isn't about the cross dressing, I'm outraged at his exhibitionism and agree with Dr Weiss that this makes our job of educating people a lot harder.

Sometimes people do commit felony BAD TASTE. Or they are wearing garments that have nothing to do with being practical to ANATOMY, but are just something they personally get off on getting attention for. And for the wrong reasons. A young black man with his pants hanging off his ass is STUPID looking. THAT is not how pants are supposed to be worn. People keep pushing the line of modesty, or what's appropriate for their age, body type and occasion ALL the time. And it's a sign of bad manners not to be cognizant of anything to do with social propriety for it's own sake.
So such bad manners in attire, deserve admonition.
What's right for public view, is true for EVERYONE, it's not just a matter of one's gender. There are after all, plenty of UNISEX garments that wouldn't make anyone bat an eye.

I've been perusing the www.peopleofwalmart.com website ( I almost hate to admit it, but DAY-UM!), and there is a plethora of horrific bad taste, hair styles and inappropriate dress or animals to deserve the ridicule it quite easily incites.

I'm all for dressing for comfort, AND practicality. But like public nudity, or wearing things that are specifically about titilation, public or private...this is what this man is being called out on.
He tried to straddle the line, and toppled over to the wrong side.
And just like the people of Wal Mart photos are saying, being out in public with stuff like that on, you're asking for whatever judgement will inevitably be passed for exposing yourself in such a bad way.

Are you saying, Regan, that the young man deserved to be arrested?

I didn't know he'd been ARRESTED for his clothes being worn like that. I thought he'd been arrested for having a hissy fit and NOT complying with pulling up his pants. Of course I don't agree that someone should be arrested because their clothes aren't worn properly.
But if you're going to have a tantrum over it, and you get yourself cited as a problem, then what is anyone supposed to say or do about that?

I fully agree, Jill. To me, this man comes under the heading of a true weirdo. Harmless perhaps, but if it would be inappropriate for a born woman to board a plane dressed this way (and it would), so too should that standard apply to anyone else who wants to do so, regardless of their gender identity or anything else.

And yes, it does make us look bad, because you know people are going associate this kind of behavior with people like you and me, whether it's actually a valid comparison or not.

The thing is, Becky, that it would not be inappropriate for a young woman to wear that attire. So the problem is, how do we distinguish between that and this when "gender expression" is discussed?

I am confused about how you seem to be tying two concepts together, Jillian: gender identity/expression and overly revealing/inappropriate clothing.

At first I was thinking, while this might be linked to gender and trans status in the minds of some people, it doesn't look like that to me. Does it really matter what pronouns this individual uses, how they identify, or what sex they were assigned at birth? It appears to me that the only issue that should matter is the dress code.

Shouldn't the dress code apply to everyone equally? Wouldn't this outfit be equally inappropriate no matter who wore it? But you then say this outfit would be okay on a (cis? trans? both?) woman. Why? Perhaps it's an issue of the visible bulge in underwear, would a cis woman wearing this outfit be inappropriate only if they were packing a soft pack? Would this individual be fine in your eyes if they had effectively been tucking?

I understand how this outfit might be inappropriate, but what I don't understand is how it could be appropriate for others at the same time. Isn't the whole point of non-discrimination for laws and policies to be applied equally to everyone?

Wolfgang E. B. Wolfgang E. B. | June 24, 2011 8:24 AM

Dr. Weiss wrote, "The thing is, Becky, that it would not be inappropriate for a young woman to wear that attire."

It wouldn't? Personally, I would consider a woman of any age wearing only panties to the airport to be inappropriate. And this guy's attire would be just as inappropriate if he were wearing men's underwear. The top is okay--If he would just put on a pair of shorts or a skirt, he'd be fine.

I don't think he deserves to be arrested, but I also think the airport and airlines have right to require a minimum standard of decency, just as a restaurant is free to say "no shirt, no shoes, no service."

After reflection, I think you're right, Wolfgang, and Becky. Here's a story from 2007 about a young woman wearing a far less revealing outfit who was kicked off a flight: http://www.newser.com/story/11956/too-skimpy-for-plane-just-right-for-playboy.html But then what makes me wonder is that the airline in the current story says they have no dress code.

As I know you know, Jill, in your line of work, dress codes are relative. Even when there's no dress code in place or one where casual attire is specifically allowed, there's an expectation that an employee will come to work wearing clothes that will not be distracting or (for lack of a better term) freakish. If you're a female pole dancer at an adult club, coming to work dressed like this man wouldn't be considered unusual or out of place. On the other hand, if you're working at the local pharmacy it probably would be.

In this situation, I think there's a reasonable expectation that people are going to show up to board a plane, a public space where children are often present, fully clothed, not in their underwear.

My own experience as a trans woman in the workplace and someone who often travels on public conveyances is that I dress myself in concert with what is considered acceptable by a reasonable standard for women. I don't think this man's attire fits that standard for anyone, just as a man showing up to board a plane wearing nothing but tighty-whiteys or having his butt hanging out of his pants wouldn't be. I'd expect that a woman wearing a particularly sexy and revealing outfit would be questioned and probably confronted as well, and that's probably as it should be.

If we as trans folks wish to be considered equal with non-trans society then it incumbent upon us to fit ourselves to those expectations, not the other way around. If we choose not to do that, then it shouldn't be surprising that we're seen as "others" because we're the ones "othering" ourselves.

rapid butterfly | June 24, 2011 9:17 AM

Dr. Weiss - I take your point about the white male privilege issues here, and it's a good one. But - what? you think that outfit would be appropriate for that social setting even if the wearer were a conventionally-gorgeous young cis woman? I don't follow that at all, and don't agree with it. I think the posters who've noted that the clothes are inappropriate for the social setting, regardless of gender, have it right.

Point taken, Butterfly, as noted above I agree with you now.

What happened is by the time I got my post typed and then posted, you had already agreed as noted above. Sorry, wish I had seen it before I posted.

to the comment, "that it would not be inappropriate for a young woman to wear that attire". It would in the days when I was growing up, and I'm not dead yet. Bikini's were worn on the beach "only" and it was frowned upon in general unless one were engaged in an outing wherein the activities of "swimming" were taking place. Dress codes have eroded over time but I don't think we should throw them out the window. They evolved because of people like this and for a woman to wear this at the airport would be "inappropriate" in my view point and I'm sure for many others too. I was taught there's always a "time and a place" but seems some people don't know how to differentiate what is appropriate in some places and what is not at others or they don't give a hoot, and probably is why we have so many laws, having to try to regulate every aspect of behavior, thanks to all the "free thinkers".

For one, I am sure that some airlines has very specific -- and potentially restrictive -- dress codes. I have a relative who is an airline employee, and I have received "buddy passes" as gifts. I learned that when flying using a buddy pass (which confers a very reduced rate) I, as a cis-male, had to dress in attire commonly acceptable in business situations. (That's the short of it -- I don't want to bore you with details.)

But I also learned that men cannot wear earrings -- and I had pierced earrings that could not be removed without destroying the rings. At the unofficial suggestion of a gate agent, I had to buy Band-Aids and cover the earrings, feigning that I had "infections" in my earlobes! (Speaking of race, I wonder if Michael Jordan or P.Diddy would have received the same treatment?)

So ... it can get ridiculous to one extreme, and it can get ridiculous at the other extreme.

The man in the photo is the opposite extreme. IMHO, if women are not allowed to fly in their underwear, then men should not be allowed to fly in women's underwear, either.

This person's behavior may be in poor taste (hint: it is) but I don't see why you think it's defensible to draw the line where you have. It's not arbitrary--but it is essentially bowing to social mores. You wonder if this is what workplace protections lead to but frankly this outfit wouldn't meet dress code no matter who wore it, at least not in any of the places I've worked (shady though some have been).

I also take issue with the (apparent, and please correct me if I'm wrong) claims that "taking our struggle seriously" (which as a transsexual person and activist I very much do) doesn't involve absurdity or ridiculousness at times (especially given that many who would oppose us consider our very existence absurd or ridculous). As a genderfluid person my presentation shifts frequently; I'm that person opponents of workplace protections fear, who presents male one day and female the next. Some would label that absurd--certainly I've been accused of being "disruptive"--but it's an expression of my identity (and I'm never as tacky as Airplane Bikini Guy up there).

I guess my point is that while I question this person's taste, I can't blame him for just having fun with gendered expectations. I do that too sometimes, though generally with more class. And I have to wonder if fighting for the easier victories (i.e. rights for people who behave respectably) is going to work in the long run for those of us who don't, can't, or won't act in ways that are socially legible.

(I do appreciate that you addressed the race issue, though; I agree entirely that this SHOULD be contrasted with the treatment Mr. Marman received.)

I'm glad you put this in the context of Deshon Marman. I agree that their refusal to give their name tells us something about what might be their ability to disengage from the immediate effects (although their photo is out there). But why is this person, however they identify themselves, responsible for what happens to ENDA/the trans community? Taking him out of the picture, is such an outfit always "ridiculous?" I've known trans women who have been openly stigmatized and mocked because they haven't been able to afford the requisite amount of surgery to ensure that their bodies don't look "ridiculous" in female clothing, or in makeup. At what point do we decide that someone like the person in the photograph is "ridiculous" but a trans woman who wants to present as female is not? And how do we even do that?

You're also assuming that there can be no "dignity" in such an outfit. Putting aside the issues with such notions of "dignity," which are entirely constructed and deeply problematic, I have to ask: what of the punk rock youth whose clothes don't match societal notions of propriety/dignity? What of those whose "ethnic" clothes particularly, for instance, the niqab or the burkha, that are considered unsuitable for work or anywhere outside the home? Not so long ago, Indian immigrants were strictly forbidden from wearing even the relatively innocuous salwar-kameezes in some workplaces, and this was in NYC. In fact, the issue of "ethnic" hair and clothing is still one that rages in the workplace today.

The fight for ENDA is or should be a simple declaration against discrimination against people on the basis of gender identity/sexual orientation. Barney Frank has made statements that ENDA will not mean that someone could show up for work in a beard and a dress and my response has always been: why not? And where will such injunctions stop? Does this mean that a trans person can ONLY get rights if they completely conform to the societal norms of what their gender will look like? Will the stray hairs on the chin of even an otherwise conforming woman who may not be trans mean that she is now vulnerable to policing and harassment?

I see that you're not necessarily advocating such legal backlash, but I would also suggest that your response constitutes the start of a slippery slope. Even within the limited authority of ENDA, workplace discrimination ought to be fairly simple: you don't discriminate, no matter what. Whether or not someone demonstrates enough "dignity" should not be the requirement. And I would also remind us all that "gender expression" can be just that, and might well involve someone with a beard in a dress, someone who wants to "express" a variance from the norms or simply doesn't believe in them. Surely we ought to be able to look forward to a world where no one is harassed or mocked or stigmatized simply because they don't fulfill norms. And yes, I do hope that we are indeed fighting for a world where people can come to work dressed like this (although that's a bit of a red herring: this is clearly a "vacation outfit").

Om Kalthoum | June 23, 2011 5:28 PM

"I'm glad you put this in the context of Deshon Marman."
These are not equivalent situations. Exhibitionist Bikini Man was not asked to cover up, at least on this flight (although fellow travelers HAD complained). Marmon, wearing pajama bottoms "bellow his buttocks but above his knees", was asked by more than one employee to cover up, and refused to comply. THEN when the captain of the plane came to talk to him, practically the first words out of this fool's mouth were, "I don't have to listen to you." Oops. And "I ain't do nothing to nobody...I know my rights!" I guess he didn't know his rights on an airplane.

I don't have much patience for either of these examples of male entitlement. One looks and sounds like a sicko who gets off parading around with his dick on display; the other like an entitled punk who doesn't have to answer to anyone about having his ass on display. Boo hoo.

"In the context of" does not mean they're equivalent. And that's really all I have to say in response to a rather mean-spirited rant.

Om Kalthoum | June 23, 2011 6:11 PM

I can guarantee, if I had to sit knee to knee with Women's Underwear Man on a public conveyance with no chance of escape, I'd be MORE than mean-spirited. I'd raise hell. Likewise, if my flight was delayed because Sagging Below His Ass PJ Bottoms Guy disobeyed a request by the flight crew and copped an attitude with the captain, resulting in everyone on the plane being forced to disembark, I'd be pissed then, too. Guess I just don't have a sense of entitlement.

"male entitlement" (nice point)

Can we nominate a comment of the week?

Thanks for this comment, Yasmin. You expressed a lot of what I was thinking. It does not benefit a broader struggle against gender binarism, if we keep to narrow views of what is 'appropriate' clothing.

Rachel Bellum | June 23, 2011 3:12 PM

This would most likely make me uncomfortable as well.

However, I don't think the solution is as neat and tidy as many would believe.

First, I don't believe this person's age or body type should matter in this discussion. Other than perhaps being mature enough to realize the likely effect of his (I assume) behavior on others. The argument that someone properly female identified would dress accordingly is interesting, but seems very problematic in practice (I would also wonder if cis women dressed provocatively would have their identity even raised for discussion). And likely to lead to abuse given that most of the people making and enforcing such decisions will have little understanding of trans lives (even assuming they are not un-sympathetic to start with).

I think comparing the various publicized reactions of airlines to clothing in the last couple of years is interesting (CNN has an article with videos doing this, but the links aren't on their front page now). In some ways I think this compares even better with the young white college student who received complaints about her top and mini skirt a couple of years ago (though it was a different airline). As I recall she was threatened with ejection and had to cover up with a blanket because other passengers complained.

Airlines have purposefully put these matters into the hands of the crew to decide. Most likely for reasons that include deniability of responsibility when it goes wrong. As long as it's organized this way, there will be abuses/errors in both directions, but I'm not sure what other more trustworthy system exists.

Personally I feel a responsibility when traveling to try to conform to "reasonable" social norms, especially in communal environments. And while I would like to believe that I am "sex positive," this looks to me like not just personally titillating behavior but using the surrounding passengers as part of the "fun." I generally don't think that's appropriate in public and especially not using unwilling participants. My gut reaction says that using unwilling participants for any form of sexual gratification is a form of sexual assault, and I suspect that is part of what is "fun" about this. If I am incorrect about this, I apologize for leaping to conclusions.

I have heard people saying that they were upset about kids seeing this. I normally greatly dislike that argument. Using kids in arguments is generally a way of enforcing your opinion without taking responsibility or allowing dissent. However, I would be uncomfortable with children being exposed to this, especially given the impression of the events I have. My own or other people's.

I would assume it's going to take a little time for people to both be comfortable being supportive of trans people, and comfortbale understanding that there can still be reasonable expectations. It's also true that rules rarely get enforced justly, fairly, blindly, or in a way that satifies everyone.

At first I assumed part of the reason he was successfully getting away with this was BECAUSE of the previous screwups with sagging pants and miniskirts, but his words seem to suggest he has been doing this for some time.

I have seen people with sagging pants who's whole butt was exposed, sometimes with skin. But I'm not under the impression that was the case with the young man who ended up getting arrested the other day. And I don't see how police action was called for in any case, other than as an over reaction to the presence of a black male (Really why are we so quick to call the police to settle everything now?). I also never understood how the girl in the mini skirt was such a problem. Especially given airline seating arrangments. If this gentleman had been dressed like her, I would probably say it fell under his personal discretion. If he was wearing that same miniskirt outfit but behaving like it was 30 minutes before closing time at his favorite watering hole, I would probably be OK with either pulling him aside or telling him he couldn't fly that day. Although, there again we are getting into flawed (that is human) people making tough calls in short amounts of time and under a great deal of professional pressure. Given the social prejudices rampant regarding these issues, wouldn't there also be some officials making really bad calls here, some accidental but some purposeful?

to the comment: "I would assume it's going to take a little time for people to both be comfortable being supportive of trans people". I don't, even for one split second, feel this person is a "trans people". We need to make exclusions from this type of behavior and keeping folks like this under the so called "transgender umbrella" is detrimental to the cause of civil rights. Think of it as a merry-go-round, where people can get on and off when they please. This is a gay man who is costuming but the general public, who talk to their legislators, do not understand, period. Keeping folks like this from migrating into our civil rights gender battles of utmost importance and need to be "unlabelled", "not a trans person", period.

Shame on all of you for mis-gendering her don't you remember this is what you've been fighting for? Don't you remember fighting so she can use the women's room? Don't you also remember fighting so women can make men pregnant or other women? Welcome to the real world Jillian I saw this writing on the wall years ago. Ready to become one of a few dozen angry Transsexual advocates now?

Remember to always practice good fire safety when burning through strawmen like that.

They asked for it and now its being delivered one gigantic strawman as a hideously dressed crossdresser. I've seen plenty of crossdressers dressed equally as bad even in more conservative clothing.When I look at her I see a crossdresser and the perfect definition of someone that fits under the Transgender umbrella as its always been described to me. I find it hard to believe that any normal straight guy would go out in public dressed like that. I also remember not that long ago all of us having a conversation of how such a person should be gendered if they were murdered. I see more than a few people here who said she should be identified as female simply because of what she is wearing. Oh how the tune changes when faced with it like an ugly smack upside the head. Got any marshmallows SAS I've got some matches and the wienies are already covered. I'm sure there are more than a couple here willing to provide some buns.

If anyone needed proof that you've never listened to a single word said by the people that disagree with you, it's right there.

Oh for fu... no. Just no. He is a male-identified, and still very clearly attempting to present male, person who gets a kick out of weirding out all the minimum-wage protofacists at the TSA who arbitrarily search.

I am a woman who would prefer twenty thousand dollars of liquidity and to avoid a goodly chance of frigidity and a minute-to-you-but-horrifying-to-me chance of colo-rectal complications to a neovagina.

And you ought to be ashamed to draw the comparison.

I'm not ashamed to draw the comparison I see it as dead on. As for complications from SRS I'd rather spend twenty grand and risk a chance of being the one in three hundred to get a rectal colon fistula then to try and argue that any woman would be happy having a penis.Or that women can make other women pregnant or that men can get pregnant. There's a place for conversations like that it's called the Jerry Springer show.

I'd report the comment, but this kapoism serves me better right here. You just called the majority of trans women fodder for Jerry Springer... I have nothing to add.

Actually, I've decided it does warrant more, for there is no magical fairy dust they use at Brassard's or any other clinic that makes your nerve endings any different from any other woman's. Can a woman be happy without a uterus then? Can I be happy without ovaries? Can I be happy just to be seen and see myself as a woman, despite the desperate need of some to make such a clean break with the past that they need surgery, instead of their own identity and the stress they have lived with and through because of its dissonance with what the world told them and I?

I think crying myself to sleep through my early twenties wishing I could wake up a girl, after I realized what I was missing, says a lot more about my gender than any hormone or operation or garment or letter on my ID ever can. But I need the hormones and the ID. Why? Self-respect, body chemistry, so that I can wake up and not think I reek of something wrong on every level.

But you know what, I probably didn't get dysphoric about my genitalia, which I wouldn't have to say one word about if people like you hadn't decided to make it an issue for reasons that still continue to boggle my mind, because I don't think I ever gendered genitalia. maybe that's my cultural blindspot. I mean, I used to think the saying was, "For All Intensive Purposes" up until 23, so there's that.

You will never convince me that Bailey Jay is a man or that Buck Angel is a woman, in fact, we have that argument, with all sorts of people, mainstream people, and we'll win. We'll win with people who haven't got some agenda whereby they need someone marginalized to call a man so they can feel like they're being misandristic to someone they feel safe hating. We'll win with people who aren't trying to invent a God that hates queer people but just loves shrimp and poly-cotton blend. We'll win with people who aren't so clinical that they cannot accept such things exist as a spectrum, gender theorists who carry with them a reductionist view of a binary system that would make the Tea Party Blush.

We'll win, and this guy is not discrediting that march to a world that understands that trans women were women before Lily Elbe marched onto the scene in 1931, but rather, that we have always been and will always be, and have dealt with it with the means available and as we felt the need. He won't hold us back.

You will.

You will give people an argument to latch on to. You will make it possible for trans women, operative and non-operative and could-care-less-maybe-later operative women to be gatekept. You will make their dysphoria last longer, and you will help prolong a system which drives women to suicide.

There. That's all.

Wolfgang E. B. Wolfgang E. B. | June 24, 2011 4:27 PM

Valerie Keefe wrote, "I probably didn't get dysphoric about my genitalia, which I wouldn't have to say one word about if people like you hadn't decided to make it an issue for reasons that still continue to boggle my mind, because I don't think I ever gendered genitalia."

Same here, and thank you for putting words to a concept I've been trying to for a long time--"I don't think I ever gendered genitalia." Brilliant!

Stephanie | June 23, 2011 3:40 PM

See, now....there's two types of people.

Transsexuals (most of us on this here board, I imagine - and would have the self-respect to not do that) and crazy motherfuckers (who have no self respect).

Exhibit A here is a prime example of "crazy motherfucker". I wouldn't have minded if four nice strong men in white coats had escorted him off the plane and into a padded van.

It's one thing to for a guy to dress in drag. While socially uncomfortable, at least your naughty bits and less-than-flattering curves are -- for the most part -- covered.

It's another one to sashay around in your UNDERWEAR in public.

This has nothing to do with transgenders. It has everything to do with a lunatic walking around in his/her underwear in public, flouting common decency -- it would be no different if he were walking around in a Speedo down Main Street.


A couple things:

1 - this is not a hoax.
2 - This persons gender identity and expression are both masculine
3 - he does this as a form of protest against the TSA, and has for a while.

I think it's likely a good thing that I have to prepare for a retreat this weekend today. I'd otherwise be likely to rip some new hind ends among a wide swath of people here.

Without regard for the TOS

Tina (IL) | June 23, 2011 3:53 PM

I'm trying real hard (this is day two!) to stay positive in my comments. What this guy does is his own business...and that of the airline and the airport. Does it help truly transgendered individuals (of course maybe he is one?)? No, but I tend to just bang my head against the wall (poor wall!) and move on. It is those of us who are able to act with some grace and dignity who will have an impact on society. In the meantime, I'm glad the photo isn't all of his "package." That is just for congressment!

Om Kalthoum | June 23, 2011 3:56 PM

So, are you saying that wearing this sort of get-up in an airport is inappropriate for this man, but would not be for a woman? I say it is inappropriate for both.

Oh gosh, he's real? Can I take him home?

You're so right how this person's reception would have been completely different if they were a person of colour.

I would not accept this as an accurate representation, really -- certainly not typically.

However, by law, it does technically fit the term "gender expression." How could someone writing language into law to exempt this person, and not also inadvertently disenfranchise more? I don't think it can be done.

I can't say I'm very comfortable having this person do this, either. But the law is either-or, and if it's a choice between this or exempting people from human rights because of the "ick" factor, I'd have to side with human rights.

I think it would be easy to make it applicable to everyone without causing disenfranchment to some group. Think of rules like "no shirt no shoes no service". All you need the rule to say is that one needs a certain amount of skin covered, don't need for it to say with what.

Yes, but the point is you can't address this through the "gender expression" of legislation.

Also realizing from my response just how lookist I can be after all. Hm.

Oh don't worry. Once heard a man say he'd call the cops on someone with visible facial hair going into the women's washroom, "because that's where the kids go." So I've heard worse and I'm sure you have too.

Sigh. As far as anyone can remember, this was a comment someone made about a hypothetical and visibly cis male, which someone else then let stew for a month rather than say anything that could have resulted in clarification.

If it was about someone who was cis and male presenting, the person who had said it and the people around him, were *all* sophisticated enough to use more accurate verbiage than to reference the facial hair. The discussion, as I recall, was about someone who was making a pain of herself in the eyes of the aforementioned commenter and others privy to the discussion. The second part of your reccoilection, after I tried to say something about it then and there, and I most certainly did, and was shut down, was true. Beyond that our recollections are at stark variance, though I will note that still, if asked, I could name the organization for which she worked, and that the poutine was sub-par, and I will leave it at that.

to the comment: "But the law is either-or, and if it's a choice between this or exempting people from human rights because of the "ick" factor, I'd have to side with human rights".

I understand your point, but he already has human rights to dress like this. There is no law says he can't but there are consequences for our public behavior and I have paid dearly for some mine from my peers, those that had nothing to do with human rights. An employer already has rights that "professional dress" and "company image" is covered in their employment practices, no need for us to include that in our employment rights for ENDA. I can dress female and professional so there is no limitation for me or this fellow. He doesn't want to wear the company uniform, he can't work there, and employers are making feminine uniforms too, to accommodate their female employees. Personally I prefer civilian professional dress than the uniform, after not having self expression in my attire while in military school and the military. I don't like uniforms either, so I'm not up for peoples attire being regulated but since people, as I commented earlier, dress codes have eroded over time but I don't think we should throw them out the window. They evolved because of people like this and for a woman to wear this at the airport would be "inappropriate" in my view point and I'm sure for many others too. I was taught there's always a "time and a place" but seems some people don't know how to differentiate what is appropriate in some places and what is not at others or they don't give a hoot, and probably is why we have so many laws, having to try to regulate every aspect of behavior, thanks to all the "free thinkers".

Tina (IL) | June 23, 2011 4:13 PM

well, if an airline can refuse passage to a football player with "low pants" it would certainly seem like they could for someone with no pants!


Rachel Bellum | June 23, 2011 4:14 PM

Antonia, I hope I'm not one of the people you're upset with. I'm not sure I would want to be on the receiving of an ass kicking from you.

I did want to ask though where you read that was designed to be some form of protest. I've read a few articles about this now, and the only responses I've seen from him (and until you posted your point 2 I was just guessing at his identity from the way his quotes read) said he was doing it for fun. I believe one quote said it helped pass the time on trips, though I'm not finding that quote now.

I cannot bring myself to care about a guy dressing like this. And I absolutely HATE the 'undermining the movement' argument. It's still submitting yourself to the ideals of the bigots. I do not care what the bigots think, they are stupid and wrong. I will gladly ignore them and ridicule them and see no reason to give them so much as an inch. And that is what you are doing, giving them an inch.

I'll bet this is really getting under Lady Gaga's skin. Upstaged by some old dude in blue at the airport? Who would have predicted that?

Now the way I really see this is a "self correcting temporary abnormality". I mean have you flown in the last few years? As a fuel conservation measure the airlines are keeping the cabins really cold. I'm tempted to send this man a blanket, In pink, of course, probably covered with mermaids and unicorns.

For those so outraged by this man's behavior please let me mention that the Dollar Store is having a special this week on scents of humor. Its a new fragrance by Oh La La, the folks that also sell a book on Absurdity 101 for Dummies.

You would rethink your commitment to freedom of gender expression because someone uses that freedom in a way you disapprove of? What would you think if someone said " A black person was rude to me on the bus and it's making me rethink my views on racial equality"? "I was all for gay rights but I saw a guy in leather gear at a pride parade and now I have to rethink things"?

"I was all for freedom of gender expression but then I saw a woman wearing slacks. . ."

I love you Jillian, and I respectfully disagree...I think... this is a hard, er... complicated one. I have to fight for the full liberation of all of us including sexual and gender liberation however intertwined or not intertwined they may be. I think if someone wants to fly naked or dressed however they want, they should be able to. Yet I hear you on how this can undermine the movement.

Uhhh... Where is the fashion police when you really need them?
IMO, the story stinks as bad as a 12 foot pile of bull sh1t! No one would sit next to him to start with, unless he's flying first class and buys two seats. Also, as an aircraft mechanic type who's flown a bit commercial flights tend to be uhhh... Chilly to say the least. He would be grabbing every thin blanket on the flight.
Maybe he flies on a private corporate jet? But I just can't see a commercial jet even letting him board dressed like that and the entire aircrew has authority to deny a passenger from boarding who is dressed inappropriately. 'THAT' is inappropriate for air travel.

And yes, I have a problem with it too.

For starters this guy is doing this as a protest and for the shock value. It has nothing to do with gender identity or expression, or with our movement. I don't think it seriously undermines our movement either. If some conservative wants to hold this picture up as what a trans person is, it will only hurt their argument when someone tells them the truth.

Personally I find this just bizarre, but I don't really care one way or another. The thing about people doing something for shock value is the worst thing you can do is to simply ignore them, which is what I intend to from now on.

Some trans people, and in particular some cross dressers seem to have almost this bad of taste in clothing, that's a fact. But then again there are a lot of cis gender with really bad taste in clothing. There are important parallels between this case and the black football player who had his pants hanging down, but the parallel is that bad taste knows no boundaries.

It just makes trans visibility all the more important. We need to be visible so that a few people that stand out don't define us.

Om Kalthoum | June 23, 2011 5:54 PM

"For starters this guy is doing this as a protest...."

Can you link to anything which confirms this "protest" assertion? In the linked news article, he mentions only that he does it "for fun." When men wear nothing but women's underwear in public "for fun" where no one else is so attired - well, we normally characterize that behavior with other terms.

First of all, I would like to thank Dr. Weiss for the mention!

I have a few things to say about this. I don't know all the facts of this case, but I'm more concerned about addressing some of the points brought up in the commentary here.

I think that, if Toni's reportage of the facts of this case is accurate, we can see that this case really doesn't have anything to do with gender identity or expression. It's unfortunate for the TSA that it actually happened before the baggy pants case, but perhaps this will lead to some more consistency in enforcement down the road.

Relaxing the normative nature of our society's standards of gendered behavior doesn't necessarily mean that we have to throw out every sense of what constitutes appropriate dress in public, particularly for areas where close contact with others in unavoidable, like the conditions that prevail in an airplane.

However, much like attempting to put an ultimate definition to "gender expression", we cannot codify "appropriate dress" in more specific than general terms. For instance, we can say "No shoes, no shirt, no service," but having a set standard for skirt length is more problematic. That said, just because we cannot have an objectively set standard for all types of dress does not mean that there isn't any general consensus of what constitutes appropriate dress.

The outfit of the person in question is essentially little different from lingerie or underwear, and I think very few people would argue that dressing in such a fashion and expecting to get on an airplane is inappropriate and unrealistic, not to mention possibly unsanitary. As Stephanie Weil-Erickson said above, this is about common decency, which is, even though many of us here may push the boundaries of what ought to be considered "common", a context-dependent reality with which we must all contend.

I don't think we have much to worry about here, except for that I do agree that such incidents inevitably put trans women under scrutiny that we do not deserve, yet again. Fortunately, this incident will pass quickly without much notice being taken, and will be forgotten, I predict.

As regards standards of workplace dress, I see no problem with alternate day cross-dressing, so long as the employee meets standards of attire and appearance for whatever gender the employee wishes to express, but I also see no problem with an employer refusing to employ such a person in a capacity where an inconsistent identity may have a negative economic effect on the business. In many aspects of business, clients and customers expect to have a certain level of comfort with their vendors, and if such behavior has a negative impact on the ability of the business to thrive, I see little problem with forbidding such behavior. This may not be a legally or morally defensible point of view, but it's just how I feel about it. I can't crusade for everything! :)

to the comment: "this case really doesn't have anything to do with gender identity or expression". Yes it does, it definitely does have something to do with "gender expression". Intentionally wearing definitive and skimpy feminine attire in public to intentionally call attention to oneself that is obviously male, he is expressing himself outwardly by gender clothing, which is gender expression and it will cause mud to be smeared on our face.

I really couldn't care less about "this". He looks like he could be on his way to Miami in a Speedo. Now, tell me genitals don't make a difference :)

What I do have a problem with is this:

Section 8(a)(3) CERTAIN SHARED FACILITIES- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to establish an unlawful employment practice based on actual or perceived gender identity due to the denial of access to shared shower or dressing facilities in which being seen fully unclothed is unavoidable, provided that the employer provides reasonable access to adequate facilities that are not inconsistent with the employee's gender identity as established with the employer at the time of employment or upon notification to the employer that the employee has undergone or is undergoing gender transition, whichever is later.

Am I missing something here? I read separate but equal. Haven't we been through this before? Forget about establishing criteria for gender/sex change. I thought it has been established that separate is not equal. I have brought this up a few times. Why do we need this distraction involving an eccentric, if that is who he really is. There is so much talk of equality. Non discrimination does not necessarily make someone equal. Shouldn't what this paragraph says be discussed openly and exhaustively so the implications are very clear to anyone who thinks it a good idea to advocate for this legislation. Personally, I see it as a big problem. Maybe this has been discussed and I missed it. I don't read anyone here referring to such a discussion or what this paragraph implies, however.

Oh, I have a humorous story that was told to me over and over, when I was a child growing up, about a friend of someone who amounted to my surrogate grandfather. The friend was committed to the local mental institution after he took it upon himself to walk down the main thoroughfare of our lovely city, clad in nothing more than a bowler hat. He distracted a truck driver so, that the trucker drove right through the plate glass window of a fashionable women's clothing store. I don't think that had anything to do with ENDA, though.

Which law is this man breaking?

Zoe remember its incorrect to call some masculine pronouns when dressed in fem you might have just hurt her feelings.

Om Kalthoum | June 23, 2011 9:00 PM

Gosh, I don't know, since he claims to do it all over the country, he probably IS breaking some laws somewhere.

But tell me, is it legal to appear everywhere in public in YOUR country wearing only your underwear? Courts? Airports? Schools? And sorry to play this card, but since one can reasonably expect young children to be present in these venues where Women's Underwear Guy struts his stuff, is this the sort of spectacle you'd invite to, say, your child's school, to lecture on gender diversity?

I'm more interested in knowing which bathroom this exhibitionist uses at the airport terminals.

'Think of the children' is pretty worthless as an argument. Do you seriously think kids are going to be harmed by this image?

Om Kalthoum | June 23, 2011 10:20 PM

Image? He's a real live Underwear Man, not an image.

So, your 12-year-old daughter is flying a short hop by herself and her other parent will be meeting her at the gate on arrival. She's sitting next to Check Out My Cute Little Package Man. Okay by you?

Don't think of the children. Think of YOUR children.

He seems pleasant enough. It's not the weird looking ones you need to worry about, it's the normal ones. The weirdos can't get away with anything.

Well Om since something like 15 states and 100 municipalities have gender expression and identity protections chances are this person is legal anywhere they've been. Just so you know I don't agree with it.

But tell me, is it legal to appear everywhere in public in YOUR country wearing only your underwear? Courts? Airports? Schools?
Yes. In the Northern Territory, it's not uncommon to strip down if the airconditioning breaks down. Even in court.

It may be prohibited as a matter of policy by the building's proprietors, the school administration, the airline... but there is no law against it, no.

That's why I asked: which law is this person breaking? A serious, not a rhetorical question. What social conventions in the USA are enforced by the power of the law?

Zoe, yours is an important question: which law is this man breaking? Usually appearing insufficiently clothed in public is prosecuted under "lewd conduct" or "disorderly conduct" (DPO) statutes. As in this case, U.S. v. Encinger (2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69506, July 13, 2010), which I have excerpted:

...Encinger, a male, was convicted of disorderly conduct after the government presented evidence that Encinger appeared in the VA Hospital in Grand Island, Nebraska, in scant female clothing that revealed Encinger's buttocks, and then became upset, agitated, and uncooperative in the facility's dining room when asked by a federal police officer to change into a longer skirt...This evidence established that defendant Encinger, while on property under the charge and control of the VA, engaged in disorderly conduct which "create[d] loud, boisterous, and unusual noise" or which tended to "impede or prevent the normal operation of a service or operation of the facility." Thus, there was sufficient evidence to support Encinger's conviction.

The opinion makes it a little unclear whether it is the scant clothing that is the basis for the charge, or the defendant's being agitated and uncooperative, or both. However, in order for the agitation and lack of cooperation to be an offense, the officer had to have a right to demand that the defendant leave the premises in the first place. The only fact that could have given the officer such a right here is the scant clothing. In addition, standards for a DPO are very low, in that failure to immediately comply with an officer's proper request is usually sufficient grounds for a disorderly persons arrest. Thus, asking a question about the command prior to compliance and screaming one's head off are both equally grounds for DPO, though the sentence may be different. In other words, the court found that her scant clothing constituted a disorderly persons offense.

darksidecat | June 23, 2011 9:37 PM

I have a cousin who has been known to dress in little more than that in public. Funny how no one asserted it automatically made her less of a woman, that is was an embarassment to all women, that is was a good reason to deny women equal rights under the law, etc. Would you say these same things about a cis person in similar clothing in regards to cis people's gender expressions? Would you be thinking that this person's garments reflected badly on you if they were a cis woman? What if this were a person known to crossdress but he had flown in what is thought of as "men's underwear" then would you be making these statements? There seems to be more than a little internalized transphobia going on in this comments section.

You think this guy is trans? Heck, I really don't care if he walks through the airport nude. I think he is giving society the proverbial finger just waiting for airport security to cuff him so he can grandstand in court. And I'm not sure what pronouns he prefers.

For that matter I wear less than he has on everytime I go to the beach. What is the saying? Everything has its place? Mr. Blue crotch jockey needs to discern the difference between traveling and lounging. Just my humble opinion.

I'm continually amazed at the lack of rigorous logic which pervades these topics. The entire post is meretricious. If one bothered to read the article they would see that the guy has been doing it for years and has always covered anything that was asked at any time that it was asked of him by the flight crew. He followed the law. Indeed, on airlines they can demand a passenger cover or remove or even be removed from the aircraft if they, the flight crew, deem the attire offensive in some manner.

He does not, in any respect, self identify or consider himself anything other than a normal man. I have a feeling that this issue is mainly one of linguistics rather than law. Since he's not transgendered nor seeking to have any legal affirmation thereof I fail to see how this is anything more than simply poor taste in clothing.

Om Kalthoum | June 23, 2011 11:29 PM

I, too, am continually amazed at the lack of rigorous logic in some postings. For instance:

"If one bothered to read the article they would see that the guy has been doing it for years...."

No, he CLAIMS he's been doing it for years. But now thanks to his self-induced notoriety, I'd say it's a safe assumption that his days of public exhibitionism in airports is drawing to a close, and that, in future, he'll be confined to wearing his collection of women's lingerie items underneath more typically male attire.

"He does not, in any respect, self identify or consider himself anything other than a normal man."

How do you know this? Where is he quoted as saying this?

"Since he's not transgendered nor seeking to have any legal affirmation thereof...."

How do you know this? What's your source?

Here's a man who says he wears women's lingerie in public "for fun." If that's not a cross dresser and, hence, belongs under that Transgender Umbrella, per the latest transgender manifesto, I don't know who would belong. Anyway, Justine, it is not the post that is "meretricious." This exhibitionist's behavior is meretricious.

For what it's worth, my guess is he keeps covered up most of the time (in a trenchcoat? LOL) until he's in a situation where he feels it's safe for him to flash his unwitting and mostly unwilling fellow passengers. No way does he sashay into and out of the terminals and travel on the street in broad daylight like this. He wouldn't have survived this long, given the way other males react.

Oh Gosh Om can't someone find out this guy's email address? Everybody is getting in a tizzy over his proclivities and I just want to get his phone number. Now remember as Mae West said .... a hard man is good to find.

Jillian is offended and thinks Blue balls mocks the social agenda. Lisa thinks this is long over due. Valerie thinks .. oh whatever, and quite frankly I have lost track of everybody else.

So, find his name and addy and I'll volunteer to straighten Blue Underware out post haste, literally. Or, in the alternative, this sillyness can go on forever.

Om Kalthoum | June 24, 2011 2:18 AM

His name's Howard, and based on his YouTube appearances, he seems to have made a big leap from his previous garden-variety transvestism in more modest spandex get-ups to that recent panties-only look. He's a real transgressor is our Howard.


The person is under-dressed, thats the issue. Gender expression protwction is vital protection because:
* plenty of Gays Lesbians and Bisexuals have diverse gender expression so its needed to protect GLB people properly or people will still get the sack for not wearing makeup and cutting their hair shoret etc.
* Non-binary gender identity people exist and are a significant part of the trans and intersex population/s
* other groups also get discriminated against for their gender expression (Goth and Emo hair and makeup for example).

None of which is really relevant to this case as the case is about exhibitionism, and the guy who got in trouble for his low pants was accoreding to the article exposing his actual private parts publicly:

"US Airways spokeswoman Valerie Wunder justified the airline's decision to let the cross dressing man fly, saying employees acted correctly.

As Ms. Wunder put it, "We don't have a dress code policy. Obviously, if their private parts are exposed, that's not appropriate. So if they're not exposing their private parts, they're allowed to fly."
She went on to say that Mr. Marman was exposing a body part on June 15 when he was repeatedly asked to pull up his pants."

The other person may have been wearing panties but at least they had them on!

Bayne, the idea that the young man arrested was "exposing a body part" is disingenuous, because according to the links I posted about the story, he was wearing boxer shorts under his pants that prevented his buttocks from being truly exposed.

Jay Kallio | June 24, 2011 2:18 AM

I am usually in favor of free speech and freedom of expression. In this case I feel that one single attention seeking individual is attempting to grab the spotlight, which will be obvious as a manipulation by a narcissistic individual, and every group of people suffers them. If this individual creates the conditions where more people of trans experience need to speak out to counter his junk hanging out for all to see, then that is how democracy works, and that is the charm of freedom of expression. It is a pleasure when mature, caring, sincere individuals who are more concerned with living a constructive life focussed on being their best and giving their best speak up about their need for equal rights and opportunity, and that is what eventually wins the hearts and minds.

I doubt such an immature, flagrantly manipulative person can derail the movement for trans equality. These people abound in society in every group. I think this deliberately provocative behavior is transparent enough that people will see through it for the ridiculousness it is. Honestly, my first impression of this man was that he might be a right winger or libertarianwho is deliberately seeking to derail the seriousness of our need for equal rights and protections.

I don't think for a moment that his behavior is representative of crossdressers as a group, so I object to pillorying all cross dressers or the "transgender umbrella" for one person's behavior. That is essentially doing the same stereotyping that transsexual people do not want done to them. I try to ignore people who do stuff like this, because they represent no one but themselves, and all they seek is attention, even derisive attention. They are a distraction, and the only brief power they have is of notoriety.

Dr. Weiss,

I agree with you. I am all in favor of Gender expression. Transgender people like us need legal protection. But a grey haired man wearing panties for laughs encourages or adds fuel to straight, or cissexual people laughing at us or treating us in a derogatory manner. Hate and abuse against Transgender people is NOT a joke, and WE are NOT a joke!!

For those wondering...

The reason this guy is suddenly in the news after doing this for years is because of a story published within the last relatively recent while about the TSA and a certian airline telling one person they could not pas through security, while this guy is fully able to do so.

He was, as a result, interviewed for *that* story (which was in a "weird world" type of category) and that's where I get the information regarding him.

Because he was asked those questions. Directly.

If anyone ever wanted to know why trans people have to fight so hard, and why threads on trans stuff are so nasty, all you have to do is look here.

At this thread.

Which deals with someone who is, basically, fucking with all of your minds. For fun. Because it makes people say the sorts of asinine things that are said here.

I'm going to go back to work now. At least I know that I've got job security what with the sorts of things said here.


"The reason the fights are so vicious is because the stakes are so low."

-Bob Rae in reference to student politics.

Zoe, yours is an important question: which law is this man breaking? Usually appearing insufficiently clothed in public is prosecuted under "lewd conduct" or "disorderly conduct" (DPO) statutes. As in this case, U.S. v. Encinger (2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69506, July 13, 2010), which I have excerpted:

...Encinger, a male, was convicted of disorderly conduct after the government presented evidence that Encinger appeared in the VA Hospital in Grand Island, Nebraska, in scant female clothing that revealed Encinger's buttocks, and then became upset, agitated, and uncooperative in the facility's dining room when asked by a federal police officer to change into a longer skirt...This evidence established that defendant Encinger, while on property under the charge and control of the VA, engaged in disorderly conduct which "create[d] loud, boisterous, and unusual noise" or which tended to "impede or prevent the normal operation of a service or operation of the facility." Thus, there was sufficient evidence to support Encinger's conviction.

The opinion makes it a little unclear whether it is the scant clothing that is the basis for the charge, or the defendant's being agitated and uncooperative, or both. However, in order for the agitation and lack of cooperation to be an offense, the officer had to have a right to demand that the defendant leave the premises in the first place. The only fact that could have given the officer such a right here is the scant clothing. In addition, standards for a DPO are very low, in that failure to immediately comply with an officer's proper request is usually sufficient grounds for a disorderly persons arrest. Thus, asking a question about the command prior to compliance and screaming one's head off are both equally grounds for DPO, though the sentence may be different. In other words, the court found that her scant clothing constituted a disorderly persons offense.

That was a Federal Facility, and the person who required him to "wear a longer dress" was employed as an agent of the VA, yes? If he refused, and was asked to leave but didn't, then trespass or disorderly conduct charges may have been in order. From the facts, the latter appears to be the case.

Could that agent have required robing-up in another public place - the sidewalk outside, for example?

The airline doesn't appear to have a problem with it; there's no indication of disorder or disruption. As for "lewdness", I can think of few things less salacious or attractive.

Regarding arrest for "disorderly conduct", this is a common catch-all in much of the USA. "Walking while Black", or "Standing in one's front yard" if requested (not ordered) to go inside have resulted in such arrests, though no convictions I know of in recent years. You can beat the Rap, but not the Ride.

The fact that it was a federal facility is a distinction without a difference, because there are similar statutes in every US jurisdiction. Point is that a person who wears such clothing in public can be charged with breaking a law, which is the question you asked.

Frankly, this is so preposterous that I'm suspicious of the intent. I wonder if this guy is some Bible thumping anti-Trans person who is trying to make our commmunity look stupid and create hysteria. I think that needs to be looked into. This is NOT someone out to just "have fun" or express his femine side. This is a political stunt if you ask me.

Frankly, this is so preposterous that I'm suspicious of the intent. I wonder if this guy is some Bible thumping anti-Trans person who is trying to make our commmunity look stupid and create hysteria. I think that needs to be looked into. This is NOT someone out to just "have fun" or express his feminine side. This is a political stunt if you ask me.

Jaime Dunaway Jaime Dunaway | June 24, 2011 9:58 AM

While the image of this guy in his scanties is an affront to my sensibilities due to the inappropriateness of it in public, I do think we make a mistake when we try to associate this sort of behavior with the trans community ourselves. Our opponents do enough of that, we shouldn't be making it easier for them. Just like that ad with the obvious man in a dress smoking a cigar, we have to acknowledge that a man in a dress or any other female attire doesn't automatically equal trans identified and just not concern ourselves with it.

Jillian, as someone who is trans and admires your activism and editorials, I disagree with you on this one.
Some in the gay and lesbian people feel that we as trans people are holding back their movement. They are normal, we are the freaks, and if we would just fade into the background they could finally have their equality.
You are disgusted by this man's choice in clothes in the same way that many non-trans people find us disgusting. Some in the trans community feel this man is holding back our quest for equality.
I don't know this man or his motivations and will reserve judgment. I do believe strongly however, that *everyone* has a right to freedom of gender expression, including this man, and that if we are going to apply dress codes that they must be applied regardless of the person's sex. I know that this is a losing argument politically, but remember that gay marriage and gays in the military were politically toxic several years ago as well. The gay community pushed these issues and they are moving along nicely. Likewise, I feel our long-term goal should be free gender expression for everyone. We may not be able to get it now, but we shouldn't lose sight of the goal. (I know many in the various communities that start with trans will disagree with me.)

Vivian " Some in the gay and lesbian people feel that we as trans people are holding back their movement. They are normal, we are the freaks, and if we would just fade into the background they could finally have their equality." There are many within the transsexual community who feel the same way, just so you known

I feel our long-term goal should be free gender expression for everyone. We may not be able to get it now, but we shouldn't lose sight of the goal.

I for one disagree with you I don't want to see people wearing whatever Inappropriate clothes they feel like wearing and me having to just bite my tongue and tolerate it because they are practicing their freedom of expression... I think we all should known were the boundaries are in society and that we all should respect them other wise we'll have anarchy.

Oops, I messed up, my response to Brandi is below.

I agree with you, I don't care if something politically viable or not. I care about what is right. And it is not right to attack somebody because he 'makes you look bad' to asshole bigots who don't care one way or the other. His actions cause absolutely zero harm, in fact, he's probably easier for airport security to search. The only thing he upsets is people's sensibilities, and I am absolutely positive that everybody here upsets another's sensibilities, probably even mainstream sensibilities. The hypocrisy of transsexuals marginalizing this man while complaining about LGBs marginalizing the "T" is most unflattering.

Om Kalthoum | June 24, 2011 12:02 PM

I tried to post this last night but it got held in moderation, I think because of the number of links it contained. I'll try to do it as separate posts since I'm not trying to spam the site.

From evidence on YouTube (links below and following), it is clear that Howard has flaunted his self-perceived feminine side on other occasions while traveling the friendly skies. The difference, it seems to me, is that previously Howard limited the expression of his fashion sense to ensembles which would produce merely eye rolls in a majority of cosmopolitan onlookers.

The photo of Howard posing for the public at Gate E9 dressed outrageously in matching blue underwear really seems to show an escalation of his behavior into the realm of the totally inappropriate, as most of the posters here note. As well, most of us agree that such attire would be wildly inappropriate on public transportation for males or females.

These videos and photo appear to show that:

Howard's behavior is not a “protest” or a political stunt.
He is an exhibitionist cross dresser.
By current definition put forth by transgender people, Howard is transgender.

Check out the video clips. And welcome Howard to the LGBT. Someone (Deena?) needs to get in touch with Howard and let him know that Pride Parades and Ladies Night at the local gay bar are the appropriate PUBLIC venues when he wishes to present en femme in electric blue panties. Of course, as always, YMMV.


Wow Om, I had no idea you were a youtube expert. Yes, I think it would be interesting to speak directly with Howard. You haven't found his phone or email by chance?

This brings up an expansion to Jillian's post. Youtube, facebook and other web sites have vastly increased public presense of many previously seldom encountered minority groups. Forget Howard for a moment. I became concerned years ago that some really freaky people were plastering themselves all over the web making outrageous claims.

At first I had some mental indigestion and felt like mainstream society was being provided excellent ammunition to use in many negative ways. I could just hear NOM clapping in glee saying "look Peter there's another tranny that thinks she passes" or some such. I could even envision some video's making their way into Congressional hearings with the question being "you want to protect that?".

But as I have watched the circus grow a strange thing has transpired. I see more and more people yawning. Its like "is that the best you've got". The shock, horror, excitement and knashing of teeth has run its course. And actually at warp speed compared to previous social upheavals.

I think the only real problem that remains is Congress because the Representatives and Senators don't have much time to spend watching social media. I get the distinct impression they spend most of their time raking in contributions from lobbiests and running for their next office.

I guess it's a good thing then that lewd conduct and disorderly conduct aren't covered by ENDA, just gender presentation.

I will still expect someone to wear a modicum of clothing, and beyond that, boo f'n hoo. Let the guy think he's Eddie Izzard. I could not care less. What I could care about is the right of people to medical treatment, and to not lose their jobs for getting it...

Oh, and to not let birth-assignment be one's guide as to whether or not you can go through an airport in underwear! He's going through an airport in underwear! Regardless of gender or assigned sex that should either be wrong, or not wrong.

Thanks for your response. I admire people who are able to just be themselves and put themselves out there, even when it is pushing the boundaries of society. I agree with you that it does lead to anarchy, but personally I think a little bit more anarchy can be a good thing. We all have our limits and at some point I'm sure I'll be the one to say "you're going too far!!", as you are today, but as it stands now, I feel our society is too rigid for my taste around gender roles, dress, and presentation, and I find it inspiring when people push the limits.

Angela Brightfeather | June 24, 2011 2:11 PM

Lets make believe that we have been transported in time to the year 2100 and your looking at this same picture. At that time, this might just be a picture of someone saying goodbye to their family at the airport before heading to Atlantis in the Carribean. Putting it in that perspective, this picture might just be "normal".

Lets face it, anyone who has been fighting for equal rights for so many years, has to claim some complicity to this picture being OK in 2100. Any feelings that you or I have as people of Trans experience in seeing this picture today, is a very good measure of how we have been indoctrinated over our lifetime against accepting this kind of freedom of expression and if actually it is not we who have joined the ranks of those who have been manipulated to put others in boxes and judge decency or how much freedom they are allowed.

I also think the word hypocrite might apply to anyone in the GLBT community who might put this person down or side against him for doing what he wants to do or what makes him happy, while at the same time openly talking to someone dressed and looking like him while they are walking by his side in any number of Pride Parades where this type of expression is obviously much more acceptable, even if it is in Times Square.

What this person is doing is actually helping us to understand the depth of our own levels of unacceptability in any number of ways and jogging our sense of what we consider is "morally and ethically" correct behavior.

From the sound of most of those who are commenting and posting, they have the same "squirm" or "ick" factor involved in looking at this picture, that many of those who hate us and discriminate against us every day have when they find out we are just GLBT people.

I would venture to guess that this person has never heard of ENDA and could not give a hoot about it if he did know what it is, let alone SSM or any of the other things that equate to our lives being equal. So lets take that right of the table to begin with. It might be the intent of some people to use this picture against GLBT people to point out that ENDA should not pass and we might even see someone like Barney Frank hold it up one day to keep Trans people out of ENDA if it is more politicialy beneficial and expedient. In fact I see no difference with this picture and the visual picture left by Congressmen Frank when he has talked about Trans people in rest rooms and showers. The same mental picture is there along with all the same generalizing, fear mongering and Transpohobia.

Don't we need to question our feelings about even why this picture is so important to GLBT people that it needs to be discussed and put into political and propriatory comparisons, on the same week when the White House sends a directive to every VA facility to treat all Trans Veterans with respect and dignity in VA facilites, yet no one says anything about it on Bilerico, or anyplace else in the GLBT media for that matter?

I think that the words "focus people" apply, instead of wasting your time commenting about just another instance in life that is used to separate us and turn people against each other because of how one person out of 1.5 million who fly around every day dresses.

jami_bantry jami_bantry | June 25, 2011 3:06 AM


Three possible perspectives of this event ("man in underwear on an airplane"):

1. He is, as Antonia commented, possibly protesting against the TSA policies and procedures for "pat downs."


2. He is just trying to get some publicity... for WHATEVER personal reason(s). (If he shows up as a guest on a late night TV show, or Howard Stern, sometime in the near future, I would not be surprised - "15 minutes of fame?").


3. And, much more subtly TREACHEROUS... this person could be in league with AFA, NARTH, et al, to help undermine all the proposed legislation particularly ENDA, (and an attempt to gather strength to repeal all those that have already passed in states). This story, and the photo, will be a form of "proof" of what society will get if ENDA is enacted. I may sound cynical here, but I would NOT be surprised at ANY tactic AFA, NARTH, et al would use.

Dr Weiss, you stated in your article:

"It frankly undermines the whole movement."

Isn't that EXACTLY what AFA, NARTH, et al, vigorously strive to do?

Not so long ago, there was that staged video released by them, with a man going into a public restroom just after a young girl went in. So... "dirty tricks"... I wouldn't be surprised if this isn't the start of one. Perhaps, the next video we see from them would be of this person (or someone else attired like this person) entering a women's restroom. But that wouldn't be fighting fair... no?

Regarding all the comments about being inappropriately dressed... what is appropriate changes... almost daily. Women certainly are not constrained by the "costumes" of the early 20th century and before. It was only after the "roaring 20's" that a larger part of the female population started to take control of how they appear, with MANY different changes since then. The 50's differed from the 60's, the 70's and today.

Attire, for any "gender" is sensitive to sexual identity, culture, race, religion, location, older vs younger, relative to time, etc. It is sensitive to all of them or just some of them.

"Older vs younger".... What my daughter (now 39), feels is inappropriate for her 16yo daughter, is different NOW from what my daughter felt was appropriate for herself when she was 16yo.

If continuing change in the attitude toward attire (in whatever direction) becomes a trend... from my 65 years of Life experience, I would NOT be surprised. On this, I agree with Angela, re: the perspective of time (2100 vs 2011), (2011 vs 1900).

From the perspective of those who are adamantly against "us"... they can just sit back in their easy chairs, have another "cold one", and discuss amongst themselves... "We don't have to to a f***g thing... they are doing it all to themselves." (As is evident here).

I sense that this person *probably* self-identifies as "gender" masculine, and has a male sexual-identity. Regarding this person's sexual anatomy, it would seem that only this person, and this person's medical team know.

But... who am I to judge? THAT would be very presumptive of me, since ONLY this person can answer those questions.... IF asked.


Angela Brightfeather | June 25, 2011 8:04 PM

Jami, all I can say is WOW!
Hasn't anyone in the LBTG community ever heard of "exhibitionism"?

Simply put, this is an exhabitionist who is a male and knows that the thing that will get him the most attention is dressing in female clothing that is very "tarty" and doing it in public places to get the maximum attention.

This guy gets of on this stuff. It makes him feel good to shock people and draw attention to his private parts. He would be arrested for going nude under a raincoat and be accused and arrested as a sexual flasher, so he stuffs everything into bright panties and parades around in public.

The ironic thing with this discussion is that some of the people who have commented about him are exactly the same Transexuals who accuse CD's of being exactly like him and dressing as the opposite gender for the same reasons that he is doing. I find that the most distasteful thing about this discussion....that there are many TS's who actually compare CD's and the reason for their being gender diverse to exhibitionists like this. There is such a huge difference that the most beneficial part of this story is that it makes that difference obvious.

I think since we're already half way through 2011 we should hold an election and vote to crown her Miss Transgender USA 2011 and 2012. I can't think of a better spokesperson for gender identity and expression legislation and Transgederism. Virginia Prince would be screaming you go girl if she was alive today.

I think since we're already half way through 2011 we should hold an election and vote to crown her Miss Transgender USA 2011 and 2012. I can't think of a better spokesperson for gender identity and expression legislation and Transgederism. Virginia Prince would be screaming you go girl if she was alive today.

And Sylvia Rivera would be screaming some things at you I cannot repeat if she was alive today.

Great idea, only that the incorporation of the word "transgender" into the mainstream, including some legislative bodies and gender therapists the general public would still think that this includes transsexuals, and those living full time as a woman thanks to the umbrella proponents. Maybe this type of behavior will begin to erode their misguided agenda of protections in ENDA and GENDA. Activities like this can sink everyone's intended efforts for protections for sincere and honest people who need them. There is an old adage that says, "give them enough rope and they'll hang themselves" and as sure as this saying has survived the ages, so will the truth. We just need to keep on pushing, pushing these people away from us. But those who view the gay community from afar, and this costuming, will think that transsexual's are, oops, excuse me, transgenders are. That's what we all are isn't it? Transgendered? We are all just like those people, riiiiight?

Tall Stacey | June 26, 2011 12:29 AM

It seems to me that like the Captain of a ship at sea, the Captain of an aircraft in flight is the ultimate authority as to who and what comes aboard his/her ship, and what does or does not occur on that ship. As was pointed out above, the Captain, through his/her flight crew, has the authority to deny the passage of persons thought to be a threat to the safety and well-being of the passengers, crew and cargo. According to the news reports the droopy-drawered Mr. Marman became uncooperative when told to pull his pants up by the flight crew. He was ejected from the plane because of his failure to obey the proper directions of that crew. Regardless of why the crew thought it necessary, I believe it is their discretionary right.

Having been on aircraft when 2 obviously intoxicated suit dressed businessmen, and another when a woman with 4 unruly children were removed from the aircraft after they also mouthed off after being advised to correct errant and unsafe behaviors, I would suggest that the issue was the man’s failure to obey a proper order. I would think it reasonable to believe that the droopy pants might have hindered an emergency escape of the individual and other passengers (visualize his falling in the aisle in a smoke filled cabin panic and others falling over him) and hence the demand to pull them up is entirely reasonable. His failure to obey constitutes a threat to the others on board. Hence I would suggest the incident had nothing to do with his age or race, or even his exposed butt, but his beligerant attitude. With reference to comments above, I would not want to share a seat with him in that condition.

There was a time when men dressed in coat and tie and hat, and women in dress, heels, gloves and hat to fly the elegant skies. Now air travel entails all the grace and elegance of a Peruvian mountain bus (sans chickens and pigs-so far anyhow) with people crammed into conditions that would be ruled inhuman in a correctional facility. So much for expectations of any normal pleasantries.

I also note that recently Air Captains have been electing to do away with their uniform caps. Obviosly conventions have changed. Lowest common denominator seems to be the rule.

In my experience there has always seemed to be at least “one of those” people on every flight, be that the crying baby or the contaigious sneezer or the great unwashed. As a non-assimilating transsexual woman I am sure that sometimes it is me they are all talking about. But as long as we are all obedient to the cabin orders – be that “your bag will have to go in the cargo hold”, “you’ll need to buy a second seat”, “pull up your pants” or “cover your nakedness”, then I have not seen an issue.

Which brings us to Howard in his blue lingerie. After viewing the various YouTube clips I am of the opinion that he is first of all, an exhibitionist cross dressing for a thrill, and second he in no way suggesting he is anything more than that. He does not appear to identify as female, does not try to present as female, does not seem to be trans anything except that he crosses the gender appropriate clothing line, and in poor taste. Whether he identifies as cross dresser is not apparent, for all we know he could be a submissive being publicly humiliated by his Master/Mistress. (Doesn’t it seem suspicious that so many video clips of him appear in the same YouTube section?) It is obvious from the clips that his choice of costume has become increasingly daring over time. It is also obvious that even the most conservative of the costumes are more appropriate for a strip club than public presentation. And it is obvious that the shock value & attention is his intent. Poor taste; yes. Abusive of other people’s right to expect better; yes. But then again, I have seen other people in airports in very similar outfits, down to a woman in a bikini and beach cover-up.

It is also obvious from all accounts that he has never been less than totally obedient to all official direction. He does not appear to be breaking any laws or rules. He does not appear to be a threat to anyone, except some puritan attitudes. He seems friendly and to be minding his own business. That said, leave him alone for there go I in the eyes of many.

As they lose the marriage battle and the religious wrong gears up for their next crusade with gender as the boogeyman, I am sure that he and/or others just as unconventional will appear as the poster children of their campaign, just as the most radical pics of gays have been brought recently. They will be grabbing the most radical ones from peopleofwalmart.com, and from the pride parades and drag shows to demonstrate “the damage to the children” and discredit us all. We might as well get used to it. And we as the gender community had best be uniting in defense of all of our members, even Howard.

Today’s New York Times carries an article titled “Behind N.Y. Gay Marriage, an Unlikely Mix of Forces”. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/nyregion/the-road-to-gay-marriage-in-new-york.html?hp In describing how yesterday’s marriage equality vote came to be, the article contains the following:

“Mr. Cuomo was diplomatic but candid with gay-rights advocates in early March when he summoned them to the Capitol’s Red Room, a ceremonial chamber with stained-glass windows and wood-paneled walls.

The advocates had contributed to the defeat of same-sex marriage in 2009, he told them, with their rampant infighting and disorganization. He had seen it firsthand, as attorney general, when organizers had given him wildly divergent advice about which senators to lobby and when, sometimes in bewildering back-to-back telephone calls. “You can either focus on the goal, or we can spend a lot of time competing and destroying ourselves,” the governor said.

This time around, the lobbying had to be done the Cuomo way: with meticulous, top-down coordination. “I will be personally involved,” he said.

The gay-rights advocates agreed, or at least acquiesced. Five groups pushing for same-sex marriage merged into a single coalition, hired a prominent consultant with ties to Mr. Cuomo’s office, Jennifer Cunningham, and gave themselves a new name: New Yorkers United for Marriage.”

I would hope that we, my brothers and sisters, would learn from that history. We can “either focus on the goal, or we can spend a lot of time competing and destroying ourselves,”. I would hope that our Gay and Lesbian “allies” would be there to support us as we have supported them – (but I will not be holding my breath). If we are going to have our own rights, we need to unite to that purpose now. I hope that Howard, and you, and you and you will put aside our differences and focus on that purpose.

This is definitely the problem with the so called "umbrella, which I called the transgender merry-go-round, where anyone can get on and off anytime they want. Yes, this is the pool that people like Autumn Sandeen and Monica Helms are "throwing us into". I think I'd rather be thrown under the bus. So, in the umbrella line of thinking, and under the label "Transgender" the general public sees us all the same way, not as women, and this should make you raging mad. But speaking about the gay community in general, they enjoy the costuming, the public display and parody of women. It's one reason that drag shows became so popular. In the 1960's, female impersonator shows were a crowd draw in the French Quarters in New Orleans, but they were not "drag shows". These girls artistically portrayed impersonation of popular singers and did a grand job theatrically speaking and some "lived as a woman". I have attended many of these, but not until I was of age in the 70's, while I was still in my cocoon. The venue was picked up by some in the gay community, and the birth of "drag shows". I have seen terrible drag shows with a different kind of laughter that embarrassed me and made slight ridicule of women and I have seen "fun" drag shows, more like vaudeville with a different kind of laughter, fun and celebratory. It doesn't seem strange to me that this comes out during "gay pride" week. There are thousands that costume during this period of time, as likewise at Halloween, but should we be portrayed as this so called "transgender" No, we should not! Transgenders are actually hijacking "transsexuals" rights, so they can play. And now they want to trample on women's rights, use of the women's facilities, after they have trampled on ours by lumping us into a group and under a term we bought into. These people don't care about public image because they go home, put on their man suit and go back to work on Monday morning.

Andrea B. | June 26, 2011 3:09 PM

I would be suprised if Autumn Sandeen, Anne lawrence, Press for Change, GIRES and Blanchard do not put this man forward, as an example of transgenderism for all to emulate.

That is the nature of the self appointed idiots who claim to represent transsexual people.

Way to burn through those straw men, Andrea.

Someone who evidently has trouble spelling "surprised" should be more careful about throwing the word idiot around.

Angela Brightfeather | June 26, 2011 3:49 PM


Your words and statments are so frought with dislike and hatred, that they can only be coming from a person who has invested much in who they are and now believes that others are trampling on your investment.
I've been around at least as long as yourself and I have heard this type of thing from people like yourself from the time that Cristine Jourgenson stepped of the boat and Transsexuals and that word itself were "invented" to describe anyone who had the money to pay for it, while everyone else was just "playing at it".
Pack it away please and start enjoying your life instead of complaining about others who get some enjoyment in their lives by "playing at it".
If you have been around that long, then you know what this guy in the picture is and it's not Trans anything. It's his way of drawing attention to himself and getting people to look at him. How many of all the Trans people you have met in your time, in all those support group meetings and conventions you've been to, would do what he has been doing time and time again? One would think that you are old enough by now that knowingly condemning others over a word or definition created by somone else, demands to much time and energy.

Yes, your pretty correct. I wouldn't call it hatred, but more like fear, then anger, at some who have tried to push me a little too hard to accept their view points like it or not. Sugar goes a long way. I don't really like vinegar and it upsets me so. I personally have had too many trample me and then in later years "tried" to trample me and I have grown accustomed to it, maybe too much so. Maybe many don't realize, nor respect the fact, that after many years of being pushed, pulled, punched, denigrated, spoken of disdainfully, lied about, discriminated against, and marginalize when growing up, that I don't just take it lying down anymore. I have something to say. It was known I was trans by everyone except me growing up, but I knew something wasn't right, by the way I was treated and things that were said to me, and about me, but it took me years to put all that sexual connotation they used into perspective. And ironically, I could tell you stories about closeted gays, we were all closeted back then, and how they would betray me after persuading me to participate in things with them and then they would "out" me, not themselves, no...they didn't do anything with me, it was I who did "that". Bastards!

Anyway,I was playing at that time too, consciously by age 10 but I realized it wasn't play one day. Several years back I did pack it away, stayed quiet and was a good lil girl, not upsetting anyone's apple cart. I can be pretty good at that too. I really don't mind if they enjoy playing, that's what life is all about, and discovery is all about. But people can get hurt when some think they are just playing I just don't like that some want to ram their opinions down my throat but they sure as hell don't want to hear mine. I can say it nicely or I can say it rudely. It's their lead.

"If you have been around that long, then you know what this guy in the picture is and it's not Trans anything". Yes, I agree. But as it was in the 60's with the general public, no matter what shade of color you were, you were all black and I and others are afraid this is one of the problems that holds up gender legislation. He doesn't have a problem, hell, he's gay. There you go, "afraid", fear, then anger. I know most all trans folks would not go and dress like this in public, in the daylight hours. Agreed. I stated he was a gay male, which is judgmental, because he may be someone's "girl".
Thank you for your post to me, I do,(really), appreciate you speaking to me in earnest and on an even keel. It does take a lot of energy, but as I said, I grew accustomed to it at a young age. I'm sorry if I offended you or seemed crass to you. Maybe all the "gender wars" brings out my PTSD.

What we really need in this thread is Howard. I'll call him if anyone can find his number.

Angela Brightfeather | June 27, 2011 4:45 PM

Believe me hon, I know where your coming from. But we are both old enough to understand and have been burned in the GLBT Community so many times, that both us know there is good and bad out there, and the good far out weighs the bad.
I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with you on Howard being some kind of threat to you and I or other Trans friendly legislation. I think that after all these years of educating people enough to understand what Transgender people are, those who have gone to the trouble of understanding, will know exactly what Howard is. I could only hope that future arguments were so easy as to have someone from the AFA stand up with his picture and try and condemn us. To me, it would only indicate how panicked they are and point out to others how ridiculous their blanketing of our community is.
I was very deeply involved in those old "gender wars" you mentioned and it is such a relief to be uninvolved in them and see the way things are going now. Howard is a throwback to those things that used to scare the by-Jeez out of us back then and I'm sorry, but I would never let him put me back there again in that state of fear.
Get over him...we have both seen plenty of Howards in our time and people are still laughing at them, as are we.

Wintersong | June 28, 2011 10:27 AM

I read through all the comments on this post (even though many of them churned my stomach) and no where in there was anyone giving a solid view from the kink community, except to judge us all as perverts, so here goes:

If I was to guess, I'd say that the commenters asserting that this person is an exhibitionist are likely correct. There's a decent chance he gets some jollies, sexual or otherwise from his behavior. And he's not dressed any differently than I've seen at kink/BDSM events I have presented at.

However, there is a world of difference between a private kink event and an airport. What this man is doing, in the parlance of the kinky world is "non-consensually involving others in his scene," which is an insensitive and arguably immoral thing to be doing.

This would not have ever occurred to me to be a trans issue of any kind, although I can understand Dr. Weiss' perspective. Rather, I worry that he gives respectful kinksters and fetishists a bad rap by having both truly poor boundaries and fashion sense.

Well, that's the thing. The collar kind of stood out, but why draw the ire toward BDSM / kink if this behaviour is also not typical of the kink community, and if the actions also run afoul of one of the most fundamental tenets (consent of all involved)?

Again, it comes back to a question of contextual appropriateness.

Re: some of the other commentary, possibly the recent review of comments ToS would address that.

Feel free to use the "Report" link on the bottom right of each comment if there is anything you want me to review.

Qué desagradable!!!

I love how you dismiss gender queer as a young persons thing. True transsexuals, we are still dragging that old chestnut around.

We are dealing in identity politics, anything goes. I love how trans people talk about "crossies" like they are subversive freaks. Most trans people started out this way :)

I am sensing some internalised discrimination here.

not even a trans issue...

I'm actually becoming (not really "coming out as") genderqueer at 50. At heart I'm a 70's-retro Glam-Rocker, the movement that put "genderqueer" on the map (walk on the wild side, young dudes). But bi/questioning hasn't been an option until I got full access to the internet, which has slowly happened over the last 6 years.

Tall Stacey | November 6, 2011 9:21 AM

Vallin please realise that gender identity and sexual orientation are 2 entirely different and independent issues. Just because you are investigating your gender identity, even should you fully transition, it does not mean that your sexual orientation is subject to any change. The fact is that sexual orientations generally do not change. However when one relaxes their stiff views on their own gender identity quite often our self & societally imposed prohibitions on other issues also soften, hence you may find yourself more open minded to your own sexuality.

Be who you are 70s glam rocker dude, Nirvana is to be found where we live our own truths! Society wants to stuff us all in convenient little pigeon holes, some of us are bigger than that & don't fit!