The Last of the Trannies
Posted by Emma in May 2018
(With apologies to James Fenimore Cooper for appropriating the title)
Now before anyone gets incensed by the title of this latest raving of mine let me explain: I consider myself a Transvestite. In fact, I consider myself an Action Transvestite or, if I can be excused a momentary lapse in modesty, a Celebrity Transvestite. It doesn’t mean I don’t acknowledge or accept anyone else’s self-description or identifier but it saves me having to include every known title…I mean, The Last of the Trannies/Crossdressers/T-Girls/T-Gurls/Chicks-with-*cough* etc would read somewhat ridiculously wouldn’t it? Anyway, on with the read:
I’ve been thinking about this on-and-off for a while – in fact I lightly touched on it in a previous rambling of mine. Are we, the girls running around now, the last of our kind? Let me explain. I had something of an epiphany at Transformal on the weekend…apart from maybe 3 or 4 of the lovely ladies who attended this wonderful event we were all the wrong side of 40 and most of us the wrong side of 50 years old. I was chit chatting about the similarities a lot of us have (often being tall-ish, taking care about how we present, like “getting on the grog”, love to dance etc) with my new best buddy the lovely and super smart Mel, daughter of Fay, whilst we shared yet another fag among the foliage outside. Now before anyone gets too overheated about that, Mel and I shared many fags over the weekend as we are both consenting adults. Mel asked me about how long I’ve been doing the dressing thing and how I started…. (Insert harp music and a wavy images)
Back in the day, and we are talking the early 1980’s, I used to run around in a fast and fun crowd of t-girls. We were in our 20’s, each as fit as a trout, and up for anything. We would carouse at a hotel called The Buckingham Arms or another called The Green Dragon with every other combination of gender diverse folk on Friday and Saturday nights and we had an absolute ball. There were 3 girls I caught up with regularly who were like me in age but there was an extended gang of perhaps up to 15 who would turn up intermittently on these nights. There were lots of other age groups there as well including a couple of girls who would have been about the age I am now who used to tut tut at our behaviour and look down their noses at us – for me, nothing has changed over the decades since. We used to call these old t-girls “Hinge & Bracket” (lovers of musical theatre will pick up on that reference) and they wanted nothing what-so-ever to do with us. Probably fair enough too. All that aside, there was some sort of succession plan in place. The older ones simply eventually disappeared off the pub scene and the next group more or less took their place in the same way a vending machine works. The older ones tended to become office bearers in The Carousel Club (the local version of The Seahorse Club) or write dull articles in gay newspapers.
Eventually, even I grew older, changed names a couple of times, and long stopped going to so-called gay venues. I also had 8 years off here and there for various reasons before slipping back in to our lifestyle as if I’d never been away. The thing that I really noticed when I came back, apart from so many girls hiding behind their keyboards and relying on photos taken last decade, was that there was no longer any young ones around. Not one. Why was this?? Fleshing the whole scenario out with Mel gave me clarity: the reason there are no young trannies around anymore is that there is no need for them. The generations coming up behind us, and we are talking from those in primary school now to their 20’s, do not see colour. They do not see religion. They definitely also do not see sexuality or gender diversity. Boys and girls run around together in friendship groups with no sexual overtones and they are constantly hugging each other. If a young male of 21 wishes to express his feminine side, regardless of his orientation, he can whack on a bit of lippy and some slacks straight out of a remake Can’t Stop The Music and off he goes without fear. There is also a sub-culture of men in Europe who wear business suits and high heels I hear. If a young lassie wishes to wear a sharp white pressed shirt, waistcoat, spats, and a homburg tilted at a jaunty angle she can head outside like that as well which must make the manufacturers of bib-and-brace overalls shudder with fear. Sexuality, and sexual orientation, is fast becoming a dead issue and in perhaps 20 to 30 years will be completely a non-issue. Yes, we can all point to individual examples in today’s world but I am speaking “in general”. In the not-too-distant future being Gender Non-specific will be commonplace. A man with a highly developed feminine side will be no more remarkable than a man these days with a Ned Kelly beard.
So are we the last of the Trannies? I suspect so. I suspect we will go the same way as the Masons, the Night Soil Man, the Anti-Larrikin Squad, and Bob Santamaria’s Point Of View. Society moved passed all of them and it will move past us as well. Is that a bad thing? No, of course it isn’t. Society evolves – that is exactly what it has been doing since we either crawled from the primeval slime or stole that forbidden fruit. It is healthy and it is right.
One day, long after we are all pushing up the daisies, someone somewhere will crack open the TGR files and the cornucopia that has been our lives will be laid bare for future generations to study and marvel over. The will be astonished at what we did and why we did it. They will also wonder how we created these other lives and all our secrets will be laid bare – the baffling ones and the ones that make complete sense and the ones that sit somewhere in the middle. Some of them will be green with envy that they were born in the wrong time and that they never went to a lunch get-together with a bunch of t-girls at a pub or that they weren’t able to attend a Transformal. Maybe they will have Tranny weekend festivals like those weirdo’s do who dress up in medieval outfits and bash each other over the head jousting? Who knows? Maybe the really interested ones will place a plaque at The Carrington noting that it was the location where these wonderful events were held and they might just plant some flowers for their favourite girls? (FYI future people if you’re reading this: I love orchids just on the off-chance I’m someone’s favourite). It’s something to think about isn’t it? Whatever happens, whenever it does, know that in this day and age when communication has never been easier or more prolific that we, the last of the trannies, will provide the most information of any generation that came before us right back to when Ugg started trying on his wife’s fur loin cloth in some dingy cave in Ethiopia millions of years ago.
You are all special and you will all leave your mark.
Posted by Emma Thorne
Adelaide is not a big place…and I make a LOT of noise both in male and female mode. In male mode I’m heavily involved in sporting circles, I run an old scholars group for both my primary and high schools, I come from a very large family (I have 4 children, 6 sisters and 3 brothers, plus their attendant spouses and nieces/nephews), and I have a few other pastimes that bring me into contact with a load of other people.
Emma has a LOT of friends also. Many of these, like dear Amanda our wonderful moderator, go back many years. My BFF Susan and I have been going out on the town in the real world here for more years than we care to remember together with lots of other local ladies who have oscillated through our lives at various points. We go out to mainstream hotels, nightclubs, restaurants, and other such places and very rarely go to so-called “tg friendly” places despite the fact that our hemlines are not age appropriate, we are show-off’s, and we are tall and very noisy. Once upon a time we used to run shows with 100+ girls from all over the place. Emma’s twin sister, Bubbles O’Tool (heiress to the K-Tel Record Selector fortune), also occasionally ventures out and about and she is very popular also with the punters. What’s this all got to do with anything you ask? Well I shall tell you…..:
I took just over 7 years off from our lifestyle for various reasons and returned last year. I mean, once a girl always a girl right? Right. I initially made some tentative enquiries around the place to just see if anyone even remembered me and, god bless, they all did. One of the first people I contacted was our Amanda as I was looking to re-activate my account on TrannyRadio which I have always viewed as being “the last word” on what to do/wear/go with anything related to our lifestyle. After we had chatted for a while Amanda made a comment which stuck in my head and still does…she said that “a lot had changed”. A seemingly innocuous comment in a very broad conversation but a very true one for lots of different reasons.
I come from the days of what I now like to call “horse-drawn crossdressing”. I was no different to anyone else back in the 1920’s (it seems that long ago…almost like someone else’s life now) and conducted my little hobby strictly behind closed doors and completely oblivious to the fact there may be others like me. I would somehow scrounge together some outfits, make some boobs out of stockings and bird seed, buy a wig from a costume shop on the pre-text of going to a fancy dress party, squeezed my feet into heels that were way too small, taught myself the rudiments of makeup application via trial and error and lounged around home when I could. Somehow along the line, it’s that long ago I don’t remember, I heard there was a “special club” for people like me and after 20 or so aborted attempts I made contact with these other “women” and got invited to a meeting. Then I got invited to a house party. Then a tennis day. Then I got invited to something else and so on. Eventually I’d outgrown the “supportive” environment, found a group of people to catch up with on a regular basis that I got on well with, and I’ve never looked back. I would think my experience has similar elements to many.
Now in my dotage I find myself in the 21st century amidst the world of social media. Facebook, for example, was just in its infancy when I took my gap years and at first glance it has been a boon for women of our persuasion. You can chit chat and make friends with cd’s from next door and across the world. You can join likeminded Groups and explore whatever you want to. You can order anything you like anonymously and have it delivered directly to your door. You can flirt with men, trade pics, have a general rant about how life is unfair, try and convince people that cancer can be fixed by sharing a post and “you know who will share this and who won’t”, post cute cat videos and a whole lot of other things but what I don’t see is much evidence of people just getting together. If anything, I think the easy accessibility of just having an online crossdressing life in the majority of cases has excused people from taking the plunge and stepping out into the big wide world. You can instead stay home on a Saturday night and doll yourself up and practice and practice until you get the perfect selfie which you can then post on your Facebook profile and wait for the adulation.
For some, and experience has shown me over the years that it is a very small group, there is no other choice but to stick it out however tenuously in the online world – I get that. For most there is no real excuse other than the old chestnuts of “oh I could never pass” or “oh no what if I am recognised??”Both excuses are for the most part crap. 90% of us do not pass close scrutiny and in all the years I have been going out all over the place at all hours I have never, not once, been tumbled. I even lit my nephew’s cigarette one night at a club and he did not recognise me because he wasn’t looking for me.
Thankfully though, Facebook and places like TrannyRadio do publicise places you can go with other cd’s. Places that are welcoming and that will not look down their noses at you and value the fact you’ve chosen them as a place to patronise. There are regular Groups in just about every state and territory having regular catchups in fun environments where no one will judge you and everyone has been where you are now. There are night spots where you can go by yourself and know that it will be full of girls just like you and you won’t be alone or stared at. Give it a go…you will wonder why you hadn’t done it years ago I guarantee it. You DON'T have to be loud and brassy - you can suit yourself as long as you are sincere.
So I guess the point of this was to say that even though it has never been easier in any point in history to contact other people just like you, to me it seems a much lonelier place than it was for people like me and Amanda back in the day. I don’t want to put words in her mouth but for me I was so starved of cd companionship when I was a younger woman I couldn’t wait to meet others in real life and it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders when I did. Everyone I know has felt the same.
There is one other thing that scares me more though in the modern world than 100’s of cd’s sitting at home on a Saturday night to be honest – have you noticed? There are NO young ones coming up to replace us when we depart to that big wardrobe in the sky………
Living in the Newcastle area, I can't find too many places or events that are not CD friendly.
Posted by Hollee
I read in many posts that some cannot come out due to family, work, friends or other reasons.
Everybody is different but I will give you my story in the hope that it may inspire others to be themselves.
I work in a very male dominated industry civil construction. I am also the business owner or what is often considered "the boss". My work is also in a regional area in a town that many consider to be super conservative mainly due to the large retiree population. At the moment I am lucky enough to work "down south" and then travel to the city to live and traverse through the many hours of electrology, voice therapy, endocrinology, and psychology did I miss one? Anyway glad when thats over!
I have been out in my metropolitan sphere for some time now living two seperate lives, quite distinct. One being my female self and the other as someone I was not, but for fear of the consequences of coming out stayed hidden. Well it gets to that point where enough is enough and as many of us find we conquer the inner battle in our mind. So my inner self won! I have now been out at work for some time. All I can say is the whole experience has been nothing short of totally uplifting. Not to mention the weight off!
To give you an idea of the sort of people in the industry I work. There are professional people with degrees, machinery operators, builders
labourers, some who compose complex prose purely with F & C words! Basically a wide cross section of people. I was very strategic in the way I came out out. With the whole experience with employees, clients and other work colleagues to this date I have not had one single situation I would call awkward! Many people are actually super supportive! The level of morale at work has now gone to an all time high, even in an economic climate where work hours are reduced due to dwindling work.
All I can say is total honesty, total candidness and truth win the day! For those living in a regional area my experience is positive I hope yours is too.
Good luck with your journey
Shortly before the Transformal, I went to a local hairdresser (as a boy) to have my real hair, of which there is not very much, cut. I also took a new human hair wig with me thinking I would pluck up the courage to ask the hairdresser if she could re-colour, cut and style it for me. She said she had never done it before but was willing to try; however, she would need someone to wear it while she was working on it. She then asked who it was for. I said: "If I told you it was for me, would you faint?" She laughed: a good start I thought. Sadly though, she could not fit me in before the weekend and the deal was off. (I wore a synthetic wig to the dance.)
For those of us who have been lucky to attend all seven Transformals and we took a vote, I'd be surprised if Transformal 2016 didn't rate as the best of all.
It just shows, in my opinion, how successfully this event has evolved since No 1.
A Fantastic 20's theme gathering on Friday night was just the perfect Entree for the Main Course on Saturday night.
I hope everyone and especially those who attended Transformal for the first time will take away many happy memories of the weekend.
I find it hard to understand what God has to do with cross dressing. If there is a God, and there are many "Gods" apart from the Judaeo/Christian/Muslim one, he or they have created us to be what we are. Be it Homosexual, Heterosexual, Transgender, Cross dresser, Infantilist or any other including honest or dishonest, He has created us to be what we are.
I have asked myself the very same question, 'are you happy being trans-gender? The short answer for me is absolutely. Had you asked the same question several years ago, you may well have received a very different answer. In those days I was in the throes of a major depressive illness and everything everything else that accompanies such episodes, suicidal thoughts. I may well have said that I was full of self loathing at being trans-gender. I was all suits and ties, dull as dishwater. I much prefer floral summer dresses, nay, any dress instead of a male inspired suit. Horrors upon horrors there would be no Transformal to attend, except to stand at Champagne Charlie's bar and ogle the crumpet.
I have to tell you that I am so happy to be transgender I could burst!