TRANSVESTITES: PEOPLE WITH TWO SOULS

Have you ever thought about your inner man or woman? Every society has developed over the centuries a set of rules and dress codes, and they are different for each sex. If a man would wear a dress or leopard print shoes, you would find such behaviour in conflict with the laws of society, and hence you may classify this behaviour as transsexual. However, in today’s world, many people will not be greatly surprised if they see a large, well-muscled chap in a miniskirt on the street. In show-biz transvestites make a name for themselves more often with many shows featuring “drag queens”. In this issue we discuss why men like to wear bras, and more about less controversial phenomenon.

Medieval Kings and Bishops

In the past, many societies, which were not associated with Western culture, acknowledged the existence of transgender people, and they provided them opportunities for self-realization. Even if these societies did not become victims of colonization over time, the desire to emulate Western values has led to the eradication of transgender minority in these cultures. Not surprisingly, the cross-dressing induces some degree of bewilderment. Despite the popularity of transvestite personalities, there is confusion over whether these men are also homosexual and worry that they may be paedophiles. Most transvestites are heterosexual and there are no recorded cases of a transvestite being a paedophile to date. When the society was first confronted with a similar phenomenon? Medieval kings wore clothes, more like a luxurious than women’s apparel. Even bishops wear long robes, and high-court judges still cannot do their work wearing wigs. The French Revolution laid the foundation for the liberalization of attitudes towards homosexuals in the Western Europe. In 1791, France was officially decriminalized homosexuality. Due to the Napoleonic Wars French law has spread to many controlled territories, including some German states. However, dressing in the clothes of the opposite sex is a different story, and many transvestites are heterosexual. Of course, modern permissiveness and the media have enabled this lifestyle to become fashionable.

Do not over-suppress the woman within

Every little boy has features that are in their community may be considered to be feminine. Frequently when the boy shows them, people treat him with disapproval. The male child is encouraged to suppress these feminine traits to become be socialised. Upon entering adulthood a man with transvestite tendencies may be experiencing discomfort and need to explore expressing both sides of his personality. These desires are natural: it is the desire to complete oneself. According to the theory of the great Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung, the following stages are possible in the event of a desire to give a woman the freedom:

• He recognizes the positive, even medicinal value of cross-dressing.

• The transvestite gradually experiences his “inner woman”. In the process, he finds that not all of the properties of the soul can be tagged as “male” or “female”.

• The inclusion of woman in the male personality creates a new, stronger, identity.

Thus, the transvestite comes to the realization that it was not the desire to become a woman, it was necessary to express deeper aspects of his personality. In some cases the cross-dressing becomes less important after this self-actualization.

By Aliona ZEMSKOVA

INSET:

Discrimination?

“A beautiful young wife misses her husband so much that she opens the closet, and puts on one of his shirts. Pressing his collar to her cheek, she takes a deep breath to smell it. Her tanned legs form a nice contrast with the strict white shirt and her long hair falls over the starched collar. She cautiously goes to a large mirror, sensual stepping on the white carpet and holding up another one of his shirts, still hanging on the rack. She’s smiling, spinning, and falling on the bed, dressed in a shirt, holding the other, the camera bashfully showing her thighs for a second. It could be an advertising of sheets, shirts or cologne. This could be the beginning of a porn movie. In any case, it does not look like a sexual perversion. We decide that a woman misses her husband or lover – whoever he was – and never think that she can enjoy his clothes for the power that they represent. We do not tolerate the thought that she might not be married, and that the clothing makes her sexual arousal. We attach great importance to the script, even when we see only the images. Now imagine: a nice young man so badly misses his wife that opens the closet, and puts on one of her silk robe. He presses lace collar to his cheek and inhales her scent. Taking out a transparent nightgown, he goes to a large mirror. Near the mirror he presses again to her nightgown and looks invitingly in the mirror and falls on the bed, exhausted, dressed in a robe. The camera shyly shows us a moment of his thigh… That cannot happen ever. No advertising company would ever use such a plot”.

Helen Boyd, “My husband Betty”