A Crossdressers' Manifesto - written by a friend; a message for the TG community.

By K. C. Tyler

(I spent this week answering a TG questionnaire which wanted to know "what message do you have for the TG community?" After discussing my answer with her, Shari Williams pointed out that if I have a message, I also have a vehicle to proclaim it. So here is my answer, expanded. I beg forgiveness from my non-crossdresser TG friends - to use a horrible Washington-esque phrase, I'm reaching out to my "base".)

In my half-century of lifetime, I have seen a significant amount of progress in the conceptualization and perception of gender-diverse issues in the public eye. From my view at least, I've seen acceptance become relatively real for most of the Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual parts of the gender spectrum. We sit here in 2006 with an incredibly popular movie with a strong gay theme, television shows that directly deal with lesbianism, and popular personalities comfortable with admitting, even proclaiming, their homo/bisexuality. This is not the 1960's anymore, to be sure! Even the transsexual aspects of the T-community are in the first throws of acceptance, and let's hope the well-deserved Oscar nomination for Felicity Huffman's incredible performance in "Transamerica" will provide a significant boost to mass appreciation of the TS issues. But sadly, the heterosexual crossdresser community has almost no positive movement or insight. When the best that we (and I'm in this group) can point to is the brother on "The Drew Carey Show", we haven't gotten much traction. Oh well, I guess I'll grow into my old age simply regretting that some Hollywood script writer thought gay cowboys worked better than cowboys dressed as women. Maybe it'll happen someday, but alas, I will have missed it.


I firmly believe that the crossdressing community is blessed with an incredible wealth of talent, energy, and resources. Those I've come to know continually impress me with the gifts they have to give. What we have is the power to change our fate, but apparently not the focus of how to do it. And while I humbly submit that I am no Karl Marx, I will offer a first draft of a manifesto - a proposal of how we can bring our awesome selves to change the hearts and minds of society. This is my opinion today, but as all of you contribute ideas and energy to it, we can build this into something we can get to happen.

The way I see it, we need to work as a group to make progress on three rather broad fronts, each calling for those with an appropriate gift to take up the cause.

(1) We need Ambassadors. We need sisters who can present both a positive physical image and a mature life example to be our spokeswomen - in the media to be sure, but also in the malls and hallways of our communities. People need to see that we're not "sickos" or "freaks" but normal people, just with a gender enhancement. If you're thinking you want to go out and fool the world that you're a girl, I understand the desire to match yourself to a challenge. But most of us can't do that. If you CAN go out, we need you to go out into the world and interface with it. Talk to people - in whatever voice you have. Let them ask their questions: "So, you're NOT gay?" "Why do you want to do this?" "You have wives, families, and jobs?" The answers we give aren't as critical as the fact that we're willing to try and answer them. They don't understand any of this life we have. And yes, there are parts of it we don't understand either - but if we don't start sharing information about ourselves, the rest of the world will just sweep us under the carpet.

(2) We need Educators. We need verbally gifted sisters to write about our gender condition. And we need them to direct their writing in two directions. First, we need sisters willing to write of our own condition so that those inside the community can perhaps better understand themselves. I know that while we may all be crossdressers, but we are each unique in our motives, weaknesses, fears and joys. So it will take many voices to fill the need - but our sisterhood has some sharing to do, and blogs, columns, and e-mails can make each of feel closer to the group. Second, we need folks to write so that the outside world can better appreciate our feelings, our actions, and our attributes. Conventional communication forms can be useful here - why not an op-ed piece on crossdressing? But the upcoming generations take their information electronically, and we can reach them and teach them in spades. Let's open our world to them, and (here's the key) make them welcome. Let's write blogs for them, not just for ourselves!

(3) We need Counselors. We need to actively provide assistance for new girls who find our community and arrive with a lifetime of burdens, guilt, and questions. This is a task every last one of us has a responsibility to do. If you're reading this, then you discovered the online community somehow. You remember learning that there were others out there. You likely wandered around to find someone to help you - and maybe you found help quickly, maybe not. Every day new sisters find us - and we need to stop fussing about our own looks or vistas, and help them. Compose, cajole, comfort, characterize - make them welcome. We who are here have a collective wisdom, and we cannot let it go to waste! Whether online, in support groups, or in a "big sister" model, we need to find ways to make those who join us feel accepted, supported, and appreciated. Every sister we embrace, we empower. The more we act like a caring community, the more our acts will change lives. When all of us can embrace and carry our gender expressions without internal baggage, then we will be best prepared for developing acceptance from the world at large.

(Now, thanks to T-spouse Sunny Fields, we expand the maifesto!)

(4) We need Supporters. This community needs the support of spouses, parents, siblings, children, psychologists, neighbors, friends, teachers, etc. These supporters can provide an open ear, a shoulder to cry on, a back-up plan, a different point of view, someone to venture into public spaces with, and a whack on the head when we get off the beam. We need them to support us. But we need them to support us out in the community and world, too. These supporters could and should be invited to share their views and talents and help the community get more exposure, understanding and respect. Imagine the day when one of our ambassadors appears in the media, a beautiful t-girl sitting next to her beautiful g-girl wife. They'll ask the wife how she deals with this, and she'll say, "I'm very okay with this. I love the person and am totally loved in return. And I love being treated and honored by my spouse, love being treated kidly and gently, love having someone who can shop." That will be a powerful day, a day we will all celebrate!

(Thanks for that wisdom, Sunny - you're a great supporter of all of us!)

Okay, I open this to you all. Chime in with ideas, then find a role for yourself and get going!

We can change the world. But it is going to take we.