Not Him and Not Her, Just Me

I have been working on this post for a little while and Justine’s post Figuring it all out brought me back to it.  So after a month with some rewriting and a lot of proofreading I present Not Him and Not Her, Just Me


I am going to write something that will make some people shriek “Heretic” but I’m just being honest.  I do not have a male and female side I am just me.  This practice of two selves is incredibly pervasive in our community where we have a male and female self and they seem unable to both occupy the same body at the same time.  You often read things like “time for her” or “when my wife (GF or SO) and her spend time” and this is not a recent development looking back this practice has been there since at least the 1950’s, just referencing Ed Wood’s “Glen or Glenda” shows how long this has existed.

Why do we feel this need to keep this dual identity?  I could spend pages upon pages trying to explain this but who would really want to read it?  I’ll summarize from all the websites, articles and people I have read and talked to.  For me it comes down to that we are unable to integrate the feminine and masculine gender roles that society has defined.  Society has defined two gender roles, masculine and feminine, and though the feminist movement has done much to soften the feminine ideal of the good natured house wife allowing women to more easily transgress those traditional gender boundaries the same cannot be said for men.  Violations of the masculine role is met with severe social punishment and that men not living up to these norms are wimps, pussies, fags or just made fun of in the main stream (Franks Red Hot Commercial).  What does society think of fathers who take parental leave as opposed to the mother?  If the wife earns more than the husband what is the common conception?  This masculine ideal is still so strong in our social coconscious that a heterosexual man who uses face cream and cares about fashion is termed “meterosexual” because they are perceived to no longer able to fight a grizzly bear with their bare hands in the woods.  There is also perhaps the need to separate as crossdressing has a habit of bleeding through into everyday life with underdressing, shaved body and plucked eyebrows to name a few.  The way we act when dressed allowing ourselves to be more feminine and show our emotions or laugh more because we are her is also prevalent.  This barrier allows us to keep our male selves intact.  This I believe is where the need to create the other her comes from.

So why don’t I have a female other?  Simply put because I’m the one wearing my dress not her wearing her dress, I have always had this desire to wear women’s clothing and to a degree to emulate women.  Admittedly after reading online all of these people who had this separate other her I attempted it but it felt unnatural as I was separating a part of me from me.  Using a femme name never really stuck for me either as again I was separating, Jess is my pen name for protection and secrecy not as a separate conception of self and in person I do not use the name Jess.  This is no way is to argue against having a separate her but a reminder that there is no requirement to do this regardless of the social pressures.

What has just being me with differing gendered aspects versus having an us that separates the gendered sides done for me?  Not sure but I know it works for me and I tend not to gravitate towards that gendered feminine ideal type that many of us tend to.  So many crossdressers are often vying for that ideal femme type that we perceive and so we wear dresses, mini skirts, heels, corsets and do perfect makeup but women rarely dress like that all the time.  I am able to wear panties, bra and breast forms under my male clothing and not feel weird that I am blending these roles.  This year at my birthday I wore panties, bra, garter belt and stockings under my three piece suit when I went out for supper with friends, here I had that traditional sexy ultra feminine lingerie under a very traditional male suit and felt totally fine with it.  My boxers and panties are tossed in the same drawer and my dresses hang beside my suits eliminating that separation.  I’m totally cool with lounging around the house with women’s tank top and men’s cargo shorts.  I am just me, a dude in women’s clothing who sometimes likes to look like a woman.  I also don’t follow the pronoun rules of when presenting as a woman I should be referred to as “she”, I do not take offence to this by any means as it is the norm in the community but I also take no offence to being called “he” as I am a man who wears women’s clothing not a woman.

So be a man, woman or an in between.  Be yourself or yourselves no matter to me really just remember to enjoy it and be comfortable with it.

9 thoughts on “Not Him and Not Her, Just Me

  1. Normally I try to avoid commenting on posts more than a week or two old but I have to tell you how much I love this. I found it from the notice that you had visited my blog and rated up a story I wrote that was almost identical to this in every way. What a pleasure to find another crossdresser who doesn’t mind embracing all that is male!

    Haha, just noticed the “Glen or Glenda” tag and it made me smile 🙂

    1. Thank you, I appreciate having someone else on a similar wavelength around.

      “Glen or Glenda” was suggested by wordpress and I went “why yes I think I will use that tag”

  2. Jess,
    You are not alone. Many of us have dealt with the lable game for a long time. I have now reached the point where like Pop-eye said, “I am what I am and that’s all that I am”.
    I am a guy who likes to wear woman’s clothes. I am not a woman but a ‘guy in a dress’.
    My advise it simple. Don’t worry, be happy. Embrace your dual gendered nature.

  3. Hi Jess.

    I just want to echo some of the points above. I too used to imagine that my fem persona would be different somehow (tempestuous, passionate, adventurous), but in fact, “she” is just “me” (but on a good day). So the things I like to do when dressed (read, write, think) are just the same as the things I like to do when in drabs.

    I haven’t had the opportunity for people to worry about what name or pronouns to use when they address me. As it happens, my real name would just about do for a man or a woman. And me in a dress is (as Pat says) exactly that. I am not pretending to be a woman, I simply am a man who enjoys dressing like one. So I don’t mind whether people use a male or female name or pronouns for me. (“Vivienne” makes a handy soubriquet to use on the Internet).

    Best wishes,


  4. Labels&just me are great insites and truths .They have answered manydoubtsIhave had for years. You have brought me much peace. THANKS!,,,,,,

  5. You say – “For me it comes down to that we are unable to integrate the feminine and masculine gender roles that society has defined.”

    If this is true, and I think much of it is, then isn’t the solution to be ourselves, rather than trying to dress as the opposite sex? Why not be a man who is brave and willing to cry and be sensitive, than a man who has to put on a dress in order to let out his true emotions?

    1. Short answer is yes I agree and that is what I was advocating as I think this separate her is forced and potentially dangerous. The longer version is that we are taught that we are unique but rarely taught that we are also the result of our social situation and as such societies values and ideals become our own so by being ourselves we are also being what we have learned from society we ought to be and who we are has a massive impact from those views. This means that men are not suppose to cry but by transgressing that social norm of clothing we are able to allow ourselves to do so. I am not saying it should be required at all and men should be able to feminine without needing to put on a dress but that dress is the permission we give ourselves to be more of ourselves as a costume change allows us to play a different character. So even if we try to be ourselves we will still be ourselves in a way that is the least detrimental to our social survival as we are social creatures and we will adhere to those norms even while going against them. To be blunt we have no clue how much of our true selves is us and how much is social. I was arguing here that the CD culture has placed itself into this dichotomy of gender and gender expectations and that I think it is kinda silly and potentially dangerous. The culture is to adhere to the character of the her and by being her allowing ourselves to express ourselves more freely which is feminine. For me to be myself I needed to shrug off this concept of her as I was adhering to the cultural norm within this community. It isn’t just the big bad Society we have to weary of but our own culture that we are a part of here that places expectations on us. So yes anyone can be brave, cry, be shy, enjoy a cuddle, talk baby talk to a dog (Just not mine) and truthfully society is a lot more accepting of that than most of us think, the panties and skirts they have a pretty hard line on though.

I love to hear from people who read my blog, even if your not in agreement with me. Your comments may spur me on to write something else so please comment.

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