In my never ending quest to understand Transvestism I found a new ally in a recent article by Jillian Keenan in Slate on BDSM and kink in general. She argued that kink was a sexual orientation and in many cases it overpowers gender. The fact that so many reduce sexual orientation to genitalia is a vast simplification of how we live our lives. In her case sexual orientation revolves around who (not how) and is any sexual identity that is fixed and unshakable that it defies choice, reason, and even, at times, simple evolutionary explanation.Kink An Orientation

In the same way she talks about kink so transvestites can talk about how it is quite an orientating force that it overpowers gender stereotypes. I have always argued that as a Transvestite when dressed I feel neither a man or woman more an inter-sexed person for which there is no real dictionary definition. Sexually men and women (and other TV”s) can have an effect on me, but its the person not their sexual identity. It is something I have played with in the past and realised sex was not the outcome I wanted from these encounters. More of a recognition of Tara. But that is for me. Others want to go all the way with whoever in whatever way they feel is right for them.

Jillian naturally talks that pain is her kink and determines her orientation and overcomes pre-set stereotypes. I would argue that many Trannies are also in some ways addicted to an inner being that for want of a better word we call ‘femme’ that overcomes strong biological and sociological influences. The fact that so many of us try to give up this way of life and then return to it as an inner urge re-establishes itself in our mind must indicate that this is not just some passing fancy but a much deeper part of our persona and sexuality.
Kate also looked at the LBGTQ comparative issues and I found myself siding with her and felt that Transvestites should be more closely aligned to the BDSM world rather that the LBGTQ people.
I feel we do it for the pure enjoyment that it gives us rather than the inner being that is telling us we are not what society and biology says us we should be. They have far deeper issues than us Trannies, but what we both have in common concerns identity issues and how society in general handles or (in the bulk of the population) cannot really handle them. Because they do not understand.
Bliss
I loved the fact that she said she didn’t choose kink it was within her and found her. It was not a choice hobby or phase it was intrinsic to her and was quite fundamental to her sexual identity. It transgressed gender. Is that not what we also feel. Its something innate that just needs a trigger to be pulled and then try putting that genie back in the bottle (OK too may clichés in a sentence!). She said that the explosion of 50 Shades of Grey was great in some ways for the BDSM world as people were allowed to experiment more and led to more acceptability. But in the main it was just fun bedroom play. To the hard core BDSMers it is not like this, it is very much their lifestyle choice and she says her addiction. In similar ways so with Transvestites they can be compared with crossdressers who have a bit of a panty or stocking fetish, but that is very much a weaker form of Transvestism. We on the other hand, after many purges, we finally come to accept it as part of our lifestyle and pursue it with relish, as and how we can.But only after coming to terms with it  not as a perversion or with repulsion or frowned upon.
I am one who loves both sides and enjoy the whole ‘mind fuck’ of transformation. If the event is occurring a couple of days ahead I love the whole planning and preparation before the actual dressing. I genuinely feel my whole persona changing from a grumpy old git to a more relaxed tart! Now I fully appreciate I am at a certain point on the Transvestite continuum and that many would like to dress most of the time. But just as I do not think there is a 24/7 BDSM relationship so I believe that many Trannies like to play between the two sides to a greater or lesser degree. Who is the dominant one I do not know. Particularly if you enjoy being more ‘heterosexual manly’ in male mode then I think the ‘change’ is even more exciting.
Finally I loved her closing remark saying that in order to qualify as a sexual orientation an identity must not only be innate, unshakeable and unchosen but also, stigmatised. I often wonder that if it was ‘normal’ for anyone to wear a short skirt, high heels and stockings would the whole dressing-up give us such an unique buzz!
The only area we disagree with Jillian is that she says her sexual orientation is her illness not her hobby. I love Transvestism as a wonderful, all encompassing, heady pastime in which I indulge as the need takes me, not an illness that has to be cured. XXX
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