Thursday, June 4

AK Souffle: Government bans vicars and tarts parties

- November 20, 2017

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Hahahaha, ridiculous you may think, but with the rampant topic of gender fluidity flooding the media right now it seems possible. It’s hard to pick up a paper, look online or watch TV without someone voicing opinion about the age old subject of dressing up – and let us not forget that, although for a great many, dressing in men’s or women’s clothing is to do with feeling that you have been assigned by nature the wrong body, for some it is seen as fun.

It’s a truth that for those who feel that they are wrongly gendered, seeing people cross dressing for fun and of course for entertainment might be hurtful, of course it will. But it’s nothing new, men have been dressing as women for all kinds of reasons for as long as history has been recorded.

Women have dressed as men too, Jean d’Arc certainly used cross dressing to achieve her goals and let’s not forget the oppressive ruling in theatre that for many years meant that only men could be play female roles, a concept that is now being redressed by gender blind casting in productions of classics.

Maybe there should be a national cross dressing day, a day of support from and for the whole community

And where does it leave the rich vein of drag? Drag is a massively important part of LGBT+ history and culture, one that peppers the gay scene in a flurry of sequins and lamé. I have both loved and hated drag over the years, some is good and some less so, and I would hate to see it banned. I would certainly outlaw rampant misogyny for certain but I would protect the concept and I am delighted to see the re-emergence of drag kings as part of our culture.

I have dressed up in female attire, I went to my 18th birthday part dressed as Shirley Temple and was for a year the Alternative Miss Brighton. I enjoyed a wonderful evening of cross dressing fun – and I mean FUN, and I certainly meant no disrespect to either women or anyone who was undergoing or had undertaken a transition.

Dressing up though is a part of growing up, of creative development and expression and should not be confused with anything else. In fact, by making dressing up an issue we are building prejudice and driving people into the shadows. Maybe there should be a national cross dressing day, a day of support from and for the whole community for those who want to be seen for what they are – simply ordinary human beings some of whom prefer to have some fluidity about their mode of dress and some who genuinely know that they are living in the wrongly gendered body. Whichever, it is surely time to live and let live!




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