Where, in the late 1970s, would you get the idea of cross-dressing from, anyway? Dick Emery, perhaps:

Or there was an orgy scene in I Claudius, where the bra of the fleeing coquette is seen to be stuffed.

Where did I get the idea of cross-dressing from? I just wanted to, so I did. Arousal, compulsion, shame followed almost immediately-  not in my memory of the first time I did it, but ever thereafter. I knew no-one must know I did this awful thing, but then people keep sexual matters private. The people I saw in women’s clothes were women.

Here’s Johan Zoffany, The Last Supper.


Zoffany, like most artists, used real people as models for his Last Supper. St John, leaning on Jesus’ left shoulder, is WC Blackwell, police sergeant of Calcutta, a cross-dresser who would round up criminals while dressed as a woman. Very fetching she looks, too. At different times, there are different levels of acceptance, and sometimes we can be brazen. You hear about other people who do it: I read two articles in the Mensa magazine by Christine-Jane Wilson, and got in touch. Her magazine published my poem, but we never met. But we do it spontaneously, before we get the idea from others.

Rachel the Trans Philosopher wondered how she knows she is trans. She does not have direct knowledge that she is female, contrary to The Script, “I knew I was a girl from the age of five”. She infers she is trans from her desire to transition and her delight in proceeding with it. Either it’s circular: I have the desires, therefore I am trans, therefore the desires are right for me; or it is “I can do what I like”: I need no excuse to follow these desires. I judge them harmless.

I don’t think I would have transitioned without the example of other people.

I read of a man executed by drowning in the Nor’ Loch, where Princes St Gardens are now, for bestiality. It was done at 4am, because he told his trial that he got the idea from a previous execution. It has never appealed to me, but I condemn it less than others might because of my own inexplicable desires.

Explanations tend to be descriptions- I express female because I want to, with no justification for the desire, because it needs none; or rationalisations- I am in some way a woman, which sounds good until someone asks what that could mean. We may tell ourselves stories about it because they are the stories we have heard, or we make up our own, but we start cross-dressing spontaneously, because that is what we want to do.

16 thoughts on “Inspiration

  1. “Where, in the late 1970s, would you get the idea of cross-dressing from, anyway?”

    It’s….MONTY PYTHON! (Cue “Liberty Bell” by John Philip Sousa)

    Think of it this way, Clare, you can enjoy mixed company…alone ! (j/k)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I do enjoy British humo(u)r. So much so, that I sometimes think I’d like to try being British rather than American. But then I think that being one kind of trans is all I can handle. 🙂


      • Thank you, Clare. By climate, I assume you are referring to the weather, and not politics (let’s not get started on that!). I live in Seattle, which, I’m told, has similar beautiful weather.

        Are you a Mensa member? Many years ago, I was invited by a Mensa member to pursue membership myself. I was given a test, which I apparently passed, and sat in on a discussion with a small group. I suppose, then, that I “tried it on”. As much as I appreciated the experience, though, it was not even close to the exhilaration I felt when, at five-years-old, I tried on some of my mother’s clothes and jewelry. Perhaps it was my well-guarded secret and my fear of its detection by very intelligent people that made me turn away from Mensa. I wonder if they would accept a dumb blonde today, now that my new secret is my IQ. 😉


        • I am. Christine-Jane said that she passed the test, where her male self had failed. I am no longer a member, but I passed the test. I have enjoyed weekends away with them. Politics is dire everywhere. I pray for the French and German elections.


          • It was 1969 when I passed the test, and I didn’t even question at that time whether women were even allowed to join. It appeared to be an all-male club by my observation. I may have been wrong, but it would have made no difference when I was 18, anyway. Oh, but to be able to do the proverbial do-over!

            BTW, it was the intelligence of your writing that attracted me to your blog in the first place. It’s the closest I can get to the experience of having a weekend away with Mensa members – at least trans Mensa members.


            • Thank you 🙂

              I read that while intelligence follows a normal random distribution curve, intelligence in trans folk forms the opposite pattern, a U- we are mostly either deeply thick, or highly intelligent. I have found intelligent trans folk in weekends away with The Sibyls. It’s a bit far from Seattle, but there must be some in the US?


  3. I can find no chapters in the US through Google. Too bad. Now, I may have been with a group called “The Sybils” back in my closeted days, when I pondered the possibility that I had some sort of multiple personality disorder. Maybe that’s just a sign of my mild dyslexia – in the form of a transposition. A trans position?


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