Daily Archives: April 9, 2010

How would you answer? (Transvestites)

I was at the Palisades Mall the other day with six boys. Four of mine and two extras brought along because I needed more testosterone around me (not!!). This place is huge and overwhelming for provincial little me. Five of the boys went off together to do their own thing and I took the little ChatterBox with me.

At one point we were just sitting watching the people go by (and eating M & Ms). I love people watching and there are so many of them at this mall. A couple sauntered close by to us, and my son started to stare. It is never acceptable to me to stare at another person, and my kids know this BUT I guess he couldn’t help himself.

The couple that passed us were transvestites. They were both mid fifties, their faces exquisitely made up, huge hair, wearing tiny lycra skirts and high heeled boots. Totally fit the stereotype but there was no mistaking them for women. “Ima” he said “why are those men dressed up like ladies? They look silly.”

Thankfully, his question was out of curiosity, not judgment. I answered something benign, like “maybe they felt like they wanted to see what it was like being a lady for a day” and then he said “Oh” and offered me another chocolate and started talking about the lego set he was going to build later.

Is seven too young for this kind of lesson? I felt it was. How does one explain that some men are not comfortable being in a male body or vice versa? Or that some men like to dress as women because it makes them feel good? How do you explain that it is a personal choice and no reflection on their character? How would you have answered this question?

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