Notes on Gender Role Transition
Anne Vitale Ph.D.
Significant Other Index
A Significant Other View
by Julie Freeman
This article is reprinted with
permission from DEVIL WOMAN, the Diablo Valley Girls newsletter. Ms
Freeman is the wife of a crossdresser. Julie can be reached at Julie39@comcast.net. Her book, A Significant Other View, by Julie Freeman is available now through Amazon.com.
Significant others from time to time go out with their partners to gender events. These events may be at a hotel, a couple's home, or even a restaurant. Usually they attend with others whether it be a monthly Tri-Ess meeting, a DVG rap group, or California Dreamin'. Their partners are pleased that they attend these somewhat "protected" events and may even express a desire for their significant other to go out in public with them - perhaps shopping at a nearby mall, go to a movie or play, or out to dinner.
Some wives feel comfortable and have no problems going out in public. Some wives never go out with their husbands, either to protected gender events or more public venues. But most significant others fall into a middle area - they may attend a dinner at the home of a crossdresser, but would never consider going out to dinner even with other crossdressers and their wives.
And for those wives who do venture OUT with their husbands crossdressed, what might they expect? Will they be stared at? Will there be negative comments made? Do they run any risk of danger? Could they be set upon by hooligans who react with hostility to anyone they perceive a threat to their beliefs? Perhaps they may simply be embarrassed by the attention they may receive? Might they run into someone they know? And just HOW does the significant other treat her crossdressed partner? As a friend? As an acquaintance? As a roommate? And if someone she knows comes up, how does she introduce HER friend? Does she pretend SHE isn't there?
These questions without a doubt flood through a significant other’s consciousness as she decides whether or not to go. Some might decide it is just too much this time. Others might decide to bite the bullet and see what happens.
Having gone out to many such activities with others, I can say that for the most part they have been uneventful. Recently we attended two dinners. The first dinner included about 13 people, 4 of whom were genetic women. Although we did receive some looks, nothing untoward happened, and we received excellent treatment by the restaurant. I do not think it unusual to expect some stares from patrons observing some extremely tall women. Any women's basketball team can tell us that! The other activity, also at a restaurant, consisted of couples so there were an equal number of genetic women and crossdressers. The treatment was also excellent and the dinner uneventful.
And so perhaps going out just with one's partner might not be bad at all. It might turn out to be rather interesting. And so off to a play Donna and I go. No stares at all as far as I could tell, and certainly there were no negative remarks.
My husband told me just to act as though I were going out with a friend. And just how is that? When going out with a friend, we catch up on news or gossip about our lives. We just seem to chatter away, about everything; such is the way of women.
But with men, especially one's husband, it is different. There certainly was no news to catch up on and gossip is not something that my husband likes to do. So what proved to be most interesting was that I could not react to my husband as though he were a close friend; I was still out with my husband and reacted the way I always do when I am out with him. I even talked to HER as though I was talking to HIM and forgot that others could overhear us and start to wonder.
It certainly gave me more respect for actors and actresses. Try as hard as I could, I could not ACT as though I were out with a girlfriend. I couldn't even remember how I act with a girlfriend because it is not acting; it is just the way I REACT.
So it appears that regardless of what my husband may be wearing I still REACT as his wife. Is that because regardless of what he is wearing, he is still the same person! I think so and perhaps that may be of some comfort to wives who fear losing the person they married when he chooses to put on a dress.
And just as our dinners, our outing to see a play was uneventful and no different than usual for me. Was it different for Donna? Well, she will have to tell you that!