Dear Patrick: I transitioned about five years ago. Instead of being an unhappy, androgynous girl, I am now a furry bear cub who has had love affairs with both men and women. But when I am alone, I am finding myself fantasizing about and wanting to experiment with lingerie and makeup. Is this simply an expression of the fact that I am never satisfied and always changing, or did I make a mistake when I decided to change the initial on my driver’s license?
Dear Cub with a Peignoir: I think you are being way too hard on yourself. There are tons of cis-gender guys who enjoy cross-dressing. Most of them have no question about their male identities. They just get sexually excited by the feel and appearance of filmy women’s underwear (or nurse’s uniforms, or whatever their fetish may be). Besides, men’s clothes are boring. I don’t see how an evening spent with some lipstick and satin can do you any harm. There’s little enough pleasure in this world. As long as you aren’t hurting anybody else, you have my permission to try it out and see what happens.
I know there are a lot of people who won’t agree with me. They will jump on your case and tell you that you aren’t a “real man” if you have these desires. That’s just ignorance and moralism. I have no idea what a “real man” is anyway, but the hints I’ve gotten from the larger culture tell me it’s nothing to aspire to. Every man has to think about the balance of masculine and feminine characteristics within himself, and determine what he is comfortable expressing. Besides, I’m not sure that being a little kinky qualifies as a form of femininity.
There are female-to-male transgender people who also perform as drag queens. There are male-to-female trans women who are butch-identified lesbians. The world is a gender kaleidoscope, and you get to make your own damn pattern.