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Dina’s Diner 9/1/14

| Sep 1, 2014
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LABOR DAY EDITION

Who was the person who decided that we humans would need to spend a good portion of our lives laboring so we could enjoy the good stuff in our spare hours? And think of all the lousy types of work that people do in order to survive — while others are fortunate enough to have cushy jobs or are able to enjoy life in relative leisure without work.

The role of employment is a particularly thorny issue for transgender people. Employment discrimination against transgender people has been and remains a problem in the community. It’s encouraging to see societal progress that is leading to protection for transitioning individuals in the workplace. But even for closeted crossdressers, the workplace presents other risks. Most CD’s can’t talk about their crossdressed social activities and would be mortified if they were ever outed at work. The old pop psychology to explain crossdressing was that we were looking to replace our stressful, successful male personas with the softer, stay-at-home leisure of mid-century femininity.

So who wants to celebrate “labor”? To hell with it and whomever invented the concept, I say.

Labor Day 2014YOU BETTER WORK!

The RuPaul club dance hit, Supermodel (You Better Work) is itself old enough to have a career. It was released in November 1992, making it not only old enough to be slaving away in WalMart, on a factory floor, or some other “fulfilling” job …it’s also old enough to go to happy hour when the whistle blows.

I wrote about RuPaul not too long ago and I have always admired Ru for being someone who found a way to transcend the rather downscale career of drag queen or non-career of club kid to become a true celebrity. The fact that Ru has sustained and gotten bigger over the years is testament to his (or her) committed vision.

LET’S FACE IT: NOBODY REALLY WANTS TO BE HERE

Oh, I guess everyone knows someone who claims they love working. Usually people who make very large amounts of money at work claim that they are really not working for the money but the sense of fulfillment it gives them. And people who make very small amounts of money because they are doing socially meaningful work that is under-appreciated by others often say the same thing. Those are the two skinny ends of the famous bell curve. In the middle are the vast amount of the rest of us.

And most of us are just not that into working, man.

Bored at workThe website thechive.com posts a lot of random photos from readers. Many of the photo series feature young ladies who send sexy selfies to the site. To prove my point about people being less than thrilled by their respective employment situations, thechive.com has a regular feature called Bored At Work. There, young women in all sorts of jobs send selfies to show how they are breaking up the monotony of their work. The accompanying photo here is a female employee of a Mexican restaurant who is proof that the business’ owners are wasting their conventional advertising budget.

BEING “A WORKING GIRL” IS NOT A GREAT CAREER

Working?

Working?

Sex work is an avenue that many transgender women go into because their options are limited. I guess that’s why many genetic females go into sex work also. Especially for those who ply their trade on the streets, better options are obviously wanting.

For crossdressers, the fairly common fantasy of being a prostitute is mainly fueled by the imaginary opportunity to wear short dresses, high heels, and being sexy enough to literally stop traffic. Again, the reality of the job is something less glamorous and lucrative than fantasy has time to consider.

In 2011, I wrote about a large roundup of Thai ladyboy hookers on a well-known stretch of Beach Road in Pattaya. There was a news crew video of the girls in the local precinct station being booked into the holding cell. The girls were beautiful and they were chatting and laughing with each other while the bored desk sergeant did the paperwork. Getting busted by the cops seemed to be a nuisance but hardly tragic. The gaggle of pre-op prostitutes seemed to be exhibiting the best that working in a group can offer: camaraderie, shared experience, and (for gawd’s sake) having a few laughs along the way.

WORKING 9 TO 5 — AND BEYOND 75

Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda

Pointing to celebrities as examples of progress for more ordinary folk is suspect at best. RuPaul may be making drag queens more respectable and LaVerne Cox may be a bona fide star but that doesn’t translate into widespread acceptance for transgender people. Likewise, successes for female celebrities doesn’t narrow the wage gap for real working women or improve their everyday lot in life.

Jane Fonda is now 76 years old. Back in the day, she was in the subversive working women’s comedy 9 to 5 with another icon of celebrity femininity, Dolly Parton. Jane is in a new movie titled This is Where I Leave You. I just saw a commercial for it and there is a scene about how great her boobs look when she flashes cleavage towards her son-in-law. I don’t know if a feminist would agree that pointing out how great a septuagenarian’s hooters are is progress but there are worse ways to honor women.

TG Employee Vandy Beth Glenn

TG Employee Vandy Beth Glenn

WORKING STIFFS

As I mentioned above, it’s illusory to look at celebrities for an indication of social progress. Over the past few years, we’ve seen transgender actresses get cast in mainstream roles, transgender fashion models getting work and recognition for their beauty, and transgender pageant queens being accepted in some competitions.

Another new battlefront has developed in recent years: a veritable army of transgender school kids — from kindergarten to high schools — coming out and demanding recognition and protection. Those kids are tomorrow’s fodder for the great employment machine. Happy future Labor Days, kids.

But as we read about often in the TWIT feature of TGForum, there are many working transgenders in a variety of fields now. Schoolteachers, film directors, former Navy SEALS, politicians, artists, office workers… Yes, all these relatively newly minted ladies (and men sometimes) who now have the good fortune to spend 8 hours a day, five days a week, working for a living in their properly identified gender.

Congratulations. Happy Hour starts at 5, doll.

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Category: Transgender Fun & Entertainment, Transgender Opinion

dina

About the Author ()

I started crossdressing and going out publicly in 1988. I joined the Renaissance group in the Philadelphia area that year and later became chapter leader for two years in the '90s. I always enjoyed writing and wrote for the Renaissance newsletter and magazine throughout my membership years. I've been writing for TGForum for several years now. I also contributed items to LadyLike magazine and other TG publications before the advent of the internet. My hobby-within-a-hobby is singing live as my alter-ego Dina Sinatra and I have had the opportunity to do that with several accommodating performers and in a number of venues over the years since the mid-1990s. In the Diner column items here, I try to relate crossdressing or transgender themes (and my own pet peeves and fetishes) to the larger world -- and vice versa.

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