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Dina’s Diner July 11 2010

| Jul 12, 2010
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dinas_dinerIn consideration of others seated near you as well as our international broadcast audience, please refrain from blowing your vuvuzelas during this month’s issue of Dina’s Diner.

GLEN OR GLENDA, IN OR OUTTA THE OFFICE

The syndicated Dear Abby advice column is still appearing in newspapers around the country. On June 6, 2010, Abby (now written by one of the original Abby’s daughters) answered a letter about crossdressing. The letter and response is short enough to quote in its entirety.

“Dear Abby: Recently I was at a club with friends and ran into a co-worker. He was dressed in drag and introduced himself as Glenda. At work he dresses as a male and goes by Glen. Since that night he has been avoiding me and cutting conversations short. Should I let him know that I’m OK with his alternate persona or let it be? (signed) Sympathetic.

Dear Sympathetic: If you have frequent contact with Glen (at work) and his embarrassment is having an impact on your work relationship, then clear the air and let him know that what happens after hours is personal and you do not gossip.”

I’m sure that the “Glen/Glenda” name is made up for convenience. It is probably really Carl and Carla or Tom and Thomasina. But this is an odd story because it sounds as though Glenda made a point of introducing herself to the co-worker and then being embarrassed about it back at work. Maybe Glenda thought she would pass. Maybe it seemed like a good idea at the time. Things at nightclubs often do seem like great ideas — until we wake up the next morning. I’ve been out crossdressed and found myself in the same place with co-workers a few times. Fortunately, the bars, clubs or events were dark and crowded enough for me to avoid any contact. But I knew the last thing I wanted to do was “bump into” a co-worker while crossdressed. In fact, this has been a recurring nervous dream of mine — being discovered in drag by co-workers. And being recognized as Glen.

THE UNDOCUMENTED CROSSDRESSER

Rodrigo Illegal ImmigrantThe Daily Beast is a well known news and culture website. On July 3, 2010 the site carried an article by Terry Greene Sterling headlined “The Undocumented Crossdresser.” Ms. Sterling has published a book Illegal: Life and Death in Arizona’s Immigration War Zone. [From the Daily Beast lead] “In one chapter, called “The Border Crosser,” Ms. Sterling profiles Rodrigo, a cross-dressing construction worker whose alter ego, Erika, morphs from a southern Mexico prostitute to an Arizona party girl after she sneaks into Phoenix. Erika and Rodrigo share the same hubris—they fall in love with married men who grew up under the enforced heterosexuality of Mexican Catholicism.”

The rest of the excerpt doesn’t really have a lot to say about Rodrigo/Erika’s crossdressing, particularly about how she became a party girl in Phoenix while unemployed. But Ms. Sterling does relate how she questions whether Rodrigo will turn to prostitution as Erika if he cannot find work, or if the immigration atmosphere in Arizona (or the country) doesn’t improve. You have to believe (just from the sheer numbers) that a portion of illegal immigrants are crossdressers. I can hear the outrage already: these crossdressing illegal immigrants are sneaking into the country so they can sneak into American women’s rooms. Let’s hope that this very anecdotal story of one such illegal immigrant crossdresser doesn’t worm its way into the debate as yet another easy target in the immigration shouting match.

SHE MISSED THE PARADE THIS YEAR

Storme_DeLarverie_portraitThe New York Times for June 28, 2010 included an article about Storme DeLarverie who was one of the central figures in the Stonewall Riots in New York in the summer of 1969. Sunday June 27, 2010 marked the fortieth anniversary of the gay pride parade, started in 1970 to mark the riots of the previous year. According to the Times, the first parade in 1970 was not really a parade as much as a protest gathering.

Storme DeLarverie is now 89 and living in a nursing home with a case of in and out dementia. Storme was a crossdressing lesbian in her heyday and she was the master of ceremonies for a group of male drag queen performers in the city (the famous Jewel Box Revue). She also worked as a bouncer at lesbian bars in Manhattan and was well known in the gay and lesbian community.

Some people say that it was Storme who was the victim of the police attack at the Stonewall Inn that prompted the riot to escalate as it did. But in her current mental state, she tells different stories about that fateful night in 1969. Everyone in the community agrees that she was there that night, however, and no one doubts that she would have fought fiercely in the melee. She is a member of the Stonewall Veterans Association. One friend and former employer at the “Henrietta Hudson” lesbian bar told the Times, “The young gays and lesbians today have never heard of her. The community that is familiar with her is dwindling.”

She lived for decades at the Chelsea Hotel until friends got her admitted to long term care facilities and arranged for guardianship of her affairs. The Times reporter spent the Sunday of the Pride parade with Storme. “At one point, she took off her slippers and seemed to look for her shoes. I think they started already, she said. They’re probably wondering where I am.”

IT’S HER WORLD, WE’RE JUST LIVING IN IT

Chances are you’ve heard of Lady GaGa. She’s the biggest pop sensation since, well, whoever was big before Lady G showed up. I am not familiar with her music, the basis of her fame, but she really seems to have transcended her music career. If she manages to have a lasting career, the closest parallel would be Madonna, which ain’t bad, because Madonna was always one step ahead of her peers and critics. Gaga certainly seems intent on topping herself at every turn.

Last summer, there was a buzz in the celebrity gossip mill that Lady Gaga (born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta in 1986) is really a hermaphrodite. There were some still photos and video footage that seemed to show an odd protuberance in her tight short shorts. And Lady Gaga herself was believed to have confessed to it too but that was later muddied by her handlers or whomever orchestrates this stuff in the first place. Just recently, she was believed to have been photographed for an international edition of Vogue while dressed and coiffed as a “male model.” So she has the gender bending thing down on every side of a three sided coin.

She recently surpassed President Obama (and everyone else too) with 10 million Facebook friends. Imagine having Lady Gaga as a Facebook friend! She must need a full time flunky just to sit there and accept all those friend hits. That’s success in America, folks.

gagaChristina Aguilera, no slouch herself in the pop sensation field (way back in the early part of this century, anyway) just had her latest CD panned as being too derivative of Lady Gaga influences. Ouch. And as recently as this past week in early July 2010, young women are being warned about using foreign produced contact lenses that give the wearer a large-pupil look such as seen in Japanese anime art. The contacts are possibly damaging to the eye but you know how girls are when they want to look good. Eye damage, schmeye damage. But why are young women risking their eyeballs and wanting to look like Japanese anime creatures? Well, Lady Gaga used that look in a recent video. Ah ha!

And finally, there is a young Army private named Bardley Manning who is charged by military authorities with leaking video footage that shows Iraqi civilians being killed by an American helicopter attack. By the way, there was an Internet/blog rumor that Private Manning might be transgender based on some correspondence he was reported to have sent. But to tie this whole thing up in a ball for you, how do you suppose Manning smuggled the top secret military video out of the base? He hid the video inside a Lady Gaga music CD case.

I, for one, welcome my new overlord, Lady Gaga.


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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.

Comments (2)

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  1. angela_g angela_g says:

    Maybe Bradley is very bard like and waxes poetic at the drop of a hat. Or maybe that editor of yours should have caught it. Oops!

  2. dina dina says:

    I apologize for mis-spelling Private Bradley Manning’s first name.

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