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Dina’s Diner May 17 2009

| May 18, 2009
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Come on in and take a seat at Dina’s Diner. This week the hostess with the mostest has very affordable Pink Plate Special (it used to be blue but you know how the Diner rolls) and she’s serving up extra big slices of pie for dessert. She covers it all from Jennifer Boylan’s op-ed in the NY Times, to Cindy Sherman, a woman who take more photos of herself than we do. (You timed shutterbugs know who you are!) And then she tosses in a few more items on kinky sex and lingerie. Now that’s a satisfying meal. Step into the Diner and enjoy.

WHAT MAKES A MARRIAGE GAY?

The New York Times carried an op-ed contribution from Jennifer Finney Boylan titled “Is My Marriage Gay?” The opinion piece ran on Tuesday May 12, 2009. Ms. Boylan was writing from Maine, where the governor had recently signed a law legalizing same-sex marriages in the state. Maine became the fifth state with legal same-sex marriages. But as Ms. Boylan notes, “It is worth pointing out, however, that there were some legal same-sex marriages in Maine already, just as there probably are in all fifty states. These are marriages in which at least one member of the couple has changed gender since the wedding.”


Jennifer Boylan

Ms. Boylan is herself post-operative transgendered and married to the same woman she wed as a male twenty-one years ago. In 2002, Jennifer legally became a female in Maine. Since Jennifer’s spouse decided to stay with her after the transition (because their relationship was deeper than skin or gender), they have been a legal same-sex marriage for a long time before the new Maine law was passed.

Jennifer points out the silliness in the patchwork quilt of marriage laws around the country. A 1999 ruling in a Texas court found that marriage must be between two persons who have different chromosomes. This was the Littleton v. Prange estate case and the column quotes the attorney for Littleton (the plaintiff widow transsexual) thusly: “Taking this case to its logical conclusion, Mrs. Littleton, while in San Antonio, is a male and has a void marriage; as she travels to Houston and enters federal property, she is a female and a widow; upon traveling to Kentucky she is female and a widow, but upon entering Ohio, she is once again male and prohibited from marriage; entering Connecticut she is again female and may marry; if her travel takes her north to Vermont, she is male and may marry a female; if she travels south to New Jersey, she may marry a male.”

Jennifer asks, “How do we define legal gender? By chromosomes? By genitalia? By spirit? By whether one asks for directions when lost?” She points out an interesting piece of legal trivia from the Texas case above: since male to female transsexuals, and some females with androgen insensitivity syndrome have Y chromosomes, Texas was the first state to allow lesbian couples to wed based on the opposite chromosome ruling.

There seems to be a parallel in the “gays in the military” issue. There have always been gays in the military; there are at least some same-sex couples in marriages because of gender reassignment surgeries. The world somehow keeps turning.

SAY CHEESE!

Crossdressers love to take photos of themselves or have others do it for them. During my first few years of crossdressing, while I was taking roll upon roll of film evidence of my own obsession, I discovered a photographer artist whose work intrigued me. Her name is Cindy Sherman and she is part of a photographic exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art through August 2, 2009.


Cindy Sherman’s “Untitled Film Stills”

According to Cindy’s biography, she began a series of self-portraits in 1977 that she collected into an exhibit called “Untitled Film Stills.” This became a famous collection and has been exhibited all over the country and probably the world. I first saw it in Philadelphia right around 1990. The interesting thing about the series is that although they are “self-portraits,” Cindy poses in each photo as a different persona  using wigs, dress, makeup, etc. As the exhibit title suggests, the portraits are captured moments during which something else seems to be going on. Cindy portrays women both naive and aware and always with a back story playing out behind her eyes. She followed up the “Stills” collection with another cinema inspired set called “Rear Screen Projections” in which she posed before scenes projected behind her as some old movies employed in lieu of location sets. Again, the photos told ambiguous stories that left the viewer to write their own plots for what was going on before and after the photos of the women characters were taken.

Cindy’s photos didn’t have anything to do with gender (although I think she has one of her in male persona) but the idea of dressing up and taking a self-portrait that is not one’s “normal” self really hit home at a time when I was beginning to explore that side of myself.

The New York Times Sunday Styles section on May 17, 2009 included an article about modern day wedding photography. The headline read: “Here I’m Cutting the Cake…Here I’m in a Nightie.” The Times reported that wedding photography has become an expensive part of weddings and some photogs are offering extras to attract business or make their standard services more competitive.

Among the extras being offered are boudoir or “Maxim”-type photos of the bride or comical domestic scenes of the couple doing laundry or the dishes in partial wedding attire. The few photographers interviewed for the article said that they often offer the extra services rather than cut prices. It’s easier for them to spend a little extra time on the client than to sacrifice hard cash. A Massachusetts-based photographer said she has done more than 200 of the racy pre-wedding shots of brides.

IS KINK ON THE RISE?

The ABC News website had an article on February 11, 2009 positing the theory that humans are getting kinkier in our sexual desires. There were no statistics cited for the theory. Most of the supposition was based on circumstantial facts. But as theories go — I like it.

The well-received updating of the 35-plus year old The Joy of Sex spurred the author to develop a new book to be titled The Adventurous Lover that will explore kinkier topics for vanilla couples looking for something spicy. Daniel Bergner’s book The Other Side of Desire was also cited as evidence of greater interest in kinkiness. I wrote about Bergner’s book in an earlier Diner post.

But the number one culprit (or hero, depending on your viewpoint) in the supposed blooming interest in kinky sex is…ta da! the Internet. Well, why not? Where once you had to go to adult bookstores and even in adult bookstores one had to skulk about in the kinky section to find material on B and D, or crossdressing, or what have you, now you can log on in the privacy of your own home. Only your cookies trail and that annoying piece of spyware can see what you’re up to on the computerized kink-finder.

It’s not as if we’re going to see latex fashions in the shopping mall (although there are plenty of YouTube videos of that to be had) or see male slaves being led around by dominant women (except while pushing the shopping cart at the local grocery), so it is hardly cause for widespread all-out vanilla panic for the non-kinky of society. In fact, if our favorite fetishes became the stuff of everyday life, would they still have the same arousal value? Maybe it would kill those existing kinky desires and new ones would necessarily develop. It would have to be some very fringe interest that is currently frowned on by society and practiced by only a small group of people. Something like Republicanism.

IT’S THIRD AND LONG


Now that’s a huddle. (AFP/Getty Images/Emmanuel Dunand)

The Lingerie Football League (Yes, the Lingerie Football League!) is planning a 2009 season featuring ten teams competing over 20 weeks between September and January. The teams are going to play in big time arenas in large market areas. The “tryouts” held in leagure cities recently got plenty of press.

The league idea grew out of the Super Bowl halftime “Lingerie Bowl” that started in 2005. Apparently, some limited league play was already taking place in a few cities. It will be interesting to see how well they do and if the novelty can really catch on for sustained attendance. As we read above, the girls will be competing with a lot of other kinky activities — sporting or otherwise — for the public’s dollar.

But here’s the annoying thing to me. They aren’t really playing in lingerie, except for the sport bras which don’t really look like lingerie. It’s not like they are in bustiers and garters. And no high heels either. I think in the interest of truth in advertising they should call the league something else. Those of us who hold lingerie very near and dear don’t like to see it mucked up with non-lingerie items. It’s a matter of purity, you might say.


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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. dina dina says:

    The Cindy Sherman photos are part of an exhibit at the New York Metro Museum of Art, not Modern Art, as I mistakenly wrote.

  2. ronnierho ronnierho says:

    Vanilla Panic? What a great name for a band!!

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