Trainjotting Rethinks Position on Cross-Dressing Commuters, Feels Bad

Alan” politely and eloquently took us to task for the flippant tone with which we presented Derailed’s story about an awkward exchange between a conductor and a cross-dressing rider.

He writes: …even if you don’t know a lot about gender issues, you have to realize that a man driven to live his life as a woman, a fact which he can’t expose his children to is a pretty sad story. In fact, it’s likely that his desire to be a woman caused him to become divorced meaning he can only see his children on a limited basis.

To be clear, we don’t find the topic of cross-dressing itself all that hysterical. We lived downtown for 15 years and, over time, barely mustered a second glance toward some of the city’s more outrageous transvestites.

What makes this stuff entertaining is the juxtaposition: a cross-dresser in the Village is one thing, but a cross-dresser on the White Guy Express — a commuter train packed with six-figure male clones heading out to Greenwich and Chappaqua — is a different story. It’s Jeremy Shockey at the ballet, Michael Stipe at the rodeo.

Maybe we’re both right — it’s both funny and sad.

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1 Response to Trainjotting Rethinks Position on Cross-Dressing Commuters, Feels Bad

  1. Alan says:

    Didn’t mean to make you feel bad. It’s a natural reaction to initially find humor in something like that. It’s also possible that the woman in the story was able to laugh about it to some degree. Also, it’s fine to laugh about drag queens and transvestites on the train who are dressed in a somewhat outrageous way. My guess is that a lot of them appear in public like that to elicit a response of some kind. (If you see someone who kind of looks like they are crossdressed, but don’t appear to be dressed in an outrageous way, then it would be kind of rude to make fun of them, imo) Anyway, I’m glad you see the potential sadness in this story.

    On a related note (and I commented to this effect on the blog you linked to), I don’t think it was accurate to call the person in the story a “crossdresser”, as that term usually refers to someone who dresses as the opposite gender on a temporary basis usually just for fun or as a sexual fetish. The person in this story was probably a transgendered woman. A transgendered woman is someone who dresses and lives as the opposite gender on a much more permanent basis, sometimes in anticipation of some type of sexual reassignment surgery. Because the person had bought their monthly pass to use as a female, and said that she lives as a woman when not with her children, it’s likely that she is transgendered and it also means that it’s appropriate that I’ve been referring to her as a woman.

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