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29 Nov 2008 - 18:257989
Crossplay and Transsexuality
This is pulled over from the cosplay age thread because I'm trying not to derail too much.

I'm trans, and I find that a lot of the cosplay community can be very ignorant when it comes to that kind of issue.

I'm not saying that people do it to be intentionally mean, but a lot of people assume I'm crossplaying, AND state the fact, without taking anything else into account.

I did say that my theory on it was that you just don't get Transsexuals in anime. You get crossdressing, magic gender switches and boys that look like girls, but no one seems to have touched the whole issue of actual transsexuality (though if I'm wrong, someone please point me in the direction of a program!)

Are there any other trans people (or gender queers in any way or form) out there who find this an issue when it comes to cosplay?

(oh and thanks to the other two people who replied to my earlier post in the age thread, it does feel good knowing you're not the only ones who get this kinda stuff)

Tab


29 Nov 2008 - 20:567992
yeah...

i've been diagnosed with cognative gender disorder (that means i'm a physical guy with a girls mentality before anyone gets confused!).

cosplaying for me is a hard thing to do. infact, it's the main reason i cosplay "full suited" characters, simply because it's easier for me to hide behind a mask, while hiding behind another mask.

i'd never see myself cosplaying a female simply because i'm not built like a girl, and in that sense i totally understand where you're coming from on your comment about having the body of an attractive female, so you cosplay attractive females.

from my stance, i'm really envious of a lot of girls, because they can cosplay male characters with relative ease and at the same time cosplay female characters too, while people like me are faced with the fact that most cosplays i'd love to do are simply impossible, or unsightly.

but since this is something i've lived with for all of my conscious life, i can live with it.


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29 Nov 2008 - 21:267993
I normally stay away from forum dealies and whatnot but one of my roomies pointed this out to me and I felt it wasn't something I could very easily ignore.

The mass can't really be blamed for their ignorance. Stupidity? Sure, but not ignorance.

Cosplay communities are already considered "weird" because we dress up as characters with funky hair and run around with big weapons and have you, but the idea of crossplaying doesn't seem to get shunned as much as the idea of crossdressing does in the "real world", as it were. It's a rather common thing in cosplay, but I think on the whole many don't look past the reasoning behind choices in characters that people sometimes decide to cosplay.

Trying to think where I'm going with this... Er... yeah. You're certainly not alone in the area of cosplay and gender queerness. I'm not sure I find it an issue, really, because I actually find the whole crossplaying experience is a lot less stressful as a starting point to explaining the trans thing than I do talking to the mundanes I know in day to day because they often view it as "weird". It's a nice and relatively easy way for me to step into my visual body shape of preference and not only be treated completely normally but even praised and complimented for it. It's actually one of the biggest appeals of cosplay events in general for me, second only to the social aspect and getting to see friends again.

I find the issues come not in cosplay, but outside of it, when the mad rush of the day is over and meetings with friends in normal clothes happen /o\; After all, it's "weird", ain't it?

However, a wonderfully dear friend of mine upon being met with the "That's/you're so weird!" comment turned to his friend and said "No, honey, all those things you're describing are queer" and being told this little story made me a little squeeful as he said hsi friend never used the word "weird" again.


30 Nov 2008 - 10:277998
I'm Autistic, so while I don't have any specific gender issues, I have the problem of a brain that exists by "extreme male behaviour" and a female body. Cosplaying gave me the confidence to start crossdressing outside of conventions, which has skyrocketed my confidence.

Not exactly the same issue, I know, but anything that boosts our confidence in ourselves has to be a good thing, right?


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30 Nov 2008 - 12:357999
I see where you are coming from, but I think it's unfair that you can say it's easy for girls to crossplay. That's a complete lie. It's easy for a slender girl with a B cup or less to crossplay, as you bridge into a C cup binding becomes harder and uncomfortable. I'm a DD and it is not easy for me to crossplay, at all. Also, with wide shoulders and wide hips it's hard for me to cosplay girls because no outfits seem to fit or suit me properly. (not that it stops me, rofl)

I think it's the same for guys, my brother (for example) would probably find it easy to cosplay a girl, all he'd have to do is stuff some socks in a bra - due to his slender figure and already quite feminine features. Certain body somatotypes find it easier to cosplay certain genders, I don't think it's restricted to male or females. It's just you don't see guys crossplay/dressing as much as you see girls, so it would take more time for people to get used to seeing it, thats all.


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30 Nov 2008 - 13:088000
Quote Uber-Nerd:
I'm not saying that people do it to be intentionally mean, but a lot of people assume I'm crossplaying, AND state the fact, without taking anything else into account.


To be fair, considering that so many people crossplay at one time or another, surely it is a fair assumption for a bystander to assume that a person wearing a costume of the opposite physical gender is merely crossplaying?

At any rate, I have known quite a few transgender or transsexual people over the years and from what I've seen, the ones in cosplay actuall get more support than those outside of this particular scene.

I am sorry if your personal experiences have been difficult though.

Oh and Mocha, I don't PERSONALLY know that pain per se but...Efia is a bigger cup size than you and she's done Orochimaru (where she didn't bind) and will be doing Zack Fair, who she wants to bind for. Do you actually bind? Or do you find that you are simply too...well-endowed for that? I was worried she might hurt herself is she attempted binding...


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CosplayIsland Staff Member


30 Nov 2008 - 14:048002
Getting a real binder is a must- I have DD's, and I used to think that I would never be able to get a chest as flat as I wanted. A real binder though pushes the tissue up and out, so it sits more where the pectorals would be on a man. And they're so much more comfortable than anything else.

My issues are more that I have a tiny waist, so I have to make sure that I pick costumes that don't emphasise that.

As for the idea that people will assume crossplay- that's fine, but why do they have to say it? I saw the sailor moon guy in the saturday masquerade, and I complemented him on his costume, never once impling that he was crossplaying, because he might have been trans, and that would have been rude to say. I found out later that he was a crossplayer, but at least I didn't make the mistake of assuming it and upseting someone.

Tab


30 Nov 2008 - 16:428006
And prolonged wear doesn't cause any damage? Thanks for the advice ^_^

That is true, people shouldn't assume at all really, I merely meant that it isn't too much of a stretch to get that assumption and understand why it would be made.


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CosplayIsland Staff Member


30 Nov 2008 - 17:598007
I find that this community, rather than being ignorant, is in fact one of the easier communities to find acceptance as a gender-troubled individual.

I always found the idea of cosplaying liberating rather than stressful. As one who despairs of being born my own particular gender and aspires to look and act as convincingly as i can like the other gender in everyday life, i find i have no real scruples about cosplaying characters of my own physical gender. Because, as was mentioned above, it is a mask.

Of course the issue is neglected in media and so forth, it must be remembered that while it is painful to be in an area of society that is more often than not forgotten about, it should not be surprising considering that most everything caters for society as a whole. But at least with the cosplay community, that is assailed to the extent that while the disorder itself is not normal, the symptoms are commonly exhibited and one is far more likely to be among friends here than, say, at a football club (To use an extreme example).

There, i've said my piece, i doubt it was at all coherant, but i felt like i ought to have said something.


30 Nov 2008 - 20:348010
From my own experience, I don't think it's so much an issue in cosplay as it is this "anime scene(?)" (and so many alternative, nonmainsteam hobbies) attracts so many people with the inability to fit into mainstream society - as well as the people who do not wish to; there are lots of lovely and talented people but of course there are people who don't know how to interact socially and will more likely cause offense because they don't know HOW to behave. So you get rude thoughtless comments but I'm sure it's a minority!

I think that people with gender issues interested in say anime, cosplay and jrock are often not taken seriously (I'm guilty of not taking people seriously) is because they want to dress up to be the "yaoi characters" or something like this, and it's a phase they go through, which I find demeaning!!

Quote sjbonnar:
Oh and Mocha, I don't PERSONALLY know that pain per se but...Efia is a bigger cup size than you and she's done Orochimaru (where she didn't bind) and will be doing Zack Fair, who she wants to bind for. Do you actually bind? Or do you find that you are simply too...well-endowed for that? I was worried she might hurt herself is she attempted binding...
@SJBonnar: I'm 30GG/32GG or something & I bind everyday (and have done since I found how HOW to! LOL, 5 years now.). It's impossible to get a completely flat chest but it's not painful or harmful. I use the binders and also the duct tape method (Y)

WOW I hope that made sense and didn't offend anyone!! I wanted to explain my view and I'm so bad with words I had to sit here for 1 hour editing x___x

(As a TL;DR aside: Seriously, Tab - reading both of your and Sephirayne's posts made me amazed because it's something I have had to confront recently!! So I'm amazed to know it's so common.)



Last edited by (30 Nov 2008 - 21:09)
01 Dec 2008 - 01:338014
i think the ignorance for people to assume you crossplay is because only if people know transexuals then they're most likely to take note and realise and be more open minded I don't know any transexuals and I'd prob be one of those types to assume you're a crossplayer. I also think its just not the first thing that comes to mind and I know I shouldn't assume anything but I haven't seen or heard much of transexuals cosplaying


01 Dec 2008 - 11:058018
i agree that its sometimes not that simple speaking as a crossdresser and fuyu 09 Lust crossplayer I find that it isnt really something that you can help I mean there is a staggeringly high amount of females who cosplay guys but has anyone else noticed this isnt as a big a deal when guys cos females we seem to get pigeonholed as X-play more than the female countarpart...i digress, but I agree with most of the people here in that people cant really be blamed for gender anime ignorance when surrounded by....well anime. (this is good solid discussion though and its nice to see where touching really meaty issues

P.S I cant think of any transexual anime...and im left feeling empty...guess its just Ranma and I my me strawberry eggs till i can find something better.


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01 Dec 2008 - 12:018020
Quote:
As for the idea that people will assume crossplay- that's fine, but why do they have to say it? I saw the sailor moon guy in the saturday masquerade, and I complemented him on his costume, never once impling that he was crossplaying, because he might have been trans, and that would have been rude to say. I found out later that he was a crossplayer, but at least I didn't make the mistake of assuming it and upseting someone.

Tab


OMG that Sailor Mars was AWESOME I had to go and say hello while he was queing for the masquerade! I dont care if he is trans or cross etc he looked friggin amazing!!!!

legs like that need showing off regardless of who they belong too!


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There is always room for cake
01 Dec 2008 - 17:468034
Quote miiol:
Quote sjbonnar:
Oh and Mocha, I don't PERSONALLY know that pain per se but...Efia is a bigger cup size than you and she's done Orochimaru (where she didn't bind) and will be doing Zack Fair, who she wants to bind for. Do you actually bind? Or do you find that you are simply too...well-endowed for that? I was worried she might hurt herself is she attempted binding...
@SJBonnar: I'm 30GG/32GG or something & I bind everyday (and have done since I found how HOW to! LOL, 5 years now.). It's impossible to get a completely flat chest but it's not painful or harmful. I use the binders and also the duct tape method (Y)


Thank you for that, I will pass the information on ^_^

I might have to do a cosplay showing my legs soon...just to prove that, unlike the rest of my body, there's not an inch of fat on my legs and they're all muscle LOL But that is beside the point as I'm unlikely to put them into a skirt.

Sorry ladies LMAO


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CosplayIsland Staff Member


01 Dec 2008 - 21:398041
I come from a sci-fi and fantasy convention background (have been doing them since 1992). Yes, for the most part people are fine with crossplay and transgender there will always be a few who will have problems.

My brother is a transgender(he was my twin sister). He has been in role for four years and will be celebrating his fifth on our 35 birthday next year. Hes been doing events as long as I have and for the most part hes had no problems. In fact he loves the con community because they have greater torlances than the everyday public. Yes, he always worries if he'll be accepted when ever he trys out a new con scene. He'll be trying out the anime con scene for the first time next year. He is worried if he'll be accepted. I think he will be. I've noticed that the anime scene is more accepting than say the 'Star Trek' scene but there will still be one out there who can be insensitive. My brother has often said if you are confused ask the person about what they would perfer to be refurred to as.

I think it can be trickey knowing if someone is a crossplayer or a transgender.

Although my brother was diagnosed with Gender dysmorpha I'm different. In that I was diagnosed with body dysmorpha. I have too much male hormone in my body so I'm cufused about my body. In fact I would perfer to be seen as androgynous. As a result I'm an occasionally transvestite which means I dress as the opposite sex but actually don't want to become the opposite sex.

There fore it can confuse people as which of us is the crossplayer (me) or which is the thransgender (my bro).

btw, my brother is my brother. I love him too bits. I don't see him as my sister anymore. We went on the 'Trisha Goddard' show to tell his story and mine. To me hes always been male so when he dose come to May expo he would like to be seen as a dude. Thanks

Thanks to those I chatted to in the 'age thread'. Its great to chat about this as I do think its something thats worth chatting about. Thanks Tab for being so open in the other thread.


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Last edited by Sephirayne (01 Dec 2008 - 21:42)
02 Dec 2008 - 00:068047
i think as a whole, the cosplay and con community is much more open minded to transgender and the such like. ruling out a few people who need to think a little before acting on their impulses, i think in general, we're very open minded people.

as far as the person is concerned, their gender doesn't come into it for me. i'm drawn to personalities.

in my opinion if the effort has gone into the costume/clothes and to the best of your ability, you could be an alien for all i'd know, i'd be too mesmerised by the amazingness of your cosplay! (is a costume designer in training).


i'm sorry if my words offended anyone. i didn't mean anything insulting by them. im not always good with words....
i was trying to be light hearted.... >w<


sjbonnar: I'm an E cup and i've bound a couple times. i need to find a better method than the one i used but it wasn't overly uncomfortable and i can't see why it would do any damage...i think i need to try it more times before doing another crossplay again though to get used to it. it was a bit strange...


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Last edited by Hexi (02 Dec 2008 - 00:09)
02 Dec 2008 - 01:348049
I think you're all right when you say that the anime community is very accepting of things (my god we so are!), but we've also lost a lot of british tact with all the acceptance going around, and people don't seem to think before they speak or do. This also applies to glompers, so I don't think it's an isolated thing aimed directly at trans people at all, just that people eat too much sugar at these convention things, and forget about the wonders of personal space.

Dammit, it sounds like I'm complaining like an old man now.

Meh, as for binders, I suggest heading over to T Kingdom, especially this binder:

http://t-kingdom.com/shopping/english/page1700_english.shtml

That thing can turn Ivy's boobs into Voldo's chest. Tis a great power!


02 Dec 2008 - 13:328057
I'm genderqueer in that I don't fit entirely into either of the "common" genders - I'm pretty much half and half. Thus I'm equally happy in cosplay or crossplay, and thankfully (D-cup boobs aside, which came on pretty suddenly) I'm androgynous enough in face and figure that I'm often mistaken for a male when in crossplay.

I think the issue is less in acceptance than in awareness. I've known several trans people, so as a result I'm always very conscious of finding out how they wish to be referred to. I knew Emma's brother before his change into role, for example, but he seems like a completely different person now (much more comfortable, for one) so it's easy to remember not to make the mistake.

The anime scene is, in general, a very young one, and the fact is that many are simply not aware of trans and gender issues, so for them the assumption is going to be simply that you're crossplaying. It's a sad fact that trans issues are still largely swept under the carpet, because they're confusing for anybody with no experience of them. Those who have some awareness are also often too nervous to ask, even though most trans people are happy to answer the question. So really, the problem is that there simply isn't enough awareness of the issue out there, and that's the fault of the entire world, not just the cosplay community.

Generally, I've found that once you explain the issue to people in the scene, they're very understanding and happy to attempt to make the correct references etc. I do find it interesting that there are so many trans and genderqueer people in the scene but as Dr. Ghost said, I think that's largely due to it being a "niche" hobby anyway, so as a whole we're already inclined to be accepting.

Honestly, I think crossplay is something that people should try, even if they have no gender issues, because it can be a real eye opener with regard to the way people treat you. Obviously it's harder for some than others because of pure physical makeup.

As for transsexuals in anime, the only one that springs to mind instantly is Arachne from Angel Sanctuary, who is a true trans. So they do exist


19 Dec 2008 - 21:338844
Quote GunstarVixen:
Quote:
As for the idea that people will assume crossplay- that's fine, but why do they have to say it? I saw the sailor moon guy in the saturday masquerade, and I complemented him on his costume, never once impling that he was crossplaying, because he might have been trans, and that would have been rude to say. I found out later that he was a crossplayer, but at least I didn't make the mistake of assuming it and upseting someone.

Tab


OMG that Sailor Mars was AWESOME I had to go and say hello while he was queing for the masquerade! I dont care if he is trans or cross etc he looked friggin amazing!!!!

legs like that need showing off regardless of who they belong too!

Thanks GunstarVixen, you've no idea how good your comment makes me feel. ^_^ Thanks for coming to say hi too. There's no doubt I really enjoy it when people love my cosplays. When I first decided to cosplay at an Expo I assumed there would be loads of men crossplaying as a norm exactly like the girls. But when I stepped out for my first time I think there was just one other guy there crossplaying.(That was Midlands). It was very scary but I felt acceptance from the other cosplayers not rejection. So that gave me courage for the next (London)expo. In order to realy test the water I went with my real name as introduction for the masquerade so there was no doubt it was a crossplay. ..You can imagine my relief and happines when so many people cheered me on. So yeah definitly the cosplaying community is very accepting. ^_^

tbh I find the whole transgender subject very complex, and scary. I'm sure I don't understand it fully. There are so many words and sub categories. ..Who is transgendered? Can you be a crossplayer without being transgendered?
I ask myself these questions because others have already asked me.. "why is it that you keep choosing crossplays?" (Ans ..Umm I enjoy it, and I seem to be good at it...)
I think that I am not transgendered. But I find some of the definitions are not a million miles away from describing how I behave. My own conclusion at this point in time is that maybe there are infinite levels of transgendering from very mild "I just love girls/boys fashion more than my own", to very strong "This body is not me - I need gender reassignment surgery!"

When it comes to cosplay I think it is a minefield to make any assumptions.
I can say that I would not mind at all if someone asked me "umm are you trans?" I suppose people are curious when they come across somebody whose physical appearence confuses them!


20 Dec 2008 - 12:568852
Some definition help-

Transgender is pretty much anyone that doesn't follow normal gender rules. It's a big umbrella term which includes everything from crossdressers who do it for fun to full blown transsexuals who have had operations to get the bodies that match their mental gender.

A transsexual is someone who was born in one gender, but mentally is actually the other gender. So if you feel that you are a man no matter how you dress, then you're not trans.

Crossplaying is an interesting one, because it really is just crossdressing with a fancy name on it, and a fancy costume to match. So technically all cross players could be considered transgender because they're not following the general gender norm. But it really depends on the person. I don't think many crossplayers out there would be comfortable being called transgender, so it's maybe a good thing to avoid classifying them as such.

Tab


21 Dec 2008 - 03:168876
Thanks for that definition help, Tab. So trans is short for transsexual not short for transgendered, my mistake.

This is interesting.. the definition I read about transgender and crossdressing on the net said that masquerade and theatrical reasons were exceptions.. in which a person can crossdress without being a crossdresser.
..It's a fine line if you ask me.


So the question - Do I feel that I am a man or a woman when I am crossplaying?
Ans ...Surely a man would feel riduculous and uncomfortable wearing lipstick, tights, and high heels etc ..wouldn't he? After all these things are all incongruous with being a man. Normally a man doesn't want to wear womens clothes for any reason. But I don't feel ridiculous. Actually I really enjoy crossplaying.. Does this mean I feel like a woman then?...I have no idea what it feels like to be a woman so I can't compare. The only honest answer I can give then is - when I crossplay I feel like me, only with more feminine expression.
I wonder what an analyst would make of that.

But back to the original point..there is no way a person can know weather someone is transsexual or crossplaying unless they take the time to get to know them a little. As you say, if people made no assumptions there would be no offense. But we all make assumptions every day based purely on a persons appearence. Its like something we can't help without conscious effort.


21 Dec 2008 - 10:048881
Quote Ranma1-2:

So the question - Do I feel that I am a man or a woman when I am crossplaying?
Ans ...Surely a man would feel riduculous and uncomfortable wearing lipstick, tights, and high heels etc ..wouldn't he? After all these things are all incongruous with being a man. Normally a man doesn't want to wear womens clothes for any reason. But I don't feel ridiculous. Actually I really enjoy crossplaying.. Does this mean I feel like a woman then?...I have no idea what it feels like to be a woman so I can't compare. The only honest answer I can give then is - when I crossplay I feel like me, only with more feminine expression.
I wonder what an analyst would make of that.


Thats a very interesting comment. Yes when I dress as male characters I have no way of defining them as I have no idea what its like to be male. I base my genderqueer on my own personal experinces and of that that was diagnosed by a doctor.

I think if you do enjoy dressing up as other genders but only in costume then thats transexual and I think its fine. If, like me you crossdress more regurally in everyday life then you are genderqueer. Which is also fine. Then when you are unhappy with your body full stop so want top be the sex you think you shold be then its fine also.

My brother discovered his correct gender when trying a male cosplay and never felt so happy and confortabel in his life. He didn't mind any bad probs from others as he was so happy it didn't matter. Luckerly the con scene was very supporting and helped him progress to the next stage.

Following on from Ranma's point, I believe that we all have male and female sides. Its how we can react and intereact with different things. How our hormone chemistry is made up will define our male and female sides.


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22 Dec 2008 - 02:068895
Quote Sephirayne:

Following on from Ranma's point, I believe that we all have male and female sides. Its how we can react and intereact with different things. How our hormone chemistry is made up will define our male and female sides.

(I hope no one gets offended by my ramblings as I try to understand these issues.)

I have heard the expression "He's in touch with his female side.." for example if a man wears beauty cosmetic products.
Does this imply there is a 'male side' which women can be in touch with?

What sort of things do we class as female, and what sort of things do we class as male? There are many pitfalls in trying to reach generalisations - or is it just me that has difficulty with this!
eg If we say that strength is a male trait it implies that men (generally) will have more strength than women..it also seems to imply that a very feminine woman is weak. Whoa! Now that just doesn't sit well. We have equality..women are just as stong as men.. (was that just a bad example??)

Can we define what is male (gender)?
Can we define what is female (gender)?


The arguement that all people have both male and female sides...
Hmm sounds like a reasonable proposal. Except... If we say that all people embody both male and female what happens to gender identity..does it have a purpose anymore? isn't it rendered pointless?
Why would a person with both a male and female side feel the need to assign themself to only one particular gender?


22 Dec 2008 - 13:508903
This may not make complete sense as I suck at medical knowledge. When I did Psycology I specialised in relationships. So bear with me.

I don't think the male and female can be boxed into strengths or weakness. Its more about how the brain reacts to certain situations. The male thought pattern is more practical whilst the female is more emotive. Depending on the situation is when each fuction comes into play. The hormnones in the body balance those functions out.

The hormone part of the brain is controlled by a section at the base (which I can never remember what its called). In males its larger. Currant case studies have shown that in gender-dysmorpha people the section is the wrong size. So for example my bro (who was born female) has the larger male part. Sadly this case study is only in the experimental stages as the tests can only be done on dead people.

A person with body-dysmorpha (eg - me) will have the correct sized brain part but will have the over production of the wrong hormone. Thus, confusion can occuar as to hwo to react to a situation.

A male can have moments where female reactions come into play for example when a child is born (the materinal instict will kick in when the bond is formed).

Likewise, a female can have male responses like when protecting a friend (a basic tribesman hunter instict).

Neither one of these reactions is considered weaker than the other. To say that one is would unfortunatly imply sexisum. I think that we should accept our pysical make-up and react with whatever is confortable. If you enjoy being occasionally more feminane then thats fine.

What matters is how happy you are and what you want to do to be happy. I happen to love wearing mens suits so I do. I happen to prefer male cosplays so I make them. If you are unhappy in anyway then its worth considering other cosplays. Afterall its a hobby. One that should be enjoyed.

Hope that makes a kind of sense.


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22 Dec 2008 - 14:208904
I think it comes down a lot as how you are treated. I personally knew I was male, mainly because the pronoun "She" has never felt right to me. I think that's a good way to know if you were ment to be in a certain gender- If you're male, and are happy to be called he regardless of what you're wearing, then you're not a "full" transsexual.

Yes gender is very much a socially defined thing, so being trans is very much about finding your place in society depending on how you feel about yourself. It's therefore never going to be exact, no one will ever follow the true "male" stereotype, so our best bet is to just ask the opinion of a person when their gender comes into play.

Guh, I had loads of other points, but cosplay island doesn't come up with the last set of posts when you reply, so I've got no idea what I'm responding to anymore.

Tab


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