I've never been much for parades.  Never quite saw the point of sitting outside all day to watch old men in Shriners' hats drive by on ride-on lawn mowers, or a bunch of Girl Scouts walk by, waving, or floats adorned with bizarre-looking faces, or the Mounties ride by on horses.  Kind of boring for me.

Ashley Love posed a question on her Facebook page asking what people thought about T inclusion in Pride fests and the like. There was a lot of comment, and here is a bit of it...

I blurred my own last name and not Ashley's and Christine's because they're public figures, and I am not. Christine, in fact, is an author and appears to have her own little publishing company. Her latest book cover has a picture of her dressed as a prostitute, right next to the word "Transsexual." And pictures of herself on her Facebook profile holding a gun and wearing lingerie, along with a few pictures that show a little too much of her ass.

Here's the thing.  If you want to attend Pride parades and march, march, march, that's fine.  I'm all about expressing yourself in the manner that feels right to you.  But...

Christine, I don't want to "go have my little own parade."  The rights that I seek are simply those that any woman in society has, and I seek to achieve those rights as a woman, not as a trans-anything.  March all you want.  But don't "take exception" to me not wanting to be a part of it.  I'm not trying to burn your bridge down, Christine.  Don't get all upset because I choose not to walk across it.  Respect my right not to march in the parade if you expect the same respect from me.  Just because something got screwed up in the womb before I popped out, don't assume that I relate to cross dressers, drag queens, or genderqueers.  Don't assume that I want to be grouped with those folks.  However they want to live is fine and dandy with me.  But that is not how *I* live.

I don't know why that is so difficult for some to understand.  If you run that image search that I included in my comment, you'll see mostly drag queens.  I don't relate to drag queens any more than any other woman does.   I'm not pretending I'm a woman.  I don't display the exaggerated femininity that drag queens do when they present their caricatures of women.  Part of the reason that I printed out photos of myself to bring into my coming-out meeting at work was to combat the stereotypes that some have.  By and large, pride parades do not represent the interests of many heterosexual transsexual women.  T inclusion in the parades... sure, knock yourselves out.  That's not the issue, really.  The issue is T inclusion in T.  T as in Faline, T as in LGBT.

I have a couple very well-intentioned friends who, on varying occasions, asked me if I wanted to go to one of those drag bunches, or drag bingo... they thought it would be "my thing."  To quote myself, "Ugh.  Ugh ugh ugh."  No, it's not my thing.  But...

You know how I'll know when I am completely comfortable and accepting of myself?  When a friend asks me to go to a drag brunch and my response is simply, "Yeah, that'd be fun."  When I fly out West to visit a friend and go to Pride with her and her friends, and I'm attending as a woman, and not as a transsexual woman.  When I feel that people wouldn't be looking at me and associating me with the fabulous queens.  Clearly, I'm not there yet.  But that's where I'd like to be and that is where I will be.  Otherwise, my transition will have been an abject failure.


I wrote about this a little the other day. I don't really understand the idea of Pride in relation to a birth condition. I just see these parades as excuses to act out in public and force the norms to accept that freaks and geeks live among them. I don't have a need to do that.

It's one thing to hold a rally outside a statehouse for rights. It's fully another to dress like Chiquita Banana or Cher and dance around to Gloria Gaynor down Main Street. They do it because it's fun for them and I support their right to go and have a LGBT fun parade, because so much of life for the LGBT community is decidedly not fun. It's a big street party and that's okay, I guess.

But it's not for me. I have always hated parades. Parades and street races cause traffic and leave a big mess behind.


When I was first finding my way, I was volunteering at the local LGBT centre. I marched with them in two Pride parades. The first was kind of my public T debut. In the second, I thought of it more as my L debut.

I haven't marched in one since. I haven't even been to any.

When I was still reading Bilerico, one of the gay male writers proposed, seriously I think, that Pride parades had seen better days, that they no longer represented what being lesbian and gay were all about. I thought he made some great points, but his idea was summarilly dismissed.

Especially because of the nature of Pride parades, I can see people marching in them if they are at all queer-identified. That might include a lot of gender-bending people. For the most part, it doesn't include transsexuals.

BTW, I'm very comfortable and accepting of myself, but I don't think drag shows are very entertaining. Been there, done that. However, I think you can rest assured that no one looking at you will associate you with drag queens. If you're not there yet, you will be before long.

I relate very well to what you're saying Faline. I dont rain on their parades but I've never been comfortable joining in for some reason.

I have the same idea about "drag bingo" and such too ...and most of that is because drag queens are a sore spot for me because of being confused for one when I first started transition. That was just so...hurtful.

You're right though, maybe someday in the future I'll feel sure enough of myself as a woman to not worry about either of those kinds of situations.

What I am hearing from almost all of you is exactly what I have been going on about since I started my blog just about 6 months ago. How "seperatist" of you!

I have never been to a pride parade. I always wanted to go not because of me making some sort of statement but because I support my many friends that are lesbian or gay and I supported their right to be since I was a young person.

This year I will be part of Pride Halifax, but for the same reason that I always wanted to be: to support my friends. I have no need to display anything or fight for my rights, other than in the forum I know, the courtroom, when the time comes.

And then again, I guess I have always been a lesbian and soon I actually bring my body into congruence with my sexuality. Uhm, maybe I should march.

I dunno Faline,

while I could go I certainly wouldn't and the reason is. While old school drag was certainly high-camp, flamboyant and certainly not at all associated with transsexual, It's not for me! You see, the further into my past the angst has receded, the more my watching men in drag feels like what it is... insulting! Makes me feel kinda the same way I feel when I hear men using the term "ladies" as a motivational insult! Hurmph!

The same for "Pride Celebrations." Times are changing and they are changing here for the better! DADT is now history and with that one down, it is only a matter of time before Gays and Lesbians have the right to do anything that straights can do including marry...

So then what? Personally? I think it is time for them to step up and just be ordinary citizens. Citizens who just happen by the way to be gay or lesbian... said with a big old yawn!

So given that, I think it more than counter productive and certainly a little vain for them to continue with that whole in your face ass-less chaps, sisters of perpetual indulgence "celebration!" I mean, the point of that is WHAT?

I for one have no desire to see nor do I want my kids to have to see Rick Rough Trade dancing down the street in a leather jock strap! Sorry! but I feel pride has served it's purpose...time to give it a rest!

A Sister

Christine is one of those "Non-ops" who rather fancy having their penis and waving it from under their skirt too!


Never marched in one of these and probably never will. While I support the cause (and I do want to emphasize this), I don't support the idea of men walking around in flamboyantly skirts and dresses making a spectacle out of themselves.

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