Straight Up

The main reason I stay in the closet, and will remain here the rest of my life, is because it’s impossible to convince non-CDs that we (many of us) are not gay.

We get it from both sides – the straight, non-CD world assumes we are gay, and the gay world tells us we’re just repressing our natural calling.

Damn it, no.  Because of that attitude, I spent my entire adolescence believing I was gay, and tried stuff that I never would have considered otherwise because I believed I “had to”.  After 15 or more years of soul-searching, you know what I found?  I like being a guy.  I like sex with women, and only women.

Don’t let the rest of the world tell you who or what you are.  If you’re 100%, absolutely sure you’re gay, fine (for you… more on that in a later post).  But don’t think you have to be gay because “real” men don’t like dresses.  Sure we do!  Now put on your favorite frock and let’s go play some football.


About Ralph

Male. Straight. Married.
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47 Responses to Straight Up

  1. Grok says:

    Studies indicate that different parts of animal brains are involved with sexual orientation, and gender. With humans, it seems, different areas of the brain are involved with Sexual Orientation and Gender, and changes in hormones can affect the development of such in the fetal brain. With Gender, I suspect that there are actually two different aspects: Gender Identity (one’s sense of being a man or woman), and Gender Expression. It has been commented that there may be full transpositions (such as a fully Gay Man or Lesbian), or partial, such as Bisexual. With Gender Identity you may get a full transposition, such as Transexuals with the hormones and Surgery. Or you might get a partial transposition, such as a Bigender individual. With Gender Expression you might get a full transposition, such as a Tomboy, or an effeminate man; what would you get with a partial transposition?

  2. Grok says:

    I was thinking about Fashion Freestyler-formerly Casual Cross Dresser-comments. I agree that Bisexuals are a analogy in that they are subject to “erasure.” (There is actually an article about this). So, yes, there is a term for such treatment-“erasure.”

  3. Grok says:

    So in terms of self expression we end up with people who are squashed.

  4. Grok says:

    I refer here to the Bluestocking Blue link, under “rejecting cross dressing”. According to the food metaphor, I’m on the salad diet rather than eating pizza. Actually, considering how drab/dull male clothing is, I would say a diet of (stale) bread and water.

  5. Ralph says:

    I’m sorry, you’ve lost me. Rejecting cross dressing? On my page, it’s under “Cross dressing and loving it”. Vivienne is absolutely not rejecting it!

  6. Grok says:

    “Rejecting” as in abstaining.

  7. Grok says:

    Abstaining as in not practicing/nonparticipation. As in the damage would be far too costly.

  8. Grok says:

    What I would like to see would be private gatherings. In effect, enclaves where one could be ones self without being labeled gay or a freak or a weirdo. I’m not see that in posts by Free Stylers.

  9. Hi Grok,

    There are private gatherings in many countries where crossdressers can get together and just be themselves, without fear of stigma. It’s not that difficult to get in touch or find them on the Web.
    I can understand why you might feel you want to abstain from crossdressing (for all sorts of good reasons), while wishing you could do it more freely. I very much sympathise with this view.

    Best wishes,


  10. Grok says:

    Thank you Vivienne. Yes, you summarized my situation. I do have one consolation…I became interested in kilts. Which eventually led to the Skirt Cafe forum. I have become partly distracted thinking about how to promote skirt like garments as mainstream mens’ wear (I posted my discussions of this to Skirt Cafe). Which is actually a difficult problem, considering the stultifying effects of convention.

  11. Hi Grok,
    Actually, coming (as I do) from Scotlant, I have worn the kilt on many occasions (both formal and informal), and it doesn’t “do it” for me in any crossdressing way at all. In Scotland, there are men who would wear a kilt as comfortably as you or I would wear a pair of jeans; and I promise it provokes no more comment than a pair of jeans if worn in this way. Now that I live in New Zealand there are many men from the Pacific Islands who wear skirt-like garments for men here on formal occasions. As in Scotland, it provokes no comment whatever.
    I think the kilt is a very masculine garment, in fact. When worn properly, there is nothing feminine about it at all. For example, a woman sitting down wearing a skirt will deliberately keep her knees together for reasons of modesty. A man wearing a kilt will deliberately sit with his knees apart (like a man), and use the weight of his sporran (the pouch) to keep the kilt covering his bits.
    If you would like to swing by my blog you can send me email from my “About me” page, if you are interested.
    Kind regards,

  12. Grok says:

    I certainly agree that kilts “don’t do it”. Though they and other MUGs (Male Unbifurcated Garments) are a vast improvement in comfort compared to trousers. A worthwhile endeavor in itself.

  13. Grok says:

    I posted links and comments under “I’m not Gay” section of the Fashion Freestyler (formerly Casual Cross Dresser) blog. I’m not an expert on neurology, but I suspect that the brains in question are hard wired to want a truly feminine expression…the real thing, not a substitute.

  14. Ralph says:

    That’s an interesting line of reasoning, Grok. While I have no desire at all to look female and do not consider myself AT ALL to be “a woman trapped in a man’s body”, there is definitely more to it than the preference for skirts. It can’t just be any skirt; it has to be a soft fabric — nylon or velvet or satin or rayon or suchlike, flowing in soft folds down my legs to my ankles. And I prefer the top half to be the same, which is why I wear dresses rather than skirts most of the time, and satin blouses when I do wear skirts. I have never understood the appeal of denim… So scratchy and unyielding! And if I’m just going to wear cotton shirts and jeans, what’s the point of getting them from the women’s department?

    But that’s just the beginning. There’s something about the old-fashioned femininity in style that resonates deep within me, and I have no idea what that trigger is. If I knew, I could look for other ways to satisfy it besides wearing the clothes. Dresses that zip or button up the back, modest high necklines, crinoline, ruffles, big full skirts… all of these go together to compel me to dress not just in a feminine way but more like a woman from the 1880s to 1930s, whether high society or pioneer or Gibson Girl or whatever.

    Why? What is the attraction? It probably triggers a memory that invokes feelings of comfort and safety and happiness, but I can’t begin to guess what. An early trauma (death of a sibling, not any kind of abuse) erased my memory of early childhood and both my parents are deceased, so even if I felt comfortable discussing it with anyone there is nobody who can tell me. My mother used to tell me that I had my older sister (the one who died) wrapped around my little finger and she doted on me constantly. Did she dress me up while she was playing with me? It’s a possibility, but all I can do now is speculate.

    One other comment regarding kilts: I have a friend in Scotland whom I met in Second Life, and he also likes to be a man in a skirt. I asked him if he wears a kilt and he said that as far as he can tell, the only people who regularly wear kilts in Scotland are the tourists. Obviously Vivienne’s experience tells a different story, so he was probably joking.

  15. Grok says:

    Interesting comments, Ralph. Actually, I don’t much like denim either, though for some work situations (the original intent of jeans) it can be useful. As for the traditional Scottish kilt, I understand that it is mostly worn at formal occasions these days.

    As for particular preferences, I don’t know, I suppose it has much to do with one’s temperament as an individual.

  16. Grok says:

    I expect that the future will see a series of new [url=] micro cultures. This is because the Internet allows novel groupings to form-contact on line allows people otherwise too few and far between to find each other. In the book Natural Born Cyborgs the Furries were mentioned as an example. In another book is was stated that meet allowed formation of groups based on obscure interests-Xena fans, for example.

  17. Grok says:

    Speaking of on line, the web master for the Braveheart Kilt forum decided to pull the plug. You can still view the forum, which is being over run by spam-like maggots infesting a carcass. The web master had proposed that people try the traditional MUGs “(male unbifurcated garment) of other cultures), and listed these with images of such. For example, the Arab those/dishdasha. Actually, when I looked at web sites for Arab clothing, I spent my time looking at abayas (a dress like garment worn by Arab women) and wondered if you could get that in a zaftig size. How obscure can you get?

  18. Ralph says:

    Heh. More than once I’ve browsed ebay looking at abayas. One day I may be tempted to try one! I really wish the Chinese would make traditional cheongsams for folk our size, though. That one I have in my pictures lasted about a year before the seams split hopelessly.

  19. Grok says:

    I’ve also wondered about the traditional (“hanbok”) outfits worn by Korean women.

  20. Grok says:

    I have a caftan (listed on line as “Unisex”-for men and larger women) which I have started wearing around the apartment. Wearing it commando. Summer has made my abode hot and humid, and the airiness of the garment gives relief. A caftan doesn’t “do it” from a free styling point of view, but I’m getting practical use out of it.

  21. Ralph says:

    When my wife and I went to Disney World about 25 years ago, we got matching dashikis from one of the world pavilions at Epcot. She never wore hers, but I wore mine… it was unisex enough (for people who are familiar with cultural clothing in different parts of the world) that I didn’t mind wearing it when friends were over. Sadly, that was not only 25 years but also 80 pounds and 10 inches ago.

  22. Grok says:

    I don’t know if there is a term-would this be “cross cultural dressing?” That is, wearing the traditional clothing of a different culture. And if the other-culture clothing happens to be that of the opposite sex as well, is there a term for that?

  23. Grok says:

    I suspect that there is potential for a new grouping. Don’t know what you would call them: “Free Stylers” or “Casual Cross Dressers” or “janegirls” or “janeygirls.” Probably most potential members are in the closet.

  24. I find this a very interesting line of debate. I am (personally) only interested in skirts because they are feminine. Feminine trousers or culottes or even jeans “work” for me because I am going for the fem look (I don’t wear fem jeans because my figure doesn’t work with them). On the other hand, skirted garments for men (of any culture) “do” nothing for me, because they are intended for men!
    What I see from both of you is satisfaction in wearing skirted garments, and the desire to seek out ways in which to make this societally acceptable (including wearing skirted garments from other cultures).
    In Scotland, the kilt is definitely becoming “cool”. Plenty of people are experimenting with the style. The idea that Scotsmen have worn kilts for centuries is almost certainly not true. The kilt as we see it today is an 18th-century romantic invention (a bit like the Wild West cowboy of history is almost certainly nothing like the romantic portrayal of the movies). The “highland dress” which you may be most familiar with is normally worn to formal occasions (as if it were a tuxedo), but it’s very common now to “dress down” the kilt, with plain boots, plain socks, a T-shirt, or rugby shirt, and a plain belt, and a plain leather sporran (you need somewhere to put your keys and phone). This is quite common and wholly unworthy of comment where I came from.
    Another thing which is happening to the kilt is the pattern. Plain black kilts are coming out now, with no tartan pattern at all. (In fact, tartan, with all its assumed family significance, is another exaggerated factoid. People wove their clothing from whatever wool they could lay their hands on, dyed or undyed). Anyway, the plain black kilt, worn as formal dress, looks awesome.
    Some fashionistas are manufacturing kilts from other material (rather than woven wool). For example, denim. To make it a kilt (not a skirt) there are rules about the pleating and the cut, but otherwise, a denim kilt seems unobjectionable to me. (Mind you, unlike the black kilt, I have not seen one in the street).

  25. Ralph says:

    Fascinating stuff. Keep it up, guys! Hopefully my other friend from Scotland will weigh in with his thoughts on all things kilt.

    Totally unrelated to this except on the subject of what does and doesn’t “do it” for us, I recently discarded an item that I at first thought I would enjoy — a gauzy pink gown that I’m still not sure if it was meant to be a nightgown or evening dress. It has all the features I like: Soft fabric, very long, full skirt, long sleeves, and a high neckline that zips up the back. What’s not to love?

    Well, the color for one. I really can’t stand pink. But worse than that was the frilly stuff. The ends of the sleeves, and across the bodice, have these humongous waves of frills. Between that and the pink I feel like you should only wear this gown with a feather boa and eight pounds of purple mascara. It’s *too* feminine for me. Which is odd considering the floral satiny spring dress, the lavender prom gown, and the ivory lace almost-like-a-wedding-dress-but-not-quite that I do enjoy so much.

    *sigh* I can’t even be consistent in my weirdness. I wish I understood myself better!

  26. Grok says:

    Yes, we are discussing two different topics. I would agree that the mens wear in question-while having certain advantages-dosen’t “do it.” And I expect that Free Styling will very much remain the activity of a very small minority.

  27. Grok says:

    I was considering the wikipedia article for Counter Culture, and I was thinking that the LGBT groupings will remain distinct for a long time. Because these have interests that are not only different, but often opposite those of mainstream society. And so I expect that a new Free Style group would have very little if any influence on mainstream society. So perhaps the key to happiness is enjoyment of being different.

  28. Grok says:

    The subculture that I am most familiar with is Science Fiction Fandom. The fans refer to other people as “mundanes.” An implication is that the “mundanes” are missing out on something.

  29. Grok says:

    If I understand correctly,the Irish kilts were one color, such as saffron, or green.

  30. Grok says:

    I wonder what thoughts others have about the future.

  31. Grok says:

    Yes, I think it is desirable to add options to mens wear. After kilting, sarongs may be the next design to be popularized. After that, perhaps robe like garments…there seems to be a latent acceptance of robed men in Western civilization. But I agree, these won’t “do it” for a completely free personal expression.

  32. Grok says:

    I was thinking about Ralph’s comments about abayas and cheongsams; I also recall Skirt Cafe members mentioning an interest in saris. Perhaps cross dressing could be said to have a new frontier.

  33. Grok says:

    Just thought of a new term-Cosmopolitan Cross Dressing.

  34. Grok says:

    Thinking about Ralph’s comments-how about this for a term, “Paleo Cross Dressing”?

  35. Grok says: has a Pics and Looks section which seems off limits to nonmembers. However, if you scroll down (for #1) you can find an interesting thread for Rendezvous fashions 1800 to 1840. Call it Paleo Cross Dressing or Retro Free Styling.

  36. Grok says:

    I’ve been taking a gander at the links. Found a good term-“drab.” Wearing the garments typical of one’s own gender; which, in the case of males, is literally drab.

  37. Grok says:

    May as well mention some terms from Skirt Cafe: “Skirtonian” is an individual-either male or female-who enjoys wearing skirts. Bifurcated refers to trousers, which has been described as shoving your legs down two tubes. Unbifurcated refers to garments that are not joined between the legs, compared to shoving one’s legs down one pipe. A MUG is a Male Unbifurcated Garment-think kilts, sarongs, bathrobes, caftans etc. Of course, the skirts and dresses worn by women could be considered FUGs-Female Unbifurcated Garments.

  38. Vivienne says:

    Hi Grok,
    This terminology makes me smile. Skirtonian indeed! The terms bifurcated and unbifurcated are familiar to me from a scientific context, but I have not heard them applied to clothing before.
    Have you seen this site?

  39. Ralph says:

    I’ve seen the terms “bifurcated” and “unbifurcated” in the context of skirts before, on skirt cafe and elsewhere, but it always sounded contrived to me. Who actually talks like that except somebody trying to get a PhD thesis published? It’s just obfuscation, hiding behind clinical terminology so you don’t have to say “skirt”.

  40. Grok says:

    Good point Ralph; I think a more colloquial description is “one pipe or two?” And if a skirt is just “one pipe” then why is it objectionable for a male have one? Yes Vivienne, I like “Skirtonian” too. BTW, I peeked at your link; if I correctly Union Kilt is a UK Company that sells nontraditional kilts.

  41. Grok says:

    Another term-“trousers tyranny.”

  42. Grok says:

    BTW, how do you pronounce “en femme”?

  43. Grok says:

    I have been somewhat puzzled by a Skirt Cafe thread that a moderator started-“Gestures of Respect.” What does a male do if wearing a skirt? Bow? Curtsy? Or is this topic so archaic as to be irrelevant?

  44. Ralph says:

    I’ll go with the latter. Nobody bows OR curtsies any more. If we did, I suppose I would bow regardless of what I’m wearing.

  45. Grok says:

    Yeah, I think you’re right; it’s too archaic.

  46. Grok says:

    It seems that a member of Skirt Cafe is being fired-for wearing a (woman’s) skirt on the job.

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