Was 2010 “The Year of the Transsexual”?

(photo: Lea T. in French Vogue Sept 2010)

A NewYorkTimes piece in this week’s Fashion and Style section says it was.
Well, the year of the MALE transsexual anyway. Not a single female was quoted in the article. The article states that crossdressers, transsexuals and males styling themselves in stereotypically “female” ways are “edging into the mainstream”.  Much of the article’s focus is on male transsexual fashion models and model Lea T. who was featured in this fall’s Givenchy campaign. ““I thought this would be a nice message for another tranny: ‘Look, we can be the same as other girls and boys,’” Lea says.
The highly gendered fashion industry is embracing male transsexual images to model clothes marketed to females and (male) transsexuals. Why the trend of increased numbers of transsexuals in the fashion business? “There are few groups of people for whom fashion, makeup and hair is more relevant” says magazine editor Luis Venegas.
A very high profile piece on transsexual fashion, here is the link:

22 thoughts on “Was 2010 “The Year of the Transsexual”?

  1. Thanks for showing us this, Gallusmag. Disgusting, but it’s come full circle back to exposing how femininity, fashion, etc. are all male fantasies and inventions anyway. If only women would quit participating in it at all!

    1. Femininity is not a ‘male fantasy and invention’, Bev Jo — the add-ons are. Many of the qualities attributed to being feminine predate any sort of patriarchy, and have been highly regarded by multitudes of women in the past. It’s just that men have often come out with “Femininity: The Expansion Packs” whenever they are running the show. Women need to reclaim femininity as their own domain and create those adaptations for themselves. Pretending it has nothing to do with women or does not apply to us (when you know damned well that it does in many societies) is only leaving men to define what constitutes a woman for you.

      1. I’m not sure how many comments from sexist male gender essentialists my vast readership (lol) wants to wade through on this blog. There are a zillion places for males to spew their opinions about how “women need to re-claim their femininity”. Bev Jo was right in what she said. Femininity is a male creation forced upon the underclass. Just because a man like you enjoys acting out and embodying that male fantasy doesn’t trump reality.

  2. Yes it makes sense that transsexuality=fashion because at it’s core it’s all about costuming and bodymod. I was struck at the unselfconscious maleness of an article that claims to be about “gender-bending”- as I mentioned not a single female was quoted. Also the extreme thinness of the models but I suppose that’s a constant in the male representation of “female” attractiveness.

  3. I’ve been thinking for years that the woman-hating fashion industry pushes a female body type that looks more like a boy, with stuck-on breasts. So this is a logical end to that, really.

  4. Good blog BTW.
    What Valerie Keefe says is true. There are many kinds of androgyny, but the only one that’s glamorous is the one usually MTFs can reach (male height and proportions, skinny, angular features and maybe some plastic retouches). Now, most models are natal females, but they have that kind of “cyborg look” which is then being marketed by the gay men at the head of the fashion industry as the ideal woman.
    WTF. Why not using all kinds of females, androgynous or not, as female models? And don’t tell me that bullshit about tall and skinny being easier to dress, because history will prove you wrong.
    And, the androgynous robotic look is not the only kind of visual androgyny in existance. Google “gerewol” for example, or tomboy models.

  5. Sorry, *Valerie M, not Keefe in the first post.
    It’s that I frequently see both in the same sites.
    (The black men in the second pictures are men, despite the fact it comes from a site named “transafrica”. It’s a cultural tradition of Wodaabe men to dress that way to impress women)

    1. Those were really good examples. The Gerewol festival beauty standard is really interesting. Just goes to show how socially constructed gender is. The male “peacock” phenomena is so common among two sexed species that operate without patriarchy, where the female gets to freely choose her mate for reproducing when she chooses to do that.

      1. You know what? The extraordinary length of the male penis in the human species is in fact the equivalent of the Peacock tail. Apes have small penises, humans evolved big penises probably because the first groups were matrifocal/neutrifocal and females could select traits they liked on males, even if they hindered them.
        So basically, the big penis thing in men developed not to oppress women, but to make men more likeable to women….
        Also see bonobo society for a more accurate depiction of what early societies could have been like.

      2. Human penis length is not “extraordinary” among species. Penis length is related to increased chance of fertilization (the closer to the egg that sperm is deposited), especially with partners who (like bonobos) have many (reproductively competitive) casual partners, those who wish to maximize chances of impregnation with minimal penile contact, or those who are simply unwillling (rape). The same reasons some males have peni with barbs (which facilitate rape) or coils (which destroy competing sperm).

  6. I refuse to believe that penises are in any way wanted by female animals, including human animals.
    The cyborg/machine look is so attractive to males because they lack emotion. They know they are missing something deep that only females have. Men debate whether animals have feelings, when it’s so clear that female animals of other species feel all the emotions we do, but human males do not. All the animated films about machines with feelings is connected to their liking women to look dead and trying to pass off themselves as female.
    There’s something seriously wrong with males!

    1. Your comment about the film trend with “feeling embodying” machines (and its relation to gender body modification and sexist mimicry) is a very very interesting one. There’s something very drone-like about the male culture that seems to inform this sense of being an expendable cog in a larger machine. Not sure where I’m going with this but you’ve really given me something to think about here, and maybe a future post when I’ve thought it out. Thank You!

  7. Ok, I used that term a bit vaguely. Extraordinary compared to apes (like the gorillas, lol).
    It’s one of the most glaring differences between us and I find it a bit ridiculous that having a big penis is often seen as a sign of animality while it’s in fact the opposite. It’s a human sign.

  8. Thanks, Gallusmag. That was the wanker who with his few cohorts posted hundreds of female-hating crap after my article, “Transwomen Are Merely Castrated Men.” Although I found out that 80% of “transwomen” aren’t castrated!

  9. There’s a tv commercial running regularly right now on a number of cable stations in which the camera zooms lovingly in on what can only be an MtF. I thought of this post and gave thanks for your analysis.

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