In Praise of Sissyboys, Gentle Men and those with Two Genders


After reading the details behind 45’s latest attempt at machismo (using taxpayer dollars, of course), his attempt to scare North Korea, in the Seattle Times (and noting that they are now calling him President Trump, showing that they respect him more), I threw the paper on the table in the community room of the YMCA,where I work out. I felt sickened and disgusted and angry.

Why is it we, or at least a lot of cis gender folks in this country afford respect to a so-called leader when they act aggressively, be it against another country, or against those the status quo considers enemies: activists, people of color in the Black Lives Matter movement, immigrants, some of whom have legitimate visas, or at least who have contributed to the well being of our communities for years, often taking jobs many from the ruling class consider beneath them.

This outmoded and even dangerous point of view, which is threatening the planet, and all life on it, is again on the global stage, and the usual suspects if you will, are rallying around it (which, to me, a transgender, black man, and proud sissyboy, is sad to see), giving new respect to a man who to me, represents all of the worse qualities of who we are as human beings.  I think this attitude raises its ugly head every time people feel afraid of the other, feel (wrongly), that the resources around them are in short supply.

This untruth weaves through our culture and the world culture, causing all of the ills we see now, and keeping an air of fear and intimidation on the forefront of all human interaction. This untruth and the mythology associated with it, that has seen the destruction of Native cultures, particularly matri-lineal ones, and keeps cis gender and transgender and queer folk from bridging the gap between other and same. 

To me, it’s time to retire the macho man scenario for one that is more inclusive, that raises up, and celebrates the feminine, whether it is cis gender feminine or the unique blend of feminine and masculine that I see (and love), in both my transgender femme partner and in my new friend Daniel’s emerging trans personality. Both of these beings are gentle men, and are also people of two genders, people who aren’t afraid to show empathy, to emote, to speak honestly about feelings, and who demonstrate an honesty of character I’d love to see in any of the current administration’s so-called leaders.

This idea of a man of action, that Trump claims he wants to be, is part of the same harmful ouevre that believes in manifest destiny, that vicious mandate that more powerful industrial societies have the right to take resources, sometimes brutally, from “less worthy” societies. It has been the driving engine behind all of the hate crimes against queer folk, women, and people of color for centuries, and to me, it’s time we put this broken point of view to rest and moved toward an aesthetic that serves us all on this planet.

The first step is embracing the yin, or the feminine, the goddess in all things, and a good second step is to practice sharing and to practice new thinking that says there is enough and always has been, it’s only been hoarded by a greedy elite schooled on the aforementioned manifest destiny principle.  Also, another step is to learn to communicate in ways that don’t involve violence, or power over, and that don’t seek violent methods as a way to solve problems, whether individually, or globally.

A bullet, a missile, a tank, or an aggressive police force do not help community, they separate us, and they make it impossible to be in touch with that part of us that is divine, that is life driven.

This is why I walk into protest situations in glitter and make up, securely in touch with both my masculine and feminine sides, and this is why I adore both my partner and my new friend, who look amazing as both men and women, and show that men can be beautiful and also be strong enough to have the backs of their loved ones and friends (as my partner did, when she helped me fight, then recover from the surgery at the end of my fight with cancer).

Real men cook meals. Real men wear dresses and make up and heels. Real men carry babies in slings, in public, acknowledging their role in the creation of new life. Real men wear glitter and have girl parts. Real men do not require war to make them men, and realize they are part of all life, and work to protect it, not destroy it in any form. Real men honor all others, standing beside them, with pride, knowing we all have a place on this planet and we all are charged with keeping the planet healthy, honoring her as mother and protector. Real men send light and love to other men who haven’t gotten to any of these places, yet, and keep working to change the dynamic, taking responsibility, as men, to change the old paradigm. And real men go to sci-fi cons, dressed as the most gorgeous women I’ve ever known, making this year’s Norwescon a place of not only fun, and community, but also of change.

Enjoy Oestara, and blessed be, whether you’re making celebration with us at my favorite convention, or just hanging out with friends, enjoying the beauty of Mother Earth.


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James Stansberry lives and writes in Seattle and can be reached at .

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