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Contact Mizeta at mizetasworld@live.com, or Howard at fhschneider@comcast.net

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Halloween has become my least favorite day of the year. People walk up to me and say, “Nice costume,” not knowing I wear dresses and nylons every day. Where some men use the occasion to express their inner girl, mine is on display every moment.

The few days after witching night are the worst. “Halloween is over,” is something I hear time and again. One of the writers in my writers group said something that hit the nail on the head. “Halloween is when we take off the mask we wear every day and put on the one that expresses who we really want to be.” My mask is off and has been for years. Sure, I put on makeup and wear a wig, but the image conveyed is the real me. At least I don’t do trash-drag to make fun of women once a year.

I have never suffered from the delusion that all women are perfect. They are as flawed as any human. The reason I’m on their side in most situations is that I understand the emotional nature directing many of their actions. Intellectually, they are absolutely equal to men, but caring and feeling make them more vulnerable. Combined with the fact most men are larger and more prone to violence, you have a recipe for exploitation, abuse and belittlement. Too many men are okay with being insensitive assholes from my point of view. I don’t mind that they think of me as a sissy. Even at my advanced age I can outwork lots of them. So can many women.

So . . . what am I saying? I’m saying that image is not necessarily an indicator of substance since many people live behind a false front. Just because you see a guy in a dress, you have no idea what the person on the inside feels or believes. I’m saying you have no right to abuse them physically or verbally. I’m saying that women and girly boys like me are sick of men thinking their puny little penis gives them the right to rule the world. That no one put them in charge of other people’s right to live. That using violence on anyone doesn’t make you a big stud. It makes you less of a man when you ignore the feelings of others in your quest for superiority. To me, the superior human is one who grasps the meaning of oneness. The concept that all lifeforms are but different components of the whole.

Yeah, yeah, I get it. I should just roll over and die. Get out of the way of those who consider my lifestyle null and void, immoral or irrelevant. But, have you ever considered the fact that people such as myself do not call for the erasure of anyone’s image, only certain behaviors? All we want is acceptance and equality. We keep saying, “it’s a big world and no one should hog it all.” Is there a chance anyone is listening?—Mizeta

Shaved Legs And All (Cross Dressing Made Easy): Challenges

How can one forge their own path when so much has transpired? Thousands of years gone by as humans climbed from primordial savagery to a different form of it. Still animals at heart, biting and scratching to survive, but a different landscape in the modern world.

Where once it took years, decades or centuries for change to occur, it now takes minutes. There is a constant barrage of information our predecessors could not access. Thousands of celebrities, dates and names to remember, where once there were few icons in any area of endeavor.

Go to the library and you’ll find millions of books on every subject using every word in every language. Go to the record store and find selections from so many genres one could never listen to them all. Go to the grocery store and ask yourself if you could ever taste everything on display.

Endless competition where we find the bar so high there are few capable of reaching it. Giant footsteps to follow. Ruts so deep it’s almost impossible to leave the beaten path. Every generation has its heroes and villains, every era its tragedies and triumphs. Barreling along like an express train, the sheer volume of modern life is daunting to comprehend.

Yet, at the root of it all is an individual. One lonely ant on the hill. One soul trying to find meaning and purpose. Wondering how they can shine in a world where everything seems to have been said and done.

What is it in some people that makes them run faster and jump higher than anyone before? How is it that genius is bestowed on one, when others suffer learning disabilities? A maze for some and simple steps for others. How do we discover which we are? The able, quick, and popular, or the lonely, lost and despondent.

Those answers only come as we live. As we express ourselves in this chaotic world. Who we love. What we build or damage. What we learn or ignore. Whether we have heart or are heartless. Whether we give as we consume. The worth of us is measured by our fellows. Our fellows say we had the sweetest voice, the strongest back, the kindest soul. The most beautiful garden or best tasting cuisine. Our fellows know we toiled late nights to write the stories of man or fitted steam pipes and built roads. That we carried boulders in hot sun or put out fires in blazing canyons. Striving to be the best we can at anything seems to be part of what we are. That so many fail is the tragedy.

Swept under the carpet, deemed not good enough and left to rot, we often founder. The challenge becomes living with ourselves and finding some form of happiness. That often becomes a pathway to drugs and self-abuse, wondering why we weren’t chosen for glory. When one realizes that every moment of every day is an opportunity to better oneself they leave misery behind. They step forward with greater effort to be more than they were the day before. Whether it’s being the best checker at the local market or the girl with a friendly smile at the donut shop, each of us can gain recognition for being a good person who did their best with skills given. The fact all are not bestowed with equal competence in every area lends itself to everyone serving a different function in life.

Old hacks like me sit around wishing they could write the next big story. But what if little stories that make people laugh, think or cry is an identity? What if that serves a purpose? What if the guy who repaired the zipper of your pants hadn’t been there? At that moment one little ant had a reason to exist. The main stage is crowded and may be hard to attain, but there are many corners in the world to fill. Smaller stages where one can star and be recognized. Deeds to be done. Quests to embark upon to infinite possibility. Wherever imagination exists one can learn to build a dream. Challenges are everywhere. How we deal with them a challenge itself.

I recently attended an event at the public library where people shared coming out stories and the challenges they faced in becoming who they are. Family relationships compromised or enhanced. Friendships disappearing or being formed. Listening to those people reminded me that even when bigots get elected by other bigots and seek to control our thoughts, lives and sexuality, they will never accomplish that goal. That the human spirit is capable of rising to any challenge of its freedom. That imprisonment, derision, execution or ostracism have never derailed the desire to attain equality. Seeing the rainbow flag hung on the wall was symbolic of the hard road still to be traveled when our government seeks to retard our personal growth and send us back into the stone-age. Despite dark clouds on the horizon, people smiled, sang and shared the moment, unmindful of haters. The current political climate may set up higher barricades to our expression of who we choose to be, but the pendulum will eventually swing in the other direction. Though I may not live long enough to see it come full circle, I will wear my heels and nylons proudly to the end, knowing there will always be another championing the cause.

Keep shining you fabulous person, and remind yourself not to make assumptions. I heard one transgendered person say they want everyone to get them the moment they enter the room, but their sexual inclinations, life goals and the measure of their heart can only be determined by interaction. Just because I wear a dress doesn’t mean I’m looking for a guy. I’m simply there because I am part of the movement seeking freedom of expression. I welcome questions, as they are the only way to understand anyone or anything. Something I look forward to is the day we don’t need to label ourselves with any acronym but HUMAN.

           

Shaved Legs And All (Cross Dressing Made Easy): Superiority

There is no superior race. Every culture on the planet has its strengths and weaknesses. Creativity, intellectual prowess and physical strength do not reside in every unit of any collective. Being born a specific color does not guarantee success in life, nor does it indicate favoritism by one’s chosen god. Whether we like it or not, we are all parts in something greater than ourselves. To constantly impede and destroy other parts only adds pain and suffering where cooperation would bring us closer to solving problems common to every civilization.

There is no zipper in the universe which would allow us to shed the cloak of madness and reside somewhere else. An endless chain of atoms and molecules form not only the world in which we live, but ourselves. Constant transformation of energy occurs without our being able to hit the off switch. When a fish is taken from the sea, its flesh can be eaten or left to rot, but its elements do not disappear. They become something else and are used in a different application. The universe is a huge recycling process we can learn to use to our advantage should we choose to stop bickering.

The quest for food, water and shelter has been a source of conflict from the beginning. It has been shown that when individuals form groups working for a common good, those needs are more easily attained. But even with this, there remains a flaw in our reasoning process. Greed seems rooted in our souls like a festering sore that cannot be healed. Our unwillingness to share is based on the premise of superiority. That one race, individual or group is more deserving of sustenance and continuation than another.

For the most part, science and technology have created mechanisms for solving problems related to physical existence. The threat we face is that ideological differences will render them and us null and void. If we make this planet untenable for human life, the universe will not skip a beat. The vacancy will be filled by another tenant. Suns will continue to radiate and matter will constantly form, degrade and reform. Our not being here to view this process will be of no concern. As always, life here is what we make it and can be dissolved in an instant. With but one storm, hopes, dreams and property can be destroyed. Erosion is a greater enemy than the person next door.

Can we find tolerance in our souls and build greater mechanisms to cure hunger, disease and poverty? Does it matter what color the person is who harnesses the power of the universe and provides brighter tomorrows for all? What purpose does it serve for one man to wallow in wealth while millions wallow in destitution? Does it matter if one person’s god is the greatest? Should it only be important their faith provide comfort? If others find solace elsewhere does that make them wrong and unfit to live? I hope people will eventually understand we are all enveloped by the same sack. That fighting among ourselves has never created anything but rivers of tears and memorials to the dearly departed.   

Executive Abuse

Personally, I would be happy to not have transgendered people spilling their blood and guts in foreign lands. I would rather see them take positions at every level of business and society, and fight for the right to belong. I don’t comprehend their desire to enlist after years of counseling, hormonal treatments and surgery. I can’t see into their minds and understand why they would risk the body they’ve created. It is their choice to do so, but I would rather have a transgendered banker or barber instead of yet another dead hero to another senseless cause.

Yes, I’m a peacenik. I refuse to salute flags and embrace ideologies that seek to destroy other ways of life. The rattling of sabers and call to glory has never inspired me. A greater world through co-operative sharing of ideas, technology and resources remains my goal. Standing up to prejudice and bigotry by wearing dresses every day might not seem like much of a contribution, but for every mind I change, progress is made. Think of the effect thousands of transgendered people can have as living, breathing members of society. Think of what a tragedy it would be to have them wasting away in graves while relatives and loved ones continue to wail centuries-old dirges.

If our leaders really want to stop the advance of alternative types, they should invite them to join, then ship them off to be cannon fodder while generals dance a merry jig. Politicians could have their white bread constituencies and swill at the trough forever without fear of impeachment. I have always been happy not to serve unclear mandates and misguided patriotism. I have been branded a coward for not killing. I have become an outcast for choosing not to obey the norm, but my conscience is clear and I don’t wake screaming from trauma caused by war. I don’t languish in hospital hallways or beg on street corners in a wheelchair, seeking succor from those I sacrificed myself for. 

We live in a climate of fear. A frenzy of military escalation. We are at greater risk of all-out war and destruction than at any time in history. Previous agony and suffering seem to have taught us little and xenophobia hurtles us towards extinction. Yet, in such darkness, men turn to men, women to women, seeking love and comfort. Souls seek to free themselves from social bondage and shine light upon a dreary world. Thwarting such effort is executive abuse of the highest order. If attacked, any creature will defend itself, but are we actually only under attack from conflicting ideas and purposes? Does putting on a uniform and bombing someone else’s home truly pave a path to freedom? Greater thinkers than myself have pondered such mysteries, yet no has solution stepped forward. Shall hatred remain our master while the opportunity to love slips through fingers stained by the slaughter of innocents?

Smile at a stranger. Hug someone. Put a little love in your heart. Mizeta

The Struggle

One of the most difficult things to do in life is to become and remain an individual. Clubs, religions, schools and employers expect and enforce conformity. There are dress codes, moral codes, and entry codes for the inner circle. Everyone telling you how to behave, think and feel from the day you are born. Childhood programming is especially hard to overcome. How you dress, your hairstyle and personal mannerisms are under constant scrutiny. Experts of every ilk shape you towards their idea of the perfect human.

To become an individual, one must not only break free of conformity, but also no longer desire to be like anyone else. One must learn to taste, feel and experience, then draw their own conclusions as to what they believe in and how they want to live. Their clothing must be pleasing and comfortable to them. What they eat, their leisure pursuits etc. Everything they do must have self-gratification as a goal instead of being an effort to please others.

This is not to say that one should be an egoist, rude, insensitive, or selfish when in a relationship. I have many friends, but I never allow their idiosyncrasies to shape my actions or state of mind. The only things I own in this world are my inner self and my time. How and where I apply them is up to me. Even when working for a living I have never adhered to the party line. I have checked in, done my job and walked away unencumbered by philosophies surrounding my employer’s endeavors. I got paid for labor, not for being a sycophant. Whenever someone has offered me greater success for kissing their ass or believing in their ism, I have chosen to follow my own path.

That path has left me lost in the woods, sleeping beside the road, going hungry, thirsty and cold. I’ve dressed in thrift store clothes and hand-me-downs most of my life, but my soul belongs to me and my mind thinks for itself. I am extremely happy when I can afford a pair of wedgies no one else has worn. New nylons send me over the edge. A new dress feels so good on my skin that I am in a state of rapture. Being poor has been the trade-off for not joining the prayer circle or wearing the club tie, but I find that I am happier on a day-to-day basis than many who chase success and amass material wealth. They often question why they do what they do and find no comfort in life.

Friends are my treasure. Flowers blooming in my yard are my jewels. I take pride in being one of a kind. It is my sincere hope that more and more people will seek, discover and express their uniqueness. That the shackles of antiquated ideologies and methodologies will be broken as humanity evolves. We constantly circle the morass of mediocrity. Every person who refuses to enter such complacency moves us closer to greatness.

At the Bar

Recently several of my friends and I were having a cocktail at our neighborhood bar. It’s a small quiet place mostly frequented by regulars such as myself. Other than a couple playing slots in the back room, we were the only customers. A stranger walked in and caused our whole evening to change.

He ordered a beer and settled in at a table across the way. We continued our conversation and ignored him. Suddenly he was standing at our table and aggressively inserted himself into our world. Using the “don’t I know you from somewhere?” ploy, he interrupted our flow and proceeded to take over. Insisting we’d met at some bar I’ve never been in, I tried to politely shake him off, but he refused to be deterred. “Hey. I’m okay with you and the way you dress,” he said several times. “I just want to know what you’re all about, and why you do what you do.”

My friends rolled their eyes, wishing he would go away. Always willing to educate someone about cross dressing, I patiently described the difference between one’s physical birthright and their inner landscape. Just in case he planned to hit on me at some point, I also mentioned that I’m not gay. He really wasn’t listening or truly interested in learning something. He just wanted to crash our party. Within minutes he was dropping comments about his own life and how he’d just moved to the neighborhood. Something he said caused one of my female friends to make a snarky comment. If he knew her, he’d know she always flips people shit, but from that moment on he wanted to butt heads with her.

Trying to defuse possible ruination of our happy evening, I steered the conversation back to my predilection. His next set of questions were some that I field all the time, so I hoped he would be satisfied with my answers and leave without being asked. Have I mentioned he was really loud?

“How can you get dates with women if you dress like a girl? Who would be attracted to you? Does it make you a lesbian with a dick?”

 I explained that yes, the pool of women attracted to me physically is small, but that relationships involve liking the person who lives in that dress. Toss in the fact that I’m low income and old, then very few candidates come my way. Even if they want me, it’s a two way street and I might not want them in my life. Once again, the answers went right into space as he really just wanted attention. One of my guy friends realized we were going to be stuck with this person all night if I kept being polite, and asked him to go back to his own table.

Rejection did not suit him well. He continued to try and debate us from across the room about a variety of touchy subjects when alcohol is involved. Just as he started raging about Native Americans, the couple who’d been gambling cashed out. Lo and behold, they were those of whom he spoke. Highly offended, they made a quick exit. The bartender had been signaling to us that she would throw him out if we wanted, but like I said, I was trying to be polite and anyone should be allowed to buy a drink. At this point however, she put her foot down and asked him to leave. The point of telling you this story is that he never felt he’d bothered anyone. He challenged the bartender’s right to do so and wanted a reason. She told him she didn’t need one.

Had he asked if he could join us and given us a choice, we might have been amenable to new input. As it was, we were happy to see him go. I hope the next person that wants to know why I love wearing dresses and nylons actually listens to what I have to say. To me, the world would be a better place if people really listened to each other, and understood where they were coming from even if they didn’t agree with their ideas, lifestyle, beliefs or personal appearance.

Keep smiling. Mizeta       

 

 

Shaved Legs And All (Cross Dressing Made Easy): A Sick Society

My tears flowed freely when I saw the news. Two heroes dead for attempting to protect innocents from bigotry. Another wounded while trying to make a difference, left fighting for his life. My guts churn daily as I watch the endless parade of slaughter. Patricide, matricide, mass murder and mutual suicide. Robbery, mayhem, rape and torture. I have always hoped we would evolve, but have reluctantly had to accept that we are a violent species without boundaries when it comes to attaining our own goals and fulfilling our desires. Whomever stands in our way is an object to be conquered, not living flesh with feelings mirroring our own. Just prey to insatiable hunger.

Were I to be insensitive, I would be grateful that most of the recent attacks have been based on race, point of origin, or nationality. Gender benders, queers, and people like me have not been the primary targets of flag-waving zealots. For the moment, I am happy to be ignored, but I am not insensitive. That any one group or individual should be denied existence rankles my core. I feel great anguish when people are murdered for being different. It makes me wonder why one type or color of human could claim the right to eradicate all others. Is there not enough room in this world for all to live? If I like chocolate and you prefer vanilla, does that justify murder?

We are leaderless, without positive role models teaching us how to be more than avarice sans conscience. A flock left to wander without clear mandates of our purpose and destination. In such a state it is no wonder that we snap at each other. Too much congestion, too little food, too much misinformation leading us astray. Confusion is a poor substitute for compassion. Is it possible we could wipe the darkness from our eyes and see the worth of others? Could we possibly understand that fathers and mothers around the world love their sons and daughters as much as we do, and mourn their passing just as deeply? That destroying their homes and property creates the same degree of anguish it spawns in us. When will there no longer be them and us, but simply us? A global society endeavoring to nurture all, instead of trampling one so another might gain temporary supremacy.

Are we nearing the end of our time on earth? Are we like many other species that rose to their zenith then faded into extinction? What legacy should we pass to our children? Should it be the capacity to hate? The desire to maim? A propensity for violence that leads to greater weaponry? And who shall be the last one standing? Will they be happy alone? I can only say that I don’t mind sharing. I don’t care how you style your hair. What you drink, what you wear, what you eat, or what language you speak is of no consequence. I only care that you attempt to stifle me. Put away your weapon. Talk to me. You will find I am a lot like you.    

Tool Guys

Lately I’ve been helping my friend remodel a house she inherited. She and I are mostly about cleaning and painting, so she hires different guys to do skilled labor jobs. They are usually self-assured, macho types that are used to women being needful, and clueless about how things get done. Condescension abounds. They are also very competitive towards any other guy on the jobsite. Each one aspires to be the big dog, so some of their conversations are rife with putdown innuendos or outright slams. The amusing part is how they deal with me.

I show up in a work dress and sandals, with my push-up bra and sparkly leggings on, to paint and clean. Their discomfort is immediately apparent, since they, like many others, assume I’m some type of flaming fag or sissy. When they figure out that I’m not going to hit on them, or ogle them while they pee all over the toilet, they relax a bit. If they’re only there for a day, they seldom talk to me. If they are around for a while, they notice that I am hard working and competent, and definitely not interested in their penis.

The irritating thing about them is their disregard for other people’s work. While they ply their craft, they leave tools lying about, don’t clean up their messes and manage to make my friend and I deal with hundreds of do-overs. She plants flowers, they stack boards on them. I paint a wall, they put their foot on it while contemplating their next move. I could cite example after example of men’s lack of awareness of things outside themselves. That will not be necessary, as most of you have a list as long as, or longer than mine.

No one is perfect, me included. But as a girly guy, I’m aware of two often opposing points of view. Men are afraid that being sensitive makes them weak. Women try to draw the line between being a nag and having expectations. When working on a physically demanding, yet artistic project, it would be nice if tool guys could be more aware of their impact on the immediate environment. After all, they charge a lot for their services. If they install a window, why should someone else have to clean off the silicone they slopped on it? If they cut a board and it makes a mess, should it be on a freshly scrubbed floor? Maybe they think that wearing a dress makes me inferior. I can still do a hard day’s work at seventy, and am not some Nellie wimp. Besides that, I can probably drink most of them under the table. It’s amazing that if I was not wearing a dress they would probably respect my boundaries, and listen to my suggestions, instead of ignoring them because some cross dresser couldn’t possibly know a thing about man’s work.

  

Shaved Legs And All (Cross Dressing Made Easy): How Do I Address You

I get this question all the time. Do I say ma’am, miss, sir, or dude? What do you prefer?

I tell them that whatever comes out of their mouth is okay with me. I have never been pissy about nomenclature. What I feel should be obvious is that I wear dresses and makeup, and identify as a woman. That is my internal landscape. Due to my sexuality, I have not given up my male side, but because people generally don’t understand the difference between identity and sexuality, it becomes a problem for them to be politically correct.

People in the public domain usually call me ma’am, as they are trained to treat everyone as customers. When I show up in a dress and a wig, I qualify as a girl. When I’m working on a job site with macho construction-type guys, I’m laughingly referred to as that faggot in a dress. They are worried that I might hit on them and that they might be so in need of sex, they will succumb to my overtures. Nothing could be further from the truth. They can’t stand sharing a bathroom with me or even having a conversation about little or nothing, because doing so would be recognizing my right to exist.

I understand people’s confusion. When encountering someone such as myself, what should they think? After all, we don’t wear badges and signs that explain our predilections. Maybe it would be better if we did. By doing so, I might be able to explain that although I wear dresses, I lust for women like the biggest horn dog in the world. That even though I’m a septuagenarian, my fires have not cooled. Despite my proclamations, I am still regarded as a sissy freak, living in denial.

How should you address me? I have no answer for that. In your heart, you are either sympathetic to people’s quest to become their true identities, or you remain judgmental and expect everyone to fit into explainable boxes. All I can say about that is that none of us are what we are expected to be. That none of us qualify as normal, as that is an arbitrary guideline.

Over time, I have given advice about embracing the cross dresser lifestyle, but I feel that I have run out of advice. From this point forward, I will drop the tag line Cross Dressing Made Easy. In the future, my blog will be simply Shaved Legs and All, a blog about how it feels to be an outcast in a world that keeps trying to make us all the same, and the implications of being alive in a world that wants to cleanse us of perversion.       

Shaved Legs And All (Cross Dressing Made Easy): Change of Heart

I believe people can change. If they couldn’t, what would be the point of trying to become better? If we are condemned to endless repetition of the same bad habits and behavior, why waste our time? May as well run amok and hope there are no eternal consequences. For myself, I have constantly tried to improve my attitude and leave behind unproductive traits and harmful actions. People who knew me thirty years ago might be reluctant to believe that I have worked hard to become kinder, more rational, and less of a dumbass, but they would be wrong. I have transcended my limitations and learned to soar. I truly care about the people around me, and endeavor daily to share the love in my heart with them. “You haven’t changed a bit,” is a judgement based on lack of observation.

Recently, there was an article in the Willamette Week that startled me. It had to do with a high-ranking member of the Klan moving to Vancouver. Supposedly, he wants to leave hatred, racism, hangings, torture and other acts of intolerance behind. No more beating up queers, etc. A change of heart. However, the article also pointed out that he was seen at a pro-Trump rally, and could possibly be here to recruit haters and open new chapters of the Klan.

If he truly wants to leave that world behind, I would applaud such action. If he is a liar and works to subvert our tranquility, then I would be the first to cry foul in a strident voice. Only through actions, not words, can we show our true colors. If there is an increase in violence against minorities, gays and alternative types, it will be obvious that he has found and enlisted weak-minded followers who find release in causing pain. But if he finds solace in the beauty of our region, then more power to him. Oregon and Washington have taught me to appreciate the beauty of nature, and my hope is that others will embrace that same serenity and inner peace it brings.

Spring is arriving after a brutal winter, and my feet cry out for sandals and my body can hardly wait to wear next-to-nothing dresses. All I can hope for as I wander the streets, is that a truck load of assholes doesn’t roll up next to me, and that I don’t become a victim of prejudicial behavior. That my friends don’t have to mourn my death. That the world can accept persons who defy the norm.

The universe is constantly changing, but not always necessarily for the better. Since the last election, there has been a rise in Nazi-like behavior and hateful graffiti, and a general feeling of intolerance is now acceptable. Should people like the man in the article be relocating here to destroy the life persons such as myself have forged, that would be a perversion of progress. As a species, we are not that highly evolved. We still embrace so many negative traits that there is enormous room for improvement. What progress we have made can so easily be erased that it takes valiant effort on the part of the brave to stand against the erosion of civility. I am not alone in the desire to be and express myself. I am not alone, and cry out for others to step into the light. I am not alone in my quest for freedom. I am but one, but together we are many, and we have consequence. I reach out to you, and beg you to have a change of heart. Do not hate me simply because I am different than you. I mean you no harm.              

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