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

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.              

Shaved Legs And All (Cross Dressing Made Easy): Pee Everywhere

So, federal protections have been rescinded when it comes to where we pee. All done under the guise of reducing federal intervention into state’s rights. THANKS FOR THE GIFT!

I would be okay with this mandate that each state can dictate their constituent desires, except for the fact it allows states to discriminate with absolute freedom. Only states like Oregon will continue to move towards the idea that all lifeforms have the right to exist. Socially retarded states will make it a crime for transgendered people to empty their bowels and bladders where they feel most comfortable. Jails will once again fill with so-called homos and misfits when they refuse to comply with local ordinances. We will go back to guys in dresses getting punched out in bathrooms. Transgendered children will face ridicule and rejection. Schools will extol the fact that Jesus hates queers and that all weirdos should pray for salvation. The forced morality being imposed through legislation by the Christian right will send us back to the dark ages where non-believers were burned at the stake or pummeled with stones.

I feel for people who live in states that want to marginalize and discriminate against their own residents. Will Mom and Pop send their son or daughter to jail? Will the use of a toilet become a focal point of dissent? What difference does it make who craps in a piece of porcelain? To me, the only issue is, did you flush, or leave your excrement for me to deal with? At least I leave a clean slate for the next habitué.

Every human body needs to evacuate waste. We consume in order to survive; therefore we must eliminate excess cellular matter. No one is exempted from this process until they die. Are you the only one with the right to pee? Who are you, to determine who gets to use the potty? What if we all decide to piss in the street? Will you be okay with that? Does it really matter who sits or stands next to you? Why are you looking anyway? Whether they have a penis or vagina, they are only answering nature’s call.

 Stay focused my friends. People who want to harm you are becoming more organized and powerful due to the current political climate. I’d love to see a million transgendered people pee in the lobbies of every building Trump owns, but he would just make his employees clean it up without rescheduling his tee time. I cannot support a president who does not represent every American. If that makes me disloyal, then I guess I’m an asshole. Somehow, I got the idea that this is the land of the free. Maybe I was misinformed by fake news.   

 

 

Shaved Legs and All (Cross Dressing Made Easy): Friendly Faces

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An odd thing seems to happen during strife-filled times. Unlikely alliances form and people who previously had little in common begin to intermingle. These interactions may not lead to lifelong friendships, but they go a long ways towards reassuring us that all is not lost. That human goodness and compassion will survive despite efforts to stifle them.

For myself, I have noticed an upswing in acceptance of my lifestyle throughout the Portland area. Though haters will always exist, and I may never be entirely safe, so many people are stepping forward with kindness it fills my heart with joy. People go out of their way to approach me and reassure me that they are cool and care. They walk up and tell me I’m beautiful. They compliment my dress or the shoes I’m wearing. They stop and hold a door open for me, and smile with heartfelt warmth.

Recently, I was walking through Fred Meyer’s in Wood Village and a man behind me made a disparaging remark. His wife replied, “I think she’s absolutely gorgeous.” So saying, she caught up with me, slipped her arm through mine and proceeded to tell me how much she liked my hair. At that moment I loved her for her willingness to ignore her husband’s hatred and make amends for his rudeness. They may have argued later, and I felt bad thinking that might be the case, but her courage gained my undying respect. I wished I could buy her a cup of coffee and get to know her. The rest of the day was very similar. Everywhere I went, people had beautiful things to say. It appears those of us who believe in an open and diverse world are being forced to reach out and show solidarity. No more being quiet and too self-involved to share a little bit of love with a stranger.

I have always had a comfort zone at my local bar, but lately, people who never had much to say to me are buying me drinks and making sure I know their name. Generally speaking, men have been reluctant to be my friend, but every week someone new shakes my hand and lets me know they are okay with however I choose to live. A funny moment occurred when one man said, “I never thought I’d be saying this to a guy in a dress, but you have great legs.” We laughed and clicked glasses. Everyone knows I’m not gay and that he wasn’t hitting on me. Years ago, my dear friend Ivan said, “Mizeta, I may never understand you, but I love you to death.” These examples of how my willingness to change the world by simply existing and being a kind loving person are incredible. Hopefully, other cross dressers, transgendered or queer folk are experiencing similar situations. I’m sure that our Governor, Kate Brown, has a lot to do with reinforcing the live and let live ideology that pervades most of Oregon. I’m hoping there are other politicians who are open minded and care about their constituents. It is possible that they will repel the tide of negativity and create open channels for smooth sailing.

Meanwhile, I am working on stifling my outrage at current events and concentrating on being a truly good person. Sharing the love in my heart with the entire world, whether we agree about things or not. Being willing to listen to another’s point of view, and consider, rather than dismiss it outright as not fitting my perspective. To look for their humanity and respect their right to exist. By doing so, I hope they will feel compelled to do the same. It isn’t easy when they spew bigotry, xenophobia, and separatism, but keeping my cool is less difficult when I think of all the wonderful people in the world who’ve smiled at me or shared a kind word. Keep shining, my friends. Flush any poison from your hearts. As the song says, “It’s always darkest just before the dawn.”

 

    

Shaved Legs And All (Cross Dressing Made Easy): Sexual reassignment

I don’t hate my penis. It has been attached to me since I was born. Though it has gotten me in trouble quite often throughout my life, I have no desire to remove it. Turning it into an artificial vagina would not make me a woman. Besides, even though I have a girly soul, my sexual desire has always been directed towards women. Hormone treatments would make me more feminine, but so would having breast implants. Just wearing dresses, nylons and sassy shoes has always been good enough for me. But there are many people in the world who feel their soul got stuck in the wrong body and want to change it.

I’m not a doctor, so the medical side of reassignment is beyond my knowledge. What I want to talk about is choice. When we are young, we embark on many foolish journeys our older self may regret. Quite often, an apology will suffice to rectify things. Sometimes, only imprisonment will teach us the error of our ways. If someone alters their sexual organs before completely thinking things through, they could rue that decision later in life.

I’m not against it for people who feel the need. Just for me. If someone is willing to suffer extensive counseling, months of hormone treatments, and grueling post- operative recovery, then they deserve their chance at happiness. Even after having the surgery, a person might not feel fulfilled. Before taking an irreversible step, I think each person has to ask themselves what their ultimate goal is, and why they consider their sexual organs an unwanted burden. If satisfied with the answers, then not only will they need qualified professional help, the support of their network of friends is absolutely vital. Without it, they may lack the confidence to step out with pride and show off the new them. Hopefully, their angst will be assuaged and the joy they sought will flood their soul. Man to woman, woman to man, it is a journey that requires courage and stamina to stay the course. I remember how freaky scary it was the first time I walked down a busy street in girl clothes. To this day I have no regrets. It was a decision that birthed a whole new life for me. If reassignment is for you, I wish you all the luck in the world.

 

Shaved Legs and All (Cross Dressing Made Easy) Tough Sledding

I feel we have reached a point in time when a train that was steadily chugging its way uphill has encountered greased tracks and imposing barricades. After decades of prying doors open and reducing the power of bigotry, the LGBT community is now facing some of its greatest challenges.

What to do, and how to move forward, when haters have been entitled and encouraged by the worst possible administration in American history, is a quandary. Do we arm ourselves against violence? Do we chain ourselves to toilets and defend our right to use them? Do we fall out of love and deny allegiance to those we’ve married?

Previously, I have concerned myself with teaching men how to transition to their inner girl. Now, I find myself wondering how we can survive a climate of prejudicial treatment greater than one would expect in modern times.

Maybe we never left the cave. Maybe clubs and axes are the only tools mankind can wield to deal with foreign cultures. Maybe when sons have been slaughtered and daughters maimed, parents will rise to defend their offspring. I don’t know. Are we capable of coexistence? Or are we doomed to bloodshed forever?

What I do know is that the future will require martyrs. People who continue to don their dresses each day and stand as beacons others can use to chart a course through darkness. Women and men who publicly hold hands and display affection. People who flock to the altar and proclaim their right to love and be loved. Strong hearts who refuse to bow to tyranny and oppression.

I will step out my door each day with lipstick on, prepared for derision. Nothing will stop my desire for freedom of expression, except a bullet to the brain. Hopefully, if torture or beatings are imminent, I can withstand them with dignity. I am prepared for the worst, but hopeful that families can come to their senses and not sacrifice their children to hatred. To not mourn what might have been, and painfully accept what is.

I will not beg for acceptance, and I will not deviate from the pursuit of happiness and self-realization. No government or individual has the right to decide what thoughts I have and what feelings I am allowed. I am human. I am sovereign unto myself. To pledge allegiance to an ideology or cause, it must allow for all to participate equally, without prejudice towards color, creed or point of origin. It must allow me to breathe freely without fear. Should America become a haven of intolerance, I would hope to be rescued from its clutches, but since I am of its soil, should that be something to desire?

Mizeta Moon

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