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This is another piece from Dodgem Logic. I'm happy that, after articles stimulated by my interest in psychedelia and underground comics, I managed to get this one into print before the magazine's demise. As you'll read, the subject of males who cross dress is close to my heart and it was important for me to write this. Before you read it, 'though, I need to explain a couple of references in the article. Dodgem Logic contained a lot of work by writers who were exploring alternative concepts. Everyone had their individual angles, of course, but there was a shared common ground. So I wrote with reference to pieces that had appeared in earlier issues. The first was Debbie Delano's piece on changing attitudes to LGBT folk - she acknowledged the advances that have been made in terms of tolerance, positive profiles etc., but pointed out (wisely, I think) that public attitudes are fickle - ground gained today could still be lost tomorrow. The second was to a series of contributions by Margaret Killjoy which suggested that we, as a species, should be moving beyond 'civilisation' - as a concept we no longer need it and clinging on to it is doing us little good. Radical stuff, and worth a read. There's also a reference to a piece by Alan Moore, but I think that's self-explanatory in the text.
Again, in the few years that have elapsed since this piece appeared, there have been one or two cultural developments, let's say, that I'd like to refer to by way of an update. But before I get to them, a re-read of the piece reminded me I'd mentioned in passing the amazing Vi Subversa, once lead singer of anarcho-punk band Poison Girls. Sadly, Vi died earlier this year. A wonderul and inspiring woman, I just wanted to record my sorrow at her parting. Moving on, mention should be made of a children's book (that later became a TV play) by David Walliams called 'The Boy in the Dress'. I've no idea what impact if any this might have made on the public consciousness, but I for one thought it a positive and entertaining piece of work. Towards the end, it's clearly a fantasy requiring considerable suspension of disbelief, but the central character - a credible and ordinary schoolboy with a passion for football who happens to discover in himself a similar passion for frocks - is nicely conceived. I'm still not altogether sure I can work out where David Walliams is coming from, but in that creation, it seemed to me a good place. Also Mr Perry has been busy infiltrating the media since I wrote of him here. His documentary series on taste and class I thought was perceptive and certainly changed some of my views. More relevant to my content, I think, is his recently completed 'All Man' 3-parter, which - after a shaky start - went on to ask increasingly challenging and interesting questions about the concept of masculinity and its role in our society. It needs to change, he concluded, and I would wholeheartedly endorse that. And finally, with reference to my tongue-in-cheek self-description as an 'old hippie CD', I thought I'd mention that my lust for once fashionable Afghani type dresses has faded somewhat. I never actually acquired one but bought a beautiful, home-made Indian dress on eBay that - - I guess - fulfilled that desire. Now I scour the online pages of 'prairie dresses' in Etsy for something with a bit of an 'Edwardian' look. Unfortunately, after several months of occasional browsing, the combination of a dress I like the look of and a waistline of 34" or more completely eludes me. C'est la vie.