“Just Your Average Guy” by Paul Jason— Gender and Gender Equality

Jason, Paul. “Just Your Average Guy”, Beaten Track, 2016.

Gender and Gender Identity

Amos Lassen

Now that transgender people have begun to see a bit of acceptance in modern society, many are writing books about their journeys. In this memoir, we read

About the conflicts, the traumas and the breakdowns that he has experienced as a man who is closeted,, a family guy who tries to balance his straight sexuality with his trans side as a man who crossdresses. He shares his personal thoughts on crossdressing without going into self-psychoanalysis as so many others have one. This is his journey of self-discovery in which he reflects back on the lonely struggles of coming to terms with his crossdressing in a pre-internet era.

When he began dressing as a woman years ago, he felt terribly guilty about it. He was afraid all the time that someone would catch him crossdressing (wearing his mother’s clothes). When he moved out of his parents’ house, he began building his own closet, yet the fear and that guilt came with him. He went to great lengths to protect his secret and we really feel the fear that he felt. It is interesting that

there was no sexual element to his crossdressing, as well as no deep-seated gender confusion behind his identity. Crossdressing never aroused him nor did he ever want to become a woman. He was never aroused by crossdressing, and never felt the urge to become a woman. He simply takes comfort in the clothes and the cosmetics, and finds a sense of peace in his crossdressing, without ever forgetting who he is beneath it all. He writes about double standards and carefully explains that he is quite simply a man who likes to dress as a woman. He simply wants us to understand that.

When I lived in Arkansas, I went to a gay weekend in the small town of Eureka Springs and it just happened that weekend there was a meeting of straight male crossdressers. It was a fascinating experience to speak to the guys (who ranged from truck drivers to stay at home dads) and to learn their feelings on dressing as women while otherwise maintaining straight lives. Writer Jason’s views are also fascinating especially because he writes about how it was before we had the Internet and access to so much.

We do not yet live in a world where men are free to live in have peace and we can only hope that we are moving in that direction. The more that we read and understand, the more likely we will gain that new world. I admire Jason’s honesty in telling his story and I can only hope that as many people as possible will read it.


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