hostile experience

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an6...@anon.penet.fi

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Jan 28, 1993, 9:30:01 AM1/28/93
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Russ's experience scaries the willies out of me.

I don't know how well I could have handled something like that, you're
very brave to be able to face a situation like that and still be firm
in your desire to crossdress in public.

I guess it's important to be more open in public so it's good that people
are determined enough to do it (I'm not trying to assume Russ is doing a
political thing, I'm just generalizing). Maybe if crossdressing was
more publicly acceptable I'd feel more comfortable in exploring my identity.

I'm glad to see that you are safe and sound, Russ, and that the experience
has not suppressed you. I'm supporting you fully! from an anon posting
in a private office, skulking around hoping no one will notice, and not
wanting to get into any heavy confrontational situations.

Good for you Russ, it sounds like you handled the situation very well.

Suzanne @
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Steel Dancer

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Jan 28, 1993, 11:26:37 AM1/28/93
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Also, I'd like to take the opportunity to mention that this incident was
more a "skinhead" thing than an Austin thing.

The Skinhead (as opposed to those males who have very short hair) is a
definite racist/bigoted movement, and as such they tend to attack ANYthing
which does not fit the standard hyperconservative morals of theirs.

Also, I have been CDing in public with a lot of people, passable and not,
and I've never had a problem that was that bad. I've been hit on, giggles
[er, giggled] at, stared at, and once or twice refused entrance (to a GAY
bar, yet!), but never an outright attack like that.

Just wanted to reassure you folks that such reactions are a) pretty rare, and
b) coming from a fringe element, not a "normal" member of society.

Laurie, et alii

Russ Williams

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Feb 1, 1993, 2:36:07 PM2/1/93
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In article <1993Jan28.1...@fuug.fi> an6...@anon.penet.fi (Steel Dancer) writes:
>Also, I'd like to take the opportunity to mention that this incident was
>more a "skinhead" thing than an Austin thing.

I agree completely this was not a typical Austin event. Although Texas
has a bad-ass redneck bigot reputation (which is undoubtedly well deserved
in many of its areas), Austin itself is a wonderfully diverse place.
One of our local religious right media nuts recently bemoaned how
Austin is becoming the "San Francisco of the South"... so we must
be doing something right! :-)

>The Skinhead (as opposed to those males who have very short hair) is a
>definite racist/bigoted movement, and as such they tend to attack ANYthing
>which does not fit the standard hyperconservative morals of theirs.

Here's where I differ; while the politics of skinheads is probably not
all that directly relevant to alt.transgendered, consider this quote from
a news story about the recent anti-KKK demonstration in Austin (40
Klanspeople protesting MLK day, 5000 antiKlan people protesting bigotry):

The image of skinhead evokes in many people the racist, neoNazi groups in
the US and Germany. While there was a small contingent of these with the
Klan, by far the largest group of Skinheads present came from all over
Texas to PROTEST the Klan. DSB (Dallas & Austin), ARA (Ft Worth), and
SHARP (Houston) were all there. They came shortly before the Klan, and
were among the fiercest denouncers of racism and Nazism. One stated that
the majority of skinheads in the US are not racists. He also explained
to NOKOA that the original skins were Black ska (a form of Reggae)
musicians.

NOKOA is a weekly black issues newspaper in Austin, hardly one to
defend antiblack racists. Their report jibes with my observation at
the rally; I saw skinheads protesting the Klan. Stood right behind
one for a while who seemed friendly.

The reason I bring all this up is that I observe various sets of oppressed
or hated subcultures who each point the finger at others to take mainstream
heat off themselves, which to my mind simply perpetuates misunderstanding
and hatred and so on.

>Also, I have been CDing in public with a lot of people, passable and not,
>and I've never had a problem that was that bad. I've been hit on, giggles
>[er, giggled] at, stared at, and once or twice refused entrance (to a GAY
>bar, yet!), but never an outright attack like that.

I'd take a gay bar being unfriendly to someone crossdressed as a good
example of this phenomenon. Another one: Saturday night I was watching
a cable access call-in show. The topic was the gays in the military
debate, and the callers were overwhelmingly idiotic bigots in the obvious
way. But one caller was educated and friendly and spoke eloquently for
gay rights. In the process of justifying why straights should be tolerant
of gays, he bashed CD folks, however: "I'm gay, I do my job well, I dress
respectably, <in a sneery voice> I don't wear dresses or makeup, for
God's sake" A classic example of "don't bash me, look, we can bash
that 3rd group together!" I was saddened to hear this caller, who
was more educated and tolerant, still buy unthinkingly into standard
society bigotry when it came to transgendered issues.

Sorry to be preachy, but if one wants to receive tolerance for being
transgendered, or gay, or vegetarian, or whatever, one ought to be
openminded of other folks. I'll be the first to criticize the 2 guys
who hassled me -- but I criticize them for being bigots, not for
being skinheads.

>Just wanted to reassure you folks that such reactions are a) pretty rare, and
>b) coming from a fringe element, not a "normal" member of society.

I am very glad to hear that I just got unlucky! Being a newbie makes
it tough to judge such things.

Cheers,
Russ

Steel Dancer

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Feb 2, 1993, 4:25:33 PM2/2/93
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Russ wrote about skinheads not necessarily being racist....

It kinda depends on your definition of "Skinhead", I guess... as I mentioned,
short hair doesn't qualify in my brain... "Skinhead" means to me basically
the racist/NeoNazi that I described. If this isn't the usual skinhead,
then I guess I need to revise my definition(s). Sorry about that!

Guess I need to go find a true skinhead and talk to hir...

Laurie, et alii
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Russ Williams

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Feb 3, 1993, 3:16:14 AM2/3/93
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In article <1993Feb2.2...@fuug.fi> an6...@anon.penet.fi (Steel Dancer) writes:
>It kinda depends on your definition of "Skinhead", I guess... as I mentioned,
>short hair doesn't qualify in my brain... "Skinhead" means to me basically
>the racist/NeoNazi that I described. If this isn't the usual skinhead,
>then I guess I need to revise my definition(s). Sorry about that!
>
>Guess I need to go find a true skinhead and talk to hir...

But how will you know if you've found a TRUE skinhead or not? :-)

Yeah, this gets into the fuzzy area of labeling, and self-labeling
versus societal labeling. I haven't talked in depth to skinheads either,
but I've seen plenty of interviews over the years with people who
consider themselves skinheads and are upset at the popular image of
them as bigoted, asserting that the neoNazis are only one part of the
skinhead population.

It reminds me a lot of how "hacker" used to be proudly applied by
clever programmers to themselves, but then came to be twisted in meaning
in the popular mind to mean one who maliciously breaks into systems
and wreaks havoc. The original hackers say that the new hackers are
not true hackers, even though the new hackers call themselves hackers.
So what is the true meaning of the word hacker now? Probably not a
well-defined question.

Russ

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