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Chrysalis and Another Waye Presents:

Asian Cross Dressers
By Roberta Angela Dee


Within the steel and glass temple to technology known as Manhattan, there are orchids and trees. There are flowers and people who whisper in foreign tongues -- languages that are foreign, at least to me. To my rear, I hear such a whisper, while I stand near a corner on a busy New York City street.

I wear a low-cut fuchsia Lycra dress. It attracts approving stares from white-collared businessmen with 5-o'clock shadows, and disapproving glances from other women. C'est la vie. Such is life.

The men examine the shape of my derriere -- an icon of feminine form. A certain kind of lust is evident in their eyes, and their eyes say far more than they would dare to speak aloud.

"You -- pretty lady," I hear someone say. The voice is mature, female, and carries a heavy Asian accent. I turn to see an elderly Korean shopkeeper. She is a woman who sells fruits and vegetables to provide for herself.

"You -- pretty lady," she says, again. "Many men notice you."

"You're very kind," I reply. "Thank you."

"You -- tall," she says. "What you are? Six feet?"

"Close enough. I'm five-feet, eleven inches. Almost six feet."

"You taller than a lot of men," she says. "But men -- they like the women with the long legs! Long legs like you."

The woman makes me laugh. It is so refreshing to be able to have a discussion with another woman that has nothing to do with cross-dressing or with being transgendered. I look like a woman, and she is satisfied that I am a woman.

"You have man to take care of you?" she asks.

"No. I'm afraid not. There's no one taking care of me."

"You look good. Wear tight dress and look pretty," she replied. "A man will find you."

Another woman who stops to examine the grapefruit distracts her. They discuss the quality of her produce. Within a short time, she has made a sale consisting of some grapefruit and a bunch of bananas.

I wonder whether the woman thinks that I am stand on the corner to attract men, or merely to wait on a friend. If she knew, would it matter?

There have been reports, mostly through American media, that friction exists between African Americans, and Asians. Media, however, tends to make exaggerate claims. And it's perhaps why many people no longer trust the Media. As Americans, we enjoy freedom of the press. It's unfortunate the privilege is so often abused by those who control it.

My own experience with Asians is that they are a beautiful people. However, there is often a certain degree of friction between different cultures, until they get to know each other. Eventually, an understanding develops. After all, we are all people. We are all human beings.

"I have a daughter now. She like you," the shopkeeper said. "She born a boy with the heart of a girl. Now she a girl. Now she my daughter."

I was surprised at how accepting this woman was towards her transgendered daughter. How much better the world would be, if more people were like this old Asian woman. Why must we hate or dismiss people solely because they are not like the majority. We should praise what is rare. We should cherish what is rare, the same way we cherish natural pearls.

"Did you help her to become the woman she is today?" I asked.

"No. I cannot help anyone become a woman. Who we are comes from inside," she replied. "I talk to her like a talk to my other daughter. My other daughter like me. But both are doing good. Both have good men."

She laughs, perhaps at the thought that the woman she once loved as a boy has now succeeded as a woman. But it is happy laughter motivated by positive emotions. I laugh with her.

In 1957, Jean Giraudoux wrote, in "Tiger at the Gates," "I have been a woman for fifty years, and I've never been able to discover precisely what I am."

I believe that what Jean Giraudoux wrote is true for all of us.

Finally, a man did come along, but he was not the kind of man that the shopkeeper had wished for me, nor the kind of man I would wish for myself. Still, he was attractive enough and willing to buy me a drink.

He and I talked for a while. He explained his need to be discreet as though I had no such need. In any event, the evening was fruitful for each of us. He was rewarded sexually. I was rewarded financially. Some call it hustling or prostitution. I prefer to say it is a way for people to barter goods and services. Is that such a crime?

The End

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