MY BIG NEWS IS A BIG DEAL!
It may be Black Friday in the retail universe, but it’s a Gay Day in my writing world. Gay as in gaiety. And what makes it so bright and cheerful is that I get to share the news of my book deal.
Yes! I’ m excited, enthused and otherwise ecstatic to tell you that the University of Wisconsin Press (aka UW Press) will publish My Son Wears Heels in early 2016. And, even though I’m a New Yorker now, I do love the Wisconsin connection. My son Harry was born in Milwaukee. It’s where they* wore my wedding shoes as a toddler and first slipped on their purple glitter stilettos as a young adult.
Milwaukee is also the current home of one Ms. Naomi Waxman, a queer femme social media whiz, whom I’m thrilled to introduce as the Social Media Manager for My Son Wears Heels.
The first time I saw Naomi, she was wearing a tiara and aqua satin dress alongside Harry on the cover of the Northshore Herald. She didn’t go to Shorewood High, so how she ended up center stage in a shot from the high school’s Homecoming is a story I’ll let her tell.
Naomi and Harry met in acting classes at First Stage Children’s Theater in middle school and reconnected in high school via Myspace. She was doing an internship in NYC the summer after I moved here, so she and Harry teamed up for their first Coney Island Mermaid’s Parade in 2010.
When she’s not managing digital communications for My Son Wears Heels, Naomi is working freelance social media gigs for Milwaukee’s Greater Together organization and the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. I’m hopeful you’ll see her byline here as a guest blogger sometime soon, too. She’s def a valuable asset to the team, and her energy and expertise will let me focus on finishing the book. (Yay, Naomi!)
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
Lastly, in the Corrections Department, I want to point out my error in last week’s blog for using the terms transvestite and cross-dresser interchangeably. Thanks to reader and British blogger Jonathan at malefemme.com, I can clear up any confusion with the following comment he left for me:
“So decipher for us the difference between cross-dresser, drag queen, transvestite…”
Actually, that’s not easy at all.
For transvestites, Harvey’s “can have a billion reasons for wanting to do it” is a reasonable assertion, in that we each come to our own understanding of these highly personal issues. But it should be noted that “gender identity” accounts for a large proportion. Many transvestites (most of the ones I know anyway) identify as trans, and there are significant border territories between transvestite, transgender and transsexual identities; indeed, people can and do “transition” from one to another.
Similarly – as you already know of course – drag queens and kings can identify as trans as well.
It’s not just about exaggerated stereotypes, entertainment or lampooning. Those may be part of drag performance, but they don’t (necessarily) define a drag person’s identity.
The “billion reasons” seems more appropriate for cross-dressing. But maybe this is just a cultural difference? In the US “transvestite” seems to be a stigmatized identity, so people often use “cross-dresser” instead. Over here in the UK, that’s not the case. People like Eddie Izzard and Grayson Perry identify as transvestites rather than cross-dressers; whereas cross-dressing is a behaviour (just something people do) rather than an identity.
As for me: I’m a transvestite as well – that’s one of my labels anyway. Others are “genderqueer” (like Harry) and “femme.”
And did I know transvestites are straight? Yes, or at least we’re as “straight” as any other random person; i.e. law of averages says yes, human sexual diversity says maybe. There used to be a slogan for that: “How dare you presume I’m heterosexual?” Easier answer: transvestism is not related to sexual orientation.
Many thanks again for clarifying, Jonathan!
*My kid Harry uses all personal pronouns interchangeably.
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