If you're going to cross dress, at least do it right

Earlier today, I had to go into work because we had a meeting earlier tonight. I went in a littler earlier, because I enjoy walking around downtown Pittsburgh, and checking out all the shops and such. I don’t really have as much time in the morning-because everything’s closed, and after work, I just want to catch the bus and go home, so I can eat dinner, get a shower, etc. I decided to walk down to the Strip District, to check out all the little shops and grocery stores they have down there. I wanted to go down to this little Mexican grocery, to see if I couldn’t pick up a bag of their tortilla chips-the BEST tortilla chips in the world, as far as I’m concerned.

So, I’m walking down there, enjoying all the sites, and then I see this guy coming towards me. There’s something odd about him, and it takes a minute for it to register.

He’s wearing a bikini.
Before anyone says anything, this was DEFINITELY a man, not a transgendered person, or if he is, he’s doing a REALLY shitty job of it. He has a full beard and mustache, ala Sir Alec Guiness as Obi-Wan Kenobi. He’s wearing a straw cowboy hat. Rather snug, short black trunks, that would have passed as a man’s bathing suit. Doesn’t leave much to the imagination, but eh, what are you gonna do.

He’s also wearing a black, string bikini top-the small triangles. Bright , and I mean BRIGHT, red, smeary lipstick, and strappy stilletto heels, laced up his ankles.

Hell, this ensemble looked like something out of a strip club-if it had been a woman walking around like that downtown, it would also have been pretty inappropriate.

And he passes me, and of course, because I was raised to be polite, I nod and say “Hi”, like most people do when passing on the street. He reeks of BO, which isn’t really so shocking, considering the extreme heat we’re having.
I was talking to some of my coworkers when I got to work, and one of them said he’s seen that guy downtown-and said he’s really not all there.
Now, if that’s your thing, meh. I couldn’t give less of a shit what people do, so far as gender issues go. However, at least, don’t go out looking like an ass. I think it’s fair to comment on someone who goes around acting like a total headcase.

If you weren’t in Pittsburgh, I’d suggest that was our very own Leslie.

Since you’ve heard that he is a “headcase,” why the snark about “acting like … a headcase”?

I used to work for the public library years ago, and I still visit on occasion to make legitimate use of its services as a patron. Interestingly, there’s still a particular visitor who seems to show up there [at least twice] every single day. She never seems to do anything besides wander the library … looking at things. She’s completely harmless and never speaks or even picks up a book to read, probably due to the fact that she can’t read. This is a library in a well-to-do suburb that isn’t suffering from any epidemic of indigents roaming the streets, but if you didn’t know better, you’d think she was one such example.

Why do I mention this lady? Aside from the completely odd behaviors she exhibits to attract nervous stares, there’s the issue of her fashion sense. Whatever mental illness she suffers from has endowed her with the most remarkably bizarre clothing mashups you could imagine. In all the times I’ve seen her come and go, she’s been seen wearing swimmers goggles, snorkeling masks, football helmets, old wigs, and even rain ponchos … when it’s not actually raining outside. The woman is also about 70 pounds soaking wet due to what one would guess is chronic malnourishment. She is all skin and bones like you see in photos of people dying from starvation. She comes in at least twice a day, often with a different fashion accessory on each visit, and simply roams around looking at things and people in the library … never talking, never using any of the library services, and never even touching any of the books. So far as I can tell, she’s been a daily visitor for quite awhile because the library security and the police have never done anything to remove her from the premises despite the fact that she probably gives little children nightmares because she’s so scary.

There are simply some folks in this world for whom extenuating mental circumstances preclude a sense of conventional dress. I don’t think the man you saw was a crossdresser, I think he was just a plain ol’ nutter like our library loonie.

You say hello to everyone on the street, even people you don’t know? If I stopped to say hello to every bizarre person I met, I’d be here all day. Is this a big city versus suburbs thing?

I find that the people walking on the street who are total strangers and yet still acknowledge me in some way - usually a nod of the head - are almost always people who appear to be part of some subculture or counterculture. Black guys dressed in gangsta outfits, punk rocker guys and other guys who seem like they’re in bands, hippies, and eccentrically dressed guys (and it’s always guys, not girls) - these are the people who always give me a random nod or greeting. I’m pretty sure it’s because when I cross paths with someone who looks unique in some way, I usually look at them more obviously. Not a rude stare, but just a “Hm, that guy looks different than the average Joe Schmo.” And because of this recognition, they’ll acknowledge me with a friendly nod of the head or even a “hey” as they walk by, even though they’re a complete stranger.

I acknowledge everyone I pass, usually non-verbally. This is true in cities and in jungles.

Well, it’s a way to say “hi, I’m perfectly friendly and trustworthy and don’t have a problem with you looking at me/hope you don’t have a problem with me looking at your toddler.” I get adopted by random kids in buses, their moms usually stop looking like I may be some sort of monster once I’ve smiled at them.

If I saw the dude, my question would be, “What bet did you lose?”

The Strip District in Pittsburgh isn’t a suburb - in fact it’s as far away from suburbian as you can get in that city.

I think it’s more of a way-she-was-raised kind of thing. Besides, why not say hello if you’ve been staring?

Because we don’t have confirmation that he’s nuts. Just speculation. The only word I can think to describe it is “surreal.”

And you and Sean Factotum are correct-it’s just how things work in my 'hood. You meet someone on the street, you greet them. It’s just a nod and a “hi”.

It’s simply good manners.

Maybe Leslie’s on vacation? Sounds exactly like him and I hadn’t seen him around lately.

I acknowledge anyone I happen to make eye-contact with. I would probably have done my best not to make eye-contact with that guy.

It really took a minute to register what was off about his appearance? Seems like half a second or so would be enough to puzzle out that one! :slight_smile:

I guess living in New York, the general rule for me is no eye contact. The one time some girls did cheerfully say hi to me, I assumed that something was up or that they were mocking me.

What is it with mental illness and interesting fashion choices? There is a man I saw downtown wearing a gorilla suit, sans head, feet or gloves. He had on purple Converse gym shoes and a Gold’s Gym t-shirt over the suit. Last time I saw him he was talking to a street sign.

There’s a homeless (I assume) man who hangs around downtown La Jolla in a mother hubbard type dress with a ladies cardigan over it. And stripey Raggedy Ann tights.

His favorite haunt is right by the Armani Exchange, so I suppose it could be social commentary of some sort.

D’oh-that’s what I meant-just a second or whatever. You know, it’s like you see something totally off, and it doesn’t register until a second later.

The outfit isn’t confirmation enough?

You should see Santa Cruz’ Pink Man.

He walks astonishingly slowly… maybe twenty seconds to move five feet. Always with that huge smile. If nothing else, I’d imagine one’s face muscles would get sore.