A Conversation with Miss Vera
Q:How did you get started working with the transgender community?
A:Trannies have long been part of my career. In my days as a porn star, I learned the proper technique to fasten my garters from a 6'2" transvestite named Rebecca H. Heels. As a sex journalist, I visited bars and peep shows to interview the trannies, then called "pre-ops," and I wrote about the tranny houses later made famous in the film "Paris Is Burning". I also met transgendered persons in my travels around the world. At one point, it seemed that every man I dated wanted to get into my drawers. Yes, I've done my homework!
Q:What prompted you to write MISS VERA’S CROSS-DRESS FOR SUCCESS?
A:I wrote this resource guide to call attention to the transgender movement that is changing the face and figure of man and womankind. I wanted to encourage what we think of as feminine ideals, in particular, pleasure and tolerance. And, I love to write -- especially about sex and shopping.
Q: What do you hope the book does for the cross-dressing community?
A:I hope MISS VERA’S CROSS-DRESS FOR SUCCESS connects my readers to their personal pleasure and political power and helps make the world a prettier place.
Q: What are some common misconceptions about cross-dressers?
A:It is a mistake for observers to think that all male to female cross-dressers are gay or want to have sex with other men. Some do, but human sexuality is much more complicated than that. For some people, the act of cross-dressing is primarily about gender identity not sexual orientation. There are trannies who would love to be cross-dressed and have sex with their wives, trannies who would love to experience penetration, but only from women, trannies whose sexuality resides in the act of dressing, not from the sex act itself and trannies who want to have sex with other trannies.
Also, though there is often a sexual, or, at least sensual, element to cross-dressing, acting on the assumption that anyone who cross-dresses is fair game for uninvited advances is sexual harassment.
Q:Do you think as a society, we are becoming more accepting of those who choose alternate lifestyles?
A:Communication about alternative lifestyles has improved tremendously, so the fear inspired by ignorance has lessened and as society becomes less frightened, we are more tolerant and more open to adventure. Two things that have had a big influence on this improvement in communication are, of course, the Internet and, ironically, the plague of AIDS which made sex education and thus communication essential to survival. We are growing up.
Q:Why do you think so many men explore cross-dressing?
A:Because it feels good. Most men suffer from Venus envy. When women felt the need for balance, to expand our horizons and share more in the power of men, we created the women's movement. Men, too, have this need for balance, to share more in what they view as the most enviable aspects of the female experience: to be pampered and protected, to be desirable sex objects, to be of service (yes, even to do housework) many of the things that we women have put down in recent years as too confining. Cross-dressers are more fortunate than most because their affinity for female clothing gives them access to these feelings. For every woman who burned her bra, there is a man ready to wear one.
Q:How did your academy "Miss Vera's Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls" get started?
A:The school began simply as a way to keep me in pantyhose while I wrote a memoir that used my own adventures to illustrate how we can and have grown as individuals and as a society through the process of sexual evolution. What I learned in my research inspired me to create a school that touched on every cross-dresser’s dream and has since captured the public's imagination. I began with one student, a 38 year old criminal attorney, who saw his femmeself as a 21 year old "airhead" named Sally Sissyribbons. The rest is herstory...
Q: Describe the classes you offer at the academy.
A:We offer a wide variety of classes: make-up application, how to walk in high heels, voice class, ballet, sex education, etiquette, home economics, maid training and more. We take our girls on field trips all over the city. Students can spend a few hours with us or a few days. With the help of our faculty of glamorous and expert deans my goal is to help the student express his femmeself, and be a happier, healthier human being no matter what his fashion statement.
Q:What kinds of men take your classes? Do they fit a common perception of what a cross-dresser is like?
A:There is no tranny composite. Students of the academy come from all walks of life, all economic levels and degrees of intelligence, all colors, shapes and sizes. They bring with them different endowments: small, medium and XXX. There are two common denominators: they have an affinity for female clothing and they are all proud of their legs.
Q:What do you want people to know about cross-dressers?
A:Trannies are all over and they are shaking up the status quo!