Treasure Island

Bri Edwards

A Transvestite: Glen Or Glenda? ? ...... [movie review; comment]

NO, this is NOT a poem about sex! But some might think it so.
I’m prompted to write, about men in dresses, by a movie made long ago.
In 1953 Bela Lugosi, of Dracula fame, and others made a very different flick.....
about a man for whom dressing-as-a-man was simply not his schtick.

“Glen or Glenda? ” was the title of the movie, about a transvestite with the name Glen.....
who dithered about telling his fiancée his secret. How to tell her and when?
And HOW would she react? Would she “freak” to find he wanted to wear her sweater?
Or would her love for him endure, and together their lives might be better?

The movie starts with a police investigation of a man’s unfortunate death.
A transvestite, arrested four times for dressing in drag*, put an end to his breathe.
The detective sought answers about the dead man’s dilemma-of-dress.
The movie is an acted-out documentary, though part of it is a confusing mess.

Hermaphrodites and pseudo-hermaphrodites are explained to us,
but homosexuals were only mentioned in passing. [In 1953 why cause MORE fuss! ]
It seems transvestites are “normal” men in most every “man” way.
But they crave to wear women’s clothing. For that reason, they dress up, to women-portray

Bela Lugosi, seated in front of ghoulish curios, in a conservative suit,
serves as a sort-of movie moderator, and shows some amusing expressions to boot.
Glen tries to quit his habit, which the movie blames on his childhood.
For the sake of his hoped-for marriage, he’d give up women’s clothes if he could.

I won’t tell you how the movie ended, unless of course you ask.
Living “successfully” as a transvestite would seem an impossible task.

(July 28,2013)

Submitted: Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Edited: Thursday, August 01, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

*15. The clothing characteristic of one sex when worn by a member of the opposite sex: as in 'an actor in drag'

we got this movie dvd from our small local library and watched it recently. i had a 'pretty good' idea of what transvestite means, but this movie made it very clear and did a fine job showing how troubling the 'habit'? can be for the transvestite and people around him. i have seen a few men in kilts and i think even in skirts or dresses, but it certainly is unusual. probably i have seen more but did not realize i was looking at men. i spoke to one very tall man-looking man in a grocery store who was wearing a kilt**. i think it was made of leather and had attachments for a workman's/workwoman's tools. he said he almost always wore one instead of pants. i wonder now if he was a transvestite or just liked the freedom/coolness. why not?

A knee-length skirt of pleated tartan cloth, traditionally worn by men as part of Scottish Highland dress and now also worn by women and...] oh, i see a kilt is called a skirt here.

i once saw a photo of my father wearing a kilt when he was a boy in toronto canada, probably during world war I.

Comments about this poem (A Transvestite: Glen Or Glenda? ? ...... [movie review; comment] by Bri Edwards )

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  • Nader Baheri (8/3/2013 1:04:00 PM)

    i m not sure but usually people who have tendencies to be transvestite, apotheosize females.maybe it s the other form of masochism.deifying other gender so they do whatever to be the same as the other gender is.~nb (Report) Reply

  • Ellias Anderson (8/1/2013 1:06:00 PM)

    well, well and well.! This work makes sense for. I had a classmate who was a Transvestite. I even saw him once while he was wearing a scarf. (a blue one) but he didnt try to change himself. He loved what he was. (Report) Reply

  • Ruth Walters (8/1/2013 2:42:00 AM)

    Well way back when it was the done thing for men to be more 'Peacock' than women in the U.K. They'd wear pointy shoes, big hats, colourful clothing. You'll see it in our history books. I like this poem, it's very amusing and different. (Report) Reply

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