For most of this week so far, I’ve been trying to write an epic post inspired by a certain site’s writing prompt. I’ve had a hard time trying to formulate a response to that post, in part because I’m taking a look at the subject with a far-too-broad scope. So, to keep my writing spirits up, I’ll fall back on another subject I’ve had percolating. Take a look at the following quote I came across a while back from the famous actress Marlene Dietrich:
“I am at heart a gentleman.”
Ms. Dietrich was a woman known for defying sexual and gender roles. I mean, she looked just as glamorous in a top hat and tails as she did in a cocktail dress, not to mention having dalliances with both men and women. You could consider that quote a summary of Marlene blurring those gender and sexual lines.
Reading her quote, I took it to heart in a somewhat similar way, in that beneath all the wigs, blouses, skirts, dresses, pantyhose, and heels I may wear is a gentleman. No, I’m don’t mean the “bro” type of gentleman who would drive a truck, down a beer or two (or several), root for the home team at the top of their lungs, and treat women as some sex object. Au contraire, mes amis (or should I say, Im Gegenteil, meine Freunde to acknowledge Ms. Dietrich’s German background), for I try to emphasize the “gentle” in “gentleman.”
I consider myself the type who treats women of all stripes — young and old; black, white, or other; cis-gender or trans — with respect and dignity. I feel it comes from the strong women I’ve encountered throughout my life, from those in my family to those in my places of employment. I’d dare say some of it comes from dressing up as a woman, too. While I may sometimes dress in an alluring and eye-catching way, I do it with the intention of presenting my feminine side in a respective way.
So, if you were to come across me somewhere (online, in person, however), know that while I may present myself as female, know that I am, at heart, a true gentleman.