I had written an article some years ago entitled Are You a Sissy? Growing up in Brooklyn, NY during the 1960s, the term “sissy” had a much different meaning than it does today. We’re all technically sissies, but where do you fall on that spectrum?
When I was a kid, a sissy was any boy who acted effeminate; any boy who wore clothes deemed girlish in style or color; any boy who did things considered girly; any boy who moved in any way less than “macho” – God forbid you allowed others to see your wrist hanging limp!
This left a lot of sissy quicksand for one to fall into; wear a pink, yellow or powder blue anything – shirt, socks, shorts, jacket – and you might as well just adopt a girl’s name right there on the spot. You might as well be content to watch the boys play from then on without you — because you’d never again be allowed to join in boy games.
Get caught by friends playing girl games – like house, fashion show or tea for two — with sisters or girlfriends or girl cousins –, and you’d be exiled to girl’s land forever. And even getting caught doing domestic things – cooking or cleaning, for example –, though you might get a pass because everyone knows that “mom made you do it!, you’d still be ribbed relentlessly for quite a while.
So are you a sissy boi?
The addition ‘boi’ is a contemporary addition to the concept of ‘sissy’.
Oddly the actual closet sissies rarely, if ever, got called on anything because they were always on guard: they never did or said anything that would reveal their private sissy-ness to anyone. So it was always the non-sissies that usually took the brunt of the sissy taunts.
While it was an unwritten obligation for any “man” (or boy) to out a sissy when he saw one, he’d often do so with his sole motivation simply to show that he himself wasn’t a sissy.
As boys growing up in the 1960’s we had macho standards to uphold. They were set decades before our own by the screen actor rebels like James Dean or Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, or even clean-cut but dashing manly-men like Kirk Douglas, Gregory Peck or Cary Grant. In the 60’s Steve McQueen ushered in a new standard: he was the King of Cool. We had lots of macho roles to emulate.
There was a time when any cross-dresser would be deemed a sissy. But things have changed quite a bit. Gender has gotten more fluid, especially in clothing styles and colors, the acceptance of men engaging in cooking classes, and generally becoming more domesticated – remember the Metrosexuals of the 1980-90s?
In the 2000’s when I actually came out and began frequenting straight venues, the term “transgender” gained momentum. People were no longer sissies, they were transgender; no longer cross-dressers, they were transgender.
There is now an entire sub-culture in the transgender community where men are sissified, which is like feminized, but with more frilly and submissive overtones, and often tied to B&D (bondage and domination) activities, a mistress or a master taking charge.
While some transgender gurlz strive to become more feminine, most envision themselves either as women [trapped in a man’s body), “Two-Spirited” – possessing both feminine and masculine components that comprise their gender identity –, or simply guys that like to be feminine and pretty occasionally – what’s wrong with that?
Nothing. Whatever your thing is, embrace it, explore it, understand it. Have fetishes griped your attention from time to time? Go with it. Life is short, live it fully!