In fact, we should be grateful to a friend of mine who sent me an email about Sweet Transvestite post. I didn’t actually ask for a permission to mention this on the blog, but I’m doing so without giving out any names, so I hope he’s OK with that. In short, although a straight man, he did go out in female apparel a few times. I believe he played the part very convincingly.
I was partly replicating Polnareffienne label on my Russian blog, and Je Suis un Homme was one of the first l’Amiral’s songs that I translated into Russian. For those who already know the lyrics and the gist of the story, the connection between my friend’s email and Polnareff’s song will be obvious; for those who are yet to know the message of the song, it will become evident.
The story, of course, is that because of his provocative photographs, like the one above, Polnareff was one time thought to be gay. Unlike some of the stars, then as now, who are happy to court controversy for as long as it goes, Polnareff eventually responded with Je Suis Un Homme. And years later, when the rumours about his return began to spread, the Paris Match magazine (if I remember correctly) came out with the cover that pretty much speaks for itself.
I shall repeat what I said to my friend: I admire him and others like him, be they men or women. What I find the most admirable about this is that a straight person puts on the “persona” of their opposite gender and actually takes it out to the street. This is one thing with performers… and a very different thing with ordinary folks (although the friend isn’t quite ordinary). Somehow we continue seeing that acting is reserved for professional activity; as a result, being creative without necessarily making films or going on stage is likely to be misinterpreted. Here I remember how a few years ago I was walking in Canal St in Manchester on a weekend, and there I saw several couples where a husband was dressed as a woman. I don’t doubt for a second that the acceptance and the ability to walk out together when you look rather like two lesbians than a man and wife has demanded a lot from both partners. I guess this has something to do with the fact that acting is considered a lie sometimes. But then, exactly what is a man, and how different is the man from a woman (apart from certain physiological and anatomical aspects)?