LESSON 7: the transvestism of Wood

A look at the inner MEANING of Ed's transvestism and what it means to his people.

Written March 21st, 1998 - Re-written December 10th, 2003

One day I got a telephone call from a reporter for the Associated Press. She wanted to do an article about Woodism for their "weird and wild" section. At first I was upset, because this was right about the time that all the internet search engines started carrying Woodism web sites in their "religion and spirituality/fictional" section, so I was angry and bitter and untrusting to the evil media lady at first, but eventually I broke down and had the interview.

I remember I had the interview during my lunch break at my new bookstore job. It really must have freaked out all my fellow employees to see the new guy on the phone to an Associated Press reported talking about the religion that he created. They probably all thought that I was nuts off my ass. The nice reporter lady and I had about a half hour conversation and at the end of it she said that she was going to put some contact information so that people could get a hold of me.

Now, right here there should have been some sort of warning light coming on or some sort of Anne Frank "the bombs are falling" sort of siren warning me that things were about to get drastically out of hand, but nevertheless I agreed, thinking she's post my e-mail address and maybe my web page address or something small like that. I never thought in a million-plus years that she would have the testicles big enough (or the stupidity enough) to post my home telephone number in the article.

So three days later I get a call at six in the morning from some "wacky morning radio show" in Ohio. I woke up with a sore throat and a hangover of the gods and suddenly I was live on the air with the most popular talk radio show in Ohio.

That incredibly rude awakening started me on my radio tour, which consisted of something like 35 interviews all over the United States and Europe. Most of them I don't really remember, because after a while they all just started blending into each other. Mark and Brian were really nice and kind. Mancow is a shitty little Howard Stern rip-off, the dumb, ignorant prick.

And every single interview, no matter where or when or with who, it eventually got around to asking me, Reverend Steve, the same question: do YOU wear women's clothes?

The whole wide world loves a scandal, especially American. Just look at the incredible shitstorm that followed O.J. Simpson around when he got in trouble, or look at Michael Jackson's face on every cover of every magazine when he gets in trouble for screwing children. Sometimes it seems to be imbedded in our human condition, something that we all can't seem to suppress. We WANT to be shocked at the scandalous headlines. We WANT to slow down and watch the car accidents on the side of the road. We WANT to watch the talk shows where the people fight with each other and call each other names you wouldn't hear in public. It seems as if we all, deep down inside, really do WANT to be offended, because then we have something to talk endlessly about with one another. Fatty Arbuckle died poor and alone because of this horrible hidden American need.

Ed Wood spent his entire short-lifed life on this planet trying to make a name for himself as a filmmaker. He was also a transvestite ...

"... the name given by men of medical science to those people who wish to wear clothes of the opposite sex."
- Glen or Glenda?

There are many contrasting stories as to how Ed developed his love for the clothes of the female persuasion (especially his FAVORITE: angora sweaters!). One story is that when he was a child, he went skiing with some of his relatives. During the trip, one of Ed's aunts made him wear an angora jacket and he liked the feel of it so much that, over the years, it developed into an obsession.

A second story, prevalent in Ed's semi-autobiographical film "Glen or Glenda", is that Ed's father had no love for him and left Ed, primarily, into the care of Ed's mother, who always wanted to give birth to a girl instead of a boy. Her obsession with having a daughter drove her to dress Ed as a woman, which became a habit.

A third, more crazed theory, is that Ed's mother use to dress him up as a woman as a punishment for doing the wrong things, sort of a mentally castrating punishment. There is not one person who truly knows the single reason why Ed had his certain proclivities.

"Only the infinity of the depths of a man's mind can really tell the story."
- Glen or Glenda?

From his young, adolesent years on to the time of his death, Ed Wood was locked in scandal. He was a transvestite and, within the eyes of the prudish, Republican, Nazi-esque people who were in power in America during the fifties, Ed was a FREAK despined for HELL. Branded someone different. All because he grew up liking the way women's clothes rubbed up against his skin. To him, wearing women's clothes gave him comfort, security, peace during times of extreme pressure. In a way, wearing women's clothes were a religious experience to him, for he found the peace in being a transvestite that many other people find in things such as yoga, meditation, or even in prayer.

Ed would have loved to be living in this age, when Wesley Snipes pranced around in drag in a film that made millions. Since the days when Ed was a freak, we have all come to be more understanding with those of the transvestic persuasion, through television, films, and yes, even our own lives.


To us, transvestism is an act, one that, if it's within your own ontos, can help you feel closer to Ed's nature and spirit and sense of self. When you put on the clothes and bask in them and watch Ed's films, you will feel closer to our savior, Ed, by feeling the peace and the senuality that he felt when he wore the clothes of the opposite sex. This sacrament goes for both men as well as women, for the act of transvestism is equal for men as well as women. This sacrament is not MANDATORY for all Woodites. Transvestism isn't something that all Woodites who want to follow the church have to do. However, this holy Woodian sacrament is highly recommended.

Ok, so, here goes ...

... yeah, I've done it.

I won't lie to you. I've done it. Much, much more than once. There, I said it. And I'm not shy or afraid of admitting it, either. It's not something that I take as seriously as Ed himself took it, in that, you won't see me walking up and down the street dressed up to the hilt as a woman. But it's something I have partaken of occasionally in a very small level and it's something special, something that I don't think makes me any less of a man.

The thing is, and this is one of the most important parts of Woodism, is that religion isn't something tangible like a list of ten sins or a big, fat, holy bible or anything like that. Those things help but they alone cannot be the basis of a religion.

Woodism is an intangible sense of self within you. It's the same self-confidence that Ed had that he put into his films that we now watch and love. It's a sense of joy and happiness and security in who you are and as long as you are happy with who you are and what you do, then it's not a sin and dressing up in the clothes of the opposite sex is definitely not a sin if you don't hurt anyone else and you're happy with it.

There are religious types that'll tell you that transvestism or homosexuality is a sin. They are just uptight assholes that are hiding in a cave, afraid of the world around them. Do not concern yourself with the people that are against you, the people that hate you or disagree with you. Those people are just trying to drag you into their cave. Just be concerned with who you are inside and don't give a flying fuck about the people in the caves and what they feel about you. Just be concerned with having a good time.

Just be yourself and don't give a rat's ass what other people think of you as long as you're cool with who you are. That's the right way and that is Ed's way.

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