Field Notes In/ON Transition
The Blog of Transgender “Days”.
As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I have been working in the daily eyeliner routine (often looking as though my inspiration was Ally Sheedy look from “Breakfast Club”), On Thursday, last I decided to leave in the barrettes that I had been using to keep my unruly mass of hair out of my eyes with, when I went to work. Wearing otherwise my usual tee shirt (a fitted stripy one) under the leopard print fleece. Thus was born:
(an old pic, but the same barrettes. from the dollar store)
it turned out that not one person mentioned the barrettes to me the whole day; though the fleece, as always, got compliments. My security blanket; that fleece, and a bit of a conversation starter. I may need to go a bit cuter on the hair ornaments :-p
The other kind of awesome aspect to barrette day was my small epiphany, “got it” moment, and internal monologue I had after watching this young 20-something gal’s reaction to being able to rent a whole “true Blood” season for 8 dollars on Wednesdays. She did this Supercute happy dance and let out this squeal of pure joy.
This relatively cliched “young girl” reaction that she had; if you wanted an image of whatever “silly stereotype” is the foundation of let’s say “the subculture of my own personal gender dysphoria” . This would be it. It’s not necessarily a Princess or an Amazon, or any Big stereotype. It’s those little things that we barely notice that we do, that are part of living your life as one or the other gender. For me a big part of what’s been so awesome so far in my transition is that I have easier access to emotions that have been stifled by both testosterone, and trying to live as a competent male, in the world.
That last part has always felt like an act to me. I want to be able to have a good cry watching Grey’s Anatomy, not just tear up. Before the anti-androgen, I often would tear up watching some sappy moment in a movie, but in a very, “m’not crying, just got something in my eye" kind of way. On the recent two part season finale of Grey’s for example, they killed off my favourite character (who was getting the short end character wise all year) “Lexie” . Poor Lexie. I cried my eyes out as she died holding Marc’s hand.
For me, THAT is Freedom, capital F style; the ability to shamelessly (and yes girlishly, I’m talking stereotypes that occupy your mind, here) express joy, love, sadness... physically and in such a way that if say, you were someone who could “see auras”, you would grok the rainbows of joy pouring from this person. Growing up, that I was trapped in a concrete block of just the opposite of that unbridled joy. As much by the testosterone that in my teens kept the emotional me acting as typically male as anyone else...
But I always felt forced into a boy subculture not of my own choosing, where that glee, and that intimacy with which it’s shared did not exist, in fact was crushed mercilessly, whenever there was a suspicion of it’s existence. This is how I knew I could never be a girl, at least not without some sort of sci-fi inspired info dump on how to behave and react to things. All that being raised as a boy rather than a girl (and here I mean as much by the world around me, than raised by my family). I’m sure as far as gender stereotyping we were well in the average part of the curve.
I always had “girl” friends my whole life, But I never ver had that BFF connection, often because as the dude I was raised to be, I let my lusts get in the way, pretty much every time. Lots of that kind of confusion in my past. Really that’s almost my whole love life: attracted to women I “wanted to be”, or at least emulate, in my vague way, much more than I wanted to date any of them, in fact.
It’s a bit of a cliche that many Trans people when young are so deep in the closet, that they overcompensate by trying to be macho, I don’t think that ever worked out well for me, I gave up on that path, pretty early in life, being any kind of aggressor in social situations. I became reactive, passive (lazy?) at an early age.
My world view I think was shaped as well way back when I would at age 5 or 6 be looking in awe at the ladies/girls underwear pictures, but with the green kryptonite of envy as my motor rather than the red kryptonite of lust, that is most young boys reason for such peeking , the internet of yesteryear, was the Sears Catalog? Ha!
I knew somewhere deep down that I would never just somehow magically become a girl, which to my comic book educated mind, was the way the things happened, and often resolved satisfactorily for everyone involved. But I never gave up hope. At least not ’til I was in my early 30’s and I gave up on transitioning. The 90’s were weird enough, maybe. However that green spark that has always followed me, made me want the thing that was THE MOST OUT OF MY REACH of anything my might grasp for, or so it seemed, until just recently.
Maybe it was magic, because I feel like it’s already happened, I just am sorting out some heavy paperwork, or something, maybe taking some exams, get my certification, as it were. Which leads me to: Saturday, which will forever now be known as
Saturday was the day that my friend Christine and I were going to take my giant Mountain of Man Clothes to Value Village. I figured that on the day I dispose of the “Joe Vestments”, as it were, that I should also have my first day of wearing a skirt out in public, shopping, or whatever, all day, that I’ve done in many years. It’s been tee shirts and capris or lady jeans so far. Skirt Day, it was. I wore my “Saucy wench” tee with the maxi- jean skirt that seemed vaguely pirate-esque to me out to coffee, got a few odd glances, but also lots of approval.
First though, I went for my usual 8 am Turk’s Cafe, enskirted, and ready for having some negative feedback, or bad jokes, to come my way. Nobody, of course, said anything other than encouraging, or positive things, but again, mostly it didn’t even really come up. Which when I think about it, is the best of all. I just want to mostly live my life as I have been, just presenting as Josie, rather than Joe. By the way, “Jo” is how I hear it, when you call me “Joe”, now. :p
Around noon, Christine brought me over a bag full of awesome hand me downs, that you will see in pictures soon as my next post, I think after this uber-long one will be another “outfits post”. I’m hoping for some nicer weather so I can get some backyard garden fashion shooting done. I’m so grateful to Christine for all the awesome shirts and whatnot. Luckily for me she has awesome taste, and everything she brought over fits in with something I already have.
On that dreary “Juneuary” afternoon, we took the mountain of man clothes in to value village (not my usual one either) up on 47th and Victoria. I forgot to try and get some points on my points card for my donation, but didn’t really care. I feel really good about recycling my “hardly used for the most part” clothing for someone else to enjoy. I also picked up a couple of really awesome bags, and a couple of other key items, which from previous points on that points card, I was able to get a good discount on also with Christine getting part of my discount too. I got an awesome red dress, sweaters, a tee-dress that I love beyond words, and some shiny black leggings which I will talk more about further down this mega-post.
I was far more comfortable out lady shopping in a skirt, than ever before. Not one moment of nervous sweats. Which in my youth often ruined makeup, or fun, when I was all dolled up, sweating like the proverbial pig in a blanket. Apparently, that’s not an issue anymore.
Not that being out in a skirt all day, I wasn’t a bit self conscious, but really it was a more self awareness, than self consciousness, if you grok, or, dig, what I’m saying?
I was aware of how I was dressed, how it (the long heavy skirt) affected my movement, posture and so on, but I spent 99% of the day oblivious to whether anyone was taking notice that maybe I was a “dude in a skirt”. I only wore the eyeliner and not even any mascara, no foundation, lips or anything. I’m going slooowww on that front.
We had a late lunch at “The Foundation” which is a great (imho) Vegetarian restaurant over on Main St. They happened to be having a tenth anniversary special, and I got 10 bucks off each of our meals. I had a nut burger that was pretty delish, and a blue buck in the bottle. Christine and I had a lovely day of shopping and hanging out.
I’m really happy with the purging of the man clothes...(and of course a bit scared/nervous) I do have quite a few of my favourite old t-shirts, still, but that I think suit all the rest of my growing pretty much “casual wear” wardrobe well enough. Jeans and a T-shirt is the pan gender uniform of this era. It’s all about personalization, really. A nice fitted (or not fitted) tee and jeans that actually fit can have an near infinite variety of actual styles. This is true for any gender, that you happen to feel you might be, of course.
This brings me to Sunday, My final “day” in this little trilogy of “firsts” for my current incarnation. I call it
Cleavage &/or Leggings Day
Sunday, I had decided after getting the leggings and tee dress that I got the day before, needed to be worn, especially since with my sports bra acting as a tank under the scooped neck of the tee dress that my recent cleavage upgrade needed to be shown off as much as my long legs in the leggings (Shiny! Squee!) Sunday would be another “first” day. My first “Leggings and Tee” day. A look that is pretty ubiquitous, it’s something I’ve been trying to get to a place I felt I could do it.
Coffee in the morning, movie in the afternoon, not too rainy a day, seemed the perfect time. It was. I also wore a cute zip up sweater (not yet pictured) over the tee as it was pretty mild out most of the day. I ventured again to my morning cafe, (also with the green bag seen, above) I felt, like I got it right again, and after a brief early fear of “going to far”, felt really comfortable all day.
Though I wasn’t ready for any “which bathroom do I use” silliness at the movies. I’d say I was a bit more conscious of how I was dressed while downtown, than on the Drive, among “my people”. But either way, it was a very successful weekend for me, in terms of moving forward with living the life I have always wanted to.
My goals within the context of moving slowly and comfortably are simple, at least at the moment. I think I will continue, this summer to skirt it up on the weekends, days off. Jeans and tees are the work-iform, for now, with some feminine accessories, like eyeliner, nails, and eventually (sooner than later) some of the girlier tees, and shirts I’m dying to wear more regularly. Eventually all this growing sense of fashion, and reshaping of how I present myself will blossom into far more people calling me Ma’am, than Sir. It’s my small dream.