|Walking to IKEA for my free coffee.|
I was worried it might rain, I was wrong.
My hair is long enough to reliably be held back by a hair bobble for baths now, and I like that this is the case. Today I simply wearing an alice band and it's keeping my face free of errant strands, so I call this a success and think on what I'm going to do when I go back to work. Simple hair grips probably aren't going to be enough so... hmm. I'm digressing, stay on topic!
|It was cooller than of late, I wore this|
rather fetching jacket I picked up last week
to prepare and eat lunch.
It was really comfortable.
Starting from admiring Toby from afar and then dating her around 2003-05 I began to realise that there was something about me that I could no longer deny. I had toyed with it since 1991 and realising that there was a name (or, rather, several) meant that I eventually caved to actually embracing wearing knickers briefly in the summer of 2004 (yes, this step actually took 13 years) and thence to dressing (December 2004) and thence to dressing in public (a birthday party, February 2005) over the next six months or so. It was in the summer of 2005 that I reached a decision that this was probably something I should think more on - I shaved my legs that August for the first time and built a wardrobe of sorts that would be used increasingly until buying a house where I specifically planned in the access to my small but growing feminine (for want of a better term) wardrobe.
Then that was all interrupted. This blog picks up in 2011 when I kind of threw caution to the wind and, unknowingly, my marriage along with it. Well, not entirely unknowingly, there had been the Summer that year...
|Looking forward to the day when my actual|
hair really is this long.
But I cannot deny, sitting here right now, that I feel most comfortable when embracing that part of my nature that seeks gender expression in this rather particular way. I cannot deny that, were I to have been assigned female at birth, I would have been a tomboy. I like dresses, this blog attests to that, and I enjoy skirts. I like tights and knickers and bras. But, recently, I have rediscovered a fascination for and love of female flared jeans. Allow me to explain a bit: back at University I noticed a student I would see about the pace who had flared jeans that looked as though she had modified with an extra red velvet panel in a triangle at the base - when she walked this panel would unfurl and take already flared jeans into new flared heights. I was so jealous of her owning those jeans. Apart from that she wore a velvet-effect jacket (male tailored, but taken in above the hips in feminine style), trainers and a t-shirt. All the women's styles I have looked at over the years, I have been drawn to the more masculine expressions of femininity (if there is such a thing).
In short, I think there's something about trousers made for women that appeals to me a great deal - clothes with pockets if you will - and were I born female I would be wearing men's clothes along with utilitarian women's clothing. I would still wear a dress from time to time, I like dresses, but for work I would likely wear trousers and a suit jacket with a plain blouse - almost as I do now. In my leisure time I would wear jeans, t-shirt and some form of leisure jacket.
There was, and remains, a large sub-set of women that I don't feel attraction towards. It is something else akin to respect and reverence but also longing. I now refer to that as wanting to be them. But that isn't quite right. Their personalities did not interest me so much (though obviously a little bit as style is often tied up with pwersonality). This manifested, very autistically, in me being able to use style as a means of short-hand to understand how people would react to cerrain social stimuli and what sort of things they may be interested in. But, and this is crucial, I wanted to be them insomuch as I would replace their inner selves with my own. I didn't want their lives so much as I wanted their position and the style that came with that.
That incongruence had no name. I learned quickly that revealing even small parts of that feeling resulted in people drawing back from me or teasing until it became bullying. It was made worse, magnified, by having no easy name to describe what I felt - by having no label. Because that made it harder to explain to myself what was going on as well. When I read The Chrysalids by Wyndham I found myself nodding along in agreement to his description of 'thought-shapes' as a means of describing thought processes. Most other authors I have read who delve into the concept of telepathy (and it was a minor special interest of mine) use almost solely words to describe that kind of communication - as if people think in words and sentences. Very few attempt to share feelings or concepts the way Wyndham does. Having that concept and the vocabulary allowed me to understand the ideas better and to make better sense of my inner-workings in ways that meant I could talk about to others who hadn't read The Chrysalids. But, when coming up against my own feelings about who I was or why I didn't feel secure saying I was 'straight' I had no such terminology or analogies that made any sense. Or, rather, not ones that could be conveyed quickly and concisely.
Accepting the term 'trans-woman' to describe myself, learning the term 'trans-lesbian' - these are things that have brought enormous comfort to me because now I can define things, at least to myself. I have a short-hand that I didn't even know I needed to allow me to recognise parts of myself I have long wrestled with.
I once read a book called Mealtime Habits of the Messiah. In it, Gempf has a section where he explains that many Christians wear slogan t-shirts that do not help themselves or the cause. He counsels the wearing of a slogan "Jesus would have had stern words for people like me" and then wearing that t-shirt inside out to prevent us falling into that kind of smug judgemental Christianity that is happy to accept oneself and not others. Or that seeks self-justification in the dismissal of others. In my case I suspect that Jesus would have stern words to say to me about my denial of myself in unhealthy and unhelpful ways over the years. His stern words would have included that admonishment that I was created the way I am - which includes those terms 'trans-woman' and 'trans-lesbian'.