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the power of clothing

In a way clothing does have power. It helps us to outwardly express ourselves and show a certain image to the world. In the case of the transgender person it allows us an experience (however small or large) of what living on the other side of the gender divide might be like.

Women have traditionally had more sartorial freedom than men but that is entirely our own fault because we undervalue women in our society therefore see any form of emulation as being negative.

Things are starting to change however.

I am seeing a wider variety of gender expression among young men. The other day on the subway a stubble faced man in his early twenties was sporting black nail polish and a tunic that went down to his knees. He looked comfortable and was unassuming.

I have asked both my children how gender nonconformance is viewed by their generation and both of them know of examples of peers who fit this description. My son has a female classmate who desires to be addressed in male pronouns and is dressing entirely masculine. No one is the least bit phased nor is this person being subject to ridicule.

No matter what our genitals look like, gender identity is entirely in the mind and for some people it can be fluid. Therefore our ability to use clothing as a form of expression becomes an important tool in our arsenal.

I am entirely comfortable moving back and forth and do not like to mix but others favour androgyny. The limits are only for you to decide on and once you find a formula that works for you there is a wonderful and peaceful feeling of balance that awaits you.

The hardest part is self-acceptance and after that is the acceptance from family and friends.

I underestimated how hard the first one would be and overestimated the second. If I had known the truth my path would have been far easier.

Now get out there and be yourself.


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