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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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Recently I had lunch with one of the young estimators who occasionally works with me here in Toronto. We were chatting about work and our respective lives when she queried about my love life:

“So how is it going on that front. Meet anyone interesting lately?”

I reflected for a moment and then said:

“My situation is a little particular and if you don’t mind I can share something about myself”

She leaned in a bit and told me to please go ahead.

“I am trans” I said matter of factly.

She looked at me and smiled and said:

“Really? That’s so neat”

She is 35 years old and a lovely person which is why I knew I could confide in her. I then added that I had been reflecting on whether I would switch companies and begin working as Joanna and although she is totally open she also knows how conservative our business can be. So I told her that if I did decide to it would definitely be under a different umbrella.

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Here are the results of a recent survey of genetic women:

“A new hairdo, walking in heels and a glowing tan are among the things that make a woman feel sexy. Freshly applied lipstick, newly-shaved legs and a little black dress also have a positive effect on the psyche”

Are you surprised? I’m not because it is exactly the same list that makes transgender women feel sexy.

For a long time the idea was pandered about that transsexualism was rooted exclusively in aberrant sexuality. But of course you cannot separate the sexuality from the individual because that forms part of their overall makeup and the fact that genetic and transsexual women overlap here surprises no one.

We should also add here that women aren't always thinking about sex and neither are transgender women.

Pre transition transsexuals would not readily admit they found these things sexy because they were afraid to be seen as perverted men in front of gatekeepers who understood nothing about their condition.

Today we kn…

Being transgender isn't exclusively a problem of aberrant sexuality

If being transgender were exclusively a problem of aberrant sexuality, then I would seem to be an exception to the rule.

To date I have lived my life like a choir boy and have had low libido throughout. I have yet to ever see a porn film and both my ex-wife and ex-girlfriend complained about my lack of sex drive. I also knew I was different from a very young age.

This is why the accusation that male to female transgender persons attracted to women are perverts doesn’t hold much water with me. I was mortified when I hit puberty and realized that my desire to be female had taken on sexual overtones and I ended up, like most of you, repeatedly throwing things in the bin as a repudiation. In fact, accepting that my sexuality has been permanently impacted was the hardest pill to swallow in my journey to become a fully realized transgender person.

That is why I say to those who are still concerned about what outsiders who haven’t lived your personal experience have to say about you should l…