Pre VS Post Transition: Clothes

I think we have all heard stereotypes about women loving clothes, or love shopping for clothes. While I am against stereotypes, I really do feel far more passionate about clothes and clothes shopping post transition than I did before.

When I was presenting as male, I saw clothing as a tool. I could use my clothing to broadcast a message: “I like anime!” or “Linkin Park is awesome!” Heavy clothes could keep me warm in the winter, and dark clothing obscured my body, which I was very self conscious about. I knew, when I needed to, how to dress what was considered nice, but it wasn’t comfortable and I rarely enjoyed it. I have found, upon asking several guys, that they view clothing in a utilitarian sense like I once did. I can’t speak for all men, but I can speak of my experience and what I have learned from guys around my age.

Now, after hormones, clothing has an entirely different meaning to me. Now, clothing are a device to express myself, rather than express some message. I can dress to fit my mood or the situation. If I am going to go see a bunch of my close friends (or friends I want to impress) I dress in nice, trendy clothing and do my makeup very well. If I’m going to the bar, I can dress to impress and draw attention, or I can dress conservatively and blend into the background. If I am sad, I can wear something black and thick eyeliner with eyeshadow. I can wear a skirt and appear more feminine, or wear some of my old jeans and look more androgynous. Women simply have far more options as to what they can wear. Not only are there far more clothing styles for women, but they are also allowed to wear men’s clothing whenever they want. Men simply don’t have as many options.

For me post hormones, clothing is about freedom and expression. When I was still presenting as male, clothes were just utilitarian. Of course, I always was transgender, even before I came out to myself, so I may not be the best judge. I always remember hating my limited options of clothing, and hating everything I could wear. At some point in high school, a close friend named Andi told me (in a very nice way) I would look nicer if I dressed more appropriately. I have no idea what I was wearing, but I remember the beautiful sweater she was wearing, warm colors with stripes. At the time I couldn’t admit it, but all I wanted was to wear clothing like she had, and I didn’t like any of the options I had for clothing. Now though, I absolutely love spending a half hour picking out my outfit before I go out (even if it annoys my girlfriend sometimes…)

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1 Comment

  1. Andi

     /  June 11, 2011

    I can’t believe you remember all of that! I don’t even remember saying it, lol. I do actually remember exactly how you used to dress, but I also remember that you cleaned up good with the Chamber Singer outfits 🙂 I’m happy that you considered me a close friend…it’s been way too long since we had a good chat, and we’ll have to fix that. I’m so proud of you for finding yourself and spreading your wings, I always told you that you could fly high if you gave yourself just half a chance. I’m glad that you now feel comfortable in your own skin, and boy do you shine!

    P.S. I hope you still find lots of time to sing….

    Reply

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