January 30, 2013 § 13 Comments
Out of the whole world, I reckon the Turkish guys who work in the small convenience-type shops round the corner from my flat will be the last to get on board with my cross-dressing. After I have finally converted my family to a state of neutral acceptance, after the very vocal blokey-blokes in market towns on Friday nights have opened their minds to the arbitrary nature of gendered clothing, after Tory MPs start calling for greater awareness of trans issues in schools, the Turkish men in my local shops will still avoid eye contact with me. They will still try not to touch my hand. They will still fail to engage with my formidable bantering skills.
I actually find their discomfort quite endearing. They are never rude, not even annoying. They just look massively uncomfortable. They seem almost to see me as a symptom of a culture they don’t yet fully understand. And I don’t remotely blame them. I’m sure London is a massive culture shock for someone from Turkey, and I am enough of a weirdo in the eyes of people who have lived here all their lives.
They are exactly the least of my worries. I just talk about this as an example of the reactions I know I will get if I decide to cross the gender boundary.
And that’s the thing. I’ve not been doing that very much recently. Partly the weather, partly a lack of events I feel like dressing up for, partly the usual cycle of gender identity I have been getting used to in recent years.
But the biggest part is the hassle-to-trans-satisfaction ratio. It’s really easy for me to get up, not bother with a shave, throw on a t-shirt and jeans and leave the house. In order to cross-dress and (importantly, for me) be happy with how I look, I have to have a wash, a shave, put on foundation to cover up my beard shadow, do a little bit of eye make up and only then decide what to wear, and whether my gender thing is going to cause any issues over the course of the day.
Blah blah blah. Moan moan moan.
(I’m not really moaning, and I’m certainly grateful that my level of gender dysphoria still leaves me the choice of whether to cross the boundary on any given day. Over the years I have reconciled myself with my male-ness and can on occasion quite like that part of me. For the record (a recent argument with a dickhead makes me feel the need to say this) I have been through the self-hatred and confusion of feeling I was born in the wrong body. It is a horrible feeling. My path through that was to carve out a gender identity that I can be happy with. And that’s as much as I’m going to talk about that on here.)
So… I am going to try something. I am going to try to cross-dress every day for a month. No matter what.
The point of the exercise is to carve out a bit more space in which I feel comfortable. To make myself face the situations I might normally decide not to face. The more I think about it the more I realise I often avoid certain situations. Late night local booze shopping is one of them. Nipping out to run an errand is another. I did both today in the shortest, most Amy Pond skirt I’ve ever worn (a friend just sent me her cast-offs, which I consider the greatest thing any human can do for another, including Médicins Sans Frontiers) and both trips had their little incidents. I can now say without fear of contradiction that the builders who are currently working at the end of my road are not gay, and do not fancy me or people like me.
I think I will learn a lot. I will further eradicate the binary boy/girl thing in my identity, I will probably get better as presenting myself how I want and handling the shit that comes as a result.
I will vastly increase my comfort zone and I will have a lot to write about.
I will finish with the mandatory apology for infrequent posts, a request for questions to help that along (ASK ME STUFF! I WILL ANSWER!), and a picture of me with classy hair, from Friday night: