Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Preparing for winter


A foul weather boot.  It's one of the few articles of clothing or accessories that I need to complete my female wardrobe.  For the most part, I've been able to avoid buying things from the male side of the aisle to wear with my feminine outfits.  This means that for many items, I have virtual duplicates - one from each side of the aisle. One could ask, "How far do I really need to go?"  Women do wear some articles of male clothing when it suits them. Well, I could get away with a lot.  But one big enough mixup could spoil the feminine image I try to present.

In the coldest days of winter, I don't want to wear a skirt or dress when cisgender women won't be doing so.  Therefore, I'll have to spring for a few more tops and a few more pairs of trousers for the cold weather. (If only I had more closet space for these items.) However, I can always use a casual, tunic length dress with a pair of leggings, with booties to make an appropriate female outfit for this time of year.

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There are many of us transgenders who do not fit the mold for our identified gender. For example, M2F Transgenders do not have a natural hourglass shape. So we have to wear clothes which do not draw attention to the lack of a feminine waist. (The reverse goes for F2M Transgenders, where they often need clothes carefully fitted to them. so that they are seen as male.)  Our necks, wrists, ankles, hands and feet are differently proportioned than cisgenders, so we have to compensate in whatever ways we can.

I wear a woman's size 13-W shoe.  (I can fit into some size 12-W's, depending on the 'cut', but I never count on it.)  There are only a handful of stores that carry this size. Few shoe manufacturers bother to make shoes for us large size gals. At least, I can find shoes in stores.  There are many transwomen who are unable to do so. It's hard for them to be as feminine in their presentation as they'd like to be, as they must make compromises each time they get dressed in the morning.

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As a transgender person, I feel that it is important to blend in with the identified gender as well as possible. This means that for a transwoman, she has to work on her voice to sound feminine, she has to wear her hair (or prosthetic) in a way to femininze her face, she has to dress slightly "better" (read: more traditionally feminine) than her peers, and give off slightly more feminine cues than a cisgender female, so that she is accepted as if she were cisgender herself. Other transwomen believe differently, and want the world to accept them the way they are - without making the effort to blend in, and not stand out. To me, it feels that they do not want to give up their masculine privileges while in the roles of women.

Unfortunately, it is much harder for M2F transgenders to learn the skills of being female than it is for F2M transgenders to learn the skills of being male.  The role of a woman is more complex in our society. Men have it easy in comparison to women.  They earn more, have fewer assigned social duties, and tend to die off earlier, leaving their mates to take care of unfinished business. Women have the inconvenience of having a body that on a monthly basis primes itself for pregnancy for half of her life. Women have the prime duty for raising children to adulthood. Women are expected to give up their careers to be caregivers when someone in the family is unable to care for him or herself. In short, women are expected to be the glue that holds society together. And the transgender female doesn't often see this until reality hits her in the face.

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So back to winter....

A while back, I mentioned a misunderstanding I had with a person in one of the meetup groups I have been a part of.  If I were perceived as a man in a dress, she might have perceived my comment about her in the light I meant it - a Queen Bee is the center of the hive, she is the reason the hive exists, and she is the one who gives it life. It is not a negative, it is a strong positive.  For me, this uncomfortable incident is a validation of who I am - a transgender female approaching a more authentic femininity.  And this is all because I believe in blending in, and not standing out.

Winters can be cold and lonely without friends.  Loneliness is common for many in our community, as many of us are afraid to get out and to risk the pain of rejection.  Because of this, it is very important to go out to new venues and meet as many people as possible.  Yes, you may get rejected by some.  But you will find that more people are now accepting and welcoming than ever, and that you don't have to be lonely anymore.






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