The photo from both articles
I don’t expect much from the New York Daily News, but still… They’re reporting that “The Swedish clothing brand ACNE is launching a new collection aimed at transgender consumers.” Except the NY Daily News is reporting on a Vogue UK story, which actually says, “ACNE has joined forces with Candymagazine to launch a new collection targeted at transvestites and cross-dressers.” (Emphasis added.)
Being trans is not (necessarily) the same thing as being a transvestite or cross-dresser!
But my frustrations are a little deeper than that.
Continue reading '“Transgender clothing”?'»
I’m speaking this Friday to a high school GSA in my neighborhood. One of the students at the class I spoke to in October is leading a group at the high school, and they were interested in having a trans speaker come.
She just sent over a list of questions the students had compiled, and I figured I’d answer some of them here, as a way to think about them before Friday. I think I’m gonna single out the easy questions in this post, and may cover some of the more in-depth ones later… It’s interesting to see what issues and topics high school students think are worth asking about.
- What restroom do you use?
I use whatever bathroom fits with how I’m presenting. For over a year, now, that’s been the womens room. Before that, for about a two year period, it was either the mens room or the womens room, depending primarily on what I was wearing and how I was thinking about myself. Before that, it was the mens room.
- Are you attracted to men or women now? How is sex different as a woman than as a man?
Still attracted to women! And the protected posts are mostly about how sex has changed over the course of the transition (see the ‘About Me’ link at the top for info on getting the password.)
Continue reading 'Questions on being trans, from highschoolers (pt 1?)'»
I was a boy, growing up.
At least, people saw me that way: I had a boy’s name, boy’s clothing, wore swimming trunks to the pool or the beach, had a Bar Mitzvah (however grudgingly), changed in the boys’ locker room before gym, wore a suit and tie to important family occasions, participated in Indian Guides (however briefly), had my hair in a buzz cut every summer for years, played on the boys’ teams after school, lived in the boys’ section of the dorm at college, was never taught how to put on makeup…
Looking through old photo albums, or at the pictures on the walls at my parents’ houses, it’s clear – boy, boy, boy.
Continue reading 'I was a boy, I was a girl'»
- a right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of most: the privileges of the very rich.
- an advantage or source of pleasure granted to a person: It’s my privilege to be here.
Those certainly aren’t the only definitions of ‘privilege’ (see where I stole them from for a few more examples) but they’re the ones I’ve been thinking about lately.
The first is perhaps the most commonly used: “White privilege.” “Cis privilege.” “Male privilege.” recursiveparadox has a great post on that type of privilege, For the Uninformed: Privilege, Perspective, and the Little Things That Jab. She sheds light on how lack of privilege can become “this constant stream, this wearing away of patience, defense and sanity.”
I’ve been thinking about that second definition of privilege: “It’s been a privilege meeting you.” “Do you think putting a TV in her room is too big of a privilege?” “Pick up your toys or you lose dessert privileges.”
That definition – of a source of pleasure – has flipped my perspective around a little bit, and made me all the more aware of the loss of my male privilege (using the first definition).
Continue reading 'A Loss of Privilege, or a Gain?'»
For once, this is about my stupid questions, rather than those I’ve been asked by others. I’ve been slowly-but-surely assembling a wardrobe, and have compiled a list of the top “I’m embarrassed to ask the cis women in my life” questions for your reading pleasure:
- Where does one purchase leggings? I have some dresses I’d conceivably wear to work or more casually, but don’t quite feel comfortable without something covering at least part of my legs. This feels like it should be a ‘duh’ type item, but I’m obviously not looking for the right thing since I can’t seem to find ’em…
- What’s the deal with layering tops? Why would I possibly want to wear two t-shirts if the function of the t-shirt underneath is only to peek out the bottom for an inch?
- How do I know what bras are appropriate for what tops? As a recent example, I got a nice summery dress with spaghetti straps. Is it uncouth to have my bra straps showing? Is it a fashion faux pas to have the corners of the bra itself peeking around the edge of the dress by my armpits when I move?
Continue reading 'There are no stupid questions?'»
I just got back from the fundraiser I was volunteering at tonight, and had an experience I wanted to share.
Throughout the evening, and particularly later in the evening as I was more and more tired and my mental filter dropped, I found myself looking down and being somewhat awestruck at the sight: Boobs (my boobs!) in a dress (my dress!) framed by hairless arms topped with painted nails (my arms and nails!) leading down to smooth legs (my legs!) ending in heels (my heels!) tipped with painted toes (my toes!).
This was the most femininely I’ve dressed up since starting to transition, and even though I was exhausted from helping out rather than having fun, I sort of couldn’t get over the experience.
Continue reading 'Looking down from a great height'»
I went out with a friend today to get some more shopping done (and picked up some good basics, more tank tops and simple tops) and have been thinking about how the transition has affected seemingly simple things like buying clothing.
Before I transitioned, I really disliked shopping. I never really thought about why – boys aren’t ‘supposed’ to like shopping, so it was never really something I needed to justify. Likewise, it’s not unusual for boys to dislike wearing suits and ties, so my dislike of that also wasn’t particularly out of the ordinary.
In retrospect, it seems really obvious that liking my body more and liking the clothing I’m wearing more would make me enjoy shopping more. I had just never thought about it – the idea of transitioning, of having boobs and a butt, of really presenting myself to the world as a woman – and so never seriously thought about the idea of shopping for clothing outside of fantasy.
In some ways, it can’t live up to any of the absurd expectations I might have had: i haven’t had any magical transformation in the night, so I’m still working on my own body issues. Likewise, I haven’t magically gained the knowledge of twenty-plus years of being raised as a girl and living as a woman, so I’m still feeling rather awkward about shopping, and having to work on gaining confidence in picking things out.
But, in much more positive ways, there’s something amazing about having a fantasy even come close to actually happening.
Is there actually a lack of an online FTM trans community, or have I missed it simply because I haven’t been looking for it?
I would like to be able to not look at every other woman and judge myself based on her (or, at least, judge myself and find that I sometimes can measure up…) I realize this isn’t unique to trans women, but I have a suspicion most cisgender women worry about whether or not their pee sounds right in the bathroom…
Someone at the Workshop today mentioned that someone else we’d been working with this past week was trans, and she wasn’t sure if she should say anything or not. I’m glad she did, because on the ride home I realized how powerful it is to have someone in my life – even if only tangentially – who is A) trans, B) successful in their chosen field, and C) passing. So thanks, you-know-who-you-are!
I still need to buy more clothing.
Edit, 4/8/09 – For whatever reason, this post has attracted tons of spam posts – maybe 20-30 a day – so I am disabling comments on this post (and only this post). If you really need to reach me about this specific post, email me at blog [at] fridaythang [dot] com. Otherwise, comment on a different post.
I knocked on my roommate’s door. “Can I come in?”
“Just wanted outfit input.”
“One sec. Lemme grab my robe.”
MG was in town for her birthday, and we were all meeting her at a nearby restaurant. She’d specified in the Facebook invite to be ‘dressy,’ especially for the girls.
I don’t exactly have many ‘dressy’ options. Most of the unreasonable amount of money I’ve spent on clothing in the last few months has gone to either comfy, every-day stuff, or things appropriate to wear to work. Neither category would satisfy MG’s request for ‘dressy.’
“So do you think I’ll get in trouble if I wear this?” I had on black pants and a black sweatshirt under lose gray top for which I don’t have the vocabulary.
My roommate, fresh out of the shower and in a red robe, said”I like it,” and my heart sank a little.
Continue reading 'Fashion(show)able'»
A friend of mine is getting married this upcoming weekend and I’ve been stressing about what I’m wearing, and whether I’m going in boy-mode or girl-mode.
Initially, I assumed it was ‘obvious’ (note: nothing ever is) that I’d be going in boy-mode. My reasoning was I hadn’t seen the friend in a while and, while I’ve been out to her for years and she’s been nothing but accepting, she and her fiance are on the more conservative end of the spectrum than I am and I didn’t want to do anything that would distract from her special day. I feel like it would be selfish to present myself in such a way that would in any way take away from the focus on her.
However, I was told recently by MG that she and SH (the bride) had been talking and SH was totally okay if I went in girl-mode and was a little confused that I was thinking about not doing so.
Continue reading 'Goin’ to the chapel'»