Tuesday, March 22, 2011


pic from flickr user Teresia
For those of us still mostly "in the closet," painting our toenails is just one of those easy little body mods that can generate a warm little feeling of femininity as we drag through the day in male drab. My wife, who does not do her nails, whether toes (never) or fingers(seldom), laughs at me when she sees my pink/red/sparkly/etc toes, but in a nice way. On the other hand, some critics of transwomen see this as hyperfemininity, caricaturing "real" women, etc. This is a stupid criticism - just look at the millions of strong feminist women who happen to like many of the "trappings" of femininity. But also, the context for transwomen needs to be understood. We aren't trying to be hyper-anything, nor caricatures. We give ourselves these little secret cues of our true selves, our true genders, because unlike people who have been recognized as female all their lives, we don't get that identity reinforcement from anyone else. Is it silly to do the vacuuming in high heels? Sure, but it's fun, and unlike women (trans or otherwise) who are women in public, when else am I going to wear them?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Breathing room

Ahh.  I'm back for a day or two.  That is, I'm free to be my femme self.  Various family visits, kids moving back in temporarily, and other miscellaneous bits of pieces of life have been conspiring to prevent my just being me.  But it is spring break, so both kids are out of town for the day, and my wife, who says the right things about my dressing in front of her, but visibly stiffens a bit and behaves a bit weirdly when I do so, is also out of town today for work.  So, here I am.  What am I wearing?  Well, to be honest, just jeans and a sweatshirt.  But, and here's the thing, I'm comfortably happy walking around barefoot, not having to worry that someone will drop by and I'll have to scramble to find socks to cover my pink toenails, or duck into the bathroom and pull of my bra.  Now, there's no question I'll get more prettily dressed up a little later (some cute recent purchases I haven't had a chance to really try out), but for now, I'm content just freely being me.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Unexpected smile

OK, so with all due respect to my elders, I really hate to go grocery shopping on "Senior Citizens Day", which here in my locale, is the first Wednesday of the month when the local supermarket chain gives seniors an extra discount on their purchases.  Unfortunately, I only remember this occasionally, which results in a day like today, when I show up to a store filled with little old ladies.  Ususally not a situation I am thrilled with, especially when I am not in there to browse, but just buying a few specific items for dinner tonight.

But, it turns out that of all things, a traffic jam in the pickles, olives, salad dressings aisle ended up giving me a big smile that will probably carry me through the day.  I am not officially public as a transwoman yet, so I was just out in a fleece jacket, T-shirt, jeans, and running shoes, my hair in its normal braid down the back.  No makeup, no attempts to add a few hints of femininity.

As I politely waited with my shopping basket for several indecisive ladies to decide which way to move in order to clear space for me to pass, I heard one old lady tell another (less observant or less mobile) lady, "we need to move to let her pass," giving me a smile.  Yay!  Maybe once I do go public I won't stand out as much as I fear I will.  Who knows?  Now, it is quite possible her eyesight was failing her, but even so, I don't consider my general blurry shape to be very feminine at all.  I certainly have to hips, and even in a tight T-shirt I only barely have boobs, which this time were mostly covered by a shapeless oversized unisex fleece jacket anyway.  In other words, in a situation where I had no reason whatsoever to be recognized as a "her", I was.

I know, hardly worth blogging about, but hey, I take my itty bitty victories seriously, wherever and whenever I can get them.