So I had an elderly relative to stay this week and it was nice to have company but, as I mentioned in my last post, I put away all my feminine things to avoid complicated conversations ... at least I thought I had! I realised bit by bit that a sparkly notebook was in full view on a shelf, my dress patterns book, too, and this week's copy of Elle was still among the magazines. I'd even left some panties in the ironing basket. Oops! Fortunately, none of this seems to have been noticed. But the rather bare home that resulted from my girly sweep-up did arouse comment.
It's annoying to feel the need to avoid the conversation. But it also annoys me that so many people mistake us trans girls for people obsessed with clothes, whereas I am surrounded by 'feminine' things of all kinds, from flowers to chick lit, because they are what I like. These days we tend to refer to trans people less and less as transsexuals or transvestites as these terms don't fit the bill. There's nothing sexual about being transsexual and, as for being a transvestite, that term just focuses on our clothes (from Latin vestire, "to dress"). Going with other Latin-based languages like French or Italian, travestir or travestire simply mean "to disguise" (whether you're an undercover agent or going to a fancy dress party), and also gives us less than flattering English terms like travesty. I want to be treated like a woman and the most obvious indicator to others is to look like one, of course, but, in addition to that, I don't have men's obsessions with things like souped-up cars, football, war, statistics and competitiveness but have always sought pretty things and warm-hearted people. Just as a for instance, I still write this blog in cerise-coloured font because that's the colour that was fashionable in 2010 when I first started going out. It's unequivocally feminine by today's standards. I like it, so there! Being trans to me is not just about how I dress but about living surrounded by things that I genuinely like and that reflect my real self rather than what society expects from someone legally male.
Now to put everything back and then polish my nails.
A dip in the archives
I have had this tiny artwork by Louisa Ann Walsh for many years. It's a box as wide and long as a matchbox but somewhat taller, with a crowd of tiny clay faces within and a message on pink paper.
|"Congratulations you are the new god of this civilization in a box. Treat them with care and keep them safe, in return they will listen to all your dreams, hopes and secrets."|
Although at first sight it might seem gender-neutral, any male who ever saw it has always looked at me in a way that said "whatever", whereas all my female friends think it's sweet and cute, as do I. To me this is just one of my feminine homemaking items, albeit a tiny one.