I step out at least once a month, and almost every time I go out I am told by a cashier, a barista, another shopper, or someone simply passing by in the mall that they love my dress. These compliments have all been from women.
This makes my day, obviously. Everyone loves a compliment and I am flattered by not only the kind words but also touched by the fact she went out of their way to say so.
I started to wonder if this was a common exchange, though. Do women normally compliment complete strangers on their outfit? I started to listen to conversations at the store, the checkout lane…anywhere I could to see if women offered compliments out of the blue to other women. I would hear the occasional “I love your blouse” or “cute haircut”, but these exchanges were not very common.
Now, I am not saying that my sense of fashion is better than anyone else. That’s not the point. I do not think I receive, or deserve, compliments any more often than anyone else.
I started to wonder if “I love your dress” was…well, if it was code in a way. If it’s a way of saying “I support the transcommunity” and “You are welcome here”. The more I hear this, the more certain I am correct. I believe that in the current climate where the transgender community is more out than ever, more politicized, more scrutinized and more visible than ever, that this is a way of saying they are an ally.
I hope I’m right. I would rather have someone identify themselves as an ally rather than complimenting me on my outfit.
Of course, they can do both. 🙂