They say clothes make the man. I agree. Clothes also can make the t-girl.
When I step into my pink stilettos, or a leather mini-dress, or a cute skirt, I become who I am.
But I don’t think this person is “the real me”. She’s part of me, literally my other half. High heels and dresses make me who I am just as much as a t-shirt with my favorite band on it in male mode. My clothes, in either gender, represent who I am. There is no denying that clothes transform us. Not only in how we look, but how we feel about ourselves. I don’t think I am alone in feeling absolutely beautiful when I am en femme. But I also feel brave. I feel confident. In a world that doesn’t understand us, strutting into the mall in a skirt and pumps is one of the most courageous things we can do.
Of course, there are also days where I feel absolutely wretched and the cutest dress in the world can’t help how I feel, but let’s not dwell on that.
When I am en femme, I feel like I can conquer the world. I conquered the part of me that was too scared to go outside, I conquered any dysphoria I had that day, I conquered walking gracefully in heels on icy sidewalks. I feel invincible.
And let’s face it, we need to feel invincible. We live in a world that passes laws to make our lives challenging or almost impossible. We live in a world where people laugh at us, stare at us, and hurt us. And worse.
This side of us is a surprising side of us to other people, to say the least. But it’s also surprising to us, as well. We may find out that we look *amazing* in red, or that dusty rose is the best lipstick color for us, or that we can apply false eyelashes perfectly each time. Life is not about discovering yourself, it is about creating yourself, and no one knows that better than a t-girl.
When I am en femme, I am letting that side of me out, but there’s also an aspect of recreating her each time I dress. This is a practical act, such as putting on my thigh pads and breast forms, but it is also a mental shift as well. I am putting aside the normal responsibilities and obligations of my male life for a while and entering a world that is, in some ways, quieter and calmer.
What I mean by that is my lives are very different from each other, depending on if I am wearing heels or work boots. There are very little similarities or overlap between the two. Different wardrobes of course, but also different friends and interests.
That’s not to say that I put on lipstick and I am singing at a nightclub instead of attending a monster truck rally, but I do different things en femme than I do in my male life. Ignoring the obvious things, like shopping for heels or getting a makeover, there are things Hannah does that the boy does not.
Hannah doesn’t do anything that I wouldn’t do when I present as male. This is not a Jekyll and Hyde thing, after all. I enjoy art, but I don’t spend afternoons at a museum. However, Hannah does. For one reason, it’s just simply more fun to do thing en femme. It can be something as simple as waiting for a coffee, walking down the street or wandering around a department store. Life in these moments has slowed down and I am spending time just… being. I think it’s good for me.
In male mode I tend to be a little more introverted and prefer to spend time at home. Hannah is chatty, more social, and friendlier. She has more friends than I do. Although these characteristics are not ones she shares with the male side of me, they are not in conflict with each other. I do like chatting with people, but I am usually in too much of a rush to do so. Time moves slower en femme.
When you present as male for most of your time, it’s a big change to spend a day in heels and a dress. It can take a moment to kind of… shift mentally from one gender to another. But presenting en femme forces me to come out of whatever shell I am in.
In the early days, I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I love floral patterns and bodycon dresses, for one, but I also learned who Hannah is. I learned who I am when I am en femme. Yes, she is more social. But she is also braver than I am. If you don’t think it’s courageous to step out into the real word in heels for the first time you probably aren’t a t-girl. It takes courage to accept and embrace who you are. Every single one of us is braver than we give ourselves credit for.
I like Hannah. Which is good because, well, I am Hannah. It’s important to like who you are and she has many characteristics that spilled over into my male life. I became kinder, more patient, and friendlier. Eyeliner and a pencil skirt did not make me a better person, but being true to myself by embracing this side of me did. I was happier and more fulfilled than I ever was and I became a better person, regardless of the gender I was presenting as.
When we accept this side of us, we really find out who she is.
Who we are.