I attended Catholic school from kindergarten all the way through my senior year. Although I would never call myself Catholic today, this had an impact on me in a number of ways. I suppose one could call this sacrilegious, but one of my clearest memories of this time was how badly I wanted to wear the same plaid jumper uniform that the girls in my class wore.
As I got older, I continued to notice (and grow envious) of what girls my age were wearing. I loved the combination of flirty dresses and Doc Martens boots girls wore when I was in high school. When I had my first office job I was really drawn to the professional attire the women I worked with wore.
During this time, I underdressed and used every chance I had to try on a dress or a skirt given the opportunity. When I moved out into my first apartment, I was able to buy (and constantly purge) everything from panties to heels to bras to skirts. Although I rarely bought “real clothes” and stuck primarily with lingerie, I was always looking at what girls my age were wearing.
I would continue to buy and wear lingerie and heels as I got older, and wouldn’t fully enter the world of proper clothes, makeup, and wigs until I was in my early 30’s. But as I got more comfortable with accepting and embracing who I am, I would think more about the clothes I wanted to wear, and about the clothes that I wanted to wear as I was growing up.
One of the first things I remember wanting to wear was the Catholic school uniform when I was in grade school. This uniform has becomes incredibly sexualized and become a common fetish, but I didn’t want to wear the uniform for anything erotic. I wanted to wear it in my twenties because it had such an impact on me when I was young. The closest I came to this was this cute outfit I wore for a photo shoot a few years ago.
Let’s not confuse this with the girls in our community who identify as ‘sissies’. The T word covers a lot of ground, and there are girl like us who love to dress and act and to be treated as a sissy. I would imagine that there is a very strong sexual connection to this, but I also acknowledge that this is a world I am not familiar with so I could be very wrong. Perhaps it is all about clothes. I wore this dress for another shoot and although I felt a little silly, it was fun to wear.
Once I fully… evolved into who I am today and acquired the wardrobe I have today, it took me a little time to find my style and look. I am inspired by girls my age when it comes to discovering new styles and fashion, but like all of us, I also wear what I want to wear. I tried a few different looks in those days which is not uncommon. I mean, you look at a few different houses before you decide which one to live in, right?
We are, not only as t-girls, but also as human beings, constantly evolving. We grow, we learn new things, we adapt. I look back on my dressing and want I wanted to wear, to what I eventually did wear, to what I wear now. I like to think I dress like a girl my age. Well, a girl my age who is also not afraid to show off her legs, anyway.
Accepting, acknowledging, and embracing your gender identity is a rebirth in a way. What was hidden and denied what was a part of us that is now who we are. We are learning who we are. We are learning who SHE is. And for some of us, we have some catching up to do.
For lack of a better word, many of us go through an accelerated and abbreviated form of adolescence or puberty. Some of us start with the clothes we always wanted to wear when we first felt this side of us. Some of us felt an intense jealousy towards girls we knew as teenagers simply because we wanted to look as cute, as happy, as carefree as they did in their tank top and jean miniskirt. We may have felt a sense of longing as we admired the cute pencil skirt and jacket our female colleagues wore.
Many of us go back to these days when it comes to our wardrobes. Eventually we all find our look, we wear what we want, and what we are comfortable and confident in. We grow. We become who we are.