I’m a girl that loves mirrors.
But I am not always looking at my reflection for vanity reasons. I might be checking my lipstick, making sure my hair isn’t a mess… but sometimes I am looking for him.
We all have days where we look or feel like a man in a dress. A man in a wig. A man wearing lipstick. These days are worse than days when I just feel kind of ugly. And I have those days.
I am not trying to pass (there’s no such thing). I assume that everyone who sees me knows I am transgender and really, that’s okay. I would prefer people interact with me knowing I am trans as opposed to treating me a certain way because they think I am a ciswoman.
When I see a mirror, sometimes I want to see how…masculine I look. Contouring, thigh pads, and lipstick can only go so far. Obviously I know what I look like in male mode, and when I look into my reflection I want to see how much of that guy is there.
There are days where I don’t I look like my male self. Whether it’s because I am naive or my self-esteem is so through the roof that I am being delusional. Other days, well, a man in a dress.
For me, presenting as a girl requires more than just a cute outfit. It’s how I walk, how I move, how I carry myself, how I talk, what I say, pressing my knees together when I stand, how I sit, my mannerisms. It’s a little bit of a lot of things. Sometimes it takes me a little time to… well, get into character, for lack of a better phrase. Some days it takes no time at all. Sometimes I am on my game.
Mirrors are a way to catch yourself in the moment. If you see a mirror you can, in a way, prepare yourself. But last week as I walked to my car I passed unexpectantly by some very tall mirrors on an office building.
I watched myself walk, how my dress danced in the wind, I noticed my stride, if my hair looked natural in the breeze. I watched how I carried myself.
I was watching for him.
I didn’t see him. And that made me happy.
To be clear, I am perfectly happy in both of my gender identities. I am happy being male, but Hannah isn’t.
After the wall of mirrors ended, I pondered the unsolvable question: do I look that good, or am I only seeing what I want to see?
But I suppose it didn’t matter. For that moment I was a girl in a pretty dress, feeling the wind in my hair on a beautiful day, listening to the click of my heels against the pavement.