So! Yesterday was Halloween.
I’ve heard Halloween referred to as the crossdresser’s Christmas aaaaaand that’s not wrong. As a t-girl I look forward to the MN T-Girls‘ annual Halloween party and love to daydream what my costume will be. I admit I could spend a little more time and energy into it but for some reason I put it off until the last minute each year. I always promise myself that NEXT YEAR I’ll do a better job planning ahead and finally get an *amazing* Disney princess dress and live out my princess dreams.
But Halloween was ALWAYS like that for me, particularly before I was embraced who I am. When I was in high school I would try to work up the courage each October to be a girl for Halloween. I mean, I could play it off as a costume, right? No one would REALLY know why I was a French Maid, a princess, a cheerleader, or a dozen other options for the night. Of course I would always, always give into fear and never actually go through with it. Similar to now, I would always promise myself that NEXT YEAR, I would do an AMAZING costume. But I never did.
Halloween is a wonderful opportunity for those who aren’t out of the closet to test the waters a little. Casually suggesting to your partner that you are thinking of dressing up (and I really mean DRESSing up) for Halloween is one way to gauge their reaction. I am not sure if Halloween is really an opportune time to have “the talk”. I mean, gender identity is pretty serious life-changing (and relationship-changing) stuff. Going in drag or as a schoolgirl for Halloween is fine for a fun costume, buuuuuuuuuuut is it the best way to open the door to having the conversation about identifying as transgender/bi-gender/genderfluid/non-binary/crossdresser? Probably not. There’s a difference between dressing up for a fun costume and having a side of yourself that is soooo important and personal and intimate. Your significant other deserves to know that this side of you isn’t a costume.
But I get it! I totally and absolutely one hundred percent get it. If your spouse isn’t thrilled with you strutting your stuff as a French Maid for Halloween it may give you pause about coming out to them. Of course, coming out to them before committing to each other is another conversation for another time. But if they love the idea, well, that changes things a little. Let’s face it, we WANT our significant others to like this side of us. We want them to like the idea of sharing makeup or being besties when we are en femme. I love it when my wife borrows my lipstick.
Some of us dressed for the first time for Halloween. And we never forgot it. It opened us up, it pushed us out of our comfort zone. It gave us an opportunity to walk down the sidewalk in heels, an opportunity to have our makeup done, to live in this world as a side of us that is a secret to everyone. We are, in a sense, hiding in plain sight. “This cheerleader outfit? It’s just a costume, lol”. But we know differently.
If my wife and I are invited to a Halloween party I never dress en femme. This side of me is not a costume and to be honest, it would make me uncomfortable to be Hannah but have to be the boy, if you know what I mean. When I am en femme, I am Hannah. I introduce myself thusly and I expect female pronouns. Were I to visit my friends that I know in my boy life, they would see me as the guy they’ve known for years wearing a dress and eyeliner. I just… I just couldn’t be dressed as Hannah but interact with my friends as if I were a boy. Of course, my makeup being a LITTLE too good and being able to strut in stilettos MIGHT cause SOME suspicion. I can imagine the endless questions about how I was able to have a curvy body thanks to my corset and forms as well as where I found heels that fit.
Halloween (like everything else in my life, lol) has always created anxiety in my life. Before I was who I am today I would agonize about dressing up (and I mean dressing up) for the holiday. The anxiety has shifted a bit these days but it is still there. For the last MN T-Girl Halloween party I needed to stop at the costume store to pick up a small accessory for my costume. I strutted into the shop wearing my latex dress and knee-high boots right after my makeup appointment. I looked fierce. I had hoped that the other shoppers and salesclerks saw me as a girl buying devil horns, instead of as a boy dressed as a girl for Halloween. Of course, I don’t know what they thought. We don’t know what anyone thinks of us when we are en femme but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone thought EVERYTHING I was wearing as a costume. It wasn’t.
Even today, I am, in a way, hiding in plain sight.