Some of us want to burn down any wall between BOY and/or GIRL.

Some of us want to eliminate the men’s department and the women’s department in a store. Display the neckties right next to panties next to the football jerseys next to hosiery. Who cares. Let’s revolutionize and start over.

I mean, what would we wear if we weren’t told what we were SUPPOSED to wear? What if the anatomy between our legs didn’t dictate what we were SUPPOSED to wear for our entire lives and for everything we do, whether it’s for what we wear to work or what we wear to sleep?

On the other hand, some of us want to preserve the binary. We love that pink represents femininity. We love that skirts are “for girls”. We love that panties are keeping us connected to our femme selves.

And I get it. I see, and to an extent I “agree” with both perspectives. I like being able to wear a super pink dress and just turn my feminine presentation to 11. I like looking as femme as possible. BUT I also hate that I can’t leave my house in boy mode wearing leggings and a knee length cardigan without drawing a few pointed fingers. Really, why are some things “for girls”? If men tried on leggings I swear to God within a week every dude in the world would be wearing them.

And yes I shouldn’t care if I am pointed at because of what I am wearing. And I don’t. BUT there’s a difference between (at least for me) being en femme and being in boy mode wearing “girl clothes”. Hannah is not as recognizable. But HE is. If HE were to bump into a co-worker or a family member or someone my wife knows while I am wearing “girl clothes”, then it becomes a little awkward. My wife would likely get texts asking why her husband is wearing, well, whatever he is wearing.

I do not want to put my wife through conversations and situations and change any relationship dynamics she has because of me, because of what I am wearing. All of a sudden she is the girl with the weird husband that wears skirts.

It would be nice if everyone on the planet was enlightened when it came to gender identity but that’s not the case. The reality is that there are people in our lives that we care about and want to maintain peace with, even if we see gender presentation differently from each other.

The same goes for me. I had a boss that required the two of us to have a productive and cooperative partnership at work. We had to work well together. BUT this particular person and I completely disagreed on everything you could think of. If he only knew. And if he DID know, then it would fundamentally change everything at work. He was a vindictive, petty man. If he didn’t like you, regardless of your work performance, he’d find a legal way to fire you. That was that.

In this example keeping my gender identity to myself was, in a way, key to keeping my job.

And! I often asked myself why on earth would I want to work for someone, with someone, like that? It’s a fair question. For the most part I liked the job and I really needed to keep that job. I suppose it was a compromise. It wasn’t one I was comfortable with. I felt I was being a hypocrite and I was… justifying tolerating working with someone like that. And to some extent I was.

More than likely we will work with or be related to people we don’t see eye to eye with. Not everyone will have the same values or perspectives that we ourselves do. It happens. I have family members and colleagues that don’t have the same viewpoint on the LGBTQ+ community as I have. I work for a college and even some of my students don’t have the same views as I do. I can’t simply refuse to help them because of that. Not if I want to keep my job, anyway.

Again, this is more or less a compromise. And it’s not one I am always comfortable with. I would love to cut all toxic people out of my life but it’s just not realistic. And it’s also not fair to my wife. There are people in both of our families that I would be happy with never speaking to again, but that’s not possible if I want to “keep the peace”. Again, it’s a compromise.

Goodness I got off-track.

I am myself torn between “clothes for girls” and “who cares, clothes are for everyone”.

Sometimes when I am en femme I feel a certain joy in dressing as traditionally as feminine as possible. To be immersed in GIRL and BEAUTY and FEMININTY. Sure, some of my lingerie is designed for people with my body and the anatomy that I have and it arguably fits better than lingerie for cisgender girls but dammit, sometimes I want to wear “girl panties”, not “boy panties”.

And I think everyone reading this understands the difference.

Immerse. Yes, that’s the perfect word for the feeling.

BUT sometimes I hate the genderization of clothes and cosmetics. Why can’t I wear leggings or a skirt in boy mode? Why is it weird for a boy to paint his nails?

I mean, I know it’s because “traditional” gender norms. I swear the most damaging thought when it comes to progress is “but that’s the way we’ve always done it”.

Sometimes I get… annoyed that I can’t decide which of those options I would prefer. Fortunately it’s not something I will ever have to decide. I mean, it’s not like the decision will ever fall to me. And it’s not like this “dilemma” will ever work itself out in my lifetime.

I may not be able to make this decision for the world, but I can make it for myself and I suppose that’s enough.

Love, Hannah

9 thoughts on “Torn

  1. Body Art.
    Nowadays many people have un-changeable body art on their bodies called tattoos.
    Some have changable body art called make-up.
    I look at my nails as 20 (small) canvases for changeable body art.
    (And to keep this on tract with the title, nails with sprackes.)

    If leggings had footballs or soccer balls or baseballs or golf balls graphics on them “within a week every dude in the world would be wearing them.” In the meantime, I wear them often in “boy” mode.


    1. In fact, you can find plenty of mens leggings — but they are almost ALWAYS adorned with sports logos or other symbols that validate the masculinity of the wearer. Which, for me ruins the whole look, but hey, if the dude is insecure about where he stands in the gender-verse, and needs a little manly affirmation, then I say “You go girl! Or guy! Or whatever!”


  2. stores should have women’s clothing right next to men’s clothing of just all in one. what is the difference. besides design or fabic??? woemn’s clothing is much better fit for men.


  3. I understand the conflicting feelings. I don’t want to venture out of the house in a deliberately androgynous appearance, but I also would prefer a society where one can do so without ridicule or threats. For myself, I want to be seen as a woman, but given some limitations, I settle for blending in as a transwoman.


  4. I have to agree leggings are just so comfortable, I virtually live in them these days.
    It seems strange to me that as a woman everybody is quite happy when I go out wear jeans trainers and a sweater, or even on very odd occasions (when it’s band uniform) a shirt ties and blazer ~ But back in the days when the World experienced me as a man I’m quite sure I would have been roundly chastised if I had gone out wearing a dress, or heels without making any other effort to feminise my appearance. These are not balanced attitudes.


  5. I am one of those who wears women’s clothes most days where I work in semi male mode.
    I’m fortunate to work for a very open company that basically says be you, so I am
    I wear makeup and tall boots like today and it’s just me being me.
    Yes I also do go full en fem at times but not at work.
    I’m known as trans person at work so they all know it and my interactions is not an issues
    I am who I am
    No I don’t wear skirts or dresses but I do have a very fem look many days
    So it is possible to blend certain aspects of our girl side


  6. The title of your article is exactly how I feel about this subject. Torn. I often wish there were no men’s or women’s clothing departments…that all clothes in every fabric or color or shape could be worn on any body. And more importantly, that I could wear my pantyhose anytime and anywhere I wanted and no one would thknk there is something “wrong” with my clothing choice.

    But on the other hand, I wished clothing and appearance maintained their separate gender identies so I couod cross that great divide and experience life looking, living, and loving as an elegantly dressed feminine being.

    Oh, the contradiction…


  7. Why is it that a girl can wear frumpy camouflage clothing sit around a campfire spitting tobacco juice and it’s cool. If i wear a dress is weird. Oh the double standard !


    1. i think spitting tobacco juice is disgusting for a female or male, but for a female to wear men clothing and think it’s cool, that is what we call tom boy figure, so yes why can’t us girls wear a dress and all that and be sexy looking. yes, double standards is right. there are females that work on cars and do men work so us girls can do what women do house work, dress like a female and shop, and have fun.


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