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Sharp Dressed (wo)Man (2)

When I was thinking about the awesomeness of wearing ties, something else struck me: I’m really lucky.

I’m lucky that I’ve got a couple of stores I can go to that have “masculine” clothing that’s cut to fit my proportions. (Thank you, Brooks Brothers and Saint Harridan.) And other stores I can go to for men’s suiting that have always welcomed me. (Thank you, Men’s Warehouse.) Brooks Brothers and Men’s Warehouse are just mainstream retail stores; they aren’t specialty stores that cater to women who basically like to cross dress. (And here I mean cross dress in the sense of simply wearing clothing considered to be for the “opposite” apparent gender rather than the performative sense of drag.)

But that’s because it’s still way more acceptable for women to cross dress in the US. It’s more acceptable for us to adopt “masculine” fashions. Sure, here and there you might get called a dyke or get some weird looks. But I have a lot of male friends who cross dress and transwomen friends, and it’s so much more difficult and even dangerous for them. It sucks, and it’s total bullshit.

I guess we’re all supposed to want to be manly men, and it’s cute when women want to try but hey it’s harmless we’re just trying to hit the pinnacle of humanity or something. I don’t know. It’s all artificially drawn lines that ultimately serve no purpose except to try to control other people. The more people I know, the more I’ve seen that sexuality and gender are sliding scales, and very few of us actually fit inside those harshly delineated boxes.

What harm does it do to anyone, if my male friend wants to rock that super sexy dress? But think of the children! Maybe one of those kids would like to wear that dress some day and not have a fucking complex about it. I have yet to hear a justification for censure on this regard that didn’t amount to “Because reasons!”

Fuck your bullshit, controlling reasons.

This utter societal stupidity was a major source of personal misery for me from high school on, because I never felt like I fit in the “girl” mold. It’s a sad statement that it took me thirty years to realize that I don’t have to. It’s okay that I don’t like dresses and skirts and makeup. I don’t have to. It’s okay if I’d rather walk barefoot over nails than wear cute women’s shoes. I don’t have to. If anyone else doesn’t like that, they can fuck off, because it’s my life and none of their business.

And if someone’s daughter sees me and gets it in her head that it’s okay to be a dapper sir, I will be happy to give her advice on how to properly do a half Windsor (because women normally have such narrow collars we can’t do a full) and be overjoyed she doesn’t have to waste decades hating herself in the mirror.

I know how amazing it feels to me, when I get to wear something that makes me feel truly like myself. I finally feel like I’m wearing my clothes, instead of like my clothes are wearing me. It upsets me in a deep way that my male and trans friends sometimes face a lot of nastiness because they want that same, simple thing.

Life is short. You should be able to wear whatever the fuck makes you happy. Wear what makes you feel like you and you know what? You will look amazing in it.

And for anyone else, they should be asking themselves what goddamn right they have to try to suck even one drop of happiness out of the world. And then they should shut the fuck up.

Originally published at The sound and nerdery of Rachael Acks. You can comment here or there.

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