Last Thursday afternoon, I walked into a fancy salon and told the stylist to cut half of my hair off.
For someone who used to have nightmares about this exact scenario, I haven’t felt this happy about a personal aesthetic decision in a long time. I no longer have to worry about my hair getting caught on things as I walk by (yeah, that was a thing that happened) or putting it up when I have to concentrate on a task. Instead of constantly tangling and having a texture similar to that of dried straw, my ends are shiny and feel like the bristles of those soft paintbrushes I used to get in trouble for touching at the art store.
Style-wise, it’s not exactly the edgiest cut, but to me, this represents ending another toxic coping mechanism I’ve employed for far too long: using my appearance to “prove” my gender dysphoria, or supposed lack thereof.
In the past, whenever someone important (read: pertinent in my life) would push me too hard on the so-if-you-aren’t-a-girl-then-why-do-you-look-so-girly thing, I’d chop all my hair off and stop wearing dresses, as if to say “ha, I told you that I’m actually a dude.” Then I’d immediately regret it because I am into looking as femme as I possibly can, and I’d spend the next three or so years growing my hair out and refusing to let scissors near it, save for half-inch trims. Rinse and repeat.
This is a guest post from a friend and fellow computer scientist about her experience as a transgender woman. Genevieve is currently raising funds for facial feminization surgery, an expensive procedure that will drastically improve her quality of life.
My name is Genevieve Liberte, and I’m a 20 year old trans woman from Florida.
When writing introductions like this, I tend to question whether or not to include the fact that I’m a trans woman in the first sentence — couldn’t I just as easily say I’m a woman and leave it at that, no modifiers needed? Sometimes it feels dishonest to leave it out — either to myself, or to others. At other times, it seems pertinent to include. Still, I don’t exactly understand why I choose to include that bit of intensely personal information but forego so many others; I suppose I might as well balance things out by including lots of other personal information, too.
Dress from Molly and Zoey
(Content warning: This post discusses gender and gender dysphoria at length. I still use she/her pronouns!)
People often ask me why I started my blog, or why it’s called Fake & Basic.
The name is Out There on purpose. 😛
The casual answer is that I started it as a place to document my outfits, because I like them and I have many of them. The in-depth reason is more complicated.
I was assigned female at birth, but from the moment I could grasp the concept of gender and that there were supposed to be two of them, I knew that I wasn’t a girl. There was an essence of femininity that I lacked, so subtle that it was almost imperceptible, unless you knew what you were looking for: mainly, a deep disdain for being forced into any sort of female gender role. I would have come out as trans, but I didn’t feel that way either.
There was also a slight problem: as much as I disliked anything “girly”, my aesthetic was the exact opposite. I was (and still am … obviously) obsessed with brights, pastels, colorful lipstick, dresses, and heels. When I tried to explain this dilemma to others, they laughed me off and told me I couldn’t possibly not be a girl. If I hated being seen as one so much, they reasoned, why did I wear a dress every day?
Dress made by me | Franco Sarto heels
The first person I came out to was my sister.
I was a sophomore in high school, and it felt less like coming out and more like I was confirming something she had known all along. She was the one who’d playfully taunted me for being “as straight as a circle” since we were little kids. Her reaction, though, was one of openness and acceptance, and through that positive experience, I was able to tell my friends, closer family members, and eventually the general public that I was queer.
It’s now been five years since I’ve started to overcome my own internalized biphobia/began to talk about the gender dysphoria I experience/explain to others that no, pansexuality doesn’t imply attraction to everybody out there. In honor of Pride month, I thought I’d do a quick touch-base with you all on where I stand on certain Pride-related issues that are prevalent today. If you’re the type to get easily offended, feel free to smash that red X button and come back for another basic outfit post on Monday. The opinions expressed below are mine and mine alone.