Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Feeling Like a Woman

This morning as I got to the building my office is in, a guy was a few feet in front of me and stopped to hold the door open for me. It stood out for me because this still doesn't happen often for me. Most of the time guys just hold the door open for me if I'm right behind them, not far enough behind that they'd have to stop and wait.

Though it may not get people to hold the door for me, I feel more like a woman lately. This is something I've just started to feel in the last few weeks. For a long time, I still felt like a man dressing as a woman. Now, I'm starting to just feel like a woman. It doesn't feel like a special event anymore to dress as a woman; it just feels natural. Instead of feeling like a woman, I should probably say I feel like myself.

When I speak to undergrad clsses, I'm often asked a version of the question "What is different between being a man and woman?" It took me a while to find an answer to this question. At first, I would talk about how I didn't want to give in to stereotypes, saying that I didn't want to say being a woman let me wear clothes I like more or to be more emotional. Then I realized why it was so hard for me to answer this question: I don't know if I ever really knew what it meant to be a "real" man. It's not that I was a man and now I'm a woman; I've always been a woman. It's just that the outside now matches the inside! This answer always surprises people becuase I think they expect me to say that I don't know what it means to be a woman.

Whether that makes me a woman or not, I know that I'm happy with who I am!


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Blisters on My Toes

This past Tuesday I had the opportunity to talk with two Women's Studies classes about my experiences as a transgender woman. I was really looking forward to the opprutnity to speak with the classes because it was my first chance to speak with classes outside of the Communication department. I wanted to look my best so I wore my yellow blouse and black-and-white polka-dot skirt, the same outfit I wore for my Radio Interview, with a cute pairt of high-heeled black lattice sandals. While I thought I looked pretty good, if I do say so myself, I didn't plan on standing up for nearly four hours straight! Needless to say, my feet were killing me by the end of the second class and I woke up the next morning with huge blisters on my big toes.

I was very happy the gladiator sandals. pictured to the left, I ordered online from Payless arrived at my local store the next day. The sandals are really comfortable and saved my toes from more pain. I had been wanting a new pair of black low-healed shoes because I was wearing the same pair quite a bit, and I'm very happy with my purchase. I was also very happy with my experience ordering direct-to-store with Payless; I still like to try on clothes and shoes before buying them but I think I'll be ordering online again in the future when a style of shoes I like isn't available in my local store.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Wardrobe Discussion

I'm visiting my family for the weekend and as I was chatting with my mom this evening, we began to talk about my degree progress and how things will probably go for the next couple of years. We discussed how comps and the dissertation will generally go and also talked about the possibility of applying for jobs in the Fall. For the last couple of years, I have been suffering repeated sinus infections, which seem to be much more intense and frequent where I currently live than any other place I've lived before, so improving health would be one of many benefits of getting a job and moving somewhere else sooner rather than later. My mom then said that when the time comes for applying for jobs, she feels that I need a new wardrobe. A male wardrobe. I couldn't bring myself to tell my mom that I don't plan on wearing male clothes for my interviews.

I feel that situations like this will only continue to increase in the future and I'm uncertain how to deal with them. Do I allow my parents to pay for new clothes for me that I don't intend to wear in order to not upset our relationship? I'm torn about decisions like this because I want to enjoy my relationship with my family for as long as I can but I also don't plan to stop living as a woman. I've been trying to balance my relationship with my family and my need to be who I am, and everything has been going very well. But I'm not sure I want my parents spending money on expensive clothes like dress shirts and suits that I don't intend to wear.

Fortunately, the "wardrobe situation" won't be an issue for a while so I have some time to consider my options.