This isn’t really that complicated – I’m going to get some fancy clothes – but it’s weird how it feels complicated. It’s so wrapped up in this growing sense of discomfort and dislocation and…well, dysmorphia, I guess. I feel like it’s silly to be feeling so weird about it, and silly to be pinning a bunch of my hopes on it for resolving some of my feelings about my gender. But I’m also excited and hopeful.
Sometimes when people hear the idea of ‘gender is performance’, they think of ‘performance’ as something shallow and frivolous and fake, like the actor in a play. They think it means we’re saying ‘gender is meaningless, everyone is acting’. That’s not what it really means – Gender and Performance is talking about the way that you feel gender on the inside, and the things you do on the outside to communicate and validate it.
When I was trying to figure out my gender stuff I was asking the people around me if there were performative things that would make them feel disjointed and wrong, genderwise. The responses were interesting – one woman said if she cut her long hair, that would feel wrong. One man said he’d feel genderweird if he was wearing lipstick. Hair and Lipstick don’t have gender – anyone can wear them – but they were part of the way that these people felt and presented their gender.
So I guess I’ve been missing some performance. I’ve been missing some alignment – I have an internal identity, and the things I’m wearing feel badly fitting and badly draped and like they’re made for someone else, and that’s messing with my sense of gender identity. So I’m going to get new clothes, made by someone who deals with these issues for a living. I’m outsourcing the solution.
Anyways, yous all have been with me for a chunk of this journey so I guess I’ll bring you along for this little one as well.