Wednesday, April 7, 2010

On Adding Some Color to Your Wardrobe

Good afternoon to my fantastic favorite followers! And good afternoon to anyone who is new to my gender-nonconforming/queer/fashion-friendly space!

I can only hope everyone's Wednesday is progressing delightfully, it being such a beautiful day and all. A day for breezy button-downs for sure (but throw a cardigan over it anyways if you're one of the folks who prefers layers, I know I am!). I decided to go for an excess of color today and have been wearing a thin linen light purple dress shirt from Gap, and my dark teal skinny jeans from H&M. [Side note: my dearest colorblind friend said he could see the purple shirt but the pants looked navy blue. This got me to thinking that I need to be more conscious of my color palette so that it can appeal to people of all visual abilities. I'm safe today because I think this color purple and navy blue goes well together too...phew!] Now folks, this much color, I think looks great, and I have fun with it. But I'm sure there are some who would disagree. In fact there are plenty of people who think that an excess of color, of variety...of diversity you could even never a good thing. Whoa! I think your Boy at Sea is about make a point!

And I am, because for today's post, I am going to take a moment to leave aside my ramblings on fashion and discuss instead the other thing this blog is intended for: gender-nonconforming in a very gendered society.
So you see, I had an absolutely amazing conversation last night with a friend who has known me longer than most (and certainly knew me before my more fashionable genderqueer time!). And we got to talking about, well everything...but we spent some considerable time on gender and how the world really really really likes to put everything in boxes. I mean just speaking for my own country right now - um hello? The census. "Sure, we'll take a look at who lives in the U.S...but only in the most constricting way possible. And, oh what's that? You don't think you fit into one of our boxes, well, either choose one or we'll choose one for you." Super.
And while we are making some progress when it comes to diversity, concerning things like race, ethnicity, heritage, and even now sexuality (yes sirree there is more than gay/straight/lesbian!) recognizing that there are more than 2 genders doesn't even register on most people's radars. And I think more people are beginning to be able to wrap their minds around folks who are physically transitioning and are changing their pronouns from "she" to "he" or "he" to "she", because if you don't feel comfortable as one, than you must want to be the other, right?

No. What about all the others? What about me? What about the "they"s?

Gender is not cut and dried. It is not black or white. And it is certainly not one or the other. It is diverse and beautiful and colorful and varied. And that is the most amazing part about the term "transgender" because it is a giant umbrella that has room for all of the infinite genders that exist. As for male and female, masculine and feminine. I am neither and I am both. And I am something completely new and different, I am me, M, the Boy at Sea. And that makes the most sense to me. I was gendered incorrectly my entire life, and now that I have come to understand my own gender-nonconformity, it is no longer your place to try and re-gender me. Trust me, assuming my gender really does make an "ass" out of "you" and "me". Mainly you.

I guess the reason for my rant, to bring it all back full circle, is this:
After re-reading my Monday post, and after my discussion last night, I wanted to make it very clear to all of you, my faithful followers, that while this blog does have a heavy focus on "men's" fashions, it is a blog that is open to everyone of all and any gender identity and presentation, even and especially if you don't label yourself as any type of trans.
I never want my posts to sound geared toward anyone in particular. If you are the manliest of men, or the most feminine of women, or have switched from one to the other, well wonderful! Welcome.
Maybe you are here because you just find me mildly entertaining, or perhaps you just want to know how to buy a dress shirt that will fit appropriately when you are binding, or maybe you are a cis-gendered or cis-sexual person who just wants to get a trans identified person's ideas on suits and fashion. Welcome! Perhaps you are questioning your gender and the restrictions that society is placing on you, maybe you're trying to figure out what to wear for your first drag show, or what to buy your honey for a gift, or you like dressing like a man in the privacy of your own home and want to make the most of it. Maybe you are gay/queer/lesbian/bi woman who is completely comfortably in your assigned sex and gender and just prefer an androgynous look, or maybe you are like me, completely gender-neutral, embracing a gray area of gender that is as comfortable and stylish as your favorite outfit and just want to learn the ways to fold a pocket square, or how to find a friendly tailor...To all of you, and every other identity and presentation I could not fit here, welcome to you, too! Tell me about yourself, I'd love to know who's out there...

So, however you see fit to gender yourself, welcome. And if the alignment between your anatomy and your head is right on the mark, and you never think twice about your gender, well, you're welcome too! I just ask you remain aware and open minded to the diversity that exists around you. Black and white is for tuxes (and we'll discuss that when I find an excuse to wear one!) until than leave your boxes and your blandness at the door, and come just to discuss a little fashion and a lot of color with me, your BaS.

And just to keep you happy, here is a badass song, from a group with a variety of presentations and identities:

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