Tag Archives: Lifestyle

A Return to Pushing Personal Boundaries

We all do this. Or at least we try to. I admit it is something I having done much of. After many issues with sexual assault and almost being abducted I withdrew from this idea. The last few months I have been more relaxed with what I like and for once in a log time allowed myself to explore.

The whole idea began with shopping for clothes. Ever since I transitioned I knew one thing was true about myself. I am not a big fan of pants. Sure they have a purpose at times but I much prefer wearing skirts or dresses. Flowing clothes have always been my favorite even when I was young. So it makes sense that sine I began my transition I would experiment with skirts and various other styles of clothes. I would even buy short skirts and mini skirts. Even though I was scared to wear them outside. I would still try them on and wear them around my place free of judgement.

When I started going to college full time I let my ambitions do what they will. Short skirts with and even without leggings. Off the shoulder tops. The stylistic world of clothing was my playground and I loved it. I would enjoy my walks to the bus feeling so free in the clothes I chose. My mp3 player on whatever album I decided to sing along to as I walked.

I would say I was naive to the truth of the worlds ability to react. In truth though I don’t think that was the problem. I like any other women on the planet when they develop their own sense of style wasn’t looking for the worlds reactions. I was looking at just being happy being myself.

As i became more relaxed and content with myself things began to happen. I wore a short sun dress one day to school and a guy pulled over at the bus stop. He asked if i wanted a ride. I smiled and kindly said no. He in turn gave me his business card with his personal number written on it and said i should all him some time. He left and I quickly ignored the exchange.

The next incident was more scary. I had just got off the bus near a department store and began walking towards it. I had needed a new pair of shoes for all the walks I did. No sooner did the bus leave a guy pulled up in the bus stop and honked his cars horn to get my attention. I looked back for a second as he waved me over to his car. This time I was not interested. He clearly was though. He drove his car in to the parking lot and proceeded to follow me up and down the isles trying to get me to listen. With a sigh of relief I finally made it in to a close store. He drove away the moment the glass door closed behind me.

There were worse incidents but I would rather not go in to the dark stuff. Needless to say I was left scared After all this I realized I was always harassed when I was showing more skin. I threw out all my short skirts and closeted all my short dresses. Even my tops became more conservative. I didn’t show any cleavage and walked around in sweaters and hoodies all the time.

What I am glad to say though is I have finally gotten past a lot of my hang ups and emotions about the past. I don’t know if it is because I am older now or maybe I have just let go of the hurt and fear that was once caused. Whatever it was a clearance rack of really cute skirts began my return to wearing more revealing clothing. How does one pass up adorable lace skirts for 2 dollars clearance? You just don’t. lol. I even wear them again. A lot of the short dresses have returned as well.

As I was saying earlier last weekend held something very special for me. I have worn some revealing clothing before. Nothing that showed a lot but just short clothes. Last weekend I took a plunge that terrified me. It shouldn’t have. I was going through my closet and happened across a really cute lavender top that had sequins covering the breasts. I looked at it a moment and asked why don’t I wear this more? Sure the neckline is kind of low but it is really pretty. I put it on and walked to the mirror.

My reflection took no time at all to show me why I had not worn the top before. Everything below the breasts and completely down the back was totally sheer. My belly and back were completely exposed. I could feel myself get a little embarrassed seeing my belly button through the stomach of the top. My hips were clear as day and the slight bulge of my stomach was there for the world to see. In a weird twist though I couldn’t decide if I looked really cute or if fear was going to make me rip it off.

After a few more moments of internal arguing I decided to wear it. After all either I start wearing it or get rid of it. Why own something you wont wear? I found a Basic flowy black skirt to go with it and put my make up on for the day. Deciding I wasn’t quite that ready for so much flesh to be shown I pulled a black lace wrap from my closet and put it on. It covered my back just enough so it wasn’t totally obvious. My stomach on the other hand was as clear as day.

As I locked my apartment I headed down the stars in the early noon sun. There was a bit of a breeze that loved playing with my skirt and top. They fluttered so gently and happily with the current. It felt so nice. I made my rounds for the day stopping at my usual weekend haunts. The day went on and I finally started my way home. Sitting in my car I realized I had forgotten I was wearing the sheer top. The day took me where it would and let me relax to the point it didn’t bother me.

There was no harassment like before. I didn’t feel scared or worried. I never felt that fear that used to urged me to cover up after I got hurt. Just a nice peaceful fall day. I got some smiles but nothing beyond that. I beamed the whole way home. I was so happy. I didn’t want to take the top off when I got home. Instead I just kicked the skirt off and left the top on to cover me. The little that it did.

Pain can be recovered from. I would like to say all scars heal but I know some are still there. That would be fooling myself, but last weekend helped me reclaim something i had lost almost a decade ago. Part of the freedom to be me. Since then my mind has raced with outfit ideas that I want to try. Something that hasn’t happened since i was first coming out. More to come. 🙂

What makes terms like lifestyle good or bad?

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a lifestyle as such.

:the typical way of life of an individual, group, or culture

In its purest of forms this make people calling how LGBT people live a lifestyle correct. BUT, one thing they are forgetting is that we do not refer to the heterosexual way of life as a lifestyle. We do not refer to it as a choice. It is just what they do. This is why the word has garnered such a bad reputation among the LGBT population.

There are plenty of words that have been used to describe LGBT people. Most of which are no longer acceptable to say despite their more traditional meanings. Calling some one gay in a derogatory manner is frowned upon. Yet no one remembers what its original meaning is. The same is said for the word queer. The word simply meant happy. It still does. No one complained about the film Nightmare Before Christmas when Jack Skelington sang the words ‘how queer”.

The song described Jacks new experiences in Christmas town. Its use of the word queer came from the more traditional definition so the audience had very little to complain about. Now had he said it about another character in the film I am sure it would have taken on a completely different meaning.

On the opposite end of this is the Green Day song American Idiot where the song used the line “maybe I’m the faggot america”. This caused an uproar and forced the song to be censored without even knowing the meaning of the lyrics. The following line in the song is “I’m not a part of the redneck agenda”. A very provocative statement. Especially in this era where the conservative movement has pushed harder to deny LGBT rights.The use of the word was all anyone heard. It was enough for an uproar. At least for those who are incapable of looking at the bigger picture.

The worse use I can remember over the last decade has been in some of my favorite films. I love watching Kevin Smith films. From Clerks all the way to Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. These are great classic comedies that talked a lot about the culture at the time and often poked fun at it. Jay and Silent Bob Strike back had one joke though that pointed out a very dark look at his films for me. In it a female bad guy does something that is considered weird or abnormal. Her friend turns to her and simply says “you are so gay”.

As funny as his films are they quite often have very derogatory views on the LGBT community. I do excuse Chasing Amy from this because of the many LGBT issues and messages it gets across, but this only furthers my confusion when I think about it. The earlier films were a voice of their time. The early 90s were full of this kind of talk. By the turn of the decade though things were not so crude. So it made the comment in Jay and Silent Bob very uncomfortable.

Another great point of how those who aren’t labeled by the terms is when actor John Barrowman defended his use of the term tranny. In his opinion the trangendered people of the world should quit whining and be okay with the term. Yet I can only imagine how angry he would feel if he was casually referred to as a faggot and told to accept it because that is what he is to some people. He of anyone should have known better. The power of labels can be hurtful.

So why do I bring all this up you ask? As much as I would like to say I have a simple point I do not.The use of the word lifestyle in our current culture carries one meaning when regarding the LGBT community. It is a way for those who don’t understand LGBT people to understand what they consider to be a choice. This is the only answer I can think of that makes sense and this answer makes the term very unhealthy.

This version of the word has been around for a while. It was further re enforced to me over the weekend when a family member was talking about how she knows gay people and a gay friend was offended when she referred his lifestyle. She felt he was being to sensitive. I even told her as an example what if he was to refer to your religious views as a lifestyle. Yet she pointed out how its not a lifestyle and kept on saying how people are too sensitive.

Like I said earlier. No one refers to heterosexuality as a choice. We don’t refer to being human as a choice. We don’t even refer to ones religion as a lifestyle choice even though people chose which religion they believe in. So why should we hear about our “lifestyle” when it is naturally who we are?

What I personally hear when I hear my life being referred to as a lifestyle is that I have chosen a fetish that I live unhealthily. When I came out my sisters response was “that’s fine just keep it in the bedroom”. Like it was some sort of turn on. This opens up to a much bigger conversation for a later time. For now I want to stick to the issue at hand.

If you feel I missed the mark or see things differently please feel free to comment. I would love to talk about this.