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There are always thoughts that cross our minds throughout the day or we are simply touched by a comment or new person we meet. Sometimes, these thoughts or unexpected connections with strangers, trigger a memory or old perceptions we once had. Recently, I met up for coffee with a new friend in which we shared a bit of everything on the spectrum of life. Politics, Spirituality, Discrimination, Culture and Family. In this exchange of thought provoking conversation and energy, I was called an “enigma”, according to her, the way I carry myself or look like, I’m expected to be more masculine, (butch so to speak), and not wear makeup, heels, and lipgloss, in other words not have an ounce of femininity. I was asked, ” how can a woman with swag and look like you, wear heels, make up and Nancy Reagan shoulder pads?”. First of all, the heels and make up, I enjoy and will go on details later but on the Reagan shoulder pads, C’mon, it only enhances my poise. LOL
Before, I go into details about who I am as a woman now. I have to share a bit of my childhood history. As a young girl, I grew up surrounded by boy cousins, in which I was never treated soft, well maybe a little but I always played all the sports and climbed trees to prove I could keep up, yes I was a tomboy. However, because I was raised with strong religious beliefs of how a girl is suppose to act and look, I was always reminded that I couldn’t always hangout with boys and had to wear dresses, if not, no boy would look at me. As a straight ‘teenage’ girl, I embraced the boy and the girlish clothes. It felt comfortable, swinging back and forth, plus when I dated boys, they never had a problem with it. If anything, the ‘serious’ boyfriend I had, went shopping with me and taught me about mix-matching the hip-hop look. In the back and forth wardrobes of boy and girl, my girly friends always found me a bit ‘weird’ and not feminine enough for many ‘sleepovers’ or trips to the mall, which in return… I simply called one of my boy cousins and went over to watch Aliens or play video games. I never understood why I was discriminated with my girly friends, the way how I saw things, I was simply being me and not wanting to follow the ‘norm’.
When I finally came out, I found myself even more confused as to why the butch girls would make fun of me, by telling me that if I enjoyed the boy clothes more I should simply cut my hair and be a solid butch instead of playing femme, or even told that I was too femme and needed to stop wanting to be butch; or vice versa, the femmes would not want to date me because I wasn’t ‘butch’ enough. I tell you, my early 20′s were a mess, I felt confused and lost on the rainbow meter, I felt like the “India Maria – Ni de aqui ni de Alla”. Many times, I flirted with the idea of cutting my hair short to prove my gayness, but that didn’t make sense, I mean really… sleeping with girls wasn’t enough? Then I thought, maybe I should be more femme, but I’m not super girly, I mean I love rocking Jordan’s, Nike’s, straight cut jeans, polos etc, so that didn’t make sense either.
The older I got, the more confidence I got and stopped caring about what anyone said or thought. I embraced my body, personality as it developed and simply cared about one thing in life: making a difference in this world. If you look at all the people in the world that have made a difference, they are their own individual, who follow their own dreams and are inspired by love; beauty within. Since, I’ve reached my 30′s, I’ve met several people who have mentioned to me that I’m different. But now, even more recently I’ve been dissected like a specimen sample of the unknown world and thrown people off by my ‘contradiction’ personality. Also a random stranger came up to me and said “I love women who wear make up and yet have a side of masculinity to them, in the business you’re in, you will get more respect”. Then again, that’s just a one gay man’s opinion. I believe, respect comes when you give respect, and if anyone disrespects you, express it and make it a point to demand that, because we all deserve it.
As far as my reason for femme/guy wardrobe … hmm what do you think? I love every part of my body, enjoy even my monthly visits because its a reminder of me being a woman. Wearing the femme or guy clothing is not a necessity for me, it’s an option. I opt when to wear it or not, but it is a part of me. What I wear does not define who I am, I define the clothes and underneath it all, I’m still that ‘contradiction’, because my personality with or without swag, still believes in watching Action Packed Movies or The Notebook with a tub of ice cream on my periodicals. Is this a bi-polar characteristic, a double life or simply being an individual creating her own path? – I don’t know, if I’m the only one that has ever felt this way, confused about which gay category I needed to fall in, but I do know one thing… I don’t need to be in any category of butch, femme, soft or stud, because I’m simply creating my own. My advice for the younger queer youth, don’t follow trends, don’t worry about which category to fall in, don’t worry about which girls to attract or how to dress to impress. DO WORRY about being honest to you FIRST and finding who YOU really are. Trust me, the right girl or boy will come along and love you for who you are, whether it’s a more masculine with a splash of Bath & Body fruity delights or the other way around.
If you are called “weird”, remember weird is being ‘different’ and being different makes a CHANGE in this world!
- ALASKA.TINA WEYMOUTH.GINA X
- Liquid Courage: A Coming Out Story