“That stereotype about transsexuals being all wild and criminal and bold and outside the norm and, like, engendering in the townsfolk the courage to break free from the smothering constraints of conformity? That stereotype is about drag queens. Maria is a transsexual and she is so meek she might disappear.” – NEVADA, Imogen Binnie
So, about a month ago I signed a thing about a thing. A couple weeks later it turned into this entirely other thing. I’ll have more to say about that in another blog. In any case, I had a lot on my mind about crossdressing and drag performance and how it relates to myself as a trans woman (who’s had a previous history with crossdressing and drag performance). With this in mind, I found myself heading to a “red dress”-themed party.
I’m familiar with the concept; they’ve had them in Austin as well:
Except in Texas, it’s too hot to wear a full dress.
In this case, I was invited out by my lovely friend Miranda:
Who is hilarious and wonderful and an absolute treasure to be around.
This of course meant shopping on my part, of course of the day of because I am literally the worst person ever. Which of course means I should take a moment to do another gratuitous dressing room post in the middle of this meditation, with my sad stringy rain-soaked hair.
So I show up at this party well past fashionably-late, more like to-the-point-where-my-date-was-sending-me-wtf-texts-late, and yeah we still managed to have a reasonably good time. We ate a *lot* of tiny sandwiches, that’s for sure. Thankfully I made up for being hella late by being hella cute.
So, like, I promise I had a serious point in here somewhere so I might as well get to it. Anyway, so here are this couple of trans chicks in this party that’s mostly cis gay dudes in dresses, and to say we stuck out would have been an understatement. Like, not even stuck out in the way you would expect a heavily tattooed and pierced transsexual and her date to stick out. Not even stick out in the way you would expect someone who refers to themselves as transsexual at a party full of mostly cis crossdressers to insist they stick out. Wait, what, you seriously thought I was gonna go that direction rhetorically? Even for a second?
You disappoint me, dear reader. Anyway, lets talk about costumes.
So, like, there are all sorts of busted theories and assumptions out there about why people like me (or maybe nothing like me) wear what we do. And, it’s like, I don’t get it. I’ve never gotten a boner from wearing panties or whatever. So, you know, let’s get that out of the way. There isn’t any escapism or anything to it, frankly I’d say it’s almost the opposite. I mean, in a lot of ways I dress *waaaaaaaaaaaaaay* less flamboyant now presenting feminine full time than I did when most people thought of me as a guy.
someone had to fuckin say it
But like, I don’t know, I’ve never been one that was up for using costumes, at least not in a sense that everyone else seemed to. It’s like, I spend so much of my life feeling like my body as the world saw it was just something I piloted, not inhabited. So I guess I’ve never seen the appeal of trying to take on a different personality or something for myself, because so little of my personality even felt like my own most of my life.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I faked my way through so much of my existence as a “man”, that I never really saw the appeal in dressing that “man” up as someone else to circumvent my inhibitions. For old me, dressing colorfully made me feel more authentic in a way because dressing as a “guy” made me feel like I’d disappear into thin air. In a ratty tshirt and jeans I wasn’t even a person, just a vehicle. An animatronic doll I controlled via a viewscreen buried so deep inside my skull noone could ever find me.
So like I’m at this party in my cute yet conservative Goodwill dress and Miranda is wearing the dress I met her in at the Against Me show a month before, and everyone around us is trashed and partying wearing these amazing outfits and stuff. And we’re just hiding in the back because people are literally stepping on us and we’re eating tiny sandwiches and wondering what we’re even doing here. *That* kind of sticking out like a sore thumb.
And like at one point some cute but very drunk guy with a spaghetti straps laying limp across his biceps and just sort of falling out of his sequined top leans into me to take a selfie kissing me on the cheek, which made me blush. He then tried to do the same to Miranda, and I thought she was gonna stab him in the kidney with her house keys.
And at that point we were just like fuck this lets get a cab.