The Genderqueer Challenge is here.
26. Discuss how your clothes do or don’t reflect your gender.
I think I touched on this earlier? But basically they kind of do and kind of don’t.
My clothes don’t reflect my gender because, really,how on earth could they? I don’t even know what my gender is! Besides which, I don’t particularly have a consistent type of clothing that I wear; my jeans and t-shirt outfits have a very different gender connotation (and personal gender feeling for myself) than shorts and t-shirt outfits do ( on the rare occasion that it’s warm enough for shorts), and there’s an even bigger difference between those two and my dresses and skirts. Looking at it from a gender presentation sense, my clothes range from androgynous (although obviously not androgynous enough for people to be confused about my gender or for me to pass as a guy) to rather feminine, which doesn’t really feel like it represents or reflects my gender.
However, all the same… there’s something about pretty dresses and flowing skirts that feels like it reflects my gender. Even though they’re clearly tied (in society) to womanhood and femininity, wearing skirts and dresses still somehow makes me feel validated in my gender. My first thought when trying to word it was that wearing them makes my gender ‘sing’, as weird a thought as that might be. I feel like ‘pretty things’ seem to fit under the purview of my gender, if that makes any sense whatsoever, and so it makes me really happy to be able to wear things that help to describe my gender.
However, as I think I mentioned before, sometimes the connotations that come with dresses (ie that you must be of a certain binary gender to wear them (and if you don’t look like that gender usually looks, you are trying and failing to be that gender, but that’s irrelevant in this case)) really grate on me. That’s when the unisex t-shirts and dungarees come out, it seems.
Of course, that doesn’t explain why I wear jeans and t-shirts, since they clearly don’t bring me any gender-related happiness. The reason I wear them is partially because of my original long-standing dislike of dresses, which receded slowly enough that I still don’t have a lot of dresses but have a lot of t-shirts (that are getting too small and being replaced with the slightly oversized coloured tops that seem to be trendy right now). I also have a lot of jeans because my emo days caused me to believe that you must always have at least one good pair of black skinny jeans, whilst my mother has bought me coloured skinny jeans to try and combat the remaining emo clothes.
Mainly, however, I wear jeans and t-shirts or tops because it’s just easier; there’s no shaving required with jeans, and there’s also no (or at least, rarely) a need for thermal tights with jeans, whilst there most definitely is with dresses in a British winter. So, basically, whilst my more day-to-day clothes are simply practical, my fancier/more occasionally-worn clothes reflect my gender.