Thursday, May 10, 2007

Is there a relationship between "coming out" and becoming more feminine?

I am wearing a skirt today and my toes have pink nail polish on them and I am wearing lipstick. I've been thinking a lot about what I wear in the last year or two. I used to avoid wearing dresses and skirts and my hair was short. Now my hair is long and I look more girly than I ever have. This is exactly the opposite trajectory that I was told would happen when I was trying to "heal" myself of my like of girls. I remember reading a book several years ago about a woman who re-educated herself and started becoming more feminine (wearing dresses and such) as she healed from her attraction to women. The healing movement also seems to talk about that for men who are gay. That they should start becoming more masculine the more they "heal" from homosexuality. I so wonder about these people. Did it stick?

It's because of these stories that I find it curious that the more ok I have become with myself and my like of girls, the more girly I have become. I am not intentionally trying to become more girly. I did not wake up one morning and think I am going to dress differently. It just happened.

Yesterday "y" and I were texting back and forth what we were wearing. She was wearing a dress, and I realized I actually wanted to wear a skirt around her. Not just because she likes it, but because it does something to me. Wearing a dress seems to make me aware of this whole other side of me that I turned off.

It all re-affirms that there is no "one way" women or lesbians dress. But I wonder if anyone else has found themselves becoming more feminine as they started coming out more. I wonder it there is a correspondence between wearing dresses or even just being feminine and being OK with one's self and sexuality. I of course still love wearing jeans and a t-shirt. And it seems the more casual "e" dresses (jeans and a t-shirt) the more attractive I think she is. But that's I'm sure a whole other blog post. :)


bobbie rose said...

who gets to define what feminine and masculine are anyway???

remember the poster:)

just me said...

yes good point! And yet how else to I talk about the change that is going on here in me I am unable to articulate... I need some other lens perhaps.

Zuzu said...

I think it's good to take a look at sterotypes, preconceived ideas of people, and the history of the gay and lesbian communities and embrace the breadth of diversity of the communities. Some say that ACT UP dressed a generation and masculanized gay men, but many old-era Hollywood body builders, the archetype of masculinity and virility, were gay men. Similarly, your FFC wine bottle certainly portrays two very classically feminine women - but it runs the spectrum doesn't it? Have you ever seen the movie Bound? I think once you start seeing that some straight girls are very boyish and some gay girls are very girlish and vice versa, folks become less concerned about what their clothes say about their sexuality and seek a personal style that reflects something more inward... which indeed is probably very whimsical for most of us! There's also a book you might enjoy called "A Hidden A Gender." - Zuzu

just me said...

zuzu - your words make me wonder if maybe for me what's going on here is my dumping of some of my previous learnings and sterotypes.

I'm so lucky to be your cousin! :)

Zuzu said...

I think it is. I think the fact that it rose to your thoughts so consciously suggest that.. don't you think? AND I think it's a great thing. It seems like such a little thing.. clothes, what we wear... but I think before someone starts coming out there's such fear about what clothes suggest or say.. and maybe afterwards you realize they really don't say very much at all.. and there's a certain liberation with playing with that suddenly, in the face of all those other notions? maybe?

~Deb said...

I remember when I was younger, I wore flannel shirts, work boots, had short hair and never wore make up. When I had my first crush on one of my best friends, she said to me, “Deb, your hair would look gorgeous if you grew it out and wore a little make up.” The next fall, when we all gathered at the bus stop, I came walking towards her wearing a DRESS, in MAKE UP, and my hair was feathered back and long. (Mind you, this was in the eighties!) She said, “Oh my GAWD---I thought I’d never see the day! You look gorgeous!” And that was it. I thought, well if women like women LOOKING like women, then that’s what I’ll be. After that, I never had so many dates in my life! Now, I’m not saying that butch women are unattractive, but the type of women I went for were attracted to feminine women, in my experience of course. Everyone’s different.

But just like FTM’s (female transitioned to the male gender)---they’re ‘looks’ and gender have no association with their sexual orientation.

Great post!

just me said...

Thanks deb. :) Seems there are 50,000 facets to this rough diamond/discussion... I appreciate your thoughts.

M said...

See, I'm the opposite. I came out and started acting more masculine. What happened for me is that I was hiding who I really was by pretending to be more feminine. I figured no one would figure me out so long as I acted the part. And once I started acting like myself, I got more dates than ever.

So I don't think the question or issue is feminine or masculine in relation to your biological sex or your gender. I think the real crux of what you are saying is people being who they are for the right reasons - not being feminine or masculine to make someone happy or fulfill a role or fight or give-in to what people want from us, but to be who we are, no matter how that shows itself. I know for me I was able to gain confidence and assurance through being myself and I was thankful for those that would still accept me for that, no matter what it is.

just me said...

M thanks for sharing your experience! The connection between being oneself and confidence seems really important. Good thoughts.