Monthly Archives: May 2010

Feeling Dapper

I’ve needed to dress up five times this past weekend and week for graduation and senior week, and I’d been absolutely dreading it. I’m not good with dressing up–it’s a combination of not knowing what to wear (given that all of the messages I’ve received about how to look nice involve dresses and heels and such) and not having clothes to wear (given that menswear is expensive and generally is ill-fitting on me). Additionally, I get really self-conscious because I know that for dress-up events, most of the people around me will be wearing dresses, skirts, and other girly clothes (at the very least, really fitted pants and blazer), and that makes me stick out.

However, my fellow classmates at my college are incredible, and I’ve actually had a blast this week. I’ve been wearing varying combinations of ties, vests, button downs, pants, and a blazer, and it’s been great. I’ve gotten so many compliments–from my friends, yes, but also from people I’m not actually that close to. My class is wonderful: they’ve just been so amazing for my confidence. Continue reading

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Please Don’t Call My Drink “Girly”

Today was the boat cruise. Every year, after all papers and exams are done, the seniors at my college have a tradition on going on a dinner cruise on the river with some of the favorite faculty and staff. This was it, and overall, it was awesome.

Parts of it were less awesome. My friend looked at our drinks (she had a Sex On The Beach; another friend and I both had Cosmopolitans) and said, “We’re so girly!” Awesome. Great. Thanks. So not what I want to hear. The next drink I ordered was a vodka tonic. Continue reading

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Making Peace With My Voice

Okay, so, I really need to change something. I either need to change my voice, or I need to change how I think about my voice and learn to accept it as my own.

I recorded my solo today, and I ended up taking a break in the middle of the session so that I could cry. This isn’t how it’s supposed to go–it’s my last recording session, ever, with my much-loved a cappella group. It’s the last time I’ll be together with my a cappella group before I graduate. It’s my only solo. I should be having a blast; I should be cherishing my last moments with my group. Instead, I’m practically having a breakdown because I can’t handle the way my voice sounds. Continue reading

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Pronoun Trouble–Just Read What I’ve Written

I presented my thesis today at a gathering that the Gender Studies program put on. In the short biography I wrote to precede my presentation, I specifically switched between “ze” and “they” as my pronouns. Everything in my bio was about gender, including the title of my thesis and that I founded the trans support group at my college. Nevertheless, the woman who planned the event still managed to introduce me using feminine pronouns, even as she read my bio. She was reading from the paper in front of her–a paper on which I was referred to with gender-neutral pronouns–and she still called me “she” and referred to my thesis as “her thesis.” Continue reading

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Recording Studios + Solos = Gender Issues

I sing with an a cappella group, which I love. It’s one of my favorite parts of my life at college. Today, we went to the recording studio to begin recording my senior solo. Recording is usually a lot of fun, but today it was really stressful.

To start with, I’m not a really confident singer, and my sense of rhythm is surprising lacking for a singer. So, I’m recording the scratch track (the track the others listen to as they record, so that we can all be together), and it fails. I’m continually off the proper rhythm. It doesn’t help that they keep using feminine pronouns for me, which only magnifies the discomfort I’m feeling regarding my voice and gets me feeling even more frustrated. It’s not really their fault; I haven’t been correcting them about my pronouns lately because I don’t want to distract them, since we’ve been short on time, between our concert two weeks ago and recording now. And I haven’t actually asked the guy we record with to use gender-neutral pronouns for me, so it’s really not his fault. Continue reading

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I Hate Clothes Shopping

I hate clothes shopping. Actually, that’s not really true. I enjoy finding new clothes. The problems come from not being able to find clothes that fit and being steered toward clothes that don’t fit with my sense of gender. In particular, I hate shopping for clothes at huge bargain stores. I guess it’s partly my fault because I should know better than to shop at such places–there’s never anything that fits. Still, I happened to be in the city today, and so I stopped by a store. Fail.

I should have been clued to the fact that this was going to be a bad idea when I realized that the men’s and women’s sections were separated completely–there was a hallway to the mall in between the two stores. Nevertheless, I hoped that I might still find something, so I continued. However, there wasn’t anything smaller than a small, and precious few of those. I picked up a few shirts that looked interesting and a pair of jeans that looked like they might fit. Continue reading

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