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Just Lee

Anyone else feel like they were wearing a costume?

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Just Lee

Does anyone else feel like they were wearing a costume growing up? For 49 yrs, I've felt like I've been wearing girly costumes that others were literally picking out for me. A closet full of tiny sun dresses, cute little shorts and flowery delicate halter tops as lacy little confections and none of them fit *me* as a person. I have a special occasions crisp limited edition polo style shirt that makes me feel like magic. It's not pretty or frilly or summery. It's like I'm wearing a "hey look at this sharp-dressed man over here" kind of shirt. 

 

Following a lifelong pattern of what's expected of all the Canadian French women of my family, I was set to take out my "pretty" summer clothes, heels, and accessories. I really was going to take them out of the closet by habit, but they're still just hanging there. Like they're waiting for me to put on the "cute little dolly' show again this summer. I closed the closet door and feel better. 

 

Does anyone else feel like a fraud wearing those things that you've grown used to over the years, even though you don't really like them? Why? I asked myself why I should bother with the hours long process of sorting and boxing, ironing and arranging cute summer clothes. I had and still have no good answer. There's not one reason to wear a skirt or dress or pink wedges with matching earrings. None at all. Yet my T shirts are great all year round. My sneakers/tennis shoes, whatever people want to call them, are perfect. I have sandals in gray and they keep my feet cool. To put on one of those feminine, cutesy little "outfits" feels like putting on a heavy balaclava in 100 degree heat and waiting for someone to say "Action!" 

 

Am I just weird to leave them sitting there? Should I go through the motions and keep wearing them so they're not wasted? I'm sure there's a 12 year old little girl somewhere out there who'd love them. I'm very comfortable and feeling well dressed with a minimum of fuss but that evil self-doubt nags at the back of my mind. I know it's not wrong to just wear what I want to, but the whole point is do I keep those old "costumes" so that I might play the part in the future if needed? Do I even want to have that option? I want to give them away to goodwill or something. Am I just over-thinking this? 

 

 

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KathyLauren

I can totally relate, from the opposite side of the fence.  I always bristled at the fact that I had to wear drab colours and boring styles.  It was very much a costume, and I hated it.  I think this is very common among trans folks.

 

Whether you should keep those clothes, that very much depends on how you answer your "questioning" status.  If you have a use for the, in other words, if you would choose to wear them again, by all means keep them.  If you are pretty sure you won't wear them again, donate them to a charity.  Either way, you don't have to be certain: "pretty sure" is good enough.

 

I know that I was very happy the day I bagged up my old male clothes and dropped them into a donation bin.

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Mx.Drago

Would be the only thing my Mom would insist on, especially for special events. I would argue till she started changing colors over it. Would still get stuck dealing with it and wearing whatever nonsense she picked out, and would remain visibly unhappy, even with a smile on during each event. Hated it all, but she was determined to have things her way and was like "Do this for me, and please don't fight with me on it..." Eventually wearing dresses and make-up was just a thing so people would leave me alone on the subject. But now I wear whatever I want and to hell with people who don't like it, they're just lucky I'm wearing anything at all.

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Jackie C.

Yes, but only when I used to dress up. I ended up defaulting to a unisex unifrom of jeans and a t-shirt. Nobody cares what gender is wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

 

Completely different vibe when I was dressing in formal male attire. I absolutely hated blazers, ill-fitting scratchy pants and button down collared shirts. Also ties. -expletive- ties.

 

Hugs!

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Just Lee

Thanks to each who answered. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

Kathy, that's sound advice and definitely a good idea to just give them away to someone who will appreciate them. Thank you!

 

Mx. Drago- I swear my mother said the exact same thing to me a million times! I can totally relate! Just the idea of (in this heat) adding lacy bra, hosiery, earrings, cosmetics, hair spray, perfume, heels and a clingy dress is suffocating-physically and mentally. This is the season where I'd love nothing more than to just take off my shirt, only wear shorts and for it be normal. Acceptable. What all the other guys do coz it's hot out. 

 

Jackie-- that's good advice! (Sorry!) but blazers and ties-they look amazing to me! I wore a nice navy blazer with tie and slacks for my college graduation and loved it! Although I think t-shirts and jeans have to be the best clothing idea ever. Then you can hide or accentuate whatever you want to. 

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Mx.Drago
1 hour ago, Just Lee said:

Mx. Drago- I swear my mother said the exact same thing to me a million times! I can totally relate! Just the idea of (in this heat) adding lacy bra, hosiery, earrings, cosmetics, hair spray, perfume, heels and a clingy dress is suffocating-physically and mentally. This is the season where I'd love nothing more than to just take off my shirt, only wear shorts and for it be normal. Acceptable. What all the other guys do coz it's hot out. 

 

Jackie-- that's good advice! (Sorry!) but blazers and ties-they look amazing to me! I wore a nice navy blazer with tie and slacks for my college graduation and loved it! Although I think t-shirts and jeans have to be the best clothing idea ever. Then you can hide or accentuate whatever you want to. 

T-shirts and jeans are my jam. Got all my partners old Levy jeans cuz he out grew them, but they fit me perfectly. Mwahaha... and they are comfy.

Wanted a suit but don't like feeling tied up...(I didn't mean to make a pun)

I swear the only reason why womens clothing are made overly warm, is so they pass out from overheating and can have guys just get on removing all that warm wear. And it's not like you can win with thin womens wear cuz then you have the opposite effect, where you're now freezing to death and are now a penguin starved for warmth and everybody can see your underwear.

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TammyAnne

Just Lee, for me it was less a costume and more a uniform. A set of clothes that symbolized who I was supposed to be (and by extension how I was supposed to act) even though it was more of a disguise. But I took it seriously, trying to disguise myself and blend in.

I was completely taken aback while I was in the Army - a superior officer laughed and called it a costume. Which it really is when you get down to it.

Here is the character I pretend to be, and this is the costume...

(No, no picture. Except in our heads.)

I don't feel bad for not wearing my Army uniform anymore, even though I still have it. It's a reminder of who I tried to be, what I thought I was and gives me chance to reflect on how far I've come.

You might keep some of those clothes without wearing them, just to look back on someday.

TA

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Emily michelle

I feel the same way most of my male clothes are packed away. Except for a few pairs of shorts and t shirts. Every time I put them on I feel like I’m playing a part I don’t want to play. I’m still pretty much a jeans a t shirt girl. My work clothes are another story. I’m gonna have to keep wearing them even after I fully transition 

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claire1000

for me my male clothes were just that something I had to wear because they were the expected mode of dress for a male. The day I boxed them up and took them to the charity shop was the day I finally felt I was saying a type of goodbye to my past, and hello future. Now when I dress especially for those special occasions I actually enjoy it it, I waited 60 years to be able to see myself dressed as the person I knew I was and whether it's in a casual dress ,or trussed up in my Spanx and a fine dress it's as I truly see myself.So what I am trying to say is dress as how you see yourslf and however makes you happy.

 

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Robin

I certainly have an issue with clothes, and I have yet to come up with a satisfactory solution.  I don't like having to wear male clothes and I feel frustrated that I cannot express myself through the clothes that I wear.  However, I don't want to be seen as a man dressed as a woman, rather than a woman, as that would make me feel even worse.

 

Robin.

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ToniTone
On 5/21/2020 at 3:36 PM, Jackie C. said:

Yes, but only when I used to dress up. I ended up defaulting to a unisex unifrom of jeans and a t-shirt. Nobody cares what gender is wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

 

Completely different vibe when I was dressing in formal male attire. I absolutely hated blazers, ill-fitting scratchy pants and button down collared shirts. Also ties. -expletive- ties.

 

Hugs!

This! I always felt like most casual wear men's clothing is really unisex. Any gender can wear it and look fine. And I think all us mtf dread men's formal wear.

 

Still, I wear tighter, brighter jeans and t's now, feels more validating. 

 

To all you afab folks here, I can only imagine what it was like growing up, being dressed up and expected to wear those things (I mean I like wearing those things, but I'm mtf, and I think amab never really experience that, we grew up just throwing on whatevervjeans and t's lying around). It sounds so violating, you have my condolences... 

 

I think for me, it wasn't so much the clothing as it was performance and percieved expectation of that performance. I spent my whole life working manual labor and being expected to be tough and successful and a slew of other status oriented adjectives I'm sure. It made me so depressed. It was a facade of masculinity I put on. I shed it away a year ago when I came out. And I feel so free of it now. 

 

~Toni

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Sally Stone

Lee, I totally understand about clothes being so confining from a self-expression standpoint.  I am of course, absolutely in love with everything feminine, so when I am presenting as male, the male wardrobe is just a big downer.  In my soul, I am a girly girl, so lace, jewelry, skirts, dresses and high heels, especially high heels all just make me giddy.

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Just Lee

Wow that's amazing! I think a lot of you really expressed it well. Yes, the PRESENTATION/EFFORT/WORK of being female is something we either love or hate. I don't think I've met anyone who was truly neutral about all the work that goes into looking feminine and the eternal maintenance of it.  

 

As Afab I was taught from infancy to: sit up straight, mind your manners, don't be a klutz, cross your legs at the ankle, wipe your mouth, never be seen without makeup, shave EVERYTHING even if you're not leaving the house that day, always speak quietly, obey, wear heels, be thinner, don't show your smarts too much, be submissive, act like a lady, insist on being treated like a lady, a lady doesn't swear, drink beer, open her own doors. Don't be pushy or loud, and always let the man win. Eat salad not steak! Use your femininity to get free meals-it's easy. Remember to tuck your chin, look up through your lashes, tuck your elbows tight to your ribs to squeeze up the girls, arch your back and smile! 

And hot weather? EVERYTHING shaved/waxed except the hair on your head you spent tons of time, money and effort on every single day sometimes up to 3 times a day! Don't wear that-it's too revealing, no, that's not flattering to your figure. Show legs, not too much cleavage. Try that in mauve. Your bag doesn't match your shoes. Small steps are pretty steps. Go wash your hands-your nails are a mess! Moisturize and stop frowning or you'll get wrinkles and never be married. Bikini time! Waterproof mascara-to infinity.

My brothers orders: shower, throw on some shorts and shoes, underwear optional and go out. Remember: never hit a girl now go have fun. 

Suffocating relentless standards of femininity imposed on me for almost 5 decades. I can't say how sick to death of it I am. I've been living on my own for 18 months now and I'm just gonna be me for me. When my brother died he was the last tie to my family. I have no one to care or even see what I wear, say or do and no strictures on hair or language other than what I want now. The other point of view must be like opening a giant box of candy every day. If you like the constant expectation of presenting yourself pretty every day, every night 24/7, then by all means do so! Enjoy! Revel in feeling pretty! Take pleasure in the grooming and primping, shopping and trying on, perfumes and hairstyles galore. I'm glad others can appreciate it. 

 

I'm shopping for lots of baseball hats and t shirts. Functional, breathable, comfortable, and what I like very much. Maybe I'll splurge on some Nikes. Just got a good deal- $8 on a men's 6 pack of medium crew socks. The 4 pack of ladies size 5 /12 socks 6 months ago was $12. 

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NB Adult
3 hours ago, Just Lee said:

 Suffocating relentless standards of femininity imposed on me for almost 5 decades. I can't say how sick to death of it I am. I've been living on my own for 18 months now and I'm just gonna be me for me.

Lee, I had begun feminizing HRT 26 years ago, had my family jewels removed and was headed full steam ahead in MtF mode. Eventually the realities of all that you had experienced began to dawn on me as I considered all that it would entail. The longer I thought about all the detail, expense and the stigma involved in trying to be even remotely passable made me cringe. 

In a world where even natal women deride and humilate other women that don't cut the mustard, in either their physical appearance or fashion choices, I decided not to deal with it and opted out entirely. This decision didn't come to me instantly, but over a period of years and after much observation of women's style and behavior. What I found comforting is that their are a lot of Just Lees out there who are perfectly happy and content being themselves and not having to conform to any given standard of appearance just to fit in somewhere or meet others expectations. I wear a mix of typically male and female attire. Women's jeans because my legs and rear end have changed shape after years of HRT, some men's shirts and unisex tops. I wear a bra because I'm a senior now and don't relish these things getting saggy and swinging from side to side under my shirt like school bus windshield wipers. I cut my long hair and removed the diamond stud earings and the holes grew shut. Short hair and low maintenance works for me, it never gets in my mouth and I don't have to wonder what I'm going to do with it anymore. I jettisoned a few hundred dollars worth of make-up long ago and quit supporting the electrologist. And although I applaud those who strive valiantly to be all they wish to be, my decision to opt out of it all is very liberating. 

 

 

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Mary Jane

well im pretty ok with the clothes i wear but i do wish it had more of a variety i was born a boy so naturally theres almost no difference between any of my clothes even in just the design or color maybe its never going to have as much of a variety what girls can have but it can at least be different colors and designs 

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NB Adult
1 hour ago, Mary Jane said:

well im pretty ok with the clothes i wear but i do wish it had more of a variety i was born a boy so naturally theres almost no difference between any of my clothes even in just the design or color maybe its never going to have as much of a variety what girls can have but it can at least be different colors and designs 

Lack of color and style in what's typically available in men's cloths has always been my pet peeve, there are some good unisex tops if you shop around.

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Just Lee

It's so true--well said! Yes, there's tons of online shopping where they do offer unisex shirts in multiple colors and styles. I have noticed that men's clothes seem to be a more monochromatic parade of mostly black, white, grey, khaki, and navy blue with an occasional red. I'm ok with that and don't really mind. If it's comfortable, it's good. NB Adult, it's a shame that you've had such an arduous journey to find yourself but now you have. I'm truly happy for you. Mary Jane, I'm glad you can be yourself here and it's great to meet other like minded people who won't judge us and actually talk with us. 

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ShawnaLeigh
14 hours ago, Just Lee said:

sit up straight, mind your manners, don't be a klutz, cross your legs at the ankle, wipe your mouth, never be seen without makeup, shave EVERYTHING even if you're not leaving the house that day, always speak quietly, obey, wear heels, be thinner, don't show your smarts too much, be submissive, act like a lady, insist on being treated like a lady, a lady doesn't swear, drink beer, open her own doors. Don't be pushy or loud, and always let the man win. Eat salad not steak! Use your femininity to get free meals-it's easy. Remember to tuck your chin, look up through your lashes, tuck your elbows tight to your ribs to squeeze up the girls, arch your back and smile! 

And hot weather? EVERYTHING shaved/waxed except the hair on your head you spent tons of time, money and effort on every single day sometimes up to 3 times a day! Don't wear that-it's too revealing, no, that's not flattering to your figure. Show legs, not too much cleavage. Try that in mauve. Your bag doesn't match your shoes. Small steps are pretty steps. Go wash your hands-your nails are a mess! Moisturize and stop frowning or you'll get wrinkles and never be married. Bikini time! Waterproof mascara-to infinity.

Well as much as you detested this.  The above list is almost exactly what I’m trying to achieve with the exception of a few of them. I find I’m doing most of these subconsciously now.  
But it is so true the double stands for females and male. 
like NB pointed out. Pick and chose those you want or like and discard the rest.  You are the captain of your own ship.  
 

I always felt I was hiding my whole life be in a male controlled society and conforming to what male do or should do. That is until now. I’m free. I’m blossoming into the person I’ve always dreamed about.  
Im not getting asked about going stealth quite often by a few.   I’m told “I could pull it off easily”.  But do I want to go into hiding again?

i spent 50 years breaking out of one prison to just to be me.  Do I want to fling myself into the polar opposite and start hiding as a cis female?  Being worried “some one is going to find out” again. The stress of anyone finding out is s prison to me. Nope. I’m ok with not hiding anymore.  
Yes I’m far more female now but not 100% by no means.  I kind of like the variation of being trans. Most of one but a bit of the other still. I’m in a comfort zone now.  

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Robin

The ideal solution for me would be to find a balance between experiencing dysphoria and having too much pressure to conform to the standards that are set by society.  I will have to accept the fact that there are limitations as to what clothing I can realistically get away with.

 

In modern society, women can wear casual clothes, such as jeans, hoodies and tracksuits, but they also have the option of looking glamorous when that suits the mood or occasion.  There is no equivalent opportunity for men.

 

Robin.

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