If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say…

More occasionally than I’d prefer, I hear MTFs bemoaning the style faux-pas of their fellow trans women. Sometimes it’s the transitioning women commenting on a crossdresser’s appearance, & sometimes it’s the other way around. But you know, style is a very personal form of self-expression, and should be respected as such. A person may intend to look exactly like how they appear, & do not feel any need for anyone’s “help.” That, & you may not know what their reasons are for looking the way they do.

Some of you may know Trankila, who is a regular at events like FanFair & IFGE & who keeps her full beard when she crossdresses. People who don’t know her/her story just think she’s insane or has no sense of style. But the reality is that her wife loves her beard, & happens also to be specifically attracted to cross-gender presentation, Trankila keeps it even when she crossdresses. (Trankila & her wife talk about their experience with Trankila’s gender on an old GenderTalk show.) For the record, there are also women raised female who can grow their own beards, & who do.

Likewise with something like pantyhose: (1) plenty of people wear hose because they’ve say, made a deal with their wives not to shave during the summer or other times (or through the year, depending on the deal they’ve made, and (2) other people use hose to help tuck.

Having a mohawk makes me more suspicious of “style policing,” in general, but also, as a partner advocate, I’ve heard from too many wives who were comfortable with whatever deal they made with their partner, who then comes home from a conference where people told her not to wear necklines that covered her collarbone (which she was doing so as not to shave chest hair her wife loves) or not to wear hose in the spring/early fall (which she was wearing to keep her leg hair because there’s a family BBQ the next week), etc.

& Frankly, I’ve had my own feelings hurt so many times by people insulting what I’m wearing at these MTF conferences/events that I’m thinking of having t-shirts made up that say Being a Catty Bitch Does Not Make One a Woman. Grow yourself some manners, & if you don’t have anything nice to say about someone’s appearance, then STFU. (Okay, that’s not the way our mothers taught us that Golden Rule, but consider it updated for the internet generation.)

7 Replies to “If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say…”

  1. Dr. Trankila is a dear friend, who has helped me through some very tough, non TG related, times. She manages to project a very strong femme presence even with a full beard, DJ and I love her.
    About comments on others clothing choices, makeup, all that. Nothing takes the heart out of an occasion for a SO faster than hearing that ” your husband makes a way better woman than you “, or ” you should fix yourself up ” when you have just spent 2 hours doing exactly that.
    My reaction is to try and just walk away. But OOOHHH, some day !

  2. Dude. Seriously. People are so fucking retarded about fashion. Every woman in NY right now is wearing a poofy sleeve, including me, and I hate us all for it. You know who my style icons are? The chinese immigrants on the subway who wear knock-off Fubu t-shirts with tube socks and acupressure sandals. You know why? Because they couldn’t possibly give less of a fuck, and I LOVE that. I aspire toward that. Because you know what, the harder you think about what you’re wearing, and the more the judge other people for what they’re wearing, the more distorted and hideous your face becomes. And that’s irreversible.

  3. I think this really gets at the issue of diversity and acceptance in the community, and also in how most MTF’s are defining femininity via stereotypes as well as appearance (because it’s easier than really trying to figure it out). And then they get so squeamish about how these “odd characters” are “setting the cause back” and making it harder for us to be accepted. Funny how we want acceptance but when we’re on the other side we practice the same bigotry…

  4. I usually could care less what anyone wears, but I do cringe when I see twenty pounds of naked flab hanging out the bottom of a too small shirt.

    Stop it! Stop it now!

  5. sweet jeebus, mary, you fucking rock.

    As for this judgment and advice crap, I’ve been on the receiving end of it, and all I wanted to do afterward was reach inside this person’s throat and pull out her pancreas.

    After I stopped crying, of course, and after I stopped wondering about how god awful ugly I must have looked to illicit the helpful hints. Jeebus. It pisses me off just thinking about it now.

  6. I think those Asian women who wear tube socks with sandals, as mentioned by Rocketqueen, are on to something. Being able to say “fuck style! Comfort rules!” takes some spine, and people who do so get my respect….

    …except for CDs who wear sheer pantyhose with miniskirts who don’t shave their legs. That makes me want to puke….

Leave a Reply