I recently came out to one of my closest friends back home. I was nervous because I knew she was a devout Catholic^ and I feared she would reject me. Luckily, she acted the opposite: “Well we certainly have to take you shopping, we’ll get you some cute feminine style outfits.” That day turned out to be one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.
By going shopping, I learned a lot about not only my friend, but also myself. It wasn’t ever something I super considered as part of dysphoria. Sure, wearing a suit is absolutely horrible, but my uncomfortableness with my gender expression was mainly with my body. That said, I felt myself in the clothes we picked out. It wasn’t anything too femme. No dresses or skirts, just more androgynous looks: tighter clothes, pastel colours, skinny jeans, etc. Now, I wear those clothes as often as I can and it’s a relief.
Growing up, I never had the chance to experience a “girl’s day trip” to the mall. Sure I had been before, but it was always with family. But, this trip with my friend really bonded us. The fact that I could be myself with her was certainly a huge aspect, but just chatting about random things and not really caring which store we went to, was amazing.
So, what’s the point of this post? Well firstly, clothes shopping is INCREDIBLE, but also transgirls aught to experience these traditional feminine activities. It feels right to finally be a part of a group, that until this point, I was only an observer. Second, explore new things, find what helps your dysphoria. Learn to help yourself. It’s worth it in the long run. And finally, a message to the allies; I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again, invite your trans* friends to your activities that may considered “girly” (or “manly” for transmen). Invite your friend to get their nails done. Go to the cinema and watch a “chick-flick”. For transmen, bring them to the mancave. Watch the game with them. Offer them a beer and just hang out. Transpeople are just another one of the “girls” or “guys”, they just happen to look a little different.
^ I should preface, I know that not all Catholics, or believers of any faith, are against trans* values. I have met some great people who are both an LGBT* ally and religious. That said, I often fear that the faith may have other ideas when it comes to my identity. We certainly see it used as a justification in various anti-trans* protests. So whilst some may follow “love thy neighbour”, others are quick to judge. This is where my fear lied. I had misjudged that, however, and realised that I knew before that my friend would accept me no matter what.