What is style and why it matters. 

I had a realization over the weekend that encompassed the very fabric of who I am. Sadly it will also highlight some of the darker things not everyone realizes about our situations.  You may feel a certain way, but sometimes it takes on a new meaning.  Finding yourself and your style.  Finding who you really are.  I take for instance the term “passing”.  This has never been a concern to be because of my supportive friends but in the past I have always been vocal about my disapproval of the words usage. Just because it doesn’t matter to me doesn’t mean it doesn’t to others.  Not passing could have some major consequences for others.
Violence is on the rise in all forms but the fact that transgender people have become targets for just being themselves causes a whole new level of fear.  People being taunted, beaten, or even murdered because of something outside their control.  At a 40% suicide rate, when is it going to be enough.  Arrest without cause,  social isolation and violence based solely on how one looks.  Sadly this is a reality we all could face.  Some more than others but all with the possibility that it could happen. 
I guess it boils down to looks as much as we don’t want it to.  No matter if the judgement comes from the outside or within, it still cuts deep.  I am fully supported by everyone in my life yet I deal with dysphoria daily.  I also still have social anxiety and wonder who is looking at me and what they are thinking.  Do they see me as I feel, or do they see what I used to be? Passing may not matter to me, but to others it is life, injury, or death. So what can we do to “pass”.  What needs to be there for it to be right? I can be the cutest girl in the world but if I speak and sound like Johnny cash, well I guess the gig is up. Maybe it was the 5 o’clock shadow or the big hands.  There is always something we will always hate about ourselves and we feel that is what everyone notices.  
This thinking brings me back to the weekend revelation.   I was out in public volunteering, with a bunch of people from a local church. These are the people I learned to fear. The ones I thought hated all of us.   I was welcomed with open arms and it was an amazing feeling.  Great people and great times.  This flowed into a girls night out with some coworkers and as usual the conversations flow about.   It was brought to my attention by my friends that my daily attire could be a reason for confusion. Tee shirt and jeans… I’m not one for fancy dress.  Sure I like dresses and skirts, but the opportunities are few and far between.  I had started thinking and felt a social experiment was in order.  
I wore a very cute top with my skinny jeans and flats the next day.  I did some running, same as every other day and all I got was compliments… That and my friend rubbing my shirt repeatedly because she liked how it felt.  On Sunday it was yoga pants and a pink shirt.  No compliments, but nothing negative because I guess I looked like every other girl.  Monday was a pink Lowes shirt and skinny jeans.  The usual for me.  Tuesday brought on me in a cute tighter black top and a supportive bra that accentuated my assets along with some jeans that really hugged my rear which resulted in many more compliments.  These all came with no make up and hair clipped up. Today was just a nice pair of khaki jeans and a cute pink and black striped shirt with normal sports bra resulting in even more comments of how great I was looking.  Sure, this is just an unofficial test, but it made me think that there was more I missed.  
Maybe it was the clothes, or maybe it was my attitude while wearing them.  Maybe it is the nail polish I love to wear, my hair, or maybe it was all of these things.  Maybe it was none but I must attest that finding your style is key to your life.  Find the look you love and rock it.  Many people find their style in their younger years, we have to do it much later in life.  Find that nail color that is just perfect, or those jeans that make your butt look amazing.   Do not get stuck in the status quo but as you venture out please be careful.  After last weeks post I was enlightened that not everyone has such a good outcome.  Some go through hell daily, yet the keep on moving forward because who they are is more than the hatred that comes from the others.  Our vanity comes with fear.  Our freedom can have a hefty price tag.   Being transgender is not always as easy as my personal situation is.  All I can do is keep writing, hoping I help someone and wishing I could make all my friends lives better.   I sit here and hope that I won’t read about the next transgender person being murdered, assaulted, or even taking their own life.   It has gone on to long and it needs to end.  Life is to short and to precious to have to live in fear.   

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