I’ve been butch since birth. Sure, my mom bought me a blue dress with white polka dots to match her and my sister on Easter when I was about 7. That outfit even included a white, wide-brim hat and lacy white socks. My private school upbringing also meant wearing a skirt five days a week for the first 18 years of my life. Oh, plus Sunday for church. So that left my weeknights and weekend to express my (ahem) “personal style.” Let’s just say it was lacking. Actually, it stayed lacking until I was about 28 years old. My uniform consisted of ill-fitting graphic t-shirts (that I convinced myself were clever), jeans, and Adidas sneakers. Plus hooded sweatshirts in the winter. I know. Sigh.
Let me begin my embarrassingly weak defense by stating that I was a sheltered child. And I am not sure you know what it is like to grow up lower-middle class in a rural area. Oh and gay. I’m not throwing that out there as some special “look-at-me” card. I’m just saying that my struggle to find a way to express myself was deepened by the fact that I wasn’t even sure how to articulate my identity with words, much less with my clothing. Plop that down in a locale that is dominated by camo (and not the Nick Wooster kind either), flannel, polyester and Walmart specials, and you will begin to understand what I had to work to overcome.
The Achilles heel, though, is that I was fat. Not like, kinda chubby or a little chunky. More like, belly hanging over belt fat. Also, really short. I’m 5’2″. Let’s all agree that short and fat is not the best foundation for winning the “best-dressed” award. Continue reading “Better Dressed Butch”