Over the last few years of answering emails for Chameleons, there are a few questions, that pop up regularly. One of them is around dress. Perhaps, not unusual for a group of cross-dressing people. But flippancy aside, a question about being judged when dressed. What do others wear? What should I wear? I’m new to all of this, everyone seems so together with their outfits, etc.
I think it’s intimidating enough, visiting a new place, where you don’t know anyone. Chuck into the mix, that you’re worried that you’ll look like a mess, must just add to the stress. BTW, I should add that the Chams folk are very cool and laid back. We don’t judge. Well, provided you are not indecent, we don’t judge 🙂
|Not me, BTW. I don’t tend to
photograph appliances, as a rule. 🙂
Going back a few years, I remember my first attempts. Learning to walk in heels took ages. Oddly, I didn’t seem to mind getting the hours in. I used to Hoover regularly before work, because it would help me keep my balance and the manoeuvring around the house, meant I wasn’t just walking up and down. Yes, the comedy value of a Queen video wasn’t lost on me, either 🙂
Make-up took longer and I’m still learning today. It’s not like we transfolk, get regular practice. An hour here, an afternoon, or evening there. How much does that add up to in a few months? We don’t have anyone to show us, as a rule, and YouTube can be a bit one-sided. I know I gave up on the Smokey Eye look, because no matter what I did, it just wouldn’t work. Skip on a year or two, and I now know I’ve hooded eyes and that technique is never going to work for me. Instead, I’ve had to learn what does (Ed: mostly, anyways).
When you start off, buying clothes seems like going into enemy territory. What is someone sees me? What if someone asks what I’m doing? All of those questions rattle around your head. Then, there’s the dreaded: Can I help you? Sure, you want help, but at the same time, you have the OMG, they’ll know! panic. It took me a while to get over this and looking back, I don’t know why I worried so much. I mean, what’s the difference between me shopping for clothes, and me shopping for the Ever Lovely Mrs J’s birthday? In practical terms, nothing. Yet, the latter was easier and the former had me in knots.
Eventually, the penny dropped and now, I’m fine with it. Fine with it, to the point that if it’s for me and I need some help, I’ll ask. Sure, I’ll try to be discreet and ensure I don’t weird out the sales assistant. But, hey, my money is as good as anyone else’s and maybe getting shops to test their attitude to Equal Ops, isn’t a bad thing.
With time and through the mistakes of buying the wrong thing, I started to work out what did suit me. I still get it wrong now, but that’s all part of the fun of experimenting. I’ve learned to keep receipts and avoid stores who are funny about returns. Truth be told, there aren’t many of the latter now.
So, if there’s a moral, or a conclusion to this post of mine, is that, if you’re new; it will take time. Enjoy the journey and don’t rush. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and practice really helps.