Thursday, April 30, 2015

What's so awesome about wearing a skirt?

When I saw my doctor this week for a check up and told her about this project, after she told me all the reasons she loved wearing pants, she asked why a man would wear a skirt when they could wear pants. I'm enjoying asking that question myself, and I'm surprised every time I put it on how much I like it. Seriously. I'm really starting to love this thing. I cool off much faster, and it is hard not to note that men in other cultures who live in places with regularly warm to hot environments often have loose bottom garb that men in the USA would call a dress (its a tunic). The ease of wearing it is really incredible, and it just plain feels good on my skin. I love this thing!

Until I go out in public. What's really starting to percolate is how much clothing is about managing self-perception and the perception of others, which is silly because we can't control the perceptions of others. Clothing is about culture at least as much, if not more than it is about "rational"
decisions of what to wear. Practicality, environment, and context inform culture, even as our culture informs our perception of those things.

Today in the movie theater restroom, with the smell of popcorn mixing in a queer manner with the antiseptic smell of the bathroom and not quite cleaned up bodily fluids, I stood at a urinal again. The black, shiny tile in front of my face acted like a mirror and allowed me to see behind me and eased a bit of anxiety. At least I'd see the strike coming, I thought. One man came back from the blow drier and picked up something from beside the sink, turned and looked at me, gaze pointed down toward my skirt, and then he seemed to slightly nervously shift the package he'd retrieved and left the bathroom. Big exhale.

Exiting the restroom hurriedly, I almost bumped into him, and I scampered out of the lobby to stand in the hallway leading to the exit doors. The lobby just felt too exposed. While I waited for my partner, the man from the bathroom came up to me and commented how much he liked my skirt, and how good it was to see a man in a skirt. This lead to one of the most touching and really special conversations I've ever had. Just reliving it for this writing brings me to tears. There are a ton of amazing people in the world that I've never connected with.

I'm starting to wonder at what point I might start telling stories like that in my head when people notice the skirt instead of all the fearful things I hear now.

2 comments:

  1. Rebecca AndersonMay 1, 2015 at 7:05 AM

    I enjoyed reading your thoughts and experiences. I wonder, happily, what life would be like if everyone felt truly free to wear any kind of clothing. ...what else might change in our cultural consciousness along the way from here to there, as gender and sexual orientation became distinct from clothing choices! More real and useful pockets in all forms of clothes would be one small but happy outcome for me, I think. Keep on with your skirt wearing self !!

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