The Author vs. Clothing

Just in case you missed it, you are now, for the first time ever, able to read the first few chapters of my upcoming LGBT fantasy book, Chosen, a novel Jon Stewart will someday hail as, “The best book I ever would’ve discussed in front of a live studio audience if I were still doing book-related interviews on The Daily Show, but as I’m leaving the show in August, I guess I’ll never get the chance to shower T.J. Baer with well-deserved kudos and flaily fanboying. Sigh.”

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Sorry, Jon. You had your chance.

Read the first three chapters here.

In other news, my struggles against technology, entropy, and gravity continue, but today I’d like to talk about a different sort of struggle:

Fricking clothing.

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Clothing always seems to be my enemy, primarily because I identify as gender fluid, a confusing term which essentially means that some days I feel eyelash-flutteringly feminine, while other days I’m ready to flex my (non-existent) biceps and swagger around pointlessly with all the other dudes.

On feminine days, clothing is no problem – I put on something that makes me look somewhere in the vicinity of “pretty,” head outside, and all is well.

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Unfortunately, on my more masculine days, putting on something flowy/pretty feels completely unnatural and weird, but if I put on something more stereotypically masculine, I’m left with that societal chorus in the back of my head chanting, “Ugly ugly ugly ugly ugly.”

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It’s the same thing that’s stopped me from cutting my hair short, actually. Despite the fact that I’d really like to have a shorter, more “guy-like” haircut, the outcry from those around me when I consider such a thing stops me every time.

Actually, last year, I decided to get my hair cut short anyway, but the woman cutting my hair outright refused when I told her what kind of style I wanted, saying that it wouldn’t look good on me.

Granted, this woman was an elderly Russian lady who probably has some very set ideas about what’s appropriate for men vs. women, but I guess that’s what you get when you go to a place that offers $10 haircuts.

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In any case, my point is this: I know, logically, that I should wear whatever I feel like wearing, and that the opinions of others shouldn’t matter. Unfortunately, my brain doesn’t seem to have received that message, because I still find it remarkably difficult to wear what I want to wear without feeling like I’ve transformed into some kind of swamp creature.

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Pictured above: Me.

It’s strange, actually: When I was in my early twenties, I was very much a “to hell with what anybody thinks!” sort of person, but as I’ve grown older, it’s like that fierce independent spirit has been slowly beaten down and squashed under this weary desire just to fit in. Fighting against societal norms is exhausting, and sometimes you just want to go out into the world without feeling like everyone’s staring at you and judging you.

But it shouldn’t be like that, and I’m determined not to let it be like that. Thus, I offer a challenge to myself for this summer: Wear what you want to wear, dammit, and don’t feel bad about it! And think about the haircut thing again, except maybe this time, consider going to someone familiar with styles more recent than World War II era Europe. Just a suggestion.

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Well, now that that’s decided, there’s some food in my fridge that requires immediate attention, and a cup of tea that’s not going to drink itself. Until next time, friends.

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