Tuesday, January 29, 2013

In with the Boys

The other night, I attended another fashion show. It was the third show I've had the opportunity to walk on the runway for a designer. The last two shows were full of excitement, nerves, disappointment, and in general mixed feelings but I was determined to keep trying. This time, I felt like I had the time of my life.

For most of these shows, there's a rehearsal mid-week and if you can't attend the rehearsal, you're not usually welcome to walk for the show. Well this show was not quite as planned out as the others and my boyfriend and I already had a ballet studio rehearsal to attend on the day of the rehearsal. I decided to cast for the event anyway and it turned out, they needed more models. So I ended up being selected for the show anyway. I was pretty nervous because I had no rehearsal experience for this event in particular but I was also really excited because I was pretty sure I'd be modeling a bikini or some kind of swim wear.

I arrived at the event and we started off with some of the choreography practice because there wasn't an actual runway but a circle of chairs we had to walk around and strike a pose every few steps. Then they called me up to get fitted because the designer I was walking for had arrived. The designer and his wife went through some of the bikinis and looked at me and had to keep searching, saying I was a little more well endowed. I found that amusing. They finally found a bikini that would fit me and I tried it on and they approved and after makeup and hair, I sucked my tummy in, looked in the mirror and was pleasantly surprised with what I saw. (Note: my tummy is a constant sore point for me nowadays and it's really not very often that I can look in the mirror and be happy with it....so this was nothing short of amazing)

Shortly after that, I was sitting there waiting to shoot when one of the male models who was walking for the show (not for swimwear but for some forms of victorian / steampunk wear) came up to me and started chatting. We talked for a while and then I had to start shooting with some of the photographers. I shot by myself and with some other models and then went on to the next photographer where that same male model was in line waiting to shoot. We chatted some more and when it was his turn, he told the photographer: "I definitely want to shoot with this beauty here" as he gestured towards me. I probably blushed but I definitely smiled. We shot together and then I shot alone and went onto the next couple photographers.

Overall, I felt like the shooting portions of the night went rather well. The runway portion was not so great because I really need to work on my poses more and I didn't have a lot of rehearsal time. But the one thing I noticed the most about the night was that I felt comfortable hanging around the male models. More than a few other times, I found myself waiting around with them for this photographer or that photographer making idle chit-chat. I shot with another one of them as well. But the surprising thing to me was that I was almost more comfortable hanging out with 'the boys' than I was with the female models.

The irony is pretty obvious here and yet it's not the first time that I've noticed this. At work about a year ago, I started hanging out with a few of the designer guys. They were animated and fun and even though I was a girl, I felt accepted among them. At one point one of them joked about me being 'one of the boys' and I laughed that off, thinking to myself 'if only they knew'.

As I was thinking about this last night, I came to a realization. When I was spending all my time trying to 'be a boy', it was like the other guys somehow knew I was feminine. I ended up overcompensating for my lack of masculinity and that never quite seemed to help my case any. At some point, I just started avoiding hanging out with guys. And yet now that I've transitioned and I can live my life being who I am with all of the feminine energy emanating from me and not only is that accepted by these groups of boys but it's in some cases, admired. It's almost laughable that I'm now much more accepted in a circle of guys than I was before; but that seems to be the case.

And don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I don't get along with girls. I still have way more girl friends than guy friends and I'm definitely part of the girl's club. I'll never be a tomboy and I'll never want to be a part of the 'boys club' again. But in some of these cases, my comfort level seems to fit in well with the boys now that I can interact fully as the woman I've always been.


Sarah McCoy said...

It is so very interesting. Who we are on the outside and who we are on the inside. How we perceive ourselves and how we perceive others. Male or female. Straight, gay, or bi.
The part of us that makes us unique is that part of us that cannot truly be seen. Our personality. Our persona. Our soul.
Life would be so much easier if we could bond with others person to person, and no so much by sex or gender. Then, we would not have to justify who we are to ourselves and to others.

Cassidy said...

Isn't it great how often life presents us with these little moments that only we can appreciate? :c)

The only person in my family who knows about me so far is my sister. She and my 19-year-old nephew (her son) were talking about me recently. He told her "Uncle is my boy." Her reply? "Don't be so sure." lol

Love your blog, Debra! You're a wonderful writer. And thank you for the lovely comment you left on mine!


Debra said...

Thanks Cass. =) I went back and read the response comment you wrote to me. I'm glad my blog/journey has been a help for you. That is one of the main reasons I still keep it up nowadays....the other being it becomes a good outlet where I can talk about things I don't talk about publicly anymore in my everyday life.

Sarah true. Life would be much easier and yet our cultures are so intertwined with sex and gender. It's funny too, in some ways that doesn't bother me so much anymore now that my gender and sex match.

Vanessa said...

fascinating ... once again, i recognize a lot of these experiences. :)

Sarah McCoy said...

I wonder if the day will come when gender dysphoria will be considered by both the medical profession and the general public at large as a birth defect.
Physical birth defects are easy to detect because the are visually obvious.
But gender dysphoria is not visually obvious, so it takes longer to detect and even when detected, it is hard for many to accept.

jbtrainrider said...

I date a transgender. She is a lovely and very talented human being. I notice since I treat her that way, it is a cue for others to treat her that way though many them know she is transgendered. We did not hind she is transgender nor broadcast it. What is really important is that she is the person she is. I glad you are that high level, where you can just lead your life.

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