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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » Clothes and sexuality

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Author Topic: Clothes and sexuality
Beppie
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Our culture really seems to latch on to the arbitrary link that exists between clothing and our sexuality. Many of us judge clothes as "masculine" or "feminine", or occaisionally neutral, meaning that it doesn't really pertain to either, or to both of them. The fact that there are more than those two poles (not everyone identifies as male or female after all) is usually not acknowledged.

So my question to you is, how do you feel your sexual identity/gender affects your choices of clothing. If you identify as male or female, do you break or stick to the stereotypes surrounding your gender's dress code? How does this affect you? If you do not identify as male or female, do you feel that your gender is expressed in your clothing in any way?

I will post a response with my own answers later on.


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lemming
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well, I consider myself pretty gender-neutral in a lot of ways, and I think the clothing that I pick for myself reflects this.

I don't generally wear dresses because I don't like to. but I'll wear skirts, or slacks with button-down shirts, or a tank top and my cut-off-below-the-knee pants. it's whatever fits and is comfortable. I've been known to shop Old Navy exclusively for their children's clothes. my hair is short-short because it's easy.

I don't tend to look at my clothes or at myself as one gender - it's just whatever suits me at the moment. and bras, those are just for comfort reasons - when it's hot (like it always is in Houston) it's not pleasant to have your breasts adhere to your chest. trust me on this one. ;]

neat topic, bepster.

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~lemming, Scarleteen Advocate

want to know the inner lemming? read her diary at http://innerlemming.diaryland.com/.
"Is love like the sweet, bitter taste of marmalade on burnt toast?"


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Mary
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I love this topic!

Well, I've almost always worn clothes made for women... I don't ever remember shopping in the men's section just because I've never really thought about it I guess. I identify as female, so I wear clothes made for females.

Thinking about it, though, clothes are clothes, and I think people should wear what they like best. I REALLY like guys cargo shorts. I think they're awesome! Maybe I'll go out and get some. And I like guys' boxers (especially from Gap). They have such awesome designs!

Ok, ok, I've just talked myself into another shopping spree!

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Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

"Well, I use fertilizer and a new product I got at The Home Depot."


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rdavid
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wow! this is such a great question. my self-identity has been up in the air lately, so I've been sort of multigendered. and it's finals time, so I've been really lazy, so most of my outfits reflect a "sleep-deprived college guy" persona. but when I dress up nice, I look like... well... a well-dressed guy. Or sometimes a butch lesbian.

I usually only shop in the men's section, though I have been known to stare longingly at baby t-shirts. If I didn't have issues about that sort of thing, I'd be wearing baby tees and fishnet tights a lot more. sometimes I wear makeup and/or sparkly things anyway.

Kind of upsetting to realize that as much as I thought I was a revolutionary being for having a gender identity that went counter to people's perceptions of me, I still religiously follow the narrow gendered clothing conventions that are put on men. Bah! *runs off to find sparkly cocktail dress just to confuse people*

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r.d.m. * riotboy * http://f0o.org
"and you say i'm just a kitty cat in disguise" -- estrojet


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Aria51
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The only time I've ever worn definately 'feminine' clothes were for Prom and when I was pregnant. I mean, you just don't find maternity clothes in the mens' section.

The only thing I really wear that's made for women are my jeans and underthingies. I had extrememly short hair for a very long time, and got called "sir" quite a few times. I thought it was pretty nifty, actually.

I wear long black skirts and fishnets when we go barhopping, but then again, so does Jeremy, so.

Yeah. I just get dressed to avoid being naked.

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And there's nothing I can do, as I realize with fright, the spider-man is having me for dinner tonight!

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Beppie
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Well, I suppose I should answer this now as I said I would.

I've always identified as female. While I recognize that gender is a social convention, I feel totally comfortable as "female", but I do often break "feminine" conventions in the way I dress. This might be because of my lifestyle- two of my favourite activities, swordfighting and role playing are traditionally "male" activities, and certainly when I was in high school I was more inclined to wear skirts and makeup and other such things labeled as "feminine". Anyhow, while I do have a liking for baby Ts, I also often wear clothes that most people would term genderless- plain T-shirts, jeans etc, and I don't wear makeup very often at all. Yet I don't feel any confustion about my gender within myself. And certainly I don't think anyone doubts that I'm genetically XX (though that doesn't determine gender in everyone of course). However, a few months ago, my sister told me (and was dead serious) that I wasn't female, simply because I don't always choose to dress in "feminine" clothes. I think she sees me as completely genderless, which is very different from my perception of myself.

It's interesting how people form these views, isn't it?


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Shadow Stalker
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I've always heavily identified myself as a male... And since I think I have very masculine traits dress in such a manner that it's extremely obvious I'm a guy.
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alaska
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Excellent topic, Bepster. Had to think about it for a while, actually, not that I have come to a definite conclusion about it all now.
I simply don't really think in gender specified clothing most of the time, but well, my gender does influence the way I dress, I think, at least partly.

As every day wear, I mostly wear pants (boot cut Jeans, actually), teamed up with shirts or blouses, fitted T’s, Cardis or whatever else I can find, so I’d still deem that as relatively gender neutral clothing. In summer, you catch me in shorts very often, and summer is the only time I regularly wear dresses (long dresses, most of the time) and “dress up as a girl”.

For work purposes or so, I do dress in a more feminine way, simply because the skirt suit and high heels thing is the dress code for women in big law firms over here, and I actually enjoy it. Call me odd: I like my skirt suits, really. My body likes them, too, I seriously look better in feminine clothing, simply because I have a very feminine body, so dresses and skirts (at a certain length, preferably a ‘50s length around or below the knee) a tight shirt or boatneck top and a blazer with high heels look better on me then Jeans. As do formal dresses. Very odd. Jeans – even though I wear them all the bloody time – and other pants make me look odd, just because it’s hard to find things for my shape. For me, it’s easier to find dresses and skirts then fitting pants.
But still, for every day, dresses and skirts are too impractical and I just don’t find it important.

My “every day at Uni wear” is very “neutral” and simple compared to what other females at Uni look like. I don’t wear pearl necklaces to school, I don’t wear skirts and “f*** me boots” to school, I don’t look at brands (I swear some of my classmates only wear Burberry, Boss and Ralph Lauren), I don’t wear little nicky scarfs, I don’t dress very cutesy; so me in my Jeans, Camper shoes, a more “feminine” V-Neck shirt from Gap and large 50’s glasses look like a boy next to those “hyper girlies” that are my class mates. And that’s okay, really. It’s me. So what?

In general, no matter what I wear, my distinctively female body always shows thru anyway. I simply am female , no matter what, and my body screams female, loudly. Yes, I wear my Dads old worn out button down shirts, jumpers and shirts I nicked from my brother, but hey, these breasts that I own never make me look any less female. And the very blond hair, short or not, adds to that, too.
I shop in the girls section often, but in case I like something in the male's, I get it too (if it fits), so it doesn’t really bother me where sth is in the shops, as long as it fits. I have started to shop for pants almost exclusively in the men’s section, simply because I discovered that my brothers pants fit me better than my own. So what. I don’t mind as long as sth fits.

I’m a little like aria I guess – at the mo, I dress to not be naked, even though I enjoy the occasional serious girly dress up, too.

And as a general note: IMHO men in skirts are hot.

(and somehow this is an inconclusive post, forgive me, I am doing Inhertiance law these days and that ruins my train of thought)

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"We must become the change we want to see."
Mahatma Gandhi

[This message has been edited by Alaska (edited 05-21-2001).]


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Lin
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Oh geez Caro hon, no wonder you hate all those "typical law students". They sound dreadful.

Lin, forever judging the book by its cover.

Anyway, I was giving alot of thought to this topic as well and I agree. My gender does determine how I dress. I feel that even if I were to wear gender neutral clothes like jeans, I buy those that are somewhat more feminine. Feminine jeans. *smirk*

I have fab jeans with these furry leopard prints for pockets and are disgustingly tight but I adore them because they are sooo cute. Although my friends keep wanting to touch my butt. Most of my jeans are fairly tight because I look terrible in anything that bags. You wouldn't be able to find me if I wore a big T-shirt and baggy jeans.

I adore (going to sound like Britney Spears here) tube tops, tank tops, halter tops. One reason is because Singapore is really hot and I really cannot stand wearing anything that covers me totally plus I have recently acquired a choking sensation when I wear T-shirts. I'm so weird, I can't begin to describe it.

I love skirts although I can't wear short skirts because on my legs, the skirts just look extra short. I like skirts which are colourful or with interesting details.

I pretty much wear anything anywhere. I am wearing a funky blusih-grey tube top with capri pants now. And I am at work.

I tend to dress up if I am going to work or if I have to wake up early for school because taking the time to dress up makes me feel more awake and alert.

I wear more pants than skirts though, simply because I am very active and I like to run and jump around. I'm actually a monkey.

Got a feeling I have strayed far away from the topic. Oh well.


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BruinDan
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x

[This message has been edited by BruinDan (edited 09-26-2002).]


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Dead Dog
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i have always defined myself as a female, but never as a "girlie-girl."

i love wearing dresses, skirts, tight tanktops, and lingerie, when i'm in the mood. dangly girlie earrings are just the best sometimes.

however, i also love wearing baggy tshirts and men's cargo pants, when that mood strikes me.

i wear my hair short for convenience, and i get a lot of rude "dyke" comments about it, but they don't bother me, because i'm comfortable with my bisexuality.

i think that your sexuality is not (or, at least, should not be) defined by your style of dress. it is defined instead by your attitude, by the way you carry yourself, by the vibe you send to the world. a girl acting like she feels masculine will look masculine, no matter how heavily you douse her in sequin gowns and diamond earrings.


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Gaffer
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Gender neutral clothes, because all clothes are gender neutral if they fit a guy and girl. I must admit, despite my obsession with pants that are much too large and tee-shirts, that some of the best jackets and pants are made for girls--to say the least I'm no stranger to the girls section of most stores. I just ignore the weird looks and tell my mom they're unisex if she asks. It usually works. I just wish colors that aren't found in nature, and many that are, looked good on me. I usually stick with anything green or brown or black.

[This message has been edited by Gaffer (edited 05-21-2001).]


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Pixie69
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I identify as being female and consider myself to be very feminime (as far as stereotypes go). Not like "oh I'm a flower" feminime, but "hey I'm a chick" femme. Generally I wear comfy clothes, lol. I like big and baggy pants and tight tops or cute shirts. My nails and toenails are painted a lot, I wear a few dresses and skirts (bondage plaid kind of stuff), I have hair to my waist that is often in pigtails (but usually in a messy bun with one hair stick and one colored pencil, since I can never find a pair of hairsticks!).

I gotta say, I like to be cute. I love lipgloss and playing with make-up. I like the fact that I'm only 5'3" and most guys tower over me, and that people pinch my cheeks and say I'm a cutie. but I think if I was a guy I'd wear make-up too (you know, silver eyeshadow and such, think jay gordon from Orgy).

I think that stereotypes, as a whole are pretty stupid. I personally find guys in skirts to be incredibly attractive, and from an experiment at my school (well, an unofficial one, where my guy friend stole my bondage skirt and put it on and went into the cafeteria, we saw how peopel reacted), most people gave him a look, like what on earth is this guy doing wearing a skirt? I think that eventually the lines between male/female will become a lot less defined - I hope so anyway.

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Brittany
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This person is a natural product. The slight variations in color and texture enhance its individual character and beauty and in no way are to be considered flaws or defects.


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Rizzo
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Abolish all gender restrictions! Guys do look hot in skirts! Remember, there are no laws against wearing skirts.

Personally, I dress "like a girl". I wear skirts and dresses most days. I like interesting colours and dramatic or historical touches. However, I don't think this makes me more female than if I dressed as a boy (and I have been known to appear in public wearing a jacket, tie and breeches).
It's so unfair that men are still stuck with this homophobic and sexist idea that they can't have as wide a selection of clothes as women. Let's have a crusade...


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BruinDan
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quote:
Originally posted by Rizzo:
Abolish all gender restrictions! Guys do look hot in skirts! Remember, there are no laws against wearing skirts.

Actually, there are many regulations in the American workplace that govern dress codes. Women have recently made great strides by being allowed to wear pants, slacks, and jeans to work...but men are still prohibited in many places of business from wearing skirts, or dresses.

Personally, I am happy with "masculine" types of clothing, but I am sure there are many men out there who would wear skirts to work if they were given the opportunity. Seems to be quite a gulf between the strides made for women over the past thirty years, and the progress (or lack thereof) made by men in the same period.

[This message has been edited by BruinDan (edited 09-26-2002).]


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DC_WillowFan
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Well, I consider myself 95% guy and I'd say 5% girl. Clothing code: totally masculine. Probably because of social conventions and because of my physics aspects but I've always loved feminine clothes since I'm a child, specially skirts and cute tops.

Still I consider myself as a guy, wear nice masculine clothes, but I'm mostly neutral.

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- I hope I shall be able to confide in you completely, as I have never been able to do in anyone before, and I hope that you will be a great support and comfort to me.

Anne Frank to her journal
(1929-1945)


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Rizzo
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A law is different from a restriction or rule, which is why I said abolish all restrictions, not abolish all laws. In most countries there are no laws against wearing skirts if you are male.

Yes, women have made a lot of progress in the past thirty(+) years, but I would argue that they've had more to fight for than men. Either way, I'm with you, Bruin, there should be equality on the clothes front.


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Beppie
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Well of course guys are hot in skirts- you don't think that the appeal of Scotsmen lies only with their accents now do you?

Okay, I know that technically a kilt isn't a skirt, but for all practical purposes they're the same. Isn't it interesting how a particular item of clothing becomes "masculine" just by calling it by a different name?


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BJadeT
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I would say I'm 100% girl, but I dress to be comfortable, not to be female.
I wear big baggy t-shirts and jeans, and if I ever have to wear a skirt it's something denim and frayed, not flouncy and 'girly'. I wouldn't say it's a gender issue for me, more a comfort issue-I'm a slob through and through and I just don't see the point in uncomfortable clothes, especially skirts which I really, really hate. I have just left school after 5 years of 12 years of being forced to wear one every day and it's such a great feeling. That makes me angry, forcing girls to wear skirts in the middle of winter when they are totally impractical.
One thing I really resent is that I hate having my hair long, but I am currently growing it because everybody said I looked like a man with it short. It's such a pain, so I just have it scraped back in a ponytail but then everyone says I should have it down cos it makes me look 'pretty'-no, I don't want to look pretty-face it!!!!
Anyway, I got a bit angry there and this is not really a very helpful or interesting post, sorry.

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lalalalalalala
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Alaska wrote, "And as a general note: IMHO men in skirts are hot."

There's this guy who always wears long, flowy skirts. He's so hot.

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GOONIES NEVER SAY DIE!

[This message has been edited by LNM311 (edited 05-24-2001).]


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justagirl1
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The (goth) guys at my high school used to wear skirts.. until they banned them from doing so.
I figured this was some sort of prejudice, and that someone should say something, but I wasn't the one being banned, so I figured I had no standing in complaining.
I'm not even sure WHY they'd ban them from wearing skirts. Seems pretty ignorant to me..

I used to love it when my boyfriend would wear more feminine-type clothes. For some reason I just think it's sexy when he wore baby tees and tight sweaters and cardigans, painted his nails, and occasionally wore eyeliner or whatever.
I would always tell him he looked so 'pretty' rather than saying handsome, lol


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Bobolink
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Not to criticize justagirl1 but her turn of phrase reminded me of this:

quote:
First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist, so I said nothing.

Then they came for the Social Democrats, but I was not a Social Democrat, so I did nothing.

Then came the trade unionists, but I was not a trade unionist.

And then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew, so I did little.

Then when they came for me, there was no one left to stand up for me


These words are by Martin Neimoller, a former U-Boat commander in Kaiser Wilhelm's navy during the Great War and later a Lutheran pastor in Dahlem, Germany. He was arrested by the Gestapo in 1937 and remained in Nazi concentration camps until liberated by the American army in the spring of 1945.

The words bear remembering.

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The most exciting phrase in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" ("I found it!") but rather "Hmmm... that's funny...."

- Isaac Asimov

[This message has been edited by Bobolink (edited 05-24-2001).]

[This message has been edited by Bobolink (edited 05-24-2001).]


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DrQuack5
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While I'm genetically a female, I definitely dress waaaay masuline. I shop in guys sections (I haven't been in a girl section for myself for about 2 years) and I'm guyish enough that I can pass enough to get into men's dressing rooms (which I accidentally went into a few times because it wasn't marked.) I have a few tank tops, but I never wear them. They're sport tank tops and if anything, I wear them for hockey (under the equipment). I'm all about baggyness and non-girlishness. But apparently I have very feminine habits, whatever that means.
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PixieDust
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I have two X chromosomes, but I don't abide by them. My dressing is very masculine and my hair is very short...so when I decide I have to go to the bathroom while out in public, I wait and hold it, even if it's 3 hours till I get home, because I am constantly told I am in the wrong bathroom. Stupid people, I'm sorry, but I see myself naked every day, and while that might not be such a pretty sight, I know what gender I am, I just don't choose to wear the appointed clothes for that gender. AGH! I HATE PEOPLE!!!

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"We are the normal"-Johny Rznick


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'rin
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i wear whatever i grab when i get up in the morning. lately it's been a skirt cuase it's hot out and my boyfriends t shirts. he steals my cloths too so it's ok. *grin* the only real trend i've noticed is that on days when i'm being particularly "butch" (his word for when i'm in my old jeans and torn up flannel thrift shop shirts) he is likely to be wearing panties under his jeans, and on days when i'm wearing a skirt he's usually wearing boxers. we seem to preserve a gender gap in our clothing, but who's on which side of it is pretty fluid.
'rin

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DrQuack5
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PixieDust - I hate with a passion when people question my gender when I go into bathrooms. I do the exact same thing as you, I hold it. I'm so sick of it. It got to a point at school where I wouldn't go to the bathroom all day. So, from 7am to 4pm, I didn't go to the bathroom. I got home and peed like mad, but I just got so sick of getting laughed at and weird looks. Urg! Actually, when I'm out in public, I look for unisex bathrooms. Those are good.
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John Doe
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Women have much more freedom on the clothes front than men do, then again they tend to care about it a whole heck of a lot more than most guys. i know very few guys for which clothes shopping is a recreational activity. Personally at 6'5" and 265 lbs, I don't think I could pull off going in dresses all that well (and well heels would be just plain silly, but then again they are silly). also i don't think my boss or my clients would appreciate it (well maybe for holloween they would get a good laugh over it)

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"and these three, faith hope and love abide, and the greatest of these is love"


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Meltigem
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I'm not sure how one can go about questioning their gender. I've been doing so for a short time now... but I didn't think dressing had anything to do with it.

I guess it does.

I'm a girl, but feminine clothes were never comfortable on me. Sure, they could have "felt" comfortable but I never liked to wear them, and still don't like to. I guess it's how people perceive me. Ever since I was little I've wanted to be a boy... but I got used to the idea of being a girl eventually.


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