I move tomorrow. And Monday. And a little bit yesterday. There’s nothing like having to take literally every article of clothing you own to the laundromat to remind you how much you own. That’s 2 Prius loads full. And I got rid of 12 white garbage bags of clothes during the Fat Girl Flea Market, so it is extra crazy realizing how much there is.
When I think about my wardrobe, though, I do realize that I have a lot of different aesthetics to maintain. I have a whole career wardrobe, which includes the business casual I use predominantly because I do transactional work and I’m a little flashy as well as the requisite suits. Even though I am transitioning to my new career which will involve some business work, I still need that stuff, because I will need to wear it and there’s no greater stress than needing a suit last minute, as a plus size girl.
Then there’s what I call the queer fat femme wardrobe, which is basically my everyday (and every night). Of course, everything has a different level of fancy–I have 5 different red halter dresses to illustrate this point. Is this a casual BBQ sundress situation or a tight wiggle dress night out? Is this something more conservative and less cleavagey I can wear to a baby shower with my ex-girlfriend’s parents (true story) or a flashy life of the party everyone will stare at me I look so good dress? Dressing Femme is complicated, everyone has a part of their body they don’t want to show off and parts that they do. I’ve even got parts I show off for political reasons.
And then there’s the whole performance wardrobe. Honey, I’ve got a ton of majorly unique and adorable costumes and only increase the amount the longer I work at a plus sized vintage clothing store. I had to get most of them dry cleaned as part of the transition to the new apartment, and the women at the dry cleaners were exclaiming over some of them. I am proud of my collection.
But just because I CAN explain why my wardrobe is so big doesn’t mean I NEED to. I don’t have to justify my clothes to anyone, that’s part of living as a Fierce Femme. It’s being who you are, loving what, who and how you love without justification to anyone but yourself. Yeah, I’ve got a lot of clothes, but I love them, I love myself and they make me really happy.
I’ve learned over the last few years you should only keep what you LOVE. While I do LOVE a lot of things, and I’m trying to do the best I can to weed out “stuff” from my life. But at this point I know with 98% certainty that everything I pull out of those laundry bags once Monday evening comes and I’m for real in my new place and starting my new life across the Hudson I am going to squeal with delight being reunited with my wardrobe.
So, yeah, the crimp in my back only one day into the moving process is all for the love of my clothes. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I leave you with a wonderful video I found starring my colleague in fat activism Marilyn Wann and some big moves dancers.
Friends! I just got back from one of the most inspirational and fulfilling weeks of my life. Intentional community, dream trip, deep emotions, deep caring, connections, luxury bathtubs. It was such a surprise to me that the experience was so deep and so much of what I needed.
I was blogging through the process of my transition to LA from Brooklyn, but things got pretty derailed for me as I have been affected both by the de-stability of the transition and the effects of the mental illness and substance abuse of a close friend. Shit has been rough.
How blessed I feel to have had this experience. Intentional community is incredibly healing for me. Summer camp did that for me as a kid and a teen. The Femme Conference did that for me for awhile, so did performing with my drag king troupe in the early 2000s. Now I have this new experience to reflect on. I’m excited to dive in and tell you all about what I saw, heard, learned, felt and experienced. But first, I think I need to paint a picture of what’s been going on in my life for context.
However, in these "troubled economic times" or as I like to call it "The Hateful Bush Economy" it is extremely crucial to support art made for our community, by our community. Since so many of the authors in the book submitted for the love of Femme community and don't get paid for it, I thought I would throw back a little love at them!
I met Bryn almost ten years ago at a Mixer party (I think that's what it was called) at Levi Braslow's loft apartment. I thought she was a cisfemme who was really into conventionally masculine trans guys but it turned out she was trans. It took me a few weeks, she told me and laughed at me. She also didn't tell me she was HIV positive until years after we met (she got progressively more out about it). She moved from rural Ohio to Michigan to New York City, if I'm remembering the whole trajectory. Even though she was from Ohio she was in rural Appalachia and definitely identified strongly with my West Virginia loves. She was queer country, through and through.
Bryn was slow to get to know. I was in the phase of my life when we met (around 26/27) that I was quick to make friends. If I thought you were awesome I would trust you right away. She was more like a cat who comes into the room you're hanging out in, scopes it out, but it takes a long time to hang out and chill. We talked about that, years later, when I realized that my overly trusting nature was getting me fucked over by people. She and I agreed there was probably a healthy middle between her inclination and mine. I wonder if that shifted for her?