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Being told what to wear...

Discussion in 'Gender Identity and Expression' started by clockworkfox, May 1, 2016.

  1. clockworkfox

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    My cousin is getting married in a month. I was asked to attend, and specifically, to "dress more girly". More specifically, to not show up in a suit. "For grandma." Because she would "really like to see me in a dress".

    I don't now, and haven't really ever, owned any semi-formal dresses. I have no intention of buying one.

    I'm personally a little offended that I'm 25 and being told what to wear. It seems like they don't want me there - they want a version of me that's more "normal" there. I don't want to go if I have to put on a costume and edit myself down for other people's comfort. :dry:

    I should note - I'm still not out to family. But for the past few years, I've been dressing more androgynously, and then more boyishly, for events that I have to dress up for. I feel more comfortable when I'm presenting as dapper for these sort of things - it just feels right. Additionally, only my parents and siblings know I'm dating a transwoman - a fact I've been asked not to disclose, again, "for grandma". So I've spent the past year beating around the bush when asked if I'm seeing anyone. I feel like I don't even have much to talk about, since extended family members only ask me the same 3 questions when I see them including the one I'm not "allowed" to answer, and I feel like I don't fit in with any of this.

    Any advice? Am I blowing this out of proportion?

    Should I just not go? Should I appease them? Or do I wear what I want because fuck it?
     
  2. YinYang

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    In my opinion, unless you are in danger of being physically hurt, you should wear what you want. Like you said, you're 25, and you're an adult. You can legally do whatever you want (as long as it's legal). So, if you want to go in a suit, then go in a suit. If you want to tell people about your girlfriend, tell people. It's your life, your situations, your experiences. You get to decide what you do, not your mom or your dad or anyone else.

    But that's just how I see it. I'm curious to know what other people think.
     
  3. InfinityonHigh

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    If the possible consequences of you going to the wedding in a suit is not something you can't handle (be that physical or emotional ones; full on physical violence seems unlikely from what I'm understanding, but I'm not too familiar with your family and also there's a chance you'll get harassed/ostracized by relatives), just go for it. Since you've been dressing more stereotypically masculine, I doubt they'll be surprised. They might have their suspicions, (though they'll likely be more based on sexual orientation) but it's not something that immediately shouts "trans!!!" It really depends on your attitude towards these things and how your family is. In the end, you should have the final call on how you dress for the wedding.

    Another thing to think about is how your grandma will actually feel about you wearing a suit (and not fitting into their ideas of how you should be ). Sometimes people will say these things to make you fit into their ideas of how you should be without actually considering what the person they're mentioning, (and allow me to be a bit blunt, guilt trip you with,) feels about the situation. Again, I don't know your grandma, but this is something to think about.

    Not going is an option. You can make it as some form of "protest" (like saying that you're not going because you won't get to wear what you want), or find an excuse if that other option is not your cup of tea. (Feign sick/something came up etc) It depends on how important this event is to you.

    One note though, I don't know if your girlfriend is out as trans, but she isn't and doesn't want to be (you could always ask what she wants) then you don't want to out her to your relatives either way. I don't want to wrongly accuse you of anything (and I hope I'm not doing that) but it's just something to keep in mind.
     
    #3 InfinityonHigh, May 1, 2016
    Last edited: May 1, 2016
  4. lnamae

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    I agree with YinYang tbh.

    You're not blowing it out of proportion - it's unreasonable really to tell a 25 y/o adult what to wear. Even if you're not out to family, this isn't even a gender identity thing :confused:

    Maybe your family won't be happy about it, but it's not fair that you should have to hide so much stuff and be miserable for it. I reckon you should just do what you feel most comfortable with. Whether that's wearing a suit, or not going, or whatever. Idk... I know this sort of stuff can turn into resentment towards people who are trying to change you/make you fit in too. I feel like it's best to be yourself, even if others don't like it :eusa_doh:
     
  5. MsEmma

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    Argh - I had this whole rant typed out and my browser refreshed and I lost it. You'll have to trust me that it was brilliantly written with a mix of poignancy and rage. So, now you're stuck with the Reader's Digest version:

    My vote (as if I have one) is either wear a suit or don't go. There's absolutely zero reason to spend a couple to several hundred dollars on a dress that you'll NEVER wear again just to fit into their preconceived notion of who and what you are - while they hide behind Grandma as the reason to force your hand. I have a sneaking suspicion that Grandma doesn't care nearly as much as THEY care and they're using her as a scapegoat. Cowards, imho.

    Heck, if I were you, I'd go dapper as all hell and show up with my trans girlfriend just to piss in their cheerios. (maybe not, but I'd certainly think about it and chuckle.)
     
  6. bluejay77

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    I also say either wear a suit or don't go. And it may seem harsh, but if your family doesn't like it they'll just have to suck it up and deal with it. You shouldn't have to change for other people (unless you're seriously doing something wrong, which you aren't), and you certainly have no obligation to "dress more girly" for anyone.
     
  7. Irisviel

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    I might need to face the same dilemma few months from now, with my best friend's getting married. I don't know what I'm going to do, or whether it will really be a problem.

    However, you don't own a dress. That makes things simpler for you, and also you're not presenting as male technically speaking, so you have the trans aspect out of the way I assume.
    You can't be demanded to spend a lot of money just to show up on one party. Like everyone here said, don't go or go in a suit. You could even say you can't afford to buy a dress for just one evening, as an excuse.

    I think it all depends on potential consequences. I wouldn't want to hide my girlfriend from the world - but if you still live with those people, it might depend on how they would treat you if you rebel.
     
    #7 Irisviel, May 2, 2016
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
  8. Mihael

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    I'm sorry not to be much help, but I empatise, I also have a funny family. I support what everyone has already said: don't do anything you're not comfortable with. You aren't obligated to show up or wear a dress, unless some kind of physical violence comes into question. Also, wearing a suit doesn't automatically shout "trans!"
     
  9. SillyGoose

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    Bluejay77 summed it up completely..
    Maybe don't annoyed at the for not considering your gender identity if your not out to them though
     
  10. Aberrance

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    I completely understand that, I've had to force myself into uncomfortable and dysphoria-inducing outfits in the past and over the past 3 years I've just outright refused. If they don't like it they can deal with me not going. Don't make yourself feel vulnerable and uncomfortable by wearing an outfit that you're not going to feel yourself in, it really isn't worth it. I'd suggest either outright tell them you're going to dress the way you want (you're god damn 25 you can dress yourself however you like! Its not like your parents can ground you) or honestly just don't go. Like I said it's not worth putting yourself through that.
     
  11. denouement

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    Similar situation with my parents in terms of "don't offend grandma!". I've been wearing pretty much whatever I feel like wearing, and-- surprise!-- grandma has been the most supportive so far. She's confirmed that she prefers a more feminine look, but said that she can see that this makes me happy, and that's what matters.

    So not to echo what everyone else has said, but definitely don't buy a dress just to make them happy.

    If you're not comfortable dealing with the potential backlash of a full suit, maybe you could consider something more androgynous? My go-to for family formals has been a dress shirt with a vest.
     
  12. clockworkfox

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    Thanks for all the replies.

    Some more information...

    I'm not upset because they're not considering my gender identity in all this - I'm upset because I'm 25 and being told what to wear. Am I a bad dresser or something? Like seriously what's the deal there?

    I don't own a dress for this sort of occasion - but I've been given the "generous" offer of borrowing one. To which I've said no thanks!

    My cousin's soon-to-be husband is a young Republican that thinks Sarah Palin is just the cutest. :eusa_sick Since he's half of this gruesome two-some, I'm sure his family will be half of the crowd. Maybe that has something to do with the sudden insistence? He's met me before, and I'm sure some of his family has...if they don't want me queering up this wedding, tough titty. :newcolor:

    Also, my grandma is a very old school Roman Catholic. You know, the wear your Sunday best type. While I'd love to think she was more open minded than they give her credit for, she has never shown me much support in the realm of personal presentation...in fact she confronted me outside of a family gathering a few years back, one of the first ones I dressed boyishly to, to ask me what the hell was wrong with me - for not putting on a nice dress like the other girls, I presume. I mean she didn't say it, but I didn't do anything else to rock the boat, and she made it clear I wasn't dressed for the occasion.

    That said, some of it is definitely guilt tripping. But honestly, it's not working...so fucking what if she's in her eighties, either she cares about me or she doesn't, and that shouldn't be contingent on what I'm wearing. I don't have to do anything to appease her.

    If I do go, I fully intend to have it my way at least partly. If they somehow manage to get me in a dress, then they'll get to see what 4 years of leg hair growth looks like, because I'm not wearing tights. :icon_cool But if it comes to that, I think I'll just send a card and call it done.

    Is that wrong of me? I just don't want to spoil everyone else's good time.

    ---------- Post added 3rd May 2016 at 01:14 AM ----------

    To be honest, it isn't the dresses I mind - it's the body under the dresses, and the perception of that body as a cisgender woman. It's like putting on a costume and having to live the role for it. Which would work if I were a method actor, but I'm not, so it's stifling. :frowning2:
     
  13. anthracite

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    If they don't want you to wear a suit and you really want to piss them off probably come with jeans and a jack daniels tee. If they cry for the suit you can always put a jacket above that :wink:

    But really, the best thing is to wear a suit so you can figure out who sides with you and might consider to stop contact with some.

    ---------- Post added 3rd May 2016 at 07:21 AM ----------

    And according to your rebellion, it is your right to spoil everything, as they started spoiling. No sane person would be annoyed if you'll wear a suit. So it's them who started the war now they shall live with it.
     
  14. lnamae

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    Wow... jeez... I feel like...this is a huge tangled conflict made to feel like your fault, that's really not your fault. You're not the one making a big deal. Do whatever makes you feel comfortable and don't let anyone make you feel bad for it. Sometimes, that's just what you gotta do.
     
    #14 lnamae, May 3, 2016
    Last edited: May 3, 2016