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"Dressing gay"

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by Lesbee, Mar 2, 2021.

  1. Lesbee

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    Hey y'all,

    Context:
    Out-to-everyone bisexual with 3 teenage kids in a happy 5 year, live-in straight relationship... and I think I may actually be a lesbian.

    My question though is about expression... I told my partner that one of the changes he may notice while I feel things out is that I may "express my gay-ness more"... but I feel like every time I do something that it'll be perceived as me pushing away from him, rather than that I'm just allowing myself to express myself naturally.

    Maybe because since I was very young my self-expression has always been about what I'm "supposed" to do (how to be sexy therefore validated, or how dad makes me dress & carry myself in church, how to dress/act not to get bullied in school, etc) so it's always been intentional, and now I'm kind of rebelling against all of that.

    Have any of you experienced anything like that, or along those lines? I don't want to just become a stereotype, like, 'ever since she became a lesbian she started wearing rainbow everything or dressing like a man' or whatever, but also just want to BE and shaving is such a patriarchal thing, ya know? But I don't know where this relationship is going if I'm truly a lesbian and don't want to do things that make him feel snubbed for a reason neither of us can control.
     
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  2. Really

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    Hey there.

    My experience isn’t exactly the same but I do find I feel more gay in my clothes now despite not really changing my style, if that makes sense. I don’t think my dad ever expressed anything about what I wore (I don’t mean this negatively. He just never got involved.) And my mom’s modus operandi seemed to be whatever would involve the least whining from us kids so I heard a lot of “whatever you’re comfortable in”. So, it’s not like I was restricted in any way but I know that sometimes I really wondered how I was supposed to dress to fit in.

    Once I figured myself out, sexuality wise, I almost immediately got more confident about the clothes I was wearing and actually gave more thought to how I looked. I’ve even been identified as gay by a relative stranger at a work event (where I’m not out) without having any prior, relevant conversation with her. It was a bit of a shock because I hadn’t been thinking about whether I looked gay these days or not. (She informed me she was a lesbian. I didn’t ask! Haha. I was a bit in shock.)

    Anyway, not sure this answers your question. Just thought I’d give you my dressing gay” story. :grin:

    I don’t think you should worry about changing up your style. Surely, people do this all the time. Gay or not. And I’m pretty sure straight people will not notice anything about it unless they’re extremely observant (which, honestly, most people aren’t) and/or tuned into fashion. And maybe, one day, when you’re ready, you’ll want a lesbian to pick you out of a crowd. ;p
     
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  3. QuietPeace

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    There are stereotypes, like jeans and a flannel shirt but over the past several decades I have known enough LGBT+ people to really see that they are spread all over the spectrum of presentations and I have met straight people who overlap into the gay stereotypes. One of the most feminine women I know is a cis lesbian and one of the most masculine is a cis straight woman.

    For me, I have settled on clothing that is part hippie and part farmgirl/prairie. For my personal style I am care free and simple, easy hairstyle, no shaving or bra and rarely a little makeup. I go for comfort and try to ignore peoples reactions.
     
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  4. chicodeoro

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    I have a friend who's 62 now but who only came out in his mid 40s. He's more than made up for it since though, diving headlong into the London gay scene and dressing most days in an amazing array of fluoro clothing - loads of lurid bright oranges, greens and yellows. He says those are his 'gay' clothes, a phrase that always makes me smile. When he's meeting his (grown up) children or ex he'll tone it down somewhat.
     
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  5. uh bug

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    hey there! partially out high-schooler here. i feel like "becoming a stereotype" is a big fear in queer expression, and i'm gonna offer my opinion on it. i honestly think that a person can't "be a stereotype", they can just be themselves. if an out lesbian wants to dress in beanies and flannels, that's cool! if another lesbian wants to dress in dresses and sweaters with uggs, hell yeah! you do you! people are people, and they can fit stereotypes and still be perfectly valid in the way they present. on the other side, there are queer people who don't fit into queer stereotypes at all, and fit more into "straight" stereotypes, and that's rad. it really depends more on how you feel when you dress differently. i personally just try to have fun with it. identity and expression aren't black and white, they can be fluid and hard to explain, and that's alright! wear what you want to wear. present how you wanna present! it's your clothing, your hair, your makeup (or lack thereof), your body, and most importantly, it's your identity! do what makes you happy!
    -bug
     
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  6. K80outloud

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    I get where you're coming from and wondered if my husband would react how you're wondering.

    I've always loved rainbows -- my dad make a fabric stuffed rainbow headboard for my bed and my wallpaper as a kid was rainbow. Wore bright, awesome rainbow colors whenever I could! It was the '80s. Grew up with parents wearing plaid flannel and knit beanies. It's how we kept warm in our drafty, old house. Besides, they made great work clothes. In parochial middle school, I was almost suspended for wearing white wingtips where the front and back wings had red polka dots and the center was red/white striped. High school was a mix of punk and grunge with jeans, combat boots, all flannel plaids. Rings galore! And the chucks!! Had a whole collection. Seriously, like 5 pairs. I quit wearing all of it a few months into college and especially when I met my husband. Ever since I've miserably tried to fit into heteronormative ways of dressing for a woman.

    Last fall, for my birthday in fact, I gave half my closet to a thrift shop. Bought plaid flannels, beanies, and chucks... haven't owned or worn them in over 20 years. Bought funky, chunky glasses again, which I haven't worn in over 10 years. My kids say I look like a badass lesbian now, but I'm just going back to wearing what I grew up loving. I feel most comfortable expressing myself in the middle between masculine and feminine.

    My husband appreciates it because I'm much more relaxed and confident. Honestly, his reaction surprised me. Other people? I don't go out much because of the pandemic, but I'm sure heads will turn once I do. People now don't know this was me as kid. I don't care. I finally feel at home my skin, and if I look like a kind of stereotypical lesbian, so what?

    I love what everyone else has said. I'm happy seeing a variety of people and expressions... almost like I'll fit in no matter what. Such a great thread... it's made me smile. :slight_smile: Thanks!
     
  7. Lesbee

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    Thank you all for your responses and experience!

    @K80outloud I resonated a lot with your post (which makes sense since our stories are so similar!) And yes! The 80s/90s with all their rainbow childhood things and then all the grunge stuff. I love that you're falling back into that and feel comfortable in your skin again!

    I agree and love all the variety of people and expressions. I need to remember that - "I'll fit in no matter what". And if anyone thinks anything about any changes to my style...that's none of my business. I just need to do what feels true to ME.

    Thank you everyone!
     
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  8. quebec

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    LesBee.....Ok this should be fun! If there was any clue at all that I was gay before I came out...it was how I dressed...but no one ever caught it! :old_smile: I've always worn "loud" clothes. I think because I'm a musician that people just assumed it was the slightly odd/artsy attitude that many musicians have. So, I got away with it!. :old_big_grin: I love bright colors. I wear slim and skinny jeans. I have a collection of bright colored shoes. (10 pair, same brand/style each pair a different color). After I came out to my wife she said that it explained some things...how I dressed being one of them! :old_rolleyes:
    .....David :gay_pride_flag:
     
    #8 quebec, Mar 9, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
  9. Lesbee

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    I LOVE that, @quebec! I've never been brave enough to dress as loudly as I'd like, but I am often the most colorful in the room regardless. :grin: I wish we could hang out and I could get some style tips from you!
     
  10. quebec

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    LesBee.....I don't think we'll be able to hang out anytime soon :old_frown: but here's a tip... When I'm shopping for, let's say a shirt, I look for something that "Pops" out to me. Be it a color or a design, I always look for something that's "different". Good luck with working on how to dress to support how you feel as part of our LGBTQ+ Family! I know that sometimes something as simple as what you are wearing can make a big difference in how you see yourself!
    .....David :gay_pride_flag:
     
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  11. lavalamp

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    I've always dressed 100% lesbian stereotype (flannels, beanies, baggy cargo pants, doc martens, chucks) and NO one has ever commented or indicated that they thought I was queer. It would make my year if that happened. Its so disappointing! Does anyone even notice or care about clothes?
     
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  12. Lesbee

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    My sister is the same - short pixie cut, rainbow chucks and all and our mom is still like “Didn’t you have a thing with that one guy....?” Total denial.
     
  13. Peterpangirl

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    Wear what you like and what is comfortable for you. I would say there is no need to conform to any stereotype. From their appearance so many straight women could be gay and likewise so many gay women could be straight.
     
  14. Lesbee

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    My daughter is a tattoo artist and has been bugging me to let her give me one (I don't have any yet) and I've told her I've wanted to get one since I designed one in high school but just haven't decided what I want permanently on my body yet... and she knows I've been thinking about it more since she's been tattooing.

    A couple days ago I came out to all my kids & later told them I also have an idea of what tattoo I want to get, and that she's going to give me my first one... and she's suddenly kind of weirded out that I'm "gonna get tattoos".

    I've also been talking (to my partner & one friend only) about cutting my hair in some kind of pixie style (but didn't want my blunt daughter to just be like "YOU LOOK LIKE A LESBIAN" before I was ready to have those conversations... my partner and close friend agreed that she would likely do that LOL.) I ended up just planning to get an undercut but keep it long, and she was still like "what? this is too much change! you're like turning into a different person".

    She's always telling me I used to be different - more fun - more laid back - and now that I finally understand myself better I feel more comfortable expressing who that is. I know it's a lot of change all at once, so I don't mind that they push back a little (and I won't be deterred). I'm just doing what feels right to me, and they'll get used to it!
     
  15. Suitsme

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    I’ve always dressed tomboy. One good thing about coming out just enabled me to stop trying to be the stereotypical female. I just enjoy my jeans, t shirts, shirts, and suits! I’m happier.
     
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