I claim the ground into which my stiletto is digging into as mine and I shall stand tall. I am so high up your heavy hurtful words cannot bring me down, go ahead and try and you will see just how high I can fly; get ready to eat dust though!
I remember me as a little boy wearing mother’s over-sized stilettos stuffed with toilet paper. He had the brightest smile on his face, he was happy, he was strong; even if it was only for a few fleeting minutes, he felt alive and free.
After another day of being bullied and taunted by mean schoolboys I would retreat to the safety of home and throw on a lovely floor length dress and with a hair brush in hand I became a pop diva in the mirror. All the hurt and shame of the day flew away with each sashay and twirl.
With age came a shift of expectations, new responsibilities and pressures arose and I wasn’t strong enough so I had to lock this happy little boy away and spend my days with a much sadder man.
For a long time after that I was a slave held down by this man, the man they all wanted to see. Their expectations seemed to come alive as impish creatures that drove my life with whips and pitchforks to places I didn’t want to be.
One night after another crappy day I lay alone in my bed and I thought of that little boy and what I had become, I wondered if he could still be alive, could he still be happy after all these years of neglect? The next day I got a wig and heels and went to look for him in the mirror where he used to be.
It took me a while to recognize him, he had changed, he didn’t smile as much, and his sad eyes looked as if to ask me if I was happy, I couldn’t lie to him because he knew that I was miserable. I made a promise to him that I would be brave and never let go of him again.
I do not hate being a ‘man”. I’m just a man who dresses differently, not different from many great men in history; Pharaoh wore a pleated skirt, a wig and eyeliner, Moses wore a short tunic dress belted at the waist and leather thongs.
The knowledge that my androgyny is a direct challenge to bigamist definitions of social order and conduct because it blurs the lines of fantasy and reality, masculinity and femininity, morality and immorality, gives me a real sense of power.
Vulgar is wearing your jeans with the faded V on the saggy crotch, unnatural is trying to pair those over-sized khaki cargo shorts you’ve worn for the past ten years with sandals and white socks.
Bigots ask, “Why do you do it”? I don’t think I could give a convincing answer to either you, them or myself. You don’t have to understand me. I am of the most certainty that even you do not understand yourself in all your ‘normality’.
What I do know is that with my feet flat on the ground all the time I feel unfulfilled, but, wrapped in red leather and elevated by a six inch heel I can touch completeness.
My life is balanced whether I’m in a suit and tie or a strapless mini, I can be any one I want to be. I give myself the freedom to live the fantasy here and now. I will not allow myself to have regrets. I embrace that I am different and there is nothing wrong with that. What was wrong was denying myself.
Is it that a man is not a man unless he wears baggy pants and doesn’t shave his armpits? Would you rather have me spit, pick my nose and scratch my crotch in public as well?
What is it about me that gets you so riled up? Do your fear how well I can win over your mind in the boardroom during the day and proceed to win over your throbbing loins in a dark club at night?
Go ahead and label me, like the fine clothes I wear; the labels separate the quality bespoke pieces from the hogwash. You may say I have a problem for dressing this way, I say the only problem I have is when I can’t find a bag to match my shoes!
Whether I choose to stand in loafers or Loubhoutin heels I understand that I shall have to grow a thicker skin (with a touch of foundation and bronzer of course), even if you shut me out in the dark my dazzling smile will light a path down which I will find joy eternal in all my gender-bender splendor!