A long overdue update on this blog and my life.
You might notice there's been no activity on my blog. This is especially since I'm once again employed in the fashion industry as a made-to-measure clothing specialist. Most of my outside efforts have gone to my friends' websites and podcasts, namely The Kavalier and From Tailors With Love. (Buy the latter's book, by the way, it is a fantastic read for anyone even somewhat interested in the clothing of James Bond.) There are a few other reasons why I've been silent on here.
If you follow me on social media, you'll have noticed a change in my name and presentation. I am now Giselle, pronouns she/they. My birth name was nice, unique even. But I felt it didn't reflect who I was and who I've become. Giselle may be less unique, but it's also more me.
While I still love menswear and tailored clothing, I had been denying my gender identity for at least a decade. I first came out as non-binary (more specifically genderfluid) to my friends and family in the first few months of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Being laid off from my previous job had given me time to really consider who I was and what I was doing with my life. While I can't say I have a definitive answer to the second, I knew that I was not my assigned gender at birth. Another year brought more realizations, one of which that I never really felt comfortable as a man. I wore the skin of a man. I looked like a man. Behaved like one for the sake of others. Was socialized like one most of my life. But that never truly made me one. All the things that should have made me feel masculine felt hollow. Being tall, for brief periods of time having half-decent muscles, having great tailored clothing. It wasn't all a performance. I still love masculine clothing, but I've realized it's the same reason that many cisgender women do: Gender-nonconformity. A look that speaks to them despite that it's not traditionally what they "should" be wearing. It's also the reason that, while I haven't always been perfect about it, I've certainly tried to push back against patriarchal ideas. That's lost me some friends, alienated me from a lot of male co-workers, and given me labels from unsophisticated minds like cuck, soyboy, and beta.
I'm not particularly bothered by that anymore. Those people don't deserve me and I wouldn't have it any other way. I prefer to keep the company of people who accept me for who I am, because merely being who I am doesn't harm anyone. My co-workers love me for who I am, even if we don't all share the same interests. I'm trans, I have a neurodevelopmental disorder, and I'm also frakking fabulous. My body shape looks more like what I wish I had always looked. I'm wearing clothes outside the artificial restrictions of gender I had imposed on myself for decades. I'm even bending and breaking a few rules. I only wish I had realized this back in my 20s.
Some of my future is now uncertain since society at large is still unused to trans and gender-nonconforming people. Even the most accepting areas of the world have a lot of catching up to do with regards to laws, medicine, and general treatment. I'm not out to everyone in my life out of necessity -- some of my family still know me as my old name and gender because I quite frankly don't want to have a long and exhausting conversation about it where they continue bandying about the same tired old arguments they learned from dubious sources. But my loving wife, friends, and most of my family backs me up and always have. That's all I could ask for. I hope my readers, whoever they still may be here, will also love me the way I am.
The blog is still here for those who want to read and I probably won't take it down anytime soon. I honestly don't know how much I'll update it in the future, especially since I can get paid to write the same type of things I do here. You can still interact with me on Instagram and Facebook, I'm more likely to respond quickly in those two places. There you will find, among other things, observations about how my changing body and shapewear affects the menswear I purchased in the past. I still plan to contribute to The Kavalier and From Tailors With Love in my spare time as well.
Giselle is just getting started.
I'm very happy for you Giselle! I actually discovered your content just yesterday when I was looking up information on 'non-iron' clothing and read around 45 posts form your archive if my tab count was correct. I was wondering where you had gone and stumbled across your LinkedIn where you wrote both masculine and feminine pronouns.ReplyDelete
I hope you can still find a place for classic menswear in your evolving wardrobe, particularly as you have accepted your identity. And you will certain have benefited from learning a lot about fabric and the like in your time in this space, and of course still have much to teach. I will be looking for posts under your name.
Dear Giselle, thank you for sharing this wonderful news with us. I had wondered as of late how you might have been doing in the intervening years, and I am so glad for this update and for word of a greater happiness and understanding of self. I am excited for you and wish you the very best.ReplyDelete