Captain Marvel Cosplay

Today I did something scary for me – cosplay at Geek Girl Con for the second time.

Last year I did Stevonnie from Steven Universe and I put a lot of work into my costume but ended up not feeling great about the photos because I really felt dysphoric about my ridiculous grin with braces. This year I wasn’t going to do one due to money and because I’m not feeling great about my body during transition most of the time. It’s also hard to do cosplay when you are larger and fat. Most out of the box things don’t fit well.

But 2 weeks ago I found the Captain Marvel jacket I’ve wanted since the movie came out on sale and decided to go all in. I found red boots, red gloves, patterned leggings, and even a matching shirt for when I needed to cool off. It took a lot of returns and online orders to find things that fit me but I managed to get it all together in time.

And I have to say, even though I’m not a big fan of all the photos, I felt much more confident in my outfit today. Captain Marvel / Carol Danvers is my personal hero. She is strong, fiercely feminist, and doesn’t give a fuck. And the best part is that she doesn’t smile a lot. So I don’t have to worry about braces in my photos.

There is not a lot of representation in media that I feel like I can cosplay. Until recently, I never saw people like me on film. Heroes with big thighs, jiggly bellies, and are tall and curvy. And even now there aren’t many queer, trans, or nonbinary characters available in geekdom. But that number is growing every year and I strongly believe in making a character your own. I don’t wear a wig because I want to be MY version, not an exact imitation of the actor.

I’m excited to go back tomorrow and continue to own Captain Marvel and walk around feeling confident in my leather jacket and stompy boots.

Beard update

Things I’ve realized so far:
1. I hate shaving
2. My skin hates shaving
3. I really liked my beard. It was dramatic and beautiful and served a role rather similar to makeup for me in giving shape to parts of my face that I wanted definition on. It was gloriously dense and curly which also means that underneath the hair follicles are really thick and visible without it.
4. I feel like the biggest reasons I shaved was about other people, not because I wanted to. I was curious to see if my face had changed underneath and if I could get used to it, and in that regard it was a successful experiment. But mostly it was because I feel like having the beard makes a lot of people jump to very gendered expectations of me and they are less likely to see me as trans even if I’m wearing a dress. And I am really tired of living in such a gendered world and in a society that bars me from many activities if I don’t look like I’m trying hard enough to be a woman (even in supposedly trans inclusive spaces). But the solution isn’t necessarily for me to try to conform to that image but to keep trying to do what I want and fits with my own experience and dysphoria. And to continue trying to learn to ignore other people’s opinions and prejudices.
5. Seeing the dark shadow on my lower face and feeling the scratchy texture of my skin gives me far more dysphoria than having the beard. If I do want to get rid of it, I will likely have to wait until I can afford laser hair removal.
I think I’m going to start growing it back which shouldn’t take long with my face. Though perhaps longer now that I’m on estrogen than before.
Thank you to everyone who was so affirming of my little experiment and gave me so many lovely compliments and shaving advice.

Gender euphoria

The flipside to the gender dysphoria I often talk about is that sometimes when I’m feeling really good about my body and identity I experience the glow of gender euphoria.  Today is one of those days I feel sexy AF! I’m loving the outfit I’m wearing and how it emphasizes my gorgeous legs. My shirt makes it look like I have great breasts and it shows just enough chest to make me feel good. And I’m wearing the shoes that never fail to get compliments. Some days it feels great to be me.

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What I’m doing here

I’ve never been much of a writer so I hope you’ll pardon any mistakes and infrequency in posts. But I believe in the power of seeing people like you and feeling like you’re not alone. So I’m putting myself out there to share a bit about my nonbinary “transition” such as is is and my thoughts as I seek to become more fully myself every day.

When I search things like genderqueer fashion or androgyny I usually don’t see myself or anyone like me in the results. We’re in a new frontier when it comes to gender identity – not that there weren’t people like us before, we just didn’t have the wealth of language to describe it or the visibility. But as has happened with homonormativity, it seems to me that the AFAB dandy has become the fashionable icon of androgyny and masculine-of-center presentation is the default assumption. Not that there is anything wrong with that look, in fact I think it is very attractive on many people. But I don’t see myself represented and I don’t see many AMAB femmes visible in mainstream queer culture. That’s part of why it took me until I was 26 to realize that I could be genderqueer and that my beard and my body didn’t exclude me from being nonbinary.
There are a few notable exceptions and visible figures who I look up to and admire -people like Jacob Tobia, Jeffrey Marsh, and Alex Drummond. I appreciate them being the pioneers of fashion and making the world a safer place for me through their openness and vulnerability. I don’t want to become a public figure like them but I do want to share in that vulnerability by putting myself outside my comfort zone and showing a bit more of what my daily life is like as a bearded genderqueer.

So that’s why I’m here and starting this blog. I’m not special and I’m certainly not as confident as most people think I am. I often struggle with not feeling queer enough or trans enough. It takes a lot of bravery to walk out the door into non-queer spaces wearing a dress and a beard. I am pretty much guaranteed to garner stares wherever I go, even in Seattle where we have a high density of trans people. And that attention, even when it’s not malicious, is exhausting. Simply going to the grocery store dressed as myself takes a lot of energy and I don’t always have what it takes to do it in every space.

So to everyone else out there who struggle with the same things I want you to know you are not alone. We are here and we are genderqueer. But that isn’t easy and it’s ok to be kind to yourself and it’s ok to hide your gender in unsafe spaces or even because you don’t have the energy that day. You are trans enough, even when you’re not presenting how you feel like you should.