Perhaps you have seen the insurance company television commercial where the middle aged participants were becoming their parents.
|Photo Credit: JJ Hart|
We as transgender people, similar to most other aspects of our life look at the process differently. We for whatever reason, fixated on the parent of the opposite gender than us. In my case, my Mother. In my earliest years I do remember watching my Mom putting on her makeup and noticing certain other mannerisms.
I also grew up being told and recognizing it was true how much I resembled my Mother, even though I outgrew her clothes very early in life. She was only a little over five foot in height so it didn't take much. She was also part of the WWII/depression generation which meant full make up and nice clothes most of the time when she went out. Plus she was a full time high school teacher which meant professional attire for her.
Ironically, not a whole lot of her "fashion" wore off on me. As I grew up, I was inspired by the Boho "Hippie" girls around me. I simply loved the fashion of that period all the way from mini skirts to bell bottomed jeans. I was able to secure a small amount of those clothing items for my little "stash" of feminine collectibles. It wasn't until college when I was able to afford a long straight blond wig I loved dearly which went a long way to completing my outfit of the times.
By this time the military was knocking on my door and the writing was on the wall when I passed my physicals and was pronounced fit to serve by Uncle Sam. One of the ways I had to stay away from actual combat was to enlist for three years. I happened to be working for a small radio station owned by a Congressman I used his influence in part by saying I will serve, just don't let them ruin my career in the broadcasting industry. When in fact I wanted to say don't let them ruin my time as a cross dresser. Which of course I couldn't.
In the years following my time in the Army, I mostly followed in my Mother's footsteps in the make up department. For any number of reasons I obsessed into looking my best feminine self. I learned so well, my two wives along the way asked me for help with their makeup. And no I wasn't marred to them at the same time.
Through it all, I retained a love for wearing a Boho based fashion. I say based because I wasn't totally into my old Hippie based world until it became back in fashion. But I did keep my fondness for wearing feminine pant suits and slacks. So much so I was called out for my fashion sense at a cross dresser mixer I went to. Someone asked me why would I want to dress feminine and not wear a dress. I responded that I see plenty of women not wearing a dress. I should have finished the comment with now mind your own business.
If indeed I was following in my Mom's footsteps, I would have said exactly that. She was very outspoken and while I didn't retain much of her sense of fashion, I did retain her attitude.
Fashion too is generational of course and if she was alive today, I'm sure Mom would not approve of my jeans, boots, and sweater wardrobe, While I watch tons of old movies from the 1940's I truly am fascinated with both gender's sense of fashion. I just can't see myself following in their high heeled footsteps. But, I certainly respect those that do.