All my life clothes have been a huge issue! I coped with the “proper” attire for girls and young women by conforming, but never felt comfortable or at ease in the stuff I was required to wear. Then not long after coming out, I sought out male attire, or very “tailored” women’s clothing – the only exception being that I preferred sleeveless tank tops to the stiff button-down and long sleeve shirts (I hate being hot!). So recently on my daily walk around downtown Oakland I discovered that we have a shop dedicated to the needs of LGBT and Q folks! I knew there was already one in San Francisco, but Oakland?? Then I discovered the video below, all of which adds up to a wonderful new trend serving our communities!
Clothes are a huge issue for everyone, and feeling comfortable and “at home” in what you are wearing may not be something you think about consciously, but for many LGBTQ folks this is a top-of-the-list concern. Clothes make a statement for everyone, but for gender-bending and queer folks, they are a way to convey our identities along a gender-bending spectrum. If our clothes are comfortable in an “at home” kind of way, they support our determination to be real, to be at home in our identity, challenging the norms of societal behavior in the realm of fashion. So enjoy this video – and look for a new enterprise near you, or in a place you might visit soon!
Peggy, thanks so much for posting this–it is such an important issue. While I am a lover of funky dresses and am currently on the hunt for vegan footwear, bags and winter attire, feeling “at home” in our clothing is much aligned with how we further extend our own embodiment and live authentically in our flesh. If we don’t feel organic in what we wear, particularly for reasons of gender identity, sexual orientation(s), ethical commitments, and/or cultural and ethnic diversity, etc, we fail to live our lives honestly and reflective of our authentic selves.
Regrettably, the institutional and historical discrimination systemic to health care and educational institutions often ignores, jettisons, or erodes alternate embodiments–including those related to dress, style, and appearance. As nurses, our commitment as politicized, compassionate, and reflexive practitioners, must entail better recognition of how we are positioned in these systems, and the ways in which we can begin to recognize, understand, and further celebrate alternate embodiments. For clearly our own embodiments as nurses are also inclusive of membership in these communities, including those who are LGBTQ+ :^)