Topic: Gender, thrifting, fashion.
Warnings: Discussion of transphobic family.
When people call transitioning a second puberty, they are not kidding! I live with awful, transphobic family so I can't medically transition yet, but I've been lucky to gain some agency and support through college. I began socially transitioning a year and a half ago when I came out to my manager at work. My workplace is very chill. At times it's less of a job and more a hangout spot. Since then I've been steadily working myself up to telling more people about it and making all the changes I can within my power. I consider myself to be as much as one can be out as a nonbinary person. I don't tell everything about myself to everyone. However I am finally using my name and discussing gender and pronouns when the situation calls for it. It's scary because living with a family that's so intensely transphobic has kind of conditioned me to be afraid at all times. When you're finally able to be out after out equalling violence at home for so long, it's extremely nerve wracking!
That aside, the whole second puberty thing. When I was in middle school, actually going through puberty, I was awkward as hell. I didn't have much of a sense of style by that point. I spent middle school flicking through various styles. Cute, preppy, hyperfeminine, on the edge of androgynous. I think my style really started to crystalize when I became an adult. I made a rule, one I still follow to the letter, that I could only buy clothes in pastels (primarily pink), white, or solid black. It helps keep new pieces versatile and means everything will match, no matter what. My casual inspiration came a lot from kpop idols but in this past year I've finally been taking the plunge into jfashion, specifically cult party kei, a style I've had my eye on for quite a few years now. I consider myself to be pretty stylish when it comes to feminine and girly fashion. Masculine fashion? Forget it, I'm right back in middle school again! I have no idea what I'm doing and it shows.
Really, it's not that complicated when you get down to it. It's just t-shirts, jeans, sweatpants, hoodies. Super simple items. I do like dressing more basic sometimes. It's comfortable which is good for when I'm not feeling physically well. It's also frankly easier to throw on than my other styles which I put way more effort into. Yet, it took a year before I finally felt like I was getting somewhere. Wearing masculine, basic clothes still feels a bit awkward. It fits different and I'm having to find all over again the pieces that are flattering to my body or that give me the kind of feeling I want. (Note- I still keep my pastel/pink/black rule.) It's very awkward to relearn something as basic as clothes.
It's also awkward to manage people's expectations of you. I'm nonbinary and for me, feminine fashion and a masculine body is my ideal. I'm not hypermasculine and I'm not trying to be. However, because my body is more feminine currently, it's actually a bit of a necessity to dress more masculine to achieve the sort of androgyny that's my long term goal. It's weird because it's simultaneously affirming right now and also the exact opposite of where I want to be in the long run. Point being, people make a lot of inaccurate and unnecessary assumptions about me based purely on info as minimal and inane as me liking pink and Sanrio.
With all of this, I've been super lucky with thrifting lately. In feminine fashion, I got some pajamas that would've been like $80 new for less than $10. I also finally found the ideal dysphoria hoodie! Most of the ones I've tried on before were smaller and thinner fabric so it showed my figure too much. This one is perfectly boxy which is great for pain days where I can't bind. That's something that's difficult for me later in the semester. Once I reach my limits in terms of fatigue, I experience steadily worsening pain. Within a few weeks of a new school semester starting it becomes a question of dysphoria or chronic pain, which hurts worse? Now I no longer have to ask it! I want to talk more about thrifting at some point because it's something I'm quite passionate about. It's been a total lifesaver for me in the past few years and it's also something I have strong opinions on. I think a section for thrift finds would be unecessary, but I also don't want to tack it on randomly at the end of diary entries either. Something to think about for another time.