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Sunday, September 30, 2018

Who wears the trousers ?

So was out with a friend,shopping in Marheinekeplatz market ; there's a saturday and a sunday one, clothes, a few antiques , bicycles , a chess stall, all bits and bobs. And I see some trousers.
My friend goes inside the recessed stall and looks for some svelte nouveau vague style number.
And I look up at the trousers.
She comes out a few minutes later and sees I'm still looking at the trousers.
The thought processes had gone...
(1) ooh, large elasticated waist and baggy but a bit masc/faux masc in grey pinstripe. Nice but I don't feel that happy playing with masculinities,
(2) then thinking that they were short and straight not my favourite Erte style balloon 30's types
(3) having memories of a great pair of Oxford bags in black velvet worn in days of first London fashion/philosophy tribe membership. Between peak psychedelia and punk there were various such and mine, in those times, was the kings road exotics, dandy stuff but straight het with a psychedelic bent.
(4) still miss those London fashion languages amidst Berlin hipster/grunge
(5) and at that moment I attained a mini Satori
The background to this is that for a while I've been thinking of how my queer level gender identity is moving, as against my trans one which is fairly constant. A few years ago I felt by default I was on the femme side though, by reasons of age, a fairly vague one. I don't do make up but can be serious about style, a hard enough thing in itself for me even now. I find femme scenes tend to have too many status games to fit into easily, though butch rules hardly appeal. Though maybe these are local things to some extent.
So then moved to id as tweener but that didn't really fit either and finally getting around to thinking myself gender fluid in respect of the butch/femme boundary.
(Yes, am quite aware that butch / femme isn't by any means an overarching paradigm of queer and/or lesbian life but view them more as usefully constant map references).(Also that I could simply wear jeans and sweatshirt and still be 'me'. Don't like jeans, and whilst theres no precise dress code for a book shop manager like to keep clothes fun and relate to them as performative/iterative rather than much bolstering of any internal id).
And there it's stood because I haven't really found a way of expressing that, certainly in respect of playing with butch masc stuff too much. Didn't feel confident enough of going a straight soft butch look or particularly love the generic dyke sooooo *

Satori (enlightenment, understanding of the nature of interior being )

A lavender carnation.
Maybe I can find places as a female playing with some tropes of male dandy, somewhere at the intersection of soft butch and drag king. A kind of queering of queer. This was the siren song of the trousers. An expansion, rather than a change, but still a welcome one.
OK, a mini sartori but still a sartori even if I did start thinking of the bag of silk shirts I'd never quite got around to throwing out and a couple of old Kimono jackets and so on, five minutes later. Anyway this is the direction I'm setting off in,either because of inspiration or momentarily overcoming a blind spot, in the fond hope that I can mix and match sufficiently to avoid misgendering. Fine feathers  make fine birds, and whilst clothes don't maketh the woman they send signals, they help to locate within queer maps, they express and more importantly communicate a set of positions, a suggestion of languages.

*On rereading, a small voice inside is going, 'Sophie, should this really rank amongst your set of concerns now that you're of pensionable age ?'
I ignore it.
After second adolescence, I'm 21 with a book of someone elses memories up until 10 years back. And I'm a Berlin girl, so, wtf, I only live twice.

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