Masculinity & being a Handsome Woman for me is definitive...it is who I am in my soul. It allows me to present with clarity, style, freedom and confidence.
My struggle was never with my masculinity, I loved that part of me. I had challenges accepting the feminine part of me; especially when it came to fashion. I couldn’t really present my fashion style with confidence, because I didn’t know what it was. If I wore boy’s pants & my sisters’ cool necklace, or a woman’s blouse and my father’s tie, did that make me less masculine or more feminine? Fashion magazines weren’t that helpful either. I never really saw myself on those pages, though I did like lots of the clothing. And without 'Ellen' on TV or the word 'Transgender' in the news, I didn't really have a lot of guidance. Tomboy suggested at some point I would grow up, stop playing sports, snap out of it & become feminine.
Butch was constant, it is what I am to my core, but did that have anything to do with my fashion sense? I didn’t relate to butch as a fashion style. Even though I dressed like a boy, I wasn’t comfortable when addressed as ‘sir’ because I was female. I needed a word or a vision that described my style with confidence. My sisters had words: pretty, beautiful, lovely etc. How could those words also embrace my masculinity? I was very uncomfortable when hearing these words wrapped in a compliment, mostly in an apologetic sort of way.
K.d. Lang changed my perception. She was Masculine & Feminine & Handsome, all in one. From the moment I saw her, something clicked for me: Permission to dress in a way that meets me where I am. From then on I owned and embraced the masculine & feminine. The fashionable Handsomely dressed package I present is sheer confidence & power! It definatley speaks to my self assurance and the respect I demand from others. Today, if someone says I’m pretty; I’m ok with that, and if someone says I look Handsome, I’m more ok with that.