In the weeks prior to Ali coming out, my general presentation had become rather androgynous. I’d found a number of women’s shirts that “passed as male” when worn the right way, along with jeans, shorts, and even sneakers that, at first glance, didn’t “read” female. Altogether, it could be pretty borderline, though — the cut of the jeans, the more feminine shirt collars, the powder blue sneaker trim — especially since I’d begun carrying my purse and wearing the occasional bracelet.
Now, in Him mode, I’m back to wearing more plain old Him clothes. Mentally I’ve tried to blame this on the rising temperatures; it’s harder to “be androgynous” in t-shirt and shorts, and t-shirts and shorts are both unisex anyway. But that’s not it. I have stopped carrying the purse while in Him mode; I’ve cut back on the wrist decoration; I’ve pulled out my old male sneakers. Him mode is reverting more to Him.
The other effect of all this is that, even after only a week, there are certain activities that I only want to do in Ali mode. The notable one is going shopping. Even if I only need to stop for a couple of things after work, even if it’s 10pm, I’ll go back to the apartment first and spend half an hour getting in the Her mode before going out. It’s almost always to the local Meijer, where they have self-checkout and never close. In other words, a fairly safe zone. A hassle to prepare for a simple errand, but worth it mentally.
Why is this happening? I think it’s because even little outings as Her seems to have relieved the pressure on Him. I’m expressing myself in Ali mode now, and so maybe “androgyny” just isn’t cutting it anymore; or maybe my Self just doesn’t need it. Being Ali means being her, not some halfway Him. Or maybe my Him side is pushing back. I don’t know.
This division of my Self has, not surprisingly, left me feeling slightly insane. It’s a bad time to have a two-week break from therapy …