Feeling Dapper


I’ve needed to dress up five times this past weekend and week for graduation and senior week, and I’d been absolutely dreading it. I’m not good with dressing up — it’s a combination of not knowing what to wear (given that all of the messages I’ve received about how to look nice involve dresses and heels and such) and not having clothes to wear (given that menswear is expensive and generally is ill-fitting on me). Additionally, I get really self-conscious because I know that for dress-up events, most of the people around me will be wearing dresses, skirts, and other girly clothes (at the very least, really fitted pants and blazer), and that makes me stick out.

However, my fellow classmates at my college are incredible, and I’ve actually had a blast this week. I’ve been wearing varying combinations of ties, vests, button downs, pants, and a blazer, and it’s been great. I’ve gotten so many compliments — from my friends, yes, but also from people I’m not actually that close to. My class is wonderful: they’ve just been so amazing for my confidence.

I would dress in my room and being to feel awkward almost as soon as I stepped out my door. And then someone would tell me that I look great, that I look handsome, and I would think, “You know what? You’re right. I finally like how I look. I’m comfortable with what I’m wearing.” And then I had a wonderful time. One night, three separate people told that I looked dapper.

I just graduated today from my college, and it has been an incredible experience being here. I can honestly say that I can’t imagine any other place having been a better place for me to attend college. I have grown so much over the past four years, and it has been such a supportive place as I’ve worked through my gender issues. Although I’ve known for a while that I feel better about myself in androgynous clothing and menswear, it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve realized I don’t need femininity and emphasis on curves to look good. What an amazing opportunity to have my figurative cake and eat it, too, right? I can feel good about myself and have others think I look good, too. I love my college, and I love the class of 2010. Congratulations to us all.

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