At an outdoor music event where I was in guy mode, flying solo, I noticed a couple consisting of a young man and lady walk on to the lawn and pause. The guy stops, puts his hands on his hips and looks around to assess the situation. The woman stops, watches the guy for a second, then starts looking where he’s looking, and scanning the area. He seems intent. She seems curious about what she should be looking for. The male and female dynamic seems apparent, or perhaps I’m projecting on to them my own stereotypes.
As I watched them, my mind went back two weeks prior when I was visiting in Asheville, NC. I took several opportunities to dress, sometimes as an all up girl or sometimes androgynous or genderless. One of the total en femme evenings was a dinner out with a friend who is an ex-girlfriend from 5 years ago. She is a dear friend now, and she is one of the dozen or two people who know Lorie exists. This was her first face to face time meeting Lorie.
It was exciting to be out in public, and my friend seemed comfortable with the situation of me being Lorie. In a later conversation she shared that it felt just like any dinner with her other girlfriends, just chatting away, and not like she was with a guy. This was nice to hear!
But while we were having dinner, I felt a certain discomfort, or internal contradiction, perhaps. I couldn’t place it. It seemed quite silly, because I was delighted to be out in public, despite any (perceived) curious glances from other diners.
It was when I saw that couple at the music event that I got a glimpse of why I was a little awkward at the dinner. I wondered if perhaps the discomfort was because I was not accustomed to the female role in a relationship, whether as a friend or a significant other. I felt a bit disoriented by the change in my role (again – my perceived role). I was more familiar with the guy role of assessing, evaluating, and working the logistics.
There were several questions running through my head such as: How does a woman behave and relate in this situation? What is this feeling I’m experiencing of relating on a more emotional level, and less pragmatic? Can I see how I want to reach out for the old and safe anchor of male practicality? What do I do with that, especially in a potentially anxious environment that can trigger a desire for the safer, familiar ground of maleness?
Then I began to wonder about the dating scene. I’m attracted to women still – always have been. So that means I’ll be going out with women and flirting as a woman. What will that be like? Can I find my voice in that situation? Can I stand inside my feminine self without resorting to the male persona? How much do I tend to control conversations or relationships in guy mode? Time to take an honest look.
This journey sometimes feels a whole lot differently than it “thinks”. It can feel both like a home-coming and stepping onto foreign soil at the same time!
I am grateful for this awareness and the opportunity to integrate it all so that I can be made whole.
What integration are you aware of that feels disorienting, conflicting, or confusing?
When dressed totally en femme, do you find yourself attracted to females, males, or possibly both? And how that may be different when you are dressed in all guy clothing?
Thanks for taking time to read my article and I’m looking forward to hearing your responses.
Love ya, Lorie