I Look at You and I See Myself
I recently gave a talk to a college class about my consulting and education business as well as my experience as a transgender person. I gave a fairly typical talk about my experience but I was asked two questions that I had never really thought about before, that no one had asked before.
What do you not like about masculinity?
What outside of masculinity do you like?
In the moment, these stumped me which is kinda embarrassing for someone who writes an advice column. I’ve never considered being trans as a reaction to or a dislike of masculinity or even an embrace of femininity. It just is. I’m not running to femininity. I’m simply feminine. Well, the femme side of androgynous really. So, not knowing exactly how to answer the question, I blathered. “Oh, I don’t like the way men talk about women.” “Everybody was about Han and Luke, but I liked Leia” Ramble ramble blather blather.
Of course, this got me thinking about my relationship to masculinity and femininity. Why haven’t I thought about this before? It seems to be something I should have considered. Was I purposefully avoiding the question? What do I think of masculinity beyond “cis-het men are kinda creepy”? Do I indeed embrace femininity? I identify as an androgyne so, by definition, I mix these two cultural concepts to form a unique presentation and outlook on life. Shouldn’t I have considered what these terms actually mean to me?
As these questions were swirling around my mindscape, a friend of mine sent me a text which read, “I think of you whenever I watch this. Plus, it’s a great video.” Attached was a link to the video for “5 Dollars” by Christine and the Queens.
Christine and the Queens or Chris as she recently rebranded is actually the stage persona of French singer/songwriter Héloïse Letissier. Chris (Héloïse) is an androgynous, pansexual woman and her latest album, Chris, explores her sexuality and gender identity. The video for “5 Dollars” shows Chris getting ready for the day or possibly a date — exercising, showering, undertaking her grooming routine and finally getting dressed in kink gear worn under a three-piece suit.