Milestones For Dipshits
Or "Shiny Shirts from Singapore Strike Back"
CW: Sea Story. Expect Coarse Language, Sexual Objectification, Terrible Fashion Choices.
I hit a milestone in my transition today. Not a small one, either. But in order to understand this milestone I have to take you back a bit.
Back to a significantly less pretty, significantly less confident, and wildly more drunk version of me. Now, as anybody who knows me will say, I don't handle alcohol very well. There are a number of terrible things that happen to me, in sequence, when I drink.
First, my diaphragm starts spasming. And it really hurts. A pain which the younger stupider me addressed primarily by numbing it with more alcohol. "Seems like we're experiencing a medical emergency, me..."
"Nah, I'll just have another drink. Never mind the tightness in my chest that feels like a f*&$ing heart attack. It'll go away on its own. That's fine. Everything's fine."
Second, I get extremely weepy. EVERYONE knows this about me. I'm not a fun drunk at this stage. If I'm left alone with myself at this point, I become an inconsolable wreck.
Third, I get extraordinarily gay. Like, way gayer than you think. It's like Medicare excess fees: the maximum amount of gay, +15%. That's a niche insurance joke, guys, and probably not super relevant to the demographic of people who are reading this. Trust me though it was hilarious.
Anyway, enough foreplay: It's time to laugh at the ludicrous proposition of reconciling one's pre- and post-transition lives through ironic juxtaposition of the former with the simultaneously more and less dignified latter! ("Let's make fun of my stupid bro stories together!")
Smash cut to the middle of the Pacific ocean. In three days we would make a port call in Singapore, and the NCIS resident agent had come aboard to tell us all about it. Obviously they were the places that were always off limits, like Orchard Towers (I have a whole thing about that), and of course that is exactly where everyone on the ship wanted to go. Fun fact: sailors on an all-male ship really tend to lean in on the stereotypes that people have about sailors.
We were still three days away and these guys were trying to figure out which brothels they were going to visit, and in what order.
Now that has never been my scene. I have seen the lobbies of cathouses around the world, and I was very bored of getting drunk and waiting in the lobbies of brothels so my shipmates could, and here I quote (sigh...) "skeet skeet skeet on a b*&$#'s titties."
Anyway, I was tired of waiting on my shipmates to finish doing that so we could go do something mildly interesting. After we had stopped by two different brothels, my two liberty buddies asked me what I wanted to do. I had heard that there were good tailors in Little India, and if there weren't, it could be worse. We could get food. I am still to this day struck by the vivid colors of my memories of Little India in Singapore. And there was no place more colorful than the tailor's shop.
The tailor made suits for all of us, and mentioned that he had a bargain bin of fabrics. Now obviously I knew that bargain bin fabric would not be of extremely high quality, but I'm nothing if not cheap, so I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't at least take a look.
Now, I know what you're thinking. Amazingly, I did not know that I was trans at this point.
Anyway, I looked in the bin and saw a collection of satins, metallic fabrics, and ombres that were just extraordinary. How could nobody have made anything out of these luxuriant fabrics?! What a bargain! I immediately ordered 3 shirts of the three finest fabrics in the bargain bin (is a sentence I have never actually said out loud. Not sure how I feel about the mouthfeel). They cost me $10 each, iirc.
At this point in my life, I liked shiny things and again, I was uncommonly drunk, i.e. extremely gay. So what you guys just thought in your minds? Didn't occur to me at the time. Or later, when I picked them up. In fact, the absolute femininity of the finished product did not occur to me until one of my glam lesbian friends asked if she could borrow one for a night out.
The first crack in my egg was the part in Final Fantasy VII where you have to make Cloud into a cute woman to seduce a slum lord. The second were the shiny shirts from Singapore.
So I told you all of that so I could tell you this:
THEY CAME THE F*$% BACK TO ME. MY SINGAPOREAN SHINY SHIRTS CAME BACK TO ME, BY HAPPENSTANCE, AS FEMININE ATTIRE. I just received them in the mail today. I had ordered some stuff and I was like "Oh, these are like $10 a piece, I have a little extra cash, and they're kinda cute. Might as well!
Behold, the egg-cracking splendor.
Okay, on the one hand, how did I ever, ever, ever think of myself as cis-het? They're not *literally* my Shiny Shirts from Singapore, but they're so close that I had this weird moment where I realized that... y'know? I didn't change all that much. I just cut out the awful parts of me and decided to be true to who I am. And that's a big thing! It's really an important day in a trans woman's life when she can integrate the person she used to be into the person she is now. There's a weird kind of circularity to this that I thought was worth sharing. This is funny, but also weirdly poignant. Very, very weird.
He said "skeet" to me. :shudder: