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Jun 20

Suiting Up- Exploring Gender and Self

I have a complicated relationship with gender. Every since I was a child, I was drawn towards opportunities to wear masculine clothes and excuses to draw on facial hair. I remember fighting with mum so as to not wear dresses or skirts. I remember being glad of roles like secretary and juggler in the primary school drama productions that would let me wear vests rather than princess gowns.

Fast forward to high school and I was lucky enough, due to a change of schools, to attend four senior high school formal events. For the first three I wore dresses. These were fun but certainly felt like I was ‘dressing up’, ‘performing’ a self that I enjoyed for a time, but was glad to shrug off later.

The final formal came with a scene change, a change to finish off my senior schooling subjects after some were sacrificed on the altar of queer self discovery and the arts. With this new school I attended another formal; and this time I attended with a girl (albeit not my girlfriend- but that’s another story), and wore a suit. I felt incredible.

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Grace M

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