I’ll be the first to admit that I kind of get a kick watching people’s reactions to me wearing a skirt. Why? Because I’m heterosexual – have a beautiful wife and two amazing kids. I have no desire to get a sex change and in fact enjoy the look of the female anatomy, um, how can I put this…well, let’s just say, I’m a healthy male.
As we go about our lives, I am amazed at how many comments my wife and I receive from women about the way we dress. My wife loves Victorian lace, flowing skirts, dresses, and flowers in her hair. Myself, I like soft materials, and some women’s styles, but mostly “A” frame and a few shorter skirts mixed with T shirts, boots or heavy heels – Sometimes a little Fem – but usually balanced with something that says, “I’ll kick your ass if I have to”. Together we make a very lovely eclectic couple. At a sale we were at, a woman commented twice about how much she loved my skirt and finished the conversation with, “I LOVE a man in a skirt”. We’ve even had a little elderly lady stop us and tell me how refined and good I looked wearing a long skirt, my grandfather’s 1940’s hat, T-shirt, scarf and 3/4 length wool overcoat.
Men on the other hand are quite amusing, Either they don’t bat an eye after the first glance or two, or are completely uncomfortable and want nothing to do with me. At first I found the latter response quite troubling and it made me feel uncomfortable being a man in “women’s” clothing (after all, I can’t deny I buy skirts from the women’s section of the store – last check the men’s department was fresh sold out of skirts) but after the first few times, I realized what was wrong – I forgot to write those people off. You see, as much as we don’t want to admit it, we all judge one another on some level – abilities, character, religion – all sorts of judgements that “qualify us”. You might judge me on my ability to sing and play bass, keyboard, and guitar, write computer code, operate heavy equipment, fix cars, farm, or on having compassion and making a difference in the community, on being an incredibly inspirational dad, or a caring, supportive, and loving husband – take your pick, If you really know me, you already know I do all of the above equally well…or you can also judge me based on the clothes I choose to wear.
As harsh as it sounds, when someone feels uncomfortable because of my clothing, I now realize they aren’t someone I’d want in my family’s life – at all – period! In a matter of seconds, their response helps show me the depth of their character. Depth of character is something that is refined and shaped with a lot of life experience. It is something people develop by letting go of limiting ways of thinking – usually handed down generationally. Those same thoughts that said the earth is flat, and we will never fly or of late – no one will ever buy music off the internet and put it on a little “pod” and carry it around. It’s the upbringing that teaches people to look at a woman and see a piece of property or someone lesser than their male counterpart. It’s a father teaching their son to hate others because of skin colour, sexual preference or religious beliefs when in truth it’s out of ignorance and fear.
This response has truly helped me to understand what others go through. You see, I can change my clothes, run into that same person that judged me the day before and hit it off no problem, but for someone who is a different colour, or gender, they will forever be judged by that same person…and THAT judgement isn’t something they can affect by changing their clothes. So when someone feels uncomfortable or can’t handle a guy in a skirt, I realize how thankful I am that I don’t have to waste my time – they’ve already passed judgement on themselves. If an article of clothing is a barrier of their making – what can be said or done to change or affect that way of thinking – and would you trust your children or wife to be around someone of that character? I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this. Let me know in the comments below.