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a dam breaks

January 2018

One afternoon at work, I had one of those intrusive thoughts that left me paralyzed. The thought was: "Why am I not wearing a dress right now?"

I tried to shake it off. As much as my company seemed to be an accepting place, there was no realistic situation where I'd be wearing a dress at work, right? It would raise all kinds of questions that I wouldn't have a good answer for.

I didn't get anything else done that day. The moment I got home, I opened up a clothing store's website in an incognito window, and ordered a simple denim dress. I wasn't sure what I was doing or why I was so compelled, but I knew nobody could stop me. I knew I even had a window of opportunity where the package would arrive while my roommate was away.

Four days later, I furtively grabbed a soft package off my doorstep and hurried to my room, even though there was nobody who could possibly see me. I had apparently made a very good guess at my size. The dress fit pretty much perfectly.

The only dress I'd ever worn before was a flimsy costume dress that didn't fit at all. I feared this one was going to be the same as I fumbled around with it. Like maybe my body just wasn't meant to wear dresses. But as I zipped up the back, it all suddenly fit into place.

I looked at myself in the mirror, and felt every feeling at once.

As I tried to sort out my thoughts, my conclusion wasn't "oh that makes sense, I'm trans". It was more like "this is fucked up, I'm crossdressing and now I'm obsessed with my reflection, I am the literal definition of a narcissist, how did I end up this way".

I knew that trans is something you could be, and I also knew that just wearing a dress doesn't make one a trans woman. I believed I was just indulging a fantasy, the same fantasy I'd never told anyone about.

Long after the point where I should have been bored with wearing the dress if it were just a sexual exploration, it still felt important. But I wasn't trans, right? I didn't fit the "formula" and I hadn't known since childhood. What was going on?

No answers came to mind. I kept the dress on and sat down to play a new game called Celeste.

Later, I started Googling some things.

2. a wrong turn