Jeans and Dresses

I’ve become numb over the years to homophobia.  While the world is definitely changing for the better, it’s still out there.  In fact, it seems the more progress that is made toward equality for gays, lesbians and bisexuals the more outrageous homophobia becomes.  Nevertheless, like a lot of my gay, lesbian and bisexual brothers and sisters, I cover my heart with a shield and let it bounce off of me. Recently, a North Carolina preacher was alleged to have said that kids whom show signs of being gay should be hit.  That daughters who act too butch should be made to walk, talk and smell like a girl.  Unfortunately, my trusty shield didn’t protect me this time. 

His words cut through and hurt as if I were that ten year old girl again being made to feel like an evil alien simply because I was a “tom boy.”  What hurt the most though is that in my rebellion against those kinds of words, I buried important parts of me that took years to unearth.  As I child, I was accused of wanting to be a boy simply because I played sports, got dirty and despised wearing dresses.  Nothing could have been farther from the truth.  In my heart I was pure “girl” and refused to bend to a definition that had me in long hair, a dress and baking cookies instead of playing outside and getting dirty.  That was all fine and good until I allowed myself to begin to believe that I had to be a certain way in order to be true to myself.  I climbed into that box that I created for myself and stayed there for too many years.

Fortunately, those parts of me that I buried would not stay silenced forever.  The beauty of trying to learn to live with an open mind and heart is that second chances always arise no matter how much time goes by.  That little girl in a dress with long hair was reborn in me as a woman and I love her dearly.  Yes, I still play outside and get dirty.  Jeans, a pair of Frye boots and a t-shirt are staples of my wardrobe.  But, so are dresses and skirts.  They make feel pretty and delicate like a butterfly.  Sometimes the most interesting journeys are the ones taken inside ourselves.  I’m more whole now that I’ve allowed myself to rediscover all the parts of me without regard to what others think I should, or shouldn’t be.

Happiness comes from being true to ourselves and letting others around us do the same.  So my message to those sweet souls who may be hurt by the alleged words of the North Carolina preacher, you’re beautiful no matter who you are, or how you express yourself.  Reach deep and find your authentic person.  To the preacher, just so you know, I’m a proud woman loving woman who can rock a dress as well as a pair of jeans and boots.

  Peace.

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12 thoughts on “Jeans and Dresses

  1. Nicely said, Bev. I will use this the next time someone asks me why I’m wearing a skirt… or why I don’t feel uncomfortable wearing one. I am happy in a dirty pair of jeans and sneakers, but some days I just enjoy wearing a skirt or pretty dress. And I truly enjoy just wearing whatever makes me happy that particular day! Thanks for writing this!

  2. Top drawer, Bev! I never was a “dress” girl, having always felt a bit fraudulent in one. And, probably somewhat because of that, I always looked dopey in them anyway! But I admire women of all stripes who rock them! (looking forward to that LBD…) Why is it that so much of the rhetoric and hatred is clothed in the frock of religion these days? Thanks for sharing this – I really believe we all are our best when we just can Be at Ease. Pax.

    • That’s the key, to cultivate our own stripes whatever they may be and respect and honor the stipes of others. Mother Nature is wild and varied. Our human souls are as well. I’m with ya!

  3. I have always been proud to be from North Carolina, and I don’t want to let people like that preacher make me change that. The sad part is that there are so many like him out there. I am battling “them” by raising 4 great kids who will love themselves and others for who they are. I no longer live in NC, and fortunately live near Portland OR where there is a huge gay population. The big hubbub in NC right now is about Amendment One which is on the ballot this week. The amendment would restrict marriage in such a way as to disrupt not only gay relationships,

    • But would prevent children of unmarried straights from receiving insurance among other serious concerns.

      As for dresses, I apparently told my mother “that’s not my style ” when I was two. I can and will wear a dress, but not for years . I prefer my slacks and dress boots and still love to get dirty.

      Not sure if I hit a limit, but was afraid I would lose my post, so I had to split.

      • Hi Susan,
        Thanks for stopping by to weigh in. I went to graduate school in North Carolina. It is a beautiful place, for sure. I love that your kids will grow up loving themselves and respecting others. There’s no better way to live. Have a great weekend!

  4. Outstanding blog. I don’t care if you wore jeans and boots, or the nicest dress and heals you own, when you wrote this, but you rocked this blog.

  5. Bev I do believe we are kindred spirits ; )
    I let my own awkward sense of what a lesbian was effect me as well! I stuck my self in that box too!! At first I really liked the box and thought I’m gonna be me no matter what anyone thinks . As I got older I started resenting that box more and more , but it wasn’t that society put me in it! It was that I myself pute in it !!! First I felt “they” stole my femininity . Then my “sexy” ,now I know i stole my ” me ” from me ! ; )
    I gave her back, then apologized profusely … Now I’ve even actually forgiven my self and don’t get me wrong … I still love my jeans and sneakers too ; ) and I absolutely love my little black dresses. ; ) too but …
    Give me a book , the sunshine, a bathing suit and the beach ; ) I know now that’s the me … I LOVE MOST !!!

    • And that’s why I think you’re awesome, Jaynes. From one kindred spirit to another, you rock! Keep being you because the world is a better place with you in it. Cheers, my friend.

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