How "Extroverted Dressing" Led Me to Gender Euphoria|2024

How “Extroverted Dressing” Led Me to Gender Euphoria| fashionpk

A shrinking violet I am not. As a black transgender woman, I believe I’ve fought for my voice and, frankly, my looks. Right now, we’re in the midst of what I affectionately refer to as a Transgender Renaissance. Put simply—and there’s no other way to say it—transgender people are having a moment. We have existed for generations, but only now are we being widely represented in politics, film, pop culture, and IRL. Your neighbors and coworkers are proudly coming out as transgender, and deserve to pull up a seat at the table.

How "Extroverted Dressing" Led Me to Gender Euphoria|2024
How “Extroverted Dressing” Led Me to Gender Euphoria|2024

I live in New York City, and in Brooklyn and Manhattan, trans girls are going on dates, hanging out in cliques, and dining at all the buzzy restaurants. When I have conversations with other dolls, some have expressed wanting to blend in or appear “stealth”—aka passing for cisgender. While I support a woman’s right to live her life the way she sees fit, I choose to live mine loudly and vivaciously.

The Concept of Extroverted Dressing

“Extroverted dressing” refers to the practice of using bold, vibrant, and unconventional clothing and accessories to express one’s individuality. It’s about breaking free from the constraints of traditional fashion norms and embracing a style that reflects one’s true self. For many, including those exploring their gender identity, extroverted dressing becomes a powerful tool for self-expression and affirmation.

My Journey Begins

Growing up, I always felt different from my peers. While they seemed to conform effortlessly to the gender norms and expectations laid out for them, I struggled with an internal conflict that I couldn’t quite articulate. The clothes I was “supposed” to wear felt like a costume, an ill-fitting disguise that never truly reflected who I was inside.

It wasn’t until my late twenties that I began to understand my feelings. The internet, with its wealth of resources and communities, became my lifeline. I discovered stories of others who felt as I did, who found solace and joy in expressing their gender through fashion. This was my introduction to the concept of extroverted dressing.

Extroverted Dressing
Extroverted Dressing

The First Steps

In early 2024, I decided to take the plunge. I started small, incorporating more colorful and unconventional pieces into my wardrobe. A bright scarf here, a pair of bold-patterned pants there. Each new addition felt like a step closer to my true self. The more I experimented, the more I realized how powerful clothing could be in shaping my identity and boosting my confidence.

I began to frequent thrift stores and online marketplaces, searching for unique pieces that spoke to me. I invested in statement jewelry, vibrant makeup, and accessories that made me feel seen. The transformation was gradual, but with each new outfit, I felt a little more like myself.

’m social and love a good party, but I also cut a fine figure and enjoy the simple pleasure of feeling the sun on my skin. I love cleavage and naked dressing, as well as a ball gown skirt worn with a vintage T-shirt and sky-high stilettos; or a raincoat in an eye-catching color. The resurgence of #normcore seems nigh, and we’re all inundated with quiet luxury on social media. That’s all well and good, but I don’t want to blend in with the crowd; I want to dress up and out, reveling in the gender euphoria it gives me.

How "Extroverted Dressing" Led Me to Gender Euphoria|2024
How “Extroverted Dressing” Led Me to Gender Euphoria|2024

For the unfamiliar, gender euphoria is what a transgender person experiences when their appearance matches their gender identity. For trans men, it can be the change in voice due to testosterone; for trans women, it can be the barista using one’s preferred pronoun based on appearance alone. For me, gender euphoria is a lingering look from a cute guy walking past me on the street, the Uber driver referring to me as “Miss,” or even drunken revelers complimenting my outfit. (The latter is the easiest way to feel euphoric. By putting my best Manolo-clad foot forward, I ensure that I look good, even if I don’t feel it.)

In cities like New York, where there is always an occasion to dress up, dressing not only well, but with purpose, is pervasive among those who live here, including the transgender community. Post-pandemic, we are expressing ourselves and taking pride in our appearance, and we should. This is our time to shine, by embracing what I call extroverted dressing

Conclusion

My journey with extroverted dressing has been transformative. It has allowed me to explore and affirm my gender identity in a way that feels authentic and empowering. Through bold and vibrant fashion choices, I have found a sense of joy and fulfillment that I never thought possible.

For anyone struggling with their gender identity, I encourage you to explore the power of extroverted dressing. It may not be the solution for everyone, but for me, it was a crucial step toward achieving gender euphoria. Embrace the clothes that make you feel seen, celebrated, and true to yourself. Your journey to self-discovery is uniquely yours, and it is worth every step.

 

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