Hello, again. I write to you from Los Angeles, where I have been living since Thursday! California is magnificent. I will be job-hunting this week, but as a treat for myself, I think I will take a walk down to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre to see the trio’s Hand, Foot, and Wand prints. Harry Potter always grounds me whenever the world becomes a bit overwhelming and scary. Of course, this move and this city have been that at times, but the fact is I’ve chosen this upheaval of my life, and though I can feel the nerves prickling up and down my body, nothing can suppress my excitement for this place. I’ve been marveling at everything. Just walking down the street with my friend, also an East Coast native, we gawked at the palm trees standing 50-foot high. I couldn’t help thinking how dangerous that would be on a main road in Massachusetts in mid- winter. It would snap in half and cause a three-car pile-up.One of the things I’ve noticed in the past few days is the fashion here in LA. Being fashion-obsessed myself, I can say with certainty that there is no lack of opinionated dressing, from high fashion to hipsters. Though I’ve been warned that the snubbing of the non-rich on Rodeo Drive is just as bad as Pretty Woman might have you believe, I still can’t wait to check out those stores. People were walking that street like it was a runway. A beautiful thing.
Because of my fashion obsession, plus my love of Potter, over the last three years, I have amassed a huge collection of magazines featuring Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, and Rupert Grint in exclusive photo shoots with designer clothes. Of course, I adore Emma for her fashion show-hopping and her fabulous new clothing line with People Tree, which is both fair trade and environmentally conscientious. Dan has graced the covers of Esquire and Details and the photos that have come from that have been a bold look into his personality and interests (my favorite was his rendition of Puck from Midsummernight’s Dream). Rupert, who only really joined the fashion mag game last year, now has Blag, Drama Magazine, and FHM shoots under his belt. While FHM isn’t the most even-keeled when it comes to gender, they did show me five different ways to tie my shoes, and he looked gorgeous.
I get a lot of crap for being a dandy, a lot of raised eyebrows, since I walk such a fine line between masculinity and femininity, socially-speaking. On one hand, there is an inherent masculinity thrust upon me in being a transman, and I do welcome that, sometimes buy into that, but on the other, I love Gilmore Girls, I cry a lot, and it doesn’t matter to me if something matches, as long as it goes. Now these are not innately feminine qualities, no, but they are the things some people like to think women do, straight women. They like to think all women are looking for an Edward Cullen as opposed to a Seth Rogen and that this explains the popularity of the Chick Flick. And they like to think that a man could enjoy one such movie, as long as he has one crucial thing in common with women: A love of men.
Now, with the advent of “the metrosexual” a few years ago, there seems to be more acceptance every day for men who simply like to pay attention to how they look, if only in certain open-minded circles. However, it is in the company of men who find befriending women a waste of time, think Edward Cullen is gay, and bother to post endless diatribes on the subject at comingsoon.net which always read like an attempt to eradicate their own feelings of gayness within themselves, where I find the least amount of tolerance. Often times, I’ve noticed these guys making casual links between gender identity and sexuality. One of the things that initially delayed my discovery of my own transgenderism is my attraction to men. Why couldn’t I just be a woman and settle down with a nice man? Of course, there just came a point when I realized I wasn’t a woman and that I really didn’t have a preference sexually for one gender over the other. Once I understood this separation, I noticed it became easier, not only being openly attracted to people, but being comfortable when others were attracted to me.
And that’s what fashion is all about. Confidence. Perhaps many found it shocking in 2007 when they opened their August issue of Details to find a scruffed-up and bare-chested Dan Radcliffe donning a killer leather vest gazing at them from the front cover. And maybe fans who’d never seen Rupert Grint sans his signature mop top were thrown off by page after page of slicked-back fifties style in Blag. However, no one seems to turn a head at the countless magazines Emma has done shoots for or her Burberry campaign, no raised eyebrows there. Rupert and Dan are confident young men and these presentations of themselves are a mark of that. Fashion can be an important tool for many in creating confidence. It’s the very philosophy of What Not to Wear. It can show others how you feel about yourself. And this is exactly what that brand of man who can’t bear to be perceived as anything other than straight-up straight lack: the confidence. They’ll give you opinion on the government, the Super Bowl, and a woman’s behind, but when it really comes down to it, can they give you a true opinion of themselves?Comments (5)