|Japanese ama-loli, courtesy of Wikipedia|
My disappointment reading the comments linked above stemmed not only from the offence and disappointment caused by willful misgendering but from the sentiment that to be taken seriously as a woman one must dress only in the most conventional way and by inference one can also only be taken seriously as a woman if one passes. Maybe I'm a bit sensitive on that last one for reasons that should be obvious if you've read this blog for a while.
Last night at the support group meeting I had cause to reflect on this. A couple of my friends in Swindon do not always dress as conventionally as they were yesterday. One enjoys bridal events and the other has a neat line in French maid outfits, feather duster and all. I'm not going to tell you which is which, but one of them identifies as TV and the other is TS, in the medical system on her own path to transition. If you saw either of them presenting female on a normal day in the street though you wouldn't give her a second look and you certainly wouldn't have any doubts as to her gender, even though one of them definitely has a "him" side.
As I thought further on unconventional dressing I was reminded of a couple of other friends of mine. Bloke friends that is, people who as yet know nothing about Jenny and to whom I'm still just a scruffy big bloke with an unhealthy interest in riding motorcycles and making cider. My goth friend who I last saw wearing a purple frock-coat. Or my middle-aged bloke friend who spends some of his weekends battling Royalists as a soldier from the English Civil War.
So I have to admit to being a little disappointed in the reactions to Mikki based solely on her presentation from people who to my mind should know better. If my limited circle of friends contains unconventional dressers I hope I've demonstrated that unconventional dress is not as unconventional as one might at first think and that a mere combination of unconventional dress and less-than-perfect passing skills should not be justification for a suspension of common courtesy.
The girl in the picture is part of Japan's thriving Lolita scene, a subculture of exquisite costumes that I am told are conventional weekend street wear in the Tokyo district of Harajuku. I wonder if she's any good at Scrabble?