So as I was leaving Society for Disability Studies, I met this professor at Emory (It was Rosemarie) who does stuff relating to fashion and disabled women. I'm actually androgyne identified, but I'm consistently read as a woman, and I told her so- she said that either woman-identified OR read as one qualifies for her purposes, and I'm well aware that I'm read as a woman. So... she took a picture of what I was wearing, and I wrote a thing about what I was wearing to send to her. Which is this thing below.
Fashion isn't a thing I tend to get much into as a “this will have an effect on other people” thing. It's pretty uniformly a what I want for me thing. That sometimes (often) leads to clothing choices that make me stand out even more than I otherwise would from the fact that I move differently, I act differently, I think differently. Today, I am wearing a (men's) Indian long-sleeved tunic type shirt, which goes to my knees. There is a slit in it that comes up to approximately to waist level. It's purple, plaid. I like it, it's comfortable. I've also got a long purple skirt on, it goes to almost but not quite my ankles. Multicolored, though it's all different fabrics that are mostly purple. I'm also wearing black mens athletic shorts, though you can't see them under the shirt and skirt. Then there is the pink jacket people often mistook for pajamas when I was at the Society for Disability Studies conference. I know people thought it was pajamas because people told a friend of mine how the girl who sat on the floor and was wearing pajamas asked good questions. (It's not pajamas.) That jacket is sewn together from a blanket with satin binding. I have it because silky/satin bindings are good for stimming with. The feeling of them between my fingers or toes is great, and it can help me calm down. So that's what I'm wearing.
I thought about a couple things when I was choosing my clothes:
- I want to be comfortable. I always want to be comfortable. What that means sometimes varies by circumstance.
- In this case, I wanted loose clothing where I didn't have to think about how I move, and I wanted enough layers that changing temperatures woudn't be an issue.
- I also needed to fit all my stuff into my suitcase, since it's a travel day. I'm taking two planes.
- I get patted down a lot, and I've learned from experience that a single piece dress is not fun for pat-downs. So the single piece dress was out. Skirts aren't awesome, but manageable and I wanted to be comfortable.
- I like purple. Hence a lot of purple.
You might notice that “what other people think of it” wasn't on that list. I suppose you could blame (credit) that on (to) my being Autistic if you really wanted. But autism is a part of me, so it's still me. Reducing the odds of my getting patted down wasn't really on the list either, which might have been smart to think about. But the way I move is weird enough that I probably can't actually do much about that. So... I didn't.