English as a language is quite frankly kind of terrible to learn how to write. This is because the English language isn’t really a single language but a collection of many other languages and it is the ultimate adapter but it means grammar and spellings from all over. I be for E except after C and then a million other words where it does not apply. This however does give us a large swathe of words to choose from and if you have an understanding of words you can find a word that means exactly what you need to say or write. Now sadly in contemporary society some of these words have fallen out of use. That said there is a word that has a specific meaning and is perhaps the most terrifying one in the English language to crossdressers, permanent. But we should not fear this word, perhaps even embrace it.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines permanent as “Lasting or intended to last or remain unchanged indefinitely.” The very nature of Crossdressing seems to be most of us do not want our femininity to be enduring, indefinite, continuing, perpetual, everlasting, eternal, constant, persistent, irreparable, irreversible, lifelong, indissoluble, unending, endless, never-ending, immutable, unchangeable, unalterable, invariable, unchanging, changeless, imperishable, or ineradicable. Instead we prefer for the female aspects of ourselves to be temporary, fleeting, or ephemeral. Why is this? Each of us has our reasons but I think it boils down to the good old fashion dichotomy of male and female in society. The social norms based on the male and female sex lead to the strict separation of the masculine and feminine genders and in society those are enforced strictly, though since the rise of second wave feminism in the 1960’s less so for women. The fear of these social consequences naturally will stop those of us who exist in the world between these two societal norms to attempt to adhere to them as best we can and on occasion overplay them. But this is getting a little deep for this particular post, basically what I am saying is that the fear of being outed and facing the music stops us from doing anything noticeable and heaven forbid permanent.
After some thought I came around to pierced ears (speaking of I before E). I’m not a small guy, played offensive tackle in high school and if I accidentally bump into someone in a bar they turn around to look insulted until they look up and apologies for being in my way. This makes purchasing feminine clothing a challenge but one thing that fits anyone is earrings. I have had clip-ons for special occasions for years and always enjoyed them on the occasions I wore them the stupid things falling off. Since my decision to push my feminine side a bit more in my life I looked back to earrings and ordered a few magnetic studs to wear on a more daily basis. I did some research, earring in one ear you’re gay, the other straight, and in both your bi; or at least in 1999 that was true today not really. But pierced ears meant that some was now permanent the scary word. This held me back for awhile thinking about what others would think, would I be outed? Would people just stare at my ears? These were all holding me back but two things pushed me forward, the first was simply “fuck it grow a pair and get your big girl panties on and get some extra holes”. I have made a few decisions over my life using the “Fuck it” method and it has typically worked out and in essence it is me pushing back against my tendency of over thinking things.
The second thing that happened is that a friend with a metal allergy needs a wedding ring and would like an ebony ring. I have a wood working shop and a lathe so off to find some rare wood and get to work. I should point out here that ebony while a truly unique (it is so dense it sinks in water) and beautiful wood is hard to come by as it is slow growing and has a protection status that limits its harvest, and most of what is harvested is used in the production of guitars. So if you can get some ebony you don’t waste it. I had some cut offs and was looking at these fine think slices of pitch black hard wood and it struck me that with some sanding, a hole, and a hook I could have a damned nice looking pair of earrings. And they were nice which then had me looking at the crabapple wood scraps, also quite nice, oh and the purple heart with it’s natural deep purple vibrancy which then lead to laminating the ebony and purple heart. The ring broke on the lathe, well sand down the pieces and glue on some posts and now those work great. Now not to get to full of myself here but look at these!
My own little personal works of art that can be worn. I want to wear those! There is always the option of clip-ons but again, fuck it. So I got my ears pierced.
I did my fair share of research and basically don’t go to the mall and get someone to gun those things through the ear; see a professional. I could go into the medical reasons that a trained, certified, and regulated professional piercer is a better option than someone with a gun in a mall that offers 5 minute piercing as a side to selling costume jewelry but I think the reasons in this sentence make the point perfectly well. If you need more convincing think of it this way if you’re worried the person poking holes your ears may think it is a little weird for a guy to get his ears pierced the professional who pokes holes in ears, noses, tongues, nipples, belly buttons, and genitals is likely to be a lot less judgemental than the 20 year old in the mall. So I wandered into piercing shop and said “So thinking of getting my ears pierced” the woman says “all right here’s a form would you like hoops or studs?” take a look “Studs seems like a good plan” I hand over $45 and have a seat a few minutes later the piercer comes out and calls me in, wearing scrubs into a room that appears more like a medical office than I expected. Bins of sterilized equipment and the anatomical models of body parts only with holes in them and yes even those two. She gloves up marks a couple spots and asks if that works we try again until they appear level and then the actual poking some holes and sticking some surgical steel into my ears took about 5 minutes for both. They looked good and I leave. That was just over a month ago and how many people have commented on my new bedazzled ears? Two, that’s it, just two. So, if people have noticed they haven’t seemed to care and this was with the larger more noticeable balls on my ears. I have a few small studs that are barely noticeable and I’m going to turn myself some 6mm wooden ones on the lathe so they just blend in.
What are the results? Well I took one permanent step towards the feminine and I like it, I was able to take my original ones out and try some dangly ones this week and I did enjoy the feeling as it is different from clip=ons. As for the rabbit hole that we fear tumbling down? I haven’t booked myself in to get breast implants so one permanent modification didn’t make me want to become a woman, but results may vary I suppose. As for social backlash? I have seen none and really most people are more likely to associate you with hipster as opposed to crossdresser but that may actually be worse. I can now just wander in and get an off the shelf female piece of jewelry and pop them in. As for my male life well mens clothing has some limited options for accessories so adding another layer is a bonus. While taking this step may not be for everyone remember you can always let them grow back in if you so desire but you have the option of getting any earring you want to accessorise that black dress.