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My mother is an artist. My grandmother was a seamstress. Both are obsessed with color and fabric, a trait that did not evade me by a long shot. Clothing has always been a powerful form of self-expression for the women in my family. A tool to shatter the mundane. Simplicity has no place in our closets.

This blouse was made by my mother. Silk dyed in an array of cool tones in the years surrounding my birth. Clothes carry stories with them and this piece holds many. It is a symbol of the creativity and vivacity of my family, a memory of the style of art my mom created before it evolved into what it is today, a snapshot of the life she lived before me. It swaddles me on the days I feel insecure in my body, it dances on my skin when I want to stand out and show off.

It is femininity. It is androgyny. I experience humanity but at my core I am so much more. That deeper party of me transcends time, space, gender, and any other limits constructed in this life. I feel that part of me deeply. It dictates how I identify and how I love. Human to human, soul to soul. As I experience this life, I experience womanhood. I experience the power, the magic, and the tragedy that comes with it, but it does not define me and I am learning more and more that it does not limit me.

With pieces like this, I can flow freely through masculinity and femininity. I can express the balance of these energies as they fluctuate within me. I can drape myself in a beauty that represents so much more than that which society expects from me. I can drape myself in me.

This piece is published in Closet Cases: Queers on What We Wear

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