This photaroid was taken 22-23 years ago. It brings back a lot of memories, good and bad from the closeted years.
The Good: The high-necked white Edwardian top (think Prince and Purple Rain) that looked good and covered a lot of sins, a leather mini with tasteful hem length that seemingly shrank whenever I sat down, black knee-length boots with 3½ inch heels (that didn't make it into the frame), the black (big hair) wig that I liked without the tease and spray, and a few glorious (albeit secreted) minutes getting to explore my femme self.
The Bad: Layers of hosiery (pre-shaving) that were hot, hot, hot in the summer, my self-taught rudimentary makeup skills (predating the abundant Internet tutorials), deep red lipstick (not my color), the pose (that's a pose?), the off-center and incomplete framing (a makeshift, time-limited setup), and the constant fear of being discovered fully or partially dressed (what is this crazy desire?)
And yet, I often reflect fondly on this simpler time and the simple temporary pleasure of being myself. Dealing with transgender flame wars and self-serving hierarchies and slippery slope expectations and marital (and social) tensions from being partially out and LGBTQAI conflicting positions and political appropriateness and "are you gay (no), do you want a sex change (no), what is gender?" questions, among other transgender and non-transgender community dealings, only came later for me.
Yes, I think, on the whole, we are better off and more accepted today than ever before because of those things. It's just more complicated.
Wearing Alice + Olivia.