Welcome to What I Wore, a series where I explore fashion as shelter in traditionally heteronormative and patriarchal spaces.
Airport Going to A-Camp
This was going to be my last interaction with the heterosexual agenda for an entire week and I needed to keep my eye on the prize. Still, that would be difficult when there was chance of manspreading. I needed a powerful feminine presence to steady my resolve. What better way to achieve that “not today” look than going full Absolutely Fabulous? I went with a pink shirt with a cocktail glass, a faux cheetah print coat, and some reflective sunglasses inside.
The man sitting next to me on the plane: waited for me to put the arm rest down, gave me the entire arm rest, his legs never came close to my side, and he even kept his crossed hands in his lap for the entire flight. For a brief moment I was so happy I was able to own space that I thought, “What if I just reached over and held his hand?” as he slept, which I realize is VERY weird.
Success rate: 5/5
Airport Leaving A-Camp
I wanted to assimilate on this day in order to soften the transitional blow. I decided the best way to do that was to dress both as a straight man and a straight woman going to the airport, and so I wore a sport jersey and leggings as pants. Just as minimal effort and attempt at an aesthetic as possible, you know? Then also, a paper hat I’d gotten that very morning from the Jelly Belly factory with everyone’s favorite photographer, Molly Adams, to encourage the idea that this was just a joke and I wasn’t actually returning to this world.
The thing about wearing a paper hat with a Jelly Belly logo on the side in an airport line though is that a lot of people look at you. Almost everyone looks at you? And after a sustained period of this staring you become very aware of who’s looking at you, and reader, you’ll find that in an airport, it’s a sea of straights.
Success rate: 2/5
The Day After Camp
To nurse the emotional comedown from returning to the real world after spending seven days with only queers and exactly one Trudy, I wore a shirt with iron-on letters that read “GENDER TRAITOR” and paired it with a millennial pink skirt because I’m soooo clever. Do you get it. Of course you get it. But for straight people, overlapping these kinds of concepts is new territory, and I wanted them to feel as confused as I would be having to exist among them.
This did feel like a bit of a risk wearing a shirt in Trump’s America that said “TRAITOR” in all caps regardless of what word preceded it, but otherwise the static I thought might be increasing in volume in the heads of those around me gave me the piece of mind I needed to keep me fully present in my big gay body.
Success rate: 4/5
I desperately need that leopard print coat. Desperately.
I do not soft femme but I need that gender traitor outfit
DIY shirt & cut a thrifted skirt- do it!
On Saturday I had my first foray into a hetero club in over a year, and within 20 minutes I had a heated argument with a man who was harassing my friend. Not sure if he was so aggressive with me because I looked gay or coz I didn’t look gay….
However I feel like had Erin chosen my outfit for that night, said man would have just been like “ok I’m sorry I’m bothering you guys, let me show myself out”.
I definitely need this kind of wardrobe help….lol
skype me in
“What would Erin wear” is my new daily mantra when looking at my wardrobe.
But really, I need a personal Erin. I think we all do
great looks, and thank you so much for that live from the scene photo what a treat!
Exactly one Trudy, I’m dead.
“I wanted them to feel as confused as I would be having to exist among them.” perfection
that bro next to you on the airplane is looking good, I c that outfit, im crushing
This serie is the best thing that has ever graced the internet.
“Dress both as a straight man and straight woman going to the airport” I’m dead. ?
JELLY BELLY <3
kris h where were youuu
Trying to explain the rules of beer pong to EVERY HUMAN IN THE YURT that wasn’t you and Kayla apparently.
I sat between two six-foot-six men on the plane to A-camp and had a dream/nightmare that I reached out and held both their hands! What is it about well-behaved men on planes?
Your style inspires lols/admiration/gentle envy as per usual
“pls dont be real pls dont be real”
Whoa. Did you feel like Atreyu passing through the Sphinx Gate? Only with less boobs
Does watching Two and a Half Men (and LAUGHING at it) in the seat next to me count as manspreading?
there’s a whole spectrum of manspreading behaviors, methinks
This column is always my favourite <3
Will there be a Preparing to See Trudy Again entry in a forthcoming edition?
This is the best installment yet. Also I love “chance of manspreading” and I think we should all describe the patriarchy in meteorological terms henceforth.
“Today’s forecast: clear, with only a 10% chance of male tears. Expect increasing gaziness and the possibility of thunderous mansplaining later this week; don’t leave home without your umbrella shield and earphones!”
On a day with a major sports match:
Today’s forecast brings a 98% chance of mansplaining said sport, and manspreading in every possible location. We advise you either stay home and weather the storm, or camouflage yourself as one of them in the hopes of passing undetected.
Comment award? I think so
I have a deep and burning need for outfits 1 and 3. I could live my whole life in outfits 1 and 3.
Love this series. And everything Erin writes!
please wear that jelly belly hat every day.
I want that gender traitor shirt!
“after spending seven days with only queers and exactly one Trudy” made me snort
This column always comes to mind when staring at my wardrobe. I think, “What would Erin wear?”, which could sound especially obnoxious being that my name is also Erin.
The comment about THINKING about holding the strangers hand in the airplane sounded like things that spin in my head. I went to Boston Pride yesterday and there was a cop that was standing there “policing”. He was wiggling slightly and had a small smile on his face. I ran over to put a whistle lanyard around his neck and he smiled with TEETH. I wanted to kiss his nose. I didn’t but I thought about it. Side note: All the other cops resisted the lanyard. He was the only one to allow it.