#GenderPEI  - 9 July 2018 - By, Shania MacIssac

#GenderPEI - 9 July 2018 - By, Shania MacIssac


I’m a cis-female. That is, the gender by which I identify is the same as the sex I was assigned at birth. I like to wear dresses, skirts, high heels and makeup — all of the stereotypical “girl” things. That said, it never fails to completely piss me off when someone comments negatively on a woman wearing “boy clothes” or a man wearing makeup. If your daughter wants to wear “boy shoes” I don’t care. Unless of course you begin to shame said daughter for wanting the “boys shoes”. In which case, I very much care and so should you

Before I continue, be warned that my views and opinions on this topic may be outside of the box of societal norms you are used to. Perhaps you will end up agreeing with what I have to say, and maybe not. Regardless, I hope this article can bring about respectful, educational and understanding conversation. Let’s continue..

  Admit it, this guys look good!  Photo Credit: Charisma News

Admit it, this guys look good!  Photo Credit: Charisma News

There is no logic behind the way clothes are split into gendered categories. If a person who identifies as male wants to wear a dress, let him! If a person identifying as female wants to wear a suit, let her! If someone who is gender fluid wants to wear a dress one day and a suit the next, let them! And not only that, but support them. When did it become a subject for mockery when a boy wears a skirt? Historically, and in other places across the globe, men have worn dresses and skirts. I find the Scottish are a good example of this, and wearing of kilts. Women have worn suits or have had short hair. The fact that we as a society accept females who wear dresses and do their makeup but not those who shop in the “mens” section is utterly absurd. Not only that, but I have never come across anyone who was able to give me a logical answer as to why men shouldn’t wear makeup or why women shouldn’t shop in the “mens” section.

Gendered clothing is a social construct. We as a society have been conditioned to relate certain clothing to women and other clothing to men. But there is no reasoning behind it. I want to make clear that I am by no means pointing fingers at women who dress “feminine” or men who dress “masculine”. After all, I’m a woman who enjoys expressing myself in a feminine manner. That said, how is me wearing a dress any different from someone wearing a dress whose gender identity is different from mine. I’ll tell you something: Other than what has been socially constructed in our minds, THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE. The way I see it, as long as you’re kind, express yourself however you want and however you feel best represents you. If you happen to fit into this societal box of what’s “normal,” great! What I hope for is that people begin to accept those who may not fit into that box. Because they too are normal. People need to realize that all of these people are still people. And all of these people's identities are valid.

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While judgement towards those who express themselves outside of the gendered boxes they were given at birth is still present in Canada, I feel PEI is less proud of those who don’t fit into those boxes. Sure, people here may say that everyone deserves equal rights and acceptance, but those same people may not want to be seen with a man in a dress, or a person who is transgender, or even gay for that matter. There are many people here who, yes, accept those who do not fit into the “male” and “female” boxes assigned at birth, or the assumed heterosexuality. But, there are also people, perhaps even some of those same people, who do not want those identities to be publicly celebrated. With that, the difficulty of accepting and being yourself on this island is understandable, but I want you to know that you do have people who support you.

BE PROUD. WEAR WHAT YOU LIKE. EXPRESS YOURSELF THE WAY YOU WANT.

And if someone says to you that not everything is unicorns and rainbows, say “I AM”, turn around and give them a pride-filled middle finger.

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