This piece was written by a Sewcialist contributor, but I’m posting it under my name for her privacy. She’s replying to comments through my account too!
Pride is next weekend.
I want to go.
I’ll probably go.
But there’s a problem. I’m a mostly-closeted gender-queer 40-year-old Sewcialist who’s never been to pride, and has never felt gay enough to come out.
What do I wear?! Should I make something just for pride?
Is it time for me to come out finally? I’ve known for about 30 years. My childhood bff asked me if I was a lesbian when we were 10. A lot of my local friends know now. My girlfriend, luckily, isn’t forcing me to come out but she also sees the stress that being closeted brings into my life.
Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money, so we bought what we could afford. Fashion was not on the agenda, though my mom would make me dresses when we had the money. My mom, a staunch feminist, never made me feel like wearing a dress meant anything other than wearing something she made just for me, and I felt special. These days, fashion is my life.
In the fashion world, or the creative world I’ve lived in every minute of my 40 years, I doubt anyone would care if I came out. Some days, I want to sew up this look:
Other days, this look is more appealing:
As a Sewcialist, I’ve been really vocal about fit and working with what you’ve got, while still advocating: Wear what you want! Because of the shape of my body, I lean towards a more tailored look, which I love for myself.
Over the years, through my work, and my personal life, it’s become clear that staying in the closet isn’t a long-term option. I want to be fully out. As a queer femme, or really anyone else on the queer spectrum, you end up having to come out all the time. It’s never-ending, but being as active on social media as I am, it would be wonderful to feel free enough to add a rainbow flag to my profile as a shorthand for potential clients to know that I get it, I’m not going to judge you, and you’re safe. I do it in person, but it’s frustrating to not feel like I can share my life publicly, when I share so much about my sewing life already.
Sewing has been my social media language for over a decade and has opened my world up to some amazing people across different waters. But there’s still that one nagging thing I’m keeping from my feed.
If you’re also closeted, I’m sending you love and solidarity. If you don’t know how you feel about gender, sexuality, and how you present yourself to the world, a lot of people don’t either. You’re not alone. The beauty about sewing is that you can make whatever you want, in any color you want, and present yourself however you want.
Whether you celebrate the month of June openly or privately, Happy Pride!