“What’s wrong with being a man who looks bad or sloppy or underprepared or like a mannish, fake girl in a dress? Why are other people shocked, or distressed, when they see femininity poorly, or inexpertly, performed? And why do I care—since I do care—about what they see?
How much work does it take to look real, and—if I don’t want to pass full-time as a woman—where’s the point of diminishing returns? Are costume jewelry and nail polish, accessories and ornaments, a skirt and tights here and there on a weekday afternoon, a sustainable compromise, or a way station of some sort?”
—from Harvard professor, poet and critic Stephen Burt’s essay about the long process of discovering his trans identity.