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  • Writer's pictureBen Pechey


I have always been trans non-binary, I know this now, but perhaps when I was younger I didn’t have the language or space to express this. The last decade has seen such rapid growth in my gender identity. I have never felt more like myself than I do now.

Clothing, accessories, and makeup - they have all helped me explore who I am. As a tool, they were the language I used before I had the words to describe my world. However, I noticed a pattern that showed up time and time again.

I avoided expensive things to affirm my gender - almost as if I was scared to financially commit. This weird personal dysphoria kept showing up - I was always finding ways to scrimp and save. I was a sale rail addict, with some key pieces of my early expression coming from the 90%-off-M&S-no-return-end-of-season-sale sale. The best things were the £2.50 trousers or a £4.50 suit*.

It was never a conscious effort, and in some senses, I still like to save money where I can, but I was being thrifty with myself. I see it now, as if somehow in the back of my head, I would change my mind, or give in to pressure, and no longer want to have an anything-goes approach to dressing. Imagining the day I woke up and never wanted to wear anything affirming again. In reality, I know that this will never happen.

In the last few years, I have seen a soft reversal of this. Spending and investing in my expression - in so many ways has affirmed and soothed the anxiety I felt about my gender expression. I am not suggesting that I have gone on a Gabrielle Solis-esque shopping bender**. More that I have chosen to invest in myself instead of only allowing bargains to make up my sense of self when it comes to clothes, accessories and makeup.

Financially, I am backing myself, because I believe in the longevity of my own pleasure - and that is worth every penny.

**Eva Longoria’s Character in Desperate Housewives


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