Despite the “suggested fashion guides” given throughout the years, I decided to go against the status quo. Since this is, in a way, a publicity stunt, I’d like to take some time to provide some points as to why I chose this endeavor:
- To highlight that gender roles are societal constructs (Thanks, Freud and Hitler)
- To show the progressive (or intolerant) nature of our student body
- I wanted to
Pig Roast to me has always been a strange event. The idea of being plastered and drinking the day away is about as close to gluttony as it can get. This self-serving attitude is why I have a lot of frustrations with our drinking culture as a whole but I figured instead of being a judgmental bystander, I’d give it the good old college try before forming a distinct opinion.
What an enlightening experience it was.
Greek life has continually been a hotbed for controversy surrounding race, gender, classism, ableism, and sexuality since the beginning of its conception. It is because of these issues that I have been apprehensive to be involved within Greek life at all during my time at Richmond.
Now that I’ve established that background, I hope it is clear that by me simply existing in a space that was designed to cater to a specific type of person (as indicated by the articles above), people can understand my predilection (or lack thereof) for Greek life.
Now on to my reasons.
If you understand the principles of WGSS or the Feminist movement as a whole, you would understand why I say gender is a myth. If not, please watch this video. If you’re not even willing to entertain a proper discussion about gender, don’t even bother finishing this article.
The first piece isn’t easy to grasp if you’ve been indoctrinated to believe that we should fit into these tropes that society fits us in to. This is precisely why I received so much pushback from the moment I came into the public view.
I was different. I was “controversial”. I was an easy target.
So I chose to be different because I wanted to be able to express myself while also hoping to instill the same courage for those who have to lurk in the shadows because they are ashamed of themselves. I chose to attend because I wanted to advocate for change. I chose to go because I wanted to have fun with the hopes of being embraced by a culture that is finally admitting that gay is actually ok.
Did I maybe create a scene? Sure. Did I “offend” anyone? Probably. Did it actually harm them? No; and that is the exact point I wanted to prove. Just like how I do not agree with your choice of tacky pastel colors or Vineyard Vines®/Lily Pulitzer® attire, you can disagree with my choice of attire for the event. That doesn’t mean you get to detract from my experience as a human being.
I am incredibly thankful and elated that many of my peers were supportive or appropriately nonchalant about my choice of clothing; the overall goal is for it to not matter at all. However, I was still subject to various disapproving looks, sneers, and chatter concerning how different I was. That is precisely why I chose to do it and expand upon the notion of what is acceptable.
I would also like to highlight that my self-expression of wearing a dress is a privilege in and of itself. That trans* people are essentially forced (and yes, peer pressure and even certain laws mandate that for these individuals to be themselves, they are supposed to be ridiculed, outcasts, and shunned from society) to exist a non-authentic life. My act of “courage” for a day pales in comparison to those individuals who have to suffer with living a false life because of fear of how it would be if they were to be their true selves.
Pig Roast is meant to be a whimsical event, so why not allow for the day to be perfectly gay in every sense of the word?