For those of you that have eyes, you will know that I am not a feminine person. I don’t wear floral, I don’t do dresses. I don’t do leggings and I certainly don’t do dresses (I just want to make that bit clear). I look like something in drag if I wear a dress.
So when I was shopping for future maternity wear the other day, and found that at least 60% of maternity wear are dresses, or tops with massive plunging neck lines, I was horrified at the thought that I may have to look like widow twanky for 9 months. I don’t do dresses. Not for any particular protest; it’s just that I don’t suit dresses. I don’t have the body or the face for a dress, and I certainly don’t sit on a chair to accompany a dress.
So what is a butch, masculine, lesbian to wear when pregnant? It’s already going to confuse a few people when you see me walking down the street accompanied by a bump. I already got a few “How did that happen?” looks from people at work. Someone even burst (and I mean burst) out laughing when I said I was pregnant when they asked why I wasn’t in uniform at work. When I then explained that I wasn’t joking, they said “Oh!” followed quickly by the 3 second thought process going through their mind of how it could have happened (it’s not like my ovaries close for business when I become a Lesbian, y’know).
Thankfully, I’m good friends with some of these people so I know they weren’t being offensive, just stupid instead. But still, it leads me back to the question… where is all the maternity wear for those that don’t do dresses?
I refuse to live in jeans and leggings/joggings – especially at work. I would still like to wear chino’s, but preferably without having to install a bump band on everything. I want tops that don’t have plunging, look at my boobs, necklines. I don’t want floral but at the same time not be restricted to stripes – I like stripes, but maternity wear seem to LOVE stripes! Why? I want clothes that have been made for (people like) me.
So after a moment of frustration and panic, I googled “Maternity wear for Lesbians”, and I came across a brilliant blog called Preggo Butch Fashion. Although it necessarily doesn’t tell me where to go, it reassured me that I’m not alone. It calmed me down and made me laugh. It made really good points about Lesbians being made to feel like Tom Beatie when pregnant; especially if you’re butch, as well as being expected to wear your oversized rugby shirts (because every lesbian has one of those apparently (personally, I like mine to fit)).
One of my favourite, hit-the-nail-on-the-head quotes was: “But in order to get the combo privileged/pedestalled place of pregnant, I had to tone down my gender presentation (or you may be confused as fat/beer-bellied)”. Brilliant and so so true!
As well as being a joy to read, it had insightful ideas when it came to lesbian-wear as well as being genuinely reassuring. I’d give it a read if you’re in the same boat as me.
Thankfully, I will be predominantly pregnant during the winter months, so it’s likely that I will be able to get away with buying plus size sweaters that go over shirts, as well as hoodies/jumpers, not to mention baggy jeans. But that’s not the point. There needs to be more variety out there. So come on, guys – get with the times!
This post was written when I was approximately 8-9 weeks pregnant.