Again, this! As a trans woman I've gone through a hell of a lot of evolution since I came out roughly five years ago.
At first I presented as quite high femme, heels, dresses, full makeup. But I hadn't accessed hormones at the time and that was what I felt I needed to distance myself from any trace of masculinity.
This wasn't me reinforcing patriarchal gender stereotypes. Indeed, as an avowed intersectional feminist, I struggled with my desire for that presentation. But I consoled myself with the thought that if second and third-wave feminism freed us from bodily expectations, gave us autonomy, then surely that meant choice. So any women who CHOOSE to be housewives, fine. Likewise, and actually kinda more pressing, those men who chose to be househusbands were certainly no less men.
When I started GAHT (Gender affirming hormone therapy) I IMMEDIATELY felt less need to go to the lengths I had.
Then I got to grips with my sexuality (the subject of pieces yet to be republished) and started to allow myself some room.
Now, I still present high femme on occasion, but a lot of the time I'm more or less a stereotypical butch dyke.
And I'm fine with that. I knew my sexuality at 11. I knew I was a girl many years before. Yet I didn't come out til I was 48.
Sadly, those assigned male at birth have their gender policed extremely rigidly.
But screw em. I know who I am. My fiancée does too. And she's trans. We're hardly inconspicuous. But damn compromise.