I came into the office a bit early today, needing to grab a textbook before my lecture. Nothing special otherwise: I was drinking one of the fabulous Clementina-flavoured San Pellegrinos and was carrying a Lily Bloom bag I found the other day on sale. I rather like it: it’s bright, colourful, and happy.

The first comment from my department chair? “Oh, look at this manbag!”

I fucking hate that term. I hate it as much as I hate other man-portmanteaus, like manbun or, one that kills me, mancan, referring to the 24oz beers. I hate it with passion.

To be absolutely fair, she was not doing this to be ostracizing. I don’t identify as trans publicly here at work, even though I’m plenty femme enough for people to put the pieces together. I don’t think it was meant to genderize me, no more so than another colleague who suggested I do my long hair up into the aforementioned manbun.

I’ve been reading more and more on transitions and being trans, trying to make more sense of what has been in my head all along. Again, one of the hardest things is that you can’t plug a feeling into your head and see if it matches: you can only communicate what you feel through these imperfect media of words and texts. This discomfort at these terms, though, puts me more firmly in trans territory.

It’s not a manbag. I carry a purse. You’re damn right I do.

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