Androgyny, the combination of masculine and feminine characteristics, is an interesting word. Trying to come up with a list of what constitutes ‘masculine’ and what constitutes ‘feminine’ is a difficult exercise when you’re talking about personality and not biochemistry. It was for me, anyway, because more often the words I choose are really epicene, or having characteristics typical of either sex.
I was re-watching The Tudors on Netflix the other day, and was struck by Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ costumes. He’s come a long way since I saw him in Ghormenghast! There was one moment, in season two, episode four where Henry acknowledges his daughter Mary for just a moment by bowing to her — and then rides off. He’s the king, so naturally his costumes should be that much more spectacular; but that was the first time I thought about dressing up in his costumes at, say, a sci-fi/fantasy convention.
Conventions are the only time I really dress up and try to be pretty. Maybe I’m trying to fill some psychological hole because I never went to prom. I wanted to have both experiences, maybe dressing as a man during the day, and a women at night. That’s when all the parties happen. I wonder if I would be treated differently, and who would prefer one persona over another. What would it be like to live that way, and have it not be secret? Or better yet, to live that way and not be stigmatized?
Like Tiresias, but transforming each day rather than one way or the other for a period of years.
I loved Ranma 1/2 as a kid because it played with this idea; but Ranma had to hide it for fear of being seen as a pervert. I don’t see it that way.
Imagine if these two were the same person. Might make an interesting short story.