on my failed modeling career
I have a wedding on Thursday. When I picked up my sister from the airport, she asked what I was wearing, and I said a suit. She said, “Oh.” Then, “You mean a suit or a suit.” I clarified that my pre-pandemic clothes don’t fit right yet but I have another wedding coming up so I bought a new coat. I then explained my butch tax theory.
If you’re not familiar, there’s a femme tax wherein everything costs more—hair, nails, dresses, etc. But I think there’s a butch tax wherein someone like me walks into the men’s section of Nordstrom and has to throw myself at the mercy of the first gay boy who offers to help. And he will help. He knows I’m lost. He saw me looking at all the wrong ties. He knows I don’t even know where to start. So he finds a coat he likes, asks if I prefer white shirts or a color (this is the only choice he allows me to make), and sends me to the dressing room with a coat and shirt while he finds ties. He talks to the tailor for me. He sets out in search of pocket squares while the tailor chalks the coat. He won’t let me leave looking like an idiot. This is his job and he truly cares. But he also knows when he’s done his best and tells me I look handsome, I am his goddamn puppy and I will swipe the Amex without even looking. Because when he says I look good, he means it. That’s the butch tax.
While this bit answered my sister’s question, it’s not at all what she meant. What she meant was, “Are you dressing like a man.” I didn’t understand the question because I really thought we’d settled this shit 20 years ago. I somehow forget that my being a lesbian is in any way remarkable.
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