Name: Debbie Banerjee⠀
Born: Colorado, USA⠀
Lives: North Carolina, USA
When I was a teen, I struggled with my gender fluidity.
My family always observed and said I was “boyish/a tomboy” growing up, but they never realized that was exactly how I was feeling on the inside. I always had a masculine side, but my feminine appearance always got in the way.
When I got diagnosed with PCOS, my doctor told me my high level of testosterone/androgen was the cause of why I felt that way and that I wasn’t actually a boy or that my boy feelings are not accurate. But I still knew it was much deeper than that. ⠀
It wasn’t until I was in therapy that I discovered how to properly understand terms along with understanding my brain, my heart, my soul, and my sexuality. When I finally started to be more like myself, I was met with resistance by the brown community.
I was supposed to be more “Laxmi-like” (feminine) not running around like Ram (masculine). ⠀
The resistance continues today.
I am now a mother. My whole pregnancy was treated with feminine fragility but I didn’t find many opportunities to shine my other side. Couldn’t find a single masculine maternity outfit. So for my pregnancy announcement shoot I bought an oversized men’s kurta, Nehru jacket and pajama and did the damn thing. All with my amazingly supportive hubby by my side.
My vision was to embrace this side of me and to highlight de-gendering fashion.
I hope in the years to come individuality won’t be a fight any longer. That clothes are made equally and for all body sizes. And that not all clothes for women need to be feminine. ESPECIALLY maternity wear.
Masculine mommies exist.
My message to anyone reading this is – if you see a norm you don’t like or agree with; BREAK IT.
It can get real lonely if you don’t let yourself be you. So I continue to wear my tattoos, my gender fluidity, and my love for my culture all on my sleeves.⠀