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Click Moments in My Life

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Although teachers always say there is no such thing as a "click moment" that can turn itself suddenly into another, I disagree with that on the bases of my personal experiences. In fact, I have not only had one click moment, but two. These crucial incidents mark out the turning points of my life. Standing at this point of my life, I can see how under these huge influences I became such a transgender person. Here "transgender" refers mainly to cross-dressing, and at the same time presenting myself "transforming" between two sexes. Most importantly, I almost have the clear answer for how I envision my life in the coming days: as the way I am now.

I remember clearly the day I came up with the idea of becoming a fashion designer, at about the age of 11. That was the busy off-shift traffic. Under the huge, orange, and flaming sunset, people were quick on their steps, running toward their next destination. I was sitting by my window watching, and wondered: why do these women look so confident and happy? I came to the conclusion that it must be the way they dress themselves. I even made a conclusion one step further: in order to make everyone like this, I want to make every woman as beautiful as possible. I started to learn how to "become beautiful", including reading photo collections of fashion shows. Catwalk models confirmed herein even further my thoughts: confidence and beauty are connected to clothes. In this sense, my first click moment led to my dream work of life: a notable fashion designer.

Interestingly enough, I came to recall this click moment only very late after my attendance in fashion school, when my idea of beauty constantly got challenged. Practically speaking, such "becoming beautiful" idea is indeed absurd, since the "dress code" is a manner that every single being would have to learn later on. Those suits presenting these people confident and content, are actually the trick performed by so-called company culture. Employees are forced to wear those to present themselves highly professional. In other words, my direct connection with being confident and happy is not correct at all. The detachment of emotion and body has its realistic sense that people could disguise their feelings through certain dress code. Thus, my definition of beauty got less connected with the "common sense" of being attractive to (potential) partners, and rather more with the tiring and exhausted business woman figure. Dressing themselves with suits will never make these people joyful. However, no one can really blame an 11 year old child, isn’t it? I sometimes wonder: would it have been totally different if this thing had never happened, and I had become the "ordinary" boy who focused on the relationship with girls of my age? Could it have turned my life into a less questionable one? I have no idea, and never will have.

The other click moment took place at the time when I was 17. In my term, that was the very typical "teenage" period: confusion, doubt, and self-questioning. I wondered if I were a "real" man or not. This time the trigger is a book about lesbianism. It is a brilliant anthropological research of the lesbian community in Taiwan. Through interviews, the author tended to document as many and as diverse as possible lesbian couples. I enjoyed that pretty much at that moment, because all their love-hate relationships are just as the other melodramas on the television. In other words, they are no different to all the other heterosexual or even gay couples. A thought suddenly just hit my mind from nowhere: why should I bother myself so much about the definition of who I really am, if everyone of us is pretty much the same? This time, I came to the conclusion that I am just "me", nothing more, and NOTHING less. I am so happy to be me, and "f*ck" all the critics about not being manly enough. To a certain extent, I am not the one who should be confused, the rest of the people are.

It seems that I would become determined to step on the road of Gender Studies, since the current world is still very much biologically oriented. This discipline focuses on the meanings and associated power of masculinity and femininity (what I was worried about very much when being 17). As it turned out to be, I obtained my Master’s degree in Gender Studies in the Netherlands. Through this schooling, I questioned many things, but never once myself about what if this click moment never happened. I simply knew there would be something crucial. I am glad that it turned out very well, since I am not that gloomy teenager anymore. Although I still get eye contacts with challenges and taunts and sometimes harassments with my transgender outfits, I live my life happily.

These moments signify the beginning of the most profound challenges in my life. I am happy to share them. My attempt is not about helping people with the same issue, but in a more general way. These click moments are the treasure for all of us. They are just worth everyone to embrace her/his "material" life, no matter good or bad. By putting material in emphasis, it is my sincere notification that fighting for dream and ambition is never about materiality, but mentality. It is not about how much you have won, but how much joy you have earned in daily life. In this sense, sharing these click moments are the most sincere invitation to feel the warmth of the lives of others. How about sharing your personal click moments to your close friend tomorrow? Just tell them these little things that turned you the way you are now, and you will understand how deep this joy can really be.



Chi-Chih is a fan of fashion, a student of mother Earth, and a believer of love. He longs for a simpler and better life. Originally from Taiwan, his current issue is to present what he has learned in his life, mixed by Chinese culture, fashion design, and international politics.

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If we are to achieve results never before accomplished, we must expect to employ methods never before attempted.

Als we resultaten willen behalen, die nooit eerder zijn behaald, moeten we verwachten dat we methoden zullen gebruiken, die nooit eerder geprobeerd zijn.

Francis Bacon