Kara Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

2 Articles from September 2020

  1. An embarrassment of love

    Today I am 31. I have been wished well and received gifts. I have also taken some moments to myself to meditate on the year behind me and the year ahead. Oh, and I cleaned my bathroom and did laundry, because Sunday chores don’t stop just because it’s your birthday.

    Last year I shared a “supercut” of my life in the form of photos I could find from my various eras. I talked a lot about friendship and about loving my friends:

    I'm 30 years old today, and I'm content. I'm not always happy, and I'm not always positive. But I will always, eventually, be okay, as long as I continue to have these people around me … who let me care for them joyfully and intensely…. Friendship as the patience that comes with knowing that “I love you” has as many manifestations as people have days in their lives, and if I love you, I will make sure you know.

    I have written about this idea before, that friendship is a verb, something you must consciously do. What I haven’t written much about, what I found myself reflecting on this weekend, is the reciprocal effect of accepting love…

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  2. When I look in the mirror

    For the last 6 years of my career, I have worn the same outfit to work every day. I’m not exaggerating: I had 5 pairs of trousers, each a different colour; along with 3 styles of pullover sweaters in a few colours. And I hated this outfit, to the point where I—somewhat ironically, in hindsight—referred to it as my teacher drag. The moment I came home from work, I would change out of it in favour of a T-shirt and shorts (or, if indeed it was too cold even for me, sweat pants).

    Last Wednesday I returned to work in our building since we shut down at March Break, and for the first time (not counting working from home), I wore a dress. I wore another one on Thursday, and another on Friday.

    Photo of the 3 outfits I wore. The first is a burgundy dress with a floral motif, along with a white cardigan; the second is a grey and white striped sheathe dress with a black cardigan; the third is a green cami dress with white polka dots and an orange cardigan.

    I loved it. I love it. I’m so happy. But to understand why, you need to understand that this is not really about clothing.

    In my previous post, I discussed how gender dysphoria began to manifest for me in my mid-to-late twenties. In general, however, I prefer to talk about my feelings of gender incongruence, because I believe this is a more useful and…

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