61-year-old American robotics engineer, Mark Bryan, is redefining what a business suit is supposed to look like. Living his day to day life in Germany, Mark says he is a happily married straight man with three kids that just so happens to like to wear pencil skirts as well as eight inched heels to the office. For most of his life, Mark has had a strong belief that clothes have no gender.
“Clothes have no gender, but I do refer to my shirts as men’s; just to be clear, I do not wear blouses. Even if a say I wear a men’s shirt and a women’s skirt and heels, it’s all non-gender clothes to me.” Claims Bryan. (1)
Styling himself with the typical business button-up that men wear, he pairs it nicely with a tight mini skirt and some cute heels. For the last four years, Mark has been uploading pictures to his Instagram promoting his attire for the day. He claims that the only reason he wears what he does is “because I can.” Remarking on how he’s always appreciated the power exuded by women who have worn tight skirts and heels in the work place.
Clothes Don’t Have A Gender
Of course, Mark has received a wide range of feedback from good to bad. However, he does not let others phase his decision making. Bryan says that he first started this journey when he was going to college with his then-girlfriend. She had asked Bryan to dress up in a skirt and heels as they danced together. Breathing new life into Mark as he realized that clothes truly have no gender. Bryan has been expressing himself through his clothing ever since. (1)
Bryan claims that it’s mainly men that have a problem with him wearing skirts and heels in public. Especially at the office where he manages, coworkers have found themselves perplexed by someone such as Bryan. He says that a lot of the time men will ask Bryan what his sexual preferences are. Usually responding with that it’s none of their business and other times he will state “I’m straight.” (1)
Bryan also states, “But there are times I’ll go off on some, mostly men when asked. I’ll respond with something like “why would me wearing a skirt make you think of my sexual preferences?” or “would you ask that same question if I was wearing pants?”, or “Do you ask a women wearing a skirt and heels her sexual preferences?”‘ (1)
Why Is This A Big Deal?
Technically speaking, this isn’t really a big deal. No one should be ridiculed or questioned about their sexuality based on the clothing they want to wear. However, to some, what is considered ‘normal’ gives a lot of people preconceived notions on how a person should look and act. To people like Bryan, the only thing you should be worried about is what is going to make you happy in life. Even if this means redefining how people look at clothes as well as gender. (2)
Believe it or not, there are multiple people who are just like Mark Bryan that go their whole lives unhappy. Simply because society has such strict standards on appearances as a whole and not just the workplace. Even though Bryan says he’s straight, he is spreading awareness for the LGBTQ+ community. A variety of queer people, especially the transgender community, struggle with the thought process everyday on what is acceptable and what isn’t acceptable to wear in public. (2)
There aren’t enough available resources for the LGBTQ+ community to find inspiration like this. Of course, the LGBTQ+ community is diligently working to normalize clothes not having a gender on a daily basis. There are very few straight allies that are willing to go to these kinds of lengths. It would be lifechanging and critical for equality if more heterosexual individuals went against the grain of societal norms.
What About His Family?
Bryan says that he has been married three different times since he’s started wearing skirts and heels. His current wife, as well as his children, are all very supportive of his lifestyle. Unlike so many others, Bryan is very lucky to have a family that is not only understanding of his feelings, but care about him as a person and wants him to be happy. His family also firmly believes that clothes have no gender.
Bryan sat his son and two daughters down one day to explain to them why he was dressing the way he did. “I just told them that their dad liked to wear skirts and heels and not to worry about me being gay or that it’s anything sexual.” Bryan says. (1)
Starting with heels and pants, the engineer slowly worked his way to wearing skirts at the office. Bryan claims that he was very nervous the first time he wore a skirt to work. However, after that day, he says he’s realized that people rarely care about what others are wearing. Bryan doesn’t just wear tight skirts and heels to work, but everywhere and anywhere he can. This includes when he goes shopping, to the park, getting on the train, and even when he’s fixing up cars, Mark will be wearing a skirt and heels while he does it. (1)
Keep reading: Please Stop Wearing These 3 Things (at any age)