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Thread: First experiences in a niqab.

  1. #1
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    First experiences in a niqab.

    A niqab is a piece of black cloth that can have one to four layers, it's worn over the head and covers the face apart from the eyes although they can be covered by another layer. It is mostly worn by Islamic women for a variety of reasons; some out of cultural obligation and some for feminism. The idea behind it is to keep a woman modest so that the woman's hair and face are preserved for close relations and husbands. It's usually combined with some other garments like an overhead abaya, abaya, chaddor or hijab and is often mistakenly called a burka in western countries. The overall impression to people outside Islam is that women are forced to wear it out of religious obligation however the Niqab's origins came from Arabia and Persia long before Islam. You can find out more here if you like.

    History lesson out of the way, here's my story:

    I like to cross dress in my house and my house mates are awesome in accepting it. I tend to wear unusual things even from a female fashion perspective those things being sarees. I don't bother trying to make myself look effeminate I just enjoy wearing that type of clothing. I don't want to look like a woman when I get dressed up I just want people to treat me normally. I tend to keep it indoors and change whenever I need to go outside into man clothes, I do think that there would be a time when I could just stride out without a care. But for now I don't want to take the risk as I still have hang ups about negative attention.

    I decided to buy a niqab and some other modest clothes after seeing an Islamic clothing shop in my town. Being an art student you have a cure-all excuse of "it's for an art project" and then bullshitting about some vague brief. Now that I had them it was a while before I actually went outside. The idea buying it was based on not wanting to be seen but being able to go out cross-dressing. Even though my house mates knew about my cross-dressing I wasn't 100% sure how they would take my new look. Eventually though I told them about it and one of my house mates was incredibly enthusiastic about it saying that it would be perfect.

    So I eventually decided to take the leap and actually go outside for the first time ever, it was raining and at about 9am in the morning which is a good time for quiet streets. I wanted to avoid school kids just in case something gave me away and anyone Muslim because I was terrified of being exposed. I spent a lot of time pacing as to if I should do it and eventually just opened the door and strode out. I got about half way down the street when I wanted to turn back but I thought it would look weird if I did so I decided just to check the times at the bus stop. On my way back a woman and kid were walking in the other direction and stared at me. Then I got back into the house and that was that. The first time is always the most rewarding but it lead to an addiction where I wanted to test how well I passed.

    Fast forwards to today and I've been spending the last couple of weeks in niqab and have had the same reaction from a variety of people. So far I've been out during a football match finishing, when there have been many teenagers around and even on windy days where the fabric clings to me. All the time I was thinking the stares were coming from people confused about my gender until one day that paranoia changed. I was walking back on a windy day in sunlight hurrying my walk when I see an Islamic woman walking towards me who greets me and then walks on by. After that the veil of paranoia was lifted and I felt absolutely free. After walking past many different people no one has been outwardly aggressive. Even when I walked past the Police nothing happened and I felt so stupid for thinking that it would be so easy to see through my disguise.

    It's weird that now I see all of my effeminate clothes as nothing special now. The risk has sort of been taken out of it and the niqab has given me a massive confidence boost to dress the way I want to. Wearing it has given me a lot of respect for the women who do it full time, it definitely hammers home a personal meaning that the way you dress is no one else's business.

    As a final thought; I did some research before wearing my Niqab and found out a lot about its cultural background. Did you know that there were stories of men wearing Niqab because they were considered too beautiful for men and women?

  2. #2
    Junior Member RachelMondor's Avatar
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    Certainly where I live, in the North of England, where there's a large Muslim community, I'd be extremely concerned at the prospect of being discovered.
    I doubt Muslim people would take lightly a European male walking around wearing Islamic Women's clothing. You could face violence.
    I can see the argument that for you to wear such attire is deeply disrespectful.
    There's also the security aspect, terror suspects here in the UK have disguised themselves using a burqha.

    Be very careful is all I'm saying.

  3. #3
    Junior Member DCChris's Avatar
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    The topic of the niqab is highly controversial, which I'm going to avoid here and focus on your specific discussion of wearing it. RachelMondor is certainly correct in that discovery would have pretty adverse consequences. Of that there should be little doubt. Exposure of such things holds all the possibility of escalating into something much bigger and dangerous to the community, or even beyond. We've all witnessed that it doesn't take much to incite Islamists who believe, accurately or not, that their view of Islam has been violated. Although the potential of personal violence would be minimal if you wore a nun's habit, outside Halloween, I'd personally not want to see a CD going down that route either, or with any other religious garb not of your own belief system.

    There are so many other things that could be worn as this forum has demonstrated that can make CDs look beautiful.

  4. #4
    Silver Member Tina B.'s Avatar
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    Blodwen, This is a first, you are the only one I have heard of that wants to disappear into what they are wearing, but that should do it. But as stated, beware of Muslim men, it they find out it's a guy, they could get a little weird about it. People get a little touchy when you mess with there personal beliefs.
    In San Francisco, where the Sisters o fperpetual indulgence started, they wore nuns habits, with white face, and roller skates, and would show up at things all over the city, used to upset catholics at lot, now they make there own style outfits, so as not to upset the catholics I think, but they are better accepted these days.
    But as long as your safe, and having fun with it, why not, after all as they say, it's only clothes!
    Tina B.
    Magic is the art of changing consciousness at will.

  5. #5
    Gold Member Diane Smith's Avatar
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    I suppose the niqab is by definition a female garment and that wearing one is, therefore, crossdressing, but it's (intentionally) not "pretty" by anyone's standards, that is, designed to enhance the attractiveness of the wearer. For most of us, the visual element in our presentation is of prime importance, and this garment so turns the standards of "beauty" on their ear that I really find myself wondering whether the motivation to wear one is really gender mimicry as we usually define it here. It seems to have more to do with hiding from the rest of the world, rather than facing it directly, and goes more toward assuming aspects of a foreign culture and religion, rather than altering one's gender presentation per se. There are obviously some risks and concerns in doing this that go far beyond those in "normal" crossdressing, as several of the posters above have pointed out.

    Your use of the word "disguise" in your message particularly disturbed me. Here in the States, as we've often discussed, laws against crossdressing have gradually been repealed or gone dormant, but one thing you can still get arrested for is wearing an outfit in order to disguise yourself for the purpose of committing or covering up a crime. I think the authorities -- whether right or wrong -- would regard a Western male found wearing the niqab with extreme suspicion that he was up to no good.

    In short, be careful, and analyze your motivations and actions carefully.

    I do love the saree, which you also mentioned, and although I would love to wear one someday, I have always hesitated because I don't want to be accused of misappropriating the symbols of another culture to which I do not belong and cannot fully comprehend. But the saree doesn't conceal the face, and is designed, like the Western clothes I favor, to enhance, rather than obscure, the femininity of the wearer. Therefore, it is a far less controversial and ambiguous symbol for the crossdresser to adopt. (And when I've inquired of Indian friends and acquaintances about it, without exception they have said they would be honored and in no way offended to see me in one. They take it as a point of pride in their culture that an outsider would find the dress attractive and want to experience wearing it. But I have still resisted up to now.)

    - Diane
    Last edited by Diane Smith; 05-04-2012 at 09:21 PM.

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    I have seen them walking in the mall here in Western Canada, not long after another war of invasion where I was told one of the reasons for attacking that country was that "the poor women are forced to wear these horrible Hijab's. Now I learn it is a "modesty statement"? Go figgur'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diane Smith View Post
    I suppose the niqab is by definition a female garment and that wearing one is, therefore, crossdressing, but it's (intentionally) not "pretty" by anyone's standards, that is, designed to enhance the attractiveness of the wearer. For most of us, the visual element in our presentation is of prime importance, and this garment so turns the standards of "beauty" on their ear that I really find myself wondering whether the motivation to wear one is really gender mimicry as we usually define it here. It seems to have more to do with hiding from the rest of the world, rather than facing it directly, and goes more toward assuming aspects of a foreign culture and religion, rather than altering one's gender presentation per se. There are obviously some risks and concerns in doing this that go far beyond those in "normal" crossdressing, as several of the posters above have pointed out.

    Your use of the word "disguise" in your message particularly disturbed me. Here in the States, as we've often discussed, laws against crossdressing have gradually been repealed or gone dormant, but one thing you can still get arrested for is wearing an outfit in order to disguise yourself for the purpose of committing or covering up a crime. I think the authorities -- whether right or wrong -- would regard a Western male found wearing the niqab with extreme suspicion that he was up to no good.

    In short, be careful, and analyze your motivations and actions carefully.

    I do love the saree, which you also mentioned, and although I would love to wear one someday, I have always hesitated because I don't want to be accused of misappropriating the symbols of another culture to which I do not belong and cannot fully comprehend. But the saree doesn't conceal the face, and is designed, like the Western clothes I favor, to enhance, rather than obscure, the femininity of the wearer. Therefore, it is a far less controversial and ambiguous symbol for the crossdresser to adopt. (And when I've inquired of Indian friends and acquaintances about it, without exception they have said they would be honored and in no way offended to see me in one. They take it as a point of pride in their culture that an outsider would find the dress attractive and want to experience wearing it. But I have still resisted up to now.)

    - Diane
    Diane, try this place if you like Indian clothing. They have some wonderful things that are quite reasonable in price.
    http://www.utsavfashion.com/lehenga?...FQ8yhwodCzvZSw

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    I have my own niqab and hijab. I love the experience of being covered and feeling feminine and submissive. I was lucky enough to be taken out in public - in one of the most Asian parts of London - by a Muslim family I was working for. I was also allowed to do the housework in their home dressed like this. I haven't had the courage to go out alone. I might get some funny looks in Edgware Road, as I'm white - although there are some white women who have converted to Islam and become niqabis.

    My dream would be to find another Muslim family to serve in London, so that I would be expected to wear my niqab whenever I went out, even in hot summer weather!

    I'm inspired by your courage, Blodwen. It would make me so happy to have the confidence to go out every day dressed as a niqabi. Perhaps I could find voluntary work with a Muslim organisation, although not all Muslims accept transgender girls (but I know ladyboys are accepted in many Asian countries).

    I would love to meet up with any T-girl niqabis or hijabis in London.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sabina View Post
    I have my own niqab and hijab....
    Thankyou for your kind words. I'm curious about that family you worked for, they sound incredibly understanding and brilliant. I've heard that there is a gay/lesbian Muslim sub-culture in London a comedian did a gig for them and said that most of them were covered up. I don't know how you'd find them, but there must be some trans or crossdressing Muslims in there too.
    I don't know how Muslimas do it in full Prudah. It can be quite stressful with the constant staring and occasional verbal abuse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diane Smith View Post
    Your use of the word "disguise" in your message particularly disturbed me.
    Thanks for bringing that up. It was something I sub consciously wrote it seems and I didn't have the intention of sounding like I was up to no good.


    Generally I'm getting the vibe that people are worried about what would happen if I am caught. I didn't realise that I was carrying the responsibility of crossdressing as a lifestyle whilst doing this. After reading a lot of these posts I'm questioning whether I should continue wearing what I wear. Being more of a casual crossdresser I don't want to give far right swinging people an excuse to deionize trans and crossdressing people, so I've put the modest dress on hold for now. However I maintain that crossdressing in niqab is something that's helped me accept myself and prepare myself for what may happen if I went out in a saree.

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