I’m not the most passable guy around. I have a runners build – strong legs, but scrawny as heck arms and practically no shoulders. I don’t have a chubby face or anything, but it definitely doesn’t have the angles that scream “male!” Ninety five percent of the time people treat me and consider me as a female. The other five percent, mostly with strangers or people I haven’t known that well, I get to live on the other side.
Some things I’ve noticed:
- Holding doors for others (which I usually did already), is non-negotiable. If this is forgotten then I am way more likely to get a dirty or offended look.
- People, usually women, are more likely to avoid me on the street. It’s not like I’m intimidating or anything, but I think it’s just a general safety issue. I can’t help people anymore, by helping bring them to their destination like I used to because it seems like they feel uncomfortable with me knowing where they are. Again, safety issue.
- People in customer service are more likely to cross personal space barriers. For example, the other day a man came up behind me and patted me on the back to get my attention, asking how he could help me. He was going to say sir, but when I turned around, it came out more like Sam and he lept back a foot or so.
- People are more likely to rely on me. This one’s kind of hard to explain, but it seems like I am expected to carry stuff, find information, lead a group, and be more helpful in general.
- People sometimes avoid pronouns. When I’m out to lunch with my family, they miiight use Sir the first time, but usually they ma’am and sir my family, but just go “and for you?” when they get to me. I’ve also had a customer service person refer to me first as “he” and then after I talked as “they.” It was the first time I’d gotten that pronoun.
Of people I know, some things have also changed.
- I pass to the older people that my friend lives with. When I was over visiting her, she asked to keep the door to her room open so they wouldn’t assume anything was going on. It was something I hadn’t even thought about.
- I don’t get invited to certain things anymore, like to hang out with my friend that was nannying.
- A friend was passing out magazines to read and didn’t offer me one. They were kind of feminine-topic and they did joke about them having women in for the guys to look at, but I wasn’t really included in that either. I seem to fall in between.
- Many times, I will look at a group that I’m in and I’m not standing/talking with the guys or the girls, just with someone random.
- I’ve stopped being invited/forced into girl-only things like pictures. Though someone did get me to go to a ice-cream social that I thought would have guys, it was only intended for gals. Which sucked. I wanted to melt into the wall.
- My guy friend stopped making me go in front of him in line and let me go through the door after him.
Sometimes I think it’s impossible that I need to wait two and a half more years before I can medically transition. Sometimes I think that there’s so much do transition that doesn’t involve hormones that it might be a good thing that it will be so gradual. I’m not one to live by gender stereotypes, but there is still an interesting sort of transition in how people perceive you.
Have you had any interesting experiences with transitioning? Or if you aren’t trans, have you had any encounters with a transperson that left you thinking?