Once again my subject is the current media attention to all things transgender . A great thing, right? I really do think so, but everything has it's consequences.
A little about me for those who don't know me personally. I've been out for several years and am constantly refining my look. So, nothing different than anyone else. I don't pass as CIS to anyone who gives me more than a causal look, and I'm not trying to. But in the past I have been able to slip through most situations without giving anyone reason to look twice.
Izza and I were having our regular afternoon coffee the other day when I spotted a good friend of ours in line to get coffee. He was with some work colleagues so I just gave a small wave, not wanting to tip off his co-workers that he knew us. In just a few minute he was at our table receiving hugs and happily chatting with us. After giving us well deserved grief for our lack of communication with him over the last few months, he leans down and asks me if I want to hear something funny? Of course I do and say so.
" See that guy?" He asks, pointing to one of his co-workers, " he told me 'I think that blond over there is a guy' , he(our friend) replied 'yes, she is, and she's a friend of mine!'"
This impressed and pleased Izza and me to no end, he chose our friendship over possible scorn from a co-worker. Amazing!
Later that week, at my family's regular Sushi place, I got some really inquisitive looks from a few people dining there. I started think about these and a few other recent situations. I was not being treated badly, but more people were starting to give me that all important telltale second look.
I asked my wife if I was slipping in my presentation, but she said she thought I was better than ever. She's sweet. Then she suggested that it was because more people were aware of transgendered people (yes, I use the term 'transgendered').
The brain is a funny thing, it fills in the gap on so many things in our lives. There was a post on Facebook with a paragraph that had all the words scrambled, except for the first and last letters. I, like most, found it easy to read. My brain subconsciously arranged the letters to something it recognized. Another example is an audio clip I heard on a podcast. It was scrambled and made no sense. Then it was played correctly and I heard the words. Next it was played scrambled again, this time I heard the words exactly. My brain matched what it now knew.
I think I'm seeing this effect on the general public. When they were practically ignorant about transgender people, they saw long hair, high heels, and an ambiguous shape and face so their brain just filled in the rest with woman.
Now their brains have been made aware of us, it tells them to look again so it can determine if we are CIS female, or trans female.
We are publicly everywhere now, on TV, in the movies, in politics, even on the white house staff. It's great to have our day in the sun, but beware the consequences!