Sunday, 17 January 2010

Passing

I seem to 'pass' pretty well face-to-face. Nobody has ever actually said to me 'Are you a tranny?' with the intention of embarrassing me. There was one occasion last October, on a dance floor (see 'Hello Barbie, let's go party' on 18 October 2009), when a youngish Japanese tourist said 'You are a tranny?' and invited me to come outside for 'conversation'. And on another occasion about then, a chav-like man said 'Hey, mate!' as I walked past him in the street. And despite the new voice, I got called 'mate' by a wrong-number male caller on the phone a week back. But these are isolated incidents. 99% of the time, it's 'madam' and 'darling' and 'love' with every sign that the speaker is perfectly at ease with what they see and hear. This is my evidence for saying that I pass in face-to-face situations.

But that doesn't necessarily mean that I really 'look like a woman' or ever will. I do try hard to look unambiguously female. I'm sure I succeed. But I suspect that I only look sufficiently feminised to make the situation comfortable for the other person. So that they feel the person in front of them (me) doesn't look strange, doesn't sound strange, and therefore won't embarrass them. So it really boils down to having a low personal embarrassment or awkwardness factor. I look the part, can be accepted as credible, and so everyone relaxes, even if inwardly they may be thinking 'There's something not quite right here!' or even 'That's a tranny, no mistake!'

Do I worry? No. I will in any case get 'better' as time passes, but meanwhile I feel safe from exposure, ridicule and hostility, provided I have regard to ordinary people's sense of what looks 'normal'. Just as when I was trying to play the man in years gone by. No change in behaviour at all, when you think of it!

5 comments:

  1. lol, Ships that pass in the night, eh? I think "unambiguously female" is a good goal for a while. For the most part I think people really want to be able to identify me as male or female and get on with whatever business we are about. And like you said, they just want enough clues so it looks like a reasonable choice and that they won't be embarrassed by it.

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  2. Speaking as a cis-woman, I've been asked if i was a 'tranny' once.

    Sometimes, it's trying too hard that does it (in hindsight maybe the neon pink fishnets were a mistake)

    I agree with what Sophie saud "people really want to be able to identify [a person] as male or female and get on with whatever business [they] are about."

    and sometimes there are rude people.

    Loving your blog.

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  3. oh and I meant to say, that you don't ! (try too hard) in all your pics you look lovely. Sophisticated and pleasantly understated.

    :-)

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  4. I think that you look like an ordinary woman, around about the same age as me. (If we met in the queue at the supermarket I'd pass you the little bits that get stuck in the corners of the trolley out of reach - I don't do that for everyone.)

    Do you think that it's a bit like the victim sydrome? If you look and feel like a victim you're more likely to be one. If you walk out with confidence and without fear you're less likely to be attacked.

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  5. Yes, Anji, I think you're right comparing it to the 'victim' mentality. By the way, if we met in the supermarket, I'd be just as likely to assist you, and we'd bump our heads, and laugh a lot at being so mutually polite! Then you'd say, you're not French, are you? And I'd insist I was in a Swedish accent, and the locals would be thoroughly perplexed!

    I greatly appreciate your comment, Tattooed Mummy!

    Lucy

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