Saturday, 21 June 2014

Very short term goals

So, I started a job a couple weeks ago. I'm now working in the warehouse of a small company that makes and sells concrete and related products. It's pretty cool, I guess. In any event, none of my co-workers said anything mean or treated me any different when I showed up on my second week with my nails done. That's an improvement from my previous job.

Between the depression and the gender dysphoria, it can be pretty hard to make myself get out of bed in the morning. The though of presenting as a boy all day is so dismaying. This past week I managed it by setting myself very short term goals. When I woke up I would tell myself, "Okay, forget about going to work: for now I'm just going to go pee and brush my teeth. Once I've accomplished those tasks I can think about maybe getting dressed and making breakfast, but let's take things one at a time."

And so far it's been effective. At least, I haven't missed any work yet.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

"Are you a dude?"

And my technicolour bag threw off the whole outfit!
Grrr. Some day I'm going to invest in a black purse.
I was walking to the bank yesterday, about two blocks from my house. I had decided to femme it up a bit with a tunic, tights and silly high heels.

"Excuse me, ma'am?" said a guy at a bus stop as I waked by. When I didn't stop he continued, somewhat more urgently, "ma'am? Excuse me, ma'am!"

Suddenly I realized he was addressing me. "Uh, yeah?"

He gave me a story about not having enough money for the bus and asked if I had any change to spare. For the record, I'm pretty conflicted about giving alms to panhandlers. I'm sure it does nothing to treat the actual causes of poverty and often just enables bad habits, but at the same time I find it really hard to say no when I'm asked. For better or worse, I gave him a dollar. (Incidentally, I feel like I get panhandled more often when I'm presenting as a woman. Is that, like, a thing, or am I just imagining it?)

As soon as I started talking to him I saw a look of confusion cross his face, slowly replaced by one of dawning realization. Afterwards, as I was turning to leave, he asked me, very straightfowardly: "are you a dude?" Phrased more politely, this might have been: what gender(s) do you identify with? And that, of course, is precisely what I'm trying to figure out myself.

To borrow a line from The Lord of the Rings, that question "needed a week's answer, or none." I chose the latter option: I gave him a smile, said "maybe!", and continued on my way.

This exchange confirmed two things for me that I'd previously suspected. It confirmed that I do pass as female, at a glance, at least some of the time. And it confirmed that I'm quickly read as male if someone's actually paying attention to me, and especially if I'm talking to someone face to face.

Oh well. As much as part of me would like to pass all the time, the good thing about not passing is it means being visibly trans, which helps raise awareness that people like us do, in fact, exist in the real world.