People around me have increasingly difficulties with my feminine sides, well mostly my wife, but anyway… And it might not be the feminine sides per se, but when I’m flaunting them in a female way. My wife was washing the car the other day. It was freezing and her coat wasn’t enough to keep her shielded from the wind so she borrowed mine. Since it was freezing I put on hers. I wish you all could see the face she made when she saw me! It was a face of utter horror. She looked at me for a long time and then said, with gravity, “never do that again”. We’ve discussed this phenomenon a few times, and since I’m all man for her it really clashes in her brain when I do skip-hops, have overtly feminine gestures or dress in women’s clothes (yes, I’m childish enough to do skip-hops!). I’m really happy for it, but I am still in transition – moving from one end to another (kind of) and I will inevitably express myself out of habit now and then. But I do realize that I’m more “sensitive” to feminizing things than cis men are. My body betrays me with its hips, boobs, length and jawline (among other things) so everything that could be seen on a woman makes others to read me as female. At the moment I can’t wear fashionable t-shirts (slim, thin, v-neck) even though I really would want to. I can’t use mens bracelets or other jewelry even thou I’ve found some really awesome ones and I can’t wear light colored knitwear. Well, of cause I CAN, but not without being read as a woman. I hope some of this will change on testosterone, with surgeries and some workout but I imagine some things still will be “off limits” for me to be able to go in somewhat stealth.
The point is that I’ve changed so much now that everyone I meet react in some way or other. I’m to feminine to be seen as “definitely male” and to masculine to be seen as “definitely female”. Most people I meet get the borderline thing and don’t try to gender me on their own. Usually they ask me in the most polite way possibly – by asking my name (and dammit I chicken out too often and say my female name!) but some people just express themselves in a more brutal way. Yesterday a woman who I’ve met once through work asked/told me “haven’t you cut your hair a little too short?” I know it’s her way of saying “with that haircut, those clothes and that manner you are looking like a man (duh) and no woman wants to be misgendered like that”. It’s genuine but conservative concern for me, expressed in a rude way. She’s right about one thing though, I don’t want to be misgendered. The same night my wife met an old coworker while carrying our baby and the woman said, talking to our child, “so you are her with your mum and dad, are you!” I try to focus on that encounter and making it the memory to hold on to from that evening.