My birth name was a really unusual name and that was one reason I didn’t feel the need to change it for a long time. It was also easily mistaken with the male version of the name… I didn’t think of it as a girls name, it was just my name. I didn’t know anyone else (alive) who had the same name as me so when I changed my name I thought that was the last time I would hear it. We gave it to our baby as her middle name since its both a traditional name in my family and because it’s a beautiful name and we wanted to pass it on. Lately I’ve found that apparently a lot of other parents think it’s a beautiful name too. Our neighbors daughter also have it as her middle name, another girl in the parent group have it as her first name, my mums boyfriends relatives baby have it as her middle name and so on. Almost half of all the babies I know (female) are called it either as their first or middle name. And every time I hear it I want to comment how common the name has become and have to stop myself from saying something like “I used to be called that…” I guess most people can suspect that I’m trans, but I feel safer as long as they don’t KNOW that I’m trans. The fear of being wrong keeps people from gossiping. Imagine the embarrassment and social suicide if it turns out that I’m actually a biological man or if the person they’re gossiping with is convinced that I am a man.
I’m going to a open kindergarten for kids with accompanying adults, organized by the church. The first time I was there my wife came with us and apparently the teacher read me as female because she was careful to state that our baby came with her mothers… It was a blow to my self esteem and also a bit embarrassing to be called “mother” in front of people who only knows me as male. I didn’t bother to make a scene about it and didn’t correct her at the time, but I thought hard and long about how to handle it the next time I came to the kindergarten. Apparently I didn’t have to worry about it, the next time I came I had suddenly transformed into my baby’s dad… I (thankfully) suspect that one of the mums corrected the teacher after we left the last time. I do get read as female a lot now and I’m still hesitant to correct people. Mostly because I feel that it’s not their fault when they misgender me, it’s not their fault I still look like a woman. And as long as I’m not meeting them again in the foreseeable future I don’t bother to rock their boat. But when I went to get a flu shot and the nurse asked if it was the baby or “mum” who should get the shot, I actually corrected her. I felt that I could do that because she had just read a paper I gave her stating my name. I still don’t know how she managed to interpret “Fredric” as “mum”.
The constant misgendering by strangers is starting to get to me. Up ’til now I’ve been in charge of my transitioning and I’ve been able to influence the way I’m perceived. But now it seems like I’ve come to that point that no matter how male I dress, act and speak people still read me as female. It’s like there’s no point in trying anymore because it won’t change a thing. It sucks knowing that the only thing that will change people’s gender perception of me is hormone treatment. Especially when that still is so far away in the horizon that it feels unreachable. I still have a few gatekeeper-hoops to jump through and more importantly there’s a lot of time to sit off between the hoop jumping. I have no idea how long it will take before I will be able to access hormone therapy, but I fear that it will take roughly a year. A year of continuously misgendering by strangers. Hopefully I get fed up enough to correct them better and more often. Maybe that’ll boost my confidence enough to make up for all the times I’m put down by people using the wrong pronouns.