I don’t want this site to be solely about being transgender. From my experiences so far, it’s not even something I could write about every week – being in the closet is far more intense and frustrating and writeable. However, there are moments when things happen, unique to trans people. I’d like to share those moments with you, and let you into the mystery.
Speaking of which, something did happen to me yesterday, out on the street near Nicolson. I was walking home, it wasn't pissing down this time, grey skies and a cool breeze, one of my favourite types of weather.
A guy was waving me over as I crossed the road, smiling like he knew me. He didn't, but began to chat confidently to me. Questions about where I was from, who I was. Then a question about spare change. I gave him some, he didn't have enough for a take-away.
He started to make statements about homosexuals and transsexuals and Edinburgh's gay clubs, and whether I'd seen the Lady Boys of Bangkok. I told him that wasn't my thing (What are the Lady Boys of Bangkok? I've seen the posters; are they transvestites? Drag? Or a category all their own?). He asked if I was a man. I told him I was a transgender female. His questions then began to get more personal, with slang, and I began to make the subtle retreat, hoping he'd enjoy his take-away meal.
It's only the second time someone's commented to me on the street, since I came out back in April. That first time, in April, was unpleasant, 'Was that a man?', 'You're fucking ugly'. Instinct deals with those situations efficiently enough, you quicken your pace like you never heard anything. This second time was more interesting, he did stand too close to me throughout, leaving me in a curious standing position of leaning back without wanting to cause too much offence. I didn't get the impression he was completely healthy, though it was harmless enough. At the end of the exchange, it appeared he wanted more than spare change.
How did I feel? It's disappointing to know that I don't pass as a female. That was my first thought. I don't get comments in public, and at a certain point, you assume you blend in. I guess I don't, especially when people get up close to me. Perhaps it was the voice, or maybe the face or the whole 'package' of movement, mannerisms, etc. Maybe someday, after the hormones kick in (have been taking them since June), I will appear more 'female', will pass more easily. It does highlight a bigger issue, that of accepting who you are at this point. People recognize you as trans. You don't blend in sufficiently. But people don't seem to care, at least in Edinburgh. This might seem a small thing, but it's a major identity issue you have to accept. You're not going to be presenting as the person you want to be immediately. Not unless you're blessed with remarkable androgyny. But as long as it doesn't bother other people, it doesn't bother me. Perhaps I can look pleasant enough, even attractive enough, being clearly transgender.
I guess this is my transition phase and I have to accept it.