Sunday, October 9, 2016

Being relaxed, and a warning.

Going out and about as a female is quite liberating.  And when one becomes very relaxed in the role, one has to be very careful, for this is one can screw up the most. Unlike many transgender folk, I tell the story of my life as if I had been born a cisgender female, and switch genders accordingly with talking.  But when I am too relaxed, I sometimes forget to do so, and this can be a problem....

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Recently, I was out to dinner with some women, and I got very relaxed (without booze) while talking with the lady next to me.  And I slipped, mentioning my wife as "my wife" and not "my husband".  Of course, I then mentioned that I swing both ways (something I haven't done yet), so that my conversation would have a certain consistency.  But one lie can lead to another, and if I develop a closer friendship with this woman, I will need to out myself as transgender. Depending on the people one is with, an accidental outing can be only a minor nuisance or a big problem.  I was very lucky that this person didn't care much, and accepted me for the person I am.

My success at being treated as a female comes from being able to blend in with women. This means that I learn the unwritten language of being female, and that includes being able to talk about things in ways very different from the male perspective.  One example is that of children.  Men seem to look at children as property - "I have a boy and a girl".  Women tend to look at children as a a defining issue - "I'm the mother of a boy and a girl."  There is a big difference here, as the female role implies the responsibility of raising each child to be a successful adult.

Part of being a successful woman is the implication that one has birthed one or more children, and have seen those children through their struggles in life.  When I say that I was not able to bear children, women see it differently than men.  Women see it as having missed something very important about the female experience.  Men see it as a non issue, as they never can have the burden of having a child grow within their bodies for 9 months.

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Learning the ways of women takes time for a transgender person. But learning how to be consistent in the role of being a woman can take a lifetime. Success in making the transition from a male role to a female role means that one has to compress this learning into a short period of time, and to be almost flawless around people when not deliberately outing yourself as a M2F transgender female. Each difference from the female stereotype for a transgender female is seen as ten times as bad as it does for a cisgender female. So it is essential for a transgender female to minimize her remaining masculine traits and replace them with feminine traits as much as possible.

1 comment:

  1. I am in much the same situation as you are Marian and need to think before I say the wrong thing. Good advice...