After my last, quite miserable post, I’m trying to be more positive and be happier despite my physical situation. I think the universe is sending me some positivity – I had three little things happen which made me feel marginally better.
The whole concept of “passing” (as a woman) is something that I dwell on less and less. At the beginning I was very anxious about getting inside everyone’s head and worrying about how they perceived me. Now I mostly don’t worry much unless I get specifically misgendered or I get one of those deep, invasive stares; Which sucks.
However, recently I’ve been feeling so physically unattractive due to the surgical recovery that I’ve felt kind of sub-human. Like some kind of hunched, goblin slowly creeping down the street. I think this is compounded by the fact that people tend to look through sick people; we are somehow inherently unattractive to want to look at and so they sort of disregard us.
However, I’ve been trying to make an effort in terms of my appearance here & there especially when going to work or meeting someone.
1. Looking at the trousers and not me
On Monday, I was wearing almost exactly this outfit. Top with these wide leg trousers. I’ll never look like her, but it felt good; Femme, but not classic wearing-a-dress femme; Confident. I walked out of the house and went to the bus stop and saw someone look at me. Her eyes saw my face and physique and moved on with disinterest, then saw her stare more acutely at my trousers and shoes. Whilst one can never know what a person is thinking – it utterly seemed like she saw just another woman and was far more interested in the outfit she was wearing, compared to back at the beginning where I stuck out like a sore thumb. I suspect this is 50% physical changes and 50% carrying oneself with confidence and having a stronger sense of identity. Either way it was another little reminder that I made it to the other side.
2. Offered an ‘essential’ test
At the doctors this week I was getting a blood test and was asked if I had had a cervical smear test recently. I said “I didn’t need one”. There was a look of confusion on the nurse’s face. So I elaborated “I don’t have a cervix”, thinking that would close the issue by stating a truth that isn’t just trans specific, but could be true for many women. His confusion seemed to increase and I said “I’m transgender – so I don’t have a cervix”. He then seemed genuinely taken aback, declaring “I just had no idea”. I had no idea that I blend in to that degree. I have seen this nurse maybe 4 times and just imagined that sometimes I might pass, but my voice, mannerisms or something else would disclose my trans status seconds after meeting someone. Apparently not always the case.
3. Blast from the past
Last week I met up with an old friend, who I’ve not seen since the before time – maybe six and a half years. It was lovely to catch up & reminisce. It made me breifly reflect on what would have happened if I’d found the courage to walk this path 11 or 12 years ago, when I lived up in Cumbria.
She took a picture of us and I was genuinely surprised to see what I looked like on the outside – I felt good about it. I feel just so awful – I just assume that I look awful. But I think I look pretty normal, which felt good.
When feeling so crap on a number of fronts, it’s great to have a little reminder of how far I’ve journeyed. It feels pretty remarkable.