I used to think I was two different people.
I know that sounds like the introduction to a book about someone who experiences multiple personalities, but it’s nothing as serious.
I have two very different wardrobes, two groups of friends, and so on. I see and experience the world through two different perspectives. I interacted and viewed life differently depending on my gender presentation. It was easy to think I was two people, so to speak.
But over time I realized that I was one person but I viewed and interacted with the world differently depending on my gender presentation at the moment. The perspective changed when I changed from sneakers to stilettos. The perspective changes changes because it needs to.
It’s a form of survival, in a way.
When I walk through the mall in boy mode, I never ever think about how someone will view me or what I will do if see someone I know. But en femme my heavily eyeshadowed eyes are always looking around. Is there someone near me that is looking at me in an unfriendly way? Is that a coworker across the hallway? Although these two examples are very different from each other, they both are related for survival. Of course I don’t want to be hurt, and I also do not want to be outed.
It happens less as time passes, but for years I would approach ever interaction, whether with a cashier or someone I passed by in a museum, thinking about how this person was going to respond to seeing or helping a t-girl. 99% of the time it was about as eventful as watching nail polish dry, thankfully.
I am not two people. Despite two gender identities, two names, and two worlds, I am one. Our experiences are influenced by what we project. We will likely have a better day if we are cheerful and friendly to everyone we meet. A bad day will not get better if we are rude or crabby with the world. We respond to the world, and the world responds to us. This shapes our perspective, our experiences.