I’ve been getting a lot of emails lately from girls worrying about something “giving them away”. Basically the concern is something about them, a fashion choice, the size of their hands, giving away their transness. A typical concern could be a t-girl not wanting to wear heels because she’s worried about her height giving it away that she’s trans. Or a girl worrying about her the thin straps on her dress reveling too much of what her shoulders which she thinks are too masculine to be femme. I can only relate and sympathize, I used to avoid showing my shoulders, too.
But these concerns got me thinking about two things in particular. First of all, there are no standards or expectations one must meet to be feminine. There are tall cis-girls, and I mean like really tall. Taller than me. Are they too tall to be femme? Of course not. Are you too tall to be femme? Of course not.
But I get it. I promise. There are parts of us that we don’t look like when it comes to being in girl mode. Sometimes this can be hypocritical and unnecessarily hard on ourselves. For example, you may find a cis-girl with nicely toned, muscular arms attractive, but we cringe at our own nicely toned, muscular arms when we’re en femme. A tall cis-girl might be a goddess, but we might think that we ourselves are too tall to be femme. No girl, cis or trans, is too tall, too… ANYTHING to be femme. I doubt any of us looks at a cis-girl and thinks that she is too tall to be pretty, or too tall to wear stilettos.
Secondly, I am not trying to pass. I don’t think passing is a standard we should hold ourselves too, primarily for the reasons above. I am not trying to conceal my transness. I highly, HIGHLY doubt anyone thinks I am cis when I am en femme. There are too many parts of me that “give me away”. My adam’s apple, my voice, my “man hands”… the list goes on. Of course, cis-women can have deep voices, large hands and all of the same characteristics that I have, but I know all of this, ah, adds up when Hannah is out in the real world. And that’s fine. Really! I don’t care at all if someone knows I am trans. I AM trans! And I am proud of who I am. I am amazing and beautiful and you are amazing and beautiful too. So what if someone knows you’re trans? Does it matter?
Well…. yes, to SOME people it matters. Let’s face it, some people HATE transpeople and aren’t shy in showing it. If you spend time online reading the comments section of any news story about the transcommunity it’s easy to think that everyone in the world hates us and would prefer we simply not exist. But it’s a lot easier to type a mean comment than it is to say something to someone’s face. I have been out for years, YEARS, and have been to lingerie shops, cafes, restaurants, bookstores, malls, museums, gas stations, department stores, thrift shops, hotels, salons, and even churches. The negative experiences are shockingly low considering how many different places I have been and the number of people I have interacted with. Most encounters are uneventful, some are incredibly affirming, and yes, some people have been rude, but for the most part most people simply do not care that I am trans (at least to my face). What someone THINKS is irrelevant. I don’t know what they THINK of me, or what they might say to their co-worker after I leave, but that is none of my business. Besides I’ll never know.
It’s so easy to overthink this side of ourselves. We scrutinize and overanalyze everything about our gender identity and gender presentation. We think about what others will think about us. And it’s normal to do that, but really, how often do you think about the dozens of encounters you have with people everyday? The cashier at the gas station, the Starbucks barista, someone you pass by at Target? Sure, you might notice them, but after a couple of seconds they no longer exist. And yes, a t-girl like myself will usually stand out and turn a head or two more than a cis-girl, but we will also fade from someone’s memory and thoughts too. We overthink the outfit we wear and if we can pull it off. I used to think my shoulders were too broad to wear thin straps or halter tops but guess what! I was wrong. I look amazing in halter tops and so do you.
Wear what you want. Be who are you. Go where you please. No one is too anything to be a girl.