When I am out in the real world en femme I mentally go back and forth between being in my own little world and being hyper aware of everything around me.
I mean, we kind of HAVE to be. Paranoia protects us.
Although most of my adventures, experiences, and interactions have been positive (or at the very least unremarkable) I have had to deal with the occasional transphobic jerk who decides to say something rude. I’ve also been stared at in menacing ways and have felt very uncomfortable in certain situations.
I am used to… hm, dividing my life into two distinct worlds. There’s the boy life, his pronouns, clothes, friends, and job. Aaand then there’s Hannah’s life, her pronouns, clothes, friends, and her unemployment I guess.
Girl needs to get a job for reals.
But what “we” have in common is our cursed ability to overthink and overanalyze. In my boy life these “abilities” are pretty crucial and, for the most part, beneficial. My job requires a lot of planning and preparing contingencies and figuring out logistics and identifying potential problems and liabilities.
Hannah benefits from overthinking but in different ways. When Hannah is out in the real world she’s keeping an eye on the people around her. Not only to see if she is in the same store as someone from “his” life but also to see if there is anyone that may be a threat to her.
I don’t care what anyone thinks of me regardless of the gender I am presenting as. I don’t care if Hannah is “read”. In fact I expect everyone to know that she is trans but don’t care what anyone is thinking of her. I used to care, but things have changed.
But just because what someone MIGHT be thinking doesn’t impact me in the slightest, I do wonder on occasion WHAT someone thinks of me. Do they like my dress? Are they happy to see a trans person at a restaurant? Are they terrified I might use the ladies room? I suppose when some people see a trans woman there are the normal assumptions and curiosities about a girl like me. Hannah, like all trans people, is subject to a lot of interpretations and some of them are correct, some are wrong, some are just plain weird, or rude.
But in boy mode? There’s nothing remarkable about him. He’s just a man wearing normal clothes going about his day. He blends in, he doesn’t stand out, and is more or less forgettable and invisible.
The contrast is staggering.
Please don’t misunderstand me. This is not to say that Hannah is OMG SO BEAUTIFUL that she stands out and turns heads or whatever. But she is a very tall girl. She is transgender. She is wearing heels. She is wearing a dress. Her makeup is bold. She stands out because of these things. People tend to notice Very Tall People. People tend to notice when someone is dressed a little differently than others. In Hannah’s case she is likely overdressed for running errands.
I don’t “pass”, I don’t blend in, no matter how hard I may try. I am going to stand out so I may as well dress how I please. Anything less is not being true to herself.
Of course, choosing not to blend in means being prepared to be SEEN but that’s another topic for another day.
In boy mode I will go to the store, attend meetings, have dinner with friends (just kidding, the boy doesn’t leave the house unless he has to). Normal things. There’s really nothing out of the ordinary about HIS life. And that’s fine, he’s not trying to be noticed. He blends in expertly. He blends in by default. HE doesn’t inspire speculation or assumptions about HIS life.
Again, the contrast is significant.
But from time to time I do wonder how surprised people in HIS life would be if, well, if they only knew. If they knew EVERYTHING or even just… ANYTHING.
Obviously I don’t want that at all, but I think it’s funny when I am in a Zoom meeting and my colleagues hear the Amazon driver ring my doorbell to let me know that they delivered the dress I ordered. It’s a similar thought when I am visiting family and I get an email notification informing me that my order from En Femme or Xdress has shipped.
We all have a private life, parts of our world that are unknown to most people. This is normal. This is especially true for those like us.
My point is that very few people know about this side of me, whether it is having an entire second gender identity or that I am shopping online for lingerie when I should be preparing a report for work. I suspect most of you can relate.
My BIGGER point is that this is true for EVERYONE on the planet. There are people in my life, even my family, friends that I have known for my entire life and I am certain they have parts of their life I know nothing about. Do they have an open marriage? Are they secretly wealthy? Are they struggling with something?
Are they also wearing panties?
I don’t want to speculate or think about what underwear anyone is wearing, of course. It’s not anyone’s business. What I am getting at is that anyone could be a crossdresser. Anyone on the planet could be like us.
I have met a lot of t-girls and crossdressers, both online and in person and sometimes our boy lives get brought up. I have met girls like me who drive forklifts in their boy life. I have met realtors and bankers. One time I met a music producer who was in Minneapolis to record an album. I chatted with her a bit and she told me that in his boy life they were, well, pretty famous and I had definitely heard their music.
Just remember that you are not alone. Anyone could be like us. Anyone could be like you.