Yes, I’m a girl and how I look is mainly a “me” thing — but I also like to function in society without people throwing rocks at me. My business is located in a small rural town in northern Nevada, and “we’re transgender-friendly” isn’t going to become the city motto any time soon.
In many ways, I look like a girl and yet some of the bones in my face scream “XY chromosome” so loudly that I look forward to some facial feminization surgery whenever next I have $40,000 burning a hole in my pocket. Until then, L’Oreal is my valued assistant. Styling helps, too.
I think that transvestite / cross-dresser gentlemen are fascinating and I encourage them to enjoy what they do, but the look I’m going for is the exact opposite of “a guy dressed and made up like a girl.”
So, I’ve tended to be conservative in my dress and nails and make-up. In this case “conservative” means androgynous so that I don’t subject my immediate vicinity to the sort of experience that makes them wonder if I shouldn’t be doing this dress-up thing behind closed doors, instead.
I recall watching a transgender beauty pageant and one of the organizers, a lovely girl, strode forward to the microphone with two massive masculine steps, and bellowed into it with a deep male-sounding voice. Whoa, I thought. The non-aesthetic aspects do need work, and they make a big difference.
I recall watching a transgender journalist waiting to go on-air. While waiting, she stared at the camera with mesmerizing beauty. When she started talking, her deep male-sounding voice greatly detracted from the image. Whoa, I thought, again. The non-aesthetic aspects make a big difference.
I like putting on make-up, dressing in a feminized way, sounding feminized and walking with swinging hips and a feminized gait, but it seems inappropriate to look masculine and do that. So, I’ve been holding back.
To be candid: I really don’t like my own facial structure. It looks far too masculine by my standards. So, I’ve been hedging. Problem is, instead of culturally making things easier for those around me, I might well have done the opposite.
Among females, I relax and I’m myself. We tend to focus on social cues, and most ladies are abundantly clear that I’m female (and probably also that I’m transgender, as a secondary issue).
With males, I’m tense. Males tend to focus on crude visual cues, like me being 6′ tall, having large hands, and the shape of the bones in my face. And, more often than not, males call me “sir” and I hate that. But, I tend to say nothing and I deal with it internally.
Turns out I’ve probably over-estimated how masculine I actually look. Last week, wearing no make-up and some nondescript overalls, I took my non-girly van in for an oil change at a small business in rural northern Nevada, and one of the techs was still savvy enough to figure out I’m a girl. The other tech there … was not as savvy, on the same day, at the same place.
That tells me I’m a lot more feminine-looking than I’d thought. For guys to call another guy “ma’am” is probably offensive to the latter, and everyone would rather avoid that, so me leaving folks wondering doesn’t do them any favors. So, no more of that.
Starting last Friday, I now go out in full battle regalia with lots of make-up and accessories and more-feminized clothing and footwear.
I thought I should announce this agenda to those around me, including my mom. She commented candidly that it doesn’t matter and most folks would think I’m a guy dressed as a girl anyway.
This sort of input probably helps explain why I’ve been hedging. I appreciated the candor, though. I also looked forward to the day when I’d look like a pretty girl to my own mom.
Later that day, while my van was being serviced, my mom drove me around, and she sat watching me as I walked out of a store. She spoke up, pensively. “Actually …” she said. I waited. She continued, “actually, you look good. You really look good. Even my neighbor has commented on how you look like a girl.” So, it turned out that the long-awaited day was in fact that very same day.
My plan, going forward, is for more of the same. I tend to work on old cars and I can’t very well wear pink and frilly stuff (not that that’s my style anyway) or it’d get trashed quickly.
Voice tends to be a huge factor, and so as soon as someone sees me, I plan to say “hello” in my high-pitched, feminine-sounding voice, and I plan to walk and move like the girl I am. That should do it. 🙂