Male Pronouns

I have mixed feelings about people using male pronounce or calling me “Sir” even though I’m basically a girl.

In their defense: I realize that, during puberty, I had way too little of the right type of hormones (estrogen) and way too much of the wrong type (testosterone). The imbalance shaped by body in a way inconsistent with how my brain structure is. So, yes, I have a male-structure skeleton including being tall and having large hands and male-looking facial bones. I also have a male voice box.

To make matters worse: for most of my life I tried to sound, look, move etc. not just “male” but because I felt so inferior relative to “be-a-guy” standards, I tried to come across as “extra-super-macho male.” And if there’s still a large residue of that left, and it’s highly visible to strangers … then perhaps that should not be surprising to me.

If I sound “male” to random strangers (such as over the phone or at a drive-through) then, well, dangit, I can avoid that by trying harder and eventually sounding more female. I’ve made good progress as such. I get treated as the girl I am, based on purely verbal cues, maybe 95% of the time. Yay!

As to my looks, perhaps the same reasoning applies. If I look “male” to random strangers then I can avoid that by trying harder and eventually looking more female than male.

But, there’s a difference: visually, I offer are a vast amount of potentially-helpful social cues. My nails are bright red or purple. I wear clothes, jewelry and shoes that are clearly female. You don’t have to guess whether I’m wearing “girl jeans” or “boy jeans” — I don’t wear jeans. I wear dresses — typically long flowing dresses. I have long black eyelashes. I have long blonde hair in a female style. I have a voice that is either female or a 95% decent facsimile of that. I have huge boobs, but you’d have to do some pretty intense investigation to see that.

So dammit, even if I had a jaw like Arnold, and a forehead like a Neaderthal (not that I do, but even if I did) then really there are enough social cues that hello, folks, pay attention, there’s something unusual going on here. Only a person who is totally ignorant of social cues could miss that. Or, someone trying to make a point … the point being that regardless of what gender I think I am, he presumes to know better.

In a personal context, I don’t care if someone misses or ignores the social cues. I’ll just avoid that person and focus on the millions or billions of people who wouldn’t do so.

However, I do take issue with such behavior in a commercial context. When I’m spending my money, then if one of the people I’m dealing with is an ass, I’m gonna be a lot less inclined to remain a customer.

Example: last night I checked into a Hampton Inn in a very Bible-Beltish town. The desk clerk had the kind of smile that could sell toothpaste. Better yet, his niceness was sincere. No problem there. I explained: I have a lot of stuff that I don’t wanna leave in my car and that I preferred to lug into my room. And so, I would like a room that is a) on the ground floor and b) near an exit door.

Good news! This was possible. There was such a room available, yay! But … it was way nicer and more pricey than what I’d booked and prepaid.

Fortunately, a manager showed up and without even being asked, he offered me that awesome room at the same price. He smiled at me with what seemed like sincere benevolence. Then, he explained what he’d done to the desk clerk, referring to me in the process as “he” and referring to my room as “his.” Whoa!!

I could see that the desk clerk was uncomfortable with it. So was I. Anyway, I appreciated the discount but the male pronouns ruined the otherwise positive experience for me. A few minutes later, the desk clerk mumbled a male form of addressing me when he said good night and handed me the key. Grrr.

I pondered my options, and then later, I went back to the desk clerk and showed him my official driver’s license … which has an “F” as the gender classification. I explained to him that indeed, I’m a mix of parts, but I’m basically female and the manager had referred to me as if I were basically male, and I wanted to clear things up. The desk clerk got the message, and I felt better about the world.

Perhaps it’s time to write a nice letter to Hampton Inns’ top management, explaining the issues.

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How I met the perfect gentleman (and yes, I’m still gay)

jMAG1013A few weeks ago, I rented a U-Haul van (long story as to why, not relevant here) and I had parked my own car at a local casino a few blocks away. After my project was complete, I dropped off the van, and walked along Virginia street (the main north-south street through Reno, Nevada) to the casino, to have a nice lunch and then get my car and drive home. It was a pretty day, sunny but not too hot, and I enjoyed strolling along the sidewalk.

jMAG1011As to my shoes, I finally love being me, i.e., being okay with who and what I am. That includes me being happy with myself as a sexual being. I love to celebrate looking sexy. Few things inspire me to feel as sexy as do 6” stripper stiletto shoes.

I own several pairs. I can’t afford them new, but good used ones are available. I either buy comfortable ones (yes, they exist) or I modify the ones I have, to make them comfortable. And if they can’t make that grade, I toss them. So please don’t feel sorry for me when I wear them. They feel just fine. Better than fine, actually.

I have trained myself to where I can walk a mile or more at a time in such heels. It’s not just about walking in them … the whole point is to move as the girl I am. It took me 4 years, but I learned that too. Even if my static aesthetics don’t inspire you to think I look hot, then the way I look when I sashay along in my stripper stilettos might — especially from behind. I also learned to dance in them and to look graceful (or better) while doing so. This post shows two pictures of me wearing my most recent pair of 6″ stilettos.

I’m mainly attracted to girls sexually, and I used to date fellow strippers (and yes, I’ve worked as a stripper). I was impressed by how club strippers could stay on their feet while wearing high-heeled stiletto shoes for hours on end — and still look hot in the process. I figured: if they can do it, then there’s no reason why I can learn it. I patiently and diligently trained. If, three years ago, you saw a tall blonde transsexual girl walking around Virginia Lake in Reno at 4 a.m., then yes, that was I. And yes, that’s a distance of one mile, around that pretty man-made lake.

Over the course of four years, I was always trying to find mirrors in areas where I can walk and watch myself, and learn, and improve. The window at the Fallon auxiliary police station has a weird angle and a mirrored finish, so that works. The Sparks Nugget has many mirrors on the second, third, fourth and fifth floors. Of course, reflective windows and mirrors are not hard to find. The difficulty has been in finding ones that are angled just so, so that I can watch myself walking without having to look ninety degrees sideways all the time — though I’ve done much of that too.

As my body weight slowly decreases, walking in stilettos becomes easier yet because, we’ll, there’s less weight to lug around. Simple physics, really.

The problem is that (give or take half an inch) I’m 5’ 12” tall, as Susan Anton would say, who’s the same height as I am. On stripper heels I’m 6’ 6” and it’s elicited observations from strangers such as “damn, you’re tall” when really “damn, you’re hot” was more what I was going for.

I slowly learned that looking like a stripper 24×7 doesn’t inspire the perfect social dynamic anyway. I get enough weird looks as it is, due to my too-masculine male facial structure. So I try to limit my enthusiasm to also dress like a stripper in broad daylight, on city streets.

I have really struggled with learning how to have an elegant female gait. I finally have the body mechanics figured out, so now it comes naturally to me. The net effect happens to also involve hip-swinging as a consequence, in a less-than-blatant way, yet hot. All this training and learning time has paid off.

I used to feel sorry for myself until a supportive and graceful g-girl friend pointed out that her own hips didn’t initially move as such either, and a teenage girl goes through much of the look-awkward, feel-awkward, move-awkwardly, feel-disempowered, feel-less-curvy-than-ideal things that I was experiencing. Girls rarely, if ever, just magically know everything as to femininity. Whether we’re g-girls or t-girls, we have to work at it. We have to put effort into learning and training.

This realization had a weird psychological bonus for me, too. I’ve felt like I’ve missed out by not having a typical teenage-girl childhood. So then, here was my opportunity to experience many of the essentials of the real thing. So I stopped feeling unique and pathetic in my struggle — and I focused on learning.

The effects have paid off in psychological terms, too. I’m fundamentally confident nowadays. It shows in my posture – upright, slightly leaning back, shoulders back, tummy in. I don’t even try any more. It’s just how I stand and walk, all day and every day, with rare exceptions.

On that particular day, when I was walking along the sidewalk, I had managed to discipline myself. I wore a conservative skirt (like in these pictures) and beige, flat, $10 Walgreens plastic sandals (NOT like in these pictures).

When I wear stilettos I feel almost like I’m Supergirl and when I don’t, I feel like a mere mortal. But I was a happy mortal even so. I strolled along happily.

The social demographic of most of the folks who walk along that particular sidewalk at that particular time of day isn’t exactly the shrimp-and-caviar, listen-to-Beethoven set, so I tend to not invite conversations with my fellow pedestrians in that area. That day was no exception. I became aware of someone walking behind me, and that person hadn’t been there all along so he was probably walking a little faster than I was. I didn’t turn or say hello to my fellow on-foot traveler as he approached.

But then, he spoke up. “You have POISE,” he said. I stopped, turned and smiled. He seemed like an average gentlemen, perhaps with some cash flow issues (like me) and not dressed as if this were Beverly Hills (like me). In a completely non-offensive and most eloquent way, the gentleman elaborated on how he’d watched me move, and he’d loved it. His compliments centered on the poise I exuded.

I thanked him and was tempted to say “if you think this looks good, then you should see me in my stripper stilettos” and then I decided to kill off that train of thought and just focus on the here-and-now: a guy telling a girl that he likes her style, period. It was just a nice, eloquent, simple, delightful compliment from a sincere and nice man. I didn’t need to tell him that I could look better yet. I could just shut up and enjoy the moment. And so I did.

I felt the need to introduce myself (it’s a British-culture thing, and I might have too much of that still, having lived there) and so I did so, and so did he. We shook hands and smiled at each other. And then, off he went, across the street — and he went on with his life.

And yet, he’d enriched mine forever. I learned some things that day. I don’t have to dress up like a stripper to look nice. I don’t have to look hot to look nice. I don’t have to try to look nice. I just do, nowadays. And much of it is due to how I move. It’s not just what I have to work with, but what I do with what I have. I don’t have to feel quite as self-conscious about my still-too-male facial structure and still-too-male physique. The way I move transcends all that. It announces “here’s a female” to the world – a female with a too-male facial structure and some serious hormone issues, but yes, dammit, a girl and clearly so. Yay!

Not that the world’s opinion makes me who I am, but it’s nice that there’s nowadays less general confusion as to that point.

And thank you, Eric, for being the perfect gentlemen.

If Being in the Middle Sucks, then … Don’t be There

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.

Ouch.

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. 🙂