As a transgender male, one of the saddest moments I continue to experience is when a girl lets her guard down.
Let me explain…
From birth until about age 23 I presented as female to society. I (begrudgingly) wore female clothes, competed in female leagues and made female friends as a female.
Some time after I moved forward with transitioning, my physical features began to present more male and less female. With the help of testosterone, strangers began using male pronouns in their conversational pleasantries.
No Longer Part of the Club
This is where I noticed I lost something.
As I walked and talked through life as Connor, I could sense that something was different. Specifically, social interactions with women were different.
It became apparent that when conversing with a stranger who happened to be a female, there was now tension in the air. Tension I didn’t feel pre-transition.
I realized I had lost the social comforts that came with being a female around other females.
Comforts like making eye contact just to acknowledge one’s entrance into a room. Comforts like smiling at each other, just because. Never mind hugging.
Damn I miss hugging.
Connecting the Dots
As Connor, I started to recall more experiences of conversing with strangers who happened to be female.
I recollected that sometimes the conversation would be good and we’d delve into more personal topics.
On some of these occasions we’d get to talking about LGBT issues and then the subject of my transgender identity would come up organically.
In those conversations, after the words, “I’m transgender” left my mouth I noticed a subtle but visible change.
Her shoulders would become more relaxed. Her eyes a little wider. Then, a deep wordless breath that somehow spoke solace.
She let her guard down.
Incidences like this would happen over and over and I became increasingly curious as to why.
Piecing It Together
The conversations were tallied and the patterns fit.
This was their normal.
It has become an accepted societal norm for females to be prepared for the possibility of what if, even around short little harmless guys like me.
*I don’t know if all women feel this way. I’m drawing this conclusion from my experiences where the same patterns of reactions continued to exist time after time.
We Can Do Better
This needs to change.
It’s a big endeavour but one absolutely worth taking.
There is no road map to this kind of thing but we can start by having conversations.
This blog post is dedicated to that conversation.
I’m doing my best to move forward in the right direction for equality and comfort for all.
I’m not sure how to get there or if something big like that can happen in my lifetime, but I’m taking part in the conversation now.
Thank you for reading.