When I was younger, I was on the receiving end of male pronouns on a pretty regular basis. Sometimes it was an honest mistake (I had short hair, mostly men’s clothes, no make up et cetera). Other times it felt like a form of harassment – an under-handed way for someone to point out I was really a butch dyke blatantly out there breaking the gender rules.
As I got older, however, this just seemed to stop. A thousand factors could be at play here – gray hair (grandmothers get away with short hair and no make up but I’m not so sure about the men’s clothes). extra body fat (the hips and breasts weren’t as easy to hide), smooth face and too old to be male… the changing combination of social gender clues as we age are complex and more nuanced than I ever imagined.
At 6 weeks post op and 3 weeks on Testosterone, I find that I’m entering a more androgynous space. I “pass” as male about 40% of the time when encountering strangers (using pronoun selection as a measure) – especially if I am alone. If I am accompanied by females, however, the pass rate seems goes down. Curious pattern – although it may be an anomaly.
The physical changes I am experiencing on T (3 weeks on gel) are subtle – my voice seems a wee bit lower and my stomach has a bit of peach fuzz – nothing really noticeable. I haven’t yet experienced increased energy or muscle mass but then again I haven’t resumed working out. I do feel more emotionally even and calm and perhaps a bit more confident (or maybe just less concerned about what others think of me).
I’ve been able to bypass the “bathroom dilemma” until now. There are unisex/family bathrooms at work and the public spaces I’ve been in since returning home. Due to an unexpected road trip this weekend, however, I found myself needing to use the bathroom at a truck stop of all places. A truck stop in Indiana. What a place to start! Sort of like, “if I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere…”
Unfortunately, there was only one stall and one urinal. Of course the stall was taken and, for whatever reason, the guy in it had all his clothes spread out on the floor. The choices running through my head were: (1) turn around and head for the next exit; or (2) don’t let this intimidate you, que in line for the stall in the hallway. I picked (2). And I lived to tell about it.