One unexpected side-effect of dual-living (going on 10 weeks now) is I’ve been having some pangs of “am I authentic enough.” I don’t have a problem being a male-bodied woman. When I’ve been out on the weekends, I’ve been accepted as woman. I did some dating with someone who saw me as a woman. And yet…
There’s a whole experiences that I didn’t grow up with — even if girlhood experiences are far from universal. But probably more so is the acute realization that I can move back into the world as an apparent man, with the male privilege that brings. Which OTOH is really useful reality check on my privilege as a man. OTOH, it’s bringing with it this under-current that I’m not really “real” enough as a woman.
The other thing I’m discovering is that in places where I’ve established myself as a woman, it’s uncomfortable to return as a man. My acupuncturist stopped working Saturdays, so I’m going to have to schlep to the other side of the Bay on a weekday, which is a pain in itself. But it also means having to go as a guy, and I’m really not looking forward to that.
It’s happened before. When I went to BurlyCon, I spent two days in the company of 600 women. The final day I ended up presenting as a man, because I was going straight to the airport after the conference, and it was absolutely miserable.
Even on a smaller scale, its an issue — there’s a local restaurant that I didn’t go to this week because I didn’t want to go back as a man. Since they’d seen me previously for several years as a man, they obviously know that I’m not a cisgender woman. But still….
Guess it may mean more weeknight change-overs after work.
OTOH, being a man at work still doesn’t particularly bother me, even if I would be more comfortable being a woman there. Likewise with the board meeting I attended last night for an organization I belong to.
It still feels like a middle path of dual living works best, but damn it can get complicated….