Evolution Not Transition

A transitioned friend reacted to my last post by saying she thinks that if I choose to go full time it won’t be much of a transition, it’ll be more of an evolution.

That makes sense. Though work obviously is the big transition state, since I work a 9-to-5 (9-to-late) job instead of consulting where I could gradually shift as I brought in new clients.

She also couldn’t understand how I managed to do the switching between gender things — she only had to do it for a couple months and it drove her bat-shit crazy.

Well, herein lies the difference.

It has its complications, and yes, I’ve moved toward the far side of the middle path, but a decade in, it still seems to be working for me.

OTOH, as I’ve said before, part of the drift is probably due to not having strong ties to the masculine side of my life. But I can see how — if my life had taken a different course — I’d be more fulfilled on that side. I.e. I’d still be trans, but presenting as a woman would be more of an occasional thing.

Likewise, I don’t have a problem being seen as a man at work — albeit an unconventional one, since lots of people know I perform (and a small number know that it’s not just for the stage). Yes, there’s definitely benefits that come from male privilege in that regard. (Interestingly, the things I needed to work on to get promoted awhile back were the sort of critiques usually directed at women, e.g. too consensus-oriented, need to assert myself more, etc.)

Nor do I have a problem at the coffee place I stop at most mornings, where during the week they see me as man and as a woman on the weekends. A number of them do know that I identify as bigender. Maybe part of it is that I know that short of not going there on the weekends, there’s no way to keep my different presentation separate.

I think where I’m uncomfortable going back to been seen as a man probably has a lot to do with the changed relationship dynamic thing. From the burly world,* to my acupuncturist. Even the Chinese restaurant, since things have changed with one of the regular waitress since I started going there as a woman. I can’t quite put my finger on it, since obviously a pretty limited interaction, but there is difference (for the better) I’m picking up.

* Though in the burly world, there’s instances where people see me when I’m presenting as a man, e.g. tonight I had to pick up a costume that a friend was repairing. While I’d still prefer to be presenting as a woman 100% of the time in those circles, it’s less troubling because those folks still see me as a woman even when I’m in man-drag. Probably because I’d firmly established myself as a woman long before they ever saw me presenting as a man.

Then there’s odd spaces like my nail salon, where I was one of the girls long before I went there presenting as a woman. The owner and some of her long-time employees have known for years that I cross-dress. But what’s more interesting is the way I usually get treated by other customers, even ones I’ve never met before. Again it’s intangibles, but there’s a difference from the way they react to/interact with the occasional guy who comes in for pedicure.

It’s complicated…