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Interacting With Other, “Normal” People

| Mar 16, 2015
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Maybe it’s just me, I don’t know, but well I’m past caring what others think of me when they see me out and about.

I’m also, I accept, very, very lucky. Being slight of figure and naturally quite feminine in my overall demeanor I can usually get away with being me, i.e. Christine, without anyone staring, pointing, snickering or generally drawing attention to me.

As a result, Christine has been everywhere you can imagine, and at every time of day and night. Restaurants, coffee shops, shopping centres, crowded markets and supermarkets; on trains, buses, ferries, subway systems, in taxis and so on. I’ve walked around the streets, visited tourist attractions at home and abroad and, generally, enjoyed time out as “just another woman.”

So you can imagine that Angela’s recent article about meeting a man in a bar who wanted to “chat her up” brought both a smile to my face and also some memories of my times out and about interacting with other, “normal” people flooding back.

I thought of the time(s):

  • gentlemen have gallantly opened doors for me, or men have stepped aside in the street to let me pass
  • receptionists or hostesses at conferences, functions or meeting or in hotels and restaurants have greeted me as “Madam” or “Ms”
  • female tourists, both old and young, wandering around my home town have stopped me and asked for directions
  • some of my genetically female Thai friends who know me as both “him” and “me”, have often said things like: “Oh…, I’d forgotten you are [male name] too.”
  • I went to a dear friend’s birthday party as Christine (at my friend’s promptings) only to discover that 3-4 of my clients who know “him” were there too and, indeed, were sitting at the next table; not one of them ever worked me out, never knew…
  • I walked within one metre past three of my staff who have worked with me for over 5 years with no trace of recognition from any of them
  • the staff at the hospital where I see my doctor apologized for not recognizing me when I turned up as “me” instead of “him” for a blood test and examination

There are plenty of more instances, and narrow escapes and adventures, I can relate but, for some reason, one of my own favorites is as follows:

I was in Australia on holiday and drove into the hotel carpark in my rented car just about the same time as a “colonel-type” man and his wife entered in theirs (by “colonel-type” man, I mean clearly an ex-Army type, handlebar mustache, rigid back, that way of speaking).

We engaged in small talk as we sauntered towards the hotel lobby and then they peeled off to get their key, as I headed for the lifts. Phew, glad to get away, I thought. The wife was looking at me a bit too closely for my comfort!

Alas, I was still waiting for the lift when Mr. and Mrs. Colonel reappeared — just as the lift arrived. Then there were three of us in a slow moving lift and the Colonel was asking about where exactly I lived in his State (he had seen my car registration plates) and then, much to my bemusement, remarking about what a jolly nice and well dressed woman I was. “We all must get together for dinner when you are back to Queensland,” he said.

“Sure,” I smiled not meaning it, and desperately longing to escape from the confines of the small lift; fearful he might suddenly twig that I was not what I seemed. Mrs. Colonel was looking even less amused than before, but Colonel was having none of it. As the lift doors opened at their floor, he stood keeping the doors open for another full minute regaling me with some snippet or another.

The last I heard was his voice saying to his wife as he finally left me: “What an absolutely delightful woman…”

As sweet as he was, I can only assume by now Colonel has some new glasses, or hearing aid, or whatever he needs to get by without mistaking a T-girl for a GG… ?

But seriously though… yes, I guess the moral of the article is that there are, indeed, a lot of nice, understanding people out there who don’t mind what we are or how we look. It’s just there are an equal or greater amount of bigoted, Transphobic, insecure people out there too and, sadly, it’s not always easy these days to know when to let your guard down and relax when with others.

Do you have a story of your interaction with the “normals” that you’d like to share? Use the comment area below to tell us about it. You must be logged in to comment.


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Category: Transgender Body & Soul

Christine B

About the Author ()

Christine has written numerous (at least 150) articles, columns, op-eds, features & stories for well known T magazines, websites & e-zines; she also works as a part time fiction editor for Club Lighthouse Publishing, and is a co-editor of an award winning T-girl Magazine. In addition, she has written 8 adult books mainly in the T sub-genre which have been published by Club Lighthouse Publishing, for whom she has been the best selling author for the last 5 years.

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