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realistic

I share my victories here with you to help give you confidence to be yourselves and face the world without fear. But then I am also not fooling myself; I am 6’1” and weigh 200 lbs and have a body more like a man than that of a woman.

I have learned that most people assume I am a woman and treat me like one but some people likely suspect otherwise and I am okay with that because I have taught myself to be a secure over this issue. If you are transgender and out you have little choice and, regardless, genetic women my size receive that much more scrutiny to begin with so you must be prepared for it.

I am treated just like a woman but that doesn’t mean people don’t suspect I might be transsexual or transgender and even if I took hormones my shoulders are broad and my biceps a little too big for a genetic woman; the byproduct of trying to counteract being skinny during a period when I was deep in denial.

Last Sunday I was on another train trip sitting in front of a woman who had wanted me to watch her luggage while she went to the bathroom (the GO trains have them on board). She was very chatty upon her return and just being myself I passed marvelously and effortlessly. If you are wondering how I know I just do and it has much to do with their body language, their eyes when they look at you and the kind of questions they ask me.

By now everyone knows we exist so we are part of the landscape and it doesn't matter how we are perceived; what does matter is how we are treated. I just knew I couldn't live in the shadows any longer while waiting for society to change. The fact that it began to in parallel with my own growth was coincidental and very welcome.

Still, if I wanted to be realistic about every detail I'd still be in hiding.

I just know that there is incredible power in knowing who you are on the inside and when you learn to tap into it, everything changes for the better.

Comments

  1. I greatly appreciate your stories and look forward to my own. I agree with this, "By now everyone knows we exist so we are part of the landscape and it doesn't matter how we are perceived; what does matter is how we are treated." We still know there are some areas better than others and I had the luxury to be able chose Seattle over some surrounding communities after I decided that "acceptance and welcome" are so much more than just "tolerance."

    As you've said a lot of the issue is how we carry ourselves. If we project timidity and fear then that unsettles others largely through no fault of their own: I think it's baked into our basic animal brains. Yesterday for example I attended a large (~3,000 people) pre-ride party for Oblteride (bicycle ride to benefit cancer research). I wore my skinny jeans, women's athletic pumps, and carried a canvas bag on my shoulder. No one raised an eyebrow as far as I know as I was just walking around with my friends and not looking for their acknowledgements or whatever.

    Oh, and I now I have my first women's bike jersey!

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