26 July, 2008

sir and "passing"

just wanted to write a bit about how i'm perceived in public.
the past few days i've been viewed about maybe 80 to 90 percent of the time as male, which is awesome. i definitely have anxiety about how i'm perceived, about someone calling me she/her/miss...and how other people would react to that, specifically my co-workers because they all perceive me as male. i actually got "sir'd" the other day for the first time and it made me smile. it just felt really good to be read the way i want to be read, the way i feel inside.

it was interesting also because i thought i heard someone call me miss or some feminine thing the other day (they were mumbling, so who knows what they actually said) and i immediately got upset. i was really surprised by my response because i almost used to confusing people and at times being read as female. it's amusing what being read as male most of the time can do to ones mentality and maybe a bit of testosterone.

i've been thinking a lot lately about the word "passing" - some use as a verb to refer to them being read as the sex they wish to be read as (for example, an ftm: he passed as male at work.) i think this is a somewhat controversial word though because some feel that it implies that the person is hiding something, for instance their birth gender. however, many trans people feel the gender they desire to be is their true gender and therefore are not hiding anything. i don't mean to generalize or put words in other peoples' mouths - i'm a bit tired and having trouble typing and thinking. so, i've been thinking about this a lot lately and definitely agree that passing is a term i don't really like anymore, well at least when referring to myself.

with that said....a friend was telling me how her sister's babysitter (whom i had met briefly a few weeks ago while we were visiting the friend's sister) was inquiring about me and used masculine pronouns. she made some comment that her sister was excited that the babysitter thought i was a guy or something like that, something about passing (the sister knows i'm trans, the babysitter does not). and all i was thinking in my head was "yea i am a guy...". it's difficult responding to comments like those because i am early in my transition and of course don't get perceived as male all of the time and don't expect to. though, i suppose it also has something to do with how i perceive myself and despite my biology, i see myself as male.

peace,
luke

1 comment:

Eliot Newton said...

It's always great to get a "Sir", isn't it? And I agree, passing isn't such a great term.