Saturday, October 16, 2010

Trannydar

Hi, everybody! Yes, I was up early again today but after I got all of the frustration and sadness out of me yesterday I had a pretty good night's sleep last night and I'm feeling a little better now. Thank you so much for your kind words and support, I love you all! :-D


Amy K put up a new post the other day, if you haven't read it yet, check it out. In her heartfelt letter to her mother Amy writes, about us, ''They live day to day lives, and you've probably seen some of them and never thought a thing about them. The same way that people may look my way on the street when I'm walking the kids to school, or in a store shopping.'' and she's right. The general public, going about their daily business tends, for the most part, to either not notice us, or not care. They've got places to go and things to do and they see a hundred faces a day.


We, however, seem to have this heightened sense of awareness that I've heard called ''Trannydar''. This is, to a certain extent, a defense mechanism. When you're trans, especially if you don't ''pass'' well, you need to be constantly aware of your surroundings for your own safty. Another effect of this ''Trannydar'' is that often times we can tell if someone is trans just by looking at them. I believe that although there are many more of us out there than anyone realizes, that we are still a pretty small minority and we are always on the lookout for others like us.


I've recently had one of these ''Trannydar'' experiences. It's not the first time that this has happened, it actually happens more often than you'd think considering where I live, usually every couple of months or so. Now before I go on, I know, I know, Wal-Mart bad, and besides, the shoe selection sucks but, hey, I'm on a fixed income, okay?!? But I digress.


About a month ago I was doing some shopping at Wal-Mart and I went over to the cosmetics section to get some new eyeliner. When I walked into the isle I came face to face with an attractive woman who was probably in her mid-late 30's. She was perfectly dressed for a day at the office, which is perhaps where she had been, in a nice pencil skirt, a matching blazer, a pale pink blouse, and a pair of kitten heels. She was tall, very tall, about 6'2'' or 6'3'', solidly built, a bit too solid for a GG, and her jaw was perhaps a bit too square, but a good looking woman all the same. I was almost certain that she was trans. What to do? Blustering on by felt wrong, I wanted to give her some kind of aknowledgement, but you don't run up to someone and say ''Hi, you're trans, aren't you? I love your blouse, where did you get it?''. I opted for a slight smile and a nod of my head and went about my business. I felt that if she were trans she may take that to mean ''I know, I am too, have a nice day.'' I was in my normal, somewhat androgynous presentation that day, so reading me wouldn't have been too hard for someone ''In the know'', if I was wrong and she actually was a GG, it was a brief, non verbal way to say ''Hi''. A win-win either way!


Dani xxx

5 comments:

Melissa said...

I was in the grocery store one day, completely in male mode, and I saw an attractive tall blond woman, dressed very smartly in a pair of dark slacks, black patent loafers, a white open collar shirt, and tweed blazer. She had a page style haircut, that stopped just above her shoulders. Her face was kind of androgynous, and a bit acne scarred, but she still made a handsome woman. I knew she was trans the instant that I saw her. We made eye contact for a brief few seconds, but I said nothing, nor did I make any acknowledging gestures. The look in my eyes however, must have sent clues out to her, because a minute or two later as I crossed one of the pharmacy aisles, I saw her again, and she was looking directly into my eyes. It was a friendly, almost longing look. I wanted so much to approach her, and say something, but I didn't want to make her uncomfortable, so I just gave her one of those ever so slight smiles that you do almost just with your eyes, and went about my business. I never saw her again, but I thought about her weeks afterward. Wondering where she lived, what she did for a living, what her interests were.

It's a wonder that it doesn't happen far more often. Original estimates put us at about 1:10,000 in the general population, but that was long before the internet age of information, when it was more like guess work. Today, some estimates put us at 1:500.

Melissa XX

Dani said...

Hi, Melissa! I'm also suprised that it doesn't happen more often! 1:500 sounds a bit more accurate but I have to wonder if that statistic includes closeted individuals, who are likely a majority of the CD/TG/TS community. If not, than even that estimate is wrong! The old estimate of 1:10,000 is certainly wrong and was even when they first made it!


Yes, I've thought about her and wondered those same things. I would've liked to have bought her a coffee, or a beer, or a glass of wine and chatted with her. I very much wanted to talk to her and it was difficult to resist the impulse to do so. Like you, I also didn't want to make her uncomfortable, and the store was very busy, being 5:00 PM on a Fri., I didn't want to run the risk of outing her. She was passing unnoticed and I wanted to keep it that way.

Dani xxx

Amy K. said...

Thanks for mentioning my post, wow! What I wrote, however, wasn't meant in quite the fashion that you took it. I was telling my mother, in a roundabout way, that I blend in with the female population so well that nobody thinks I'm anything but a woman. As far as I know, anyway. Maybe they figure otherwise and don't let on, but for now I'll go on thinking the former. (And by the way, not everyone who reads your blog may know mine, so if you want to send them my way, a link will do nicely, nudge nudge wink wink.)

As for the rest of your post, some people have said before that we need a secret code, or a sign, or something. Sounds great, but then what if some smart alec cisgendered people hear about the code (you know they will, if it becomes widespread enough for all transfolk to know it), and use it to "out" transgendered persons? What a dilemma. What to do, what to do...? In any case, you did the right thing. :)

Angel said...

Dani, I think you did the right thing. If I were out and about, and approached by someone, transsexual, transgender, whatever, because I set off their "trannydar", I would be terribly embarrassed.

Wait, what am I saying? It *has* happened to me in the past. A few years ago, I was with some friends in a Las Vegas bar one night, and in walks a transvestite. There was no mistaking her for anything else... she was that obvious. Well, I must have set off her "trannydar" because she came straight over to me and started talking... and she obviously felt no need to keep the whole "trans" thing on the down-low. I was horrified. I tried to be polite but I was actually quite angry, because I was in a straight bar with friends who didn't know I'm transsexual, and the last thing I needed was someone screwing things up for me.

Not all of us want to be acknowledged as being trans-anything... we just want to live our lives in peace.

Dani said...

@ Amy: I don't see any reason why anyone would think that you're anything but a woman. My point was that the general public isn't actually looking for us anywhere and if you look like any other GG they won't assume otherwise. That's what I took your line to mean, sorry if I misunderstood.


Most of my readers probably know of your blog but I'm happy to send those that don't your way! Hint taken! :-D


You're right about word of a secret code or handshake getting out. We'd probably have to use the internet to spread the word, but then some troll would find out and the secret would be out!


@ Angel: OMG! I can't believe that one of us would be so inconsiderate as to do such a thing! She had to see how horrified you were! She must have had too many drinks or something but I don't know if even that's a good enough excuse!

Dani xxx