I went to our local Renaissance Festival this weekend with a bunch of friends to whom I am already “out”. Getting there, one of my spiritual sisters, one of three women who have been there for me throughout, immediately started by disagreeing with me at dinner. What was she disagreeing about? In my own assessment (we’re our own worst critics, aren’t we?) I told her that while I was in in the gender “twilight zone” that I thought I was still more male than female. “Wrong,” she said, and insisted so. So she made a contest out of proving me wrong too.
I had already told her I had planned on “just being me” for the duration of the fest, whatever that meant. I was going to use my voice with male resonance suppressed, but I can’t raise pitch much because of that paralyzed vocal cord. I wasn’t going to overdress female, or focus on makeup, or anything else. I was going to let me hair hang out (it’s long except for the male pattern baldness areas on top), wear my silver stud earrings, wear a feminine hat, wear feminine jeans and either feminine or gender neutral tops. I also ended up wearing a white woman’s sweater both days as it was cool but not cold out.
Net result? Saturday I was not once gendered male and I was gendered female 5 times. Now this was with no facial makeup whatever to cover beard shadow. But I have to admit that the longer I am on HRT, the lighter the facial hairs are becoming. They’re not gone, just lighter in color. Anyway, in a crowd of 10 people, I was gendered female multiple times.
Then came Sunday. Sunday morning I decided to swap to my silver hoop earrings and wear a neutral lipstick but still no other makeup. Saturday I’d gone au naturelle under a gender neutral t-shirt but Sunday I wore my bra as Saturday turned out to be more abrasive that I’d expected! (Lesson learned!)
So what happened Sunday? On Sunday, she and I went shopping, just the two of us, and I was gendered female 12 times by 2pm, at which point we rejoined the larger group. And I used the women’s restroom for the first time. My friend was right about that too – no one noticed and no one cared.
Suddenly I’m feeling a lot more optimistic about being able to target full time in the July-September 2014 time frame as I’ve been planning. Oh, and when I relay this story to my therapist, she is just going to laugh and laugh at me. 🙂