No, I Haven’t Seen Both Sides

“Oh since you’re trans, you know what it’s like to be both a boy and a girl!”

Incorrect.

Sure, I have insight into the male world in that I know what locker room talk is, I know all their expectations and did in fact conform to a lot of them. I butched up hard in an attempt to blend in. But they always saw through it.

If I got a cis guy experience, then it was as a “sissy faggot” who envied women but was so scared of men that I’d butch up if that’s what they expected of me.

I suppose I’m not overly qualified to comment but I’m pretty positive that’s not your typical male experience?

I mean I still feel like an outsider in the female world but at least it’s a world I want to partake in. I’m watching it in awe. And I’m enjoying blending in at times.

Like it feels nice when random women will smile at me. You know, that warm friendly smile women give each other as they pass by? It appears if I’m not mistaken to be the lady equivalent of a bro nod? (I like to call this cute little phenomenon the “ho nod”).

It stands out to me because when women read you as male, they almost look scared of you and avert their eyes (and for good reason I’m finding).

But when they read you as female, they relax and brighten and that’s a really neat thing to see. It’s a soft smile with inviting eyes that seems to speak some kind of solidarity. A sort of unspoken “I’m here if you need to talk!” Sometimes there’s a little raised eyebrow with it that seems to convey a question in the vein of “are you doing well, honey? Eating alright?”, and I might think “god you’re right, I didn’t take my meds at all today. Thanks for the reminder!” Which I’m sure is just me projecting meaning into “the look”, but hey it keeps me on track so let me have it, okay!?

Of course, eye contact in general makes me nervous. (Pro tip: you probably shouldn’t go to a neurodivergent person for social knowledge). I was so glad when men stopped giving me the bro nod, but this whole friendly smiling thing is actually a pleasant change.

In short, I felt like an outsider in the male world and now I feel kind of like an outsider in the female world. But the difference is that men ridiculed me (I got called gay for not watching football, a sissy for liking feminine things, even girlfriends would break up with me for being “too feminine” I guess because I showed emotion? – Fellas, is it gay to communicate your feelings to your partner?) whereas women invite me in.

For the first time in my life, I feel like I might actually be part of a community and I’m so thrilled about it. I might barely fit in but hey, at least I fit! I might not know much about fitting in as a woman, but I know a good deal more than I ever did about trying to fit in as a guy.

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