I’ve noticed many instances where I’m treated differently than I would have pre-transition:
I don’t get talked down to at the mechanic shop.
It’s not assumed that I’ll pay full price on a new vehicle because I’m ‘a dumb girl who doesn’t know better’.
I’m not (as) terrified to walk past a group of men, worried about what taunts or threats I’ll receive.
Nobody looks twice at a guy who’s overweight.
I look unkempt? I’m probably just working hard.
So, while yes, I do acknowledge that it gives me a ton of privilege to be a trans guy who ‘passes’ almost always, that’s typically only with folks who didn’t know me before my transition.
I constantly worry about what old family and friends are actually thinking when they talk to me. When they seem glad to see me, are they lying? When they’re making small talk, are they actually wondering about what’s in my pants? Or maybe they’re remembering things from before, thinking how sad it is to have lost that other person, not genuinely glad to see that I’m so much happier and healthier.
I’m typically pretty out and loud and proud about being trans, it’s part of what makes me an excellent educator, facilitator, and consultant.
But on those rare occasions where I do have to out myself when I really don’t want to (i.e. every time I seek medical care or when I have to explain a name change on old records somewhere) it is absolutely gut-wrenching to hear things like: ‘I never would have realized that you’re not actually a guy’, or ‘those drugs (hormones) are really working for you!’, or ‘you used to be a girl? I bet you were really pretty’, or even ‘wow, good job, you’re hiding that really well!’.
I’m not hiding anything. In fact, I’m putting myself out there more than most. It took me a lot of years to even accept myself let alone trust others to accept me.
I say a lot that ‘words matter’ but really, it goes beyond that.
Facial expressions matter.
Body language matters.
Just some food for thought.