Wednesday, 15 January 2014

"Do One, Get Away From Me!"

The words of a guy standing in a doorway next to St Margaret's bus station earlier this evening, uttered rather nervously while looking at my chest.  He'd said something just before but my earphones had blocked that out, which is of course one reason for wearing them so frequently while I'm out (ha ha).

This kind of incident is actually a rarity.  I live an oddly charmed life with virtually no obvious transphobia in it, at least active transphobia, so the question arises of why this happened today.  I wasn't feeling at all underconfident, my body language wouldn't have been radiating "kick me" like it did this time last year (incidentally that literally happened once - I walked past a house and a stranger really did come out and kick me at random - this is what my world used to be like), so I'm just going to have to put it down to his problem.

It didn't bother me but it did interest me.  I have several takes on it.  First of all, he clearly wasn't expecting me to go back and talk to him, whatever it was he said in the first place.  It's a shame I missed that, as context would've been enlightening I suspect, and I suspect I also ended up being interpreted as showing bravado when in fact I was just innocently trying to be helpful - maybe he wanted a light or directions or something, was what I was thinking.  Clearly that was rather unlikely unless he was shocked by my appearance after having asked something along those lines.

It was disgust combined with fear, I think, with a soupcon of aggression.  That fear - it's tempting to suspect that he was closet GID, but I'm not going with that because it's rather facile.  That kind of statement is not falsifiable, so I'm just going to drop that.  However, maybe I'm a flying squirrel.  Allegedly there is a culture somewhere which regards flying squirrels as disgusting because they don't fit into their categories of, presumably bird or mammal, whereas presumably bats and flightless birds do, maybe.  There is said to be a theory of disgust that that which cannot be categorised easily is seen as disgusting, and to be honest I would concur with that.

Back in the day before I upended my mental desk tidy with hormonal gloop, I used to find cake disgusting for that very reason.  I had a "sweets" pigeonhole and a "bread" pigeonhole, and since cake fits into neither, I found it disgusting.  I'm sure not everyone in possession of prodigious Y chromosomes who sozzles their mind with the "wrong" steroid hormones gets this kind of tipping out effect, but it's interesting that it's happened to me and that therefore I no longer find cake disgusting, and also that he found me disgusting because I don't fit into any neat little category.  I'm in the gender uncanny valley and my appearance disgusts some people, but I'm at peace with that.  I never expected to look any better than a car crash to most people anyway - I went into that with my eyes open and I don't care, partly because I know that I was the happier and more fulfilled person in that exchange by far.  Also, when I look in the mirror I no longer want to throw up in revulsion and to myself I look a whole lot more normal than I did in the tracksuit phase (1999-2013), the leggings and T-shirts phase (1991-1999) or the jumpers and jeans phase (1983-1991), and that confidence in my appearance, regardless of how many other people may want to lose their lunch on looking at me, carries me through.

Tomorrow will hold a GP appointment, and the day after will see me complete the deed poll, after which I will officially be called Amanda Esther McIntyre Ure.