I’m used to being clocked. It’s a normal affair for me. What I’m not used to is being read as cis. But on the BART tonight, I was approached by a man. He sat down near me, and started asking me things, like what was the book I was reading. It was Redefining Realness by Janet Mock. A book that may have given me away to someone more informed, but he continued to talk to me, until he asked what the symbol on the pin on my backpack was. He thought it was something “Native American”. I informed him that it was a trans pride symbol. He looked startled, and suddenly stopped talking to me, and a minute or two later he moved away. Now, he could have been hitting on me, or he could have been just being friendly, but he obviously wanted nothing to do with me after finding out I was trans.
Which leaves me with questions. How often am I blending in with cis society? Usually the fact that I’m trans is pretty apparent, so I’ve never had to deal with someone suddenly finding out. I’m not ashamed of being trans, which is one of the many reasons I have the button, others being visibility so other trans folx know they aren’t alone, and resistance to cis-supremecy. I don’t want to be deep stealth. But I’m starting to wonder if it’s worth it to deal with situations like this, and so much worse, in every little passing interaction when I don’t have to. I mean, for a long time, I had no choice, but to deal with the laughter and non-consensual picture taking. I guess I feel like I should have a greater ability to disclose when and how I feel like it. On my terms. But I like the visibility, and resistance. So I just don’t know.