|Hanging out in Central Park (the most central of all parks)|
Okay, I'm going to start this off with a little bit of a brag. For the most part, I think I pass. And by that, I mean that when I go out people assume that I am a genetically born woman with two X chromosomes, a vagina and a fertile womb just begging to grow some babies. There area few reasons I say this. In stores, I've been shopping and have had female sales clerks offer to get me started with a changing room in the women's fitting room area. In clubs, I've had club employees waive me toward the ladies rooms. In restaurants, I've looked around and had servers ask me if I were looking for the ladies room. I've gone out with friends who've brought their friends who then hung out with me. Later I learned those friends thought I was a regular genetic girl. That would explain why they they asked me if I ever used menstrual cups (okay that was one weird friend of a friend). In the end though, my goal is to pass. To pass. To blend in and just be treated like any other girl.
A little bit ago I wrote about this sort of thing on reddit:
"So, I have an awesome new female friend, who I've hung out with a few times and have a total friend-crush on. This week, hanging out, I accidentally outed myself to her. While I sort of wish I hadn't been outed, her response made my week (if not my year). She was like "Wow! Wow! Wow! I thought you had a sort of deep voice, but lots of women have deep voices. Wow!" So yeah, passed 100%! I'm so excited. That just makes me have to rethink every single interaction I've had! It makes me super happy!"
What's the absolute worst is when you've been clocked though. You see, sometimes I think people see right through me, but it's super rare that anyone says anything.
So, I've been clocked a few times. It hurts every time. It digs deep into me and twists around and then kicks me and takes my milk money. It sucks. I hate being clocked. I hate it when someone sees me and knows that I'm a genetic male. It hurts to my core. It makes me feel like I'm some absolute weirdo freak who shouldn't even be out in public. It makes me want to run home and cry in the dark while listening to sad, sad country music (the music of pain).
Just this past week, I thought it would be fun to go up to Central Park to take some photos in Frederick Law Olmstead bucolic oasis. Think of the amazing shots you could get with Bethesda Fountain or the Mall, or the Brambles or the Belvedere Castle as a background! So I took the subway up and headed into the park, camera and selfie-stick in hand.
And, proceeded to get zero good pictures. It was a bright mid-day so the shadows were harsh and the light through the trees gave off weird, uneven dappled light that was just not the least bit flattering. For a little bit I hung out by the duck pond and snapped some shots before giving up and heading back into the concrete jungle of Central Park West and Midtown Manhattan.
That area, near Columbus Circle and Park Avenue, is a weird mix of tourists, posh people and office workers. Also, because it's New York City (the city that never stops building), there are lots of construction workers. And so I walked by some construction works right out of central casting. You know the type; working class, gruff, from New Jersey (they are never actual New Yorkers), probably Republican, As I walk past one of them decides he has to say "That's a man!"
You know, I really want to turn around and yell "Listen, assshole, I spent an hour getting ready, I am wearing a new dress that I am rocking, I just got a new manicure and I've spent years practicing makeup to look this good! I am beautiful and awesome and this is my city. And I am gonna walk down the streets of my city and I am going to be fabulous! You don't get to have an opinion about me, or my clothes, or my god damned gender!"
Then the crowd would cheer and J-Law would come up and offer to be my best friend and we'd go take a helicopter ride and then go shopping.
No, instead I just ignored it and kept walking. I buried it all deep inside and just kept walking. I had tried so hard to pass, to blend in, to be an ordinary girl. And some jerk had to go and ruin that for me. That day I had even planned to walk down to Macy's or maybe the Housing Works on 17th and go shopping, try on awesome dresses and see how I looked. But instead all I wanted to do was to get home as soon as possible, just get away from people, and be in my house by myself. It just hurts.
The truth is, that not everyone who's clocked me is trying to be mean. Some of them even bought me drinks. Go figure.
But, that one is another story...