The other day I was going about my business in some public place when I saw a stunningly and naturally beautiful woman. She was completely casual, not dressed up or anything, but super pretty. Maybe she was just my type. But seeing her left me with a slight sinking feeling. I was presenting female (as I do every day). For a moment I thought about how transition had completely cut me off from something. I had cut myself off from feminine attention.
So the upshot of this, is that while I was a bit of a Chad (to borrow an incel term), I never approached women. I never hit on girls. In fact I was the most awkward and shy person imaginable around them. Thus, the girls I dated in high school and college tended to be the bold ones who would make the first move. And since I assumed that pretty, popular girls who were showing interest in me were in fact making fun of me, they often had to make the second or third move as well just to get my attention.
Over the years, I think I just sort of got used to that kind of feminine attention. And I'm sure some women were frustrated by the fact that I still couldn't make a first move. Armed as I am now with this knowledge, I can look back on many, many interactions from the past couple decades and now smack my forehead and think "that girl was actually hitting on me." Ah well. I have an amazing partner now so even if I could change the past I wouldn't.
By transitioning from male to female I have utterly obliterated my fitness. This first occurred to me years ago when I was reading Jared Diamond's The Third Chimpanzee and its chapters on sexual selection. Back then I was only presenting female sometimes. But when I did present female I was decreasing my evolutionary fitness. I was doing the opposite of a male peacock's beautiful plumage. At the time it kind of excited me, like I was a nature rebel.
But now after transition, it's hard to describe this feeling in concrete terms. It doesn't really bother me. It gives me a strange feeling of slight loss. But it doesn't really pain me. It doesn't hurt. It doesn't make me sad. It's just sort of a change that I noticed. And sometimes noticing change can make you feel weird.
And sometimes transition can surprise you.