How Other People See Me

So, today was awkward. I had a conversation with a couple of undergrads in one of my classes and in our short conversation they joked that I didn’t exactly count as one of their guy friends because I was so gentle and in touch with my feelings and joked about how much of a male lesbian I am.

If they knew I was trans, this would probably be considered pretty mean. They don’t, though, and they probably were just making fun of me because I’m a straight dude who seems to take myself too seriously. It did make me feel weird, just because I’m really insecure about being considered masculine enough, or being considered a guy by the people I’m around. I know that they actually probably meant it as a compliment that I didn’t count as a guy because they prefaced it by saying it was because I made them feel comfortable. I definitely pride myself on being gentle and in touch with my feelings, and in a lot of ways I’m like that because my dad is like that and not necessarily because I’m transgender. It’s just weird to hear those things. Even though they were joking, it did make me wonder what other people think of me. They perceive me as being feminine and as liking things that lesbians stereotypically like (which, I guess is slam poetry and certain musicians). I mean, I did spend 19 years of my life living as a woman and 5 of those years in the lesbian community. It isn’t a coincidence that I might come off that way, because I’ve seen every episode of the L word and used to have a subscription to Curve. I speak the language, as it were, even though I don’t necessarily try to. I know this probably reads strangely to them, and they just can’t pick up on why and so they make jokes about it.

The thing that actually made the conversation stick with me is that they made a couple of comments about my butt. They were complimenting me, but just the fact that they noticed it and said something about how it was bigger than average made me feel really insecure. My butt is something that makes me feel incredibly dysphoric and is the body part that I’m most insecure about. This is actually one of the instances when it sucks more being stealth than being out. I’ve noticed that people are far less likely to make comments about those sorts of things when they know I’m trans because they are careful not to hurt my feelings. Sure, they make other comments that are far more annoying, but most people (that I’m friends with, anyway) are much more aware of these things when they realize that what they say might trigger my dysphoria or insecurity.  I absolutely shouldn’t get myself down, because I’m sure that they wouldn’t joke about stuff if they actually saw it as something I should be insecure about it (they weren’t trying to hurt my feelings, after all). It just feels like they were pointing out that I suck at being a guy.

Wow, this is more emo than the blog I had when I was an actual teenager.