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* From loved ones: I finally get my mom to use my correct name. She ends up giggling after every instance as if to share that it's a joke that she's in on.
* From acquaintances: Somebody at work calls me "she", "her", "ma'am", or "Misty" and then feels the need to point out that they called me by the correct term, as if to make sure that I realize that it wasn't that they actually mistook me for a girl and that they made a concerted effort to do so to make me happy.
* And the worst, the Stranger Phenomenon: You're walking past somebody, minding your own business, and hear "excuse me SIR," with extreme emphasis on the "sir" or some other similar mis-gendered remark. As if the whole point in you walking from one place to the other was an attempt to fool them and they have to let you know that it didn't work. They saw through your little attempt at a joke.
I'm not talking about violence against trans people, as that's a special kind of sick that makes people think that that's alright. I'm talking more about everyone else who's not trans, but especially the stranger phenomenon. It's as if they see our wearing a dress or wearing makeup or talking, walking, moving, "acting" like a woman as an attempt to fool the world. If they don't say anything, then we win, and if we win, then they must have lost. In order for them to not lose, they must make a point that we didn't trick them.
The act of "not passing" wouldn't be such a stressful and embarrassing thing if people would take our gender cues differently. It makes us feel more at ease in our own skin...these things just feel right to us. Why can't people just take these things as us letting them know how we identify? Why can't we simply be letting them know how we think of ourselves, how we relate to the world, how we want to be treated? Along the same lines, why can't me wearing a dress and makeup be me celebrating my trans identity, instead of trying to "pass"? No...instead we're trying to fool them and if they don't make it clear that we didn't do so...if they let it slide by without comment, then we tricked them and we won and they lost.
It seems like they feel they must say something or do something whether it be laughing, a mean comment, or, even if they're accepting, an unnecessary statement (i.e. "See, I called you ma'am," from a coworker). It all seems to come from the same place. "You didn't fool me. I know that you're not really a girl."
***Btw, to be fair to her, I should point out that my mom has since stopped giggling when she calls me by my preferred name.***