Don't Cry Over Spilt Trans Beer

Be yourself with a trans person (or with anybody, for that matter).


I'm post-op, have had laser hair removal, wear make up, have a full head of hair, and delight in dresses, jewelry, mascara, and lipstick. I enjoy being female in what some call a "prototypically" feminine way.


But that's just it. What is a "prototypical feminine" presentation?

What is a "prototypical feminine" presentation?

The Glass Isn't Half-Empty or Half-Full. It's a Glass.

Every trans person you meet is an individual. If they dress in a way you see as "masculine" or "feminine," remember—that's your idea of what constitutes those categories.


Because we're all naturally the heroes of our own stories, we tend to see our own judgments as hewing to "the norm." Relationships and friendships test entrenched and unconscious attitudes. When Pam and I were first engaged, we noticed that what each of us assumed was a "normal" family gathering radically differed. She met my family and came away ears ringing. My fams bellowed, guffawed, argued, and got in each other's faces with Italian gusto. I had a great time; Pam was shell-shocked. At her family's gatherings, you don't broach tender subjects, raise your voice, or hint at confrontation.


The lesson? Families don't hew to a norm.


Funny, then, that, as a trans woman, I'm sometimes held to a predetermined standard of femininity. Lemme give you some encounters.

Every trans person you meet is an individual. If they dress in a way you see as "masculine" or "feminine," remember—that's your idea of what constitutes those categories.

Encounter 1

A coworker notes that the strap on my sandal is loose. When I hoist up my skirted leg to fasten it, she says, "That's not very lady-like!"