Public property

No, no, no!  Despite much teasing, i am NOT going over to the other side (aka “turning feminist” – which is what some trans are alleged to have done).  On the other hand, already, i cannot help but notice a few differences about how i am perceived.

Take my body.  Suddenly it is public property in ways that it never was when i was plain straight-laced boring male.  Various friends have commented, most helpfully, a few rudely, on how i might choose to redesign my looks.

“Project jane” does not belong to me alone.  My hair: colour, length, style.  The colours that will suit me best when it comes to clothes.  And yes (you know who you are): the fascination with future bust size.

i mind none of this.  i’ve blushed slightly over some of the ruder stuff.  otherwise, it is just difference…and so far, a pleasant one.

Interesting also that it is all coming from female friends.  In part, because i am out to so few males: in part, because i suspect no male of my acquaintance (well…apart from one) would either have the aesthetic interest or the gall to venture into some areas.



9 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Wonderer said,

    Our appearance; the way we look and are seen; the way we present ourselves ito public view … all belong in that strange hinterland which is neither wholly public nor wholly private. Some comments are acceptable; appreciated even. Some are downright rude, intrusive; insulting even. And sometimes it’s not just comments, but glances, looks, gazes, stares, ogling, leching, or something a previous generation of feminism used to call “mental undressing”. And – rightly or wrongly – some ways of presenting ourselves attract more attention and different types of attention than others. And there’s always the ambiguous question about who we’re dressing for; who is our target audience if any? If I’m on the bus on the way to the theatre, I’m probably dressed for the theatre rather than the bus. If a woman chooses to dress in a sexually provicative way, it may be for the benefit of an indicidual, or it may be to attract a certain level of general attention and admiration. It may be “pulling gear”. It’s hard for the observer to interpret the signals; to kow what kind of dialogue if any is appropriate, respectful. Even well intentioned and non-hormonally charged compliments can be misinterpreted.

    I’m a male who dresses in typical male ways, but I’ve noticed if I get on a bus wearing an overcoat and a black Fedora, long black umbrella and dress shoes, I get different looks and a diffen t sort of attention than if I’m in jeans and sweat shirt.

    I do hope you don’t mind my musings here, prompted by your blog!

    • 2

      janefae said,

      Hmmmm. i agree with what you say…although my own focus was on something slightly different.

      you are picking up on how people are viewed according to how they look. one thing i was being warned of today was that once the transition process is more underway, i may find my status slipping ever so slightly…being treated differently simply because i am no longer perceived as male.

      An interesting topic and one that i would like to write about if/when it happens.

      but the original post was more to do with the conversations that go on and how one is seen by friends and others. not the impression given out, so much as what conversations are permissible/common.

      i think i might occasionally as a bloke have had people comment on the colour of my eyes and therfore whether a particular shirt might/might not suit. already, as someone in transition, i am having conversations that relate to every aspect of my physical being.

      some of that, of course, is about finding identity. after all, if you haven’t done it before, you have to start somehwere. but there also seems to be a focus that just isn’t there if you are resolutely male: how you look IS a matter for public debate…not in a detracting sort of way, but just as some everyday, commonplace sort of thing to do.

  2. 3

    Wonderer said,

    Ah yes. My comments were prompted mainly by the first “not a feminist” section. But you’re at the moment more concerned not with men (strangers) ogling but with women friends wanting to help shape the new Jane; to be your fashion guru. What an interesting observation then. (I know I wouldn’t dream of commenting, but then I’m a bloke … of a rather conventional sort).

    I guess many folk don’t quite know how to respond to someone in your situation. Perhaps some women friends have a touch of envy about being able to create a completely new style of personal presentation; much more than a makeover. Perhaps they feel they have useful experience to offer. Perhaps this is normal discourse in female-world, whether talking to born-females, transitioners or transitioned. (I do apologise if my terminology isn’t correct; intended respectfully and courteously.)

    Ultimately, the level of liberties people take in talking about matters which are personal to you depends partly on how open you are in discussing the subject, and partly on how cheeky / intrusive they are. Though perhaps those of us who aren’t familiar with your situation may be a bit clumsy in understanding and observing implicit boundaries and protocols.

    I can imagine who’s interested in your future boobage 😀

    All best wishes for your process of becoming.


    • 4

      janefae said,

      “Boobage”? Ick! I thought “tittage” was bad enough – as uttered by one person with an interest in the matter in hand…so to speak.

      And yes, as if you hadn’t guessed already: one of the prime movers of that particular debate is a certain young woman very well known to both of us.

      When lack of decorum is called for, she surpasses.

      Otherwise, please don’t apologise so. This is all new to me: new to her too. I have no idea what is “correct” behaviour now and doubteven Debrett’s guide to etiquette will prove much help.

      Even Jeeves (the original…not the internet imposter) would most likely have been stumped by a Woosterish inquiry on the right loo to make use of AFTER the hormones, but before the final cut.

      So when it comes to conversational topics, just assume i am totally at sea.

  3. 5

    Wonderer said,

    He he he

    Do you think there’s a bit of a blokey side in her coming to the fore? 😉 Taking to her bed with man flu, not finding a more tactful way to avoid the “prettiness” question, thinking it’s not necessary to *tell* you how nice your smooth legs and feminine knickers are. Things that go without saying for a chap sometimes need saying for a woman. Or not. I’m probably stereotyping now.

    But occasional blokish tendencies or not she’s an absolute gem, as I’m sure you know.

  4. 6

    janefae said,

    I think those last two pars may just have earned you a serious chastisement. Or maybe not///if she thought such a thing would be TOO enjoyable for you.


    • 7

      Wonderer said,

      I was just coming back to add that I hope she gets better soon.

      I expect she’s far too busy with family matters to get involved in chastising, whether fun or not.

      Maybe “bust” would have been a better word than “boobage”.

      Best wishes to both.


  5. 8

    debz furneaux said,

    on loo usage< if you are dressed as a woman i suggest u use the ladies, walking fully' dressed' into a male convenience would not be a pleasant experience i suspect – and most girls are much more tolerant of 'cross dressing' males – than the xy contingent of humanity. if you are dressed as a man, use a cubicle in the gents. best i can do with my knowledge of gay/tv/ts ettiquette

  6. 9

    Dennis said,

    yes.. general way of thing is – if you’re presenting girl use the ladies. safer.

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