I have nothing against head-turning.

OK: i don’t attract it on account of my blonde, buxom beautifulness. More, its a thing of disjunct: i stand out from the crowd, not necessarily because i am trans, but simply because my appearance is not standard.

I am tall. Almost willowy. There is the ambiguity that screams out from all my gender markers. I am going to attract attention in much the same way as anyone, short, tall, fat, thin, bald or hirsute is going to attract attention.

Because i am momentarily surprising. People glance at me. I don’t see that as rude: its pretty much instinctive; a quick checking-out and then, at times, there is the follow-up gaze, when you think i’m not noticing, but actually i am.

This all seems to fall within pretty normal social convention.

What does not is the stare i got this morning from a young man at Charing Cross. He walked past me and clearly something in my appearance caught his eye…so as he walked past, he swivelled and, not some swift checking-up-and-down and on, but full-on eyes-roving-over-body for a couple of seconds.

That was unpleasant, i thought. And then, a couple of yards past me, he turned and did it again, only longer.

Huh? That is so seriously rude. I get that i must have spooked him: shaken his monday morning certainties. But i am not a freak: not here as public service or entertainment.

All too quick, sadly. Another second, and he’d have got an earful. I do not appreciate being “appreciated” like that.

The only question i have, i guess, is: what on earth goes through the minds of these increasingly rare, rude idiots?

If anything at all.



11 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    katrina2 said,

    I have a pretty good reason as to why, thou’ you may not like it, and disagree. Every local, shopkeepers, publicans, know of cx reputatation, for grs, it follows, they see thousands of ts people of all shapes and sizes,the good, the bad, and the ugly, they tend not to judge us, in the moral sense, only in/on what they see. I was aqaintant with shopkeepers etc, some told stories, of girls dressing in cars, before going into the gic, and some less than savory tales! Which leads me to say, yes you may well be asked, by some scally or older male, are you free! Too which, I have replied, thankyou for your offer, but I am celabet, and do not indulge in such practice, this then develops to the hows and whys, I leave them, with a much more informed mind as to who a ts is.

    • 2

      janefae said,

      Oh. Not wishing to contradict…but probably not, as this was Charing Cross station – not the GIC.

      As a matter of interest, does anyone know why the hospital is Charing Cross, given it is miles from Charing Cross proper?


      • 3

        Sabine said,

        Founded in 1823 as the West London Infirmary, and was originally located in Villiers Street, near Charing Cross in the heart of the metropolis. The institution had its origins in a meeting initiated by Dr Benjamin Golding in 1818. The infirmary provided accommodation for twelve beds, and became known as Charing Cross Hospital in 1827. A new building was opened in Agar Street in 1834 with accommodation for twenty-two medical students, and was extended several times. After the second World War it was decided that the hospital should move out of central London, and in 1957 a link was proposed with Fulham and West London Hospitals. The new Charing Cross Hospital was opened in 1973 on Fulham Palace Road, on the site of the old Fulham Hospital. Despite the move, it has retained the Charing Cross name.

        (Source: Wikipedia)

        Honestly, Jane – if you want to pass as female you have to do things yourself, not sit around whining until some woman does it for you.

        As to the: huh – what’s that look? Yes, can’t avoid it. I saw a 50ish bald male physique with garish pink lipstick at the store the other day. The kind of colour you expect on a 10 year old trying makeup for the first time and buying the cheapest brand she could find.

        The situation was properly solved by a mutual smile and nod.

  2. 4

    Shirley Anne said,

    It appears to me Jane that you were simply clocked but I think you already know that. Unfortunately there is nothing you can do about someone giving you the once-over or even the thrice-over when and if you stand out like a sore thumb. You have every right to present as you see fit but you then have to accept that people will notice. ‘Passing’ or blending in with the crowd demands a certain level of conformity don’t you agree? So does dressing to suit the occasion. So unless you don’t mind being ‘watched’ you’ll have to take control of things.

    Shirley Anne xxx

    • 5

      janefae said,

      er, no. That wasn’t the point.

      I am well aware that i do not pass 100% of the time. I was simply observing that when one doesn’t pass, there is a way to “clock” someone, and a way not to do same. Much as there is for observing any individual who presents in a slightly out of the ordinary fashion.

      I don’t object to passers-by noting that i am not as other women, a quick swivel to confirm that, and then on with our respective business. I wrote this one up for the simple reason that in this instance, this guy’s behaviour went well beyond the behaviour that i am used to and, yes, boiled down to nothing more nor less than two lengthy, intrusive slightly intimidating stares.


    • 8

      eclectic chicken said,

      no…. she shouldn’t have to ‘take control of things’…. she should be able to walk down the street and not be stared at to a level that counts as rude…as should anyone… for whatever reason they ‘stand out’ from the norm.

      One of my proud parental moments (and this was before his Daddy started transitioning) was our son spotting a local busker in the train station… now this busker is of restricted growth and has no legs… he plays the harmonica pretty well. The first time we chanced accross him in the street small boy then about 4 said what any four year old would ‘look at that funny man, why has he no legs’…there followed a discussion about people coming in all different shapes and sizes.

      Anyway… small boy tugged at my arm in the trainstation ‘mummy, mummy…look its that man….’ (he was right in front of us in the ticket queue)
      cue me inwardly cringing waiting for what the small boy would say next.
      “it’s the man who plays the harmonica in town”

      See what happened there… a four year old took into account the fact that the mans skills were more noteworthy than the physical ‘differences’ and understood that commenting on those differences would be hurtful.

      It’s not rocket sceince to understand rudeness is erm…rude and perhaps one of the reasons he’s coped fairly well with his dad’s transition.
      I actually find it quite sad that you buy into a world view where someone has to look ‘normal’ not to get stared at excessively.

      As jane said…. a head turn, a double take….understandable. But rudeness is just rudeness.

      And your assumption that the rudeness was understandable becuase of your own preceptions of conformity had been breached is fairly rude in itself.

  3. 9

    Liz Church said,

    “Wot you starin’ at, son? Never seen an axe-murderer before?”

    Do this in you best Lemmy-voice and watch them waft away on the breeze 🙂

  4. 10

    Shirley Anne said,

    Eclectric chicken, you cannot change human nature. People will still stare and unless you want to argue or end up squabbling then you just have to get on with it. I’ve had my share of similar incidences and yes, I have been really annoyed at people doing the same thing so I do fully understand. The question is do we really have to make an issue over evryone that looks at us? The only time it becomes a problem is if we notice someone doing it but then ask yourself this question why are we looking back to see? This would infer that we are lacking self confidence if we are constantly checking up on the behaviour of others. I think Jane should have simply smiled at the person and then turned away or even walked away. Being aggressive isn’t the answer. We unfortunately do not live in utopia and it will be many years before that prospect becomes a reality.

    Shirley Anne xxx

  5. 11

    kerri ( Australia) said,

    you should have said with a smile…sorry but have I got something on of yours…..:)

    that would have got rid of him in a flash….lol

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