You ever just kind of feel like there is an elephant in the room and that it’s probably you? Living in full time transition, it’s a feeling you tend to get a lot. A whole lot. You can often fool yourself and pretend it’s not there, but then all of a sudden someone refers to you as ‘he’ in a meeting, by accident, and the room grows deathly silent with all eyes focused intently on anything outside your immediate area. Nice, right? Let’s talk about that for a minute.
We’ve kind of skirted around this area before, but now I think it’s time to get the elephant right in the cross-hairs of our double barreled bazooka-joe sized shotgun. I’m now almost 10 months into full time female life, and for the most part, it’s pretty comfortable. Aside from an occasional slip up here and there from a momentarily distracted friend, family member, or colleague, I feel that I’m pretty much blending most of the time. Yes, I do still get called ‘sir’ on the phone frequently, even after identifying myself as Michelle, but I politely correct their mistake, and to date I haven’t gotten any push back on this. Actually it’s kind of fun to listen to their awkward fumbling apologies, especially when they called to sell me on something. Just once I’d love it if they kept it real, “Oh?… Fuck. Yeah, I’m just going to hang up now because we both know there is not a chance in holy hell that you are going to return that pledge envelope to the Whiskey Dick Foundation for the Turgidly Challenged. Buh-bye, um, “ma’am”.”
Again, the vast majority of the time I sit there completely unaware of anything being weird. Suddenly, often for no reason at all, I’m hyper-aware that I’m presenting as female. This shouldn’t even be a thing because I do that full time and all, but out of nowhere I realize that I’m sitting smack dab in the middle of my most frequent nightmare for 30 some years. Rank fear sweat blisters onto my skin, the stinky stuff that no amount of Secret is going to handle. “Shit… they don’t think of me as Michelle at all, do they? I’m just ‘Mike in a dress’ to these people who are too fucking polite to start cracking wise in my direction.” Of course no one says anything, or even seems like they notice that I’ve come down with a full blown case of the heebie-jeebies. At those times, and only those times, I wish the world was just a little less PC and we were back in the 70’s when they would have called me ‘Tinkerbell’ or something and guffawed until I slunk away.
The good news is that this is becoming increasingly rarer and I care less and less what anyone might be secretly thinking. I do still get the sneaking suspicion that they have unkind thoughts, and worse, that they have managed to link them up in some kind of mental chat session I’m not privy to and having a good old time at my expense. By the way, I’m not the only one that has that, right? That when speaking to a group you are not addressing a gathering of individuals, but some kind of conjoined group mind that makes any illusion of one-on-one connection hopelessly impossible? No? That’s just great. Thanks. Be that as it may, I’m now content and hardly worry of this anymore. There are much worse things than elephants.