I’VE begun experiencing the world differently since transitioning to male. Most of it’s great. People aren’t kidding when they talk about male privilege.
Recently while I was out walking, a random guy started hitting on me, which I don’t think has happened since I started looking like a dude. At first I reflexively panicked (oh boy, here comes another assault), but I was actually able to enjoy being flirted with and be pretty sure the guy wasn’t going to try and follow me home or grab me in the street.
I live in the nightclub district, and I’m aware that it’s probably a matter of time before some drunk dickhead decides to punch the tiny obviously gay man. It’s still nothing like the ever-present fear of being attacked as a woman.
After becoming a Mr, I found I started doing rather well with getting interviews when I was looking for work. The sense of having to aggressively defend my competence is gone, which is quite the novelty. And I haven’t once been suggestively asked ‘how much I want the job’ by a male interviewer.
One of my side gigs is phone sex. When I returned to the job after transition, I was immediately given a substantial pay rise for being a guy. The job itself is also much less stressful than it used to be when I took calls as a woman. Guys want to talk about sex respectfully instead of calling me a whore and demanding I scream for them.
Cabbies no longer ask me if I live alone, and I’m now pretty comfortable being driven to my real address instead of around the corner, just in case.
I had a strange conversation with a driver, apropos of nothing, about whether I ‘like Asian women’. (What was that I said about being obviously gay? Perhaps not to everyone.)
Some of the changes I’ve noticed have just been weird. I had my first experience of being not let into a club for no reason. I can live with that, on the balance of things.
It hadn’t occurred to me that people would assume I’m a cis guy. I’m now privy to what people say when they think there’s no trans people around, which ranges from ignorant to vicious.
A guy in a gay club told me a while ago about how trans women deserve to be bashed for tricking straight men. I felt rather threatened, sitting there with my brand new facial hair and my prosthetic dick, and removed myself from the conversation pretty quickly.
I notice customer service people are often nicer to me now. Women in particular seem mortified if they think I might be upset with them, which makes me feel terrible. But I get it. I remember very well being afraid of Angry Man, who can appear at any time.
Recently I was mistaken for a woman, which is rare these days. The older guy my male friend and I were talking to preferred to speak to my friend, and about me instead of to me. I’d all but forgotten what that’s like, and it’s something that I barely noticed as a woman because I had been so used to it.
There are lots of little things I experience now, like always being given the bill at restaurants. Which is ironic because I’m usually broke, but the guy must be paying, right?
The way society treats men and women is so tremendously different. It’s been quite the insight to be able to experience both.