Not consistent enough!
(Says the woman on the train.)
I meet a woman on the train. We chat about travels and origins. I share about living in Dresden, and notice that my feeling about my city has shifted since I transitioned.
I take a risk and share: how it was easier to live socially pre-transition and how now I often feel unsafe and alienated, when people stare or point at me in the streets.
She asks a few questions, clarifying my gender and status. When she understands that I consider myself a woman, she starts critiquing my appearance:
“Well to me you looked like…
“You could have been an artist, you know, wearing eccentric…”
“You are not consistent enough!”
“Your colors are too dark!”
I am getting more and more angry: A cis-woman, dressed mostly in black, lectures me (the transwoman in the rainbow-color jacket, with the red handbag and the black, high boots) that I ought to change my colors, in order to … well, what?
She never clarifies.
And, even though I try three times, she holds on to advise me on how to pass as female (“and, well, without hormones, you know…”), dismissing that my interest currently is solely with not-being-assaulted and being-treated-with-decency, not with “passing” or being seen as any specific gender. (And I’m doing mighty well with that, thank you. And don’t even get me started about hormones…)
I have learnt to let the cissplainers pass.
She leaves. I make a note on the Medium app. Five more hours to go.