Do you have T-Dar?
I do and if you are reading this blog, you probably have T-Dar, too.
T-Dar, short for trans-radar, is the ability to detect a trans-person when they are presenting in their non-birth gender. For example, you see a tall woman walking through the mall. Suddenly, your T-Dar kicks in and you begin looking for clues that the woman is actually a natal male presenting as a female.
No matter how good you think your T-Dar may be, you seldom have an opportunity to determine whether your T-Dar works correctly or not.
You can confront a suspected trans-person, but that can be disastrous, especially if you are wrong. Recently, I read about a trans-woman who encountered two tall women while shopping. Her T-Dar told her that the two women were trans and she confronted them by introducing herself as trans and saying something to the effect, "You're trans, too, aren't you?"
The two women reacted as if the trans-woman had just gotten off a spaceship from Uranus. They had no idea what she was talking about and when it became apparent to the trans-woman that she had erred, she wished that she was on Uranus.
And even if your T-Dar is correct confronting a suspected trans-person can be a sensitive matter.
Last time I attended First Event, I arrived at the hotel in boy mode and took the elevator to the floor where I could register for the event. The elevator stopped before reaching my destination and a trans-woman got on. I was 101% positive that she was trans and without thinking, I asked her if she was enjoying First Event.
She was taken aback by my query and seemed very uncomfortable. I immediately realized the error of my ways and explained to her that I was trans too, but having just arrived at the hotel, had not changed into girl mode yet. She seemed a little relieved, but I learned a lesson and would think twice before doing that again.
So it is probably best that using your T-Dar be a solitary thing. Keep your T-Dar findings to yourself unless, of course, you write a trans-blog, then you can publicize your T-Dar results. ("Yesterday, I saw a trans-woman in ladies' shoes at Macy's.")
I believe that most trans-people have T-Dar. It almost comes naturally because trans-people look for affirmation that there are other trans-people out there. What better way to affirm that then to actually see another trans-person in person? Seeking that affirmation, trans-people check out potential suspects wherever they go.
Even when my T-Dar determines that the six-foot woman walking through the mall is, in fact, a genetic female, it provides a different kind of affirmation. It affirms that there are genuine tall women out there and as a six-foot-plus trans-woman, it gives me encouragement to go out en femme and join the other tall women out there because I am not alone.