Friday, April 27, 2012


Wednesday's post about participating in a transgender Q and A session with college students in two human sexuality classes raised some questions from my friend Meg of Call Me Meg fame.


Meg asked: Are you really surprised when you get Ma'am'd?

Being called "Ma'am" does not surprise me. It did pleasantly surprise me the first few times, but now I expect it and yet it is always nice to hear in an affirming way. (Even better is being Miss'd; the guy selling pizza at the student center on Tuesday called me "Miss" ...taht brought a smile to my face.)

Being called "Ma'am" or "Miss" can be taken a few ways:

- I passed as a woman.

- The person who called me "Ma'am" or "Miss" did not look close enough to figure out that I was not a genetic woman.

- The person who called me "Ma'am" or "Miss" figured me out, but was trying to sell me something, so they wanted to stay in my good graces by addressing me as feminine rather than masculine.

- The person who called me "Ma'am" or "Miss" figured me out, but respected my gender presentation and addressed me as feminine rather than masculine.

A funny story: When I went to work in office girl drag on Halloween a few years ago, shortly after getting to the office, my pantyhose began running like crazy! I don't know if they were defective or I was careless, but by 10 AM, I had three runs that were getting bigger by the minute. I wanted to look my best for the costume contest, so I left the building for a few minutes and drove to a nearby CVS to buy a new pair.

I parked the car and walked into CVS passing a handful of people who paid me no mind. I entered the store and to avoid causing a commotion, I went to the first salesgirl I saw and explained that I ran the pantyhose of my Halloween costume and needed a new pair.

"Hosiery is in aisle eight, Ma'am," she replied, unfazed by my Halloween costume hint.

I guess I was not going to cause a commotion, so I went to aisle eight, picked out a pair, then I went to the register where the same salesgirl rang me up without a clue.

Now, here is the amazing part. I never used a femme voice. I spoke in my normal male voice, which is admittedly soft-spoken, but definitely male. Go figure!


Meg asked: When you're out, has anyone used the wrong pronoun or the wrong salutation? I mean ever? And I bet that's something your fans in general would like to know. It's a great confidence-builder to know that the world is more accepting than we think.

I can honestly say to the best of my failing memory that I have never been wrong pronouned unless it was in a situation where the person using the wrong pronoun knew I was trans and did not know how I preferred to be addressed.

For example, in the classroom, the students know we are trans and sometimes address us with the wrong pronoun. Often they ask how we want to be addressed and they try hard to follow our wishes once they learn what we prefer.

Another example: Over 10 years ago, I was attending a trans convention (First Event in Waltham, Mass.) and I checked into the hotel dressed en femme, yet the woman at the front desk addressed me as "Sir." It irked me at the time, but in retrospect, she probably did not know any better.

Unless someone knows you are trans and not aware of the proper etiquette, the average person is not going to take a chance and offend you by addressing incorrectly if they are not sure of your gender. They will err to the side of caution. If you present as a woman, they will usually treat you as a woman. On the other hand, if you present as a man in a dress, all bets are off. 


Meg asked: You used to say you "crossdressed." What do you tell the students now? Do you tell them you'd go 24/7 if circumstances allowed? Or that you'd transition if you could?

When I started participating in outreach, I said I was a "plain vanilla crossdresser" ...whatever that means.

If my memory serves me correctly, from the start I also always said I would live as a woman 24/7 if I could, which kind of contradicts my "plain vanilla crossdresser" self-identification.

For a few years now, I have been saying that I am transgender and "probably transsexual."

Regarding transition, I say I would skip the surgery (why mess with my 61-year-old body now?), maybe do hormones, and definitely get permanently depilitated.


Any more questions? 


  1. On a recent outing with my GG friend P we got called "Girls" now that was affirming

  2. No more questions, your honour.

    I have met other t's who considered surgery but decided "not at my age." That, I think, makes sense. I would "get permanently depilitated" as you said, but I'm more likely to just be dilapidated.

  3. It took a long time to narrow down exactly how I identify myself. Tgender, tsexual, cdresser, tvestite ???? Whats a girl to do. Once I arrived at "androgyne" , what a relief. I don't have to change a thing. No hormones, no srs. I am what I am, how I am. No adjustments needed. I do feel more fem some days than others and how I dress always follows to suit me. So nice to be comfortable in my own skin. Of course it took me 50 years to figure this out. I hate drugs and doctors anyway. So I think I will just kick back, have another glass of red and look at the Macys sale add. Can never have enough pretty underwear.

  4. I think the Halloween episode can be discounted somewhat as it WAS on Halloween, so the clerk may have just been going along with the fun...

  5. Stana I just wanted to say thank you for this blog. I read it on a regular basis and it does give me comfort. I am having a difficult time right now and this blog makes me smile most days. I love that you are living the life that you wnat.

  6. Excellent post.
    I now make the request that Meg answer the same questions that she posed to you over on her blog.