These days I take a perverse delight in people noticing me. Gone are the days when I used to shrink from scrutiny and avoid eye contact or just walk with my gaze fixed on the ground in front of me. I often travel as a passenger on a train to my depot, depending upon the shift times, and when I walk through a carriage (I’m looking for the buffet car) nearly everyone looks up at me. I wonder, sometimes, what is going through their minds at the moment they see me. Is it the uniform? Are they thinking “Oh crap, where’s my ticket?” in the belief that, because I’m in a uniform,I must be the conductor. Are they thinking “What the f….?”? Or is it “Mmm, she’s nice!”?

I will never know and I don’t care.

Sometimes when I walk into a room or an establishment, the Western Movie Syndrome occurs. You all know what I mean; maybe someone out there has a better title for it.

The gun slinger (me) walks into the saloon through the swinging doors. The piano player stops playing and looks up at the gunslinger and his cigarette falls from his gaping mouth. The gamblers look up from their card games and their expressionless poker faces turn to looks of astonishment. The bartender places his hand on the shotgun under the bar. Every one stops what their doing to look and the room becomes silent for a moment.

What happens next?

Everybody goes back to their business!

I’ve not had the room clear or people dive for cover, or shots fired. Have you? I think I would pee myself from laughing if it did.

People look at people. Because your a tea lady you suddenly become more self concious and more aware of people looking at you. Don’t be! Relax, stay calm and enjoy the freedom. The more uptight you are, the more people will latch on to that agitation and you will make the situation worse. If you feel that you have been ‘made’ or ‘outed’, whichever term you use, don’t worry about it. Be yourself!

Some of our kind strive for the ultimate goal of being able to transition and be accepted as a natural woman, their past is gone and nobody notices. The younger you are, the easier it probably is to do that. Sadly, for most of us, that is not going to be the way it works. My body has got some mileage on it and, despite the restoration work and modifications, some people are gonna notice the filler and respray.

I am a woman, the software installed defines me. I got the wrong hardware at birth. Maybe it’s the other way around. At this time, medical science cannot do anything about the software; but it can go a long way to altering the hardware. Do I need ovaries and a womb? I don’t think so; after all, there are natural born women in the world without such pieces of equipment. Usually, after an illness or something, they have to be removed.

All I want is to be treated with dignity and respect and be refered to as female, with the proper pronouns and so on. Why is that so hard for some people?

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