Halfway through a week’s vacation in San Fran, and travelling trans has turned out to be utterly routine. Either I’m passing, or not noticing when people read me, or both. I do still want to be seen as female...but all I can muster when I’m not is a slight mental shrug, and on we go.
What’s turning out to matter on this trip is mostly family. I’m staying in the guest cottage of an aunt and uncle I’ve only known slightly until now, and I am very much enjoying becoming better acquainted with them, their daughter, and a couple of their grandchildren...preteen cousins whom I met for the first time yesterday. I’m enjoying talking family history with my aunt, my father’s sister. Last night I leafed through her baby book. I find myself fascinated by the women of my family, and I stared hard at pictures of my grandmother as a young woman. She had a hard life and was in some ways a hard woman, but she also had a strong smile and a twinkle and was frankly sexy in a couple of shots...in one picture showing off long muscular legs as she poses in shorts, straddling a bicycle. And my father’s two sisters were both gorgeous young women, and all girl...very feminine.
I have yet to connect with SF’s LGBT culture, but I will tonight; my friend Jamie put me onto an event (and is now insanely jealous that I’m going...sorry girl, I promise to tell you *all* about it) at an LGBT community center in the city, a panel discussion featuring both trans women and cisgendered women talking about femininity and feminism, and featuring a couple of bona fide stars...particularly Julia Serano, trans activist and author, and one of Jamie’s idols. Also, I’ll be taking my cousin out tomorrow for a well-deserved night out (she’s a single mom) to see the play M. Butterfly, the main character of whom is a trans woman. I’m looking forward to dressing for the occasion...I brought my kick-ass pumps, tights, red skirt, and other finery, and I am determined to wear them at least once. Even if it is pouring.
And, I have one other activity planned for this afternoon which may include an interesting gender-facet: I’ve found a chess club in the city where, apparently, you can stop by, pay a fee, and play some pickup games. I have not played face-to-face chess since before I started to transition - only on the internet - and I’ve wondered for a while now how my current gender expression will play in that world. Chess is still a heavily male-dominated sport, and there are still plenty of guys who hate to lose to a woman. How will they feel about playing me? Will they become flustered? Will I win games I would otherwise not have won, as a result? Am I in fact taking unfair advantage of their poor sensitive male egos? Do I care? ;-)