This afternoon, I made a short trip to a large shopping mall to get a little Christmas shopping done. Armed with my parcels, I thought I would take a break and enjoy a latte at Starbuck's. In front of me in the line was a tall, very attractive person whom I took to be a woman. I had to keep my head from jerking to look when I heard the voice.
It was a man, dressed as a woman, made up as a woman, very obviously a man who thought he was a woman. And no, I was not mistaken. A closer look showed that there was a very faint five o'clock shadow under the chin that even the carefully-applied foundation could not hide. And, for me, a quick look at the hands is the final evidence. Men cannot hide the fact that they have male hands, even when the manicure is very good as this one was.
This person was beautiful. The facial structure was very good and he had become an expert in applying makeup. His eyebrows were beautifully shaped, eye makeup applied tastefully, naturally curly hair swept up into a high bun, everything looked so feminine. Except for the voice and the hands which were a dead give-away.
I wanted to ask him at what age he had been abused. So many people who are confused about gender will reveal that they were sexually abused by an adult in their early formative years and that is so obviously the root of their adult confusion about their gender. I felt incredibly sad that this person was spending so much of his life centred on the issue of gender.
There is so much of life that one just has to get on with. To be burdened by the confusion of what gender one is and to carry on the work necessary to present a gender other than the one nature gave one is so time-consuming. It must leach one`s energy to the point of exhaustion. I can`t imagine trying to live my life, with the constant concern about what gender I am and presenting an image to the public that is opposite to the one I was born with.
I don`t know how many people are carrying this burden. After today, I am beginning to think there are way more than I had thought. For whatever reason these people are burdened with this cross, whether they have had psychological damage from an abusive childhood, or whether they have freely embraced this changed-gender persona, doesn`t really matter. They are walking around with a ball and chain and our society, in the name of tolerance, is telling them this is freedom.