Penny's Story

A cute little drummer living her dream.

Hiding in Plain Sight

I saw a woman earlier today whom I strongly suspected had some sort of trans in her history. She was in front of me in line at the supermarket. I don’t think it’s ever possible to be 100% certain that someone is trans just by looking, watching, and listening, but I really think I’m right in my assessment.

And we passed by each other just like any two other people who don’t know each other.

And I wondered if she recognized that I have a trans history.

And I wondered if I was, in fact, correct (I’m really pretty sure that I was).

And I just thought that was interesting. There’s something inherent about my life that I just float through the world as fairly ordinary woman. And judging by this other woman’s air and demeanor, so does she. I’ve chosen to work actively toward making things better for people who have some sort of trans in their makeup, and that has caused me to be fairly open about my story. But I still just live a generally quiet life.

And in some ways it strikes me that I wish that woman and I could say hello to each other and exchange pleasantries. And in some ways it strikes me that we may very well have nothing in common besides an interesting history. I have drumming in common with lots of people, and I get along with some of them and don’t with some of them. It’s sort of a weird thing to think that I would have anything in common with another woman who happens to have a trans history beyond that shared physical trait. And yet, there does seem to be lots of similarity in the ways that people navigate through the world that gives us at least a connection of shared experience.

It’s weird. I thought I might have more to say about it, but I guess I don’t.

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5 Comments»

  Corrvin wrote @

People forget that it’s not the reality so much as the appearance that gets people picked on and scowled at and worse. If you spotted her as looking transgendered, whether she is or not, I bet she’s faced at least a couple of sideways looks for it.

I always smile at people who look like they might not get as many smiles as everyone else. I don’t like to be nosy, but I try to even the scales.

  Lynn Wilson wrote @

Making small talk in the grocery line: “Did you see the hams for 79 cents a pound?” or something like that works for me.

  pickypenelope wrote @

She was gone too fast. It was a very brief encounter and there was no opportunity for small talk, but yes, this is generally my approach.

  lisalee18wheeler wrote @

It’s interesting that you chose as a title, my all-time favorite phrase to describe myself. Nowadays, I just use “living in plain sight”… 😉

Most of us call it “T-dar” or something like that. A similar game that I’ve played is “Lesbian or German Girl?” I usually get that wrong…

  pickypenelope wrote @

Oh I know Lisalee, and the title of this post was very much a nod in your direction. 😉

The thing is I usually have terrible gaydar and t-dar, to the point that when my ex used to ask if I thought someone was gay I would ask how I could possibly know without seeing them having sex. 😉


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