As folks have gathered I am having some fairly intense weekly electrolysis sessions.
The spa I go to is fairly small but always busy and has been around for years. I am always presenting as myself when I attend (this time around), but have naturally assumed that the ladies working there know that I am trans, partly because the sessions are covered by the NHS and partly because I am self conscious about my facial hair which for me is still very visible even around the mask, and because of my voice, which I have dialled back a bit, but still feel like it lets me down. The staff all call me DeeDee and use she/her when talking about me – they are pros after all.
This week I arrived to a busy waiting area while all the staff were busy, I stood until someone offered me a safe socially distanced seat on the wall side of the sofa which I accepted and then just started reading the book I take to keep me occupied in the waiting time prior to having the numbing cream applied and the session starting.
When a staff member finished with a client they came out and dealt with the other clients before telling me that my therapist would be with me shortly. As usual she offered me a drink of tea or coffee and I asked for coffee, again I was asked if I took mine with milk and sugar and I replied just milk thanks. She then showed me into the room and I started reading while she went back to work. About 5 minutes late she came back in with my cup of coffee and asked if I was the mum of a child that went to one of the local schools because she has the same last name as me. I smiled and said no, and then she looked and I could see in her eyes that she clocked the beard covered in cream and knew that she had asked me an impossible question. We then talked briefly about the weather, as you do, and she went back out to deal with her clients.
For a period of time I must have 100% passed, and I’m delighted. As a casual conversation piece goes it is a stretch to assume someone would ask a “mum” question like that to a transwoman, they might and they could, but somehow mum is still mostly reserved in society for bio mums. My daughter is the only one who has asked if I would mind if they called me mum when I am dressed as Dee. Everyone else seems hung up on what name the kids will have to use instead of Dad, and I know from the other week that I am still uncle to some of my friends children lol.
To make things better after my appointment I went and collected my son and he wanted to come back into town to get a takeaway before our 3 hr drive home that night. I did a quick shave – it is painful, but removes the worst of the stragglers that couldn’t get pulled in the session as I let my whole face grow out each week and having no visible neck beard makes me less self conscious. I am already starting to notice a marked difference in how smooth my face feels when I apply my cooling/aloe gel onto it and I like it.
My son was perfectly comfortable being out and about with me, and talking to me in public, and his social anxiety when we got to McDonalds (yep I know, but it was his choice – he as desperate to try the double big mac) was due to the usual noise and people overload as a group of teens were hanging around the entrance. We went in, ordered, waited and got our food and there were no funny looks, no comments or sniggering and no qualms as he chatted to me to occupy his mind.
So with my brown calf boots clip clopping on the floor, my big wooly mustard yellow jumper, my green birthday autumn scarf, my handbag, my walk and my voice – must all have been on point for a change.
As someone who wants to just go out and be herself without stressing out or making a big statement all the time, it is a lot easier to relax and be natural when you have the little proofs that everyone around you accepts you as natural. Passing shouldn’t matter, and in an ideal world it wouldn’t, but it does.
All in all it was an excellent day.