RSS

Walking between two worlds

16 Feb

I was talking to one of my closest friends recently, chatting about something and she exclaimed “I’d never thought about it. I guess most people don’t really” so I thought maybe I would write about it.

As I’ve mentioned a few times over the course of this blog, I’m a genderfluid / two-spirit person and I can, and do, present as either gender. For mundane stuff like work, popping down to the shops etc., it is simply easier to present as my birth gender (‘guy mode’). For most social occasions I prefer to present as female (‘girl mode’).

This gives me an interesting opportunity to directly experience how people tend to react to each gender.

I wouldn’t flatter myself as to think I was totally passable as a cis-woman when in girl mode, but I seem to be passable enough that people have no problems with treating me, and interacting with me, as female. And something that I have noticed is that people tend to interact with me completely differently when I am in girl mode to when I am in guy mode.

I mean, people are pleasant enough to me when I’m in guy mode, but I find that when I’m in girl mode people are far more likely to smile at me, or to smile back if I smile first, or to initiate conversation. Overall, people are just generally far more open, friendly and chatty to me when I’m in girl mode.

In a similar way, I have found that women, on the whole, don’t like a guy they don’t know to speak to them. Telling a women who you don’t know that you like her top, skirt, outfit, or whatever is generally treated with suspicion and, in some cases, borderline hostility. However, in girl mode the response is overwhelmingly positive.

I think part of this is social conditioning; there are less social barriers when talking to a woman than to a man. But, also, a woman feels more vulnerable and distrustful when talking to a stranger who is a man than to one who is female so perhaps there is an element of this too. And, of course, there is the small matter that the majority of people are heterosexual – the suspicion being that a guy talking to a woman could have the ulterior motive of trying to chat her up, whilst a woman talking to a woman is taken more at face value.
Of course, this is all very contextual. Under some circumstances it is far more acceptable than others. And, as an aside, writing this blog post has made me far more aware of this and I will be much more mindful whether or not to start a conversation with a woman when in guy mode in future.

None of these observations are by any means a scientific experiment and, obviously, I don’t have a ‘scientific control‘ for each situation that I find myself in. Also, maybe I just appear nicer and more approachable when in girl mode than guy mode, which would of course skew the results. Certainly I feel more open, confident, and chatty in girl mode, so perhaps it really is as much down to me as to other people.

All of this post has been to do with interacting with people I don’t know. Obviously with friends and acquaintances it is far different and more complex, and probably not something you could make an observation on.

Anyway, I just thought this was worth sharing.

Advertisements
 
7 Comments

Posted by on February 16, 2016 in Opinion, Transgender

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

7 responses to “Walking between two worlds

  1. Rebecca Dean

    February 21, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    Interesting point Jo. It also says a lot about today world, where women are suspicious of strange men approaching them, and starting a conversation with them.
    A question for you- do you think you become more ‘chatty’ in girl mode? By that I mean do you think you are more likely to start a conversation, with a total stranger, when you are in girl mode?

    Like

     
    • hayllamas

      February 22, 2016 at 7:34 pm

      Yes, I think I do become more open and chatty in girl mode, Rebecca.

      Like

       
      • Rebecca Dean

        February 22, 2016 at 7:57 pm

        That reply didn’t really surprise me at all Jo, it’s exactly what I thought you would say. But is it a sub conscious thing- do you automatically switch to girl mode and become chatty? Or is it something that you know you are doing, and in a way, do it to blend in?
        As someone who doesn’t venture out en femme, it would be interesting to hear/read your thoughts.
        Rebecca.

        Like

         
        • hayllamas

          February 22, 2016 at 8:16 pm

          Oh, I just feel more comfortable and chatty in girl mode. It just feels more natural talking to people like that. 🙂

          Like

           
  2. Rebecca Dean

    February 22, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    Thankyou.

    I have just read your blog entry about your venture to meet your friend at New Year. And I noticed you prefer to be called Joanne rather than Jo,
    So, my apologies Joanna.

    Rebecca

    Like

     
    • Rebecca Dean

      February 22, 2016 at 8:21 pm

      Damned phone…. Gggrrrrrr……

      Apologies again Joanne

      Like

       
    • hayllamas

      February 22, 2016 at 8:21 pm

      Oh that’s ok – I don’t mind being called Jo but I was just musing that perhaps I wouldn’t introduce myself to someone as that in future due to that comment I received. 😀

      Like

       

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: