One interesting thing about being trans is that you can become really very adept at reading people. Most people have really quite phenomenal skills (when you think about it) at reading faces, but even so, most things are missed. We’re good at reading faces because it’s a survival instinct. I’ve had this skill since I can remember, but all of my experiences add to these skills. Trans and ‘two-spirit’ people have often fulfilled spiritual roles in societies, and it’s not hard to see why. Being trans does give you the types of experiences that aren’t experienced by most people. Our society is still relatively aggressive toward trans people, so you start to learn how to read threats, but it’s also about reading people’s feelings toward you.
I’ve often joked that if one of my girlfriends wants to know what their boyfriend is really like, then just introduce him me. Guys that treat me with respect – regardless of their opinion of me – are the guys to stick with. Guys that are rude to trans-women, for example, steer *well* clear of them! I often get flashes of surprise, although often it’s other things; confusion, pleasant surprise, disgust and many other things. How a man treats me is often a direct representation of his thoughts about women in general. I’ve met some men that are very aggressive toward me and think me ‘disgusting’, although it’s more about them treating women as sexual objects, rather than people. So, they look at me and think “urgh, I’d not f*ck that”. But again, that’s about them, not about me. Most people are really cool with things, although they seem quite incapable of not letting their guard down for at least a split-second. In that very short time their true intentions or thoughts are evident. It’s only been relatively recently that I’ve noticed I see these things that others miss. But then, I do have a bit of a natural aptitude and also lots of experience every day. Each time I walk down the street I’m looking at people’s body language, probably just because I’m aware that people do react to me in a different way to others.
All of this would almost seem to suggest that I have 6 heads, am bright green and light up at night – but I’m not that remarkable really. Because I’m not that remarkable, people don’t get a huge surprise, but it does take a split second for things to sink in. It’s in that moment that people leak their true feelings. Often it’s laughter, but that’s only because those people have no experiences of someone like me, and this information is being processed somehow. The laughter comes from an unfamiliar situation, much like a joke that sets up a situation and the punchline is the unexpected opposite. Just like at school when children giggle during sex education lessons. It’s not because any of the material is funny, just because it’s unfamiliar and people are embarrassed – mostly because they don’t know it. It makes us laugh because we’re not expecting it – it’s the same with lots of laughs at me. Still, makes it hard to take sometimes – nobody likes being laughed at – but it goes some way to being able to deal with it.
I mentioned before the spiritual roles of trans people in many cultures, and I’ve always felt a spiritual connection to something. Maybe as a way of understanding the world, I’m exploring more my spiritual feelings and it’s a good thing. After all, you’ve got to work with what you have, right?
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Tags: beliefs, expressions, faces, spirituality, transsexual