“Ma’am” fallout

Earlier this week, I blogged about getting my first intentional ma’am from a sandwich maker at the local Subway.  The interesting thing is that I wasn’t trying to “pass” at the time.  If you’re interested, you could read about it on my 360 blog, including a picture of me wearing what I wore into the Subway, I had Teresa take the picture when I got home.  (We live in the same house.)

Anyway, this isn’t about that, it’s about the after-effects of it.  It was a simple thing and I got a big kick out of it, after all I was just on my way to a service call on what was supposed to be my day off.  (I gotta tell the boss that he’s cutting into my “girl” time.)   After I left the Subway, I kept looking in the mirror trying to figure out what she saw that caused her to call me ma’am.  The incident kinda freaked me out after a while, I was thinking “have I changed that much already?”

That was just one of the things going through my mind, I had an emotional surge when it occoured to me that she was looking right at me when she said it, and that I actually could be gendered as female.   That’s always been one of my fears, not being able to pass.  It held me up for a long time, and here I passed without even trying!  Very strange!

It must have hit me pretty deep, because when I was doing my service call at a multiplex cinema and had to go to the bathroom, it was a tough decision to go into the men’s room.   I actually felt like I didn’t belong there.   Now lately, I’ve been wearing a hat so no one sees the lack of hair on the top of my head, it’s not very female.

It seems like it was a defining moment for me, it’s really hard to go back to “guy” mode after that, I’m still struggling with it.  I know that my fears have kept me sitting on the “gender fence” for a while now, it’s really getting to be time to move!   The biggest problem I have with that is that I’m so unprepared, having taken a different path to get here.  I’ve never been a public “cross-dresser”, I started HRT with no “public exposure” experience.  Maybe it’s time to get out of my comfort zone.

How did your first real ma’am affect you?  Did it make you crazy and frustrated like it did me?

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5 Responses

  1. My daddy used to call it “a rude awakening.” A point in life, where it just leaps up and smacks you between the ears, and you have to come with terms with it.

    I certainly did not like it when it happened to me. All my life I was a guy, a dude, hey man, and then one day, this lovely little shapely thing, picks up my sunglasses that I dropped and says to me …. “Sir? You dropped these.” And I was of course devastated, I had reached the point of “Sir” and it just kind of snuck up on me.

    Nice post, you did well.

    Don Smith

  2. Well, I TRIED to post a comment on your 360 page, but you know how that goes.

    Anyway, I think that you are undoubtedly at the beginning of many more “Ma’ams,” and at the end of guy mode. You’ll feel creepy as hell going into men’s restrooms, and you’ll be stuck debating where to go just to pee.

    I found that whatever I’m going to present, I do my best to present as female or male specifically, and I tried to avoid being androgynous just because of the bathroom issue. However, passability has never been easier, and I suspect you won’t have to do much to convince anyone about your gender.

    Another thought: gender cues come from so many factors. Voice, presentation, and behavioral patterns all give off a feminine or masculine cue. Good work. Hope to hear about more of these encounters.

  3. This month is my one-year anniversary for going full time, but I was just about full time except for work for about two year before I transitioned. The first time I got ma’am, was a couple of years ago, however some times it still throws me off, and it is hard to explain the feeling. Like the other day, I was at the deli counter waiting for my turn and I was lost in thought looking at the meats trying to decide what I want to buy this week. The clerk was saying, ma’am, ma’am and all of sudden I realized she was talking to me; it was like “Oh, yeah she’s talking to me.”

  4. I live in an area where it’s usually impossible to tell if someone is just being polite, or if I legitimately pass for them. My secret spies have determined that on at least a couple occasions, I have passed, but most of the time I figure it’s the other way around.

    But I had convinced myself I *couldn’t* pass before I ever set foot on this path. Maybe it was my inherent cynicism, maybe it was a way of mitigating disappointment, or maybe it was because I’m 6’6″ (and not a skinny 6’6″ at that)…whatever the reason, though, I don’t regret it at all.

    Except maybe when it comes to bathrooms…that really is a frustrating issue.

  5. Something I forgot to mention when I wrote this post last night, my mind was wandering between the various things I was trying to express and I forgot to mention this. My last service call yesterday was at a tavern. I got there about 2 PM and the bar opens at 4PM, but the owner was there and let me in. His daughter, who tends bar for her father, was their with her kids. The owner lives in a house behind the tavern, and she was visiting.
    Anyway, as I was working on one of the machines, one of the little kids, probably around 3 or so was watching me work, she finally came up to me and asked me ” are you a boy or a girl?” with that cute little voice that little girls have.
    That was not an easy question for me to answer, but I had to tell her I’m a boy. I’m pretty sure the 3 other adults in the bar heard the question, it’s a small place and she didn’t whisper the question. Also, I was in as close to guy mode as I can get these days. I told myself I wasn’t going to hide the changes as they happen, so certain things are starting to be a bit more obvious. You can’t hide a lack of beard shadow, for instance.
    Of course, that’s now got me thinking about just how I’m going to procede at work with transition. Most of our customers know me now, so it could get real interesting as I lose my “guy-ness”. I’m going to have to be understated at work for a while as I develop and transition, but I’d be wearing the same clothes for work that I do now anyway, I’m not going to mess up good clothes at work.
    Getting ma’amed sure does open up a can of worms, doesn’t it? Or “Sir”ed if you’re going the other direction.

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