OK, the testosterone is working miracles. After nearly 12 weeks on T, I’m read as male 95% of the time, even when I have to talk. My voice is still very ambiguous but, combined with a masculine looking face, strapped breasts and male clothing, it’s gotten deep enough on most days for people to read me as male. Most strangers that I interact with (cashiers, etc) call me “sir” or “monsieur”. Kids that meet my son at the park point over at me and say “That’s your dad.”
Now, I spent the day at the LGBT community fair and was taken for a woman 5 times!!!! I spoke to some trans folks I know about this and a few of them mentioned that it’s their experience as well. For some reason, we aren’t read the way we present in LGB(T?) environments. WTF?!? Am I not masculine enough to look like a queer guy? It was frustrating, but I gently corrected them and took the opportunity to inform a few new people of what a transmale is instead of getting angry. Most people were interested in learning about it so I guess, in the end, that’s a positive sign.
At the same time, there is a part of me that thinks it’s cool that we’ve come far enough that a woman can go so far into what has long been seen as masculine territory and still be considered a woman. It makes me happy that the world is safer for butches and other masculine but female-identified folks than it was during, say, the 1960s.