I work in downtown Chicago. As with any urban downtown area, you tend to run into or see the same familiar faces time and time again. You may not know these people, but as each of you head to your designated trains or buses, you pass them either to or from work. There is this one woman in particular who I see in the evenings when I am headed home. I walk eastbound and she west. I have seen her for a few years now, and each time I pass her, she gives me this "don't look at me peasant!" look. Which makes me want to smile and be friendly with her even more.
She is tall, about 6'1" without heels (she only wears slipper-like mules or kitten-heeled sandals) and very thin. Her hair is a throwback to the 40s "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" singers. It is died black and has never changed since I first started seeing her. She always wears makeup and her clothes seem to hail heavily from the late 90s to the early 2000s. Not quite old, but definitely past the label of new and "on-trend".
I noticed something was "different" about her the very first time I saw her. Which may be the reason she gives me the shit face. I may have stared at her a beat to long. Here's the thing, I think this "woman" is(was) a man. She is just a tad bit too feminine. Only ladies will understand me when I say this, but as a natural born woman, I have been handling this body for 33 years now. I am often told how lady-like I am, I have been complemented on my walk, my unassuming sexiness and even been called "prissy" from time to time. Which always tickles me, because I know the clutz within. I do not try to be these things, they just come with the territory.
I know the feeling of carrying around two oranges tightly held down by a bra that I euphorically remove almost immediately when I hit my front door. I have felt nature's little fanny pack bounce up and down making difficult my jogging efforts. I bleed once a month and deal with the cramps from passing blood clots (yes, that happens) or the mood swings that make me want to "laugh-cry" throughout the day. I know that creepy feeling you get when you walk past one or multiple guys whose eyes you can feel slowly assessing your assets. Yes, womanhood is a beautiful thing and I can understand why someone would see the positives (i.e. fabulous clothing options, hair, makeup, freedom to be playful and girly) and want this life. But it ain't all it's cracked up to be. There is a lot that goes with it.
So when I say she is a bit too feminine, it's because her stance and walk and demeanor is so sharp that it looks rehearsed. Like she has seen Mahogany one too many times, studying Diana's every move and nuances. I commend her either way for upholding the external virtues of being a lady. I support her as my sister, no matter what genitalia she was originally gifted. But in seeing her, it reminds me of how little (still) is known about this womaness life and journey. How the outer shell does not fully complete the sentence: I am woman...