Thursday, July 18, 2013

Becoming Transgender Handy

Last night I went to the "movin' picture show" to escape my part of the country's turn to experience "hell on earth" temperatures.

I was a good citizen and paid for my ticket and headed to the concession stand to help the theatre pay for their air conditioning. As the teen aged girl put together my massive order of a buttered popcorn and a Coke I noticed how incredibly delicate she was. I mean over the top delicate. Her movements and the current incarnation of The Great Gatsby movie I watched started my thought process into the entire dynamic of hands and the transgender woman.

Early as I started to explore the feminine side of the world as a cross dresser,  I viewed my hands as a huge barrier to presenting as a woman.  There was the pesky problem of hair on my knuckles, nail care and the size of my paws. Just what was a trans girl to do?

Ironically, the hair problem was easy. At that time I worked in a very busy broiler driven restaurant. If you are ever around a really good broiler cook, they judge the doneness of their steaks by touch. They naturally burn the hair off their hands. So when I was looking for a new cook and he said he could broil, I would look for hair on his hands. if he had any-he wasn't that good. On occasion I had to get in the way and help on the broiler, so I had the easy answer for hairless hands.

My nails were easy too.  The temporary "stick on" nail products did a great job. If there was a problem, the wrong kind of nail drew extra attention to my hands. Later I began to learn the basics of nail length, shape and color. Many flatter, just as many don't.

Most importantly, my hands weren't huge. All of the sudden the problems I experienced in football or basketball due to "small hands" began to benefit. In no way do I have dainty hands but I'm told I have proportional hands. Who knows, maybe it's just another passive aggressive compliment but one way or another I had to move on with what I had.

The biggest problem I faced was nothing I just mentioned.  I was faced with the "operational" issue of talking with my hands. Again, a couple of hurdles to clear. The first of course was if  I talked with my hands, people would notice them and two I was completely unprepared to do it. The whole process very much falls into the feminine way of doing business. When men do it, the process is very directional or even violent. I don't like you so Boom! here is my fist communicating with your face.

My answer was to compromise.  At the time I was already being indoctrinated into the feminine non verbal communication world which included a series of taps or touches for effect on occasions.  I learned to try to keep my hands close to my body to gesture or touch and to not use my hands as paws to grab something. I didn't have to go over the top like the concession girl but I did want to gently find something in the black hole known as my purse.

Becoming transgender handy is never an easy process.   As with anything else in the transgender process though, almost anything is possible if you handle it right.

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