You have probably realised by now, and I have mentioned it a couple of times, I am a people watcher. I love watching people go about their business and living theirs lives and probably none of the people I have observed have even realised that I have noticed them or pondered about their lives as our paths have crossed.
I do it all the time, watching and listening. I can't help it. I find people interesting. Over the years if we have gone out for dinner anywhere Lucy always makes me face the wall or not face out to the main area of a restaurant to stop me doing it otherwise I am there, watching and listening. In all honesty as a general thing there are some face to face, telephone conversations etc that should not have been carried out in such a public place; the girl being accused of cheating, the chaps talking about confidential work information, the person writing performance reviews about individuals, the court papers being read, the personal finance information being discussed but to mention a few.
I work in central London and have a long train journey in as well as a 15 minute tube ride. I pass through 2 main London stations every morning and evening. During the course of my daily work journeys I must pass thousands of people. The people on my train, the people sat on other trains as they pass by, the people crowding to get through ticket barriers, walking through the station concourse and underpasses and of course on the escalators. These are a great place to watch people as they pass by you on the opposite escalator with me observing them as we pass by each other. I have done this particular journey for nearly 7 years.
I love looking at what they are wearing, how they are standing or sitting, what shoes they are wearing, their hair styles, jewellery, hands, nails, how they are interacting with people around them and of course their faces. I look at them and try to guess who they are, where they are going and what their life may be like.
Allowing for the fact that I am an avid people watcher but also have a high interest and participation in the trans community, obviously, (and please don't take this as a trans-phobic comment as there is no way I am trans-phobic however this is my blog and I'm being open and honest) I am also looking to see if there are trans people, presenting openly trans or those in stealth mode. I have a vested interest as I am looking to see how Lucy would fit into the general lives of CIS people when she is full time. Remember we both spotted the trans lady in M&S a few weeks ago.
I'm looking out for those who are living full time and seeing if I can spot anyone in stealth as well as those who may be part-time or those that only dress casually; the chap who is clean shaven, with short hair, nice eyebrows and long finger nails; the chap that is fresh faced but with a beard; the older lady with more masculine features (could be due to menopause and the higher level of testosterone) to name but a few. It is so easy sometimes to look at people and make judgements about them. Sometimes you see other people look at a person and you can tell by the way they look them up and down and based on the way the judged person is presenting you can almost hear their minds ticking over; 'he's gay', 'she's a lesbian', 'is that a boy or girl?' and 'weirdo'. By the same token you can see some of these judged people walking or talking in a certain way as they want to be noticed as well as those that are just getting on with it or those that are trying to avoid being noticed.
I don't know what the trans population statistics are for the UK (it would be very wide and diverse as would have to account for pre-op, post-op, transitioning and those that can't or dont want to transition and those that still are in denial so I suspect any figures will be rough guide and not very accurate) although according to GIRES it is very low as a percentage of the population. However I would still have expected to have encountered quite a few trans people or gender non conforming over the years.
In truth I have only ever noted a handful of people of all these hundreds of thousands of people I have passed and observed over my time so far traveling to and from work in London and those I noted were particularly noticeable. So where is everyone? My gut feeling is that so many trans people pass far better than they ever would have thought, so many more manage 'stealth' wonderfully however it also sadly proves that trans people are expert at their 'masks' too. When you consider all the pain and agonising that people go through about 'passing', being noticed or hiding their true self when it appears so many manage it so well.