Anonymous said: hello! i'm faab and identify as male. hopefully i'll be starting my transition soon; getting my hair cut off and getting a binder and less feminine clothing, but i still live with my mom. she'll notice and get suspicious and i already know that she's kind of transphobic. i can't really hold off on transitioning any longer because i really just feel horrible and dysphoric all the time but i don't know what to do and i'm kind of freaking out.
It makes me really sad and angry that you have such a hard line to walk between keeping yourself well/fending off dysphoria/etc and keeping yourself safe. I know this is the reality for a lot of us, and it’s just so frustrating and miserable that it is.
I don’t know your mom, and I don’t know where her breaking point is, or what she’ll tolerate. Bear this in mind.
That said, chances are you’ll be surprised what you can get away with if you’re a good liar or phrase it right, since you’re DFAB and relative masculinity is often just read as a “style” or being a “tomboy” and as extremely unthreatening. I’ve been amassing masculine clothing over the last year in between exceedingly feminine pieces, alternating my binder with push-up bras, and it seems to reassure them that I just have an odd dress sense (and that I bind because my breasts wouldn’t fit into half my shirts otherwise, heh). I’ve gone from mid-back hair through shoulder-length and a bob to a variety of increasingly masculine hairstyles, and recently made the jump to a buzzcut via showing mom lots of pictures of women of color with features and skin like mine who had super short hair and spectacular eye makeup and raving about how my strong features would surely suit the hairstyle. She cut it for me, despite being unhappy about it, and I’ve received a lot of compliments from people who no doubt read me as completely female.
Where you can make your mom (or other dangerous people) interpret what might otherwise be read as masculinity as an interest in a different sort of femininity that is nevertheless nonthreatening or simply practical, do so; that’s probably the safest way to go about it, and it honestly works.
People tend to erase transness, not see it where it doesn’t exist. I had one moment with my mom where I was doing the laundry and she saw my pile of boxer briefs and was like “<birthname>, do you think you’re a boy or something?” and I just went “mom, these are comfortable, and they cover more under short skirts in summer”, which is all entirely true, and implicitly says “no, I express femininity, therefore by your cissexist understanding of the world I’m telling you I can’t be trans”, without actually answering the question. She hasn’t shown any similarly close-to-home thoughts since. Anything you can do along these lines, do.
Do feel free to contact me personally (klutzygeek on here, kiran at klutz.geek.nz is my email) if you want to talk further! I’m not sure I have much more I can say that’s of use. Followers, any advice?