I've been pissed off for the last week or so with people calling me "sir". I normally wind myself up in knots over this, especially when I have low self esteem, which with chronic depression, is periodically the case.
OK, I'm no "ultra femme" - started transition when when I was 36, well after puberty. Because I had epilepsy when I was eight, and was on Dilantin for over 10 years, which affected my appearance. My facial features were a lot courser than they otherwise might be (though the other side effects were much more severe).
Anyway, I've always been rather sensitive about that, and it means that even after 12 years of hormone therapy, it still seems to me that my face looks masculine (see photos below), and even with speech therapy (golly, had that as a kid when I was young as well) my voice is deep.
That being the case, two things get to me: bullshit telephone conversations (mostly where the other person, who's never spoken to me before, assumes that I'm not Laura); and public situations where I get called "Sir", regardless of context.
Anyway, just in the last couple of weeks, I've been getting both. Going down to Sydney around the Mardi Gras Festival (especially the night of the march) is particularly bad. I start out in the Hunter as a "Ms" or a "Ma'm", and end up in Sydney as a "Sir". Doesn't help either if I feel "off" with a cold or other infection.
What set me off today was being called "Sir" by the young attendant behind the food counter at "The Bar on the Hill" at university. I was immediately annoyed, snapping back "That's Ma'm, not Sir!" Still in a bad mood I went over to NUSA to eat the meal I'd bought. Popped into the "Queer Space" room and there were some other women in there talking about doing a zine about "homophobia". Well, I had a chance to vent about stuff, and will probably contribute to the zine.
So I guess what I need is a bit of feedback here. Am I really too sensitive about this? Never had a good response to such "mistakes". The worst of it is that I feel that I "ought" to be able to rise above this sort of shit. Am I being realistic, or just too sensitive?