Clare Flourish's blog post entitled "alternatives to transition" gave me much food for thought.
I think that the answer depends greatly on several things not the least of which is the level of your gender dysphoria. If you can be happy going out once a month or even once a week and temper the feelings then you are on to something.
In general, society has a deep disdain for feminine males. They are shunned and ridiculed and in the worst of times killed. There is a visceral distaste there which runs along the biological imperative of having a protective presence that will provide a masculine ideal. But such a model is not real for everyone and those of us caught in this trap of having to deal with expectation and needing to be ourselves are stuck.
Extreme cases of dysphoria were and are dealt with transition and I think that is still the best option. There are clear cut examples where you just look at the child and you know (and they know) that they are best to live their life as a female. But there are other cases that walk a tightrope.
I am one such person stuck in the middle and I am not the only one.
I have had to reflect long and hard for many years about what to do about my predicament but I know the answer does not lie in reshaping my body in order to fit in but rather shape my character to ignore the artificial expectations of a fickle society. But be sure that if I needed to transition then of course I would do it.
No person should be expected to live an existence based on someone else’s imagining of it. You have the power to change what you do but then the question remains: do you have the fortitude to do so?
I have had to fashion elephant skin over my life and now the thought of some ignorant idiot walking up to me and making a glib statement about what constitutes my way of being disgusts me. My current attitude has affected the way I present in public and I think people sense it. I am very confident when I am presenting as Joanna and many people know her and like her.
So there are maybe two solutions? transition or not. If you decide not to, then you need to develop the reflexes and the muscles to withstand the stares and the disdain of others because it unfortunately comes with the territory. But that confidence in me has come with much more acceptance than anything else and rarely do I encounter an odd stare.
When I do get an unusual stare, I stare back with a steely expression that has them look away.