Growing up in a male body meant I was socialized and elevated to pretty much the pinnacle of western civilization (barring poverty and LGBTQIA affiliations which knocked me down a couple of pegs, but still high up). I have always heard about the male gaze, and I am sure on occasion I partook in it, the hubby does say I wasn’t bad with it, but I know I did it. That being said, I grew up not being the focus or on parade for half of the population.
I had always heard the references, jokes, and anger that people with breasts had concerning men who just stare at them. I had noticed some really bad examples in the past, but even so from my position I never really understood how persistent and just how common it was.
Fast forward to our trip to Pet Smart a couple of days ago. It was my first time really going to a store since my face surgery and breast augmentation, I was feeling pretty good about myself. I wasn’t even dressed up especially feminine, I had a t-shirt on and cut off shorts. Inside as we were shopping I saw a guy came in and his eyes just dropped to my boobs, as in laser focus, seeing nothing else. It was such an intense stare that he almost walked into one of the endcaps on an aisle.
I turned and looked at Wolsey and asked if he had seen that. He nodded and said, “Welcome to the world of being a woman, your body is on display 24/7.” Sadly he is right. I have had that kind of experience dressing in feminine clothing, but always very transgender appearing, so the stares were more for the trans part. This time I don’t think the guy even clocked me, he just stared at the boobs.
As we were trying to leave the store the same guy almost walked into me in the aisle, the whole time just staring at my boobs. I said hi to him as he walked by, but he was fixated enough that I don’t think he heard my voice (the most obvious part about me being trans).
For the last two days since then, we have had to get the cat and then go to Costco. Both times the hubby and I have noticed some guys (not all, but probably more than half) seem to always be checking out my boobs. I honestly don’t recall if I did that, but I am sure I did and that is when I felt bad about having done that. I do hope I was never as obvious as the guys I am noticing now.
It is just a little shocking at how obvious some guys are. There is a small positive feeling in the fact that evidently they don’t realize I am trans, but it also becomes gross when they literally won’t look me in the face.
I just feel guilty about my behavior before, or at least about my lack of understanding of what my breast having people would go through. I guess now I understand and will be dealing with it too.