T-Dar is an uncanny sixth sense we transgender seem to inherit when we embrace our trans-ness. It allows us to spot a potential sister hunting for a perfect skirt in the sale rack. Or an unusually tall woman from across the parking lot, or the otherwise perfect lady whose hands are just a bit large. With a few quick glances to confirm our suspicions (the adams apple and hands are usually the easiest places to tell), we feel a warm – if unspoken – bonding of community. Perhaps even a spark of inspiration at seeing a sister so confidently walking among us.
Staci writes an enjoyable blog called Femulate and recently she asked ‘Got T-Dar‘? Sharing the pitfalls of a T-Dar false positive, and the inherent inspiration. After all, if the six foot tall blond “woman” is actually a woman, doesn’t that give us more hope that we can maneuver our six foot selves around society without always causing a stir?
Over the last few years I’ve found myself getting more and more sensitive. It seems as if every time I visit Nordstrom Rack there are one or two ladies who get my T-Dar ringing. I’m torn between approaching them out of a sense of community, watching them for some tips, or quickly moving on so as not to draw unnecessary attention to them. After all, I imagine that I wouldn’t enjoy a similar amount of attention. I may perhaps even become a bit more disillusioned with any hope of passing in my momentary lapse, forgetting that the transgendered have this uncanny ability.
I can’t say that there is any one thing that sets off my T-dar. Height is an obvious factor, but I’ve been wrong more often than not relying just on this. I would say that after height, voice and body movement are the things I notice next. It usually starts as a subtle sense that something is amiss, that makes me pay attention.
Have you seen a transgender sister out and about? Have you approached them, or wish you’d approached them? Have you been approached by a sister while out and about?