I still haven’t got a binder so I am usually afraid about going through the men’s line, and even some friends have warned me to not go through the men’s security line until I get a binder.
Though most of the times, the women security personnel do not really care about my appearance and simply do their job professionally, however sometimes I get weird looks or questions like “Are you a girl?”, “what’s your name?” or “Hey, you’ve come in the wrong line.” At such moments I get totally embarrassed and simply smile to let them pass me through. Just getting through security for the heck of it.
Tired by the above-mentioned scenarios, I sometimes muster up enough courage to go through the men’s security line and yes I’ve been keeping a count of that. I went through the men’s security check in the metro for the fifth time yesterday.
As a Pre-T trans guy, it’s not as easy for me to simply go through the men’s line without worrying about it. Initially, I had decided to just go through security for the heck of it without minding any questions or comments. But it all builds up and yes I do mind. It gives me anxiety every time I have to enter the metro system. I look at the two gendered queues, and then look down at my chest, questioning myself whether I am passing as a guy or not, then if and only if I am feeling confident enough, I take a plunge of hope and decide to go through the men’s line. I know I have confidence issues but going through security should not be a debilitating task for anyone.
I have to come up with certain strategies to deal with this problem. Like the one I mentioned earlier, just going through security for the sake of it. Another one I tell myself is actually a cheat code, I tell myself to go through whichever line is shorter when I am in a hurry, although I rarely adhere to it. Recently I have started to tell myself that some men have big chests due to gynecomastia and no one really cares, confidence is the only thing that matters so just be confident about yourself. Let’s see how much I follow this advice though.
Now talking about men’s security check in the metro, I have noticed a couple of techniques (that’s what I do while deciding which line to go through). During the summers, the security personnel usually simply wave their handheld metal detector over your body, some might even run a hand down over your chest simultaneously. During certain extra security days (national holidays), there might be 2 personnel at some stations, one doing the upper body check and the other one sitting on a chair doing a bottom pat down check. And during the winter season, I have noticed an all pat down check at most stations.
I don’t really mind pat down checking because I kind of feel in my mind just how it would have felt if I had been born in a male body. Just going through the male queue is a big boost for my confidence and sets me in the right mood for the rest of the day. However what stops me from this entitlement is the fear of being called out or being picked upon.
I wrote this today because a girl from my class was with me today at the metro station and she expected me to go through the men’s line but I wasn’t feeling confident enough so I didn’t but then I ended up regretting that decision and being anxious because of it for the rest of the day. However, one should not put oneself in potentially dangerous and uncomfortable situations so, well, just keep that in mind. Your security and comfort come first.