I’m going to tell everyone a little story. It’s a short story, but the point of it is rather important.
About a year ago I met this guy. Maybe 5’3″, very slight build, higher than average voice, effeminate in a somewhat unusual way, and pretty as hell. I’ve rarely met women prettier than this guy, he’s the classic androgynous pretty boy type. A bit too pretty for my usual tastes actually, but we started talking and hit it off great.
Well, we start talking and hanging out more and I start learning more about him. Turns out he’s one of the few guys I know who will call out anti-feminist crap. He has a ton of lesbian friends. He knows more about women’s health than I do. After a while I start realising that he has almost every single trans guy “marker” there is.
I am thrilled. I’d gone through a series of bad transphobic rejections and was in serious need of an ego boost. I figure this guy’s cute, we get along well, and it’s starting to look like he’s trans too so I have one less thing to worry about.
Then I take him to one of my kick boxing lessons. We’re in the locker room getting showered and changed after and I catch a glimpse of his crotch. Guy isn’t trans. Not by a long shot (no pun intended). He turned out to be trans-friendly, but is definitely not trans himself. Luckily, I noticed before making an ass out of myself.
Point of the story is that even trans people can make baseless assumptions about another person’s genitalia. I know that there’s no fail proof way of knowing what’s in a person’s pants unless I ask, but I did it anyway. Why? Because parts of the community (trans people and allies both) insist that it’s possible to have a sexual attraction to trans people — which implies that you can spot a trans person before they’re unclothed.
The truth is that there’s a difference between being androgynous or visibly gender non-conforming and being trans. Do they often go together? Yeah, especially for early transition people or those who identify outside the gender binary. That doesn’t mean that they’re automatic trans indicators though. In reality there are androgynous and gender non-conforming cis people just as there are ‘invisible’ trans people. You never really know so it’s best not to assume.