I have been fascinated with eye contact for a lot of
my life.

Its importance seems to me to be that its a time when we mostly intuitively pick up each others micro expressions. And tell ourselves stories about how the other person is feeling. And even what they are thinking about.

Some people are good at reading micro expressions, some people are not. Such people that have a talent for it,  are like lie detectors. Good authors, good journalists, even dare I say it good lawyers, good psychoanlysts, psychologists.

For many years I have tried to understand consciously the stories I see, about myself, and about the person in whos eyes I see the stories.

Some stories occur over and over.

One such story I have seen is the cis gendered man's sudden realisation that he has just been fantasising some very carnal thoughts about me, and he's just noticed I am not a cis-gendered woman.

O.K. so it doesn't happen so much these days, I am 54, but I was young and gorgeous once, and memory hasn't failed me yet.

The reactions I see in those micro-expressions (Or at least the parts I notice. Some say most are not noticable without slow motion filming. I am unconvinced) are different for different people, but seem to include....

Continued attraction.
Immediate fury.
Self reflected.

And more..

The reaction can then be genuine or false. The genuine responses are superficially the easiest to manage, at least in the short term.

The false responses are immediately more complicated. Not least because a lie always makes things complicated. Not to say that we don't all lie in some way all the time. Any man who responds to a womans question, "does my bum look big in this?" With anything other than "No!" No matter what the truth. Has no instinct for self preservation.

Usually the lie involves social conformity in some way. I have seen great changes in my lifetime, what is conformist now, is not what it once was. When I first started expressing my feminine aspiration in public spaces, the physical threat was very immediate.

The Irony was this was also an era when it became socially permissible in ways that were quite new. David Bowie, sits at the top of the list, but Prince can't be ignored, nor unfortunately Boy George. And I would include less obvious people, such as the gorgeous young Robert Plant, flouncing around is silks and bangles. But I digress but with Robert it isn't hard to digress.. that is.... er shall I stop now? Yes...? Good.

But still, I would get some supposed 'anarchist', getting in my face saying "I hate fucking queers". (So many people seem not to understand anarchy) A problem I faced was that I hated the idea of violence. I had been taught to admire people like Ghandi, Martin Luther King. But I had also been brought up to stand up for myself, as had my sisters.

But I was less coperative than my sisters. I would never back down at all. But I would never throw a punch or a kick first. Yup I'm a counterpuncher, but even then a reluctant one. And I learned this from my mother who was likewise inclined to stand up for herself.

Yet even in school I had a reputation for always getting into trouble. Frustrating those teaching me, basically because other children wanted to beat me with sticks for being me. Eddie Izzard claims to have hidden his gender expression from others, for the same reasons.

I did however become good at choosing times and places to be out and about. Lots of people, gay friendly if possible. Though gay men have not always been particularly welcoming. I had to play the boy to pull. Which was O.K. I pulled.

These days the threat is less immediate, for those who experience a sudden fury because they were 'imagining my sexual receptiveness to them", it becomes gritted teeth, a false smile, feigned acceptance, conforming to the new norm, however reluctantly. A lie, but at least less threatening to me than the truth of their own disgust in themselves, driving them to hate me for their own feelings. For those who feel the shame I offer courage to know it is no shame.

I am glad that some people don't seem driven to want to hurt me as much as they used to. I think this is partly because I'm getting too old to fancy, but more because the culture has moved on.

And now I find I pity them their self loathing. And realise the compliment it is to me.

And for each word in the list above, there is another story. Embarassment, confusion, continued attraction.......

This is the one I have told today.


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