Trinoc’s pretty slow this year, definitely a significant drop from last year so far, although Sunday could certainly surprise me. Nothing to sneeze at for a weekend’s work, mind you, particularly given that my expenses to do this con are negligable, but not all that impressive. Still, pays the car insurance, and we sold out of Digger books.
I’ve noticed to my mild surprise that there is a very strong transgender contingent in the webcomics groups for this con. This is something I think about practically never, since quite frankly, the only sexuality that interests me is my own* and I am barely interested in my own clothing, let alone other people’s, unless they’ve got a heckuva good costume that has aesthetic merit in and of itself. (I realize that for a small percentage of the transgender crowd, there is an almost performance art quality, so my total lack of interest may actually be disappointing, but them’s the breaks. The vast majority, I will assume, have no more interest in my opinion than I do, thank god.)
Like probably most people, my brain does the “Ah…wait a minute…oh, okay,” double take. It’s a largely involuntary mechanism, and goes off even if you really don’t care. But on a purely artistic level, I kinda wish I knew what made that click, because it doesn’t always. I was at a dojo for awhile with a woman who always changed in the women’s restroom instead of the locker room, and it wasn’t for months that I realized that it was because she still had, shall we say, contraband equipment. Some men simply make much better women than others. Hell, some men make much better women than I do. And it seems like there ought to be a reason or reasons that an artist could nail down visually, but I’m stumped. I don’t know if some people are merely better students of the body language of the opposite sex, and nail it really well, and others don’t, or try too hard, or what.** I’m sure that my own recognition is largely unconscious, but it would be kinda interesting to know exactly WHAT is setting up the brief flicker of “There’s a Y chromosome in there…” (I did spot the guy in “Crying Game” well in advance, largely because of the wrists and the shoulder muscle. I know most people look for the Adam’s apple, but the wrists and shoulders are what I always notice.) Part of it may be anatomical, and some people may simply be luckier in anatomy or dress to downplay it more–I don’t think I look particularly closely at people, since I worked retail, and you stop looking at people after the first hour on the job, but I could certainly be picking it up unconsciously–but some of it, I suspect, has to do with movement and whatnot.
I’ve also seen in a sort of general sense that women tend to be more sensitive to these things than men–there are plenty of exceptions, James among them–but it seems like a general trend. However, I couldn’t for the life of me say whether women tend towards greater awareness of whatever subtle kinetic cues in general, or whether it’s simply that women know other women, and a woman dressing as a man would run into the opposite problem.
Anyway, interesting musings. Since it’s not a subculture I’m ever in contact with all that much (to my knowledge) it’s not something I’ve given all that much thought to before. Or probably will again. But still!
*And to a somewhat lesser extent, James’s.
**I’m speaking here of people attempting to register as female, or at least quite ambiguous–we can dispense with speculation for the sort who also have a full beard and presumably just like the clothes.