I know it’s not the same, but living on this planet requires a thick skin. If you are different, you have to get used to being stared at. This is true whether your difference from the perceived “norm” is considered positive or negative or just outside people’s usual experience.
At some point though, you have to be willing to let the world change, especially when it’s for the better. One way that it has changed is that there is a whole generation of kids in the west at least who, for better or worse, were raised by people once thought of as “freaks”. This includes, but is not limited to Gays, goths, witches, metalheads, punk rockers, juggalos, BDSM-ers, the polyamorous, and various combinations thereof.
Since Trump happened, I understand that it can be jarring to realize that fully half of the U.S. population is stupid, but it is only half. The whole situation has encouraged the other half to no longer indulge the stupid half, and bonus, no longer leave our children as vulnerable to their brainwashing.
So maybe half the time a child is staring at you, it’ll be because the parents have, up to that point, failed to explain to their child that there are more wonders in the gender spectrum than male and female. The other half of the time, that kid is probably staring at you because having been raised aware, they don’t feel particularly compelled to cheer you for being their normal. It’s because you have spinach in your teeth.
…or there may be other reasons. Maybe your dress reminds them of their mint julep sipping GranDiva. Maybe they find you pretty. Maybe they are impressed with your eyeliner skills. Maybe they see you as a role model, and speaking of model, maybe they’ve seen your work and are having a celebrity reaction.
Those of us who would have the gender nonconformity conversation with our children have already had it by the time they encounter you. We have already refused to gender pigeonhole our kids as infants even though statistically they will likely be heterosexual and gender normative. We already calculated that a 10% chance of twisting our kids’ minds unnaturally was too high a risk.
We already didn’t circumcise our sons because nonconsensual genital mutilation is wrong, and who knows if they will need that skin later should they choose whatever body modification they want?
We already taught our children body ownership from diaper changing with dignity, compassionate potty training. Part of that was already allowing them to decide how they would express their identity. Part of it was also guiding them about how to express themselves in a way that was both respectful to themselves and to others.
So sometimes it is simply a matter of being polite to strangers. I’d venture that maybe half the time, that is the case. A parent who is already raising their child with some awareness that there are many genders and orientations and ways to express those just needs to check the kid’s inappropriate behavior and keep moving. Making a big deal about it would have the opposite of the intended effect.
So you do your thing and let us do our thing. We got you.