What I find fascinating is that, when presented with missing information, given a lack of evidence, or even evidence to the contrary, people desperately cling to their initial assumptions. And nothing is more unshakeable than the gender assumption.
Rarely have people corrected themselves (at least in front of me) from making what they deemd was an “erroneous” gender assumption. And when they do, it is usually followed by diffuse apologising. I always imagine something suddenly flipping in their brains, and they blame themselves for not having seen it before, now that it’s so obvious!
My gender presentation behaves much like an perceptory illusion for some. Is it on one side, or the other?
Some people immediately see one – or the other – and latch on to it. It’s very difficult for them to see the other side without goading, prompting and pointing. Others are puzzled by the illusion, and can’t bring any one side into clear focus. Usually once they make something out – however fuzzy it may be – that choice is now locked in. Though some prove to be more mentally flexible, and are willing to bend their brains to accommodate both realities simultaneously. The truly gifted can switch back and forth at will.
Hopefully I can learn to give people the right cues, so they see the side I want them to see, or can at least be open to seeing the whole picture.