The last few years of greater trans awareness — Caitlyn Jenner has had at least one positive effect after all — seems to have resulted in people around me both knowing more about trans issues and learning how to keep their objectifying questions to themselves. At that party, I realized that, if trans folks could be blasé about our identities more often, and cisgender folks could choose to not make a big deal out of it, then maybe asides like I was raised a different gender eventually wouldn’t be awkward (let alone dangerous) at all.

At the same time, I’m well-aware of the hardships that come with being a visible trans person. I’ve experienced those obstacles myself — the taunts on the street, the rejections for jobs for which I was qualified, the refusals of potential roommates to live with me. Yet over the years, I’ve learned to separate the bad things people have done to me because they saw that I was trans, from the joy I feel about myself because I’m trans.