This may seem ridiculous to you, but to me it was a big step and quite nerve racking.
To misquote Stan Lee: With great legs comes great responsibility. And my legs really are great, so great that they seem to cause quite a drama everytime I show them in public. Infact the last time the smallest fraction of them were glimpsed in public (I'd forgotten to wear socks) a facebook fan page appeared the same evening, from none other than the people I lived with (not any more though), with the wonderful caption of 'is it a boy or a girl?'. Other comments followed such as 'disgusting' and 'I think I am going to be sick'. This resulted in me having to lie and say 'no, those aren't my ankles', to a lot of people that I had trusted, people who I had thought were my friends. I suddenly became very aware of the fact that being open and honest about myself was always going to be dangerous, that I could not extend the same blind trust that most people my age could do to the people they happened to live with. (Note: these were my second lot of flatmates, the original group had tried to smash my head in on a brick wall, shouted abuse at me at 3am in the morning while a group of guys tried to break into my room and had rotting meat left all over the entrance to my room).
You may be wondering what I had done to trigger such a negative reaction. The answer - I do not shave my legs. Okay, it is slighty more complexed that that - I identify as male/gender-queer (I'm still not quite sure where on the spectrum I fit, but as time goes by the more I feel I am most probably male).
The offending limbs
To feel the sun on my pasty white legs is quite unusal, due to the amount of negative attention it gets. Once I had met up with my friends in town, I did notice the one odd glance but nothing was said. I did get shouted at by a group of young men outside KFC but beyond that it was a really great experience (I bought an easter egg!) Maybe by next year I will feel confident enough to turn up in shorts to a lecture. However, the whole experience did make me very aware of male priviledge, I could not imagine doing that while presenting as female. My safety net is always, that untill I speak, I appear male or atleast androgynous. If I didn't look male and looked and dressed female - I honestly would be terrified and the abuse experienced probably ten times worse. So to all the unshaven women out there, I take off my hat to you, you are far braver than I will ever be.
Enjoy the sun everybody!