Thursday, September 29, 2016
I write from experience here. Before my transformation, I had a fraught relationship with mirrors. I looked in them as little as possible. Like Bill here, I tended to keep my head down in restrooms, afraid to see my reflection even in passing. Seeing my reflection was disorienting, jarring, often upsetting.
I don't think it's uncommon for trans people to avoid mirrors before transition. I have a friend, a transman, who took down all the mirrors in his house a couple of years ago, and I've heard anecdotes from other trans people who avoid looking in the mirror. There's an episode of Transparent, in fact, titled "Why Do We Cover the Mirrors?"; the title is a reference to Jewish mourning practices, but I think it also draws on this difficult relationship trans people have with the mirror.
I think a cis person who became a member of the opposite sex would have a difficult time with mirrors, too. It's not something we explore often in TG fiction, but I want to at least put the idea out there.
(Of course, I quite like looking in the mirror now. Uh, not in a vain way, but in a "Hey, that's me!" kind of way. It's nice, not being at war with my reflection.)