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VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

Transgender Public Clocking: Why Do We Stare?

Joy R. Fox


We have been shaped by our Western cultural view of gender as binary, a distinct classification of male and female (Ettner, 1996). As part of our culturally influenced core belief system, gender is mentally attributed to each person we meet within the first seconds of each encounter (Lippa, 1978). The perception of a variance, such as a slightly recognizable genetic male presenting in a feminine gender/clothing choice, activates an internal alarm response. This leads to a double take and staring or public clocking of the transgendered person (Eyre, de Guzman, Donovan, & Boissiere, 2004). In this context, transgender is employed as an umbrella term that is inclusive of the continuum of gender expression/identity from postoperative transsexuals to the occasional crossdresser. Public clocking refers to a transperson being identified as presenting an incongruent or confusing public gender package, one not easily identified as male or female (Eyre et al.).

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