It seems like we all have to prove ourselves before we're accepted as one of the girls (or boys). Remember that new kid that moved into school in school? When did they become one of the gang? Or that new kid that joined the sports team...when did it feel like they were one with the team?
I've had a recent discussion with a coupe of friends recently about "regendering". One of the women says that once a person genders us, we cannot be regendered. Basically, once someone knows you as male, nothing you can do during transition will ever let them regender you as female. I say hogwash. I think over time, transitioners "pass" these tests that people have made up in their minds which allows them to become one of the girls (or guys). Sure, there are people that never allow a transitioner to pass these tests, but I think there are lots of people that do.
Now in Kara's defense, she "passes" about as well as one can pass. I wouldn't give her a second thought if I passed her on the street and didn't know who she was. I suspect just about everyone would react the same. That being said, not being "read" by a stranger is a whole lot different from being accepted by those who knew you when you were male. In my personal experience, it just doesn't happen, especially with those that are exceptionally close. My Mother, who has done just about everything she can to let me be me, still thinks of me as her son. It's not that she's being mean or disrespectful, far from it, it's that she spent a whole lifetime knowing me as Greg and male. The same goes for my brother and my friends.
The only people that are in my life who think of me only as female are those that I work with and even then, they still know my past and it will always be a part of who I am. I'm never going to be able to "pass" as female and as a result, I'll always be thought of as "really" male. I don't blame people, it's just the way our society works. We divided everything, and I mean everything, into male and female. Once you are in one of those categories, it's almost impossible to fully move into the other. Does it get old? Yes, it most certainly does, but I'm not quite sure that there is anything I can possibly do about it. So, I do the best I can and try not to let it bother me.