I always seem to have to explain! It got better once i needed touse a walker to get around because of my syncope and the risk of fainting and falling, as if suddenly, because they could see a DEVICE I was legitimate. When for years I had been being treated as if I wasn't, even if I was bed bound or could barely move? Ugh! Pain is pain, it's not a contest, and it shouldn't have to be trotted out so you can sit down when a younger, or fitter, or more able person doesn't want to move. (But then we are judging them on looks too and assuming that just because THEY look fine that they are! LOL)
Maybe having to use a cane or walker helps. But I've also been in my daughter's college town where everyone was exceedingly rude, thoughtless, and pushy about pushing over, into, or through your space with you on a cane walker or whatever, so watch out!
There is no winning on public transit. My sister in-law is 8 months pregnant and no one will give up a seat for her so she has to stand. If i have to go anywhere on transit i try to go at off times so it isn't as busy and I'm more likely to get a seat. I also don't have any equipment so i try to take seats behind the ones that say they are for people needing assistance so that hopefully i won't be asked to move