Not long ago, I was in a store minding my own business, doing nothing out of the ordinary, when I became aware I was drawing the attention of a gaggle of teenage girls. If I glanced there way they would smile, even speak some casual greeting. But it seemed clear to me that they were joking about me amongst themselves and, in fact, taking some pics with their phones.
Now, to be sure, this isn’t the first such event in my life. Since before I went full time more than three and a half years ago I’ve noted, from time to time, that I was drawing unflattering attention. Usually from teenagers. In fact, on my very first attempt at a public outing en femme, I acquired a doofus following me through Walmart declaring to some friend on their phone “That’s a man baby!”
But I’ve come a very long way since then, and outside my hometown pass easily almost every time (so long as I don’t speak, as my voice is the weakest aspect of my transition). So these were girls who, had they not known about me from gossip or whatever, wouldn’t likely have clocked me. Much more importantly, after that first time, I developed a very confident attitude about myself. On that first occasion, I was running on a sense of fear. Not only that I would inevitably be clocked, but that I’d be confronted, maybe even face a visit from the police. The intent was to keep as low a profile as possible so I was in no position to confront the moron.
This incident, the other day, was nothing like that. I continued on my day, barely giving a thought to laughing crowd. My spouse, who was with me, was far more offended and she doesn’t even support my transition.
These days, I refuse to let my critics have the power to intimidate me, or cause me shame or fear. I’ve seen these immature and, no doubt, ill-informed teens thinking that I was an ridiculous thing to be mocked, and I’ve repaid them in subtle condescension. I smile, and I greet them, and I do not ever let them see me show a negative emotion – they may not have that satisfaction. I recommend this policy to my “sisters,” whether in transition or just occasionally enjoying a day in “girl mode” – never let them see you sweat, never let them see you angry, never let them see you shamed. They are not entitled to have that sort of power over your heart. Never forget that.
Image by: Lexe-l