Today we met for a run in the canyon. I was surprised to feel as good as I did, and happy too. I fell into chatting with a couple of friends I hadn’t seen in awhile, and as we caught up, I heard myself sharing stories I’ve told a lot lately when asked how I’ve been.
I don’t know what it’s like to come out as gay or trans, not to mention having to do so repeatedly, even though you know it’s necessary. Still, hearing myself give updates lately sometimes feels awkward, untimely, weird. Because I like to think I’m on the other side of things now, and that all the other stuff was ‘then.’ But it’s not like I can snap my fingers and everybody’s on the same page of my business, you know?
Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility, and at the risk of sounding ignorant – which I’m okay with – it got me thinking about the two or three trans people I know, and then I thought, ‘but how do I know I only know two or three trans people?’ If people are afraid to be visible, or selective about who knows their story – because maybe the retelling of it is exhausting, if not unsafe – then I don’t know who I know, and that’s not right.
Two days ago a guy in a store walked up behind me trying to get around me. as he approached, he said, ‘excuse me, sir.’ Once he got around me, he saw the rest of me and said, ‘oh’ and kept walking. It happened so fast, I didn’t even have time to form an opinion about it.
I have the luxury of letting it slide when someone confuses my gender, which happens to agree with my birth assignment. But it’s not the case for many trans people. this is one of many learning edges for me.
Being visible, feeling safe and at home in your body, sharing your truth, and loving who you love doesn’t come easily for all of us, and it’s definitely not guaranteed – for anybody. And in whatever ways I’m able, I want to help change that.