Field Notes In/On Transition.
Days Of Wine And... Well, Mostly Wine
Maybe my taste buds are changing as well. A while ago, I got a bottle of wine from a customer, for doing up some tax receipts. Many of our customers work in “the Biz” and get to write off all their movie renting/going.... Research. Anyway, they gave me a bottle of vino. A “Garnacha” (“Castillo” something, the bottle is already in recycling) grape, which I hadn’t tried before, as far as I know.
I’m no wine drinker generally, but I liked the brief refreshing after taste, of it, so when I ran out after four or five days (I had one or two glasses a night) I got another, not the same brand but the same grape, the pronunciation of which I mangled so badly, the guy at the wine store took awhile to figure out what the hell I was I was talking about. It has also lasted 4 or 5 nights. A six pack of my usual beer would not have lasted so long. I have been really enjoying having a glass with dinner and most nights, another while watching a movie, or TV, after dinner.
I’m not so sure this has anything at all to do with my transition, other than it’s a change in my routine.
Speaking of... on Friday I went off to work in the morning and as I was taking my usual saunter through Victoria Park, some of the early morning park drinkers were at a picnic table, and one of the dudes, yelled in my general direction: “ Ya Fucking Dyke!”
I glanced over and he was glaring at me, so I yelled back: “Thank You!” and kept on moving towards work. Nothing more happened other than me grinning ear to ear. It’s the closest thing to being “Ma’amed” that’s happened to me yet. I know it was meant to be a slur, but in this neighbourhood, and to me, it’s anything but. At this early stage of transition, I will take all the female recognition I can get.
Later that same day, I was serving a mom, and shy little kid, maybe 4 or 5... the boy was giving me a bewildered stare, that I often get these days from kids. It is better than how scared of me they mostly were just 6 or 7 months ago, as I hardly smiled, and seemed like one of “those grumpy adults”.... The ones who don’t really know how to interact with kids. I still don’t, but I’ve learned to smile more, and not talk down to them.
As I was going in the back to get the kid’s movie, he whispered not so quietly to his mom, “Why does that man have boobs?” I pretended not to be listening as I brought the movie back, and took the money. The mom nonchalantly replied to her son: “Lots of people have boobs”. He seemed satisfied with that answer, and they wandered out hand in hand.
I was pretty happy with that answer too. Great mom! Straight up with the kid.
The trifecta of “female attention” was of the variety I’ve oft been warned about by my gal pals. Some unhinged dude, hanging out in front of Joe’s Cafe... One of those guys who’s been hanging out there for years, when not in prison, or a mental health unit ( I used to hang out at Joe’s and know who he is, but have never once interacted with the guy) gave me a whole “Hey Baby, nice tits!” cat call routine. Creepy, and classy, ewww. Maybe he was being sarcastic, but with some people, it’s hard to say, and I didn’t give him the satisfaction of even a glance back. At least I’m starting to get some kind of acknowledgement from strangers, I guess.
I did a bit more spending I can’t really afford on my days off, wore dresses and skirts all weekend, got a lot of positive feedback on how I put it all together. On Monday there was an “all genders meet and greet” in Grandview Park, just a few blocks from my house. I was determined to go, even though I’ve been opting out, avoiding my peers, other trans people, all summer, in terms of support, community events and so on. I am a bit of a wallflower when it comes to that kind of participation. Such a contrarian, I am. My plan (for a couple of weeks, since I first heard about the event on facebook.) had been to wear a skirt to work for the first time, and start owning the trans thing a bit more all day every day.
Lucky for me I found this awesome jean skirt (which I wore Sunday, and Monday at work) at Value Village. and after going to the movies wearing it, and an awesome “downhome” tee shirt I got, as well; I found the gumption to wear the skirt to work. Of course no one mentioned it, at all, other than some “you look nice today” kind of compliments. I’m always ready (probably not in fact) for some kind of hassle whenever I “doll it up”. But nothing so far has transpired other than positive reinforcement or at worst, silent confusion.
After working all day in what I thought was a rocking outfit, I wandered over to the park, and found the meet and greet, as I suspected, I knew very few people, and even then only as acquaintances from them being customers at my store, or from coffee shops, wandering around the neighbourhood, etc. But I felt pretty good about the people I met, found quite a few trans folks who are working hard to build a local thriving community of support, and outreach. I found/find this very heartening indeed.
I enjoyed the Meet and Greet, made a few Facebook friends, and maybe some real life friends? Time will tell. I’m not much of a joiner, but I am going to try really hard to get out to events that I feel comfortable in joining. There is an all bodies swim, at a local pool, like right now, but I’m nowhere near trying to be myself somewhere that I have such a hard time going to in any circumstances. Pools kind of gross me out. There’s also a big dance party on Sunday, after pride, late in the evening, at a local longshoremen’s hall. As awesome as it sounds, I am not ready for that kind of event either.
I will likely though, go to the parade on Sunday. I might even march alongside some other trans people, in the parade. I’m waiting to hear back from another new acquaintance on that front, about times etc. I’m not that into marching for several hours, in the heat... but it’s a good cause; just raising awareness of Trans People as a bit of a neglected part of the LGBTQ rainbow. Another wait and see.
If I don’t march, there will be lots of photos of the parade on my FB.
Oh, and most exciting for me, in terms of Pride events, is the reading I’m going to on August 8th. I have a “T” appointment with my “T-doctor” that morning, then work, then quickly off to) getting to see/hear Kate Bornstein speak as part of the genderqueer part of the queerotica series done every year during Pride.
Sometimes I really feel like I’ve found my Groove as Josie, sometimes I feel like a fat old dude in a skirt, but the latter is becoming more and more infrequent.