It's hard to talk
The following is a stream of consciousness. It was originally meant as something more poetic, to try and share what social situations are like post transition.
It is not meant as a call out post for any person or the conference I was at. I solely wish to share what my experience is like now, and offer some contrast to how it was.
It’s hard to talk (as a trans person).
I say (as a trans person) because it was not hard to talk before. I don’t want to say it’s hardEr to talk as a trans person. It’s not a healthy comparison I think.
It’s wilting how often people stare with unpleasant eyes. A conference hall I’ve walked ten times before, full of people who I called my friends without reserve or limitations is now hostile and scary.
I’m gauging every glare.
It makes me not want to speak; don’t bring more attention to yourself. I don’t feel well after the third glare. Am I still a friend? Can I be apart of this a community? Is this going to a problem? Will I be able to pee?
Oh look! There’s Joe. Joe’s safe. Joe smiles when they see me.
I miss the time when everyone smiled when they saw me. Even strangers would give a quick strained smile, that sign that it’s not great at the moment but we are all friends here so they want to share is that quick flash of a smile and nod to say “it will be ok, I’ll pull this off”
People don’t tell me it’s ok with their eyes anymore. They tell me they haven’t decided; what they haven’t decided is the scariest part. Have they not decided if I can be apart of their space? have they not decided if they want to put me off? Have they not decided if today is a good day to die?
If I can stay by Joe it’ll be ok.
I keep telling myself I’m not afraid, I’m worried. Worried about the person giving me angry eyes while Joe talks.
Somone called me “he”, it’s a slip up. What makes someone make that slip up? This T-shirt really shows off my breasts. I even spent an hour on makeup and am standing they way I was taught, how am I still mistakenly a he? I guess I can’t be pretty enough to be a she. Stop that, being a woman isn’t about being pretty enough for others around you. It’s probably my voice, I sound masculine.
Someone once told me that it’s really awkward when they make a mistake; they don’t want to call attention to the mistake or me by correcting themselves or apologizing. It’s jarring to me when it happens, it sounds like someone screaming about how I’m just a dude in a dress. I’m downplaying how upset I am. I’m not even mad at you, I’m upset at the moment. I wish we could rewind and scrub it, we both get a do-over and everything great now.
It’s worse when you ignore the mistake, now I’m mad at you because you’ve hurt me without repentance, it feels like you are making a statement. Is it worth derailing this entire conversation? Take a deep breath and let it go, no one likes the pronoun police, you don’t want to be marked one of those shrew trans women.
Nobody else cares.
Shoot I missed what they said, I was distracted.
Smile and nod.
It’s hard to talk.