so, i had a slight emotional outburst tonight over a topic that’s plagued me in the past: passing. specifically whether i do or not. by ‘passing’ i mean ‘people don’t immediately/ever recognize me as transgender’. usually i’m pretty confident, but it only takes one small thing to set me on edge- and a few to throw me over it.
there was a tng/apex bowling night tonight that Aki and i attended. good turn out, i’d say about 30 people. the night started out great, i got an awesome rainbow dash hoodie from josh, and everyone was happy to see me. i was dancing around excitedly, hopping and skipping around, super stoked about my awesome hoodie! bowling began, the dj was playing good music, and i was movin’ and shakin’- it seemed to be a really good night.
i went to sign up for a drawing the alley was holding, and that’s when it happened- a 10 year old girl clocked me. as i was filling out the form, she looks at me, looks at her dad, and says (quite loudly) “he’s wearing a skirt!”
my heart dropped. was it the hair? was it this hoodie? it was pretty big on me. was it my voice? i got tunnel vision as i filled out the rest of the form for the drawing. her dad responded “ah, it’s okay, honey. that’s okay!” my heart beat again, and the world faded back into existence.
i smiled, glanced at the dad, glanced at the floor, dropped my form in the bin and walked away. i wasn’t sure how to feel. i was upset, sure, but the father handled it surprisingly well. but my confidence was shaken- and it doesn’t recover all that quickly, unfortunately.
i explained what had transpired to Aki- she suggested that i thank the dad for acting cool, and being awesome. i later did, and he was happy to speak to me for a short time- even thanking me for keeping *my* cool, and being myself more or less.
the second blow was an unintentional one. i was talking to my friend touches about what had happened, in a humorous light. by that point i was more or less over it. she, trying to make me feel better, brought up the fact that a couple tng-ers were completely unaware i was trans until a few parties ago- what she was referencing was a time that some people had seen what unequivocally makes me trans, or even male to some.
she mentioned this in an attempt to make me feel as if i passed quite well, but it was taken quite differently. instead, i began to worry. who else knew? who else was spreading that “junk is actually a guy”? why do my genitals make me a guy?
so i receded further into my self-conscious bubble. who knew? who was staring at me? who was judging me? was this skirt a poor choice? am i passing? do people see me as some disgusting cross-dresser?
the spiral was starting, but i pulled myself out as best i could and continued bowling.
what is called ‘candlelight bowling’ had begun. a more appropriate word for it would be ‘stupid bowling that i never want to do’, but hey. around friends (mostly tipsy or drunk), it was fun to an extent. bowl while sitting. bowl with your non-dominant hand. bowl backwards! hurr durr.
bowling through other people’s legs was a big theme. the tenth frame was supposed to be bowled through as many people’s legs as you could imagine. lines of five, six, seven people were formed for the bowler to throw their ball under. all fun and games! we would all gyrate and dance to try to distract the bowler.
Aki, being quite drunk (edit: not as drunk as i had thought, i guess- that was clarified the next day) at this point, was in most of them- dancing, grinding, having a good time. every time someone would do their tenth frame, i got called over to participate. i wasn’t too fond of the whole idea- i was already self-conscious about people seeing up my skirt, so i didn’t exactly want to spread my legs as wide as possible in front of a bowling lane- and the 100+ people in the alley.
we did this routine a handful of times, and everything was normal until one frame- i was the front of the line of people, with Aki behind me. some frisky-dancing song was on, and we were all acting stupid and dancing around. that’s when Aki (drunk, so i’m not really holding this against her [edit: still not, regardless of drunk level]) decides it would be a *wonderful* idea to lift up my skirt and flash all the people in front of me.
i was shocked. embarrassed. i threw my hands down to my sides in an attempt to right the skirt placement. i peeled myself away from the leg-spread line, mortified. upset that someone that cares for me so much could do something so hurtful to me. i slinked back to my seat in an attempt to hide my shame, my beet red face, and my anger. but instead i got called back to that infernal line, so i could stand there in front of all the people who had just seen up my skirt.
and i had to do it three more times- luckily those times i was in the middle of the line, and my skirt stayed where it ought to have.
writing this fills me with so many emotions. guilt. anger. embarrassment. it makes me so entirely self-conscious. who saw what? who sees me different now? thinking about it makes me literally cringe- hard.
of course, Aki promptly apologized- stating she thought i was wearing a skort (which i often do). but it wasn’t enough to pull me out of the spiral. last call for boarding, laddies and gentlemen. next stop: rock bottom.
all i could think about was how much i wanted to be anywhere other than this bowling alley. home. in my car. down the street. in another state. i felt like a million eyes were boring into me at any given moment. even people who couldn’t possibly have seen anything. i was suddenly hyper-aware of people looking at me; staring or otherwise. i couldn’t make eye contact with anyone. i was on the verge of tears. Aki, in an attempt to console me, tried to speak into my ear (arguably, through my ear, past my brain, and into the other ear). unfortunately 60 decibels directly into your ear drum is quite painful. dejected, shamefaced, and in pain, i had reached my breaking point. as the tears burst forth, i exited the building as quickly as possible.
outside now, crying, banging my head into a pole. thinking, not thinking, upset. i wanted to badly to punch something. to punch myself right in my stupid face. right in my stupid wrong everything. i slammed my head into the pole harder, hoping i would just become one with it and live the rest of my days as a pole at the bowling alley. anything would be better than living the rest of my life as a faggot who can’t pass.
jacob came outside to leave- knocking me back into a sane state of mind. i don’t need people seeing me like this. i collected myself before he reached where i was. he said goodbye. seeing that i was crying, he followed up with “don’t be a sad junk!” hugging me, and once more wishing me a good night.
what was i doing? why was i out here? why did i come out here? what was the point- was i expecting someone to follow me and come say “poor baby”? would that even make me feel any better? no, it wouldn’t. i don’t want people’s attention. i want to be alone.
i wiped my tears, took a deep breath, and walked back inside. passing the desk, i dropped off my rented bowling shoes.
i walked back to our lane. my shoes were stored under where Aki was sitting- i looked at her for a second, trying (and failing) to smile. i sat, put on my shoes, and picked up my backpack. she hugged me- i put my backpack down and we had an awkward apology talk. everyone was leaving- “did i cause that?”, i thought. after about five minutes of talking, we made amends more or less- she got me to smile, and made me feel a lot better.
the drive home was tough. by myself, still halfway to how-bout-i-just-off-myself, crying, trying to find music that would make me feel better. rouge – adventure time; that song never fails to make me smile. i tried to focus on everything good- new job, more money. Aki loves me. i love Aki. video games. the feeling i get when traveling to new and familiar places alike. the feeling i get when i cook. that day i hiked south mountain alone just to take photos. my friends, the people who love and cherish my existence.
i’m used to that routine by now. i try to do it as often as i can- even when i’m not depressed. reminding myself of the good things- the things i want to live for, and the amazing and adventurous parts of my life.
i made it home in one piece (obviously). i still wanted to punch something, but i refused the urge. i grabbed a beer, sat at my computer, and began to write. that was about 50 minutes ago. damn, i write slow.
regardless, this helped a lot. i should really do feelings-dumps more often.
i feel quite a bit better now. i’m still not thrilled about how the night ended- i’m upset i couldn’t control my emotions better. i wish i would have been able to not storm off; i feel as if my emotional outburst killed the mood for everyone around me. i’ll have to work on that in the future.
what transpired tonight has opened my eyes more to my surgery options, and how they may effect my self confidence and how i view myself. i have known for a couple years now that i would like to go though with bottom surgery, but facial surgery has always been a toss-up. should i spend the extra money? will it be worth it?
Aki has said that it may be worth it, as it would move me from passing 75% of the time to passing 99% of the time. the surgery (a jawline reduction) would cost me an additional $6k if done at the same time as my bottom surgery. i think it may be a good option. i’ll have to do some more thinking on this before i decide for sure. it’s a lot of pain, and a lot of money.
i’m going to go do some work now.