The good, the bad, and the ugly
It’s been an interesting past week or so. I’ve experienced some of the greatest highs and distasteful lows of what I could have expected when presenting as a pre-op, pre-HRT, pre-most-things woman. As always, they’re recorded here for prosperity.
The weekend gone I went on an excursion around Devon and Dorset. It was also the first time that I have publicly presented as female for an entire weekend—day and night—for a whole two days.
In a word, it was glorious. I couldn’t have been happier or more comfortable if I tried. I was misgendered a few times, but for the vast majority of it my friends and acquaintances (some of whom I had not seen in a long time, and had only just heard of the “new” me) treated me just as I wanted—exactly the same as always, just with a new name.
Unfortunately not all things could go to plan. With the unfamiliar territory came unfamiliar people and unknown culture.
I am perhaps spoiled by my residence in Bristol, a city somewhat renound for welcoming the unusual and the alternative, to many a “guy” in a skirt is tame by comparison; so when it came to migrating to lands anew there were many more accussing, questioning, and curious glances than I have been used to when I have presented before. It made me self-conscious, but I had actively avoided bringing male clothing with me, forcing me to persist.
This all came to an unfortunate head when, seated in a McDonald’s with a group of other trans friends, that we were accosted by some teenage girls who appropriated two empty seats at our table and started to ask probing questions (complete with relaying them back to the tittering bunch at the table they had come from), all the while ignoring requests to leave us be. They eventually departed after continued appeals to leave us alone.
Personally (though perhaps the same could not be said for the others) I did not find the experience troubling or saddening, but merely frustrating. I would have perhaps been happy to talk to them, had they not been so blatant in their malicious intent and sarcastic tones.
I was confronted again later the same day while alone, when a stranger on my onwards journey asked what I was wearing (“my clothes”) and why I was wearing them (“because I want to”).
In the end these isolated occurrences did not dampen my mood too severely, however they have the dubious honour of being the first times that I’ve ever been confronted whilst presenting publicly. As much as I would not want it to be, it’s something for the history books.
The dysphoria has been strong these last few days. Down from my high of presenting all weekend in my airy skirts and cool blouses, it was of course going to be a psychological downer to have to pull myself back into a pair of baggy jeans and a humorous fandom-related t-shirt for the working week. The hot weather too has made me feel more like a bag of grease and sweat than anything else, and I have ended up longing for the relative weightlessness of a simple skirt in the hours I’ve whiled away sweltering in the office.
My psoriasis too has reached a new goal, managing to infect my face for the first time since it began ravaging my body some five or six years ago. It only increasing my self-consciousness (and overall ichiness) with it. Luckily it has already begun to fade by the time of writing, and hopefully it might be gone for good sometime next week.
Ultimately, this is life. You cannot expect perfection. You should not even anticipate it, as you’re just going to be disappointed in failure, or unsurprised in success. There is no joy in expecting perfection. I’m going to have glorious days, I’m going to have to deal with horrible people, and no matter how much I might change my body, I’m always going to hate some part of it.
All I can really say is to brush off the bad, embrace the good, and just keep living.