The experience though, wasn’t one of joy, but of sadness and shame. As I write this, it’s the morning after, the 7th of May at 8am, I woke up crying. I’m still crying now. I keep telling myself, “The pain and suffering is where you learn and grow,” a quote from Ajahn Brahm that I never forget. There is so much to learn from last nights experience, but right now, all I feel is pain. If I make it through this next few years, I think I’m going to grow into a beautiful tree, because I suspect there’s a lot more pain and suffering to come. But positively, a whole lot of growing to be done.
What happened last night? I reached breaking point. As I made my way to the wig shop, I was greeted by two separate incidents of transgender abuse. While the wig shop is only around the corner, I have to make my way down a main road. It’s always busy, but being a Saturday night it was particularly busy. I was walking along when a car pulled up alongside and a bloke stuck his head out the window, “Where you going mate? Hey mate, where you going?” His over empathise on the word mate, as if to say, I know you’re a man and I want you to know I know, made me feel uncomfortable, but it didn’t appear to affect me too much. I just kept walking. Half laughing, half thinking how nasty he was. Not a minute later three youths, or as my Sister called them, Muppet’s on Mopeds, raced past.
It was obviously their first time out in the wild, but they seemed to get a kick out of shouting, THAT’S A MAN, across the street at me. They started beeping there horns and laughing at me. It’s odd, because my initial reaction was to say thank you. I said in my head, thank you, even though I was terrified, I had a feeling this experience was going to be good for me. The traffic lights up ahead turned red and I realised, I was going to have to walk past these dudes. I was praying the lights would change. I was feeling so vulnerable and frightened. I thought about stopping till the lights changed, just so I didn’t have to walk past them, but I also felt like why should I? I’m not doing anything wrong.
I could sense the lights weren’t going to change, so I just focused on walking in a straight line, not paying them any attention. But even over the sound of their engines, you could hear them all laughing. They continued to shout, THAT’S A MAN, continued to beep their horns and even started pointing at me, in the middle of the busy street with people walking around.
I felt so ashamed.
I just kept walking, but they continued. I wanted the ground to open up. The traffic lights finally changed and off they went, but what little confidence I had build up was gone. What am I doing? I felt so ashamed of myself. I pulled my hair over my face and tried to get to the wig shop as fast as I could. I didn’t want anyone else to see me.
It’s strange. You hear everyone talk about moments like this, but until you experience abuse, you can never truly understand how vulnerable it makes you feel. I’ve only been going out for about six weeks, but I’ve already had a few incidents of verbal abuse, but last night’s felt far worse. Maybe it’s because it was a double attack within 60 seconds of each other. Meaning I didn’t have enough time to compose myself after the first. All I know is, when I got to the wig shop, I was no longer excited. I just wanted to go home.
To be fair, Leah was lovely. We played around with some wigs, even tried on a blonde wig … nope lol Don’t think I’m supposed to be a blonde girl lol She even took photos of me, and styled my hair in such beautiful ways. She said if I’m ever going out, to pop in and she’ll style my hair for me :) She’s so nice. I did actually purchase a new wig, but the truth is, my heart wasn’t in it. I felt ugly. I felt ashamed. I felt terribly sad. I just wanted to go home.
HERE’S SOME OF THE WIGS I TRIED ON IN THE WIGSHOP.
I LOVE THE WAY SHE STYLES HAIR.
SHE MAKES IT LOOK SO EASY, BUT WHEN I TRY TO RECREATE WHAT SHE DID … IT LOOKS A COMPLETE MESS LOL
She must have sensed my mood, because when the hour was over and we said our goodbyes, she told me to go out there and walk with confidence. I said thank you, but it just made me want to cry even more. Walking home, I found myself taking as many back streets as possible to limit the chance of anymore human encounters.
I got in. Sat on my bed. Took my wig off, and burst into tears.
I was hit by some intense suicidal feelings. I don’t deserve abuse. I don’t even mind looking like a man with a wig on. To some extent I have to accept that. I can’t do anything about the way I look at the moment, but why should I have to put up with abuse being thrown at me? I’m not hurting anyone.
You can have all these nice supportive friends, but at some point you have to go out on your own. Brave it in the real world on your own. It’s scary. I cried all night on my bed. Looking through the photos Leah had taken didn’t help, all I could see was a man with a wig on. How could I have ever gone outside looking like that? I kept thinking.
What a fool.
I’m off now to meet Erin for a bike ride. She’s a friend from the support group. I’m going to meet her in male mode on my bike, as my Nephew said a few weeks ago, you don’t want to wear a dress on your bike, you’ll get it caught in the spokes lol He made me and my Sister laugh when he said that :) If nothing else, today’s going to be a nice day, I’ll make sure of that.
I’m typing this entry up a month after I originally hand wrote it in my diary, and since than a few things have happened. My confidence to present in female mode took a massive noise dive and I’ve done a lot of thinking. I’ve only been out once in female mode since, and that was a few days after this abuse, when I returned to the support group. There’s a policeman whose part of the support group, so I reported the incidents to him, Erin, the girl I went on the bike ride with recommended I do that as it may help someone in the future.
The policeman also gave a good analogy. He said he can’t relate to what suffering trans abuse must feel like, but that he imagines it being like going out wearing a jumper and having people say nasty things about it. He said, no matter who you were, it would affect you and you would think twice about wearing that jumper outside again. I take it one step further, and say for me, it was like wearing a jumper you were already not 100% sure you liked the look of.
A lot has changed since this abuse. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions to say the least, but I feel this abuse could end up being the best thing that ever happened to me. I’ll explain more in a future diary entry, but I can feel positive things happening :) Oh, and the bike ride with Erin was lovely. The universe even treated us to a meadow full of beautiful blue bells; was like a scene from a movie :)
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"If you don’t take that first step, a path won’t open for you."