I went out the other day with Girlfriend in one of her new outfits. We got a milkshake at McDonald’s and walked around downtown at dusk. It was scary and fun and tense and silly. It was a little exhausting because I was so worried that someone would recognize us (Girlfriend isn’t out and currently wants it to stay that way).
It was also tiring to constantly be worried about how other people would react to two girls holding hands or kissing. We’ve both lived with heterosexual privilege for the past 5 years and giving it up isn’t going to be easy.
There were more than a couple people who looked at us with less than friendly expressions and demeanors. I didn’t know if they were being transphobic or homophobic, but either way it both angered me and made me feel uncomfortable. And although Girlfriend didn’t talk about the evening much other than to say that it felt like everyone was staring at her/us (and to say later that it was so nice get to feel and act like a “real girl,” by which I assume she means acting like the girl she really is), those unfriendly glances made me worry about her and her safety when she goes out in feminine clothing/make-up.
I hate that I have to feel this way about it. I wish the world wasn’t a place that didn’t necessitate such worry. Seeing her happy at the end of the night because she was able to express herself the way she wanted to was so beautiful. Why can’t other people understand that and let trans* people live without hate or violence against them?