Oh well, it had to happen.
Lulled into something of a false sense of secuerity by the almost universally positive response to my transition, I have got used to not being challenged and, apart from the occasional look, not being the focus of other peoples’ rage.
ALl change this morning – and I am left feeling shaken, upset and…yes…wary about going out. For which reson I WILL go out later today, and no doubt will get over it in half an hour.
The one place where I have been concerned about my living in role has been at the local Leisure Centre. There, you may recall, I took our son to go swimming a few weeks…months…back and, for the first time in a long time was wary.
Because, of course, I’d be using the female changing rooms and…worse, in the eyes of some people, I’d be entering a space that contained female children.
In the end, though, I crossed the threshold and, despite a few initial nerves, the sky didn’t fall in. It helped, too, that no-one – apart from the boy – seemed to strip off in front of anyone else. Gone are the days when changing rooms mean dozens of naked kids charging round flicking one another with towels.
So far, so good. I’d got into routine and all seemed well.
Until this morning.
A bloke stopped me at the entrance to the changing room. I wasn’t going in, he told me. What? Nope. I was making some of the women, some of the children uncomfortable.
They’d been talking about me. And if I did try to go in, he’d lay me out.
Lots of highly offensive stuff about “blokes” not going into the female changing room. But at least no overt violence then and there.
We decamped to speak to the management. The boy, luckily, appeared not terribly affected by this exchange and went in to change by himself. An assistant from the Centre followed to check him out.
In front of management, the same scenario, more or less, played itself out again.
People had been talking. Women were uncomfortable. I should “grow up”: that, apparently, was the solution every time I asserted and dared to contradict Mr pink shirt. Oh, yes…he was wearing a pink shirt. That and angry hair are about the two main features I remember.
I asserted because he started off with a tirade of mis-gendering. I wasn’t having that. No way! I asked him to stop calling me “him”.
(Oh, grow up!).
He said that he had no problems with me. He didn’t think I was likely to do anything to the kids (liar!). And I could wear whatever I wanted on my own time. Ah. So he equates transsexual with transvestite.
Luckily (?) he repeated his threat in front of the manager. I explained that I was happy to meet with all and sundry, especially the mums…though with police present.
I asked him not to threaten me. He seemed almost oblivious to the fact he had. When it finally sunk through, he backtracked ever so slightly. Oh. He didn’t mean it.
So if I had ignored him he wouldn’t have hit me? I doubt it.
It is awful. I’m typing now as I await the arrival of the police. I’m also now on course for a series of fairly unpleasant meets with mums and the local council, because I’m certainly not going to aim to compromise.
I’m no threat to anyone. How could I be?
“Discomfort”, therefore, is no reason at all – other than covert language for they think I am a threat but haven’t the guts to say it… or something else.
But this leaves me very worried. Because, in the way of the world, there is no resolution possible here except full resolution. I can’t – mustn’t – “win”…because if I get my way over the bluster of this bloke, I will spend the rest of my days in this area in fear that he or some anonymous friend will take their revenge by catching me when next I am out late at night.
It changes things.