I had my radio tuned to a classical music program–they were playing something by Domenico Scarlotti, a harpsichord piece that was not dissimilar to my ring tone–so I almost missed the call. I was also in the middle of my post-aerobics yoga routine, so I was a touch out of breath when I grabbed my phone.
It was a nice man whom I had met at church and who had asked for my phone number. I honestly didn’t think he would ever call.
We chatted for a few minutes. I told him that I was breathing hard because I had just been exercising. (Tip for trans women: it’s much harder to do “the voice” if you are low on oxygen.) He told me that he was going to start exercising to lose weight and become thinner–I thought he was fine–and become slim and attractive like me.
I must admit I was enjoying this. When we first met, he told me that I was really sweet and pretty and nice and that we had made a connection.
Let me assure you that when you are someone like me and you have waited a lifetime to finally be living as who you have always been inside–as the sort of woman with whom straight nice guys might flirt–this is like catnip!
Besides, he was not unattractive. He was funny and intelligent. I liked him, too.
He asked me what area of town I lived in. He started talking about perhaps me coming to his place to hang out and eat and watch television or something.
You must understand that I have gotten quite reluctant to “out” myself unless there is a good reason, but this was moving in a direction where things might get out of hand. I certainly wasn’t going to show up at his place on Saturday night and do the Big Reveal while sitting alone on a couch with a man I knew only slightly.
So I told him that I was transgender. You have no idea how much I hated doing that. I was also hoping that he would be fine with it.
Hope is a trickster god.
A few seconds later, he came back. I could hear the strain in his voice. I don’t think he had seen that coming. The poor man then said some things like, “I felt that you were transgender in my soul” and “life does have a way of throwing you strange curves.”
He wished me well, said we could be friends, and got off the phone in under ninety seconds from the moment when I had “outed” myself.
It makes me a little sad.
I am a nice woman, I really am. I cook well and keep my home clean and tidy; I have good taste in clothes; I’m well-read and know my way around concert halls and art museums; and I try hard to be polite and kind and considerate and to the extent that I can support a couple of worthwhile charities.
I am a lady. However, I fear that I may forever be doing that solo.
Now I need chocolate.
The picture is Charles Haight Wood’s The Patient Competitors.