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June 2000 Entries

Tuesday, June 20, 2000

I'm back at home now, on summer break. I'm not really sure yet what I'm going to be doing, but I know that trans research, activism and writing will definitely be part of it. It has already--I haven't left the house in two days because I've been working on this website so much. :)

It's kind of weird, being at home--After spending a year at oberlin and a month with accepting friends, this is the first place in a while that I can't dress up in public at. Yes, I'm out to my family, but it's clear that dressing up in front of them would be awkward. I'm also in my home town, and although I'm not embarrassed about dressing up, I do worry about running into the hundreds of people that I know here that still don't know about me. I mean, it will have to happen eventually I suppose, and it has happened to some extent already, but I dunno, it's still awkward sometimes. When you come out to people, if you haven't already, one thing you'll find is that they'll think you've been hiding something from them, and that this somehow lessens how much they know you. And the truth is that you have been hiding something from them, but you're not to blame. Obviously if society were more accepting, you would have no reason to hide it. But still. I'm just waiting to run into a high school teacher on the street, or someone from my church on the bus.

I'm going to have to find some sort of outlet though, or I'll go nuts. There's a pride parade next weekend, that sounds like one possibility. I don't know what else though. I guess I'm just sick of hiding.

Germany was good--I didn't crossdress though. I did every day with the group of friends I traveled with when we were still in the states, but in Germany I decided not to. You just have to make those calls sometimes; We were performing, and it wasn't appropriate to dress while performing, and I didn't want to alienate the hosts we stayed with every night, so there was really no opportunity. I did do it while on the plane, though; Planes are nice, civilized, safe places to crossdress in. In fact I saw another crossdresser, a black man wearing a women's African dress and heels, which was refreshing. Just make sure you're willing to deal with customs people--Your dressing could give them reason to pick on you and hold you for a while if you get a bigot, because they're allowed to search anyone that looks "suspicious."

I came out to my Godmother, the final person I felt I needed to come out to, and couldn't have had more success. When I got back from Germany I visited her and found a pile of transgender books she had bought, including the Transgender Warriors I'm reading now. It's the best transgender book I've read. More on that later. Anyway, she is a brilliant person and had a lot of insights about all of this. One was, when you crossdress, no matter how subtle you are or how good your intentions, you're always going to be in-your-face to some people. Sometimes I just want to wear a skirt and be comfortable and go about my own business, but she reminded me that I'm always making a statement, even when I'm not trying to. I've gotten so comfortable and so used to dressing up that sometimes I forget this, but it's something you always have to be aware of.

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