|Photo from the Jessie Hart|
Going out to be alone was one of my favorite phrases when I first started to explore a brave new world as a transgender woman. Another look at it would mean I was desperately lonely and just needed a release from being at home all alone. Along the way, I had discovered several venues I could go to without the chance of being harassed. Outside of one notable exception, I was usually left to my own without any bother. Since I normally consumed quite a bit of beer, having a women's restroom pass was important. In several venues, I did experience push back from the management due primarily to complaints from other customers. I became so good of a regular at one place, after I was asked to leave one night by a manager, the crew found me at a nearby venue and asked me to come back. That was the infamous evening when a group of drunks kept playing "Dude Looks Like a Lady" on the juke box. Even then I was determined I would attempt to ride out the hassles until I was asked to leave. I got my revenge later when I found the manager who asked me to leave was fired for drug abuse.
As I began to go out in the public's eye more and more, I did realize I was under some sort of threat being a single woman at a bar. As I continued to try to present as an attractive woman I found I had a couple things going for me. First, I discovered I was watched over by several of the bartenders I visited on a regular basis. When I was approached by the occasional drunk guy, the bartenders would warn me with a glance and kept him moving. Another trick I learned was always using my cell phone as a crutch. I would act like I was texting someone else and expecting another visitor. That way I could explain to unwanted visitors I wasn't going to be alone much longer.
Finally, "One trans girl to go" began to change. In a moment of brilliance, one of my bar tender friends set me up to meet her single mother who identified as a lesbian. Then, not too long after that I happened to be sitting alone one night when another woman slid a message down the bar to me. Not to let a golden opportunity go by, I quickly responded by introducing myself. It turned out she also identified as a lesbian and before long the three of us bonded over several mutual interests such as sports and drinking. For all intents and purposes from then on one transgender girl disappeared into a much needed small group of three. I learned so much from them I can't begin to list them all. All of a sudden I was even being invited to lesbian mixers which even led to one evening I was asked to approach another participant for a date...for my friend. I was a failure, because my friend didn't get her date but I tried.
Also, as you may recall from a previous post, it was about this time when I met another circle of women who I called my second circle. It was through this circle I met Liz approximately twelve years ago. Our first date was a drag show and after being together for eleven years we decided to get married last October. Even though it's been years since my "One transgender girl", I still and probably always will remember all the intensely lonely days I had to go through. I even tried on line dating. Which predictably went badly in so many ways. I encountered my share of crazies before I ran into Liz who lived relatively close to me in Cincinnati, Ohio. We began to correspond more and more on line before I had the courage build up to let her hear my voice. She wasn't scared off and the rest as they say was history.