Trans Tales from the South

Episode Three: Restroom Realities And Redemption

Perhaps I’ve been pushing the envelop far too long. I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later! For the last year or so, I have been challenging myself to go into locations and environments that formerly caused me anxiety and fear. I needed to do this because I know that before I can progress toward my goal (and yes I have one…), I need to come out of the shadows and the dark recesses of human existence and merely be me…to all people, in all places, and at all times! Damn it! I have the right! Right? So I started going to the biggest redneck bar in town…

Like many afflicted with GD, I initially went to places that I assumed were safe. I remember way back in 2012, on a clear and brilliant Spring evening, walking around the streets of Market square in Knoxville, Tennessee like Cormac McCarthy’s Suttree himself. That very night, I ventured into the world the very first time as me…at 36 years old! My loving wife helped me to put on my makeup and outfit and when the coast was clear, we marched out of our hotel room, to our car, and straight to a local LGBT-friendly bar…and oh my God, it was an exhilarating feeling!!! It was certainly one of the most important moments of my life and I won’t soon forget it…

Fast forward to now…I have been going out in public as Amanda for about 18 months and although I’m still nervous from time to time, the fear has abated and the panic has faded. I go anywhere and everywhere and the more boring and mundane the better. It feels great! Although I will never “pass”, I accept who I am and I draw strength from the joy I feel by finally being comfortable in my own skin. I simply try to be the best and most loving version of me that is possible…that is until I slam into the wall of reality!

Last evening, I went to that local veteran-friendly watering hole (the aforementioned redneck bar). I have been there many times before with no problems whatsoever. For whatever reason, be it the alignment of the planets, the phase of the Moon, the rolling of the bones, I was confronted by the staff for having used the women’s restroom my visit before!!! I WAS CONFRONTED FOR WHO I AM! Now, it was Tuesday, the last day of my weekly hormone cycle, so I was in a foul mood to begin with. Needless to say, I was aghast! I became apoplectic! I was in utter disbelief and offended! I wanted to find somewhere to hide and to escape the smirks and sneers of the bubbas, deer hunters, and Alabama Crimson Tide psycho-fans sitting around me. But instead, I broke character as my gentle and loving self and made a scene unto the ages and eons…I cussed the bartender and I made a public announcement to the entire bar:

“I am a trans-woman, I am promptly going in to use the woman’s restroom, and if any of you have a problem with that, I will meet you outside to settle it”

(I guess you can take the redneck woman out of woods but you can’t take the woods out of her…) But let me assure you, I was petrified that someone might have taken my challenge up! And it was ultimately stupid in hindsight. However, what is more extraordinary than the murmurs and jeers of the inebriated bubbas at that moment is the fact that many of the women in the bar rallied completely to my defense and escorted me into the women’s restroom!!! They were as pissed as I was!!! Now remember folks, this is Alabama, a crimson-red state only a generation or two removed from segregation and human rights violations against African-Americans. And these woman came to my aid- the daughters and descendants of some truly despicable people! This should tell you something! Now again, If you have forgotten what I’ve said just now, this is Bama…the deep-south, the buckle of the Bible-belt!!!

I truly think that we are at the tail-end of something in Trump-Pence America! All the negativity that you see, hear, and experience in your lives as transgender people is merely the last gasp of a moribund and rotten system…and it’s dying!!! It’s on life-support, it being read it’s last rites! Something new and real and fresh is about to spring upon us! And it can’t come too soon! And I’m not even a political animal! Long before I was a deeply-closeted Transgender Woman, I was a deeply-closeted Constitutional Monarchist…Domine, ſaluam fac Reginam!

When I returned from the lady’s restroom, I was promptly thrown out by the staff…reality as it is at this minuscule and fleeting moment. I responded, for better or worse, by blessing out the bigoted bartender (again…and I truly regret stooping to that level). As I walked out to my pick-up truck, I could literally hear the women in the bar yelling at the bartender…I take that as:

HOPE IS ALIVE AND WELL!!!

Till next time Y’all