I have been pretty bold going out in public as a woman. However something happened that brought a little unwanted reality into my life.
While driving to work the other day I stopped at a traffic light. In California you can turn right at a red light. I started to make my turn when a car came over the rise to my left. He was in the lane I was turning into so I stopped. The driver of a large black pickup truck behind me was not paying attention and bumped me. Normally I would have jumped out and gave the driver a piece of my mind. This time I froze. I was dressed without my makeup or my breast forms. I looked too much like a guy in a dress. I was afraid to get out or even stop.
I thought about having to exchange driver’s license and insurance information with the driver. What would he do (it was a he) when he looked at my driver’s license and saw male on it. Even my birth name is a dead giveaway.
For only the second time since I started my transition I thought about being harassed or assaulted for being trans. I was sweating and shaking when I pulled to the side of the road to confront the other driver. I looked over my shoulder to see him pull across three lanes of traffic to turn down a side street to get away. I thought about trying to chase him down but after looking at the little scuff on my bumper I decided it wasn’t worth it.
The fear hung with me like a black cloud for most of the day. It came back stronger when I had to go to the bank at lunch. I needed a cashiers check to pay for my dad’s first month in the assisted living home (long story). The bank teller is required to see my ID before they can issue the check. I took a deep breath, strutted into the bank in my salmon blouse, navy pleated skirt,wedges and a big smile. I asked for the cashiers check and handed the girl my driver’s license. She smiled and asked for the amount and the name I wanted on the check. I told her and signed the reciept. The teller smiled again and told me to “have a nice weekend.” No questions, no funny looks, no embarrassing laughter. I felt better. The dark cloud was lifting. Still, in the back of my mind lingered a tiny bit of fear. Things have been so good for me these last few weeks that I forget about being careful.