Tuesday, June 16, 2009

womanhattan: "dyke"

Sunday in New York and I dressed up for the day: my purple dress, jewelry, mid-heel Mary-Jane pumps, suntan pantyhose, etc.

My workshop ended about 2 PM and I returned to my hotel room to freshen up. After touching up my makeup, I went outdoors (the weather was perfect) and hailed a cab.

A cab stopped, I got in and told the driver to take me to Rockefeller Center.

The driver told me he could not take me there because the Puerto Rican Pride Parade on 5th Avenue blocked the path to the Rock. So, I got out of the cab and decided what to do.

I had fallen in love with a perfume sample of Aquolina Pink Sugar that I received at Sephora, so I decided to walk the six blocks to their West 34th Street store to buy the perfume.

It was my first time out wearing the mid-heel Mary Janes I bought a few weeks ago. When I paid for the shoes, the cashier commented that the shoe was popular with dancers because they are very comfortable and I was discovering the same thing as I walked from my hotel to Sephora.

In Sephora, I walked around the store looking for the perfume. During my hunt, I passed an older gentleman and as I walked by him, he turned to me and said, "I want to give you a kiss" and then he blew me a kiss!

Flabbergasted, all I could do was whisper, "Thank-you."

I found the perfume, paid for it, and exited with my heels never touching the ground!

Since my new shoes were cooperating, I decided to walk a half-block to Herald Square and take a few photos. After taking a few shots, I saw an empty chair and sat down to take a break. While I sat, I took a few photos of myself. They turned out OK, but I could only stretch my arm so far and I wanted something better.

Seated next to me was a older gentleman with a camera case in his lap. I tapped him on the shoulder and with a big smile, I asked him to take my photo. He smiled, I handed him my camera, and he took a photo of me.

After resting for five minutes, I decided to walk eight blocks up Broadway to Times Square. I took photos along the way and with no complaints coming from my feet, I decided to head east towards Rockefeller Center.

While waiting for the traffic light to give me the go-ahead to cross Broadway at West 45th Street, I took some more photos of Times Square. A trio of women joined me at the crosswalk and one asked me if I'd like her to take my photo. Of course, I accepted her invitation and the photo I posted here on Sunday is the result of her handiwork.

Five more blocks and I was in the middle of Rockefeller Center. Foot traffic was light, so I thought it might be a good time to go to the Top of the Rock. I entered the RCA Building (you call it what you want, it will always be the "RCA Building" to me) and found the ticket counter for the Top of the Rock.

My timing was good; there were no lines and I was on my way. Before getting on the elevator to go to the top, I had to go through a the metal detector and I set it off. The guard looked at me, then waved me on with the words, "Must be your bracelets, hon'."

That was a new one! I've been called "miss" and "ma'am" before, but never "hon'." I smiled at the guard and got on the elevator.

Seventy stories later, I was on top of the RCA Building and the weather was perfect. Visibility was virtually infinite and the view was spectacular. To the south, the Jersey shore was visible, to the north, Catskill peaks poked over the horizon, to the northeast, I could see the Connecticut shoreline, and all around me was The City.

I spent about an hour atop, taking a lot of photos and taking it all in. I asked a couple of people to take photos of me and more than a couple of people asked me to do the same for them.

Next, I wanted to go to Saint Patrick's Cathedral, which is just across the street from Rockefeller Center. I took the elevator back down and walked to 5th Avenue. During this short walk, a young man cut me off and immediately apologized, "Excuse me, hon'."

Second "hon'" in an hour. I started to wonder if "hon'" was a New York thing, but I didn't care. A blown kiss and two hon's meant I was passing, however, I was about to receive another term of endearment that would seal it.

As I walked up 5th Avenue toward Saint Pat's, a small group of high school boys were heading towards me. As I passed through the group, I heard one of the boys say, "Dyke."

Now I knew I was passing!

I crossed 5th Avenue and entered Saint Pat's. There was a Mass in progress and the priest was just finishing the sermon.

This was a big deal for me. I was a Roman Catholic and my religion was the source of much needless guilt about crossdressing throughout my life. I overcame the guilt years ago and now I was entering the church for the first time en femme.

When I planned this visit, I thought it would be like spitting in the eye of the Church of Rome. "Take that for all the pain and suffering you brought down upon me for so long."

But instead of feeling vengeful, I felt wonderful. The prodigal son has returned, but now he is your daughter!

I decided to attend the Mass. I remembered and recited all the prayers and when it was time for the Sign of Peace, I exchange handshakes and "peace be with you's" with all the folks around me, or so I thought.

From behind me came an anxious voice, "Peace be with you, Ma'am. Peace be with you, Ma'am."

I realized I missed someone, so I turned around and exchanged another handshake and "peace be with you" with a fellow two rows behind me.

During the Mass, I noticed a reproduction of the famous painting, the Black Madonna of Częstochowa in one of the side altars of the cathedral.

Being a Pole, I checked it out and discovered that that side altar was dedicated to the saints of Poland. It included biographies, paintings, and sculptures of all the saints. After saying a prayer for all my deceased relatives at the side altar, I exited the cathedral.

It was now 7 PM and the last meal I had was breakfast, so I was hungry and decided to treat myself by having dinner at the Rink Bar, the outdoor bar/restaurant that resides in the Rockefeller Center ice skating rink when it is too warm for ice skating. My table for one was immediately in front of the fountain, so I did not feel lonely eating solo because Prometheus was right by my side.

I had peach sangria, watercress salad, rissota crab cakes, and coffee. They were all excellent and they were all only $50 and change!

After dinner, I hailed a cab and enjoyed the ride down 5th Avenue while reflecting on my wonderful day out en femme.


  1. It sounds like you had an awfully fun day!

  2. You go girl! I love your dress, and you look great in it.

    Isn't it odd that we are happy to hear what other women take as taunts or worse? For you, it was "dyke." For me, it was the word that rhymes with "rich."

    To us, they are signals that we're passing. But to non-trans women, they are signs of disapproval and warnings of exclusion or rejection.

    And I can certainly relate to your feelings about the Catholic Church: I attended Catholic school and was an altar boy. I felt the double-edged sword of the shame I felt over my feeling that I was really a girl, not a boy, and over the mendacity I committed almost reflexively in order to be accepted.

    I'm glad you had a great day. You'll remember it for the rest of your life: It's the first time you experienced the world as you truly are. As they say in the Visa commercial, it's priceless.

  3. "Hon"? I thought only people in the South said that?

  4. If that "highschooler" only knew what a compliment he gave you! Great post luv!

  5. Nice dress, cariad..!!

    "I was a Roman Catholic and my religion was the source of much needless guilt about crossdressing throughout my life. "

    Yep. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. :)


  6. You are not only an amazing person but a talented writer as well. I to am catholic and years of confusion and guilt about being trans almost put me over the edge. I think of the two passages "In the beginning He made man and woman" not man OR woman, and blessed are ALL who come before me. I like the Ghandi quote as I feel its true that Christ accepts me a lot more than the church does. Someday I will go to church emfemme , the way I should have all along.
    Also you look stunning! Love that dress. Thanks to you for being you...