I was dressed and out the door at 9:45 AM.
My main goal for the day was to attend two human sexuality classes at Southern Connecticut State University. Each semester, the class has a trans day and invites trans folks to tell their stories and then field questions from the students. The first class was at 12:20 PM, so I had some time to shop for shoes before meeting Diana to carpool to Southern.
First stop was DSW. They had many of the shoe styles I was looking for, but none in my size. So, I searched for anything in my size, but found nothing. I did find three pairs in the non-wide version of my size and tried them on. Sometimes the non-wides fit, but that was not the case at DSW yesterday.
Next stop was the mall. Online I saw some shoes at JCPenney that interested me, so that was where I intended to shop. I parked my car at the Nordstrom entrance, entered the mall through Nordstrom and lo and behold, their shoe department was in my way. I could not resist, so I looked around and found some shoes that I liked.
A saleman greeted me and I asked him what was the biggest size shoe that they stocked.
He replied that they had heels as high as six inches!
I laughed and explained that I was referring to shoe size, not heel height.
He laughed, then asked me what size I needed.
I told him the size and styles I was interested in and he went into the stock room to find what he could find.
Ten minutes passed and I was about to give up on him, but then he returned to the sales floor with a stack of ten shoeboxes; all in my size, but not in wide.
I went through his finds and eliminated about half of them on the basis of style. Then I tried on the remainder, but none of them fit. The salesman checked to see if any of them came in wide, but none of them did.
I thanked him for his help and walked through the mall to JCPenney. There I found the shoes that I saw online and asked the saleswoman if they had them in my size. She went into the stockroom, but came back empty-handed.
It was getting late, so I exited the mall, returned to my car, drove to Diana's house, got into her car, and she drove to Southern.
We arrived at the classroom and found 30 students and two other trans women, who we had done this with before. Usually, there are one or two female-to-males, but not this time, so it was just us four trans males-to-females to do the job.
The students in the two classes asked a lot of questions and in general, seemed comfortable interacting with us. I can recall only one question that I had not heard asked before, i.e., did I ever have an altercation with a male while I was en femme? My answer was "no."
Between classes, we had snacks at the student center with Professor Schildroth and talked about friends, acquaintances, and what is going on in the local trans community.
After classes, we read the students' evaluations of our presentations. Many of the students admit that we were the first trans people they have ever encountered. Just as many commented that the encounter left them with a very positive impression regarding trans people. The biggest revelation for a lot of them was that being trans does not mean being gay.
A few comments indicated that there was still some confusion, but in general, the evaluations indicated that we did a good job.
After the second class, three of us went to an Italian restaurant for dinner and then we went home.
I saved the best part of the day for last.
After the first class, a female student approached me. She said that when I entered the class, she thought I was a woman, not a trans woman, but a born woman.
Thank you, I thought to myself, but then she added that besides thinking I was a born woman, I was also the most beautiful older adult woman that she had ever seen in person!
I thanked her profusely aloud as she examined my presentation real up close now. She thought I was about 45 years old and she was very surprised when I revealed that I was 60 (even up close).
Then she told me something very personal that I will not repeat here. I thought I detected her eyes beginning to well up.
The encounter became so emotional for me that I cannot remember if I gave her hug or not. (If I didn't, I should have.)
Those few minutes with her were priceless to me and I will remember her forever.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Saved The Best For Last
I was dressed and out the door at 9:45 AM.