Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fulfilling Day Out En Femme

My friend Diana taking a break
from trans Q&A at SCSU yesterday

My primary purpose for going out en femme on Tuesday was to participate in a transgender question and answer session with students in two afternoon human sexuality classes at Southern Connecticut State University.

Before driving to New Haven, I wanted to shop for new clothes for my Dayton trip next month.

I dressed up for the trans Q&A --- a little over the top for shopping --- but very presentable for the two classes. I wore my favorite dress (a sleeveless black and white print) and my favorite shoes (the Nine West red and black patent Mary Janes). I also wore my red ShoeDazzle bag and minimal jewelry... a watch that turned out to be useless because I discovered too late that the watch's battery was losing its life. I also wore my black sweater coat --- it was a beautiful spring day, but it was very windy, so I needed something to cover my bare shoulders.

I arrived at the mall at 10 and looked for leggings in Macy's. I found a handful on a rack in the hosiery department, but only one that may have fit if it was something I was interested in buying (I was not).

Having looked to see what was available on the Macy's website, I knew that there had to be more to select from somewhere else in the store, so I searched the racks in the Misses' department, came up empty-handed and asked a saleswoman where I might find leggings. She directed me to the hosiery department!

Instead of wasting my time in hosiery, I searched the racks in the Women's department and was not having much luck until saleslady Simone asked if I needed assistance. She showed me where the leggings were racked, helped me find my size, and escorted me to the dressing room. She checked up on me a couple of times while I was trying on the leggings and fetched additional pairs for me to try on. I bought three black pairs, one with stirrups, one with lace at the hem and one with zippers at the hem.

Next, I visited JCPenney to peruse their dress racks. I took six dresses to the dressing room. Some did not fit and the ones that did fit, I did not like how they looked on me. Time was running out, so I did not have time to look for anything else to try on and I returned to my car for the 30-minute trip to the university in New Haven.

I arrived about 20 minutes early for class, got Ma'am'd by the guard at the parking lot kiosk and found an empty parking spot right next to the classroom building. I was joined by five other trans-folks, two female-to-males (Dylan and Quinton) and three male-to-females (Diana, Maryann, and Michelle), all who I have done trans Q&A with before.

As in the past, we started by giving the class our bios in a nutshell, then we took questions.

Not much new on the question front --- we heard most of them (or a variation thereof) before. How did you choose your femme name? How do civilians react to you? Which bathroom do you use? Is your family supportive? But there was one question asked of me that was unique. Ater someone asked me a question I've heard before: What do I do if a man tries hit on me? (Answer: I point out my wedding ring), someone else asked me a new question: Has a lesbian ever hit on me? (Answer: Yes, a few times). 

And as usual, we discovered that most students were under the impression that all transgenders are gay and as usual, we tried to dispel that notion.

Between classes, we hung back in the student center and had a bite to eat. I had a slice of pizza that disagreed with me. So much so that I was unsure about going out for dinner with Diana and Maryann after class. We planned to go to Outback after outreach. When we left the university, I told them that if I felt up to it, I would meet them there.

I had a 35-minute ride to Outback to decide if I was feeling better or take the exit for home.

Funny thing... whenever I drive home from these classes in New Haven, the timing is such that I pass right by my workplace at the end of the workday and I always expect to see someone from work drive by and maybe recognize my car, which is very recognizable.

That's what happens when you hold on to your car for a long time --- you and your car become one and people recognize you because they recognize your car. To add to the potential of being recognized, I have my ham radio call sign on my license plate. But so far, I have not run into anyone from work and if anyone has seen me, no one has mentioned it to me.

As I approached the exit for home, I felt better and I was hungry, so I decided to go meet the girls at Outback. The parking lot was full and I had to make a complete tour of the premises before I found an empty spot. I noticed that Diana's red Prius was conspicuously absent from the parking lot and she should have been there already because she passed me on the highway 15 minutes earlier.

I went in and asked the woman staffing the entrance to the restaurant if my friends ("two very tall mature women") had arrived. She said no one like that had shown up yet, so she seated me at a booth and I waited.

After ten minutes or so, I got up and walked around the restaurant to make sure they were not seated elsewhere. They were not, so I returned to my booth and ordered a "Filet Wedge Salad"... a salad with slices of "grilled petite filet." It was delicious.

It was lonely eating alone. I wish I had brought something to read. So, I people-watched an enjoyed my dinner.

Turns out that Diana had a conference call at 6:30 PM and she cancelled plans with Maryann as they walked through the parking lot at the university because she thought she would not get out of the restaurant in time to make the call.

After dinner, I returned home after a long, tiring, but fulfilling day out en femme.

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