I shared previously that I moved back to my hometown (Growing Wings and Planting Roots) This was quite unintentional and a surprise to even myself. I honestly never thought I could live in a small town again, and most certainly not back home where everyone knew me as my old, somewhat false self.
Spending time with family and reconnecting with childhood friends has been a positive experience. It has helped me to reflect back and see that growing up, I was mostly just me and that’s who all these people see. Being she/her’d on a regular basis is hard but I understand that’s how I’m viewed. Things are different when you’re not surrounded by queer people and I personally choose not to be offended by anyone’s innocent lack of awareness.
Onto the point of today’s post…
Yesterday I went to a housewarming/tea leaf reading party. Initially I struggled with this invitation. Not so much the invite itself because it came from a friend whom I love and respect and know that she feels the same about me. But suddenly dysphoria hit and I immediately thought “I will not go to this inherently female gathering, it’s too emasculating”. Luckily, I know not to always listen to the negative voice bouncing around in my head, and to sit with my thoughts, honour them, but then dissect them. So I did this and here are the different feelings and theories that ruminated.
Housewarming parties and tea leaf readings are for women.
Why do I always get invited to these inherently female gatherings?
If I go, I’m allowing others to continue viewing me as female.
My gay boy friends would love to go to this.
I have many trans guy friends who love to drink tea and I know would jump at the chance to have a reading.
I know that my friend who invited me would be just as likely to invite any cis guy if she knew they would appreciate this type of get together.
Here is what I took away from my time of self reflection – If I were still living in the city surrounded by all my queer friends, gender would not come into the equation when having a party of any kind. Because of this, I decided not to let it be a determining factor in my choosing to go and simply enjoy my day.
Small town living definitely makes navigating these things somewhat more difficult, but if I want others to stop seeing everything as male and female, then I need to lead by example. I firmly believe that we need to destroy the binary yardstick by which we measure EVERYTHING, but that means that I also have to stop living my life according to society’s views of what is assumedly female vs. male.
So by the end of my contemplation, I decided to go and bless my friend in her new home and allow myself to be equally blessed not only by her company but by meeting some really beautiful souls who I know will remain lifelong connections.
As a trans guy, navigating small town life, I get both the privilege and the responsibility of blazing a new trail. I am the first transgender person that many folks in my world have met and I want it to be a positive experience for them and myself. So far, it’s going quite well 😊