A Mile in Somebody Else’s Clothes

I just conducted an experiment. I noticed, with a start, that I needed to do grocery shopping. So I just dropped everything, and drove the ten miles to the little town that has the little store with the Viking sign. As I walked through the parking lot, an elderly man gave me a stare. As I picked up my cart, a little girl did the same. I looked in the plate-glass window–and it dawned on me that I was wearing hiking boots, dark jeans, a man’s shirt, a man’s dark sweatshirt and a severe (if not sad) pixie cut. I don’t usually cross-dress, but in the woods I wear what’s comfortable. I just didn’t think to change before I got into public. The grocery store was not comfortable. I admit some of this might have come from my sudden self-consciousness, but let me tell you this: If you are a transgendered person or a transvestite–if you carry even the slightest suggestion of such a thing–people will notice. They will notice you in the parking lot, and in the grocery aisle, and far before you ever approach a bathroom. You will barely be able to go about your business, much less bother any one else’s. On the plus side, the teenage deli minder did give me an extra drumstick.

(Originally posted April 24, 2016)

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