Something happened yesterday and i’m having a hard time with it:
There used to be a feminist, women’s only spa in Chicago that i loved going to. It made me feel wonderful on so many levels and helped me feel good and present in my body, which, suffice it to say, is fucking hard for me. Last week, i found out it closed down and i was really bummed out.
Sweetly, tre surprised me for my birthday by borrowing a friend’s car and driving me to a spa in the suburbs. i was scared of bringing my body into a new and vulnerable space but wanted to be hopeful, to believe in possibility and existence. It’s also been more possible for my body to exist in gendered spaces since having surgery (because people have fucked up assumption about what it means to pack a piece).
Anyway, for the first few hours it was mostly nice, dirty looks aside. But as i was preparing to leave, an attendant tried to kick me out of the shower, thinking my body didn’t belong. She rushed up to me shouting “ooh, ooh…” a look of horrified shock on her face. Frantically, she searched for my tag, which was coded pink to alert staff to where i should/shouldn’t be allowed to be. The entire time i knew what was happening but was too in shock to react.
i left heartbroken and ashamed, feeling ugly and monstrous. i went home feeling like my body wasn’t allowed anywhere. It’s a fight to exist, with very few spaces that my presence is accepted without blink or question in which to take respite. When i realized this attendant was doing her job, i became enraged and horrified. This is what she was trained to do…
When i started transitioning, i knew it would be a long hard fight. However, i thought there would be an endpoint at which i would be allowed to exist. i’m not sure there’s an endpoint anymore. If anything, i’m sure that there is not.
i went home and spent the night crying, eating cookies, and reading comic books. i fell asleep praying, as i often do, for the violence to stop. i woke up and looked in the mirror, and it was there. i have forgotten how to shake the shit. My mom used to tell me to let things roll away like water from a duck’s back, a process which she referred to as “duck butter.” The punk philosophy i grew up with taught me to scoff and walk into the fray.
Neither is working.
tre asked me if i would like her to complain. i asked her why. i want to be allowed to exist. i want that existance to not be a fight or an education process. i’m tired.
My birthday thought was simply, “i don’t know how to do another year of this.” i want to, don’t get me wrong. i want to live, i find so much beauty in the world, but i don’t know how to keep fighting. i don’t know how to remain open to possibility.
(Please don’t offer to build a campaign, do violence to the person, or tell me that it’s not a big deal. These aren’t helpful.)