You hear a lot about the bitchiness and smugness of the west coast, and I’m sure it exists, but I have yet to actually experience it. Granted, I have only been out to California five times but I have encountered nothing but pleasant and accepting people.
This latest trip out allowed me a freedom that I had yet to experience. Traveling without a companion in tow, I was much more open to be myself. I’m usually not really hidden, but the feminine side of me is not shared with all (but, to be perfectly honest, if you don’t know about me it’s basically an oversight on your part….seriously….look at how I dress).
The liberation began Saturday night as we went to a bar to see Flashback Heartattack, an 80s cover band. The delight was being in a “regular” bar as Jenn. The distasteful part was watching as drunk assholes decided it was ok to touch and grab my friend Sarah and not really being able to step in without getting beat to hell. But if it came down to it, I would have totally “manned up” and stepped in to defend with all my might. Which would really have been more of a distraction that would allow her escape. Seriously, I weigh 130 and none of it is muscle. Plus I was in heels and a bustier, not the best fighting garb.
Monday saw a full on shopping trip that was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Sarah nabbed some spectacular items, such as a killer dress, rocking shoes and a classic Zippo lighter. Even in the macho world of a cigar shop, no big thing that Jenn was there. I don’t think I always blend in, nut either I was, or, as I am finding out, people are really not that hung up with others as you might think. I like to think that my warm personality has something to do with it. I don’t come off as a threat to their masculinity (or femininity) but as a good soul, simply trying to exists in this “mixed up, jumbled up, shook up world”.
Tuesday brought around a film premier in Santa Monica. I couldn’t just show up, so I went to the MAC store for a makeover. I know they are salespeople, but my makeup artists was amazingly open and warm and truly attuned to what I wanted. We talked about makeup and my new found love for MAC, as well as my life itself. As the makeup was applied, the other girls would come by to see the progress and comment. It was amazing! Caught up in the moment, I bought Way more stuff from them than intended. We came back, changed, and headed out.
The premier held closely to the opening statement. It was full of “biz” types and many were smug, but none really rude. Just wrapped up in their own little game of getting noticed and getting ahead.
We attended the after party but since they were the same people that were at the premier, we stayed shortly and headed off to Swingers Diner. LOVE IT!
The waiter was such a doll and, again, no issues with me at all.
Wednesday came and I decided to give my face a break, but not my clothes. I had purchased an adorable pair of sandals and we decided it was Pedicure Time! I had never had one, but knew I would want to have the fabulous toes be seen.
Not knowing what to expect, I was shown to my chair and immediately felt special. Not because I had someone at my feet (really, that was a little odd) but because it just felt nice. When asking about my color choice, I went with a cute pink to match what I was wearing. The gentleman in the salon said the color looked darling and as the pedicure progressed, both he and the woman who ran the salon came by and said how cute the color looked. No judgement, just acceptance. An amazing feeling.
From there it was back to the cigar shop for a flask. Again, nothing bad toward me with my pink and grey top, sandals and newly painted toes (with no makeup or wig to disguise my very male persona). I also had my first fish taco (preceded by my first sushi Tuesday night).
Thursday held in it a somber tone. No need to state why, but suffice it to say, it was partially the return home being the next day. We played Lego Harry Potter, took a break and then decided to hit Hamburger Mary’s in Long Beach. A bit further away than I thought, I felt bad for once again taking a lot of Sarah’s time in the commute. Dressed very simply, with subtle makeup (but still more than most women), we made our way to a tradition. The tradition was born on my first trip out. We had been looking for a place to eat (two very straight friends and male me) when they spotted the sign. Not listening to me, that it was obviously a gay establishment and not knowing how they would feel being there. Let’s just say that two of us loved, but the third not so much. Our first was in WeHo.
So Sarah and I arrived at our destination and were immediately greeted with and “Welcome Ladies,” which is always a welcome phrase to any TG individual (unless you are F2M). As we sat and waited to order and eat, we looked around. There were several TransWomen and many families (of the same sex, for all you uptight people out there). Some looking fabulous, some looking like they didn’t care but all representing pride and empowerment. Something we should all have.
When I was thinking about what to wear for the flight back, I decided to go the androgynous route. Well, the clothing, anyway. I am not androgynous, nor cute or young enough to pull that off. Nails painted, skinny jeans, a cute top and jacket set the tone. I knew I would get stares, which I did. I knew I would get glares, which I did on the leg of the flight from MN to IN. I just stared back, unflinchingly. I can hold a death stare as long as necessary (I used to win staring contests with our cat). He finally looked away and mumbled, shaking his head. This got my nerve. I asked what his problem was and he said that my parents must be so proud. I lied and said they were proud that I live as I see fit without judging based on appearance and ignorant statements. This actually shut him up, so a lie can lead to good things, in a way. Then I added my dad was in the service so I would have this freedom. This made him get a pondering look on his face which turned to one of embarrassment and what appeared to be apologetic. He hung his head and walked on. SCORE!!!!
A great week spent with a wonderfully fabulous friend. Cannot wait to do it again!