In my male life, I tend to be a bit of a workaholic. Even on my days off, I plan projects and errands and things that I need to accomplish. I have a hard time relaxing. One of my favorite things about having two genders is that Hannah is very different than my male life. I had quite a few errands planned for yesterday but it was a beautiful morning and I felt like being as beautiful as the day.
I woke up, picked out one of my favorite floral dresses and nude heels and left my house in search of adventure. I ended up at the Mall of America. I think for many of us in Minnesota we look visiting this mall as a challenge. It’s huge, has a ton on people and can be intimidating. I’ve been to the mall as Hannah before and was excited to return.
I arrived at the mall before most stores had opened and enjoyed listening to the click of my heels on the floor as I wandered around having a coffee. I caught the eye of other shoppers and I did what I always do when someone looks at me, I smiled at them. And more often than not, they smiled back.
A smile can disarm, a smile can put someone at ease and smiling back when someone smiles at us is a reflex. There was one lady in particular who just…stared at me and I just kept smiling. I thought about what she would tell her friends later.
“I saw one of those…transgendered people at the mall.”
“She…smiled at me”.
Yes, we are pretty scary.
As I strolled through the mall, I heard someone say “oh, will you look at the model!” I turned and saw a couple sitting on a bench waiting for a store to open. I sat down with them and had a wonderful conversation with them. They were a retired couple from Norway who were in town to meet their daughter who was flying into Minneapolis from Alaska. We had about a 20 minute chat and my heart grew with happiness.
I stopped in a lot of stores and tried on dresses looking for a new outfit. I also took advantage of all the giant mirrors.
I had so much fun. After my recent post I was inspired to try on a few gowns as well. Look at this dress, could you imagine wearing it at ball?
I had a wonderful adventure at the mall. I look at my time as Hannah truly as adventures. I never know what will happen. Maybe I will find the perfect dress or talk to a retired pastor from Norway. What I do know is that people are generally very kind and they might look at you as they have never seen a transperson before…and it’s possible they haven’t.
It’s impossible and a waste of time trying to determine what people are thinking when they see you. Regardless of what they think, it can’t affect you. How you think about yourself is the only thing that matters. If someone does stare at me, I like to imagine they are thinking “wow, she’s tall” or “what a beautiful dress!” and “how does she walk in those heels?”.
People will stare, but mostly they just smile back.
7 thoughts on “Hannah’s Adventures in Mall of Americaland”
Absolutely Hannah! Just carry on as if you’re having a great day (which of course you are!) and keep smiling. I’ve been out a few times lately, which has been wonderful, visiting National Trust properties and mooching around places and events. I’ve chatted with lots of people and even if one or two have been a bit startled at first it’s been fine.
Most people are very friendly and I like to think I might have made their day a bit when they go home and tell their friends, “You’ll never guess who I met…!”
Hannah- You teach some powerful lessons not the least of which is this one. I am sure that I have had numerous people staring at me when I am in male mode but I’ve never noticed them. As my female self I am constantly on guard and anyone looking is to be feared.
You give me confidence and that is the powerful ingredient of this story.
Those last two paragraphs – absolutely! I was in Target a couple days ago, and the only person who did anything but smile at (or ignore) me was an older woman who got a somewhat disapproving look on her face. I smiled, and thought, “OK – now you have something to talk to your husband about!”
You really are an inspiration to all. I had the day off and a new outfit and just had to get out. I didn’t go shopping like you but did go to Midwest Makeup supply. Corrie is so nice and helpful everyone should go there.
Haha glad my fellow countryfolk treated you well. Us Norwegians are mostly tolerant and fairly progressive but also somewhat naïve and living protected lives in a corner of the world. We even have The Bathroom Discussions now.
Thank you for all the inspiration. Boosted by you and others in the community i did my second (assisted) outing last week, out and about shopping and dining in London with a lovely and most supportive lady. I was treated so well everywhere, the restaurant even treated us to cappucinos after our meal. I felt so great I even travelled to my place en femme, going by bus close to midnight. Not even there, in the awful fluorescent ligting, did anyone react. Sometimes I actually understand that the fears are mostly all in my head.
People do tend to be receptive. I have been to Mall of America a number of times, not so much for shopping, but for dining and cocktails. One of the nicest evenings was when i chatted with a couple of ladies who were visiting from Middle-of-nowhere, Texas. They were so nice.