Shockingly Bold

When getting your makeup done, it’s helpful to be prepared with what you are looking for. Are you looking for a everyday look? Are you getting your makeup done for a special event?

When I am getting a makeover, whether it is for a photo shoot for for going out, I always tell my stylist that I am looking for BOLD. Thick, dark eyeliner, bright red lips, lashes…

I like the boldness because, well, I think I can pull it off. I also like the boldness because I am going to stand out regardless, so I may as well go all the way. High stilettos, head-turning dress, so I may as well have makeup to die for.

I have been going out for a long time (or at least it seems that way) and I have been everywhere from cafes to gas stations to very nice restaurants to a church. Sometimes what I do and where I go match my makeup in the sense that what I am doing could be considered bold. In fact, there are some things I do that I never thought I would have the courage to do, but here I am.

A few months ago I had posted a selfie in a public bathroom and it went viral on Twitter for all the wrong reasons. My photo was retweeted and commented on and sparked a rather hostile “conversation” about transwomen using the ladies room. It was a pretty terrible thing to experience.

At first I didn’t realize I was being attacked. The first comment from the harassers was something along the lines of “shockingly bold”. I replied, “Thank you!” to this person. Of course, after checking out the profile of the person who commented I realized that it was not a compliment. When I first read it, I interpreted it as them being… impressed? that I as a t-girl was not only out of the house, but doing something normal, like taking selfies in the ladies room.

In my defense, it was easy to misinterpret this comment. But I am not in the habit of defending or explaining what I do or who I am to haters.

I found myself thinking about this experience the other day. We can’t control or change how someone sees us or what they say to us. But we can control how we react. We can choose how to respond, if we chose to respond at all. Naively, I assumed they were complimenting me. That is how I chose to interpret their comment. I was way off, but that was my reaction. Perhaps that says something about my ego, but I digress.

I decided long ago that I can’t change someone’s mind, their attitude, or what is in their heart. I can tell them that transwomen are women, I can tell them to leave me alone… but none of this works.

If I walk down the street or through the mall, and someone points or calls me a slur I just ignore them. They are trying to provoke me, they are trying to make me angry, they are trying to hurt me any way they can, they are trying to get me to respond. It’s up to me if I let them get to me.

Of course, this is easier said than done, and sometimes this does get to me, but I certainly don’t turn my head when someone calls me a… well, you know.

I heard someone say that it’s not what they call you, it’s what you respond to, and God, they are so right. Be bold, even shockingly so. For yourself. For no on else.

Love, Hannah

7 thoughts on “Shockingly Bold

  1. It is very true, those who dislike us will use so many hateful words and actions to get a response from us. Especially one that provokes a conflict, as if to feed their narrow ego and self. Awesome advice to look the other way and ignore these persons as much as possible. We deserve to be happy, to be us, to be who we are and they don’t get to take it away any longer. Be Bold indeed!


  2. I’ve been thinking aboutt the same subject this week and you have captured it beautifully. Thank you for the time you give to this blog – it helps me and I am sure many others.


  3. Thank you for sharing what was a painful and scary experience.

    When I am out in the world I use the restroom (or fitting room) of the gender I am presenting. With the restroom, do what I have to, shy away from direct eye contact, and don’t loiter. Yeah I have taken the obligatory selfie at Macy’s and Dillard’s. Big mirror, if it’s empty, be a girl and take a picture of whatever dress I’m wearing.

    I was at Dillard’s about a month ago. There was a dress I just loved. The price and it was really a size too small I didn’t buy it. I took several pictures in the outer part of the fitting room; there’s the mirrors, you can see yourself in profile. Posted one of them on FB. Had a former coworker chime in with “where were you?” I could tell by the wording it was “you were in the women’s fitting room?”

    There times where I think I’ve passed. That is until I open my mouth and start talking. My assumption is always that don’t pass. Not standing in the line, with my mouth shut, at the grocery store. Not in the mall to someone 30 feet away and going in the opposite direction.

    Yeah. I was looking at dresses. I was presenting female. I try (tried) them on in the women’s fitting room. I’ve more than once had CIS female tell me “you look fabulous in that dress” while I was posing looking at myself in the mirrors. The sales clerk at Dillard’s remembers my name and frequently takes the time to show me dresses based on what I try on and purchase.

    I’m just talking. The end of last week I found myself in one of those situations where I have to explain… no I am not gay, not bi, not interested in surgery, not confused about my gender.

    I’ve naïve I guess. Expect the world to be “fair.”

    Love Sophia

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Regarding the first response to your tweet – if they were trying to get you to respond (negatively), then your “Thank you!” should have been just the opposite of what they wanted to see. Even if it was inadvertent on your part, it may have been just what was needed.


  5. Last year I went outside in femme. There was a CIS woman with her little girl who I’m sure saw me. We were all in the apt. parking lot. I walked right past them. I got in my car and drove around them. The Dad was now with them. I could see in my rear view mirror the Dad talking to his wife (had to go slow because of speed bumps). Then he pointed at my vehicle for a long time laughing. He doubled over. Hmmm… At least he was just laughing. Then a few months later I saw him in the parking lot again because I was packing up to move. Moving for other reasons. Not because of him. He was really sad I was leaving. He said he wished he got to know me better. I was shocked! He had to laugh in front of his family but when it was just us he liked me a lot! People who mock us I think are fighting themselves because they don’t know how to deal with the feelings of enjoying our company. I just keep thinking of the song Funky Cold Madena. I was a teen when it was popular in the 90s. People my age and older may still have that idea they’re not supposed to like us. As far as the bathroom issue; I personally have never met a trans person I felt threatened by. I can’t wait until society pays no mind to this. If I’m trying so hard to sound and appear as a woman that’s what I care about. I want to live as a woman in every way including bathrooms. The truth is way more boring than someone’s fears.


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