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.