The What-Ifs

I totally understand not feeling ready to go out en femme. We all have been there, these hesitations are fueled by all the what-if’s that could happen. The fears, the anxieties, the uncertainties. Will people point? Will people laugh? Will people be cruel? Will you see someone you know? Will you shake so much that you quiver in your heels and lose your balance? I played out (and still do) a million different what-ifs before I was ready to go out into the real world. All of these potential events were worst-case scenarios (but paranoia keeps us safe) and for years they kept me at home.

Until they didn’t.

And I know there are so many of us that aren’t ready to make this step yet. But someday, something will happen, and before you know it you’ll hear the click of your heels on the pavement and the wind in your wig.

These what-ifs bounce around in our heads and scare us. But perhaps you can add a new what-if. A different what-if. A fantastic what-if.

What if… what if you have an amazing experience?

The moments that stay with us for the rest of our lives are the small, unexpected things. For me, these are mostly acts of kindness, either from someone knowing that I needed a little love or someone being thoughtful for no apparent reason.

It’s no secret that life has been overwhelming over the last few years. The pandemic, economic issues, the potential for the war escalating, and the seemingly unending attacks (both political and otherwise) on the trans community.

And then there are our own lives, with all of the challenges and difficulties.

Things are stressful in my life, unrelated to the current global and domestic troubles. Please don’t worry, everything will be fine, but it’s been getting to me.

When I go out en femme, it’s a break from the boy life, the stresses and challenges he has. I can usually shut off “his” part of my brain and just enjoy living in the moment. But the other day I just couldn’t shake it. I was out running some errands and was on my way to my next destination when I stopped by Caribou Coffee.

For those outside Minnesota, Caribou Coffee is a coffee shop chain. There are some locations outside the state, but nowhere near the presence that Starbucks has.

I decided on the drive-through. The sidewalks were icy and I didn’t feel like navigating in my heels. I sat in my car, ordered my drink, and was consumed by my thoughts and stresses. Even though my mind was focused on that, I had enough energy and mental bandwidth to quietly wonder what the barista would think when I pulled to her window. Afterall, I was sure she was expecting a man after taking my order through the menu-speaker-thing.

After a moment or two, she handed me my drink.

I can’t tell you how much this made my day.

I needed that.

Although it doesn’t stop me from leaving the house, I do often wonder what people are thinking when they see me. I am *obviously* trans. It doesn’t take more than a moment for someone to realize my birth certificate was marked ‘male’ when I was born. The most I hope for is an uneventful interaction with a cashier or a server, but when someone goes out of their to be kind, particularly to a trans person, it creates a moment that I’ll never forget.

Love, Hannah

10 thoughts on “The What-Ifs

  1. A few of us stopped at Crave at the Mall of America on Saturday. Just a casual stop, so at the bar. As I was taking my coat off, a lady a couple of spots over got our attention and said “You ladies look great.” and a bit of chatter between us went on. It does indeed raise your spirits.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another take on this – now that I’m 24/7, I’m not so worried about what others might think or do, or who I might run into. It’s more just the “Am I fully put together?” type thoughts.

    And as far as running into folks – at the gas station the other week I ended up next to a friend I hadn’t seen in several years, and who hadn’t been introduced to the new me. So when I got out of my car the first thing I did was walk over to them and say “Hi” and made that introduction. I was surprised that they had a hard time placing me at first. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like you need to have a foot in both worlds, I don’t want to transition, but do wish I could spend more time in my girl side. Once I started dressing I couldn’t wait to go out, I haven’t had a bad experience yet & have been told many times how beautiful & brave I am for going out & being myself. I’m sure the day will come when I have a bad experience, but I don’t let it bother me, I don’t really care if people look, stare or laugh. They have their opinions & as long as they’re not mean or hateful, it’s their right.
    I love getting dressed & looking beautiful & being the best woman I can be when I’m out & representing the Trans community!
    Thank you for all your knowledge & advise, you are an inspiration to all us girls out here.



  4. I have had some very similar reactions from barristas over the years. I think I most appreciate the warm and welcoming responses at places that I regularly visit. A compliment on my outfit is enough, but those greetings, conveying genuine enthusiasm and support are what keep me coming back!


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