Dancing in the Shadows

Harald Giersing, Danserinde, 1918I cycled in to the office, and went to chat to the other volunteers. Having cycled, I was a bit sweaty in shorts and vest, and had taken off my pink helmet. As I went to change into  a more suitable top and skirt, Les came to talk to me about it. There had been complaints.

Les skirted around the dodgy ground- “Is it becoz I is Trans?” and said the objection was to me appearing without my wig. I could have pressed it- would there be any objection to my appearing without a wig, if I were not trans? S takes great care to make her thin hair appear to best advantage- do you think she should cover her head? And- I did not. So if I cycle in and want the sweat to evaporate a bit before changing, I must hide away in the other room. But he said, “It is as if you want to shock. Do you?”

I have been asked this before, by an Episcopalian priest who was on the Community Building in Britain Facilitator Training Group, around the time I joined it. I joined the FTG only just before I decided I would transition, so first attended dressed male. It was appearing female that shocked the priest. Do I want to shock? Well, yes. Or, if this shocks you then I want to shock you; or if the choice is appearing male or shocking you, then I want to shock you.

And Philip, also on the FTG, commented that I seemed to be seeking to blend in, in the most eye-catching way possible. I was in drab colours; not dressed fashionably, because I did not have the eye for it; and not sexily, because I wanted to get away from the transvestite stereotype, the ugly, beefy bloke in a mini, tight top, and huge falsies- but I was dressed dramatically.

I want to hide away, and not attract attention, and I want to be on stage, the centre of attention. The hiding comes from past hurts. I have wondered if the dancing does too, an attempt to placate others, to be accepted because I entertain- no, it is what I want for itself. It is just so exciting.

I have been cavalier about going wigless, in part because I think I get read anyway: but as John thought me normal female until he saw me wigless, perhaps I should keep it on. I commented on the new hairstyle of the woman on the checkout. She changes it often, she told me. So I lifted my wig an inch, grinned at her, and said so do I. Yes, I do like to shock, provoke, destabilise, challenge. I like to take a contrarian view in argument. And, I am hiding away.

4 thoughts on “Dancing in the Shadows

  1. Totally with you on this! – I am the same. I always thought it was down to the fact that I’m a crazy Gemini, but I don’t believe in astrology anyway.
    Thanks for expressing yourself so well, as always.


  2. I’d love to have the ability to put myself in your shoes for a moment. I, being a femme lesbian, struggle with the assumptions of the generalizations that if I walk like a woman, dress like a woman, wear makeup, have long nails, that I am looked at as if I don’t have enough expression of my lesbianism by our own community on the one hand, and it’s exciting to create reaction in a straight laced world where sexuality seems to be part of defining oneself and defending oneself against the mass hetrosexual attitude that you have to paint a pretty picture to be accepted socially. I live in the bible belt of Virginia and by every standard am out and never try to hide anything and believe me, the reactions have been varied, even the children ask questions. I think if I was crass or defensive or even cared what others opinion of me was, it would be a sad world for me. I love watching someone find themselves and be comfortable in their own choices and skin. I find that if I had worried or questioned or changed my own identity to placate that I would shut down and shut out the world. I like seeing others make a point to try to open minds because so many are closed minded. It needs to be put out there with the attitude of..deal with it..because I do every day…and watch people as they have to face their own bigotry or prejudices while I am standing right in front of them. I am who I am..it’s all I need to be..and I don’t need anyone’s approval or validation. You just keep being you because you are an amazingly bright star in this world so full of darkness. My hat’s off to you..thank you for sharing 🙂


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