How can you walk as if you own the world? Being trans may be an advantage: I have had to learn to walk three times. The first was before I was one, of course, and that is a huge challenge: it is inspiring to watch children’s single-hearted concentration on the task and their delight as they master it. But then in my teens, I tried walking in what felt to me like a more relaxed way, and demonstrated it to my mother. She did not approve. She said it looked homosexual and her voice indicated her shock so strongly I never walked that way again.
Then Carol told me I was walking in such a “Prognathous” way. It means having a protruding jaw. We talked about it- she said she could have said “Neanderthal”, and I got the message. Relax all that control. Just allow yourself to walk. Not too fast, perhaps- on holiday with my trans friend near Florence, we were late for the last train and had to hurry through the city, and she consciously went into man mode walking that quickly. I was presenting male at the time, and had taken only male clothes. She did not want to walk with me, then. She did not like man mode. She walked ahead.
Finding and permitting sadness, letting go of the anger suppressing it, means I can know my desire, and my desire is to be respected, and to be seen. This animal has value. I know the opposite and I don’t like it. I cycled to the station to go to London (God, Lockdown has been such a long time, it really is another world) and at the station realised I had not brought my wig, only my cycle helmet. Oh dear. Never mind, I went to London, went to the art gallery, in tight jeans and Mary Janes, and no-one looked at me. It was not the strange, female-dressed man with bald top and fluffy sides, it was just nobody, hardly there.
H’s dog whose name I hope to remember in a moment- Jess, that was it- walked less and less far. Once, I was walking her and a small girl said to her mother, “Oh look, a sheep”. There was no sheep in her, a bit of collie most noticeable in the head, a white, tubby body and a tail she kept firmly clamed down between her legs. I was sad for her. She did not like when other dogs came up to smell her, and could nip. I had not at the time seen leads with signs saying the dog is nervous or anxious and may appear to over-react. It looked to me rather like this police officer:
Buttocks firmly clenched. Are you ever like that? Eventually Jess would walk to the end of the next house, cross the road, walk back up the road, and back in to H’s house, and refuse to go further.
Lots of trans women were socially isolated before Covid. Ach, this post is turning out less confident and positive than I had hoped. Walking now, distancing, it seems people are self-effacing or nervous, and it could be fear, or it could be angry tension manifesting in being extremely careful with others. Or it could be just not knowing the rules, really, and wanting to follow them.
And there must be a way, to walk relaxed, to walk in joy, because the world is beautiful and things are alright, mostly. I hope I will return to this, from a more successful pov, later. Meanwhile I set my intention.