Today I am writing about doors, all type of doors and the first doors that I am writing about is the standard ordinary doors that you walk through. It was interesting to have a gentleman open a door for me, I was awash with feeling. Everything from “wow this is nice” to “what have I done to deserve this treatment” to “why am I being treated special”. A couple of times it has been a little scary, one time a guy read me as a trans-woman and just let the door close in my face. Sometimes it can be comical, like the time a guy also read me as trans, and his jaw hit the ground, the look on his face was priceless.
Another type of door where women get preferential treatment that I won’t complain about is at an intersection with stop signs. I have noticed a slight, I emphasis slight, preferential treatment at a four way stop. I have noticed that guys tend to wave women ahead of them in the intersection more so than with men. However, with parking spaces it is first come no matter what your gender.
An internal door for me opened up, I am more outgoing. I have nothing to hide anymore; I am not worried that my deep dark terrible secret will come out. Before I transitioned, I had a limited number of friends, now I have a broad circle of friends. From birth until my fifties, I very rarely set foot outside of my town and when I did so it was mainly because of work. I never went to a play or out to dinner with friends. All my life I only knew white, middle class Christians, now I know people from all social-ethnic backgrounds. I know writers, actors, playwrights, photographers and television producers. My life is so much richer in knowing them. One of the other doors that opened was that of the world, I never traveled outside of town; when I came out, I started going to Provincetown MA, for Fantasia Fair, to Boston for First Event. I never went to Hartford; the last time that I went in to Hartford was when my father use to work there and he retired in 1974. Now I am there on a weekly basis.
Other darker doors have opened, I never knew anyone who had attempted or committed suicide, I never knew anyone who had to make their living off the streets, and I never knew anyone who had HIV/AIDS. I never knew anyone who was assaulted because of who they are or fired from a job or thrown out of a restaurant. Sadly, I do now. The anonymous commenter who left a comment two days ago criticizing me for using the work hate, I bet he doesn’t know any of these people or he only sees them in some abstract forms. My field instructor asked me when I was starting my first internship what was my support system, I didn’t know what she meant, I do now and I had to use it several times since. This year I was attending a meeting with the Court Support Services Division and they were looking for safe houses for teenagers who were forced into white slavery. They had about 45 runaway teenagers who were kidnapped from the Bridgeport bus station, forced addicted to heroin and then pimped out that the CSSD needed to find safe house for them. That meeting I will never forget. It opened my eyes to side of Connecticut that I never knew existed.
Since I have come out, many doors have opened for me, both good and bad and I have a favor to ask of you. Open your door to someone who may not have a family to go for whatever the reason this holiday season. I am one of the lucky ones; I will be with my brother’s family.