One of the things that I dreaded was going to places that had high levels of testosterone, like Home Depot and car dealerships. When I transitions those were some of the hardest places that I had to overcome my fear of going there. Before I transitioned I knew that I would have a problem in those types of places and I dreaded it.
Today, I just came back from the car dealership and the only thing that I dread now is the bill. I have close to 110,000 miles on my car and the first major component went of the car, the water pump seal was leaking causing a low coolant levels. But now I don’t fear going to the dealer and the same with Home Depot; however, I did have a problem once at one of the drive-in oil change places. The boss their kept calling me sir, I sent an email to their regional office and I never heard a reply and I did use the incident in my testimony for the anti-discrimination bill that year.
As I was preparing for my transitions, I knew that I had to go out and function in the world. Go grocery shopping, have the car serviced, etc., so I started doing all of those things that I could. Except for work, I was living my life as Diana, so when I did transition I had an easy time transitioning. I remember one time sitting out in my car crying because I couldn’t force myself to go into the grocery store and now I’m there about 3 or 4 times a week. When I first went to department stores, I had a friend accompany me. I told her that she didn’t have to stay with me, just be insight and that was enough to provide a life-line. The worst part was standing in-line at the check-out, I felt trapped. I didn’t know it the time but I developed some pretty basic coping skills, I distracted myself by reading all the headline of the news rags that line the check-out line or look at what types of candy they had for sale, it was until I was in grad school and my independent adviser suggested that I add a section to my project to include coping skills that I leaned the name for what I was doing.
In general, I haven’t had any problems and my worrying has been naught. I probably had in the twelve years that I have been “out” less than a half a dozen incidents of bigotry.