Now I Know How Others Live

I just spent four days in Provincetown Massachusetts. If you haven’t visited Ptown, let me give you a quick explanation of the area. It is inclusive, nonjudgmental, diverse and so very different from anywhere else I’ve ever been.

I’ve written several times about my struggles as a masculine female being mistaken for a man. I stress when I even think about going to a public bathroom. Because I am regularly questioned, as though I don’t know which bathroom I belong in. I am called sir so often that when I am called m’am I want to hug the person.

I frequently ignore the people that don’t take a minute to recognize my true gender, or the people that insist I have mistakenly entered the wrong bathroom. But there are times it is hurtful. There are times it is embarrassing and there are times I just want to scream.

But the past four days have not been like that. Over the last four days I actually started going to the bathroom by myself. I have not required a friend to run interference in public restrooms. Every person I interacted with in Provincetown seemed to know instinctively that I was a female.

It is true that in Provincetown the number of LGBTQ individuals is much higher in percentage than other places in the country. So people living, working and visiting the area are more apt to avoid stereotypes. But the reality is, no one even looked twice at me. I was not an outcast. People did not look over their shoulders to make sure it wasn’t a guy in line behind them.

Maybe it wasn’t so much that the people living in Provincetown recognized that I was a female…maybe they just had more important things to do than judge other people. Maybe they figured I knew what I was and really didn’t need them to police me or monitor me.

Maybe they aren’t worried about the way the person next to them identifies their gender….maybe they are just busy being themselves!

I am truly grateful to have the opportunity to live like everyone else…even if only for a couple days.

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