Saturday, October 25, 2008
This week was a trip to Denver Colorado. Denver is a nice place, fairly clean air, lots of green, and some hills and mountains (things I miss living in Austin).
Once again I decided to push my luck and fly femme. I recently found a skirt that is a perfect match for a light green top I’ve had for a while so I decided to give the new outfit a whirl.
I had just finished taking my obligatory “this is what I looked like before a day of travel destroyed me” pictures and was putting my camera away and getting my bags together when I hear my 19 year old son coming down the stairs. He has known about me for a couple of years now and is 100% cool with it, but I still try not to let him see me “dressed”. I think knowing about is one thing, but having to confront it and observe it is another, so I try to keep it out of his site.
As he comes down the stairs he begins to greet me.
“Hey dad . . . ," and then a distinct pause as he sees me " umm . . .hello!" he says as he cocks his head to the side and gets a shit eating grin all over his face. Good kid, that one . . .
This time I’m flying American Airlines but still no excitement going through check in or security, they all passed me through with out comment. I decided to get a root beer float at the Ice Cream shop they have in the airport. The guy behind the counter has served me a few times and treats me very well each and every time. He is sort of doing his own fashion thing, looking almost Amish with a short beard and low black hat. Clearly he doesn’t exactly follow the fashion trends and rules either. :)
I can’t explain why, but recently I have been kind of lacking in confidence. As I sat in the airport, I just felt like a tired, ugly, old man in a pretty outfit. I don’t like that feeling.
Taking the tram from my arrival gate to my next plane, all of the seats were taken so I had to stand. As I stood there I glanced at a woman that was seated and happened to catch her look at me. As soon as our eyes met you could see it click and her face lit up in the biggest grin you have ever seen. I smiled back at her and returned to minding my own business.
The guy that sat next to me on the flight from DFW to Denver was clearly not amused by my presence. When the flight attendant asked what I would like to drink, this guy rolled his eyes at her like “Oh God, couldn’t have given me another seat?!” Oh well, his problem, not mine.
Got to Denver around 5PM and got my baggage. Sort of stuck my toe out the door to see that it wasn’t TOO cold so I left my heavy coat in my bag. I don’t know if it was the altitude, the stress of trying to stay confident and brave while feeling ugly and un-passable, or what, but almost immediately after getting there I developed a killer headache. I mean the type of headache where every time your heart beats it feels like someone is hitting you with a hammer.
Funny, between the airport and Avis lot things changed dramatically because when I stepped off the shuttle bus in my sleeveless top I almost died of a heart attack. It was freezing and the wind was blowing sleet sideways. Got the car they had assigned me but there was no contract in it, so I had to go to the counter. No one batted an eye as I handed over my license.
Got settled at the hotel and a bit later met up with Michelle and her girl friend for dinner. I didn’t think to ask if it was all right to use her name in my blog so I wont. These were some really nice people and we spent a few hours in interesting conversation. We spoke about how we started cross dressing, how we had progressed, what it means to us, and of course about every day things. It sounds like Michelle has some very interesting things going professionally so I hope good things are in her future. Like a lot of TG’s, Michelle is struggling with reconciling her beliefs with her being TG. Fortunately this is not something I have a problem with. I think in our heart of hearts most of us know the difference between what is “right” and “wrong”, “good” and “evil” and nothing anyone can say to me is going to convince me that cross dressing is evil in Gods eyes.
Her girl friend has recently made major changes in her life, pretty much picking up and moving to Denver and just starting over fresh. She takes the whole TG thing in stride and honestly doesn’t seem to understand why people get so up tight about it. Would that there were more people like her in the world, and I don’t say this just out of a selfish desire to have more people that accept TG’s. As I see it, accepting TG’s so matter of factually tells you a lot about what kind of person they are. She is a very brave and intelligent woman and an interesting person to talk to.
As a traveling engineer, most of my time is spent alone, so it was a pleasure to spend the evening with them. I probably struck them both as being rude though. It had been a very long day for me and my head was killing me, so I called it a night fairly early.
Would you believe that the next day, my headache refused to go away, so all I did was eat dinner drab in the hotel. I had two or three spiced rum and cokes and THAT helped to ease the headache a bit. I was then in bed by 9:30, having done absolutely nothing of interest.
My third day, my headache had died down to a dull roar so after work I decided to get out a bit. Got cleaned up and dressed, looked at myself in the mirror, and almost stepped right into the shower to wash it all off. I just felt tired, old, fat, wrinkled, and ugly. Decided I had spent too much time and effort in getting ready and so I pretty much forced myself out the door to go shopping.
I know it was probably in my head, but from the very first I felt like everyone that saw me knew what I was. I still walked a bit through the mall, but felt like everyone I was passing by was staring at me. Yes, I know this was in my head, but we aren’t talking about logic here are we? After about 20 minutes I just couldn’t stand it and so I fled the mall and returned to the hotel. I decided to stick it out a bit and stayed “dressed” for dinner in the hotel. The restaurant of this Holiday Inn does not see much action, so I was one of two people in it. The same waitress I had the night before waited on me and she made no effort at all to hide her new found distaste of me. The night before she had been talkative but this night she was very abrupt – just short of being rude. One word questions and answers. When I ordered a rum and coke with dinner she asked if I wanted regular or spiced rum making it clear she DID recognize me from the night before. When she stepped out for a while, another lady waited on me for a few minutes and SHE was very friendly and all smiles.
Going through the HUGE TSA security line in the Denver airport (drab), I approached the TSA agent who looked absolutely bored out of his mind. I smiled and made a comment .
“Well don’t you just look terribly excited to be here.” Coming out of his bored haze for a moment, he looked up and focused on me.
“Yeah, so do you!” he returned. It was at this point I noticed his arms were completely free of hair and he was very closely shaven. Couldn’t help wondering if I had just traded words with another TG.
I thought I was going to be lucky enough to have an empty seat next to me on the flight from Denver to Dallas, but just before they closed the doors, this young, tall, and beautiful young lady comes striding down the isle and takes the seat next to me. I noticed that although she was not in any kind of uniform, she was wearing airline credentials around her neck. I struck up a conversation with her and then asked her if she was a flight attendant for American Airlines or another airline. She gave me this dazzling smile that just about melted me and informed me that she was not a flight attendant – she was a pilot! I apologized for demoting her and told her I thought it was awesome she was a pilot. Having a 5 year old daughter, I like the idea that my daughter might be able to achieve such things if she wanted to. On the other hand I considered telling her that male or female, I really preferred to see some grey hair and maturity on the pilot of any plane I was in, but I decided that given all of the prejudice she probably encountered in her career, she might not appreciate the humor.