Being Visible

I touched upon this in a tangential way on my last post, but another thing that has been on my mind a lot, and also made an impact on my time at this (and the first) festival.

being visibly trans

especially when you’re camping in the woods and don’t really get to look your best… i.e.

I mentioned in the previous post how a stranger randomly came up to me to tell me that I was beautiful and an inspiration, which is a pretty amazing thing to happen to anyone, but for me lately, it seems to happen a lot….

each time I danced at the circle, I would usually dance with my eyes closed and only open them from time to time. I enjoy feeling the music instead of watching it, yet, I do love to look at the people around me, all of them writhing in their own worlds, enjoying their own experiences. It seemed that at least half the time when I open my eyes to see, I would find other eyes upon me, not just glances, and not anything as rude as stares, but beautiful, happy, smiling faces, watching me in my dance, when our eyes would lock, the smile would get larger and brighter, and our eyes thanked each other

One evening while dancing, a woman I had never seen before appeared before me and told me that she had been watching me, and she simply needed to thank me for being so comfortable in my own skin, for dancing with such abandon and joy, and just for being who I am. That is a pretty amazing thing to be told

people remember you when you’re the only visible trans person out there in this community (or at least, the only one that I’ve seen!). As it turns out, LOTS of people noticed me at the first festival, and when they recognized me, oh the smiles that I received, so beautiful, and those who hadn’t seen me before, yes, the first time we lock eyes (I look everyone in the eyes) the eyebrow does occasionally raise as they “figure it out”, but the smiles are always soon to follow, and each time we cross paths, the smile is there even before I’ve seen them

and it’s not really because I’m trans, or lucky enough to be pretty while still being visible, it’s because the way I now feel about myself shines through no matter what. As one of the prayers around the campfire said, “I’m learning to fall in love with myself”. When that line was first spoken, I bristled at it, thinking it selfish and a strange thing to say in that type of environment…. but it’s true…. if we can’t love ourselves…. we can’t truly love others or share that love. We can’t bring people up if we aren’t already there, and that starts with love and acceptance, of all ones warts as well as ones blessings.

I’m not the only one to be thanked like this at these types of events, or to have these experiences, so please don’t think “well I wouldn’t be treated that way….”…. being visibly different just brings those eyes to you quicker, but when you really do feel that smile inside you, which is there because you truly do love yourself, then no one will be able to ignore it, and you’ll see that beautiful things and experiences suddenly start finding you

look someone in the eyes, and smile, and see what happens…. I dare you

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