I Support You, But You Can't See Me

And that's a shame. This is a story about a transwoman exhibiting fear during a brief interaction in a ladies public bathroom in the deep South.

I Support You, But You Can't See Me

I Support You, But You Can’t See Me

Photo by Mikail Duran on Unsplash

She was in the bathroom, putting on her makeup. I spoke to her when I entered. She didn’t speak back, which was odd. We were in an international airport in the deep, deep South. She was a pretty white lady, perfectly dressed for travel, and her hair was slaying.

There was nothing about her initially that made her memorable or exceptional for that matter, but there was something about her that made me do a double take as I exited my bathroom stall.

As she applied her makeup, something in her facial expression made her noteworthy. She had this look.

It was a look of fear. That look caused me to study her more closely.

This woman looked like a person who wanted to be invisible at that very moment. She looked like a person who was confident that she had the right to be in that ladies restroom, until I walked into it. As long as she was alone, she was fine.

She was a transwoman (MtF).

It wasn’t her looks so to speak, it was the look in her face that got my attention.


Her Inner Peace Was Shattered

The breaking up of the peace in the room upon my entrance also broke her personal peace.

Maybe she was afraid because she thought I would make a scene. Maybe she thought I would ask her questions. Maybe she thought I’d ask for her to be removed. Maybe she was nervous because we were in North Carolina and they were having the bathroom uproar at the time. After all, we were in the good old Bible Belt, and any of these scenarios were highly possible.

I’m an empath, so I immediately turned away so not to disturb her anymore. I could sense her energy and I chose to make no more eye contact. I had no idea what she was seeing when she initially saw me, or if she had the ability to read me in the same way I had read her.

There is hardly anything you can hide from an empath.

Although it was a bathroom (and not the best place to get all chummy), I wanted to walk up to her and give her a big hug. In the South, we compliment, hug, and touch to show we connect with you. It’s personal.

But I sensed the angst in her body language. I know how difficult it was for her to live her truth. I don’t know how long it took for her to transition or what her life was like before encountering me. All I knew was that she was uncomfortable.

She must have had plenty of stares, finger pointing, and harassment in her life, which would explain the invisible wall she’d built up. A wall to protect her from the world, and from me.

But she didn’t need to keep me out. I was an ally.


She Was Wrong This Time

The problem was that the same wall built to keep homophobic strangers out was also keeping me out. Me, the ally.

Of course, the bathroom isn’t the best place to give hugs or give affirmations for some, but I’m of the mindset you give it where you get it! It’s spiritual for me.

When you’re led to give affirmations, words of encouragement, compliments, or sometimes a good old fashioned hug, you just do it. I learned this invaluable lesson after years of stubbornness and having people leave this earth without giving them what was put into my spirit. I use my gifts now.

There is a cost for disobedience, and I’ve paid the price enough to know it’s not worth my peace.

I left the bathroom without saying a word. The silence of it all was deafening.


I Build Up, Not Tear Down

invisiblevisible

We women need to be more about the business of building each other up. I do my part, when allowed to do so.

So many times we women are worried about what we think people see, when in reality we are missing out on what’s really happening. Our minds are playing tricks on us.

On the flip-side, women, particularly trans and queer women, need to be a little more open sometimes. Be a little softer. Be a little more aware of our surroundings. Not all stares are stares of disgust or puzzlement. Not all looks are from enemies and homophobes.

Some people in your atmosphere are genuinely happy for you. But you’ll never see them if you wear your worries and fears (those walls) on your pretty little faces. Let’s work on that!

The energy you give off is the energy you’ll get back and sometimes you need to be on a different frequency.

Some people out here are proud of you, I know I am. We wanna high-five with you. We wanna do the secret code whisper (girl you are looking fly today), or simply give you that hug because we know every minute of every day is a struggle. We allies are in this together. You’re in our thoughts and prayers.

We are a family.

When we see each other out and about, we should be greeting each other like sorority sisters and fraternity brothers do. But we don’t.

I love and support you, transwomen. You can’t see me most times though, because of your visibly invisible walls, and that’s a shame.


Thank you for reading. Thanks to Darren Stehle and James Finn for the support. You guys are awesome.