I went out last night, out to the bar I usually like to go to but is usually far too crowded to enjoy. But a good chunk of the regular patrons had another function to go to. Yeah, it’s that small of a place.

The people I went with are people who know about my gender identity, and it’s very nice to be able to speak about such things openly. It’s a relief, honestly.

Toward the end of our evening—it was still relatively early, not even 9pm—we noticed that there was a man at the end of the bar kind of staring us all down and muttering things to the guy next to him. It kind of became a game for us, because we weren’t sure which of us he might be muttering about: my two companions consisted of a woman with dreads and a black woman. Remember, this is kind of a remote, rural city.

One of my companions quipped on this, saying he’d really have his choice for objections. After all, we were a woman with dreads, a black woman, and someone who is transgender.

Wait, what?

I didn’t correct my friend on this, but I also don’t think of myself as a trans person. I’m in that confusing swirl that’s somewhere in the middle.  I don’t object to the term, but I don’t feel like it applies to me all that well.

And with the recent political issues surrounding bathroom bills and the like, there was a bit of a jolt that went through me when she said that. Who might have heard?

That’s the embarrassing part for me. That I reacted that way. Again, I didn’t say or do anything about it, but that was the rapid fire of thoughts that went through my head.

In the end, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if I belong more under the Q than the T in our alphabet soup of identities and orientations. I’m still an other, and I get bothered. Like how earlier in the day there was a woman who wouldn’t get within five feet of me in line at the grocery store. I’m not big nor intimidating (well, okay, I’m tall), nor is my gender expression out there in a way that would scare or provoke. Is it the shaved legs that spooks people like her? I’d better not introduce her to road cyclists.

No, I’m different. It’s okay. And it’s a bit enlightening to see how other people see me, whether friend or fellow shopper.