Most of the time I just brush it off. I say, “it’s ok, it happens.” I try to shrug it off, but I know it bothers me, and it’s piling up. Now I avoid public restrooms if I can, and I try not to make eye contact with other women in the changeroom before I have my clothes off. My natural reaction sometimes is to apologize. I suppose I feel that I have unintentionally offended them or something. But the more I think about it, the less sense it makes to feel sorry, and I’m tired of walking with my head hung low.
It’s a mixed feeling. I know most women just react out of self-defense. Where that reflex comes from is a whole other can of worms, and come to think of it, if I were actually a man, I don’t know if I should feel offended for the assumed ill intentions rather than an innocent mistake. On one hand, I understand where those reactions come from, but on the other, knowing that doesn’t make me feel any better. And what am I supposed to do? Wear makeup and grow my hair out? What if I consider both to be too much trouble for me? Or go to the men’s room? I don’t see myself as a man, so that isn’t a logical solution either.
I’ve tried to come up with responses from my end that would go beyond “uh… I think I’m in the right place” and “no it’s ok.. it happens.. I’m sorry.” But I can’t. I don’t know what I’m defending myself from, or why there’s a need for it. I want to fix the problem, but I don’t know where the problem is.
One thing I do know is that I’m tired. I’m tired of being scared, and I’m tired of feeling that I’m so different.