Today is the first day of Denver’s Pride Fest. And I can’t leave the house. I’ve tried 4 times. I get maybe a block or two from the house and I have to turn back. I can’t breathe.
I’ll have to leave the house soon. I don’t know when my roommate will be home. I don’t want him to know that I couldn’t go. I’m not sure I know how to explain it. There’s certainly fear. I fear for my life. I fear being beaten up. I fear ridicule. I fear that I’ll be outed by just being there. I don’t know what to expect. Not knowing what to expect when I get there scares me the most. The uncertainty.
A few friends have told me they would be willing to meet me on the periphery and walk in with me. But, right now that doesn’t feel like enough. Friends tell me that since I won’t be presenting in female mode, I don’t have anything to fear. But, I’ll be there. To me, that’s enough fear. I’m not even going to be wearing a sports bra since that shows through many of my shirts.
The sheer numbers I’ve heard that go to Pride are pretty scary as well. For someone with severe social anxiety, 300,000 people is pretty damned scary. And amongst all those people, how will I know there won’t be people waiting to hurt me. I ride my bike around Denver all the time. What if someone sees me going there on my bike. Will I be a target at a later date?
Maybe the secret is the word Pride. I’m certainly lacking in that. I don’t know what it’s like to be proud of this condition I was born with. I just want to live a normal life as the female I know I was born as. I wish I knew how to get there.
I’ve gotten many encouraging words from friends. But, one transwoman (I have yet to meet) on Facebook said I was chickenshit and completely misconstrued my words, thinking that I was calling gay people scary. Too me, the entire premise of Pride is scary. I probably could have worded it better. But, I was extremely anxious when I wrote it. Even more than I am now.