It was my second year at the Hendersonville Apple Festival in NC. The previous year I went with my wife, we had a great time and enjoyed the day, despite the heat. I went as my mask because my wife was still coming to terms with, well, me. This year I wanted it to be different, I wanted to go as me, to wear a nice sun dress and just enjoy the day. It didn’t happen. Our daughter wanted to go with us this year, which we were happy with, but she wanted to bring a friend from school. Even that may not have determined my wearing the mask, but her parents and sister decided they wanted to meet us at the festival. Her parents and sisters don’t know about me, I’m fine with them knowing, but my wife isn’t ready just yet. So, rather than forcing it, making them see me for me, I chose to go in my mask. I blame myself for trying to accommodate every one’s needs and comfort.
The festival is made up of a lot of vendor stalls along each side of the street. At one of those vendor stalls, a woman was giving samples of exfoliating scrubs of varying scents. As we walked up, she asked if I wanted to try it. My first response was my masks practiced reply of “No, don’t think so”. Then I asked my daughter if she wanted to try it. She did and really liked the scrub. I stood at another stall, galled by the fact that I was limited by my masks responses. I thought, “screw it”, and walked over to the woman and said “You know what? I would like to try the scrub.” She made the comment that she has a manly scent. I showed her my long-ish nails and clear polish and said, “I don’t think that is an issue, give me something that smells pretty.” She was taken aback for only a fraction of a second and then let me sample a scrub. It worked really well, by the way, and it did smell pretty (mango). I still had a great time at the festival, but with a sadness that yet another festival went by and I am still wearing the mask for other people.
I met a trans-sister on twitter, Allison. She is an extrovert and active in the community, with family and friends. She started her blog Allison-Grace.com and is on a transitioning track that I am completely jealous of. I don’t begrudge her a single thing, she is just going for it and I am jealous of that attitude and focus. It’s also a common theme for me, I see others moving despite the money or issues with family and I wonder why I can’t manage it. I know that I want things, I don’t know how to get the things I want without causing inconvenience to my wife, who shouldn’t have to shoulder the burden I have caused.
I am determined that the next apple festival will be attended by the real me and not my mask.