by Tuesday Meadows
“I messed up tonight, I lost another fight, I still mess up but I’ll just start again….I won’t give up, no I won’t give in till I reach the end and then I’ll start again…I wanna try everything even though I could fail.” Try Everything Shakira
Have I told you that I still hate talking about public restrooms lately? Yep, I still do!
Those of you who know me well know that I have scars from a life well lived. Some of those scars you can see from the bypass heart surgery that I had 19 years ago to save my life. Those scars are very visible on my chest. Other scars are not so visible. The scars from being scared to be myself my whole life. No, you can’t see those scars but they are just as deep as the ones on my chest and can hurt much more when they are poked. The restroom battle brings those invisible scars to the forefront whenever I am caught up in one of these skirmishes.
I try to live my life as normal as I can since I transitioned three years ago. Some might think that I should never leave my house. Others think that I am too visible, too loud, too attention-getting, or too whatever. The truth is that I really just want to live my life and enjoy what time that I have left here on earth. I want to do the things that I love to do most. Travel, watch ball games, and hang out with my friends and family. Pretty simple.
So here is the story. I was camping out with my family for a few nights this week in Utah and Arizona. Now I use to love camping. I took my daughter every summer somewhere. It seems kind of stupid to leave a perfectly good house to go stay out doors but I guess it has always made me feel like I had a connection to nature.
The first two nights went well in Utah at Zion National Park. Zion is one of my favorite places on earth. The third night we moved to Flagstaff, Arizona after we had visited the Grand Canyon that day. The evening went well as we decided to go out to dinner instead of cooking out like we had previously. The trouble happened when I went to use the public shower that evening after we got home from dinner.
Amazingly I have grown to not expect the worse of a situation no matter where or what the situation that I find myself in these days. I guess I should have know better than to expect everyone to respect each other.
My granddaughter and I went to use the shower around dusk so that there was still plenty of day light. As me and my six-year-old enter the women’s shower room a woman who appeared to be somewhat older passed us on her way out. As always I smiled at her but I was busy with my young child to pay her much attention to what she looked like.
We proceeded to the shower stall which had a lock and was separated from the rest of the women’s area. We got undressed and turned on the water. That is when we heard man’s voice shout, “hey this is the women’s shower area, you are in the wrong one.” My granddaughter looked at me and said, “who is he talking to?” I just looked at her like I wasn’t sure what was going on. Next we could hear him taking steps in to the restroom shower area. His voice got closer and louder, “this is the women’s slower!” My six-year-old looked at me and said, “I think he’s talking to you but you’re a girl.” That’s when she shouted, “she’s a girl!” I thought to myself if she is brave enough to take on this bully then I guess I need to step up too. “I am a woman,” I shouted back as angrily as I could being totally naked in a public shower area.
I could hear him leave, but I fully expected to have a confrontation outside of the restroom when we finished but he was not there. I guess the woman we passed went back to her camp and told someone who she passed some one who looked like a man going into the women’s shower. What kind of person would pick on a woman and a child in shower? What would motivated these people to become restroom vigilantes? I just don’t understand.
The one thing that I do understand is that my six-year-old has more understanding than many adults when it comes to transgender people. She is also very brave, being the first one to speak up when it sounded like he was coming to tear down the stall door to attack me. I just don’t understand this mentality of the person who left the restroom and felt it her duty to report us to her husband, boyfriend, or whoever this guy was.
Anyway, I have a new scar. This one is an emotional scar and is not visible. Attacking me when I am by myself is one thing but doing it when I have a child with me seems pretty low for just about anyone. I am just not sure if I will ever go camping again. I guess maybe the haters won this round but my respect for my granddaughter grew by leaps and bounds and that is something special.