Thursday, January 14, 2010

Earring Update

8 tonight will make precisely 2 weeks since I had my ears pierced on New Years Eve, and I am still as thrilled with the decision as I was that day. The initial exhilaration of doing something different is gone, but I'm always going to think of this as a milestone event. Despite being overdressed, and having nowhere to go at that time of evening except a crowded Wal-Mart, I walked proudly to the counter, requested my ears pierced, shopped an hour as I waited and finally left wearing earrings, like I have always wished i could. Even better, everyone was incredibly nice to me; employees and other customers as well.

In fall of 2007, my first outing presenting as my true gender was also at a Wal-Mart. I was so nervous I was sweating. So nervous, I couldn't slow my steps. My only goal had been to go into the store, look around and leave, without needing to talk to anyone. What I managed was a quick power walk through the main aisles that block around the store, and I was an absolute nervous wreck, every muscle taught through the entire experience. I went home physically sore.

When I think about how far I have come since that time, in terms of knowledge, strength, self awareness. Even in terms of physical transition and pass-ability, it is just hard to believe. At that point in time it was hard to imagine ever being where I am now. The ability to just get out and be myself, without terror or being constantly self conscious seemed out of reach. At that point, I couldn't have walked through a register. Now, I can request something as personal and interactive as ear piercing without a twinge of worry.

I think the simple act of getting my ears pierced symbolizes that personal growth well. It does feel like a rite of passage. :)

My ears are healing very well. The piercings are barely sensitive at all now, and under the studs, there is plenty evidence of healing. All the swelling and pinkish coloration is gone, and there is no pain or itching. In 4 more weeks, I'll be able to take the starter studs out and begin to wear any earrings I choose. For now, I have no other earrings, but I'll certainly find an inexpensive way to expand my options soon. I am a bit emotionally attached to these little CZ studs though. I think I will file down the posts and try to find normal looking backs for them and a box. :)


bree said...

good for you! The thing we all forget is that the everyday person doesn't care about others around them and really don't notice others. Now I can say this and I used to be the same way where ever too. I remember going to a mall and was oh so self conscious about everything. Truth be told, even if some one did "make me" that was then this is now, and they don't remember or care and neither do I. You look great and have nothing to fear, I am sure though that with the earrings in, it just adds one more assurance to others that you are just another woman out in public. Have a good one.


Rebecca said...

I enjoyed reading this post because it gives me hope and encouragement. Your description of your first outing to Wal-Mart because I remember feeling that terror the first time I went out in public. I haven’t progressed as far as you have, but I’m working on it, and reading this gives me hope for the future!

I’m at three weeks and one day with my pierced ears!


Jerica said...

Awww girl. I read your post and it made me think of my first time going out. It was at Safeway and I was pretty nervous too. I actually got my ears pierced in "guy mode" and the lady asked me why I was doing it and I didn't have the guts at the time to tell her so I just made up some quick excuse. Now, I'm so glad though....wait till you can take the studs out and wear danglies!! hehehe

ms.shandy said...

Safeway! I love it! LOL! It's like, store, please live up to your name! :P

It does keep getting easier Rebecca. Every positive outing helps dispel a bit more insecurity for me.

And bree, you are so right. It has slowly dawned at me that most people have more pressing matters on their mind than figuring out what my genetic sex is. Everyone has their own feelings and purposes to occupy them, and I'm generally just not high priority. My first outings would habe been a lot easier had I known.