Got asked for my number today at work by a male customer while only wearing basic cover-up, eyeliner, and glasses. No, I don’t know why either. I’m more or less convinced that the quality of male trying to pick me up is equivalent to the level of effort I put into doing my makeup and hair.
When did I become so adept at flashing a shy smile and reciting “Thank you, but I’m taken”? I would be lying if I said I have not been flirted with/hit on a number of times since I began living full-time, though I only seem to recall the points which I did not parry some older man’s adverse advances. Though, being well trained to resist romantic interests isn’t something anyone should be proud of. Yes, it would be nice for my precisely cut lie to actually be true for once.
Or better yet, for someone actually attractive to throw a cheesy pick-up line my way. For someone to actually make me think if giving them my number would be worth my while. This has, in fact, happened to me before. Once or twice, but still. My tastes are both wide and narrow. Varied, yet specific. Especially with cis males.
Or better still, to not be terrified of how a man would react to me being not quite the woman they expected. To be desired by a cis male exposes a myriad of internal questions I’d rather not have to answer. Ironically, if a cis male knows I’m transgender, that then adds on even more questions. Many of which broach the matters of my self-worth, gender dysphoria, and faded internalized transphobia. Sad that now I know the moment any male shows any interest in being with me, I am convinced that I have been fetishized or become a curious fantasy.
I’m sure you can imagine the snowballing questions that bubble to the surface from never being loved in the way I’ve always wanted. The way I never believed could be possible for me. The way I’ve longed since accepted would surely be out of my reach. For the ones I could give myself to do not desire me, and the ones who desire me I can only perceive as a cruel joke brought about by a sexual whim.
Such a level of emotional acceptance has brought me to a place where sexuality and intimacy are fickle entities that I could live without indefinitely. My life, in its current form, has little capacity for such things. Not because I am too occupied pursuing my dreams, but because my self-worth is the lowest point it has ever been in my life. Out of frustration of failing to meet my own standards, I have begun hating romance to avoid crying myself to sleep in the midst of my own silent longing.
Kill off that which is meaningless. Nurture that which can grow.
In the end, for my own sanity, I cannot help but cling to what is left of my pride, and protect my self from myself.