I could keep my first post light and talk about Lady Gaga’s new video or how, at the moment, I’m not extremely excited for the holidays but there are more pressing issues to blog about. I’d like to dedicate my first blog to Samantha. Samantha was another face that popped into my life when I was a nineteen year old bartender struggling with my sexuality, drugs and, my first bartending job. We weren’t really “friends” so to speak we’d say “hello” or share a joke at the bar but that was it. I guess I was more of a “fan” of her confidence. Sam is a trans woman. She’s active in the community, quite a good role model, always open and, was quite a big inspiration to me while I was coming out. Though she may not have known it at the time.
My “coming out” was as much as it could be for a bi-sexual guy that grew up in a shitty area of a poor Canadian steel town. The first friend I lost upon telling him that “I kinda like boys” devastated me. I couldn’t believe it was happening. I was appalled at his ignorance and I felt like there was something wrong with me. And I mean that, I felt there was something wrong with my whole life and everything I knew as “OK” or “normal”.When he asked my if I ever looked at his “junk” while changing when we went swimming as kids hit me pretty hard. How dare he!?! I went to work at a little gay bar in my city and started the day shift just shattered. I started to think of what my other friends thought of me working here and me meeting boys. Should I just kiss those friends goodbye and save myself the hurt and anger ? After work I met my mother at her apartment for a home cooked meal (I was 19 and living on my own at the time and mom cooking me a meal was an EVENT!!). I came out to her telling her that “there’s a boy in my life and he’s cool and I wasn’t ready for a “boyfriend” but he makes me happy”. Of course I ensured her that I was still very much into girls as she always wants grandchildren. That conversation did not go well………….I’ll just say I was out the door before the salad hit the table. There I was: nineteen years old, hurt and confused because of who I am while walking home half in tears (how dramatic huh?). I spent the next two days in my basement apt drinking cheap beer, ignoring the phone and, feeling sorry for myself.
Thursday! Back to work at the bar. I had decided that this life wasn’t for me and that it must have been a phase. I was planning to tell my boss at the end of that shift I was quitting then I would go home and call my mom and apologize. It hurt. It hurt a lot to let friends and family down, not to mention, I felt like an alien. To be completely honest I now felt that the folks in the bar were aliens too. Around 12 o’clock Sam came in with some friends, or came in to join some friends and of course I said hello, served her a drink and kept working. I was really in the dumps and I guess my boss noticed and gave me the rest of the evening off to have a few drinks. I told him I was going home and that I’d call him later……We needed to talk. He said that I couldn’t leave as he had bought me a beer and I’ll tell you I am not one to refuse a cocktail! Sam came to the bar to order a round of shots for her table and bought me a Jack Daniel’s. I watched as she went back to her friends. I wondered if she went through the things that I had just experienced? She’s so confident and strong how could she have? She calls me over! Oh no! I put on a smile and go over and meet her friends. They’re great! Funny, interesting, very good-looking, clever folks. I loosened up. I had a few drinks and a laugh or two and suddenly its last call and I’m walking out the door with Sam……..to go play basket ball…….. in the park……… at 3am. And no; that’s not a euphemism for anything naughty. I thought about telling her about the past few days and all of the hurt, and confusion I was feeling and asking for some advice. Then it hit me! I was walking the streets at 3am to go play basketball with a 6ft tall tranny in heels carrying a pair of trainers and a basket ball and she couldn’t care less about anyone walking by or what they thought about her.
I decided right then that if she can be who she is and make no excuses for it while being much more visibly “different from me, I was not going to let anyone tell me I was wrong for being the guy I am. Sam doesn’t know how important that trip to the basketball court was and we still don’t really talk but I see her posts on Facebook and I follow her on Twitter and I still praise her confidence.
So here’s to you Sam! Thanks for being a late night basketball opponent. Oh and I’m sure anyone reading this is wondering…………………Yes. She is great at basketball too.
Joe’s first blog.