Traveling through TSA at Bradley International Airport I recall the quickest experience I’ve had with traveling through this process: I was wearing black booty shorts with a pink male “t-back” thong, showing, and a sleeveless shirt with the front pulled up thought the neck hole exposing my midriff. I did this three times, and only once did the TSA agent find this humerus. Upon reviewing my attire she responded, “well, I can ‘see’ you are not hiding anything”. On that occasion the agent was female, the other 2 times the agents were male. I am sure this is not a wholistic representation of all TSA, but it does indicate that I was able to use their homophobia to my benefit; maybe it was just a coincidence.
I was having a few drinks with some coworkers just before Thanksgiving, 2018. There were 5 of us, 3 females another male and myself. I complimented the other male as being handsome and lamented our recent loss in a dance competition, of which the principal was a finalist, I’m certain there was a fix as the other male at the table has Latino hips and if you have ever seen Saturday Night Fever you know that Italians, being half Italian, as I am, we can dance. One of the females gave me an incredulous look after I extended the compliment to the Latino hipped dancer (post-script tangent, he challenged the principal to a rematch which he wildly won about a month later, I wasn’t able to attend the rematch, but I digress). I looked back at her and stated factually that, “I am so very comfortable with my HETEROsexuality that I can publicly admit that another man in handsome and I don’t give a shit what other people think of me.” She accepted that, he was grateful at the compliment and agreed that he too was comfortable with his own heterosexuality as well, didn’t take offense to the compliment.
Not everyone is comfortable with themselves. They may not be comfortable with who they are or even additional attention being drawn to them because someone in their “group” is flamboyant or being “extra”, as my students might say. I find it liberating to be extra. I find it is glorious to make others uncomfortable and I will not apologize for it. There are limitations however.
Just because I am comfortable with myself does not mean that I should go out of my way to make others uncomfortable with me; that’s a quick way to loose friendships. I am a fan of function over form, except when dancing. For instance, I will wear fluoresce pink compression socks to my knees at the gym if it is a leg day or I will be running a lot and that is the color in my rotation. I will mind my business and not even give any attention or credence to the sideways looks I may get. I will shake the hands and bump fists with people who I normally associate with on any other day I see them, we will have a conversation as they accept me as I am; a bit weird, but as I have told my daughter for most of her life, “weird is interesting, normal is boring, try to be interesting.”
I have been told that I do not have the right gear for skiing, or being outdoors in the winter, and that my wardrobe is in need of some additions. I accept this as the person expressing those sentiments is an expert in skiing and my extremes outdoor attire is in ill-repair. I accept that, just because I am comfortable with who I am and what I look like, not everyone else does, and that I may reflect poorly upon them. I do not wish to do this, and I want to be as accommodating to the community as long as it doesn’t reflect poorly upon me or request that I am experiencing life within anyone else’s skin; I’m comfortable in my own!