Behind the enemy lines

After three times now changing in the men’s locker room without a friend as company, I’m summing up my experiences so far. It’s much harder than I thought it would be. I feel stressed up about it, both while I’m at it and in advance, on my way to the gym. I feel vulnerable while I’m in there. Rather than being a part of a sweaty but silent brotherhood, I feel like I’m lurking behind the enemy lines, risking to be exposed at any moment. I’m afraid to be questioned. I feel like I’m breaking the rules. I guess I am, in a way.

Today there was a big guy changing just next to me and I bet he could hear my heart pounding like mad. The good thing is that at the gym I have a perfectly valid excuse for looking blushed and pumped up with adrenaline – either I’m late for my gym class or I’ve just worked out. Another guy kept a close eye on my suspiciously round, petite and rather hairless behind when I pulled my pants down and my gym shorts up. I tried to comfort myself with the idea that he probably liked what he saw.

I guess it is al right to struggle with this now for a while. I’m creating queer space for myself and in the long run for others, and I’m giving the girls their safe space back. They had started to stay on guard and looking really bothered by my presence. And they can hardly go anywhere else. I’m the one who has to leave, as it is now with our locker room-situation. It will take some time now, for me to get used to this.

My gym handed out a questionnaire the other day. It was all sorts of questions in it, designed to find out what they could improve and how happy their members and customers are.  I was so glad to find a third option to gender in it, not only “man” and “woman”, but also “other”, which I opted for. I wrote in it about my locker room troubles. Afterwards I started to think that I ought to have done something together with my gym related to IDAHOT, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transfobia that was last weekend. But I guess it’s never to late. Seriously, I’ll think of something.

/ E.

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Ps, I spent the weekend posing for a good friend who is a photographic artist. It resulted in lots of pictures for a queer project of hers. I got a brand new blog header and some really cool “before” (or rather “in the middle of”-) transitional photos. Thank you, E!

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