In daily life, I, like most women like me, sometimes wonder in the back of my head if I'm really being accepted in public as any other woman, or are people reading me as a transwoman and being polite. At this point, I'm very comfortable with daily activities. I go shopping for clothes, go to the grocery store, now have a church I feel comfortable attending and am welcome to be there by congregation. That was a huge milestone for me in my comfort in public as well as in feeling accepted by others.
Over the last three weeks, I have had a couple of experiences that tell me that I am making progress in being seen as just another woman, which is what I see as my goal in the transition process. What has happened is that twice now I have been asked by another woman for assistance. The first time I was on my way into the grocery store and a woman stopped me and asked me if I could look at her receipt from the grocery store. She was concerned that she had paid too much for an item that was on a buy one get one free special. I explained that usually you only get charged half price for one item, but she had been charged a little over half, maybe three quarters. She was asking if I thought she should ask the managers about it, as if she was going to have to pay that much, she would go back and get the second item in that case.
Now being a Social Worker by profession, I just have that natural urge to help people. I guess it's like a pointer who hunts birds (No smart remarks PLEASE!!!! LOL!) So, naturally it gives me a good feeling to be able to do something, even if it is a little thing like that for someone else. But being able to do that little helpful thing gave me so much more. I felt accepted as just another woman!
The day before yesterday, I went to see my doctor for a horrible case of bronchitis I'm dealing with and then had to drop off a prescription. Now Walmart is always a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, I get all my HRT prescriptions there and they cost me a lot less because my insurance doesn't cover it. Two out of three of my prescriptions are on the $4.00 list. Ironically, because my insurance won't cover me for those, I save a dollar on two of them because it's a dollar less than my normal copay! What a little twist that turned out to be, in my favor for once!!
Otherwise, Walmart pharmacy has been a pain to deal with for some other reasons. I really don't like the long lines and the waiting. I also had one of the very few unpleasant experiences there during my transition interacting with their staff at the beginning of my relationship with that pharmacy. But, we got that straightened out and things have been ok with them since then. I can forgive and move on. Still, it's not the most convenient place to get my presciptions.
Dr. Laura Jean had called in my antibiotic to Walmart since it was closest. I was feeling very poorly and knew it would be a little while, so I went grocery shopping. That took about 45 minutes and then I went to Walmart (Here in the sunny south we call it "Walmarts" or if we go to Kmart it's pronounced "Kmarts". I don't know why, it just is!). After the perfunctory long wait, I learned it would be another 45 minutes, so I left and went to Books a Million to hang out.
When I got back, on my way in I noticed a woman in a handicapped parking spot and she was on oxygen. She called out to me and I went over. She was struggling to change out an oxygen bottle. She was literally crammed in her car with all her groceries and I wondered how she would ever get all those groceries into her home without a lot of physically agony from oxygen starvation. She asked me to change out her bottle for her. I told her that I worked in the medical field and knew how to do this. It's pretty easy actually and I've done hundreds of them over the years. So I was able to help her out and she was very grateful for my help.
But it was really me who got the help! I got another affirmation that people look at me as just another woman out there taking care of her daily business. To me, these two women gave me something more than I gave them. They gave me confidence that I can lead a regular life and be seen as who I see myself; another woman leading her life in an ordinary everyday way.