Party time!

A friend/colleague of my wife celebrated her birthday yesterday and we were invited. Since there weren’t other people at the party who we previously know, I went all in and presented me as Fredrik. Our friend kept introducing me with my given name, but for those who asked or introduced themselves I said my chosen name. I spent most of the night sitting next to a group of ladies and talked about music, tending to our baby or singing along to the piano. I was very aware of how weird I must seem, especially when the singing must have revealed my high pitch singing voice despite my efforts to keep it low key. But no one said anything and no one seemed to take offense in any way so I decided to not give a s***. I am who I am, and so is everyone else. If I want to be seen as a man, I have the right to be seen as a man. It’s my choice – not theirs.
After a few hours a woman joined the party and this time I recognized the person. She recognized both me and my wife, but she couldn’t remember from where and I could tell she was puzzled with me. My wife and the woman decided we must have met at another friends wedding a few years back, but she still looked suspiciously at me. Later she came up to me and asked for my name again, saying she forgot it. I froze. I know I know her from somewhere else than that party, my face recognition skills are far to bad to recognize someone I’ve met once at a party a few years ago. I must have met her at least a couple of times and more recently and I suspect it’s from work. I’m not out at work yet, so for a moment I hesitated and almost said my given name. Then I thought what the heck, I might not be out at work yet, but I intend to be soon. And I’m here privately, she has no right to judge me for not presenting myself as the same person privately and at work. A very skilled inspirational talker also came into my mind, Sara-Claes. He’s a transvestite and performs as Claes or Sara depending on what he feels like that day. If he can do it, so can I. I know I’m not a transvestite, just stuck in an awkward in-transition state between male and female, but the woman in front of me doesn’t. So I said my name was Fredrik and my heart didn’t sink, I didn’t have an anxiety attack and she stopped looking weird at me. I thought it would at least trigger an anxiety attack, as they’re normally triggered by far less stressful things, but I felt nothing but contentment. It was just right, not awkward at all. Finally I was just me.
On our way home my wife told me that the woman had come up to her and asked about me. My wife was dead tired from not sleeping enough and had a hard time comprehending and answering the woman’s questions in a straight forward fashion. I suspect the woman was far more confused about me after talking with my wife as she seemed to have answered most of her questions with an “I don’t know”. At least she managed to tell the woman that I was the same person she met at the party and that she hadn’t changed partner. She also referred to me as “he” consistently, so I guess the poor confused woman asked for my name again just to straighten out the question marks after the conversation with my wife. From all my coming out experiences I’m mostly taken by how considerate, polite and accepting people are. No one want to be the one who has to be corrected publicly by others. They really want to get the names and pronouns right and ask about it in a very nice fashion!

5 thoughts on “Party time!

  1. Great post!

    Commenting just to say that I adored this line: “I am who I am, and so is everyone else. If I want to be seen as a man, I have the right to be seen as a man. It’s my choice – not theirs.” Damn right. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good for you for starting to go out as Fredrik. When people were confused about my changing my name Donna would tell them to ask me (not her) what I was doing. Name changing (and everything else) is a slow process, a lot of people to tell, and three years later I’m still running into people who didn’t get the memo.

    Before I officially changed my name I tried using it in a few places where I expected I wouldn’t run into people I knew (I was pretty sure I wanted to use Jamie but not 100%) and I was at a Weight Watchers meeting where we wore name tags and a woman I knew from work came in and looked at me as if I was an alien. I explained to her that I was in the process of changing my name and had done so socially, but hadn’t done it legally yet so I wasn’t using it at work…and if she told anyone it didn’t get around. But it did freak me out a little.


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