I had met one of the girls at a trans conference a few months ago and after realizing we had some similar interests, like dark music and dancing, we made it a point to stay in touch. She eventually invited me to join her and a friend at Machine to dance and celebrate her friend’s upcoming surgery. Yes, we’re all trans and we’re fabulous.
Ask anyone; I never go out. So, I was of course extremely nervous, yet excited about the possibilities of this adventure. After confirming with my friend, I needed to find something to wear. This is usually the most stressful decision I make every day, and because of the circumstances, this was far worse. Since starting my transition and separating from my partner almost five years ago, I’ve consciously and unconsciously avoided going out, and have completely steered clear of hooking up. In fact, I’ve only been close or intimate with two people that entire time.
The start of the evening was slightly surreal. I drove to my parents’ house just outside of Boston, the same place I grew up in, to park my car and get ready for going out. My friend was going to pick me up on the way. She said she’d be there around 10. My wise parents spend late winter and early spring in warmer climates, so I had the house to myself. I had a few drinks and got changed into an outfit I hoped would be appropriate for the club; sleek and black are always a safe bet. Thirty five years earlier, as a lost trans teen in hiding, I would dress up in sexy outfits in my basement and walk around the neighborhood, and later when I had a license, drive through the streets around Boston listening to Madonna till dawn. I guess things haven’t changed much. My friend arrived by 10:45 and after settling in her silent Prius, she let me know my look was perfect. I felt relieved.
We were in Kenmore Square in minutes, and paid the ten dollars for parking just a few blocks from the club. Walking down Boylston Street, a car pulled over and the driver propositioned us through his rolled down window. We ignored him and crossed the busy street towards our destination. While it was early, the place was slowing filling up. I guess it’s because it’s one of the only Goth/industrial/fetish clubs in Boston. After getting settled and enjoying a drink we made our way to the dance floor where we’d spend most of the night. It was then that I first noticed that guy I mentioned earlier, you know, the horny one, who wanted to stick his tongue down my throat and … wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Anyway, there was this cute guy dressed in a leather outfit who looked much younger than me. He smiled in my direction as we walked to the dance floor. At first I pretended not to notice.
As the night evolved, our other friend arrived and we continued to dance into the night. Every now and then, I noticed the boy in leather, standing or dancing nearby, and at one pass, I smiled back in his direction. After a few hours, my feet were giving way to my five inch heels, so we sat for a while in back talking with each other along with some of my friend’s acquaintances. As I nursed a drink I noticed another group of people in the corner, reclining and getting intimate with each other. I was inspired and as we headed back to the dance floor one final time, I met up with him, this time I didn’t turn and run. The final hour we spent mostly on the dance floor, inseparable like teenagers. It was like I been transported back to a summer camp dance in the woods of New Hampshire and feeling like we’d never see each other ever again after they played the final song, Rock Lobster, “down, down, down…”
The dim lights of the club suddenly turned bright. Fumbling with what to say, we headed to retrieve our coats. It was then I realized I didn’t have a clear plan of what was going to happen next. This was new territory for me, but fortunately I had the good sense to check in with my girl friends who were standing nearby; one was continuing on to party, while the other wanted to grab a bite to eat and talk more. I had an excuse not to continue, plus I wasn’t going anywhere on the back of his Ducati at 2am, at least not that night. And while it was a wonderful experience flirting with the boy dressed in leather, I realized there's a need for me to be cognizant of my own safety as a transgender woman in a world that can turn violent and abusive without warning. As far as I know he may have been a sweetie, but I didn’t need to take any more chances on my first night out in a long time. My sex and gender may have changed over time, but my passions and desires remain.