Just Like Me

I recently took a vacation to southeastern Virginia. Williamsburg, to be precise. The July 4 weekend is my partner’s and my anniversary, and we decided we wanted to go do something. After a year and a half of being shuttered in the house thanks to COVID, we wanted out and to go have fun.

We settled on going to Busch Gardens, an amusement park in Williamsburg. I’ve been there several times, but it remains my favorite amusement park (sorry, all you Disney lovers. Disney doesn’t hold a candle to Busch Gardens to me).

While waiting in one of the interminable lines for a ride (and, really…is it a good exchange for a two-minute ride that takes 90 minutes in line? Apparently so, since that’s what we did), I was able to watch the different waves of people. There were the early birds, like us, who were there when the park opened. We ran from ride to ride, hoping the the lines would stay short long enough for us to get on a few of our favorites. By noon, the next wave came: a younger crowd, couples, groups of teens. And, of course, longer lines.

When this second wave came through, they brought with them a surprise: LGBTQ+ couples. I stood in line after line, watching gay and lesbian couples hold hands and give PDAs and be utterly – wonderfully – cute. I saw transmen with their partners. And I saw other transwomen with dates and partners. All ages. All races.

There was no noise, no ‘hey look at me,’ and there was no backlash. No one scowling and shaking fingers. We’re in southern Virginia, far enough that the drawl has started. And still nothing. Just people being people. And, holy gods, it was beautiful.

I wanted to join in, being trans myself. But I’m a transwoman who has no remaining hair of her own. I have to wear wigs. So I left the wigs (and my identity) at home because standing in 95-degree heat and humidity is bad enough, but to have a roller coaster blow my hair clean off would be mortifying. I had to settle for being happy for the others around me.

So, if you were there, and you saw me staring…sorry. I was happy for you. I thought you were all amazing. I wanted to tell you that I’m one of you.

But I’d already flipped my wig.

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