When Everybody Knows Your Name

…or at least remembers you from one meeting to the next.

This is a new thing and I am having to get used to it.

It’s the hair, of course. I think.

Perhaps we all recall that I dyed my hair green back in early July. It wasn’t meant to be green; as I bitterly complained to all and sundry for a month plus, the label on the bottle was Aquamarine, but on my then-dark brown dyed hair, it came out as having not much of either aqua or marine in it, but instead, a color one of my comics-loving friends called “She-Hulk.”

I don’t have anything against She-Hulk at all, but I did not want her hair color.

As my hair grew out, unable to get the Arctic Fox blue I really wanted, I began coloring over my silver roots with a diluted Manic Panic blue that was definitely closer to what I wanted, but it wasn’t having any effect on the green hair, which was not – despite user reviews and Arctic Fox’s blithe assurance – fading out in a hurry. I finally got my hands on Arctic Fox’s blue and mixed it with a bit of the Aquamarine and some diluter and now the result is what you see above: the dark green has taken on, at last, a slight bluish tone and the roots are teal. It’s a weird sort of mer-person hair, but hey, not She-Hulk-ish, so I’ll take it.

The point is, after a lifetime of feeling very invisible, people remember me now. Or at least, they remember the chubby lesbian with the mermaid colored undercut, who is definitely me, but a new me that I’m still getting used to seeing in the mirror. And so I am also getting used to being less invisible.

People remember me from one Pokemon Go community day to the next. The waiter who usually serves us at Gayborhood trivia spots me coming in the door and has a Diet Coke waiting for me when I get to our table – and he remembers what my concentrating face looks like and knows not to ask me if I need a refill or an order when I’m thinking. The baristas at the coffeeshop I often go to on Tuesdays happily tell me they’re glad I’m back.

Also, surprisingly, my day-job boss really likes the hair. She thinks I’m nuts, but also that it’s neat. Well, all right then.

It’s not just that I’m memorable that’s coo-coo bananaballs to me, it’s that I’m noticeable at all. When I went out in this look to a sort of mini-drag ball event…

A bartender literally squealed over my dress (“It has centaurs holding parasols on it!”), several folks came up and complimented me, and when local legendary drag queen Alyssa Edwards spotted me in the crowd, her (well, his, Justin was out of drag that night) face lit up in a smile that made me feel like the most delightful person in the room.

(okay that last one, MAYBE Ms. Edwards was smiling at someone behind me, but we were less than three feet apart and everyone behind me was trying to get drinks at the open bar, so I feel pretty safe thinking that MAAAAAYBE I was in fact that delightful, and MAYBE ONE OF MY DRAG IDOLS ACTUALLY THOUGHT I WAS EXACTLY THAT LET ME HAVE THIS OKAY)


I still tend to think, sometimes, people are just being nice and polite when they say I look pretty or that they love what I’m wearing or they love my hair or they think my lipstick is amazing (which, by the way, Fenty Uncensored is a miracle product and worth every penny I spent on it, if it is ever discontinued I WILL CRY) or my purse is awesome. But it’s so many people, and they don’t always know me, so… maybe… they mean it? Maybe they really do think I’m just as pretty as I thought I was when I left the house?

This is all happening when I’m in hyper-femme mode, of course. Because I’m still getting accustomed to actually having fun with my female side, I have not even begun to unpack the appreciative looks I get from queer women when I go out swinging more masculine-of-center.

Y’all. The non-binary life is a little wild.

But it’s also great because I’m not invisible anymore. I know better who I am or could be now, so now people see me. I mean, I guess that’s how it is working. I think I was unconsciously making an effort to hide before, even though consciously I was often very frustrated to feel like people didn’t bother to notice me. But I kind of get it now; why should they have noticed me, if deep down I really didn’t want them to, because I didn’t really know who I wanted them to see?

I am a psychologist’s dream at this point. But I am feeling remarkably well-adjusted (I guess that’s a perk of coming out as non-binary in one’s forties, after twenty years of struggling with just your sexuality alone, you get to a place where nothing fazes you because you’re just so happy to know who you are at last) so therapy might have to wait a hot minute.

Also, I am too busy for therapy because after a year and a half long dry spell, I finally had another book idea hit me smack in the head and if you thought me talking about my sexuality and gender identity issues has been exhausting, go ahead and ask me how my Scandinavian crime novel is going.

(I’m going to Sweden next spring, that’s how it’s going, oh my god)

2018: truly I am living my most bonkers life, and it’s so much fun.


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