Yesterday was a roller coaster.

To start, I had my first group therapy session. At the moment, there are four of us, but that number will probably change over time. I'm actually the youngest, though I'm not the earliest in the process so far. I actually learned a lot, with one group member who's been on hormones for a while now telling us about what it's like. She didn't really say anything that I hadn't already known, but it was good to hear it confirmed from someone else.

At the end of the session, my therapist gave me my walking letter. As Jason described it, it's my doctor's note saying, "Please excuse Kristina from being male". I liked that description a lot and so I'm keeping it, even if it isn't totally accurate. Actually, it's a note explaining that I'm currently in therapy for gender dysphoria and should be given all the rights and priviledges accorded any other female. Basically, it's a safeguard against people getting frustrated about me being in the ladies' room.

I came home from that on an emotional cloud, feeling wonderful. Jason and I sat around the apartment for a while, then we decided to go out to Souper Salad for early dinner. Here, I have to pause and say how much I like this place. It's cheap, filling and I can have the all-you-can-eat without feeling like I've blown my diet. The waitstaff knows us there; we go in about once a week, maybe twice.

Last night was supposed to be a role-playing game session with some of our friends, but after we ate we had a few hours to kill and so Jason and I decided that we could go out to one of the malls in the area that he hadn't
really seen yet. It was kind of a drive but we'd have lots of time there. 

Now, here let me interject that I've been out dressed before. I'm more or less fulltiming on the weekends. I'd never been out as dressed as yesterday, but I've had on skirts, blouses, femme-cut jeans, heels, cosmetics, what have you. I've been to restaurants, clubs, coffeehouses, out with friends, other malls, out to the movies, generally wherever. Sure, I've had people turn and stare, I've had people comment behind my back, and I've had people act surprised. They've always been the exception, though, and not the rule.

Last night, I felt like I was on display. I think literally half the people in the mall stopped what they were doing as I walked past to look, and I heard a lot more behind my back than I normally do. I don't think I was doing anything different, really. I just chalked it up to the mall itself. Fortunately, there isn't much at that mall that would require me to go back to it.

As we were leaving, though, someone took it upon himself to shout something from the window of his truck as he was driving past. He was technically accurate but factually incomplete. However, it put me in a very strange mood. I wasn't upset. I was frustrated and disappointed. It was the sort of misconception that I would have loved to correct, only I know that the type of person who yelled such a thing wouldn't have listened to reason.

The whole experience, actually, was like that. Anyone there could have said something to me and I would have gladly explained, but nobody wanted to know. All they knew was that something outside their realm of experience had made itself known, and they saw fit to point and stare and laugh. It wasn't that they did it. Other people have done that. It was the sheer number of people doing it, this time.

Jason and I tried to go to the game last night, but that didn't go so well. I was in an off mood, Jason wasn't much better and Mitch wasn't being very helpful. Things went from strained to patently absurd in about an hour and
Jason and I bowed out of it after that. When we got home, we got a hot shower and I pored over the events of the day and ended up ranting at him in the shower about everything.

I do plan on going back to that mall, dressed, partially because I haven't picked the Lane Bryant there clean yet, but also admittedly because I want the peace of mind knowing that I didn't let the negative experience ruin my enjoyment of the mall. I'm not going to let other people control my life. If I choose not to go there because there's nothing there I need or want, that's one thing. I'm not going to let my decision be based on the reactions of others.

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