Here is one of my many coming out stories, although not mine alone. There is the coming out story or, at least, I used to think there was. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is the closet that still causes me dread every day. Being genderqueer, facing my closet in the morning is usually an experience of shame, disappointment, resentment, frustration, and guilt. Do I or don’t I? How much ridicule and staring am I willing to deal with today? Do I have the energy? Probably not. Maybe tomorrow. This time, however, it was different. It was, quite literally, as easy as putting on a pair of shoes and they were fucking fabulous…perhaps even magical. Prepping to attend Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Ball, my friends emphasized they did not want to wear “costumes.” In lieu of my more elaborate outfit, I decided to adorn my 5’11” and petite body with skinny jeans, a tank, and my gorgeous black stilettos. I rock them. My friends, however, were not as enthusiastic.
“Are you going to be able to walk in them? Won’t they hurt?”
“No, I am an expert in heels my friends.”
“Aren’t you worried about what people will say? What they’ll do?”
And there it is. The presumed male body cannot wear heels. The shoes have the incredible ability to confuse, shock, and even enrage. They are quite powerful, magical even. My friends walk a few feet behind me as we make our way to the concert (heels apparently also have a repellent force). I ignore them along with the snickering and whispers.
Arriving at the concert, everything changes. The thousands of strangers around me are no longer disgusted. They’re enthralled! The magical power of the heels brings compliments, smiles, and hugs. Mother Monster takes the stage. I sing. I dance. I own those heels. My ass has never looked better! We leave the concert and the street is my catwalk. Fuck their stares and their ignorance.
We fall onto the hotel beds exhausted. A friend ventures near. “Would it be okay if I tried on your heels?”
The hotel room becomes our haute couture runway as everyone takes their turn. When Charlie makes it across the room he throws his arms in the air as if scoring a touchdown. The smiles and laughter are infectious. We are now planning a heel party. It is the power of the heels. Never doubt them. *tap tap tap*