This weekend I started riding bicycle again. One of the challenges cyclists face is dealing with cars and other motorized vehicles. My ride to church involves a left turn, at a light, to a major road followed by crossing from the left lane of traffic to the right lane and then at the end of that road get past the right turn lane to be in one of the two left turn lanes. Fun stuff.
Growing up in Toronto I was used to riding on Toronto streets. Having left Toronto in 2001 for the suburbs and then on to Kingston I hadn’t done a lot of riding since the early 1990s and hadn’t been on a bicycle at all in about 4 or 5 years.
Three years ago I began my transition. A large part of that process is shedding old mannerisms, learning new ones, changing how one speaks and the vocal range. Becomming confident in one’s new gender. [Yes ‘new’ is an awkward term here but in this context I am referring to one’s outward presentation.]
Confidence. Easier said than done, especially if one does not ‘pass’ very well in the new outward gender. Confidence, something that wasn’t always present prior to transition, despite what I may have presented on the outside. How does this tie into my starting cycling again?
My overall confidence level is fairly high. I refuse to be intimidated by those who have issues with who I am. I was not intimidated when an abuser threatened to ‘out’ me to a company I work with prior to my coming out to them. The same confidence applies to cycling on busy roads. I will not be intimidated by other vehicles on the road. Cautious? Yes, they are heavy and can cause serious injury or even death if one hits a bicycle. I follow the rules of the road and expect them to do the same. I will not let fear and intimidation keep me from being myself, or from riding a bicycle on public roads.
As I said in chat last night, “I’m here, I’m not going away, get over it.” I am going to live my life, people who have problems may ask questions, I’m happy to help educate. If your problem with transgender / transsexual / LGBT etc. are such that you can’t adapt, all I ask is that you treat me with respect. We do not have to be friends.