This past weekend felt like a rite of passage for me, as I attended my first bachelorette party with some of my very best friends, and maybe a little too much fun was had by all (note: is there a thing as too many mimosas? ) Of course, we did the typical things. We all got dressed up and went out for drinks. We got up and drank a restaurant out of all of their champagne. We all wore matching tops. However, one of the planned activities had me nervous from the moment I heard it would happen: we’d be hitting a hot tub during the day. That meant I’d have to wear a swimsuit and not much else (well, maybe sunglasses).
Needless to say, I tensed up in the weeks & days leading up to our bachelorette weekend. I tried (and failed) to lose some weight so I could look my best poolside. Hell, I didn’t even own a swimsuit. Of course, all of that paled in comparison to the petrifying notion of being accosted, harassed or worse if someone had even a slight suspicion that I was transgender. With lots of families and children around, the possibility was there, and that was enough cause for concern.
I had to put my fears aside, though. I couldn’t say no to the bride-to-be or any of my friends. I had to put on my big girl pants and start looking for a swimsuit.
After laboring for what seemed like weeks, I finally decided on something I liked. It was a one-piece, black retro swimsuit with white & black chevrons running down the front. Best of all, it was on Amazon so I could have it delivered just in time for my departure to Lake Tahoe.
Soon enough, the day came. I was already feeling nervous about the whole thing. As we all started to change into our swimsuits, one of my best friends (and roommate for the weekend) could sense how tense I was. She refilled my glass of champagne and assured me that everything would be just fine.
Once I had it on, I sheepishly stepped out of the bathroom and asked the girls how I looked. They unanimously declared that they loved my swimsuit and I would draw no negative attention. We took a couple of photos to mark the occasion (this was a big step for me, after all), and then packed up to head to the pool.
We made it to the third floor of the hotel and stepped out to the pool area, where most of the bachelorette party was already in the pool. The moment of truth had come. I slowly reached up to pull off my sarong and, after a moment’s hesitation, pulled it away to reveal my swimsuit. I stopped cold for a few seconds and looked around for anyone staring back at me. Once I saw that no one so much as batted an eye, I took off my sandals and proceeded to step into the pool. The bride-to-bed made her way to me and hugged me, offering your support. “You did it! And thank you so much for coming. I love you!”
The rest of the day was spent basking in the sun, sipping on bubbly from a sports bottle (thanks you-know-who!) As I sat in the hot-tub, I stared upward and took a few moment to take it all in – the voices of my friends as they laughed in the background, the cool breeze, and the equal parts relief and happiness I felt.
I had conquered one of my biggest fears, in my own quiet way. I couldn’t have done it without my friends being there. To them, I say simply “thank you.”