Melissa and I have a bit of a tradition. Instead of getting out nieces and nephews some gift that they’ll break, misplace or outgrow for Christmas, we take them somewhere every year. They told us this year that it’s become something that they look forward to each year and that they always wonder where we’ll go next. It’s a big group of kids, so we do two separate trips, one for the older kids (17, 14, 13, and 11) and one for the younger kids (6, and three 4 year olds).
This year we took the older group to Sahara Sam’s Indoor Waterpark in New Jersey. First, if you’ve never been and you live anywhere near it, I recommend it. I know water park isn’t really what most trans* people think of as the first thing they want to do. I’ll admit that I was more than a little skeptical at first. The place is clean and there are people of literally every body shape and size. I never got so much as a sideways glance wearing a surf-style rash guard as a shirt. Second: gender neutral changing rooms. The bathrooms are gendered and I didn’t see a family bathroom and there were only two stalls in the men’s room, but overall wasn’t too bad. And most importantly, the kids really enjoyed it.
While we were there, Melissa and I took a break from floating the lazy river to people watch a little and I noticed that even as a trans* guy, I didn’t have anywhere near the largest (male) breasts there. One guy in particular had perkier b-cups than I ever had, even when trying to actively present as female. It frustrates me that there’s something innately sexualized and “forbidden” about female breasts. Why is is that cis-men with more breast tissue than I have are allowed to walk around freely and I have to keep mine bound and covered to be male? It’s not that I feel like they shouldn’t be allowed to be topless. Chests are chests and it’s just that.
All in all, it wasn’t the traumatizing experience that I expected. People of all shapes, sizes and genders covered up. Heavier men wore t-shirts, skinny guys wore white a-shirts that drooped comedically and were completely transparent when they were wet. Athletic guys wore surf shirts, presumably a habit from their time out in the sun. Women wore shorts with their bikini tops.
I spotted another trans guy. He wore a shirt, like me, and trunks. His mom called him bud. Overall it was okay. My biggest take away from this is that no one is paying nearly as much attention to you as you are to yourself, but I think that’s something that a lot of people, not just trans* people struggle with.
Anyhow, here’s a bonus pic…I don’t know why I can’t take pictures with my mouth closed…