Shoes just keep dropping

Some days are easier than others, some days I don't even have to think about it. On other days the other shoe drops and just keeps dropping.

Of course there was a time in my life when I didn't have to brace myself, with each new person I met, for that inevitable moment when they would say or do something that would show that they couldn't be trusted. Display that they did not see me or people like me as part of their tribe, or even see me as a person at all. At least that's what I tell myself when I think back on my childhood, as there are large chunks of it of which I have no memory. It has to be the case, though, as I didn't always know I wasn't straight, or cis, or monogamous.

There was a point in my life where I lived and worked in the queer-Mecca of my area. So long as I didn't venture outside of that area, and I rarely did, I didn't have to worry about or even think about what aspects of myself I presented, how, and to whom. Almost everyone I interacted with was open-minded and accepting of other people just as they are. Or at the very least they put on a good show. Those that weren't accepting were so outnumbered that even if you could see their disapproval on their face they wouldn't dare say anything.

Don't misunderstand, where I live now isn't too bad or maybe it's just that everyone is too worried about their problems to spend time bothering anyone else. Where I work, on the other hand, is a totally different story. I'll just say that the business I work in is stereotyped as one that would attract “good ol' boys” both as customers and employees. Obviously, not everyone I work with is an issue, nor is every customer. Though that's the thing about waiting for the other shoe to drop, isn't it? You don't know until you know. And not a week goes by that I don't get to learn that someone else isn't safe.

There is very little about myself that I'm out about at work. I don't hide that I'm an atheist; I have a flying spaghetti monster badge on my car's trunk lid as well as both an "Athiest Inside" and an A in a circle vinyl decal on the back window. I know at least one of my co-workers is an atheist. She is also one of the very few people at work that I'm out to about anything else. The other two are the HR person and, as far as I know, the only Pagan there.

Being pansexual and genderfluid are things I keep very close to the vest. Most work days fail to pass without me having to listen to one or more people go on about their homophobic or transphobic ideas and stories. I spend each day knowing that people who treat me as one of their own actually hate me, find me disgusting, think of me as not a person, etc; or would if they knew to. I hear how they speak about me without knowing it. How they speak about my friends, my partner, and people I care about, but just don't know it. They call me friend, buddy, pal. Say they appreciate what I do for them. All the while making it very clear that I don't measure up to what it means to be human to them.